Looking for inexpensive classical guitar

Discussion in 'Acoustic Instruments' started by ivers, Jun 16, 2006.

  1. ivers

    ivers Member

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    My primary styles are bossa nova, and chord melody jazz. The qualities I'm thinking about are 'warmth', 'fullness', and also decent volume.
    I believe cedar would be the best choice for this, but I have only tried spruce before.
    So, the guitars I've been considering are these:

    Alhambra 3C
    Alhambra 4p
    Yamaha CG151
    Yamaha CG171

    Experiences with these guitars or comparable are very appreciated, as is any general advice on finding a (relatively) decent classical on a low budget.

    Low budget=500-600$ top limit.

    Cutaway is out of the question.

    Thanks
     
  2. thesedaze

    thesedaze Member

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    My top choice would be a barely used, or discounted new Alvarez MC-90. Main thing you'll want ot look for is solid woods...Also bone nut and saddle.

    The MC-90's play beautifully.

    Second choice would be the Lucida 777. You can find them on olddavy.com among other places. Handmade in Spain. Solidwoods.

    Alvarez:
    http://www.stlouismusic.com/downloads/alvarez/Alvarez_2004_Images/Alvarez Masterworks/MC90.jpg

    Lucida:
    http://www.olddavy.com/lucida/l777.html

    Both could use a tuner upgrade, and of course strings.
     
  3. Kappy

    Kappy Member

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    I had an Alhambra P5 that was a pretty nice guitar. I'm not a concert level classical player though, but this one played nice and sounded good. I think I paid $700+ for it some time in the late 90s and sold it on ebay for $299. or so some time last year. I didn't get a lot of hits on the auction, so if you don't have a problem with ebay, maybe a used one will fill the bill for you. I guess it's just a matter of waiting for the right one to show up. Good luck!


    I'd be curious to hear what you settle on. I do kinda' regret having sold the Alhambra and would like having a nylon string around more than I like having my steel string acoustic.
     
  4. THROBAK

    THROBAK Gold Supporting Member

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    I don't know what they run for now but I got a 60's Gibson classical guitar for $100.00 about 10 years ago. It is ugly but sounds absolutely great!
     
  5. ivers

    ivers Member

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    Cool, I'll look into those suggestions. I think the Alvarez looks very promising, considering that I find it for 590$ at a dealer that ships to Norway, and it seems to be very competitive for that price!
    Dkap, sure, I'll get back to you once I've settled on something, and also post some clips, if I manage to record something that I feel does the guitar justice (there's no guitar I can't screw up the sound of through bad mic placement!).

    I'm really looking forwards to getting a 'real' classical, as I've tried my decent electro-classical cutaway side by side with a non-cutaway, and it sounded incredibly puny acoustically in comparison.
     
  6. sotto

    sotto Member

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    I just picked up a great Yamaha CG111S in new condition at a pawnshop. It has a solid spruce top. I cut the saddle down a bit, and now it plays and sounds like butta. It stands up well against the $2500 classical guitars over at McCabe's in West LA.
     
  7. daddyo

    daddyo Guest

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    I think Yamahas are the best in the under $1000 range.
     
  8. ivers

    ivers Member

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    Thanks for the replies, folks, I ended up with an Admira Virtuoso cedar top, that I bought from a norwegian dealer. I have no idea if it's as good as the others I considered, but it costs less, and I'm lovin' it! It has great warmth for chords, and is very easy to play single note lines on with great clarity and definition. Getting a 'real' classical was definitely a good investment!
     
  9. lord preset

    lord preset Member

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    The Aria AC Series guitars made in Spain can be very good buys. You should be able to get a used AC-80 or a new AC-50 within your budget. I have the bottom of the line Spanish model (AC-25) and it is an amazing value.
     
  10. somecafone

    somecafone Member

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    The Epiphone Masterbilt series features an all solid wood classical, w/ rosewood and cedar.
    $599 or so at Musician's Friend.

    Anybody actually played one?
     
  11. Notwerk

    Notwerk Member

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    I own a Ramirez, but that's a bit out of your price range, probably. The Alhambras I've played are very nice, however, and stack up pretty well for the price. That would definitely be my choice.

    Edit: I was too late to post, but glad to see you're enjoying your guitar.
     
  12. nashvillesteve

    nashvillesteve Member

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    Amalio Burguet exports his guitars from Spain with cosmetic flaws in the wood (otherwise fine guitars) at lower prices for students. I have one that I got from another student, he paid $800 and sold it to me for $400... it's a great classical guitar, I'm not sure if there's any info on his website...
     
  13. jimfog

    jimfog Senior Member

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    The Canadian made La Patrie classicals are pretty stunning, especially for the price......all solid wood, nice construction........

    recommended!

    -jim
     
  14. ivers

    ivers Member

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    Yeah, I considered the AC-80, but doubt if I'd found a used one here, and it costs somewhat more than I was prepared to pay. Anyway, I can always order one from Ishibashi or something later, when the GAS gets me:D

    Once, again thanks to everyone for suggestions!
     
  15. thesedaze

    thesedaze Member

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    The price difference is probably due to the fact that Admira Virtuoso's have laminate back and sides, whereas the Lucida and Alavarez models are solidback and sides.
     
  16. PaulO

    PaulO Member

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    I second the La Patrie. I just paid $350 for a Presentation model .... solid top and back. I am hard pressed to match the sound at the $350 price point. Usaed but flawless, with a humi case.
     

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