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LB

 

Posts: 7
Joined: Jan. 25 2011
 

I need advice on flamenco guitars 

Hi,

I am an amateur guitarist interested in flamenco. I am new to this forum.
I am thinking of buying a true flamenco guitar, and I would appreciate
your advice on what I should pay attention to, while choosing one.
In my country there is not much choice available in the music shops. Currently
they sell flamenco guitars from Antonio Sanchez factory. The cost is over
1000 Euros, which is probably not too much compared to the most expensive
models available in the world, but for me this is quite a lot of money, so that
I would rather prefer not to spend more. I am thinking of buying a cut-away
model 3027. Would this be a good idea? I have a feeling that a cut-away
type should be easier to play on, but the question is how this affects the sound
and durability of the guitar? In general, what are opinions about this particular
producer?

Leslaw
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 25 2011 10:44:26
 
tonos

Posts: 23
Joined: Sep. 2 2009
From: The Hague

RE: I need advice on flamenco guitars (in reply to LB

Hi Leslaw,

You probably searched the internet about the factory, so you know more about the brand than I do. About the shape I can only say that a cutaway causes a little loss of volume. So consider if you will play those high notes very often?

€ 1000,- can still buy you a decent flamenco guitar, but you need to make sure you know how to judge it. Here are a few tips:
1. Look alongside the neck to see if the fingerboard is straight enough and if it does not have an angle where the neck joins the guitar body.

2. Hold each string pressed against the fingerboard between the second and third fret, then press the same string on the first fret. The difference (or relief) should be just visible.

3. On the twelfth fret the lower E should be about 3,5 millimeters above the fret, the high E about 3.

Pozdrowienia,
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 25 2011 20:42:06
 
prd1

 

Posts: 206
Joined: Jul. 11 2007
 

RE: I need advice on flamenco guitars (in reply to tonos

Set up can be a rather personal preference - rather than look for an absolute set up of 3.5 and 3 mm you may want to consider how much adjustment is available. A guitar may be set up to 4 or 4.5 mm when delivered to the dealer but may be adjusted to less than 3.5mm at the lower E but still keep a reasonable break angle with no buzz when tweaked to your preference.

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Those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who could not hear the music - Angela Monet
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 25 2011 20:53:37
 
LB

 

Posts: 7
Joined: Jan. 25 2011
 

RE: I need advice on flamenco guitars (in reply to prd1

Hi,

Can you please be more specific with regard to where these milimeter distances or angles should be measured?
There is a video series on You Tube, about how to choose a good flamenco guitar (Ruben Diaz). I have looked at it, but I have to say the explanations are
so messy that one cannot understand the point. Maybe someone can summarise these advices in an ordered and precise fashion?
One thing that I cannot find any info about is what the distances
between the strings should be. I suppose this has a decisive effect on playability. Things like a good sound are surely the most important, but I cannot
imagine how this can be verified if one cannot check a dozen of different
guitars, one after another, and this is rather impossible at the shop.
In my life I had two guitars so far, and none of them was a true flamenco guitar, so that I have no comparative scale.

Leslaw
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 27 2011 8:52:03
 
gerundino63

Posts: 1749
Joined: Jul. 11 2003
From: The Netherlands

RE: I need advice on flamenco guitars (in reply to LB

Hi Leslaw,

To measure the string hight you measure the space between the top of the 12th fret, and the underside of the string.

The perfect "ideal" situation is 3 mm for the bass E ( 6 th) string and 2.5 for the high e (1th) string.
When the guitar is that low, there must stilll be a breackangle of 20 degrees or more from the bone to the knot where the string is tied. ( I am talking about the guitatbridge)
Also the guitar must only buzz if you want it to buzz.

But this is hard to find with fabricated guitars, so 3.5 is a nice goal.

That is why i best advice you to only buy the guitar if the shop owner will lower the bone to that situation.
Otherwise you file the bone down at home after you bought the guitar, discovering it is not possible for that guitar to lower it without a lot of buzzing or other problems.

The space between the strings, is a matter of "taste" and what you are used for. If that feels comfertable, also with tremolo, picado, apreggio, etc. it is ok.

Welcome to the foro!

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 27 2011 10:34:53
 
Arash

Posts: 4495
Joined: Aug. 9 2006
From: Iran (living in Germany)

RE: I need advice on flamenco guitars (in reply to LB

Hi,

a friend of mine is selling a new Antonio Sanchez Cutaway Model 3028 - Flamenco Model, including Fishman Prefix Pro Pickup, in Germany.

I think this Model costs about 1700 Euros in the Shops.

As far as i remember, he was asking about 1000 euros.

If you are interested, i could ask him if still available.

In which Country are you btw?

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 27 2011 11:04:39
 
LB

 

Posts: 7
Joined: Jan. 25 2011
 

RE: I need advice on flamenco guitars (in reply to Arash

Thanks for your offer, but I would prefer to buy a new guitar, and be able to see
what I am buying before purchase. I am in Poland.
Leslaw
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 31 2011 9:27:08
 
JorgeR

 

Posts: 1
Joined: Jan. 20 2011
 

RE: I need advice on flamenco guitars (in reply to LB

Hi,
have you heard about Camps guitar? They've got fine quality and prices. You're able to see them in Lublin.
Pozdrowienia
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 31 2011 10:21:29
 
MiSz

 

Posts: 27
Joined: Jan. 26 2011
 

RE: I need advice on flamenco guitars (in reply to LB

Hi Leslaw,

i wouldn't recommend the Antonio Sanchez at all.
For 1000 euros there are few manufacturers that build acceptable flamenco guitars.
One of them was already named (Camps).
In europe the best buy might be a Hnos. Sanchis Lopez. I don't know whether
there are some in poland.
In my opinion, if you want a good guitar for a good price:
Take the cheapest (i think around 500-600 Euros), oldest Ricardo Sanchis Carpio (Father of Hnos. Sanchis Lopez) you can get - it might sound better than the best "Antonio Sanchez".
im starszy i bardziej rozegrany instrument, tym lepszy!
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 6 2011 17:11:34
 
LB

 

Posts: 7
Joined: Jan. 25 2011
 

RE: I need advice on flamenco guitars (in reply to MiSz

Hi,

I have heard the opinion that an old guitar is supposed to be better than
a new one, but I am not convinced. Why actually it might be so? Are there
any "scientific" arguments for that? This is an interesting issue.
To make things clear: I am a rationalist, I don't believe in things like
spirits and souls closed in instruments, etc.
So, is there any experimental evidence confirming this opinion?
Has anybody measured the sound spectra or the like, on old and new instruments?

Leslaw
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 7 2011 9:57:26
 
avimuno

 

Posts: 598
Joined: Feb. 9 2007
From: Paris, France

RE: I need advice on flamenco guitars (in reply to LB

Hi Leslaw,

Have you checked the guitars of Hermanos Sanchis Lopez? They offer a lot of guitar for the money.

Saludos
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 8 2011 7:31:33
 
kominak

 

Posts: 135
Joined: Apr. 20 2010
 

RE: I need advice on flamenco guitars (in reply to LB

You can make a trip to Freiburg, Germany:
http://www.mundo-flamenco.com/
The man has a large selection of flamenco guitars that you could try and he's very helpful, from what I've heard.
Greetings from Slovakia ;)

_____________________________

Martin Kominak
Slovakia
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 8 2011 8:09:47
 
MiSz

 

Posts: 27
Joined: Jan. 26 2011
 

RE: I need advice on flamenco guitars (in reply to LB

@LB

There are some scientific arguments: While playing a Guitar the wood microarchitecture changes because of the movement. So the resonance of the top gets better. Also the wood gets harder with the time (because of oxidation processes - wood is just an organism).
But don't forget: If the Guitar was not played over the time, there might be no difference between the "old" (but unplayed) guitar and a "new" one.
It depends on how good, often and strong the guitar was played. The wood type is important as well - spruce changes a lot through playing, in cedar tops there will be less changes noticeable.

You see: It has nothing to do with ghosts and spirits. And its a fact, every luthier will tell you the same, there is no discussion about it.

For example: I have played lots of hnos. sanchis lopez guitars. my cheapest model was the 2f, from 2002 - i have played it every day, really intensive and loud. Another Guitar was the top model, a 1f Extra, which is about 3000 euros. The same year, but was not played at all until 2008, when i have bought it.
To compare them both, there was no huge-extreme difference between the "cheap" but very often played 2f and the "as new" 1f extra.

The process of sound-developing in a acoustic guitar takes about 2-5 years of playing, after this time you should'nt expect major changes in sound quality.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 13 2011 17:55:11
 
prd1

 

Posts: 206
Joined: Jul. 11 2007
 

RE: I need advice on flamenco guitars (in reply to MiSz

Interesting discussion!!!

...to add a slightly different aspect - when I play an old well played guitar that has not been played for a few months I find it sounds and feels... "stiff?" not too sure how to describe this. It seems to take a good day or so until it feels right.

I always thought this was just a case of getting comfortable with a different guitar but after a few years this seems to be quite consistent. What do you think? It seems to add a twist to the Cremonese school belief of 'pith' deterioration?

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Those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who could not hear the music - Angela Monet
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 13 2011 18:29:36
 
XXX

Posts: 4400
Joined: Apr. 14 2005
 

RE: I need advice on flamenco guitars (in reply to LB

quote:

ORIGINAL: LB
Has anybody measured the sound spectra or the like, on old and new instruments?


I have never heard of or seen any "sound spectra" that could be useful to determine "good sound", in that sense how we guitarrists would call out a crisp sound on a guitar quite easily.

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Фламенко
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 13 2011 19:07:24
 
jshelton5040

Posts: 1500
Joined: Jan. 17 2005
 

RE: I need advice on flamenco guitars (in reply to MiSz

quote:

ORIGINAL: MiSz

The wood type is important as well - spruce changes a lot through playing, in cedar tops there will be less changes noticeable.

And its a fact, every luthier will tell you the same, there is no discussion about it.


I doubt you can find any subject that every luthier will agree on. For instance I've found that cedar top guitars change (improve) quite a lot with time and playing.

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John Shelton - www.sheltonfarrettaguitars.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 13 2011 19:51:16
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 3435
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: I need advice on flamenco guitars (in reply to XXX

Al Carruth, the most scientifically inclined luthier I know of, has said, "By measurement we can distinguish good guitars from bad ones, but not great guitars from good ones."

RNJ

quote:

ORIGINAL: LB
Has anybody measured the sound spectra or the like, on old and new instruments?
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 13 2011 21:54:14
 
Harry

Posts: 390
Joined: Jun. 24 2010
From: Montreal, Canada

RE: I need advice on flamenco guitars (in reply to Richard Jernigan

I agree Richard,

my impression is that guitar building itself is an art not a science. I am sure builders are meticulous, but when you are working with something so alive like wood every guitar will turn out different (?)

In a way this is the beauty of the thing, but it makes me very nervous about spending all kinds of money on a guitar like say a Conde. We all know the best ones go to the pros, the ones that are available to the public are probably good but not great to use your words. Perhaps someone can confirm this because it is just my feeling.

In terms of buying a guitar, the number one advice is play it! As much as possible go for the guitar you have seen and played over something online if you can.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 14 2011 2:03:07
 
estebanana

Posts: 9386
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: I need advice on flamenco guitars (in reply to jshelton5040

quote:

For instance I've found that cedar top guitars change (improve) quite a lot with time and playing.


Actually I agree. Cedar sounds good from the start, I think because it's more malleable than spruce. But this notion that it does not change over time is highly questionable. I think cedar topped guitars that are too thin can get one dimensional in sound and not be complex, but good ones continue to change.

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https://www.stephenfaulkguitars.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 14 2011 6:55:55
 
estebanana

Posts: 9386
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: I need advice on flamenco guitars (in reply to prd1

quote:

.to add a slightly different aspect - when I play an old well played guitar that has not been played for a few months I find it sounds and feels... "stiff?" not too sure how to describe this. It seems to take a good day or so until it feels right.


I've thought a about that too, we all have, I think part of that is the strings themselves becoming more supple under the heat of your hand and from being stretched and played. Nylon strings are a kind of plastic and over wound strings have plastic cores so they react to heat and stretching. The wood of the back, top and sides take on your body heat and change too.

And one thing about spruce that most people don't know is that it is a wood that has more memory than almost all other woods. It is a wood that does not like to bend and for its weight is stronger than steel. Maybe this memory comes into play and vibration effects the memory, shaking the guitar loose while it's being played and after it's put away the guitar wants to go back to it's other static position. Lots of guitar makers have thought about why guitars feel like they play in after several minutes, but so far no one has come up with any empirical answer that is tested with a repeatable experiment.

And add to that ones own perceptions; The tricky gap between distinguishing if the the guitar is warming up or if the player is warming up.

Crazy stuff.....all fairly subjective, and I do believe it's a combination of all those factors. But to try to come up with an equation or system for tracking such a mystery? I'd rather spend my time talking to pretty baristas. It's like trying to explain love or multi-universe theory.

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https://www.stephenfaulkguitars.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 14 2011 7:14:52
 
estebanana

Posts: 9386
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: I need advice on flamenco guitars (in reply to MiSz

quote:


There are some scientific arguments: While playing a Guitar the wood microarchitecture changes because of the movement. So the resonance of the top gets better. Also the wood gets harder with the time (because of oxidation processes - wood is just an organism).

***spruce changes a lot through playing, in cedar tops there will be less changes noticeable.***

Not true....

You see: It has nothing to do with ghosts and spirits. And its a fact, every luthier will tell you the same, there is no discussion about it.


Microarchitecture is a fantastic buzz word! As for spirits and ghosts:

I've held numerous seances in which I've contacted both Barbero and Santos Hernandez and they have spoken to us from beyond the grave. They said " Don't shave the braces, do the guitar right the first time and leave the inside alone. "

I also have a guitarist friend who held a seance to contact Camaron and Camaron said he loved the guitar playing of Diego del Gastor. Camaron's testimonial voice from beyond the plane of the living settled an embittered internet flame war over whether Camaron liked Diego. The Shrimp said he owned a treasured fiesta tape of Diego playing for Fernanda.

Flamenco is two parts William Blake, one part jet fuel cocaine, and three parts deranged bullfighter. Word.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 14 2011 7:32:01
 
avimuno

 

Posts: 598
Joined: Feb. 9 2007
From: Paris, France

RE: I need advice on flamenco guitars (in reply to LB

quote:

Flamenco is two parts William Blake, one part jet fuel cocaine, and three parts deranged bullfighter.


Word!!
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 14 2011 10:38:17
 
Allan

 

Posts: 1
Joined: Feb. 14 2011
 

RE: I need advice on flamenco guitars (in reply to avimuno

quote:

ORIGINAL: avimuno

quote:

Flamenco is two parts William Blake, one part jet fuel cocaine, and three parts deranged bullfighter.


Word!!


  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 14 2011 23:20:19
 
estebanana

Posts: 9386
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: I need advice on flamenco guitars (in reply to LB

Sorry I farted on another thread. I'll just be on my way to another thread carry on. Again, sorry for the room clearing flatulence.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 15 2011 6:29:22
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