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Flamenca Negra = Classical??   You are logged in as Guest
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bule_b

 

Posts: 65
Joined: Mar. 11 2009
 

Flamenca Negra = Classical?? 

Hi,
I have been casting about for a new guitar (currently play a Yamaha) and spoke to a local upcoming luthier about a negra.
He told me that to him a negra is simply a classical with a tap-plate with some minor adjustments to bracing pattern.
By way of adjustments he said the braces would be straghter to the grain and not angled out to give the dry and low sustain sound.

It put me off him and I decided not to proceed as I was under the impression that a flamenco negra is a totally different guitar from a classical.

Am I right or wrong?

This luthier was offering me a very good deal but I backed out and now wondering if I made the right decision or if I was wrong.

He also told me that if I want an easier playing guitar (low pulsation) that I should get a blanca as negras require more power to sound good. Not sure if this is true either??

Its all very confusing.
Can someone please give me some advice, especially if Anders and Stephen and other luthiers can chime in I would appreciate being educated.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 16 2011 18:14:19
 
Andy Culpepper

Posts: 3026
Joined: Mar. 30 2009
From: NY, USA

RE: Flamenca Negra = Classical?? (in reply to bule_b

In general I would recommend to trust your luthier if you like his guitars based on trying one or audio samples, recommendations or whatever. No particular bracing pattern is specifically classical or flamenco, and the bracing pattern is only one of many factors that go into making a classical or flamenco guitar. If he doesn't change the setup, string height at the bridge, etc. from classical to flamenco then I would be more worried. But a typical classical bracing like Torres 7 fan w/ cutoffs can make spectacular flamenco guitars as well (though often the top thickness may be worked differently).
Every maker has his own way and knows what works with his own guitars. It basically comes down to, if you like the guy's guitars and he is known for producing good flamencos then trust the way he works.

The thing about pulsation being different on a negra is not true. Maybe he didn't explain himself well enough?

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http://www.andyculpepper.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 16 2011 19:15:28
 
bule_b

 

Posts: 65
Joined: Mar. 11 2009
 

RE: Flamenca Negra = Classical?? (in reply to bule_b

Hi Andy,
Thanks for your reply.

About pulsation I told him I like easier playing guitar and he said to get a blanca and that negra was always stiff pulsation and more difficult to play. So he was pretty firm about that.

Just to be clear, its not a famous luthier and hes not a member of this foro so I am not talking about anyone here. I have not heard or played his flamencos, he makes mainly classical. He was recommended to me b a friend because of the excellent price he offers.

I was contemplating a visit to Spain until I read in the archives here that even in Spain you cannot go to a luthier and expect them to have guitars available in the shop.

So I buy a guitar from the internet and take my chances or commission one from a luthier but if I don't like it then I am screwed as well, so its all a bit hopeless really.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 16 2011 19:49:24
 
jshelton5040

Posts: 1500
Joined: Jan. 17 2005
 

RE: Flamenca Negra = Classical?? (in reply to bule_b

quote:

ORIGINAL: bule_b

About pulsation I told him I like easier playing guitar and he said to get a blanca and that negra was always stiff pulsation and more difficult to play.

I suppose I'm not a kind as Andy. If a maker said this to me I'd laugh in his face.

_____________________________

John Shelton - www.sheltonfarrettaguitars.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 16 2011 20:19:54
 
ArtZumer

Posts: 67
Joined: Aug. 4 2010
From: Brisvagas

RE: Flamenca Negra = Classical?? (in reply to bule_b

quote:

I was contemplating a visit to Spain until I read in the archives here that even in Spain you cannot go to a luthier and expect them to have guitars available in the shop.

It really depends on were you go. I went around the to all the differenct well known luthiers and found that a fair few had a lot of guitars around for sale. I ended up buying a guitar at the Antonio Bernal store in Sevilla because I loved the sound and ease to play of the guitar. Then again I thought it was little pricy.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 16 2011 21:28:42
 
estebanana

Posts: 9396
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Flamenca Negra = Classical?? (in reply to bule_b

quote:

He told me that to him a negra is simply a classical with a tap-plate with some minor adjustments to bracing pattern.
By way of adjustments he said the braces would be straghter to the grain and not angled out to give the dry and low sustain sound.


Well there is no formula. When you begin building guitars you tend to think in formulas, then you encounter a few guitars that break the mold of your preconceived idea and you realize that you're floating out in a big world of choices.

When he says negra is like a classical that's cool, but which classical? Some classicals are shimmery a bell like sounding with lots of sustain and others are dark rich and rumbly.

Negra's and blanca's both come in a range of tension and softness hardness to the hand. There's no truth to one being easier or harder to play. It depends on how you build each one. The only thing I would generalize is that blanca's on average tend to be drier sounding. Other than that I think generalizations break down rapidly. There ar ea lots of different kinds of blanca's and lots of different kinds of negras.

Just play more guitars if you can and come to our own conclusions. The best thing to do is ask people to play their guitars and try to find the best guitars to feel and listen to. See if you can organize a meeting of some buddies and have a beer and trade guitars for a hour or two and talk about them. Just listen for a sound that makes you feel good and inspires you.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 16 2011 21:44:41
 
JuanDaBomb

Posts: 189
Joined: May 18 2011
 

RE: Flamenca Negra = Classical?? (in reply to bule_b

quote:

ORIGINAL: bule_b

So I buy a guitar from the internet and take my chances or commission one from a luthier but if I don't like it then I am screwed as well, so its all a bit hopeless really.


I know you weren't necessarily referring to luthiers on this Foro, but I honestly don't think you'll be screwed by any of the luthiers who participate here. I purchased my guitar "from the internet", based largely on the content of this Foro as well as other places, and I have not been disappointed.

Having owned my Shelton-Farretta blanca for several months now, and having heard a negra from Stephen Faulk in person, I can say with confidence that you won't be disappointed with a guitar from either of them. I believe the same about the other Foro luthiers as well, I just can't speak from experience, that's all.

So it's not hopeless! I'd say start interacting with them, and see what comes up. That's part of the fun!
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 16 2011 21:48:35
 
Sean

Posts: 672
Joined: Jan. 20 2011
From: Canada

RE: Flamenca Negra = Classical?? (in reply to bule_b

Honestly you were smart to walk away, although running may have been better, more chance of bumping into someone who actually knows how to make one. He sounds like someone who has made a few classical's and is quoting something he read somewhere like wikipedia as absolute facts.
I wasn't there for the conversation so I'm just basing this off of what you wrote.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 17 2011 1:10:46
 
Stephen Eden

 

Posts: 914
Joined: Apr. 12 2008
From: UK

RE: Flamenca Negra = Classical?? (in reply to bule_b

Maybe he meant that his negras look no different from classicals? My Flamenco bracing is different from my classical but thats just the way I like it. Ease of play has nothing to do with what woods are used for the build but how it is built. Low pulsation isn't always the easiest to play either. It can become slow in the right hand making rasqiado sound sloppy. If I were you I would give one of the guys on the forum as a previous poster pointed out. At least you know that the builders here are into flamenco and generally know what they are talking about.

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Classical and Flamenco Guitars www.EdenGuitars.co.uk
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 17 2011 10:54:44
 
bugeyed

 

Posts: 56
Joined: Aug. 24 2009
From: Conroe, Texas

RE: Flamenca Negra = Classical?? (in reply to bule_b

Seems to me that, if you are having an instrument made for you, the luthier should be able to make it the way you want. That's a big reason for having it custom made for you. If you want a negra that has easy playability or a certain sound, that is what you should get, right. If this luthier does not offer this flexibility, you may as well buy a guitar off the shelf IMO.

Cheers,
kev

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It's what you answer to.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 17 2011 13:26:03
 
bule_b

 

Posts: 65
Joined: Mar. 11 2009
 

RE: Flamenca Negra = Classical?? (in reply to bule_b

Thanks to everyone here and especially the luthiers who took time from building to answer my questions.

Well the only reason I was considering this luthier is because he was offering me a price of $1100 to build a guitar.
However, I think I will place an order with one of the foro luthiers as they know what flamenco is, however that will not happen till mid next year as I first need to save up the additional dough. Unless I decide to use some of my grant money to fund the purchase!

I also need to educate myself more about guitars and need to try out some more instruments to understand what it is I am after.

My only concern about commissioning a guitar is if it shows up and its not what I want in terms of playability then its not in my nature to ask for a refund or return the instrument as then the luthier is in the hole for their time and money (which would be a mean thing to do).

This is why Spain seemed appealing as I figured I could try out 50 guitars and find one I liked. But flying there and other expense will easily mount up so commissioning one seems to be the best option.

Once again thanks to all for steering me right.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 17 2011 20:28:29
 
Ricardo

Posts: 14984
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Flamenca Negra = Classical?? (in reply to bule_b

All things equal I tend to agree most negras are simply classicals. The bridge set ups should be different though, sometimes the neck angle makes it impossible unless you want a guitar that sounds like a banjo. I think if the luthier did not mention the bridge then there is a good chance I might consider his blancas, nothing more then classical guitars with cypress back and sides.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 17 2011 21:36:27
 
keith

Posts: 1108
Joined: Sep. 29 2009
From: Back in Boston

RE: Flamenca Negra = Classical?? (in reply to bule_b

a hand built blanca for $1100. what kind of wood is this guy going to use? the price is definitely attractive but that kind of price is typical of a factory built guitar. if the guy is primarily a classical builder is he looking to learn how to build a flamenco? from what i know, which may be incorrect, a negra has pretty much the same build (thicknesses, braces, bridge height, etc.) as a blanca but with rosewood instead of cypress. if this correct then a negra is very different from a classical.

see if the guy is willing to build the guitar and if you like it then buy it. it appears to me he is wanting to learn how to build a flamenco given the price and there should be some wiggle room around this with respect to you buying his first attempt. if not, look elsewhere.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 18 2011 0:10:33
 
Anders Eliasson

Posts: 5780
Joined: Oct. 18 2006
 

RE: Flamenca Negra = Classical?? (in reply to bule_b

OK I give you my few thoughts.

Is a negra close to a rosewood classical.... Yes.. Its made out of the same wood and has sticks inside the case.....
The most inteligent answers has been those saying that there´s a huge diference between classical guitar. A Torres and a Fleta or a Lattice braced classical are 3 very different beasts. The Torres being closer to a flamenca negra than to a Fleta classical and the Lattice braced guitar being something very different as well.

What is common in flamenca negras and classicals is the rosewood sound and feel. This is logical. The wood is the same. My classicals are pretty light and could beused for flamenco. I build my negras with a different bracing system and the whole setup and voicing is different.

The pulsation of a negra and a blanca should not be different.

Just my few cents.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 18 2011 7:43:56
 
gbv1158

 

Posts: 410
Joined: May 29 2009
From: Italy

RE: Flamenca Negra = Classical?? (in reply to bule_b

quote:

So I buy a guitar from the internet and take my chances or commission one from a luthier but if I don't like it then I am screwed as well, so its all a bit hopeless really.


my humble advice : you can trust the skill and honesty of the Luthiers of this forum. Among other things, you can find many video / audio clip of the guitars they build and listen to the sound as well as reading through the comments of who own a guitar built by one of them.
I have a blanca made by Anders, "she" is a superb flamenco guitar! and now I'm waiting him to finish a negra. I still contact Anders via mail....... I realized that if a Luthier is a master and a gentleman, you do not need to prove his guitars.

good luck.
Giambattista
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 18 2011 13:10:53
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