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Guitar contruction question   You are logged in as Guest
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Skai

 

Posts: 317
Joined: Sep. 12 2004
 

Guitar contruction question 

I've always wondered. In the case of factory flamenco guitars, why are there differences in body size and depth for different models? For example, an Alhambra 7Fc has a size almost similar to the Alhambra classicals. Whereas the next higher end model 10Fc has less depth and size.

For the comparison, both guitars are constructed of full solid woods and the 10Fc is more expensive. While wood affects the sound, I think construction will affect the tone even more. Then why isn't the cheaper model constructed to the same scale? Wouldn't it make the 7Fc a more flamenco sounding guitar and thus sell better?

It's understandable that they wan to make their more expensive models sound better but I can't think of any proper explanation as to why they're conctructed differently. The price difference is accounted for by the better wood quality and I see no reason why they should be constructed differently since they're both flamenco guitars.

Can anyone who knows something about this explain why this is so? Maybe some of you luthiers can help me with this. According to Alhambra, they said that the size is simply because they're different models. But I don't see why this explains it, if they're both meant to be flamenco guitars.

Opinions anyone?

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Try some Enrique Iglesias for some great cante.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 13 2005 13:25:18
 
duende

Posts: 3051
Joined: Dec. 15 2003
From: Sweden

RE: Guitar contruction question (in reply to Skai

I have a 7FC. It´s the best Alhambra i ever tryed

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RON
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 13 2005 13:54:56
 
Skai

 

Posts: 317
Joined: Sep. 12 2004
 

RE: Guitar contruction question (in reply to Skai

And I'd like to add that, although it isn't such a great flamenco guitar, it's tone makes it perfect for Spanish classical after some breaking in.

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Try some Enrique Iglesias for some great cante.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 13 2005 14:08:09
 
flyeogh

Posts: 729
Joined: Oct. 13 2004
 

RE: Guitar contruction question (in reply to Skai

quote:

both guitars are constructed of full solid woods and the 10Fc is more expensive


Skai is it not true that 7 and below are all of greater depth and the 10 and above are all of less depth. Could it not therefore be that the greater depth gives the cheaper models more character?

My 10fc in comparison with my Burguet and Bernal still seems heavy and not as responsive. Of course it maybe my playing is not forceful enough to bring out the best from the 10fc. That said I note the the 10fc still looks expensive. Some guys in the US are selling it for close to $3000. I bought mine second hand in Spain for 600Es including delivery and case and its as good as new - and the guy seemed well pleased with the price I can't see how it could be good value bought new.

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nigel (el raton de Watford - now Puerto de Santa Maria, Cadiz)
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 13 2005 20:13:32
Guest

RE: Guitar contruction question (in reply to Skai

This with body depth is another one of these impossible questions to answer.There are so many factors in construccion. Standard is around 9 - 9,2 cm, but Manuel Reyes (and others) have build many guitars with 10 cm body depth.

A heavily constructed guitar like Alhambra wil always sound like a heavily build guitar.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 14 2005 7:09:45
 
Skai

 

Posts: 317
Joined: Sep. 12 2004
 

RE: Guitar contruction question (in reply to Skai

The reason why I've wondered about the way Alhambra constructs their guitars is simply because I've noticed that most other blancas I've seen are smaller in size and depth. So why not a factory guitar?

The same goes for lightness in construction. Why not build the guitar with thinner wood? Instead all these factory 'flamenco' guitars are built so heavily that it doesn't seem to make sense to me. I mean, the difference is prices between the models can be accounted for by the wood quality. But I don't see why they should be constructed differently or heavily.

However I've seen worst 'flamenco' guitars where they are constructed to classical standards with sycamore and spruce, they stick on a golpeador and then sell them as 'flamenco guitars'. Those are exceptionally pathetic sales gimmicks and I'm very disappointed with these companies who boast their products about being 'Handmade in Spain'. Sure.. Handmade by many factory workers' hands in Spain.

Just my thoughts,
Cheston

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 14 2005 12:14:00
 
Armando

Posts: 302
Joined: May 27 2005
From: Zürich, Switzerland

RE: Guitar contruction question (in reply to Skai

Hello Skai

I can't tell you either, why Alhambra use to build their cheaper flamenco models with greater depth than the more expensive ones, if this is really the case.

Usually flamenca blancas are built with a thinner body than negras. Most of the old school builders have built their blancas between 86 and 92mm, while the negras are sometimes built with body depths up to 110mm, depending on the Luthier.
I have realized that builders of the madrid school do usually build with larger planillas and greater body depths than Luthiers of the granada school.
Basically a larger body will lower the cavity resonance of the guitar. This does usually increase the volume of the guitar especially in the basses. I think that most flamenco players agree, that the flamenca blanca is the most preferred guitar to play flamenco. In the old times, flamenco was performed only in groups with cante and baile and the guitar was required to have strong trebles in order to stand against the footstamping, handclapping and singing. Such a character is achieved by building the guitar with less body depth and a rather stiff soundboard. Today the flamenco guitar has developped and it is often performed solo, without baile, cante etc.. Therefor other characters are wanted by some players. Negras with greater body depth and an overall louder tone are preferred by some famous players especially for live performances.
Many players have different guitars because they can't deside whether a blanca or negra, spruce or cedar is better. It depends on what you want, and for what you gonna use your guitar. Greather volume and a loud tone is not what makes up a great instrument. Many beginners who do not know a lot about guitars do believe so though. I can immagine that this could be a reason why the cheapos are built to other specs.

Armando
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 16 2005 11:29:48

JBASHORUN

Posts: 1839
Joined: Jan. 23 2005
 

RE: Guitar contruction question (in reply to Armando

quote:

I can't tell you either, why Alhambra use to build their cheaper flamenco models with greater depth than the more expensive ones, if this is really the case.



Maybe the answer is simple... they do it so that when you spend more money on a guitar, you actually hear the difference in sound. Thereby justifying the extra cost...


"Ah, that is why this one is so expensive... it sounds much better!!!"


James
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 16 2005 16:09:01
 
Skai

 

Posts: 317
Joined: Sep. 12 2004
 

RE: Guitar contruction question (in reply to Skai

That was my suspicion, to differentiate the models greatly. I just tried a 10Fc today and it'll make a really good accompanying instruments. Very percussive and loud, insufficient character though. But then again, the one I tried has rusted strings. I wonder how it'd be like with Savarez hard tension..

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Try some Enrique Iglesias for some great cante.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 16 2005 16:50:10
 
flyeogh

Posts: 729
Joined: Oct. 13 2004
 

RE: Guitar contruction question (in reply to Skai

quote:

I just tried a 10Fc


Have you got a price? As I said the variance in price on the internet is enormous.

As for hard tension I'm going to try it. I'll get an expert to have a play and pass on his thoughts.

It's a pity you are so far away or you could try mine. Four flamenco guitars is too much so I must get rid of something (sorry the Anders is not for sale )

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nigel (el raton de Watford - now Puerto de Santa Maria, Cadiz)
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 17 2005 8:08:29
 
Skai

 

Posts: 317
Joined: Sep. 12 2004
 

RE: Guitar contruction question (in reply to Skai

Here in Singapore, Alhambras are surprising cheap as compared to the prices I've seen on international retail sites. 7Fc is their entry level full solid blanca and it costs about SGD$1.2k. 10Fc is the next higher blanca model and costs SGD$2k.

Anyway, I've given up on upgrading my flamenco guitar. I've no means of getting that kind of money now. And more importantly, I need a good classical guitar as I feel that my flamenco guitar can never take the place of a good classical guitar.

Oh well, hope the money comes in..

PS. USD$1=SGD$1.7

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Try some Enrique Iglesias for some great cante.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 18 2005 11:34:43
Guest

RE: Guitar contruction question (in reply to Skai

quote:

Greather volume and a loud tone is not what makes up a great instrument.


I totally agree

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 19 2005 16:21:21
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