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lavecchia

 

Posts: 8
Joined: Apr. 11 2015
 

Loriente Carmen? 

Any opinions about these guitars?

Thanks
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 11 2015 0:37:54
 
bernd

 

Posts: 680
Joined: Feb. 15 2004
 

RE: Loriente Carmen? (in reply to lavecchia

I think they´ll be exhibited at the Musikmesse Frankfurt at the Cordoba booth. They are manufactured in Spain and Designed by Edmund Blöchinger who runs Noble Guitar sales. He also designed the Cordoba nylon string guitars with Kenny Hill. Good flamencas but compared to Camps they are too expensive - related to my small budget. Where the Primera has more aggression and bite, the Carmen provides more spectrum. At around 1800 to 1900 Euro I´d prefer the Camps Primera, but this is just a matter of taste, because I like the sound much wilder. If you buy a Camps or Loriente, you´ll absolutely get a guitar that´s worth its price. So you can´t do anything wrong.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 11 2015 12:07:07
 
ngiorgio

 

Posts: 168
Joined: Nov. 1 2005
From: Florida, USA

RE: Loriente Carmen? (in reply to lavecchia

The Carmens can be very good intermediate guitars. There are a couple of very important things to be aware of. The Carmens went through a pretty substantial redesign a few years back. Even though they are marketed by the Cordoba Group, these guitars appear to be built by a smaller factory or workshop. They could be built by the Antonio Picado workshop.

They way to tell if they are the new design is the color of the label. The early ones had a yellow label. The newer versions have a blue label.



As mentioned by Bernd, two respected luthiers were very involved with the improvements to the later models and also a negra version was created. Interesting thing regarding the negras is that it has the same shallow body depth as the blanca. To me, these newer versions are way more flamenco than the early one. They are much lighter in weight. The blanca is also a bit lighter than the negra. The whole build is much lighter with thinner tops, back and sides and it appears to be braced lighter as well. They have two way adjustable truss rods which I think is big plus. They also have a true low profile bridge and their neck angle allows for a very comfortable low action. Easy on the right hand. Not too stiff, medium to light pulsation. I find the necks to be very comfortable, not like the heavy thick necks of the made in Spain Cordobas (most likely coming out of the Alhambra factory) Also, and this is a big reason why they can be very responsive, as a decent flamenco should be, the polyurethane finish is very, very thinly applied.



I currently have one blanca and 2 negras. The blanca is way to bright for my style of playing and the 2 negras are very similar to each other. (I am more of a negra guy anyway) My blanca is currently for sale and very soon, I need to part with one of the negras. I have had these guitars between 6 to 9 months and have had enough time to experience all of their characteristics.



Now for the other side of the coin. Their street price new, is around $2000. I didn't pay anywhere near that for any of the 3 that I have. Not that they are not worth 2 grand, I'm sure some of them may be, but at that price point there are quite a few other brands to pick from. New or used is another variable. There's a nice Castillo negra on Ebay for $2000. 2 grand for a known luthier made instrument, is for me, a pretty nice choice. There's also a Camps primera blanca on Ebay for $1700. I could go on but I am sure you get my drift. In my humble opinion, a blue label Carmen can be a pretty nice guitar at a price of 1200 dollars. All solid, made in Spain, lightly built and very flamenco. Just do your homework and be aware of the options.



Another thing which I like very much about these Carmens that I have, is that they seem to resemble instruments of the Granada school than that of the Madrid style of construction, sound and feel. Slightly smaller bodies, light in weight, very responsive and easy to play.



Anyway to sum this all up, IMHO if someone is able to spend $2000 on a guitar, look for a used luthier made instrument. If your budget is a$1000. or so, a nice used Carmen can be a good choice.



Good luck in your search.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 11 2015 20:09:50
 
Leñador

Posts: 5237
Joined: Jun. 8 2012
From: Los Angeles

RE: Loriente Carmen? (in reply to lavecchia

I've played one, I actually really liked it but $2,000 felt a little high for that guitar to me.
Agree with ngiorgio completely.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 11 2015 23:13:40
 
keith

Posts: 1108
Joined: Sep. 29 2009
From: Land of Daniel Boone

RE: Loriente Carmen? (in reply to ngiorgio

ngiorgio--when you say your blanca is too bright would that be bright like the old school type guitars--say a barbero or hernandez? if so, that is a good bright for many.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 12 2015 20:42:10
 
ngiorgio

 

Posts: 168
Joined: Nov. 1 2005
From: Florida, USA

RE: Loriente Carmen? (in reply to lavecchia

Old school bright? Good question, Keith. That might be a good way to describe it. I guess my preference leans more towards the newer school blancas, This one has crisp, clear trebles. Deep, rich basses. For me, all the attributes of a good blanca. Percussive rasgueos. Strong alzapuas. Just too bright for my taste.


In case anyone might be interested in a nice, moderately priced, good intermediate level blanca, I'll put some info in the classified section.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 13 2015 3:15:37
 
lavecchia

 

Posts: 8
Joined: Apr. 11 2015
 

RE: Loriente Carmen? (in reply to ngiorgio

ngiorgio thanks for the detailed review. What is your suggestion regarding a good intermediate level blanca?
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 15 2015 2:31:34
 
ngiorgio

 

Posts: 168
Joined: Nov. 1 2005
From: Florida, USA

RE: Loriente Carmen? (in reply to lavecchia

You're welcome. That would depend on your budget, As well as where you are located.

There are not many music stores that carry a decent selection of intermediate blancas. If you would want to mention your location and budget, I'm sure that you will get some good suggestions from the members on this forum. It's always best to be able to try before you buy but that is only possible if you are near to some of the established guitar stores who have a good selection of flamencos in stock. Would be glad to give some suggestions but need more info from you.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 15 2015 12:13:13
 
lavecchia

 

Posts: 8
Joined: Apr. 11 2015
 

RE: Loriente Carmen? (in reply to ngiorgio

I live in the U.S. but there are not any physical stores nearby my town except Guitar Center but of course they do not have anything related to flamenco. So I have to shop online, I checked Guitar Salon International website but their prices looked kind of inflated to me. My max budget is around $1500, maybe slightly up or down. Thanks
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 15 2015 14:15:38
 
ngiorgio

 

Posts: 168
Joined: Nov. 1 2005
From: Florida, USA

RE: Loriente Carmen? (in reply to lavecchia

Lavecchia, I completely understand your situation. I used to live in the NYC area and I could go to Luthier Music and Tony always had a fabulous selection of flamencos from starter guitars up to concert instruments. Did buy one terrific negra from there 10 or so years ago. Now I am in Florida and there is not much to choose from. A few luthiers in the area but they do not specialize in flamencos.

At $1500. your in a sort of middle ground position. Can't get into a new luthier made instrument, but sometimes a used luthier made guitar may pop up. especially on Ebay. Even Craigs list.

I have owned a few blancas, two from Francisco Navarro and one Sanchis Lopez, just to mention a few .The Sanchis Lopez was used but the Navarros were new and for various reasons I eventually parted company with them. You might want to check out both of those makers. I have no personal experience with Camps guitars but there are good reviews on that brand. There was one on Ebay recently, I think was at $1600. or best offer. It was a primera and may have been sold. I have bought and sold quite a number of guitars on Ebay and if you buy it right you can keep it and always re-sell and get your money back. Even when trying out a guitar in a store or wherever, after you spend some time with them at home in your environment, I'm referring to weeks and sometimes months, they may change for the better, or they might just not work for you and the search continues. You should do the research and I'm sure other members may have some more suggestions for you. The used market can be s good source of a nice blanca in your price range.

Another thing that you must take into consideration is set-up. I have bought some nice used guitars that were just not set up right. After some adjustments to both nut and saddle and sometimes a little fret work they really got into the sweet spot for me.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 15 2015 15:02:28
 
lavecchia

 

Posts: 8
Joined: Apr. 11 2015
 

RE: Loriente Carmen? (in reply to ngiorgio

Thanks for the suggestions. Yeah, I know that with this price it is hard to get any luthier guitar. I started playing initially on Yamaha CG172SF when I was a complete beginner and it did its job but now I consider myself more like advanced beginner or intermediate but not definitely beginner anymore. I've tried Cordoba 45FP but did not like it at all. Surprisingly Yamaha CG172SF had better action and was at least as good in terms of sound as "Spanish" Cordoba. So I got frustrated with 45FP. That's why I asked opinions regarding Carmen because I have seen some of these models are sold on Ebay time to time for around $1000, ncluding the blue label ones that you mentioned above. But it is still owned by Cordoba and as I mentioned I am not big fun of Cordoba guitars but maybe Carmens are just different quality even though they are owned by Cordoba :)

I have heard good stories regarding Camps guitars especially on Primera Negra but I have not had a chance to play myself yet.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 15 2015 20:34:47
 
Leñador

Posts: 5237
Joined: Jun. 8 2012
From: Los Angeles

RE: Loriente Carmen? (in reply to lavecchia

At $1,500 you're so close to affording something excellent. I'd really advice waiting, saving just a little more, closer to $2000-$2500 and getting either a used luthier made guitar or a 2a luthier made guitar.......The bang for your buck is going to be huge compared to a $1,500 cordoba....

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 15 2015 20:45:08
 
Sr. Martins

Posts: 3077
Joined: Apr. 4 2011
 

RE: Loriente Carmen? (in reply to Leñador

Yep, the overhead on factory guitars around that price is huge.

You pay 1500 for a guitar that costs pretty much the same to build (labour and general factory expenses) as the cheap models that they produce. The increase in price is often justified by solid woods as opposed to laminate, maybe an ebony fretboard and not much more than that... so you end up losing a lot since you're almost at the "handmade" price point but you're still getting a factory mass produced build.


I see many low budget european guitars being sold in the US by "mid budget" amounts..

Take the yamaha flamenco for example, it's around 250 in the US and almost 500 in europe... for that price we have many other options around here so it's not such a good deal anymore (resale value is bad too).
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 15 2015 21:06:47
 
BarkellWH

Posts: 3295
Joined: Jul. 12 2009
From: Washington, DC

RE: Loriente Carmen? (in reply to lavecchia

I'm with Lenador. Better to put up another $1,000 and go for a $2,500 guitar.

I recommend you contact Zavaleta's Guitars, located in Tucson, Arizona. The website is www.zavaletas-guitarras.com. The gentleman's name is James Greenberg, and he imports mid- to high-end flamenco and classical guitars from Spain. Check out the website and look carefully at the Manuel Adalid Viviana flamencos for US$2,500. Several years ago I visited Zavaleta's, had dinner with James Greenberg, and looked over his guitars. I bought a Manuel Adalid flamenca blanca. It is a first-rate instrument with a sound that is muy flamenco! Mr. Greenberg is a pleasure to do business with, and he, of course, ships guitars to his customers. Highly recommended!

Cheers,

Bill

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And the end of the fight is a tombstone white,
With the name of the late deceased,
And the epitaph drear, "A fool lies here,
Who tried to hustle the East."

--Rudyard Kipling
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 15 2015 21:40:46
 
lavecchia

 

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Joined: Apr. 11 2015
 

RE: Loriente Carmen? (in reply to BarkellWH

Thank you guys, I am thinking of giving a try and buy Camps Primera. As far as I know it is a 100% handmade and it will cost me around $1500 (price +shipping+import duties) if I buy from guitarfromspain.com.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 15 2015 22:06:54
 
Leñador

Posts: 5237
Joined: Jun. 8 2012
From: Los Angeles

RE: Loriente Carmen? (in reply to lavecchia

Camps is still a factory guitar. I know Camps gets some decent reviews from some people around here but the two I tried i didn't love....I think your patience will be rewarded if you save just a bit more.....

Hang out on Craigslist EVERYDAY, something could very well pop up, and you can play it before you buy it......

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 15 2015 22:32:48
 
keith

Posts: 1108
Joined: Sep. 29 2009
From: Land of Daniel Boone

RE: Loriente Carmen? (in reply to lavecchia

lavecchia: For the amount you are wanting to spend I would definitely have a conversation with ngiorgio about his Carmen. As I recall he was once in the guitar biz and he knows his stuff. I checked out his Carmen at ebay--looks like it could be a good one. As for the Carmen being a Cordoba--as I understand it they are not made by Cordoba but sold through a sub company of Guitar Salon International --the person started/owns GSI, Cordoba and Loriente which makes the Carmen.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 16 2015 0:11:47
 
Dudnote

Posts: 1800
Joined: Nov. 13 2007
 

RE: Loriente Carmen? (in reply to Leñador

I'm with Leñador on this too. I know there can be a psychological hurdle to dish out that bit extra cash and I was considerring the Camps Primera option too. But life is to short to play a mediocre guitar. So I finally did it, I just made that psychological leap and orderred a guitar from one of the foro's luthiers, Anders Eliasson. I'm in awe of the look and sound of these instruments - and am convinced Anders is working pure magic to generate that sound. Muy muy flamenco!! There are many fine luthiers that post here and as Lenador said, it's not that much more, you'll get a gorgeous instrument and will be helping keep the craft (and the magic) alive.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 16 2015 4:17:18
 
Damanizyo

 

Posts: 2
Joined: Apr. 16 2015
From: San Diego

RE: Loriente Carmen? (in reply to lavecchia

Hi Lavecchia

I also live in the US. I currently own a Carmen blanca that I purchased on ebay from GSI also. It was "blemished" so it was marked down, and I was also able to talk him down to around 1k. Not bad. Their normal price is too high for this guitar IMO though. I LOVE the setup and feel on this guitar, I was pleasantly surprised. It feels explosive and fast, yet smooth and fluid. Very easy to play.

Sound wise I was not too impressed initially, but I think it must have been completely ignored as it has opened up in comparison quite nicely. It has a decent growl to it, penetrating mid's and highs. But next to another (amazing) hand built blanca that I adore, the sound in the carmen seems more shallow. But the Carmen is not a yellow colored classical. It has a blanca "soul".

But as the others have said, for spending a little more $$ you can get something that ignites your soul. I would say go for something that you love, over something that is adequate.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 16 2015 10:36:03
 
ngiorgio

 

Posts: 168
Joined: Nov. 1 2005
From: Florida, USA

RE: Loriente Carmen? (in reply to lavecchia

Lavecchia, here's a link to the site of a Luthier in Virginia, who builds a blanca at $2250. I have not played or heard his guitars. Recently found out about him as I made a custom cejilla for one of his clients.

http://josredguitars.com/home
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 16 2015 14:02:11
 
lavecchia

 

Posts: 8
Joined: Apr. 11 2015
 

RE: Loriente Carmen? (in reply to Damanizyo

Thank you guys, I guess I will just save some more and get a luthier made one.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 17 2015 17:58:27
 
bernd

 

Posts: 680
Joined: Feb. 15 2004
 

RE: Loriente Carmen? (in reply to lavecchia

I´ve just returned from the Frankfurt Musikmesse and have talked with Tim Miklaucic, managing director of Cordoba Guitars who devoleped the Loriente Carmen. I´ve asked him for the Carmen model. This guitar is no more exhibited at the Frankfurt Musikmesse. The reason is, that Cordoba Guitars has grown too big to manage the brand on Loriente guitars while the brand itself is too small to be continued by Cordoba. So this part was given to Guitar Salon International who is the exclusive distributor. Noble Guitars in Germany may still have some Loriente models, but this is surely a remainder of stock.

Regarding the label Tim has told me there was not any change of the manufacturing company for the Loriente guitars and not a change in construction as well. Correct is there had been a design of different label types in several coloured shadings. So after a time they have just changed the label. That´s all.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 18 2015 20:35:41
 
ngiorgio

 

Posts: 168
Joined: Nov. 1 2005
From: Florida, USA

RE: Loriente Carmen? (in reply to lavecchia

Unless you have played both versions you might not know the difference. I have played both. The earlier versions were heavier, had classical height bridges and had much higher action.
Also did not have the two way truss rod. The finishes were also much thicker. I think they are still made by the same workshop who built the older ones, but they are totally different in both sound and feel.
There have been a few label changes and all the Carmens with a blue label are the newer version . With all due respect to you Bernd, as well as Tim M., there is a difference.
If you had a chance to compare, you would immediately see and feel the difference. The earlier ones were basically like classicals and really did not have a flamenco feel.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 19 2015 0:28:32
 
keith

Posts: 1108
Joined: Sep. 29 2009
From: Land of Daniel Boone

RE: Loriente Carmen? (in reply to bernd

Tim Miklaucic started all 3 companies--GSI, Cordoba and Loriente (nee: Antonio Loriente). One can go to the GSI forum to see posts by Tim M. and other GSI staff about Loriente guitars--especially a GSI employee who admitted the old Carmens were more of a"blonde" classical and were being redesigned to be more of a true flamenco. Cordoba "giving" GSI/Tim M. the company is more of a business/tax move given it was his company at the beginning. ngiorgio is correct about the "reformulation" of the Carmen guitars--they use to be "blonde" classicals and were redesigned to be blonde flamencos.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 19 2015 10:14:07
 
bernd

 

Posts: 680
Joined: Feb. 15 2004
 

RE: Loriente Carmen? (in reply to lavecchia

Thank you ngiorgio and keith!

Regarding the Carmen model I´m not sure about the label, but the guitar I played in the past had a true flamenco setup that´s very comfortably to play on the right hand because its absolutely low action. So I must have checked the newer version. Maybe I had mixed up something in my remembrence, because I had a lot of action going on. So I´ve written yesterday as I remember the talk with Tim.

All in all my statement for the Loriente Carmen is still valid. I found it to be a good guitar compared to the European market where I see it to be an alternative to the Camps Primera that have more aggressive sound properties. Those who might love it more decently may chose the Loriente Carmen or any other prefered guitar providing the desired properties.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 19 2015 13:29:55
 
ngiorgio

 

Posts: 168
Joined: Nov. 1 2005
From: Florida, USA

RE: Loriente Carmen? (in reply to lavecchia

Keith, if you remember, Date Tate used to be the flamenco expert at G.S.I. and used to post frequently on their Forum. (Dave left G.S.I. the begining of 1 2015) He was the source of much info re: the Carmen models, and gave out all that info on the forum. Going to see if I can get in touch with him.

It appears the G.S.I. forum no longer exits. G.S.I. was blowing out Carmens and other Loriente models on Ebay a few months back for a $1000. I got in touch with one of the guys in sales at G.S.I. to find out if they might be discontinuing the Loriente line. Was told that Loriente guitars were alive and well. Another thing with some of the early models. They were available with French polish finish.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 19 2015 13:45:34
 
keith

Posts: 1108
Joined: Sep. 29 2009
From: Land of Daniel Boone

RE: Loriente Carmen? (in reply to ngiorgio

Loriente guitars is an interesting story. As I recall the story, Tim M. made up the name in honor of his wife's relative--or something along those lines. He caught a lot of flack for making up a name with the result being a lots of folks thinking it was made by some guy in Spain. Shades of Jim Sherry, Batman. The classical guitars were a hit with that crowd, the Carmen not so until the redesigning. Cordoba, on the other hand, is a story of selling so-so guitars. Too bad the forum died--lots of fun there with occasional yelling and screaming.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 19 2015 14:37:40
 
ngiorgio

 

Posts: 168
Joined: Nov. 1 2005
From: Florida, USA

RE: Loriente Carmen? (in reply to lavecchia

As I recall, the first Loriente labels had the name Antonio Loriente with a "stamped" signature. Tim received a lot of flack for that on his (G.S.I forum) and I think a second yellow label was used without a signature and maybe it was just Loriente. The blue labels only have Loriente and the model on them. The new models also have a small label inside on the foot of the neck, which say Cordoba guitars and a serial number. The numbers, I believe, show year of production model and sequence number. One of the top models, classical, in the Loriente line was made in California, maybe by Kenny Hill's crew. The Cordoba Master series, which includes a "Reyes" blanca, is also made in CA.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 19 2015 15:36:30
 
ngiorgio

 

Posts: 168
Joined: Nov. 1 2005
From: Florida, USA

RE: Loriente Carmen? (in reply to keith

Info I received directly from G.S.I. today regarding the Loriente line.

1.) Yes, CMG purchased Guild and decided that Loriente was just too much for them to handle and focus on the other guitars. They also started making the Master Series line and construct guitars in Oxnard CA now so this is taking the place of the high end classical for them.

2.) it's not entirely worked out but Guitar Salon International may pick up from where CMG left off and just start purchasing these guitars. I doubt we'd be a big distributor but we do want to continue the line. More details to come as they are know to us…

My guess is that the Lorientes may be only available in U.S. in the future. Only a guess on my part.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 22 2015 3:08:35
 
bernd

 

Posts: 680
Joined: Feb. 15 2004
 

RE: Loriente Carmen? (in reply to ngiorgio

quote:

My guess is that the Lorientes may be only available in U.S. in the future. Only a guess on my part.

Yes, for sure. Although it´s possible they´d offer these guitars to the European shops, I don´t think they´ll purchase it. The shipping fees and import taxes are much too high instead of purchasing within the EU Countries.

I wanted to aquire Antonio Aparicio as a supplier for a German guitar shop. He replied he has temporarily relocated his production to the US. So by doing this he slapped himself out of the European market.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 22 2015 17:30:44
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