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etta

 

Posts: 255
Joined: Jan. 20 2010
 

prejudice against USA guitars 

Is there a prejudice against guitars made in the USA? I sense that this prejudice is stronger against flamenco guitars than against classical guitars. There are lots of great American builders but still the big money goes to Spanish made guitars particularly the so-called "vintage" types. I have yet to play any of the "vintage guitars" that are very impressive.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 11 2018 15:22:15
 
Echi

 

Posts: 490
Joined: Jan. 11 2013
 

RE: prejudice against USA guitars (in reply to etta

My 2 cents:
USA or Europe doesn’t make difference. Is there any prejudice to Italian/French/German/English makers of flamenco guitars? I don’t think so. A good guitar is a good guitar.
Names like DeVoe, Ruck or Canin etc. are well known also in Europe.
The thing is that it’s hard to find American flamenco guitars (other than DeVoe) here in Europe and
as a consequence there is not a good market. There is not a good market for the flamenco guitar in general.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 11 2018 15:42:51
 
Fred Klinge

 

Posts: 57
Joined: Aug. 1 2013
From: Abita Springs, Louisiana

RE: prejudice against USA guitars (in reply to etta

I own an Ethan Deutsch Negra and it's an outstanding guitar....right up there with the best of the Spanish guitars. Granted my experience with top Spanish-made flamenco guitars is limited, but I have had the opportunity to play a few...

There are some outstanding flamenco guitar builders all around the world, including Mexico, the U.S., and Canada, but historical traditions/preferences are hard to change.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 11 2018 15:53:07
 
Ricardo

Posts: 10788
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: prejudice against USA guitars (in reply to etta

There is simply no comparison. The foreign builds (non spanish), even in Europe, simply copy the Spain models. Anyway a German Hauser is more valuable than most Spain built guitars of same era, so Price and market are not the issue really.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 11 2018 17:37:21
 
Leñador

Posts: 5179
Joined: Jun. 8 2012
From: Los Angeles

RE: prejudice against USA guitars (in reply to etta

I feel like if that prejudice exists it's more among collectors than serious players.....Which is probably the lions share of the market(collectors)...........

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 11 2018 21:33:21
 
tri7/5

 

Posts: 502
Joined: May 5 2012
 

RE: prejudice against USA guitars (in reply to etta

I don't sense any. There's great guitars everywhere however you have far more luthiers and players in Europe so more to choose from and greater selection. As a buyer I wouldn't want to pay for importing a USA guitar with more taxes thrown on top (taxes are already high with VAT) than just buying local per-se.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 11 2018 22:16:17
 
12850bd

 

Posts: 93
Joined: Nov. 9 2006
 

RE: prejudice against USA guitars (in reply to etta

Its all about the character of the guitar. Many guitars made in USA are actually build better from a structural /tuning/finish point of view..BUT they can rarely capture the character of the good flamenco makers in Spain. Thats not to say that all the Spanish ones are good or that there arent good examoles of ones made in USA. But the character is essential to the soniquete of flamenco
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 13 2018 0:29:12
 
RobF

Posts: 97
Joined: Aug. 24 2017
 

RE: prejudice against USA guitars (in reply to 12850bd

Sounds like marketing to me.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 13 2018 3:31:53
 
Echi

 

Posts: 490
Joined: Jan. 11 2013
 

RE: prejudice against USA guitars (in reply to etta

quote:

Many guitars made in USA are actually build better from a structural /tuning/finish point of view..BUT they can rarely capture the character of the good flamenco makers in Spain

I think You could make the same general statement of any European or Japanese maker not strictly specialised in flamenco guitars.
I could say the same for Italy or France for instance.
A good number of makers based in USA have a worldwide reputation for their flamenco guitars though.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 13 2018 5:31:47
 
Arash

Posts: 4346
Joined: Aug. 9 2006
From: Iran (living in Germany)

RE: prejudice against USA guitars (in reply to etta

I assume your thoughts come from the fact that your guitar (in the other thread) seams to be hard to sell. There are different factors a buyer might consider when buying, one of them might be resell value. To be honest, I never heard this luthier "Michael thames", so in order for somebody to be willing to buy it, buyer would probably want to play it first and really really like it. On the other hand, something like a Sanchis, you pretty much know how it feels and sounds, and less risky to buy without playing it first... and you pretty much know it is easier to resell if you would want to or need to. It is not so much "vintage" or something like that.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 13 2018 9:29:51
 
estebanana

 

Posts: 7497
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: prejudice against USA guitars (in reply to etta

The VAT taxes and shipping internationally is a big factor.

I don't think there much predudice now, it's mainly ease of availability; difficulties of European dealers and American makers to connect and to connect with customers. It's not practical when EU based products are closer and fall inside trade zones of the EU.

In contact with European dealers I get a lot of enthusiasm and good feedback. But the price range has to justify the shipping and tax barrier be overcome to stock a lot of American guitar product.

Attitude wise I don't perceive predudice, practical to trade incentives to work with Spanish products.

Upper tier imports to foriegn markets justify the cost of tarrifs and shipment. But most of the market for entry level guitars and good playing product is the under 3000 US dollar range.

The next bracket is guitars over 8000 US and the third bracket is 12,000 to 20,000 and above.

The latter market is exclusive and the customer plays and wants what they want. They will pay tarrifs and shipping as part of the game. They don't have predudice as much as they have cultivated certain likes and dislikes and collect across international tastes. Some are also top level pro players who need access to certain instruments no matter what the costs.

Level two also warrants international trade because it provides the committed player it collection maker with international products.

The under 3000 market is big, but doesn't warrant the trade because the dealer loses money after all the work is done. Local trade makes that market work, or very low bulk wholesale prices for big dealers.

The dead zone is 3000 to 7000 US dollars- most guitars are in this range. Oddly it's the most difficult market. But it's the market for builders. It's difficult for a builder to make money in this range unless they deal one on one with commission. Dealers put in as much work selling a 10,000 dollar instrument as they do a 6,000 $ instrument be and there's import tax and shipping in internationally traded guitars.

Predudice may exist, but much of it is enabled by trade barriers. The Spanish however did invent the thing, and to they know what they are doing. Especially in the regions with intact schools that have continuity with the past makers.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 13 2018 9:34:53
 
Andy Culpepper

Posts: 2609
Joined: Mar. 30 2009
From: NY, USA

RE: prejudice against USA guitars (in reply to etta

Prejudice usually comes from lack of first hand exposure to examples contrary to one's viewpoint. Artists are generally open-minded and happy to try good guitars from foreign makers, but I've met some who still had a little prejudice, possibly for good reason based on limited experience.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 13 2018 13:58:48
 
sartorius

Posts: 159
Joined: Mar. 7 2017
 

RE: prejudice against USA guitars (in reply to etta

These are hard times for flamenco guitar builders, even the good ones (I am not talking about the best ones that sell a lot every year). Just plain economics: the offer is way bigger than the demand so prices won't go up and builders arer quite happy to see a guitar go, I can tell you...
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 17 2018 9:32:10
 
Echi

 

Posts: 490
Joined: Jan. 11 2013
 

RE: prejudice against USA guitars (in reply to etta

I think the thread should make reference mostly to the 2nd hand market.
The 2nd hand market of flamenco guitars doesn’t work well.
It’s hard to sell a good guitar for reasonable money and it’s hard to buy a good guitar for the right money.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 17 2018 10:52:05
 
sartorius

Posts: 159
Joined: Mar. 7 2017
 

RE: prejudice against USA guitars (in reply to etta

You're right. That's because Flamenco is such a "niche" with so few players in comparison to classical guitar. There's a lot going on at all times with classical guitars (I can see it on a regular basis) but not with flamenco guitars. I guess they suffer from the prejudice of "a lesser genre" by classicals and ignorant people who put Manitas on par with Paco...

Regarding my previous post, even the best builders don't sell many guitars to "real" players. Most of the time they are bought and kept by, well... investors, not players, and valued as investment pieces.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 18 2018 11:33:17
 
Ricardo

Posts: 10788
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: prejudice against USA guitars (in reply to sartorius

quote:

ORIGINAL: sartorius

You're right. That's because Flamenco is such a "niche" with so few players in comparison to classical guitar. There's a lot going on at all times with classical guitars (I can see it on a regular basis) but not with flamenco guitars. I guess they suffer from the prejudice of "a lesser genre" by classicals and ignorant people who put Manitas on par with Paco...

Regarding my previous post, even the best builders don't sell many guitars to "real" players. Most of the time they are bought and kept by, well... investors, not players, and valued as investment pieces.

Jose Ramirez III talked about how he could not innovate at all in the Flamenco genre of building because the players hang on to the tradition so tightly. Any variation and players would be like “not Flamenco” or “no good”. I for one have always embraced the 2nd hand market because guitars that get played hard SOUND better. Most flamenco guitars get played and improve over time ... I have seen it across the board price wise. Of course nobody pays for SOUND do they? They pay for brand and looks, sometimes set up.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 18 2018 17:15:20
 
sartorius

Posts: 159
Joined: Mar. 7 2017
 

RE: prejudice against USA guitars (in reply to etta

That's why it is of the utmost importance with a newly built/purchased guitar to truly 'push it' in all places on the fretboard with strong rasgueados of all sorts, picados, alzapuas, etc. so that it is duly 'run in'.

Even classicals benefit from such an early treatment which makes them sound much better for the rest of their lives (use a removable tap plate for this). Otherwise, as I have recently seen with an Antonio Marin Montero classical, they can keep a mellow sound that is right most of the time playing soft classical music but becomes saturated when something like De Falla's Miller's Dance is played which is a real pity.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 19 2018 11:54:56
 
Paul Magnussen

Posts: 1481
Joined: Nov. 8 2010
From: London (living in the Bay Area)

RE: prejudice against USA guitars (in reply to Ricardo

quote:

I for one have always embraced the 2nd hand market because guitars that get played hard SOUND better.


I agree totally. Since I was in my teens, I have had a good friend, an excellent and knowledgeable classical guitarist, who is always searching for the perfect guitar. He falls in love with one, buys it, and then a few months later finds some intolerable fault in it. But his judgment is so good that, since my very first guitar, I have never had to go elsewhere for one: when I wanted an upgrade I just waited till he got tired of one I liked, and bought it from him (I now have three that I’ve been totally happy with since the ’80s).

For several years he live in new Zealand. The website of the New Zealand guitarists carries the following mention:

quote:

[…] 1969 Arrival of Paul Durham the well known British amateur who was well known in Britain for his Segovia like tone and impeccable phrasing. He was of great influence to many local players with the fine example that he set. He was mentioned in Guitar International as having owned more top name guitars than anyone else in Britain. At the time of that article it was around 63. He has owned at least a dozen more since those years.


  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 19 2018 17:32:07
 
estebanana

 

Posts: 7497
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: prejudice against USA guitars (in reply to etta

God Paul, you're such a bottom feeder. LOL

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 20 2018 2:53:44
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