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RE: Guitar making today better than ever?   You are logged in as Guest
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Echi

 

Posts: 718
Joined: Jan. 11 2013
 

RE: Guitar making today better than ... (in reply to devilhand

I’ve never been in Bruné’s Shop unfortunately.
Places like that and Solera and few others are eye opening: maybe the best way to test top guitars and really set the standard properly.
One to one comparison is actually the best way to check a guitar and spot pros and cons.
Unfortunately for me, a good friend comes up with a new top guitar every six months and the effect is the same...

I agree with Robje that terminology is a big divide here mostly because it comes from individual experience. It’s difficult to express what an Arcangel sounds like in your hands it you never tried one etc.
And yet people like Santos, Barbero, Conde, Reyes; Ramirez or Sanchis set the standard of a certain sound:
I see my eighties Ramirez like my poor man Barbero, my old Bellido like my poor man Reyes and my old Condes well, like old Condes.

I recently had the same experience of Ricardo with a cheap classical guitar I repaired for a friend. It was so good for flamenco to make me think I lost a lot of time in life fancying guitars.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 29 2020 10:06:50
 
devilhand

 

Posts: 348
Joined: Oct. 15 2019
 

RE: Guitar making today better than ... (in reply to Richard Jernigan

quote:

It would take me much longer than a few minute's playing to decide among a group of great guitars.

To me, it's impossible to compare the sound of different guitars when all guitars in question are not there. For example, I want to compare the sound of the guitar 1 & 2 in a music store with that of my own guitar 3 which I left at home. To get a good comparison all 3 guitars must be there. Then I play them or I let a third person play them back to back in front of me. Otherwise it's difficult to hear the difference.

Is it me or do others have the same problem? If it's me, how would you guys decide in above example which guitar sounds better? Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 29 2020 11:02:46
 
Echi

 

Posts: 718
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RE: Guitar making today better than ... (in reply to Echi

I agree.
I try to listen very carefully.
First I play what I like and it’s a gut thing and in a second moment I let my brain judge the things I consider important and fit for my playing. I always wait a couple of days before taking any decision to let my brain prevail.

I also usually record my guitars and the guitars I play with my IPhone at a certain fixed distance.
This helps me to elaborate my thoughts afterwords or in the long term.
Clearly many things are not caught by audio or video recordings but if it is you playing your brain will associate your memories to what you listen.

It’s of some use to record yourself also because usually the player listens the guitar in a different way than audience does:
I’m well aware I have the tendency to listen “into” the guitar when it’s me playing, while the listener get just the final result.
Eventually the final results is more important.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 29 2020 13:14:33
 
RobJe

 

Posts: 685
Joined: Dec. 16 2006
From: UK

RE: Guitar making today better than ... (in reply to Echi

Admirable discipline in your testing Echi! I agree with devilhand that you have to have guitars together in the same place to test. Even with this varying room acoustics or humidity might make you revise your opinion on another occasion.

There is also the blindfold test that helps train your mind and prevent you being swayed by the name on the label or the cost. If you have two or more guitars get someone to blindfold you and then hand the guitars to you one by one for testing. I did this in the Ramirez shop in 1968 (no blindfold just eyes closed). To get maximum value out of the exercise you need to describe what you have found.

Rob
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 30 2020 11:06:58
 
devilhand

 

Posts: 348
Joined: Oct. 15 2019
 

RE: Guitar making today better than ... (in reply to Echi

quote:

It’s of some use to record yourself also because usually the player listens the guitar in a different way than audience does:
I’m well aware I have the tendency to listen “into” the guitar when it’s me playing, while the listener get just the final result.
Eventually the final results is more important.

I record myself not very often. When I record myself and listen back, my guitar playing sounds way better than I hear from a player perspective. It makes me wanna say wow, are you kidding me? Is it me? Gives me even an ego boost and makes me think I'll sound better if I had a better instrument. Yes this is the moment where I say to myself it's time for a better guitar.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 30 2020 12:43:12
 
devilhand

 

Posts: 348
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RE: Guitar making today better than ... (in reply to RobJe

quote:

Even with this varying room acoustics or humidity might make you revise your opinion on another occasion.

I read somewhere the guitar sound projection is always better in a wood cabin or in a room with wooden wall, floor and ceiling. This is why recording studios have wooden wall or ceiling. I used to think a bathroom is the place where the guitar sounds loud, bright and resonant. But this is not the case. There are too many reflective surfaces in the bathroom. Another extreme case is playing guitar in rooms such as bedroom full of clothes, blankets or curtains. These materials absorb everything that comes from the sound hole and make guitar sound dull. I think this makes comparing different guitars more difficult in different environments.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 30 2020 12:56:45
 
ernandez R

Posts: 103
Joined: Mar. 25 2019
From: Alaska USA

RE: Guitar making today better than ... (in reply to devilhand

For a real treat play in front of a larg glass patio sliding door, about 1.5m/4' away.

Another thing you can try. I'm a habitual foam earplug wearer and once about a year ago I was playing for about an hour and suddenly realized I had the darn things in my ears. I pulled them out and was shocked with what I was hearing, no not my bad playing ;) , but the trebles that my mind had filtered out. After a doing this a few times I realized with the earplugs I could hear bass and lower midrange tones that were difficult to discern after playing for only a few minutes.

I find too many recordings were the EQ is used almost unethically and find without knowing what mic was used and recording device that for comparative use to be pointless. I was in the shop yesterday listing to an older Paco Pena recording and stopped for a second because the trebles were really ringing. It took only a moment to realize it was mostly a recording effect. Still lovely to listen to but useless to luthery for a comparative sample?

And I find that changing inviromental conditions, within a day or from day to day, in my usual playing chairs can make one guitar sound great then another the next time I sit down. In my home the evenings make my guitars sound the best; in the recording industry this effect is called the "scotch mod" . I have two strung up in the white and I notice there variation from hour to hour or day to day more then the others but sure that will moderate some as soon as I get them back in the shop and Lac'ed up.

HR

Edit: and strings almost pointless to do a comparison without knowing what strings are being used.

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I prefer my flamenco guitar spicy,
doesn't have to be fast,
should have some meat on the bones,
can be raw or well done,
as long as it doesn't sound like it's turning green on an elevator floor.

www.instagram.com/threeriversguitars
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 30 2020 19:43:15
 
Echi

 

Posts: 718
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RE: Guitar making today better than ... (in reply to Echi

Out of doubt environment and human ear are the 2 big variables here. In different days we may hear sounds in a different way.
As I wrote here above, direct comparison is the best way if you are disciplined. To record yourself is just a way to awake your memory when you cannot have the guitars available in the meantime.

To come back to the main thread, probably the average of flamenco guitars is better now than years ago.
Plans and guitar making courses of high level are easily available.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 30 2020 19:54:23
 
devilhand

 

Posts: 348
Joined: Oct. 15 2019
 

RE: Guitar making today better than ... (in reply to Echi

quote:

In different days we may hear sounds in a different way.

I wonder if it is scientifically proven?

quote:

To come back to the main thread, probably the average of flamenco guitars is better now than years ago. Plans and guitar making courses of high level are easily available.

One day I'll go to Spain and let someone make a guitar - a negra - for me. I think all these oldie but a goodie guitars are overpriced. As you mentioned beaten up as well.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 1 2020 19:06:16
 
Ricardo

Posts: 11571
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Guitar making today better than ... (in reply to devilhand

quote:

ORIGINAL: devilhand

quote:

In different days we may hear sounds in a different way.

I wonder if it is scientifically proven?

quote:

To come back to the main thread, probably the average of flamenco guitars is better now than years ago. Plans and guitar making courses of high level are easily available.

One day I'll go to Spain and let someone make a guitar - a negra - for me. I think all these oldie but a goodie guitars are overpriced. As you mentioned beaten up as well.


It’s been discussed in the past but the instrument making wood is scientifically been proven to be inferior today vs vintage, due to age and environmental factors.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 1 2020 22:28:01
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3768
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RE: Guitar making today better than ... (in reply to devilhand

quote:

ORIGINAL: devilhand

quote:

In different days we may hear sounds in a different way.

I wonder if it is scientifically proven?




In applications when you rely on hearing for long hours, like in studio work for instance while tweaking mixes, the phenomenon of changing perception is a well known one. (Wondering next day what mess one might have done, overworked last time.)

And with all the scientific studies on sensual dependency and perceiving subjectivity, I am sure that there exist some on hearing too. (Actually thinking to remember such, but not definitely.)

Had my perplexing experiences with guitars altering due to central European changes of humidity. (Once making me exchange strings in panic, for not having been aware of what the actual cause was.)

But same thing also occurring where RH being constantly low. Just last time with a generally really fine guitar, that suddenly appeared so muffled, dull, lifeless. And when I took same axe under same conditions out of it´s case yesterday, it felt and sounded lovely once again.
Extremes obviously triggered by my personal frustration about a playing handicap that sneaked into my life (and whichs way to overcome I have come to understand only recently).

In former times (before the handicap) subjectivity / deviation in perception and hearing, although not as gross as now, were also contrasting enough.

When the lust (usually after abstinence for a while, like when returning from a trip or thelike momentum) was up, the very same guitars that me was familiar with for a long time, then seemed to unfold all the candy they had, and sometimes beyond that.

The way an instrument feels is so much more depending on one´s mood, than many might realize. Down to your worst days, when you might not be tuned for comparing guitars, because of the inner (emotional) ear being in frustration altogether (for whatever reason, that might not even have to do with music or ears).

So, what assumedly be best for A/Bing?
Parameter of physical condition like room & humidity (hence, if you brought your own guitar with you to a shop / letting it acclimatize first), and most important of all: Having a day of tonal craving or at least mirth.

How to figure out when that thing is being in place? Dunno.
All I know is that when it´s there, it quite shows.

-It´s how I came to staying in the kitchen almost all night, about two weeks ago.
Someone had brought a digital player with her (while my stereo hasn´t been set up since moving to new place / me hadn´t heard good music for months). And the unexpectedly intense lust of tingling ossicles wouldn´t let me get up and go to sleep. That day, just like last night, a likely appropriate state for appreciating individual properties of different instruments, in the same time.

When the emotion / tonal passion is there, the ear will be functioning well too.


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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 2 2020 12:33:07
 
Andy Culpepper

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From: NY, USA

RE: Guitar making today better than ... (in reply to Echi

It's a little hard to admit because we (or at least I) tend to idolize the giants of 19th and 20th century guitar making, and many makers tend to see their career as an attempt to live up to the ideal set by Torres, Hauser, Santos Hernandez, etc.
BUT if you think about it: athletes are better than they have ever been. Musicians are better than they have ever been, at least technically. Science, medicine, engineering, all much more advanced than they have ever been. So it's hard to argue that luthiers are somehow getting worse. Unless you think the wood is inferior now, which personally I have seen no evidence for.

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http://www.andyculpepper.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 3 2020 1:27:41
 
Echi

 

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RE: Guitar making today better than ... (in reply to Echi

I don’t think the woods are a big problem since Spruce and cedar tops are available in the same quality as before.
Cypress and Brazilian rosewoods are instead available in inferior quality. Nonetheless many agree that the top is responsible of the most of the sound.
Nowadays alternative wood species are used with success for back and sides.

The science of the acoustic is eventually much clear today that even 20 years ago; and this is a big factor.
The other factor is the large availability of specialised power tools like thicknessers, precision callipers etc. and instructional materials.

Skills probably used to be superior in the past though:Madrid in the sixties or Granada years later were so packed of great guitar makers.
Also, people like Torres, Hauser, Santos, Romanillos, Reyes are just champions in the area of lutherie. This just happens: you don’t have too many Beethoven, Wagner or Paco just because technique goes ahead. A special talent is a special talent.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 3 2020 8:34:08
 
johnguitar

 

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Joined: Jan. 10 2006
 

RE: Guitar making today better than ... (in reply to Echi

I am a huge fan of guitars by Torres, Santos, Barbero, Arias and quite a few others. I am also a HUGE fan of my own guitars I can't bring myself to say that I have learned everything the old guys have to teach me but neither can I say that we have gone downhill from what they were doing. On the other hand, here are an awful lot of people building today who are trying to re-invent the wheel; they haven't had a traditional teacher nor have they been able to study past masters. There are so many things they don't know that make for a better instrument. The worst part is they are now teaching or postulating themselves as masters of the craft. So perhaps they are dragging down the average level of making today. The one thing I want to take issue with is the comments about quality of wood. You may or may not be able to get the best wood today but any maker worth his salt bought his wood a number of years ago and I can tell you that I sure got some great stuff 20 years ago. Upon examining vintage guitars I have seen some totally crap wood used, even by some good old makers. I have also seen excellent wood used but that happens today too. So lets celebrate the past and celebrate their wood choices and skills but if you want to compare them, do so with the professional makers of today and not pretend that this real knowledge and skill is on the internet or floating in the air.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 3 2020 8:47:22
 
RobF

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RE: Guitar making today better than ... (in reply to johnguitar

quote:

I am a huge fan of guitars by Torres, Santos, Barbero, Arias and quite a few others. I am also a HUGE fan of my own guitars I can't bring myself to say that I have learned everything the old guys have to teach me but neither can I say that we have gone downhill from what they were doing.


Well put.

As far as knowledge is concerned, sometimes I feel like Donald Rumsfeld when it comes to making, what with the known knowns, known unknowns, and unknown unknowns, or however that goes. I can only keep building, pay attention with my eyes and ears to what’s around me, and try to remain open to what I encounter and to what each new build reveals.

I do get a kick out of some of the makers who advertise themselves as “Masters”. My first teacher is undoubtedly a true master of the craft, but I’ve never heard him call himself that. He once quite pointedly told me he didn’t consider himself to be one and didn’t like being referred to as one. I know him well enough to suspect he feels considering himself in such a light would interfere with approaching the craft with what the Buddhists would call “Beginner’s Mind”, and thus be a hinderance.

As far as wood is concerned, just like makers such as Barbero had to contend with shortages during the embargoes of the postwar years, we work with what we can get. But good tops and Rosewoods can still be had, IMO, Cypress, too. What I hope might gain more acceptance in today’s market is the use of structurally and sonically high grade wood that might suffer from cosmetic challenges.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 3 2020 9:43:11
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3768
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RE: Guitar making today better than ... (in reply to Echi

A guitar has been built for me years ago by a contemporary guitar maker who undoubtedly stands for a special talent. I am hoping his creation to match what I experienced only once with the guitar of a Spanish master (I know, everyone here would agree that he is a master). –I couldn´t get my hands on this specially made instrument yet, however.

In the meantime, keep in mind please, how in the past folks have been ridiculing Tom for his fine tuning, until they realized what a sounding quality his guitars have.

He believes that the old Spanish builders had a certain knowledge in that realm which was gained through tradition and passed on by generations. -And that such proficiency of a final touch has been widely gone lost.

Too mystical in sight of modern technical achievement?

Above acoustics have been mentioned.
Are you aware that only a few today are being reputated as being firm in that realm? And that engaging them still gives no guaranty for optimal live rooms in million-dollar recording studios? (Often times still absorbers required.)
In the same time specialists on acoustics had already reached proficiency in ancient times that had them build venues with predictable accuracy (and without patching). A level not regained despite of the computer age.

(What has been invented just recently though are amazing absorbers, which can also entirely eliminate noise. Not too far in the future making silence possible wherever wanted. In buildings and even in the open of cities.)

There besides exist even clues (still radioactive remains, melted walls, etc.) that there may have been taking place nuclear explosion in times longer ago than 8000 years; but that´s another topic.

Further, other relicts exist that can´t be replicated by today´s means. (Not even just in terms of logistics.)
I am pointing such out to say, that we mustn´t be too sure about a chronological lead in all aspects of craft.

About lost wisdom however: For sure.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 3 2020 14:35:11
 
devilhand

 

Posts: 348
Joined: Oct. 15 2019
 

RE: Guitar making today better than ... (in reply to Echi

quote:

The other factor is the large availability of specialised power tools like thicknessers, precision callipers etc.

I question whether those specialised power tools can really contribute to the sound quality of the guitar. Modern tools will definitely help luthiers work more efficiently. That means guitar making is not time consuming anymore so that they can make more guitars than luthiers from the past.
Can you luthiers confirm this?

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 3 2020 15:50:11
 
RobF

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RE: Guitar making today better than ... (in reply to devilhand

quote:

Can you luthiers confirm this?


A lot of the old guys had similar time saving devices, except they had names like Juan or Paco and they often eventually moved on to become makers, too.

This Old v.s. New topic rears its head with regularity and seldom ends well. It invariably devolves into some posters implying that modern makers are likely chumps, since only the dead guys had the brains or talent or wood. The expectation appears to be that the living makers will then fall over themselves to jump into the discussion and provide counter-arguments which hopefully will justify their existence. It’s great sport. I don’t know why makers continually take the bait.

It makes zero sense to assume that the guitars made today by competent makers are somehow intrinsically inferior to those made by competent makers from the past.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 3 2020 17:07:50
 
yourwhathurts69

 

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Joined: Sep. 16 2009
 

RE: Guitar making today better than ... (in reply to Echi

Here's something to consider; are the pros still using guitars from the great makers of the past, or are they swapping out their vintage guitars for a new one from a current and up-and-coming luthier?

I get that many vintage guitars have collectors value and that it can be a risk to play them in public/on tour/etc..., but if top professionals are able to find new guitars that meet their demands, I think that speaks loudly about the quality of guitar coming from today's top luthiers.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 3 2020 21:29:45
 
Andy Culpepper

Posts: 2856
Joined: Mar. 30 2009
From: NY, USA

RE: Guitar making today better than ... (in reply to devilhand

quote:

Can you luthiers confirm this?


Not exactly. Check out this article by M.E. Bruné about James Ashborn's shop in Connecticut in the mid-1800s: https://www.vintageguitar.com/3298/james-ashborn/

"Ashborn’s shop was apparently quite advanced for its time, employing water-powered table saws, routers, and band saws. With equipment of this caliber, Ashborn produced as many as 119 guitars in June of 1844, and averaged 54 guitars per month. This is an astonishing rate of production, considering his relatively small number of employees, rarely exceeding 10."

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http://www.andyculpepper.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 3 2020 21:52:31
 
JasonM

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Joined: Dec. 8 2005
From: Baltimore

RE: Guitar making today better than ... (in reply to RobF

Could be that only the good guitars from the old days survive today and all the duds have bit the dust long ago. So our sample size is biased.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 4 2020 13:59:18
 
RobF

Posts: 486
Joined: Aug. 24 2017
 

RE: Guitar making today better than ... (in reply to JasonM

quote:

Could be that only the good guitars from the old days survive today and all the duds have bit the dust long ago. So our sample size is biased.


I think any good guitar will have its charms, and the patina of age definitely adds to the mix.

Just to be clear, I have enormous respect and admiration for the works of past masters and makers. But I also have enormous respect and admiration for a number of modern makers, too. What I take issue with is how non-makers will periodically post to the Luthier’s section basically asking why is it the old makers apparently made better guitars. I don’t know any maker worth his or her salt who believes this to be the case, so maybe we’re the wrong people to be asking?

I mean, a good guitar is a good guitar, after all. I think modern players are quite fortunate to have the selection available. There’s a lot of high quality instruments out there to be had, and at very fair prices, if people would just shelve their biases and evaluate them without the influence of incessant market-speak.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 4 2020 15:13:45
 
mark indigo

 

Posts: 2856
Joined: Dec. 5 2007
From: UK

RE: Guitar making today better than ... (in reply to RobF

quote:

This Old v.s. New topic rears its head with regularity and seldom ends well. It invariably devolves into some posters implying that modern makers are likely chumps, since only the dead guys had the brains or talent or wood.

It makes zero sense to assume that the guitars made today by competent makers are somehow intrinsically inferior to those made by competent makers from the past.


same argument gets with guitar players old vs new, and singers, and flamenco in general.... in fact any thread with "vs" or "better than?" in the title.... really tedious.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 4 2020 15:37:27
 
Ruphus

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Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

RE: Guitar making today better than ... (in reply to Andy Culpepper

Here is one, apparently all original, in good condition for 1700 bucks.
https://reverb.com/item/102551-fine-hall-sons-james-ashborn-style-2-parlor-guitar-circa-1850-new-price

According to seller it ought to be a fine instrument. Seems like an interesting combo of application and historical gem. If If I had cash in excess and transport option ...
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 4 2020 16:32:13
 
gerundino63

Posts: 1493
Joined: Jul. 11 2003
From: The Netherlands

RE: Guitar making today better than ... (in reply to Echi

Builders nowadays build guitars for the taste that is whished for today.
Builders in the past builded in guitars for the taste that was whished in the past.

Hand builded guitars (made by one builder. and maybe one or two helpers) are made quite similar than they did in the past.
So, not much different in quality, only in taste.

The builders here on the foro, build extremely good instruments, easily comparable with the “great masters” from the past and present.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 4 2020 16:49:36
 
Andy Culpepper

Posts: 2856
Joined: Mar. 30 2009
From: NY, USA

RE: Guitar making today better than ... (in reply to Ruphus

quote:

Here is one, apparently all original, in good condition for 1700 bucks.
https://reverb.com/item/102551-fine-hall-sons-james-ashborn-style-2-parlor-guitar-circa-1850-new-price

According to seller it ought to be a fine instrument. Seems like an interesting combo of application and historical gem. If If I had cash in excess and transport option ...


I think they are really elegant guitars, up there with Martin and many European makers.

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http://www.andyculpepper.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 4 2020 21:37:13
 
RobJe

 

Posts: 685
Joined: Dec. 16 2006
From: UK

RE: Guitar making today better than ... (in reply to devilhand

So we probably have no objective mutually agreeable way of answering the original question.

John mentioned ‘consistency’ in an earlier post.

When I was still buying guitars I was attracted to those who achieved some measure of consistency. I was only interested in blancas by the way. If the luthier has a clear idea of what kind of guitar they are trying to build and can regularly (not necessarily 100% of the guitars) produce such instruments, this is an achievement that gets my attention. I accept that over the years the luthiers vision changes slightly to respond to comments from players.

I can readily identify some of these luthiers from my own experience over the years. In all cases, I have had the opportunity to play 12 or more of the guitars. There must be many more luthiers like this that I don’t know. I have no experience of the latest generation of young luthiers.

Jose Ramirez III 1967-1970 cedar blancas – there were some good ones later but I think that the consistency had gone as production increased and the tightly controlled ‘artisan workshop structure’ started to break down. I bought one (new 1968).

Conde 1960 - c1973 (labels: Viuda y Sobrinos de Domingo Esteso, Sobrinos de Domingo Esteso, Conde Hermanos). Even the cheaper ones coming out with the Pozuela label fitted into the general sound and feeling of these guitars. I bought one (s/h 1965) and regularly played another (1962).

Manuel Bellido. He has achieved a unique character in his guitars that suits me. Remarkably he has managed to build guitars with quite different internal construction that nevertheless have his distinctive sound and feel. I bought two (new 1990, 1996) and regularly played another (1989).

Manuel Reyes post- c1970 – a luthier who devoted his life to perfecting the blanca! I bought one (s/h 1978). I remember coming across one disappointing atypical one.

So where does that leave new luthiers with no established reputation. Well, I remember when my teacher told me in about 1961 that there was an exciting young luthier called Manuel Reyes in Cordoba!

Rob
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 5 2020 14:59:34
 
Tom Blackshear

 

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RE: Guitar making today better than ... (in reply to RobJe

quote:

So where does leave new luthiers with no established reputation. Well, I remember when my teacher told me in about 1961 that there was an exciting young luthier called Manuel Reyes in Cordoba!


Good post Rob,

I remember a 1958 Ramirez that was a super guitar that was sold to me by Robert Guthrie for $125 back in the early 60's and it was full of nail marks in the top. These were the days of my self training, learning how to french polish.

Well, I stripped the top and sanded it to remove the nail marks and something happened to the sound that exploded like a cannon. I french polished the entire guitar and later on, I sold it to a music store for $350 to pay for my plane trip to Spain in 1965.

Note: Don't try this with no experience like I did :-)

The latest models of the Reyes Sr. guitars are well balanced but like all master builders there is going to be a difference in each build. And this is what makes guitar playing so much fun, for it usually takes a search to find the right guitar for any player; like hunting for buried treasure.

_____________________________

Tom Blackshear Guitar maker
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 5 2020 15:45:19
 
Echi

 

Posts: 718
Joined: Jan. 11 2013
 

RE: Guitar making today better than ... (in reply to Echi

What usually matters is the connection between artist and luthier of reference.
Hauser and Ramirez would never had achieved their results without the guidance of Segovia in different epochs. The same can be said for Romanillos with Bream and Smallman with Williams.

In answer to John, I don’t doubt many people can make fantastic replicas. I also think replicas are very important to keep the tradition alive and not to forget the subtleties of an art.
Different matter is the aim to set the path, excelling in your time, with your own design; I think to what achieved Ramirez in the sixties, the Condes in the seventies or Reyes in the nineties.
Obviously the point here is to find the right balance between tradition and innovation: some people think the best guitars have been already made, other people think they have still to be made. To each one their cups.

Just 2 words in reply to Robje: Both Ramirez and Conde have been somehow inconsistent throughout their long careers because of the many hands involved in their business. Yet in my opinion it’s a kind of a myth that the best Ramirez are those of the late sixties. Also I think it’s a myth that the best Condes are those of the sixties. Some epochs are more consistent than others but at the end it’s just a matter to find the good ones.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 6 2020 0:25:30
 
RobF

Posts: 486
Joined: Aug. 24 2017
 

RE: Guitar making today better than ... (in reply to Echi

quote:

some people think the best guitars have been already made, other people think they have still to be made.


Perhaps it’s more like ‘have been’, ‘are’, and ‘will be’. Has there ever been an era in the past century where fine guitars have not been made? It’s a continuum, is it not?
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 6 2020 1:39:26
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