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java

Posts: 11
Joined: May 31 2020
 

Guitar playability 

Dear members,
I would like to ask a question and get advice.
I know that choosing a guitar is very personal.
But unfortunately I can't travel long distances,
so I will have to make a choice online.
I am ready for a better flamenco guitar for a budget of about € 2500.00
In addition to a characteristic flamenco sound,
I think it is very important that it is light / easy to play.
That you don't have to use a lot of power to get a clean sound.
I live in an apartment and it is not necessary that the guitar has a lot of volume.
My thoughts go to a guitar from the Conde family, (blanca) used.

My question to you is whether these guitars are easy to play
or that I choose another brand for this, would you like suggestions?
I previously asked this question to the owner of a well-known guitar store and got the following answer:

"In my opinion, Conde guitars are not among the easily playable guitars, neither the economic models, nor the professional guitars.
If you are looking for an easy to play flamenco guitar, my suggestion is Camps Primera series or Amalio Burguet. "

I would like to use your knowledge and experience in this question.
I know you have to play a guitar yourself in order to make a good choice, but would you still give me some advice on this?

Best regards, Jan
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 7 2020 12:08:21
 
mango

Posts: 133
Joined: Apr. 2 2019
 

RE: Guitar playability (in reply to java

If playability is your main aspect go for a guitar with a scale length of 650mm and invest some money into a professional setup (Nut and saddle fine tuning and some fretwork if necessary). Also the neck should be straight and not too thick (not more than 22mm at the nut). Also find out which string spacing feels comfortable to you. I personally prefer wider spacing but many people prefer it more narrow.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 7 2020 13:24:10
 
java

Posts: 11
Joined: May 31 2020
 

RE: Guitar playability (in reply to mango

Hello Mango,
Thank you for your response. I did not know at all that the scale length affects the playability. I will take that into account.
What I also find interesting in your comment is the string spacing.
My preference is definitely for wider spacing. But almost all flamenco guitars have a nut width of 52.
I would like 54, but you hardly find them.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 7 2020 20:38:01
 
gerundino63

Posts: 1569
Joined: Jul. 11 2003
From: The Netherlands

RE: Guitar playability (in reply to java

Hi Jan,

Be also a bit careful with too easy playable guitars. They can play out very fast. The “normal” flamenco set up is 3mm for the 6th string and 2.5 for the 1st string (at fret 12).
Granada built guitars are average said easy to play. 2500 you can buy a secondhand handbuilt guitar, so the Leave the fabric or half fabric guitars from the shops in the shops.
I saw a Lazarides flamenco on marktplaats. That one could be nice. ( I do not know the seller or anything).

Play the guitar first! What is easy for you is not always easy to the next guy. The stiffnes of the soundboard is very imporstand and that is even with the same builder not always the same.

A new guitar is a long process, try a lot of guitars, so you feel the differents and you find out what you prefer. Also, Good playability for the left hand is not nessecary good playability for the right hand.

Groetjes,

Peter

_____________________________

  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 8 2020 9:21:05
 
Stephen Eden

 

Posts: 882
Joined: Apr. 12 2008
From: UK

RE: Guitar playability (in reply to java

My Solea model guitar is under your budget(£1800), easy to play and I can customise things like scale length, all aspect to do with the neck and string spacing.

Foro Member Mark Indigo has two! He posted about them here.

http://www.foroflamenco.com/tm.asp?m=324528&p=1&tmode=1&smode=1

_____________________________

Classical and Flamenco Guitars www.EdenGuitars.co.uk
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 8 2020 11:21:10
 
mark indigo

 

Posts: 3306
Joined: Dec. 5 2007
 

RE: Guitar playability (in reply to java

quote:

"In my opinion, Conde guitars are not among the easily playable guitars, neither the economic models, nor the professional guitars.
If you are looking for an easy to play flamenco guitar, my suggestion is Camps Primera series or Amalio Burguet. "

I used to work/hang out in a guitar centre and try out the flamenco guitars. They had a small range of the low end guitars like Camps, Cuenca, Burguet, Alhambra. They all seemed to me stiff, heavy, unresponsive and not worth the money (this was about 20 years ago and they were £500-£1000). They also had some more expensive Burguet models (up to about £2,500 at the time), but they weren't any better for playability. Two friends of mine bought the same student Conde model for £1,000 each and they were both massively better in terms of ease of playing.

quote:

I am ready for a better flamenco guitar for a budget of about € 2500.00
In addition to a characteristic flamenco sound,
I think it is very important that it is light / easy to play.

Yes, I recommend Stephen Eden's "Soleá" model, it fits all your criteria, and you will have some cash left over! I have two of them. I liked the first one so much I bought another one.

_____________________________

  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 8 2020 23:06:28
 
mark indigo

 

Posts: 3306
Joined: Dec. 5 2007
 

RE: Guitar playability (in reply to java

quote:

My preference is definitely for wider spacing. But almost all flamenco guitars have a nut width of 52.
I would like 54, but you hardly find them.

my experience is that most flamenco guitars I have owned and/or played are about 53mm at the nut. I got Steve to make my first Eden Soleá model 52mm at nut, but found it just a shade too narrow so went for 53mm at nut for the second one, which I prefer. The only other ones I have played with 52mm at nut have been a couple of older ones. I also had a guitar with 54mm at nut (since sold). I think you need big hands for this to be at all comfortable as stretches across the width of the neck for chords etc. are hard. Also it means there is a greater distance to travel in string crossing for picado and pulgar.

_____________________________

  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 9 2020 12:50:27
 
devilhand

 

Posts: 845
Joined: Oct. 15 2019
 

RE: Guitar playability (in reply to mark indigo

How much is Eden Solea model?

_____________________________

Say No to Fuera de Compás!!!
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 9 2020 15:24:25
 
Echi

 

Posts: 826
Joined: Jan. 11 2013
 

RE: Guitar playability (in reply to java

1800 £.
I tried an Eden classical (Carenza) and it was just an excellent guitar: I’m sure this one is also.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 9 2020 15:56:12
 
mark indigo

 

Posts: 3306
Joined: Dec. 5 2007
 

RE: Guitar playability (in reply to devilhand

quote:

How much is Eden Solea model?

Steve quotes his price 3 posts up from yours.

_____________________________

  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 9 2020 17:51:46
 
java

Posts: 11
Joined: May 31 2020
 

RE: Guitar playability (in reply to java

I want to thank you for the info, I can do something with it.
What I still wonder is if besides those from Granada and Stephen Eden, there are also flamenco guitar brands that are known for their playability.
I understand that a fully handmade guitar is more playable anyway than those that are largely factory made.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 9 2020 18:18:55
 
Stephen Eden

 

Posts: 882
Joined: Apr. 12 2008
From: UK

RE: Guitar playability (in reply to Echi

quote:

Echi
1800 £.
I tried an Eden classical (Carenza) and it was just an excellent guitar: I’m sure this one is also.


Thanks Echi! where did you try it? Do you remember what number it was?

Cheers for chiming in too Mark. Isn't your Conde Negra easy to play? Simon changed my name so hopefully Folks will know who I am more easily when talking about the guitars I make.

_____________________________

Classical and Flamenco Guitars www.EdenGuitars.co.uk
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 10 2020 12:50:21
 
mark indigo

 

Posts: 3306
Joined: Dec. 5 2007
 

RE: Guitar playability (in reply to Stephen Eden

quote:

Cheers for chiming in too Mark.

you're welcome

quote:

Isn't your Conde Negra easy to play?

Not particularly, depends a bit on the strings, but the sound is immense - one time i played in a cafe and someone came up and asked where the amp was (there wasn't one).

_____________________________

  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 10 2020 14:43:53
 
Echi

 

Posts: 826
Joined: Jan. 11 2013
 

RE: Guitar playability (in reply to java

quote:

where did you try it? Do you remember what number it was?

It's the guitar of a friend based in Dublin. Unfortunately I couldn't play it for long.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 10 2020 18:42:16
 
Schieper

 

Posts: 157
Joined: Mar. 29 2017
 

RE: Guitar playability (in reply to java

well.. this again is a post that is at most entertaining but probably not helpfull... :-)

I have a Burguet negra 2a. For me its pro's are the beautifull build quality and detail but I never really embraced the sound after the honymoon phase was over. Plus the tuning seems slighly off at the higher treble registers.

When I wanted to upgrade I wanted a Burguet again but just did not warm up to any of the blanca's I played. Although I really liked the looks of the Burguet's. Nicely build. So I bought a Youlong Gou double top. Very responsive, very clear high's, very dry sound. Even more easy to play. Dreadfull build quality.

Recently I noticed that (I asume) due to my improvement in skills and technique and songs I play, I tend to levitate back to the Burguet. Now the Youlong Guo appears to harsh for me from time to time.

Finally, while looking for a more budget amplified guitar, I played a camps 500??? and was realy surprised by that guitar and nearly bought it but wanted a cutback and then corona kicked in. The store could order one but I am just afraid that being a factory guitar, the other one might be just completely bad.

Bottom line, it all depends. Also strings make a big difference. Therefore my take is I only would order online if there was a decent return policy (30 days FULL money back. No crap of restocking fee's that some charge). Would not mind paying return postage.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 11 2020 7:35:05
 
Tom Blackshear

 

Posts: 2189
Joined: Apr. 15 2008
 

RE: Guitar playability (in reply to Schieper

quote:

Bottom line, it all depends. Also strings make a big difference. Therefore my take is I only would order online if there was a decent return policy (30 days FULL money back. No crap of restocking fee's that some charge). Would not mind paying return postage.


Personally, I don't send a guitar out unless it is sold, as there is too much risk with scratches and dings on the finish to have to deal with. And any other Mal-treatment with humidity and a host of other things, just doesn't play well with me. no pun intended.

_____________________________

Tom Blackshear Guitar maker
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 11 2020 16:06:15
 
Echi

 

Posts: 826
Joined: Jan. 11 2013
 

RE: Guitar playability (in reply to java

The question itself is misleading.
I bought once a cheap classical Esteve for a friend which was just perfect as flamenca negra. Still today people are impressed with that cheap Esteve but that guitar was standing among the others of the batch.
I got a couple of very good Sanchis in the past but I tried also average guitars from them. I still would give a chance to Sanchis, preferably an old one.

The moral is that each guitar is different and factory guitars can be more or less inconsistent.
People often about brands and online deals but guitars are never standard and tube video are always a poor representation.
I’d rather go for a cheap luthier guitar or even a second hand luthier guitar.

Also keep in mind that set up, strings, environment (temperature, moisture level) and our very hearing may vary in assessing an instrument.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 12 2020 9:00:55
 
flyeogh

Posts: 729
Joined: Oct. 13 2004
 

RE: Guitar playability (in reply to Echi

quote:

Also keep in mind that set up, strings, environment (temperature, moisture level)


Just an example of this. A few months ago I was getting excessive buzzing on my Anders and to a lesser degree my Alhambra (especially 4th and 5th strings). Some months later the weather has gone hot and summery. I've changed the strings but not any radical change (same tension for sure). And now they are playing just great.

Make note to self - if you're going to sell them do it in the summer

Obviously the other change is that I'm practising a lot so maybe I'm just now a much better player

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nigel (el raton de Watford - now Puerto de Santa Maria, Cadiz)
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 12 2020 10:48:27
 
Stephen Eden

 

Posts: 882
Joined: Apr. 12 2008
From: UK

RE: Guitar playability (in reply to Tom Blackshear

quote:

Tom Blackshear
Personally, I don't send a guitar out unless it is sold, as there is too much risk with scratches and dings on the finish to have to deal with. And any other Mal-treatment with humidity and a host of other things, just doesn't play well with me. no pun intended.


It's not that easy over here in Europe. If the order came in by phone or email, by law you have to offer a weeks return window. So with that in mind you may as well have a decent return policy.

I won't ship a guitar unless it's paid in full. I will take it back for a full refund if it's returned undamaged within the one week window. Otherwise I take the cost of fixing it out of the refund. I think that's pretty standard practice though.

_____________________________

Classical and Flamenco Guitars www.EdenGuitars.co.uk
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 12 2020 15:02:11
 
Tom Blackshear

 

Posts: 2189
Joined: Apr. 15 2008
 

RE: Guitar playability (in reply to Stephen Eden

quote:

I take the cost of fixing it out of the refund. I think that's pretty standard practice though.


I tried that but got into trouble with some customers who felt I was taking advantage of them. So, I stopped doing it. Also, I stopped charging a $500 down payment with no refund, as this was definitely causing problems.

Now, I just sell a guitar when it is ready to go, asking for payment two weeks before so the check can clear my bank, and that's it, no refunds.

And the truth is: I don't get requests to take a guitar back, and this is reflected by my very few preowned guitars on the market today. After 58 years, I guess I've earned certain acceptance from buyers who never resell their instruments :-)

However, there is a definite downside to flamenco sales, which do change hands; Lord knows for whatever reasons, and this can destabilize the market quite a bit.

_____________________________

Tom Blackshear Guitar maker
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 12 2020 16:19:43
 
Schieper

 

Posts: 157
Joined: Mar. 29 2017
 

RE: Guitar playability (in reply to Tom Blackshear

Hi Tom,

I think I should distinguish between a luthier building a bespoke guitar for me or buying a factory/mass produced instrument with a retailer. I do not think I woud buy a burguet, camps, etc. online without return policy. I am just scared I get send some crappy leftover and than on a 750,- guitar have to pay 2*35 postage and 10% restocking fee.

But that is just mee being paranoid :-)
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 15 2020 16:28:31
 
ernandez R

Posts: 351
Joined: Mar. 25 2019
From: Alaska USA

RE: Guitar playability (in reply to java

As a beginning player it’s all about the string action over the frets.

All the other points mentioned upthread must come with years of experience and I’m assuming having a number of guitars in ones hands side by side with an expert experienced player to help assist with determining the advanced qualities.

Once one begins to gain this experience then they can determine which of these qualities are valuable and to what extent.

I have to be honest, as a beginning builder hundreds of miles from the nearest Flamenco guitar sales or luthier I feel a little out of sorts. How Flamenco are my guitar? With the Covid my planed adventure to school myself on these qualities was canceled.

Back to the O/P I feel one needs to get hands on before purchasing any guitar. Of course today’s reality makes that impossible. What to do?

I would look for a used instrument by one of the know luthiers on the Foro or Delcamp but I wouldn’t purchase straight away, as a condition of sale I would have the guitar shipped to the original builder for an inspection and fresh set up. This will insure you will be happy with the guitar when you open the case for the first time.

HR

_____________________________

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 Jun. 15 2020 17:41:42
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