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A Tale of two Condes   You are logged in as Guest
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Jonnycake

 

Posts: 41
Joined: Aug. 26 2020
 

A Tale of two Condes 

This is my story relating my experiences with two great guitars that I purchased from my teacher,a1983 media luna and a 2000 Filipe V A26.

For those familiar with my previous foray into the Foro community entitled "my Faustino Conde story".. yes indeed I bought another guitar but not the Arcangel. I just couldnt part with my '83, nor did I wish to sell off some of my electric guitars to fund that expensive purchase.

I was able however to trade in my trusty Victor Diaz in a deal for my teacher's other remaining guitar,a 2000 Filipe V Conde.

This posting is my attempt to describe these two excellent guitars and my experiences playing both of them.

First off I wish to say that my experience with flamenco guitars is somewhat limited having only had a Diaz top student model for some 20 years and then recently,these two Condes.
However I have been playing guitars for around 50 years and like to think that I know somewhat of tone,feel and good wood.

As I described before,this '83 media luna was one of my teacher's main guitars for many years and was chosen (after some trouble to appraise 'the good stuff') from among 13 others at the Gravina shop many years ago.

Much played yet in still very good shape,this guitar in my opinion has fully matured in tone,volume and playability.
Light and comfortable like a well worn catcher's mitt I find myself reaching for this one over any other.

I dont know if treble notes could sound any sweeter than what I hear from this instrument - especially since switching to La Bella reds( thanks Ricardo).
The beauty of this guitar is how well rounded it's voice is in terms of volume( which isn't overly loud) and equal note articulation across the whole fretboard.If I had any beef with this guitar it would be whether new frets might be an improvement as I find when I'm really digging in the action seems a little low or too easy to play.

Tonewise though I  believe this guitar delivers just how it's maker intended it to do.
When playing certain paleos like siguriyas or tarantas for example, the A and F sharp chords have such a powerful yet gentle hollow roar that seems so typically Conde and also all that is so earthy and appealing to me in old school flamenco.

Hammer-ons and chording gymnastics really show the bounce and resonance of that light cedar neck ,kinda reminds me of old les pauls and a certain 60 strat I once had..In other words a beautiful tone machine that is amazing in both resonance and comfortable playability.

Finally, that 'orange goop' adds such a warm and mellow vibe to this fine guitar I'm reminded how these Condes seemed to be everywhere being used by the best players throughout the 70's and 80's.

Coming up on her 40th year this guitar is really one of the "great ones" as in my teacher's words.

Would I ever part with her? As mentioned before,that Arcangel is so amazing that yes if I got a good price for this '83 I could  see selling it to acquire what I think is the best guitar I've ever laid my hands on.Should that not happen though I'm thinking they'll have to pry this guitar away from my cold,dead fingers!

Now to the 2000 Filipe Conde A-26.

Chosen as the best of 3 sent to Postigo's guitarras antiquas shop in Seville back when Filipe Conde was establishing his own brand, one would assume these to be prime examples of his work at that time.

This particular guitar for whatever reason has spent most of the last 20 years hiding under a bed and while it has a most impressive voice,I believe that it has not reached anywhere its full potential in tone and playability.

With impeccable workmanship,old woods laid down in what I would guess the 70's, those long fustero tuners and a blanca 'hueso' colour with french polish,this guitar is certainly a step up from my '83.

A touch heavier and seemingly a little bigger overall,with a wider fretboard and extreme liveliness in the action makes this guitar also perfect for playing my aggressive 'piedmont' blues style fingerpicking that I like to do.
I would characterize this guitar more like a new mercedes than an old baseball glove.

The sustain is formidable,the sharpness and clarity of the trebles is like wielding a toledo salamanca. I would describe a siguriyas type chord as sounding like 'Karang!' or a kick to the jugular.A very middle eastern and metallic sound that is reminding me of stroking the strings on an open grand piano.
The sustain provides a lingering background to every note played and this adds to the complexity of this guitar's particularly modern( imo) voice.
I'm constantly amazed at the depth and detail in the sound of this guitar and I find the impressive low end massages my chest whenever I'm laying about in bad position late at night and being told to turn it down!

All that and the amazing volume which would be perfect for playing with dancers makes this to my mind a monster guitar...I wonder what it will sound like 10 or 20 years from now after some capable hands have had their way with it?

Now when I say not fully developed yet in tone and playability its because I find  some areas to be more pronounced and some notes ring clearer than others.
The high-almost new frets may have something to do with that or perhaps bridge and nut height needs some tweaking.
My teacher mentioned that he thought this guitar was sounding somewhat like a Reyes and him having had one of those in the past,maybe that's another good discription.

It really feels almost like a brand new guitar and except for those inevitable scratches from the original owners penchant for long nails and exaggerated  rasqueados.. it may as well be.

Again this guitar needs to be played a lot more and unfortunately , I've been thinking lately that I won't be the one doing it.
I must divide my playing time between my love for solo flamenco and my rock and roll itch with my blues trio,who as rumour has it ,will be able to play live once again at long last.
It may turn out that I only need one really good flamenco guitar to be happy playing as I seem to do these days.

So I keep reaching for my older Conde and that well worn familiar feel, all the while maybe neglecting this brash and impressive youngster which as a great guitar, certainly deserves better.

Maybe its a modern sound versus old school thing at play here but I know one thing for sure,Condes are great guitars and these two are worthy of that name.

So I am comtemplating seeing what this guitar would sell for because at 9600 euros for new ones these days maybe I could get a decent price for this 2000 model ,22 years young.

I will hang on to the '83 as my favourite flamenco for now, with only being able to obtain that mythical Arcangel reason enough to supplant her..because that one is something else entirely.

I hope this posting adds something to the considerable amount of Conde lore existing here already on Foro. There seems no shortage of controversy when it comes to these particular guitars!

Finally, its been a hell of a year and a half,so I'd like to offer best wishes to everyone as we look forward to a post pandemic world..and live music everywhere once again!


cheers!
Jon


 




 


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Attachment (3)
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 18 2021 0:27:37
 
Ricardo

Posts: 12948
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: A Tale of two Condes (in reply to Jonnycake

Congratulations!

Now go back and change all your “Phillipppeus” to F-E-L-I-P-E !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

_____________________________

CD's and transcriptions available here:
www.ricardomarlow.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 19 2021 20:05:04
 
Tom Blackshear

 

Posts: 2242
Joined: Apr. 15 2008
 

RE: A Tale of two Condes (in reply to Jonnycake

this is all well and good for a written report but the basic tell tale of any guitar is the sound and play-ability.

Can you play us a tune or have a pro do it for you???

If not, then all this does is fall short into a deep hole somewhere.

_____________________________

Tom Blackshear Guitar maker
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 19 2021 21:30:55
 
Jonnycake

 

Posts: 41
Joined: Aug. 26 2020
 

RE: A Tale of two Condes (in reply to Jonnycake

Here is the '83 playing a few snippets..
Best I can do atm!
https://youtu.be/g3rgqBx6qQ4
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 20 2021 9:10:49
 
Jonnycake

 

Posts: 41
Joined: Aug. 26 2020
 

RE: A Tale of two Condes (in reply to Jonnycake

Another snippet..
https://youtu.be/g5x2pzlCTXQ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 20 2021 9:41:30
 
Ricardo

Posts: 12948
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: A Tale of two Condes (in reply to Jonnycake

As suspected, a nice midrange. Don’t make em like they used to.

_____________________________

CD's and transcriptions available here:
www.ricardomarlow.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 20 2021 20:43:29
 
Jonnycake

 

Posts: 41
Joined: Aug. 26 2020
 

RE: A Tale of two Condes (in reply to Ricardo

Here is the Filipe Conde 2000.
I apologize for the sloppy seconds,I'm a work in progress


https://youtu.be/F_iD9sULd2E
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 21 2021 0:30:21
 
Ricardo

Posts: 12948
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: A Tale of two Condes (in reply to Jonnycake

quote:

ORIGINAL: Jonnycake

Here is the Filipe Conde 2000.
I apologize for the sloppy seconds,I'm a work in progress


https://youtu.be/F_iD9sULd2E


Sounds good too! And Filipe is pretty darn close to FElipe, congrats!

Repeat after me…
FAY
LEAP
PAY



_____________________________

CD's and transcriptions available here:
www.ricardomarlow.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 21 2021 16:46:02
 
Echi

 

Posts: 932
Joined: Jan. 11 2013
 

RE: A Tale of two Condes (in reply to Jonnycake

Very good, just 2 observations:
The ‘83 guitar has a nice tone: strong and compressed mids but I gues your phone (or better, the place where you placed it) got more zing on the trebles than in the reality.
The 2000 is a Conde Hermanos calle Felipe V, not properly a Felipe Conde, even though Felipe Conde used to be one of the luthiers of that shop.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 21 2021 17:37:04
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