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Morante

 

Posts: 1898
Joined: Nov. 21 2010
 

Al´s new Conde 

  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 26 2022 23:24:17
 
Pgh_flamenco

 

Posts: 1419
Joined: Dec. 5 2007
From: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

RE: Al´s new Conde (in reply to Morante

According to the Conde website he plays eight hours a day and the cost is a little under $15,000. I’m sure Ethan can make one at least as good for a lot less.

Edit: Here’s the website:
Al DI Meola Conde

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 26 2022 23:45:45
 
Erik van Goch

 

Posts: 1787
Joined: Jul. 17 2012
From: Netherlands

RE: Al´s new Conde (in reply to Morante

Spending 15.000 and then use a crap sound effect that kills all the sound :-). Wonder how it will sound in the hands of someone like Luciano or Grisha.

According to the Conde website it's a mixture between their top end classical and flamenco guitar (didn't Paco play some kind of mixture as well?). The pictures they posted show the guitar has a fragmented saddle. It looks nice but the G string (of all strings) escaped its groove resulting in an unbalanced string lineup in sence of wide and depth. On Al's guitar the same happened with the B string. Not the best advertisement although it can be replaced by a normal saddle.






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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 27 2022 11:23:27
 
BarkellWH

Posts: 3301
Joined: Jul. 12 2009
From: Washington, DC

RE: Al´s new Conde (in reply to Erik van Goch

quote:

It looks nice but the G string (of all strings) escaped its groove resulting in an unbalanced string lineup in sence of wide and depth.


Who on earth thought there was any advantage to separate saddle fragments for each string? Not only has the G string escaped its groove, the saddle fragment for the B string has slid to the left, resulting in a misalignment of that string. With heavy playing, I imagine there will be a lot of movement of the saddle fragments and misalignment of the strings.

This setup looks like some bright boy's solution to a problem that didn't exist, but that certainly creates problems of its own. Ugh!

Bill

_____________________________

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 Mar. 27 2022 14:14:07
 
Echi

 

Posts: 972
Joined: Jan. 11 2013
 

RE: Al´s new Conde (in reply to Morante

It’s basically the standard Felipe Conde guitar but with the cutaway and the pre-amp.
The bracing is nothing but the fan bracing commonly used by the Conde shop in the end of the ‘70 and ‘80 which Felipe started using again when he offered the replica of the 1975 guitar used by Paco (now also in a premium model with redwood top). It’s a project which involves also the guys of Solera Flamenca.
For those using instagram, Felipe Conde Cavia has an account where he shares many pictures of the building process and you may find also pictures of the Di Meola model.
By chance his brother Mariano started building with this system some years ago and I find curious that both Mariano and Felipe are mostly using this kind of bracing and not anymore the bracing they used at the Felipe V shop in the previous 2 decades.
Probably this is what the musicians like the most at the present.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 27 2022 16:04:33
 
Ricardo

Posts: 13292
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Al´s new Conde (in reply to Morante

Lot of criticism of an old guitar design here, I will just assume you guys don’t have experience with them. First of all, the pick ups. Those are RMC pick ups, (Richard Mclish invention) first used for the nylon Godin guitars. The standard concept transfers from the horrific to play godin to a fabulous Conde guitar is that these pick ups are ideal to trigger the synth (the guitar might use two cables one for microphone and the other is a midi cable). So think of this instrument as fundamentally a MIDI instrument. You would not want to criticize the bridge pick up design because it is ideal.

Al uses the midi sound effects that are afforded to Godin and his Ovation (which had an interface that had to be strapped to the body of the guitar in a very awkward way) but on a guitar that is more comfortable to play and sounds great. My friend who plays rumba already had this idea way back in 1999. He gutted a Godin and then cut up a cheap Valencia to install the Godin guts (not unlike Al’s conde except he also used the faders and buttons of the Godin so had to cut slots into the flamenco guitar). Words cant describe how fun that instrument was to play. The guitar fell and broke and he has since developed other designs. But at the time we discovered the problem with the RMC pick ups that the photo above points out. It only occurs if you play VERY aggressively close to the bridge. I have popped out the string with my dug in Alternate picking, but Picados rarely did this. But considering it ever happens at all on gigs (it makes a loud pop when this happens and you have to grab the string w RH and pop it back in, very annoying on a gig), so my friend took the RMC pick ups and FILED the V type groove to form more of a U shape that hugged the strings in place. The G string, having a wide diameter, was always the main culprit, so that is the one that had to be snug.

His first attempt caused the problem of the action coming down TOO low, but he purchased another set and now he knows how to do it exactly right. (With a small file and careful not to to go too deep). He informed RMC about this and also Godin when we were at NAMM. It is possible they might have improved on the design. The picture implies perhaps the situation I described (a player popped them out and didn’t reset them) but I find that strange because any competent player would know this happened and fixed it, it is not a big deal really. More likely the person who strung up the guitar did this and did not realize.

Finally, I have told the story several times, I had a rare opportunity to compare a bunch of guitars in Sanlucar…both in the hands of Gerardo and then to confirm in my own hands minutes later (and then Mariano Conde the next day in Madrid). Included were my Sanchis, several Condes including Felipe Sr., Reyes I think, Marvi (Gerardo’s), Ethan’s Blanca, etc. The guitar that stood out above all was a cedar top negra by Felipe jr. The guitar was no joke even though it had flaws, but for its sound it was the best guitar in the room.

Last..we talked about this guitar much before:
http://www.foroflamenco.com/tm.asp?m=215246&appid=&p=&mpage=1&key=ultimate%2Cconde&tmode=&smode=&s=#215246
http://www.foroflamenco.com/tm.asp?m=215393&appid=&p=&mpage=1&key=guitar%2Cprices&tmode=&smode=&s=#215393

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 27 2022 16:28:23
 
BarkellWH

Posts: 3301
Joined: Jul. 12 2009
From: Washington, DC

RE: Al´s new Conde (in reply to Ricardo

Ricardo, what's your take on the separate saddle fragments (bone fragments?) for the strings? Not only has the G string escaped its groove, but the B string's saddle (bone) fragment appears to have shifted to the left, leaving the string misaligned. In fact, it looks like all six of them can slide in the slot where a normal bone would fit. It seems to me that heavy playing will cause serious misalignment of the strings.

What is the advantage, if any? Or is it someone's idea of aesthetic beauty?

Bill

_____________________________

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 Mar. 27 2022 19:30:11
 
Kaloguitarist

 

Posts: 126
Joined: May 12 2020
 

RE: Al´s new Conde (in reply to Morante

This is going to sound petty, but I do not like the sound of his pick playing on that conde...I know Al Is dynamic speed player but I love flamenco groove and even slow picado sounds better with nails then speed picking with pick. I know its just opinion but...
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 27 2022 19:47:40
 
orsonw

Posts: 1508
Joined: Jul. 4 2009
From: London

RE: Al´s new Conde (in reply to BarkellWH

quote:

What is the advantage, if any?


A separate/isolated pickup for each string (there is no bone).
https://www.rmcpickup.com/



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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 27 2022 20:09:49
 
devilhand

 

Posts: 1136
Joined: Oct. 15 2019
 

RE: Al´s new Conde (in reply to Morante

I think this thread must be in the off-topic section. What does AI have to do with flamenco? Increasing number of threads about him on the foro lately

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 27 2022 22:00:43
 
Mark2

Posts: 1692
Joined: Jul. 12 2004
From: San Francisco

RE: Al´s new Conde (in reply to orsonw

I’ve had an rmc pickup in my conde for 25 years. A string has never popped out of the saddle. There are advantages and some critical disadvantages to this setup. I went with it because I was playing noisy clubs with a four piece. It destroys your tone imo but gives you the volume you need in some situations. I usually used a mike too and a volume pedal to bring in the pickup when I was playing a lead. This can be an issue in a concert situation with sound engineers- they tend to lean on the pickup. The tone dexter helps get rid of the horrible piezo sound. At the end of the day a mike sounds better imo.
The midi functionality is cool but tracking is an issue too.








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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 27 2022 22:50:15
 
Mark2

Posts: 1692
Joined: Jul. 12 2004
From: San Francisco

RE: Al´s new Conde (in reply to orsonw

That is correct, and when fed into rmc’s pre amp, then a pitch to midi converter, as well as a computer or sound module, you have a guitar synth. You can have individual strings sent to the synth. So if you are playing an arpeggio, you can send only the bass string to a synth pad. Very nice. Any string can trigger synth sounds and also have the guitar sound. Lot of stuff to haul to a gig - a midi foot switch is also a good add on. Playing lead lines….tracking becomes a problem but my Roland pitch to midi converter is old. They might be better today.


quote:

ORIGINAL: orsonw

quote:

What is the advantage, if any?


A separate/isolated pickup for each string (there is no bone).
https://www.rmcpickup.com/




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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 27 2022 23:09:24
 
JasonM

Posts: 1783
Joined: Dec. 8 2005
From: Baltimore

RE: Al´s new Conde (in reply to Morante

I guess by “new” he means a signature model where he gets a cut of sales? Because Conde has been selling this model for a while now except I think they just called it the Al Edition or something.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 27 2022 23:47:45
 
Ricardo

Posts: 13292
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Al´s new Conde (in reply to JasonM

quote:

ORIGINAL: JasonM

I guess by “new” he means a signature model where he gets a cut of sales? Because Conde has been selling this model for a while now except I think they just called it the Al Edition or something.


It’s “new” as in just built recently. The guitars he had been using are modified Gravinas by the looks, early 1980’s guitars. Far as I can tell, yes they marketed a model before but this is the first time I have seen him use one.

I guess as far as “why” and quack and pick etc etc… the need for live sound reinforcement issues coupled with flamenco guitars might deserve its own topic. Otherwise the guitar in question here is simply one of many solutions to a big problem. Nobody remembers Vicente Amigo feedback and subsequent quackers I guess???

As far as pick on a Conde, Al always was a rare one the had a great pick tone on nylon IMO:



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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 28 2022 12:04:03
 
JasonM

Posts: 1783
Joined: Dec. 8 2005
From: Baltimore

RE: Al´s new Conde (in reply to Ricardo

quote:

It’s “new” as in just built recently. The guitars he had been using are modified Gravinas by the looks, early 1980’s guitars. Far as I can tell, yes they marketed a model before but this is the first time I have seen him use one


Ohh ok! Thought he was playing Felipe all this time. Thanks Ricardo.


Personally I like Al’s sound. He’s not trying to sound like Paco, although I’m sure he wouldn’t mind it lol!
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 28 2022 14:22:58
 
Mark2

Posts: 1692
Joined: Jul. 12 2004
From: San Francisco

RE: Al´s new Conde (in reply to Ricardo

Ther first time I saw VA there were a few times that horrible feedback happened. I thought the sound guy should have been axed-it was really bad for a concert at that level. But, VA had an amazing tone. A McLish pickup couldn't deliver that tone in a million years.

I agree that Al doesn't sound that bad here, considering the pickup.



quote:

ORIGINAL: Ricardo

quote:

ORIGINAL: JasonM

I guess by “new” he means a signature model where he gets a cut of sales? Because Conde has been selling this model for a while now except I think they just called it the Al Edition or something.


It’s “new” as in just built recently. The guitars he had been using are modified Gravinas by the looks, early 1980’s guitars. Far as I can tell, yes they marketed a model before but this is the first time I have seen him use one.

I guess as far as “why” and quack and pick etc etc… the need for live sound reinforcement issues coupled with flamenco guitars might deserve its own topic. Otherwise the guitar in question here is simply one of many solutions to a big problem. Nobody remembers Vicente Amigo feedback and subsequent quackers I guess???

As far as pick on a Conde, Al always was a rare one the had a great pick tone on nylon IMO:


  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 28 2022 17:06:23
 
Erik van Goch

 

Posts: 1787
Joined: Jul. 17 2012
From: Netherlands

RE: Al´s new Conde (in reply to Ricardo

quote:

ORIGINAL:
It’s “new” as in just built recently. The guitars he had been using are modified Gravinas by the looks, early 1980’s guitars. Far as I can tell, yes they marketed a model before but this is the first time I have seen him use one.


In what sence does this modle differ from the 1982 Conde Cutaway standing left of him, aside from the selected woods?

And what's the added value of a guitars acoustic qualities if it's used for midi sound effects? Will it translate 1:1 in a better/richer midi sound or will a smaller or bigger part of its acoustic qualities get lost in translation? Al himself seems to notice a huge difference with his other (Conde) guitars. Are the same qualities that make a good acoustic also valid for midi or is it possible that certain things don't add to the acoustic sound but do add to a richer midi sound?



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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 28 2022 19:53:21
 
JasonM

Posts: 1783
Joined: Dec. 8 2005
From: Baltimore

RE: Al´s new Conde (in reply to Mark2

VA cranks his mic so hot that it’ll pick up a baby fart in the back row
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 29 2022 15:33:57
 
Mark2

Posts: 1692
Joined: Jul. 12 2004
From: San Francisco

RE: Al´s new Conde (in reply to JasonM

HAHA, true! I've seen him three times-he only had a feedback issue the first time, but that was in the bigger hall. The guy is an amazing player!


quote:

ORIGINAL: JasonM

VA cranks his mic so hot that it’ll pick up a baby fart in the back row
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 29 2022 16:08:24
 
Ricardo

Posts: 13292
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Al´s new Conde (in reply to Erik van Goch

quote:

In what sence does this modle differ from the 1982 Conde Cutaway standing left of him, aside from the selected woods?


That is like asking why do I have a Sobrinos 73, AND a Conde 1997. What are you, like my wife???

AS you can see, even live in the photo there, Al wants to blend the acoustic sound and the midi. Studio is no different. Everybody hates the quack until you realize in live situations the engineer has to reduce and EQ the mic until the guitar is anemic (reduced bass increase treble, notch low middle A freq etc,) in order to kill bleed and feedback. The guitar is a quiet instrument so increase the “fake” or direct sound is the best option in every case. In the studio, the idea is the total opposite. In a quiet environment you want the acoustic sweetness but you can put the mic far away for that. Al would still want to blend his effects as needed into a different channel of course.

Not sure what the hard part of the entire concept is to digest. Ideal flamenco is your guitar acoustic in a cave with a cantaor and single Bailaora. Add one noisy Palmero and its F’d. Good luck making your dreams come true guys.

Vicente feedback every show I ever saw and always when he moves in his chair 3 centimeters.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 29 2022 16:08:49
 
Morante

 

Posts: 1898
Joined: Nov. 21 2010
 

RE: Al´s new Conde (in reply to Ricardo

This is my experience. When I played live with my Gerundino, the best sound was to use a PA voice system and roll of ALL the bass..

When we were recording in a studio, we made a test with Gerundino, Reyes y Conde: the Conde won hands down to record. There is a reason why many professionals choose Conde.

Playing live without a mic and playing in a stadium or a recording studio are different worlds
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 29 2022 16:15:57
 
Ricardo

Posts: 13292
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Al´s new Conde (in reply to Morante

quote:

There is a reason why many professionals choose Conde.


Dry and midrangy…no color or overtones that get exaggerated with close miking. You can almost keep it flat, but a little bass roll off and you are gold. In the old days they put the hot mics several kilometers away, the bootlegs sound perfect:




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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 29 2022 16:17:57
 
Echi

 

Posts: 972
Joined: Jan. 11 2013
 

RE: Al´s new Conde (in reply to Morante

@ the difference between the new Al's guitar and the old Gravina 82.

This is the picture of the current Al's guitar, taken from the public Felipe's Instagram page. I don't think there is any infringement in posting the picture here as it has been made public by Felipe himself: if I am wrong it can be removed.

Basically the bracing is very similar to the standard bracing used by the Conde Hetmanos shop of calle Felipe V in the '90. The patch under the bridge used to be used just for the classical models. It's half way between classical and flamenco.

The guitars made in the Gravina shop in the eighties have a kind of fan bracings (struts are not parallel and no under bridge patch) instead.
Top used to be thinner also.
Cypress guitars are usually brighter as everybody knows.



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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 29 2022 17:36:14
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