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Flamenco negra vs. classical negra?   You are logged in as Guest
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Trev

Posts: 47
Joined: Aug. 25 2005
 

Flamenco negra vs. classical negra? 

Question. Besides the lower action on a flamenco guitar are there really any differences between a classical vs. flamenco negra? Are flamencos lighter in weight? Are they built to suit different amounts of sustain?
I ask because if they are the same why not find a great classical guitar and lower the action? You'd have more of a selection to choose from.

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el_palido
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 26 2008 15:51:07
 
Pgh_flamenco

 

Posts: 1412
Joined: Dec. 5 2007
From: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

RE: Flamenco negra vs. classical negra? (in reply to Trev

A flamenco guitar can be a light build--some are heavy. From what I've read the first negras were classical guitars. I have a classical that sounds a lot like a flamenco guitar depending on how I play it. Some flamenco guitars have little sustain and some have metallic basses--the fan pattern is different than on a classical.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 26 2008 16:20:54
 
Armando

Posts: 302
Joined: May 27 2005
From: Zürich, Switzerland

RE: Flamenco negra vs. classical negra? (in reply to Trev

Hi Trev

In fact the difference of a flamenco negra to a classical negra is less than between a flamenca blanca and a classical negra.

The main differencies mostly appear on the thickness of the soundboard, sides and back, the headstock angle, the neck angle, the soundboard bracing and last but not least the tap plate.

It is sometimes true, that there is not much difference soundwise between the two kinds of negras. However it is not so easy to change the string action from a classical negra to a flamenco negra because as already mentioned there is a higher neck angle on the classical, which is hardly adjustable and there is a higher bridge, which must be replaced.

This things, if not prefessionally done, might spoil your guitar, so i recommend to better think twice before you go for it.

Armando

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 26 2008 22:25:39
 
Anders Eliasson

Posts: 5780
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RE: Flamenco negra vs. classical negra? (in reply to Trev

quote:

The main differencies mostly appear on the thickness of the soundboard, sides and back, the headstock angle, the neck angle, the soundboard bracing and last but not least the tap plate.


You are forgetting one of the most important parts. The bridge. The flamenco bridge is lighter and thinner.
Besides... Classicals are not specially thinner. Look at Romanillos 1973 guitar 1,9 - 2,1mm for the soundboard and the back. Thats very thin. Laminated tops are 1 - 1,5mm and Smallman lattice the same., which is thinner than any flamenco I´ve seen.

In my opinion, you can build rosewood guitars from the heavyest sustaining thing to the fastets and dryest. Its all a matter of balance. I personally think that building very dry sounding negras is not a good idea. It goes against the rosewood character and it would be a nicer dry sounding guitar if it was made with cypress back and sides.
Negras should be balanced so that the rosewood starts to work and IMHO it means a tad more sustain than a dry sounding blanca. The same goes the other way round. You can build very nice cypress classicals, but if you ant a heavy sustaining guitar with a deep sound, better to use rosewood.

Trev,
I dont think you´ll find a lot of classicals worth the conversio. Most will have the bridge setup way to high.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 26 2008 23:42:57
 
Armando

Posts: 302
Joined: May 27 2005
From: Zürich, Switzerland

RE: Flamenco negra vs. classical negra? (in reply to Trev

quote:

You are forgetting one of the most important parts.


No, i didn't forgot about the bridge. I have mentioned the higher bridge which must be replaced.

regards

Armando

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 27 2008 0:52:41
 
Armando

Posts: 302
Joined: May 27 2005
From: Zürich, Switzerland

RE: Flamenco negra vs. classical negra? (in reply to Trev

quote:

In my opinion, you can build rosewood guitars from the heavyest sustaining thing to the fastets and dryest.


Anders

How do you influence dryness or sustain in the flamenco guitar?
If the wood isn't, nor the thickness of soundboard, back and sides, what else is it?

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 27 2008 6:32:38
 
Anders Eliasson

Posts: 5780
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RE: Flamenco negra vs. classical negra? (in reply to Trev

quote:

No, i didn't forgot about the bridge. I have mentioned the higher bridge which must be replaced.


Sorry, I misread your post.

With respect of dryness or sustain, there are so many factors that all work together, that I dont know where to start, but wood, thickness, mass an bracing system are all part of it. And as far as I know, there are no golden rule.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 27 2008 8:42:10
 
RobJe

 

Posts: 728
Joined: Dec. 16 2006
From: UK

RE: Flamenco negra vs. classical negra? (in reply to Trev

In my experience it is not just rosewood classical guitars that are unsuitable for flamenco but a lot of so-called negras - even expensive ones. Is it more difficult to make an acceptable negra than a blanca?
The flamenco negra is a comparatively new phenomenon. Charles Vega writing in Acoustic guitar suggests that the first one might have been built in 1959 by Arcangel Fernandez.
http://www.acousticguitar.com/article/default.aspx?articleid=7328&page=2

The first evidence of a professional flamenco guitarist playing a rosewood guitar that I have found is in the 1960 tour made by the famous Zambra club of Madrid led by Perico el del Lunar who was the sole guitarist on the old Hispavox Anthology de Cante Flamenco. It was his son who had a minor part in the show (who used the same name after his father died in 1964) who was playing the guitar. I have not idea if it was a classical guitar or flamenco. Certainly later views on You Tube show that he didn’t stick with rosewood.

Looking at advertisements for second-hand guitars and archived sales results suggests that negras were only made in any quantity from the 1970s onwards. Perhaps without the example of Paco de Lucia nobody would have bothered! Certainly Paco doesn’t seem to be permanently hooked on rosewood judging by some of the guitars he has been seen playing in recent years.
Rob
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 27 2008 11:42:38
 
alaskaal

 

Posts: 50
Joined: Jan. 10 2005
From: Chugiak, Alaska

RE: Flamenco negra vs. classical negra? (in reply to Trev

Not only is the bridge thinner on my negra, but the body is thinner as well. My blanca also. My classicals seem muddier when playing a rasguado, where the negra does not. They seem to have more sustain, but the negra has sustain as well, just not as loud to my ears.

I prefer the negra to any classical guitar that I have played. It is a DeVoe and Lester has a reputation for building negras with the flamenco quality about them. My opinion is that he is able to make it work. I do not think that I could take a classical and turn it into a flamenco. Some classicals, though are very close to begin with, especially some with spruce tops. I have a nice spruce top classical that fits the bill and it has rosewood back and sides. It still is not as nice as the negra or blanca, more of a change-of-pace guitar.

Al

Al
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 27 2008 12:19:59
 
Anders Eliasson

Posts: 5780
Joined: Oct. 18 2006
 

RE: Flamenco negra vs. classical negra? (in reply to Trev

Some of the smaller classical based on Torres or Hauser patterns are pretty close to a decent Negra sound.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 28 2008 0:43:03
 
Tom Blackshear

 

Posts: 2304
Joined: Apr. 15 2008
 

RE: Flamenco negra vs. classical negra? (in reply to RobJe

quote:

The flamenco negra is a comparatively new phenomenon. Charles Vega writing in Acoustic guitar suggests that the first one might have been built in 1959 by Arcangel Fernandez.
http://www.acousticguitar.com/article/default.aspx?articleid=7328&page=2

quote:

ORIGINAL: RobJe

In my experience it is not just rosewood classical guitars that are unsuitable for flamenco but a lot of so-called negras - even expensive ones. Is it more difficult to make an acceptable negra than a blanca?
The flamenco negra is a comparatively new phenomenon. Charles Vega writing in Acoustic guitar suggests that the first one might have been built in 1959 by Arcangel Fernandez.
http://www.acousticguitar.com/article/default.aspx?articleid=7328&page=2

The first evidence of a professional flamenco guitarist playing a rosewood guitar that I have found is in the 1960 tour made by the famous Zambra club of Madrid led by Perico el del Lunar who was the sole guitarist on the old Hispavox Anthology de Cante Flamenco. It was his son who had a minor part in the show (who used the same name after his father died in 1964) who was playing the guitar. I have not idea if it was a classical guitar or flamenco. Certainly later views on You Tube show that he didn’t stick with rosewood.

Looking at advertisements for second-hand guitars and archived sales results suggests that negras were only made in any quantity from the 1970s onwards. Perhaps without the example of Paco de Lucia nobody would have bothered! Certainly Paco doesn’t seem to be permanently hooked on rosewood judging by some of the guitars he has been seen playing in recent years.
Rob


RE Brune has the 59 Fernandez negra guitar in his collection which was sold to him by Elario Lozano who was the original owner of the guitar. Elario still has the 48 Barbero flamenco that Sabicas gave to him while he was in San Antonio Texas with Carmen Amaya for a few days, doing a show. This was in the mid 50's.

I prefer that flamenco and classical be separated by traditional woods but there is certainly a new tradition in using rosewood for the flamenco guitar.

When I build, there is, by every means, a difference in sound as I tweak certain areas in the guitar to not only sound differently but to articulate differently.

In other words I build a classical as a classical and a flamenco to do its thing. But I will build a flamenco negra if a player orders one. Otherwise, I always build flamenco Blancas with classical tuning machines. It's generally too hard a sale to use pegs unless they are special ordered.

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Tom Blackshear Guitar maker
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 28 2008 7:20:03
 
Ricardo

Posts: 13285
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Flamenco negra vs. classical negra? (in reply to Trev

I have not yet played a true classical guitar with a flamenco style bridge. I say the most important factor of difference is the bridge set up. It is not so simple as to lower the bone, it has to be designed that way from the get go. I think if you could reset up the bridge of a classical, it COULD be used for flamenco just fine. Unfortunately, it is usually not worth it to do something like that. Manolo Sanlucar has a ramirez that looks to me like a normal classical guitar, but with a flamenco bridge somehow, and sounds very flamenco in the end.

Ricardo

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 28 2008 8:48:35
 
TANúñez

Posts: 2547
Joined: Jul. 10 2003
From: TEXAS

RE: Flamenco negra vs. classical negra? (in reply to Ricardo

quote:

Manolo Sanlucar has a ramirez that looks to me like a normal classical guitar, but with a flamenco bridge somehow, and sounds very flamenco in the end.


Ricardo, your exactly right. Amalia Ramirez told me that a guitar like his is to be ordered "flamencada".

His guitar is the Ramirez 1a tradicional model(classical guitar) cedar top, fitted with their flamenco bridge. Serranito also plays this same guitar.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 28 2008 9:27:21
 
RobJe

 

Posts: 728
Joined: Dec. 16 2006
From: UK

RE: Flamenco negra vs. classical negra? (in reply to Tom Blackshear

quote:

RE Brune has the 59 Fernandez negra guitar in his collection which was sold to him by Elario Lozano who was the original owner of the guitar. Elario still has the 48 Barbero flamenco that Sabicas gave to him while he was in San Antonio Texas with Carmen Amaya for a few days, doing a show. This was in the mid 50's.


Thanks for filling me in with some extra information Tom.

Different luthiers manage to get such a variety of distinctive sounds out of cypress that I am happy to stick with this wood. Anyway I am hooked on the smell!

Rob
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 28 2008 10:44:27
 
Tom Blackshear

 

Posts: 2304
Joined: Apr. 15 2008
 

RE: Flamenco negra vs. classical negra? (in reply to RobJe

quote:

ORIGINAL: RobJe

quote:

RE Brune has the 59 Fernandez negra guitar in his collection which was sold to him by Elario Lozano who was the original owner of the guitar. Elario still has the 48 Barbero flamenco that Sabicas gave to him while he was in San Antonio Texas with Carmen Amaya for a few days, doing a show. This was in the mid 50's.


Thanks for filling me in with some extra information Tom.

Different luthiers manage to get such a variety of distinctive sounds out of cypress that I am happy to stick with this wood. Anyway I am hooked on the smell!

Rob


Every guitar that is made has different aspects to its sound, especially with the more modern school of building, but when it comes to rosewood vs. cypress, I enjoy the sound of cypress better. I think many guitarists like it over the rosewood variety but many guitarists are strapped with the burden of needing a more concert sounding instrument when they perform.

I think this is being addressed with the cypress guitars to some degree, by slight design changes and building with a little deeper box. I think it's appropriate to consider this way of building as it has much to do with providing a suitable sounding instrument for the concert performer, and lends a certain traditional aspect to the performance.

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Tom Blackshear Guitar maker
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 28 2008 15:04:10
 
Trev

Posts: 47
Joined: Aug. 25 2005
 

RE: Flamenco negra vs. classical negra? (in reply to Trev

Thanks for all the insight guys.
I was curious because I have an estudio model Conde classical that I actually like for flamenco. I just shaved the bone down a bit but did reach a limit due to the higher bridge. As far as sound goes, I actually like guitars that have loads of sustain. Just as I like some with none. My preference tends toward having more sustain because you can always mute the strings but you can't add sustain . I know many prefer the cypess sound. I can't really draw a line in the sand and say I prefer this type or that type. I freely cheat on both my blanca and my negra. lol!
Now a related question. Can a negra be made as light in weight as blanca, all things being equal?

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el_palido
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 28 2008 17:12:00
 
Anders Eliasson

Posts: 5780
Joined: Oct. 18 2006
 

RE: Flamenco negra vs. classical negra? (in reply to Trev

quote:

Can a negra be made as light in weight as blanca, all things being equal?


No, Rosewood is a lot heavyer, so it would have to be very thin (to thin)

I´ve made a couple of classicals with flamenco bridges. I even made one based on the Romanillos bracing pattern with open harmonic bars. They sound very well, the Romanillos is very good with beautifull and strong trebles, but they are a bit difficult to control when pushing them hard because of the sustain. Also, building with a big classical box is not a good idea for something you want to use as a flamenco. They rumble to much.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 29 2008 0:47:41
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