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looking for a good classical guitar...

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Jeff2287, Feb 5, 2003.

  1. Jeff2287


    May 4, 2002
    Hello. I've taken a bit of interest in classical guitars and I'm thinking of getting one. I'm looking for something big with a wide neck at a ridiculously low price. ANy suggestions?
  2. Jeff2287


    May 4, 2002
    Any pariticular model number that matches the mentioned criteria? (wide neck)
  3. All classical guitars have a wider neck than folk acoustic or rock electric guitars.

    I can't think of any brand or model that might be wider. The standard neck size is just that...standard and is replicated across most brands and models.

    Yamaha does indeed make a fine cheap classical. I have a Garcia which I like a lot. Its a step up from a Yamaha, but not in the Hernandez class. A model from the 70's will run around $150 or so depending on the case. Brand new they were double that.

    Whatever guitar you buy let me make these suggestions...beside the obvious stuff like making sure the neck is straight, the MOST IMPORTANT thing to look for in ANY acoustic guitar is the soundbaord.

    The soundboard should be made of bookmatched spruce. The tighter the grain the better. Also, if you can find tight grain with the little while lines in the wood at a 90 degree angle from the grain - you have a winner.

    I have three acoustic instruments that exhibit that pattern - a Martin D16, a lute, and an Olympia OCB3E acoustic bass. All three are exceptional instruments with a solid range of overtones and I would never part with any of them.

    I am not sure that you will find that in a cheap Yamaha, but that company has always surprised me when it comes to their guitars - I have heard some exceptional ones.
  4. rustyshakelford


    Jul 9, 2002
    Hello, Jeff.

    I play a La Patrie Concert, which is made by the same company that makes Seagull in Canada.

    These guitars have a truss rod, and as such, the necks are less wide. So if you have huge hands, this may not be the way to go.

    I am curious why you want a huge neck. I play both 4 and 6 string bass. I found there was an initial real estate problem, but it was soon no longer an issue. Indeed, when I play imported classical guitars, I find the necks wide. I am ambivalent about this. I can see how it is both an advantage and a hinderance.

    One of the benefits of the La Patrie, besides the tone, is the neck finish. Many of the imported guitars have heavily lacquered necks - so much so that it is like playing a piece of laminate.

    The Yamaha's are nice. Three items of caution:

    1. There are several good brands from Spain that are affordable but not routinely carried in chains, like Alhambra, Ramirez, etc., . It would be good to shop around a bit.

    2. The difference between a $200 and $500 guitar is often significant.

    3. Classical guitars can be hit-or-miss. I don't know why, but often particular expensive models can be duds, and mid-price models can be fantastic. Perhaps mail-order in this case should be eschewed.

    One of my favorite CG's is Fareed Haque:

    Here are some links on buying a guitar:

    Good luck.

  5. Yes, I agree with Rusty completely...if you can, stay away from ebay or mail order houses.

    You really have to hear a classical before you can buy one. I too have noticed the trend of some expensive ones being duds and some cheap ones being great. Often I have chalked this up to apprentice makers and the wood they were give to use on that particular day...since I can't find any other reason for this trend.
  6. I also recommend the La Patrie - as with all Godin products, you get extraordinary tone and workmanship for the money. The materials and workmanship are head and shoulders above virtually every other maker in that price range. For less than $400 you can get a solid top guitar that stacks up to other instruments that cost over $1000.
  7. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    Yet another vote for La Patrie.

    I own a Seagull steel string, and am extremely happy. I've considered a La Patrie several times, but as little as I play guitar, it'd be a frivolous waste of money.
  8. Jeff2287


    May 4, 2002
    Well, for one thing, I have big hands and some guitars I've played (electric and steel-string acoustic) have felt far too narrow. My friend has a classical guitar that has an extremely wide neck by comparison (too big for his hands) that just feels right to me.

    Then again I am aware that, for all I know, that neck could be standard sized seeing as how I lack experience in this particular field. Just about how wide is the standard neck (in inches please)? I'd like to know to make my search a tad easier.

    Thanx, y'all ;-D
  9. rustyshakelford


    Jul 9, 2002
    Yes, I too have problems playing steel string guitars.

    And in comparison the LaPatrie is much closer to a classical than a steel string.

    So, I wouldn't rule out a LaPatrie, but it is narrower, in which case perhaps a Yamaha, Alhambra, Ramirez, etc.,.