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  1. #1

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    I play both jazz and bossa nova. These days I rarely play my ES335 since I'd rather play my classical. I have a Cordoba GK Studio, which I am getting more and more frustrated with. I will be going to both Tokyo and Osaka in the spring and am thinking about buying a decent Japanese classical guitar. BTW, I am in NYC so there might be some good vendors right here? But how do I tell a good one? On an electric I can tell.
    "if only the best singing bird was allowed to sing in the forest, think how silent the woods would be"?

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  3. #2

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    Hi Richb2,
    I'm looking to upgrade to a nice classical guitar too so I'll be following the replies you get.

    Are you aware of the delcamp classical forum? Classical Guitar - Index page

    This might be a good place to do some research.

    Chris

  4. #3

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    Just like any other gear purchase, "good" can mean a lot of things. Similar to archtops, "good" classicals can run from $500 to $20,000, so I'd be interested in your budget, too.

    There are plenty of world-class American builders; are you expecting the Japanese models to be extremely inexpensive or something (i.e., are Kohno guitars that much cheaper in Japan? i don't know, so it's a serious question)?

    Marc

  5. #4
    I really can't spend more than $3000. That is really my financial limit.
    "if only the best singing bird was allowed to sing in the forest, think how silent the woods would be"?

  6. #5

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    Man if I buy another nylon string for gig purposes I'd probably get a Godin.

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by richb2 View Post
    I really can't spend more than $3000. That is really my financial limit.
    That's a nice budget.

    Check out: Hippner Guitars

    Brune always has nice used guitars for sale: R. E. Bruné, Luthier

    It's the other side of the country, but Guitar Solo will give you an idea of what's out there: https://www.gspguitar.com/jsp2/listP...ssical_guitars

  8. #7
    Marc, I see the prices. But what am I looking for? Tone? Highs? Lows? Both? Playability? No overtones? It is too much money to not know what I am doing.
    "if only the best singing bird was allowed to sing in the forest, think how silent the woods would be"?

  9. #8
    I took a look at the DelCamp web page above. There was a discussion where someone mentioned that they like the Pavan. I took a look at their location in the finger lakes of NY and I will be there by coincidence the week of July 4th. So I am going to try to stop by and look at some guitars. I would consider something like this:

    PAVAN TP-20-CE (CUTAWAY ELECTRIC)

    PRICE $1675
    The Pavan TP-20-CE electric classical cutaway guitars have onboard controls using the Fishman PreFix Pro Acoustic Guitar System which has notch filter, volume control, bass and treble controls, middle and brilliance control plus a phase switch. The Fishman PreFix Pro is a very convenient electric classical guitar system for on stage use.

    I am just wondering if it will do the trick?



    "if only the best singing bird was allowed to sing in the forest, think how silent the woods would be"?

  10. #9

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    Rich, don't look to us for your choices in sound and playability; trust yourself. You must have a sound in mind for bossa-nova or soft, nylon-string jazz. I've played mostly nylon for 50 years, all kinds of music and gigs, from classical to flamenco to Brazilian, etc. Currently I work with African groups and different singers, playing a huge variety of styles, and I use mostly a Godin 7-string nylon Multiac. Because of the very good RMC pickup system, i find that with a good processor i can play effective rock and blues on it, and with a Roland guitar synth, I can sound like an orchestra, or get a Strat, tele or L5 sound from it. The best thing about it is that the built-in EQ system will go from round, lush bossa sound to bright, sharp flamenco sound with a little moving of the sliders. For $1500, the Multiac (6 or 7 strings) is a very good buy: easy to play, well-made, very stable and rugged.

    Having said that, the Pavan series are also excellent buys, but you may find feedback issues at more than moderate volumes.

  11. #10

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    $3000 is a good budget but it is easy to blow it on nylon boxes that don't have much resale value. I see that you are not into classical guitar for its own sake and the cork-sniffery that is rife in that world.

    Lots of great makers in the USA. First off, the pure classical guitar makers who don't break the bank: Richard Reynoso of California, Richard Prenkert of Northern California, German Vazquez Rubio of Southern California. Classical guitar dealer in NY: Richard Sayage of Savage Classical Guitars. Mikhail Robert of Robert Guitars, Canada. Jeff Sigurdson Guitars, Canada.

    If you go to 12th Fret in Toronto, you can find used Sergei De Jonge guitars at a good Canadian price. Or look for his daughter's, Joshia De Jonge, guitars.

    Kenny Hill has a series of guitars made in China which are worth checking out.

    Paul McGill made crossover nylon guitars for Earl Klugh. I am not impressed with Darren Hippner so caveat emptor.

    I must not leave out Aaron Green, Alan Carruth, Peter Oberg, Peter Tsiorba, Michael Thames, David Schramm. All good American makers worth checking out.

    https://www.savageclassical.com
    Last edited by Jabberwocky; 06-19-2016 at 02:52 AM.

  12. #11

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    If it is for jazz and bossa nova, I'd consider ronjazz's recommendation of a Godin Nylon Multiac seriously. Jazz guys are looking for nylon flavour and slim nut widths. Soupçon of tonal colour really isn't at the top of the list. I admit that I have cloth ears.
    Last edited by Jabberwocky; 06-19-2016 at 03:29 AM.

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by richb2 View Post
    ...I have a Cordoba GK Studio, which I am getting more and more frustrated with...
    Can you give more info as to why?

  14. #13
    Thanks Destiny. I always appreciated your playing. I am just looking for something that sounds OK. I am not looking to blow big bucks. I told you that I take lessons from Lubamba sometimes and he has played my Cordoba and says that it works fine. But it is hard to tell from Romero what he really thinks. He probably thinks that the Cordoba is a good match for my skill level .

    I have another question for you while I have your attention. I know of two brazilian rythyms that I play bossa (for slower tunes) and Samba (for faster tunes). Are there any others that you know of and use?
    Last edited by richb2; 06-19-2016 at 12:06 PM.
    "if only the best singing bird was allowed to sing in the forest, think how silent the woods would be"?

  15. #14

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    Ron - just a question about your using your Godin with a Roland synth. First, which synth do you use, and second, do you have any problems with latency?

    I got a Roland GR-20 to use with my Godin LGX-SA, but I got kind of discouraged with the latency, especially with the bass notes and I could never get it to work properly with a USB interface to input notes in real time into Sibelius which had been my pipe dream.

    At this point I want to sell both the Godin and the Roland guitar synth and put the money towards an Eastman archtop and amplification. I got good enough at playing keyboards to use that for note input.

    I do agree with you on the issue of the Godin nylon string guitars. At the time I purchased the LGX, I was debating between that and the Grand Concert Godin SA. (Thought the LGX would be more versatile at the time for country gigs and the like - I rather regret not choosing the nylon string.)

    To stick with the topic and what is available with a budget of $3000, what about looking for Buscarino perhaps a used one?
    Last edited by targuit; 06-19-2016 at 12:42 PM.

  16. #15

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    I was born a rambling man.... an Alman Brothers lyric, I think.

    How is the weather in Spain these days, Mike?

  17. #16
    destinytot Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by targuit View Post
    I was born a rambling man.... an Alman Brothers lyric, I think.

    How is the weather in Spain these days, Mike?
    Getting pretty hot here, Jay!

  18. #17

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    richb2, you probably already know about Ochanomizu in Tokyo, yes?

    In case you don't, it's a cho or neighborhood in Tokyo where there are numerous guitar shops of all sorts, some world-class, some funky. Great place for a guitar player to spend a few hours window shopping!

    I don't know that you'll necessarily get a super great price on a Japanese classical. My wife is Japanese, and I've made 23 trips to the country. This is just anecdotal, but I did play a second-hand Kohno at Woodmans Guitar in Ochanomizu a few years ago that was much cheaper than I expected. About $1800, iirc. It was very well-played in, but still very charming. I still think about that one!

    Depending on your budget, Kohno/Sakurai guitars might be worth a look. I'm quite fond of them.

    But to the point about good American guitars, I do have a Kenny Hill palo escrito cutaway that was made offshore in Paracho, Mexico (before Kenny Hill moved his offshore operation to China). I like it a lot, and it was only about $800 on eBay! Sweet!

    Good luck and safe travels!

  19. #18

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    Last year I purchased a Cervantes nylon string crossover (around $2K). I like it a lot - no other way to get a really authentic Bossa sound, and great fun for chordal melody Jazz tunes in general. Took a little while to get used to, but it gets played often.

  20. #19
    Thanks Flat. No I didn't know about Ochanomizu. I have never actually been to Tokyo. I spent a year in Osaka and Kyoto about 30 years ago and this is my first time back. It is something I always said I would do but my wife never wanted to go. So I decided that it is "now or never" so I booked a fight into Tokyo for Cherry Blossom festival and plan on getting a japan rail pass. I plan to pretty much skip Kyoto and Osaka (and Kobe and Himeji) and Okinawa since I have been to those places many times (albiet not in a long time). My plan it to do Hiroshima, Tokyo, and then Sapporo, but mostly to hang out under the cherry blossoms. I will be going it alone since my wife doesn't want to go and my sister only wants to go on a guided tour (ie big $). I will definately check out Ochanomizu.
    "if only the best singing bird was allowed to sing in the forest, think how silent the woods would be"?

  21. #20

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    Hot in Spain? You must be kidding. I've always been taught that "the rain in Spain falls mainly in the plains." See the value of a good education?

    On the other hand, when it is hot, it does suggest that women will wear sparser clothing and thus for every negative there is a distinct positive. I love the summer....

  22. #21
    destinytot Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by targuit View Post
    Hot in Spain? You must be kidding. I've always been taught that "the rain in Spain falls mainly in the plains." See the value of a good education?

    On the other hand, when it is hot, it does suggest that women will wear sparser clothing and thus for every negative there is a distinct positive. I love the summer....

  23. #22

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    I have little issue with latency with the Godin, but I spent some time tweaking it in the Roland GR55, and I am still tweaking for balance and tone. I find that 3 or 4 sounds really tweaked to the max is all I need for what I'm trying to achieve, but I have another 3 or 4 that I use occasionally for commercial work. The Godin 7-string has the latest RMC system, which is nothing less than awesome. I am back on Federal Hill on Friday nights for the summer, and have added the synth, and we are having a ball.

    Finding a Buscarino for $3000 would be a miracle. I would highly recommend finding a really nice flamenco negra (rosewood sides and back) for $2000 and having an RMC system installed for another $750-1000. I have used the RMC system in about 6 different guitars now, and can find no fault with it, if installed well, whether you bother with a synth or not. The buyers from Fender were looking at the Guild factory in Westerly and stopped in to one of my gigs where I was playing a $700 flamenco guitar with an RMC system through a Bose L1 using a Zoom A2 processor, and all 6 of them were entirely freaked out at how good it sounded. Over the years, I have found that a classical guitar with a rich, resonant sound is very difficult to amplify, while an inexpensive flamenco guitar with a bright, snappy sound is much easier to control, especially with the RMC system.

  24. #23

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    I hope to see you this summer on Federal Hill, Ron!

    That is an interesting notion about the flamenco guitar and I agree about the issue of very resonant versus a sharper snappy sounding guitar in terms of amplification and also recording unless you are playing solo classical guitar.

    Gee, Mike - those shots of the beach resorts look gorgeous, but I was kind of hoping for the Brazilian style shots of impossibly beautiful women in postage stamp tangas strolling on the beach. They must all have gone to see you play!

  25. #24

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    I was told by one of Segovia's guitar builder's sons that the best were German.

  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by richb2 View Post
    I play both jazz and bossa nova. These days I rarely play my ES335 since I'd rather play my classical. I have a Cordoba GK Studio, which I am getting more and more frustrated with. I will be going to both Tokyo and Osaka in the spring and am thinking about buying a decent Japanese classical guitar. BTW, I am in NYC so there might be some good vendors right here? But how do I tell a good one? On an electric I can tell.
    Simple answer = listen to it.

  27. #26

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    I forgot to mention - someone suggested Hippner guitars. Last year, I attended a classical guitar recital where the guitarist played a couple of Hippner axes. They sounded great...

  28. #27

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  29. #28

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    Jabberwocky mentioned Luthier Michael Thames. I own a Thames Classical and it is the finest Classical that I have ever played.

    here is a link to his website:

    Michael Thames Guitars

    While his guitars new start at $7500, I have seen used examples sell as low as $3000. If you have 3K to spend and can get a Thames for that much, I do not think that you can do better.

    Best of luck in your search!
    _____________________________________________
    "When the chord changes, you should change" Joe Pass

  30. #29

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    Rich2B,

    I have no affiliation with or knowledge of these, but here's a couple from the Delcamp site that are in the NY area and within the price range you stated.

    - 1973 Manouk Papazian Spruce $2500
    - 2011 Antonio Aparicio Cedar $1000

    And not in your area, but a Cordoba Masters Series Rodriguez for $1500.

    Gook luck.
    Chris

  31. #30
    Thanks guys. How would the Antonio Aparicio compare with a Pavan? I was actually thinking of the Pavan TP-20 CE which is an electric with a cutaway. If I went with the Aparicio I would need to get a transducer installed in it, which would likely be cheaper than the Pavan. I just don't feel I have the knowledge about classical guitars to tell if the guitar is real. At least with the Pavan I'd be buying it from Prisloe who would be a trusted source (maybe?). I don't feel I need to buy a pristine guitar since I play so much that the guitar will surely get scratch up. How about the Cordoba Masters? I have a GK Studio which I really don't like. I am hoping that these two Cordobas are in two different classes. Bottom line is I am not buying this as an investment. I just want something that plays really well.

    PAVAN TP-20-CE (CUTAWAY ELECTRIC)

    PRICE $1675
    The Pavan TP-20-CE electric classical cutaway guitars have onboard controls using the Fishman PreFix Pro Acoustic Guitar System which has notch filter, volume control, bass and treble controls, middle and brilliance control plus a phase switch. The Fishman PreFix Pro is a very convenient electric classical guitar system for on stage use.

    • SOLID CEDAR TOP
    • SOLID EAST INDIAN ROSEWOOD SIDES AND BACK
    • EBONY FRETBOARD
    • 650MM STRING LENGTH
    • 50MM NUT
    • BONE NUT AND SADDLE
    • ON-BOARD ELECTRONICS
    • DOT AT 5, 7, 9TH FRETS


    LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS GUITARQUESTIONS OR PLACE AN ORDER




    Last edited by richb2; 06-21-2016 at 06:23 PM.
    "if only the best singing bird was allowed to sing in the forest, think how silent the woods would be"?

  32. #31

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    I'd go with Tom Prisloe's Pavan if you are going in blind. I'd consider the Pavan TP-20-AC and shop around for your own miked solution that can be moved from guitar to guitar. Not everybody likes the Fishman Prefix.

    I came across the Bartlett Guitar Mic - Bartlett Audio . Read on for Guitar Mic B.

  33. #32
    Jabber, my only problem with not having a a volume at my fingertip is that I have found that I often feedback (with my Cordoba) so i need a way to quickly turn off the feedback (since I don't have a sound guy . I also find the GK Studio (which is a flamenco guitar, BTW) feeds back a bunch. At this point I am ready to not use the internal acoustic mike on the GK at all.

    Does anyone have any positive or negative things to say about the tuning on a Pavan? I found on my GK Studio the tuning heads were not very accurate so I replaced the heads with Grovers. This was better but the overtones and general intonation is still killing me.
    "if only the best singing bird was allowed to sing in the forest, think how silent the woods would be"?

  34. #33
    I spoke to Pavan. Seems like they no longer make the guitar with the preamp built in. Now I am wondering if I should instead consider getting a non electric Pavan, and have a Richard Barbera Transducer put in that was highly recommended by a pro I know. The transducer is $300. I have no idea what installation would cost?
    "if only the best singing bird was allowed to sing in the forest, think how silent the woods would be"?

  35. #34

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    Go for it. The Barbera Soloist Transducer is nice. There is also the RMC system.

    The other one you should scope out is the Paul McGill GT system. Paul charges $400 for it plus installation, I think. But that may be on his own guitars. I don't know if he sells it aftermarket but no harm asking. The Paul McGill GT system is made up of Graphtech saddles and his own McGill preamp. The preamp is installed in the rim of the guitar with slots for volume and EQ sliders.

    As an interim solution, the Kremona NG-1 is nice and cheap ($69). It is fragile but can be made to work with some ingenuity.

    Consider contact microphones too like the Schertler Dyn G https://secure.schertler.com/en_IT/s...kups/dyn-g-p48
    or AKG 411. http://www.akg.com/pro/p/c411group
    Last edited by Jabberwocky; 06-24-2016 at 09:13 AM.

  36. #35
    Well Rich Barbera turned me on to Allen Watsky who installs Barbera pickups and is located fairly close to me. He wants $500 to supply and install a Barbera with a volume control. So the guitar is about $1400+$99 and the pickup is about $500 which makes $2000. I am hoping this will do the trick. I am really picky when it comes to tuning! It is a lot of money but this will replace the Cordoba which I hope to sell for $400.
    "if only the best singing bird was allowed to sing in the forest, think how silent the woods would be"?

  37. #36

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  38. #37
    Any feedback (no pun intended) on the L.R. BAGGS ELEMENT GUITAR PICKUP?

    This is the one that Pavan installs.
    "if only the best singing bird was allowed to sing in the forest, think how silent the woods would be"?

  39. #38
    destinytot Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by richb2 View Post
    Any feedback (no pun intended) on the L.R. BAGGS ELEMENT GUITAR PICKUP?


    This is the one that Pavan installs.
    I think it's very good - it's what I have in the video in post #12.

  40. #39

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    I'll take that John Knowles Signature Kirk Sands model classical! Sounds beautiful to me.

    That is also a beautiful arrangement of The Nearness of You.

  41. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by richb2 View Post
    Any feedback (no pun intended) on the L.R. BAGGS ELEMENT GUITAR PICKUP?

    This is the one that Pavan installs.
    The Barbera Soloist didn't work out? Just asking.

  42. #41
    Well, the Barbera will cost an additional $500 and will need to be installed by a third party. The LR Baggs can be installed by Pavan themselves and cost about $200 installed. $500 vs $200. Since I am at the point where I will need to make a choice, I don't want to make the wrong one. I have been told that the Barbera soloist is great. I know nothing about the LR Baggs.

    I am mostly concerned about cutting through the band and volume. I can never seems to be heard over the drums. If I turn up my cordoba I usually feed back. I know that Romero plays in huge halls with his soloist and doesn't seem to have the feedback problem. I just don't want to make a fatal mistake.
    Last edited by richb2; 06-27-2016 at 09:35 AM.
    "if only the best singing bird was allowed to sing in the forest, think how silent the woods would be"?

  43. #42

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    Late to the party here, but anybody else thing what makes a good classical guitar and what makes a good nylon string for jazz playing are very different things?

    I'm completely satisfied with my Godin Grand Concert. And it's pretty much standard classical neck dimensions, and it has the best "avoustic" pickup system I've ever used.

    This particular model also has a decent amount of unplugged volume for practice.
    Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz

    "Jazz is like life...it goes on longer than you think, and as soon as you're like 'oh, I get it,' it ends."

    --The Ghost of Duke Ellington

  44. #43

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    Although it may not be a popular choice I really like my Martin 000C. 48mm nut width if that is a factor.

  45. #44
    The Pavan T-20 has a 50mm nut so it is thinner than a regular classical which is at least a 52, I think?
    "if only the best singing bird was allowed to sing in the forest, think how silent the woods would be"?

  46. #45
    Sounds good but I know that you have a very high end pre-amp/amp combo so I might not get the same exact sound.
    "if only the best singing bird was allowed to sing in the forest, think how silent the woods would be"?

  47. #46
    well, I think I am going to go with the LR Baggs being installed by Pavan. Seems logical.
    "if only the best singing bird was allowed to sing in the forest, think how silent the woods would be"?

  48. #47
    Thanks. Now if I could just play like you do!
    "if only the best singing bird was allowed to sing in the forest, think how silent the woods would be"?

  49. #48

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    I was told by one of Segovia's guitar builder's sons that the best were German.
    German guitars are usually biult in a bit different way than traditional Spanish - the feel is different... (I mean the type of classical guitar called German, not the place of production)

  50. #49

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    I really can't spend more than $3000. That is really my financial limit.
    Classical guitars are not violins... the most expesive one I saw was about EUR 20000 and it was owned by world class concert guitarist and made of some special magic woods that awere collected by virgins on the full moon night in Amazonia...

    For classicals... with usd 3000 is big money...
    I would go for completely hand-made instrument by luthier - but I would not order - but rather to try to find a ready one...


    I had to choose classical guitars many times from various price levels... I always rely only on actual my feel with actual instrument I can try...

    I saw many usd 600-700 classical guitars (even mayve usd 300) that were no worse than usd 1500 guitar...

  51. #50

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