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View Full Version : More Bang For Your Buck With Nylon String Guitars?



luvdat
04-14-2011, 11:45 PM
This is a question that pops into my mind every so often. Are classical guitars at lower price points essentially "better" or better values than steel-stringed guitars at corresponding price points?

Yeah I know, apples and oranges? And if you're not looking for a classical in the first place...and of course...the whole classical music thing which might culminate in a handmade $5000 guitar....but if you're just looking for a guitar for pop, Latin jazz, ballads and even country or blues with vocals (I've listened to some great blues on nylon guitars)...

Skitzic
04-15-2011, 07:54 AM
I don't think so. You can have the same problem with classical guitars as you can with their steel counterparts. You just need to know what you're looking for.

luvdat
04-18-2011, 01:47 AM
I don't think so. You can have the same problem with classical guitars as you can with their steel counterparts. You just need to know what you're looking for.

Have come to conclude you may be basically right, especially when a place like Guitar Center seems to have this penchant for NOT including Yamahas or Tak nylons in its nylon line up (though they carry their steel strings) in favor of Spanish sounding named guitars Cordoba and Rodriguez which at lower prices points...sorry but the QC in these guitars can be really hit or miss. Yeah I've played some great sounding Cordoba's here and there...

To be direct, I think my price/value ratio obsession is primarily about Yamaha, Takamine, and some Arias I've played.

The other thought that goes through my mind: yes, Guitar Center recycles returns, lets customers beat the heck out of some of their stuff...and doesn't have much problem with putting up acoustics that are almost factory seconds?

In short you gotta know what you're looking for...and where.

Skitzic
04-18-2011, 05:06 AM
Have come to conclude you may be basically right, especially when a place like Guitar Center seems to have this penchant for NOT including Yamahas or Tak nylons in its nylon line up (though they carry their steel strings) in favor of Spanish sounding named guitars Cordoba and Rodriguez which at lower prices points...sorry but the QC in these guitars can be really hit or miss. Yeah I've played some great sounding Cordoba's here and there...

To be direct, I think my price/value ratio obsession is primarily about Yamaha, Takamine, and some Arias I've played.

The other thought that goes through my mind: yes, Guitar Center recycles returns, lets customers beat the heck out of some of their stuff...and doesn't have much problem with putting up acoustics that are almost factory seconds?

In short you gotta know what you're looking for...and where.

You have a bunk GC. I was just at mine a few weeks ago and they had nylon Yammies and Taks. But there seems to be a resurgence of nylon appreciation around these parts lately and that could have a lot to do with it.

luvdat
04-18-2011, 05:40 AM
Skitzic, you might be right about that one too.

LoMa
04-18-2011, 11:45 AM
I don;t think a nylon string offers better value than a steel string guitar, or vice versa.

You can get decent guitars at low price points with either, and you can get dogs too. Same with mid and high price points with either.

The better value is the one that offers a tone and playability that you like for the kind of music you like.

I like and play both!

johnbort2
05-13-2011, 02:49 AM
I never thought I would be interested in a nylon string guitar cause I thought they were only for classical..then I realized Willie Nelson plays nylon stringed Martin for his whole career. There ain't nothing classical about that! :)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H7vaYOIKWYY

garywj
05-13-2011, 08:07 AM
There are lots more steel strings to pick from and some nice sounding ones at that. Not so many nylon strings. It's that way especially in the used market. You can actually get a nice sounding steel string guitar for $300. One of my best sounding guitars is a nylon, but it is also one of my most expensive, and it's 30 years old. I've not heard a nylon string guitar under $1500 that compares with a steel string at the same price. Also, the first time you play a classical (most nylons), you will fell like you are holding a 2X4 because of the wide neck.

SweetWaterBlue
05-13-2011, 08:19 AM
My classical nylon string guitar has a wider fretboard than my steel string. I find classical guitars harder to play for that reason. Its probably why I like ukuleles so much - easier to play.

luvdat
05-16-2011, 05:15 AM
In the end it's what you get used to, or more than that, actually prefer. For the stuff I do and my style of play, I need the wider fretboard and prefer it. In short, for me it's classicals.

As for steel vs. nylon and comparable values...my enthusiasm for classicals (on the lower to modest price points) is mostly limited to Yamahas and may I add MIC Guild classicals. Here I am not looking BTW for a concert level classical guitar but an instrument for use with jazz, pop and country vocals and of course Latin/Brazilian music.

While fond of an inexpensive guitar like the Yamaha CG111S (read reviews) looking at steel string options, I am not a huge fan of much touted Seagulls or Martins and Taylors at lower and mid price points (even less than but around $1000) and find most of them somewhat blurred, imbalanced or thin (respectively) with not much happening at least for me, above the 5th fret. With steel strings the next step up seems to most people (except me?) possible around $500-900, but really? Frankly I think it's the nature of a lot of folks playing styles with steel strings that give steel string guitars that seemingly better sense at these price points.

I think ukes and classicals have a lot in common esp. where it's fingerstyle, nails, touch...getting something out of them vs. a hoarde of pick-wielding jammers and strummers on steel-string dreadnaughts.

With its steel strings or nylons, the next step up may very well be a doozy in terms of price, with steel strings IMO enjoying a presumed better mid-price advantage which over time I have come to disagree with. With concert level classical off the table, you may not even need that "next step"...if you can play and limit yourself to a few models and companies.