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Thread: Why Classical Guitars look alike

  1. #1
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    Default Why Classical Guitars look alike

    I traded my Merida classical guitar in for a Suzuki SCG-200 yesterday. It has a solid Sitka Spruce top, solid Rosewood back & sides. The Merida looked nicer, but didn't sound nearly as good.

    Also tried a Takamine Hirade, at twice the price of the Suzuki. It was a better guitar but didn't make much of a difference in my hands. (Phew!)

    Looked around the shop & the cheap classicals were virtually indistinguishable from the expensive ones, except when looking at the bracing inside. The last time I got a guitar, my friends asked me to send a photo - in this case there's no need. ��

    Guess it's tradition but steel string guitars have sooooo much more variety in their appearance. Anyone else wonder about this?
    Last edited by ampeep; 01-11-2020 at 01:38 PM.

  2. #2
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    That's why they're called classical guitars! Albeit variety depends on how hard you want to look. If you broadened your search to include just nylon string guitars, rather than classical, you'd find hybrid/crossovers are certainly difference as are flamenco and gypsy jazz nylon models. Kremona has some really interesting jazz inspired nylon string designs.

    Here's a couple "classical" guitars I own. They're more classical than not but the colors, sound hole, cutaway, do make them stand out in a very conservative genre. One of my hardcore classical guitar colleagues told me she would be a ashamed to be caught with such guitars (not kidding!).


    Last edited by gochugogi; 01-11-2020 at 10:06 AM.

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    I could see how classical guitarists would be put off by Peter's beautiful guitars as even a logo on the headstock is a no-no to purists. I'm more interested in getting a regular looking one, but I can still appreciate unique styles.
    Glenn

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    gochugogi, you sure have some interesting looking guitars! Do the oval sound holes affect the sound? The black one is especially striking.
    Last edited by ampeep; 01-11-2020 at 01:38 PM.

  5. #5
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    Exclamation

    They really don't have to look alike.

    My Romero Creations DHO 6 string is a departure from what you would expect a classical guitar to look like.

    Rollie 35S (27).jpg
    Last edited by dcuttler; 01-12-2020 at 01:27 PM.

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    dcuttler, have to admit, your guitar is the exception.

    If you glanced at photos of a Cordoba ($130), Takamine Hirade H5 ($900) & Yamaha GC82 ($10k), they all have basically the same design elements. (Could use the same photo for all three!)

    Compare an inexpensive Cort ($150) to a Martin D35 or custom made Taylor & the difference is readily apparent.
    Last edited by ampeep; 01-12-2020 at 08:29 PM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ampeep View Post
    gochugogi, you sure have some interesting looking guitars! Do the oval sound holes affect the sound? The black one is especially striking.
    I don't think the small differences in sound hole shape influence sound much. It does make it more difficult to get my hand inside to work on the electronics. The top guitar image in my above post is my Hirade TH90 and the black one is a Takamine LTD2012. The LTD2012 is the TH90 pimped out as a limited edition.

    Again, if you want to find a nylon string guitar that doesn't look like a traditional classical guitar, you can't utter the words, classical guitar. Try crossover, gypsy jazz, hydrid, etc. Takamine has an extensive line of nylon string crossovers with cutaways, radius boards and nontraditional style elements. They're meant for steel-string players wanting a nylon sound without the traditional look and neck. Check out this nylon string guitar from Kremona (I have a Kremona Russian 7-string gypsy guitar):



    My Kremona Mari Tenor Ukulele is sorta his little brother:

    Last edited by gochugogi; 01-12-2020 at 10:26 PM.

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    Wow Peter, you certainly find some beautiful guitars. With the golpeador, I'm guessing this one is a flamenco guitar. The Kremona uke has a nice headstock too.

    It's interesting that we refer to nylon string guitars, but a lot of the guitars I've been looking at lately appear to have fluorocarbon strings.

    My guess is classical guitarists often perform in a very formal setting and having a non-standard looking instrument might make them feel less professional. Kind of like when you see someone with a non-traditional looking violin you assume they're a bit of a maverick (and they usually prove it in their playing). Not that there is anything wrong with it, but people like to project a certain image.
    Glenn

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    The Kremona kiano ("smile" golpeador) is designed as a Gypsy jazz guitar. I recently heard Al Dimeola perform and he played on a nylon-string crossover with cutaway on many of the numbers. I'm guessing the jazz, pop and Latin markets for these guitars is much larger than the classical market.

    I don't know any classical players using fluorocarbon. They don't seem to be as accepted as they are in the 'ukulele market. I suspect the weak vibrato response might have something to do with it. I know I hated them on my Ramirez and Hirades—save for the 3rd string—but love fluorocarbon on my 'ukuleles.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by gochugogi View Post
    The Kremona kiano ("smile" golpeador) is designed as a Gypsy jazz guitar. I recently heard Al Dimeola perform and he played on a nylon-string crossover with cutaway on many of the numbers. I'm guessing the jazz, pop and Latin markets for these guitars is much larger than the classical market.

    I don't know any classical players using fluorocarbon. They don't seem to be as accepted as they are in the 'ukulele market. I suspect the weak vibrato response might have something to do with it. I know I hated them on my Ramirez and Hirades—save for the 3rd string—but love fluorocarbon on my 'ukuleles.
    Ah, gypsy jazz. I'm slowly building my knowledge.

    I'm the same, I like fluorocarbon on ukuleles, but I like nylon better on guitars. I prefer wound/nylon on my baritone too. I've only just started guitar shopping, but I was surprised to see so much fluorocarbon. Admittedly, I'm looking at lower price brackets. Maybe it's to make the cheaper construction sound brighter? Could be similar to how Super Nylgut strings make cheap ukuleles sound good.
    Glenn

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