#1
Hello!

I'm a beginner of classical guitar and have played a few months now.

My new teacher strongly suggests that I get myself a new classical guitar. The one I have been playing so far cost about 300 $ back when my parents bought it, just to have one at hand in the family.

My new teacher thinks it definitely makes sense for me to upgrade to a better guitar now.

Although I'm not a friend of buying too many guitars, equipment, etc., I see the point that a new, better guitar can make sense at some point.

The teacher suggested guitars by "Antonio Loriente". They are made in Spain and supposed to be quite good concert guitars for "affordable" prices.

Does anyone know the Antonio Loriente guitars and what do you think of them? What other brands can be recommended that have good quality and a price that should not be much more than 2200$ ?

http://www.gypsyjazzguitars.com/guitar/flamenco/loriente/loriente.html

Thnaks for any advice!
giutar
#2
If you're paying $2200 and getting a lacquered top, I wouldn't really bother. It wouldn't really be a 'concert' instrument at all. There would be a massive improvement on the $300 guitar you currently own but it would still be considered an instrument more suited to study rather than performance.

It really depends on the kind of sound you're going for too with a concert instrument. Take a look at different kinds of guitar construction, lattice guitars are getting quite popular (though it's my understanding many European players prefer the traditional construction/sound) and so are double-tops. You're probably not going to get a great guitar for $2200...if you're looking into getting into classical guitar seriously, I would probably aim at around 5-6k for the lowest level concert instruments.

Honestly, if you're looking at concert instruments, it's time to leave brand names and start looking at individual luthiers and commissioning an instrument yourself (or buying one they've already made if you like it).
#3
Honestly a jump to a 2200 dollar guitar after a few months of playing really isn't necessary (unless you really have the money to throw around, nice stuff is always... well, nice). You could easily find something in the 6-800 dollar range that would last you a good while. Look into Almansa guitars, made it Spain, great bang for buck. Yamaha's seem to have a great reputation as well. Both companies have guitars which run up into the higher price range as well.
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#4
XianXiuHong and bean-o, thank you for your answers!


I honestly don't have a problem at all to stick with the guitar I now have. I don't care - at this point of my playing - if the sound isn't perfect, the wood isn't the best in the world and all the other many details why this is a 300 $ and not a 5.000 $ guitar.

The only reason I would consider purchasing a new guitar is, if my current guitar could be hindering my technical development. - I don't know at all - as a beginner - whether this could actually be the case. So basically my question should have been: Is there anything a guitar should have or shouldn't have in order to ensure the best technical development of a beginning player. Maybe it doesn't really matter at all whether one has a 150$ or a 5.000 guitar or anything in between, if the goal is to advance technically as a beginner. - I just don't know.

One thing about my current guitar is that the distance between the strings and the fretboard is quite far. I'm used to it, since this is the only guitar I've been playing on. Is this distance, which basically means more work for the fingers - acceptable for a beginner or would it be a better choice to have a guitar with a shorter distance?

Thanks for any ideas!
Greetings,
giutar
Last edited by giutar at Apr 13, 2013,
#5
Quote by giutar
The only reason I would consider purchasing a new guitar is, if my current guitar could be hindering my technical development. - I don't know at all - as a beginner - whether this could actually be the case. So basically my question should have been: Is there anything a guitar should have or shouldn't have in order to ensure the best technical development of a beginning player.
A classical guitar is the most basic and standardized of form factors with respect to the instrument in general. Nylon strung guitars have kept pace with changes to the contemporary acoustic guitar, (cutaways, 14th fret neck joints, electronics, spruce as a top wood), but as these changes have been made, so would a purist argue it isn'a a "classical guitar" any more per se.

Quote by giutar
One thing about my current guitar is that the distance between the strings and the fretboard is quite far. I'm used to it, since this is the only guitar I've been playing on. Is this distance, which basically means more work for the fingers - acceptable for a beginner or would it be a better choice to have a guitar with a shorter distance?
Nylon strung guitars require a higher sting height than do acoustic steel strings, and far higher than most electrics. They also generally have a wider neck.

But without your supplying us discreet measurements of your particular instrument, I don't think anyone here can make the call about it. Besides, each players needs and tastes varies somewhat.

Modern mid priced mass produced instruments have far better quality control than a couple of decades ago. So, the frets are generally in the right place, the necks are straight, etc. Having the guitar "set up" properly would help. With that said, string height, ("action"), is pretty much the only adjustment to be made on a true classical guitar. It is the most basic, and offers the most improvement.

Your instructor is "first at the scene of the accident", so to speak, and he or she should be overseeing this issue.

There are a lot of people on the internet, talking a lot of smack about how much you need to spend for "street cred" on a guitar. These oftentimes are people who have the money, and enjoy telling others about it.

There are some fine instruments produced in Asia nowadays, and people sometimes mistake bling, brand, and country of origin as being necessities.

The irony is, the more you spend for a guitar, the more delicate instruments become.

That said, as long as you can set the "action" of your present to a comfortable point, I see no reason not to continue using your current guitar. As you improve, and perhaps even buy a better instrument, you'll find there's a lot of benefit to having a "beater" for day to day practice. If your instruments are adjusted and sized in a similar manner, there's no justification for banging on a multi-thousand dollar guitar on a day in, day out, basis.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Apr 13, 2013,
#6
Quote by Captaincranky
A classical guitar is the most basic and standardized of form factors with respect to the instrument in general. Nylon strung guitars have kept pace with changes to the contemporary acoustic guitar, (cutaways, 14th fret neck joints, electronics, spruce as a top wood), but as these changes have been made, so would a purist argue it isn'a a "classical guitar" any more per se.


No. Considering that the 18th and 19th century instruments often used spruce as a top wood and some included 14th fret neck joints, you're wrong on that point. The point about cutaways and electronics is half-correct. You would still call it a classical guitar but you probably wouldn't play it.

Quote by Captaincranky
Your instructor is "first at the scene of the accident", so to speak, and he or she should be overseeing this issue.

There are a lot of people on the internet, talking a lot of smack about how much you need to spend for "street cred" on a guitar. These oftentimes are people who have the money, and enjoy telling others about it.


There is no harm in getting online and asking for a second opinion. What if the instructor recommended something bad or unsuitable? It's definitely not unheard of and when the TS is looking at spending $2200 or so on an instrument, I would say it's definitely worth looking at. When the 2nd part of that quote starts talking about spending money, it sounds like you're asking the TS to be careful with their decisions and money, which he is doing by posting in this thread (I may be reading you incorrectly).


Quote by Captaincranky
There are some fine instruments produced in Asia nowadays, and people sometimes mistake bling, brand, and country of origin as being necessities.


Not really. There are some decent instruments being made in Asia with a really nice price-tag to match but for the most part, there aren't that many. Also, would it be the sound the TS is looking for? Would it be a suitable instrument for his/her level of playing?

Quote by Captaincranky
The irony is, the more you spend for a guitar, the more delicate instruments become.


Yes.

Quote by Captaincranky
That said, as long as you can set the "action" of your present to a comfortable point, I see no reason not to continue using your current guitar. As you improve, and perhaps even buy a better instrument, you'll find there's a lot of benefit to having a "beater" for day to day practice.


I'm sorry but, no. Upgrading an instrument for a Classical musician is very important in helping the player develop as lower-end instruments can be far too forgiving in terms of sound production and finger placement. Achieving an acceptable sound on an entry-level instrument is far easier than achieving an acceptable sound on a concert instrument. The increase in dynamic range and variety of tone colours on the instrument also enable the performer to focus more on the detail of their interpretation they could not if they were playing a lesser instrument. There isn't really a good reason to practice on a 'beater' guitar everyday if it's unable to accommodate your musical ideas.

Quote by Captaincranky
If your instruments are adjusted and sized in a similar manner, there's no justification for banging on a multi-thousand dollar guitar on a day in, day out, basis.


Refer to above paragraph. I really don't think any of the world-class Classical musicians would agree with you.
#7
@Captaincranky:
Thank you for your reply!

@XianXiuHong

I'm sorry but, no. Upgrading an instrument for a Classical musician is very important in helping the player develop as lower-end instruments can be far too forgiving in terms of sound production and finger placement. Achieving an acceptable sound on an entry-level instrument is far easier than achieving an acceptable sound on a concert instrument. The increase in dynamic range and variety of tone colours on the instrument also enable the performer to focus more on the detail of their interpretation they could not if they were playing a lesser instrument. There isn't really a good reason to practice on a 'beater' guitar everyday if it's unable to accommodate your musical ideas.


What you write makes a lot of sense to me.

But what should I do now? 5-6k, which I would have to pay for a low level concert guitar, is unfortunately out of reach at the moment.

Should I stick with my current guitar or buy an Antonio Loriente (or similar) for about 2.200$?
#8
If you plan to take classical guitar seriously and you and your teacher feel like your instrument is holding you back, you should start looking for a better instrument. Though, you should look further than the Antonio Loriente. The problem with lacquered top guitars is that while the 'better' models do provide an improvement in sound, the sound will never be of a modern-day concert grade simply because the lacquer stifles the top vibrations, making a quieter and less resonant instrument. I'm not sure what you could get for $22000 that would be French-polished since I am not really into brand names in particular and the only cheaper concert instrument makers I can name come from Australia.

With that said though, you have only been playing for a few months...if you're looking to spend that much on an instrument already, you need to ask yourself if you want to pursue classical guitar seriously or not. If so, I would say go for the upgrade, it should last for a while but if you are as impassioned as I think you could be, that guitar would only satisfy you for the next 2-3 years at most before you want a concert instrument. That's not to say don't go for it if you love the classical guitar and want to study it seriously, as I mentioned in my previous post, upgrading an instrument is very important to a player's development.

EDIT: You should look into buying a used guitar as well. The players usually take good care of them if they're decent or good instruments and they're usually willing to sell at much cheaper than what they bought it for. It's also usually played in too.
Last edited by XianXiuHong at Apr 14, 2013,
#9
XianXiuHong, many thanks for your advise. It's really helpful.

Yes, I am planning to take classical guitar seriously.

Regarding the Antonio Loriente guitars: It looks like the more expensive models (starting at 3.300$) are French polished:
http://www.gypsyjazzguitars.com/guitar/flamenco/loriente/loriente.html

The Antonio Loriente guitars were recommended to me by an internationally succesful classical guitarist of many years, who has no financial interest in this recommendation. He said that it's a unique series of handmade guitars, which, while costing far less than a concert guitar, come close to a real concert guitar or are on the same level as some concerts guitars. He said that he would definitely without any trade-offs pick up a Loriente for a concert performance. - I'm just repeating what he said. But you don't have never seen/plaid this brand, I suppose? It would have been interesing to hear some expereinces with the Antonio Loriente guitars.

the only cheaper concert instrument makers I can name come from Australia.

Maybe they are also available in Europe? If yes, I would be interested in the names.

You should look into buying a used guitar as well


That's a good tip. I will mention it to my teacher...Maybe he has students that want to sell their instrument.

Thank you so far and I'll let you know how it goes...I think I'll take my time looking around, since I won't be buying a new guitar all too often.
#10
Quote by giutar
Maybe they are also available in Europe? If yes, I would be interested in the names.



Ah, I should clarify that I only said that because I'm from Australia and I haven't really heard or seen that many European guitars, not because I think only Aussie guitars are good.