I'm in the market for a pretty darn good classical guitar - with a budget of $1000.

I expect one can get into a handmade instrument at that price - but that's not necessarily a requirement.

The June AOTM / Alvarez MC60 looks like a fine instrument at almost half that price. But I suspect that with some good recommendations we could improve on that with the budget I have in mind.

So, would you please share other recommendations on specific guitars and their sources?

I don't know about the shipping to texas but Ramirez (spanish luthiers) have the best guitars I have ever played. That was my teachers. The sound was just so crisp, so clean, so loud(because many guitars sound nice, but not very loud).

I would recomend them, they have a website, so you can google them.
Guitar center sells ramirez guitars. I'm not sure what the price is though.
Quote by Chikitty_China
Good lord. You are amazing.

Quote by Jestersage
It's stereo amp, and I don't think it's tube. However, for a stereo amp, it is very good. Don't plug guitar into it; just use it as hi-fi if it works.

I'm new here, I thought I'd use this thread for my first post.

In addition to the Ramirez mentioned above, I'd suggest looking at the Alhambra brand of guitars. I've had three from Alhambra and have been pleased with all of them. The 12th Fret in Canada has a pretty good rundown on the models available. link here http://www.12fret.com/retail/galhambra.html

I am a strong proponent of classical guitars made in Spain. I've had others, but the Spanish made instruments just seem to be braced lighter and project better, at least at the lower price points. I dont have enough money or experience to speak to higher end guitars from other countries.

I suspect that if you do your research, you will find that it is going to be difficult to get a truely handmade instrument for under $1.000. You will however be able to find a good "student grade" instrument at that price point, especially if you shop the used markets. I purchased my Alhambra 7P ( lowest price all solid wood in the Alhambra line) for about that amount a number of years ago. Prices have gone up since, but you could get the same instrument on the used market for about $1,000, today.

Also, if you do a search for classical/flamenco guitars you will come up with some importers of lesser known guitars from Spain and Mexico. I have a Lucido Picado, all solid cypress/spruce Flamenco tht has great tone. Not a brand name known in any large box music stores, but a great deal for an all solid, Spanish made guitar.

Sorry for the long winded post, Good luck in your search,

Thanks for the info.

I saw Ramirez at Guitar Center, but generally don't like to deal with mega stores unless what I'm buying is a true commodity.

I've been impressed with the Classical Guitar Store in Philadelphia. Downside is I'm across the country, upside is that they allow 100% return within 3 days if you don't like the instrument.

They carry Antonio Picado - from under $1000 to way over. Several models to choose form , all look impressive. Some sites sell Picado for much higher prices for same models.

They also get rave reviews for Giambattista. Cost is above $1500 though.

I'm thinking of increasing my budget a bit so I can get Spanish, hand made, and not the bottom end of that combination.

The Guitar Salon has a great selection of guitars, and a pretty good forum.

Perhaps you'll be able to satisfy some of your needs there?

My God, it's full of stars!
And the winner is: Giambattista G4. Handmade with European Spruce sound board, solid Indian rosewood sides and Indian Rosewood back, Ebony fingerboard, bone saddle and nut. Gold plated tuning machines. Finished in light nitrocellulose lacquer.

I talked to a couple people at The Classical Guitar Store in Philadelphia. They were just awesome. Their selection and pricing is better than anyone I could find online our in Houston. Almost every guitar they carry is hand made in Spain or France. It's worth checking out their website to read about French luthiers. Quite interesting. Giambattista is an Italian family that has been making guitars in Paris for three generations.


The guitar will arrive Friday. I can't wait. Now I just need to spend years learning to play it and deserving such a fine instrument. Put me down the the duels in 2009

Handmade is such a commonly used term. It's used on factory guitars such as Alhambra, Esteve etc. The question is, 'Whose hands?' and 'How many hands?' LOL! Anyway, with that budget, a luthier-made instrument is practically impossible (first-hand).

Nonetheless, Alhambra is still an exceptional brand. Ramirez is known to be overpriced for that kind of quality. Afterall, their prime years have passed and they're now living off the brand. Their guitars are great but are they worth it's pricetag? I still stand by Alhambra and Esteve. Get one soon, prices have been rising insanely the past few years.

PS. Any recording samples of the guitar you just got? It'll be nice to give a review and sample. Congrats!
Last edited by imLoUsY at Jun 27, 2007,
Regarding "handmade" - you are right on. I should have avoided that term.

Factory made guitars in China are not being assembled by robots like on a GM assembly line (or are they? ). There are human hands involved.

So that phrase is a bit difficult to use, isn't it.

Maybe a good way to put it is "artisan made" vs. "factory made". I'd imagine that luthiers make such distinctions easily using somewhat consistent terms - I just don't know how to describe them. When a maker has a staff of 5 people and puts out a couple hundred units a year - that's not a factory to me, but not like a solo luthier slaving over a nearly custom instrument.

No recordings on hand - guitar is still in transit. If this guitar is what i hope it to be, I'll give a detailed review somewhere down the line.

Wooah, that is a beautiful guitar. I love the way the spruce looks, almost like my GS<3
Proud Owner of a 2006 Taylor GS Big Leaf Maple/ Sitka Spruce