#1
I am rather new to guitar (7 months of playing under my belt now) and while I have picked up a lot thus far I want to start doing some classical work. I have a teacher lined up for lessons and we are going to work through some classical work in order to work towards my goal of being prepared to audition for the classical guitar degree program at the University of Colorado. The only thing holding me back as of now is that I do not own a classical guitar. I am on a limited budget and cannot spend more than $250 on the guitar including the cost of shipping. I prefer to spend under $200 is possible but can save to $250 if need be. I don't need the best, just something that sounds good and has good action as I am used to playing electric (I know there will be a difference but I have played some crappy instruments where the action is so high that they aren't even remotely fun to play).

My local shop sells Alvarez and the owner says he can sell me a RC10 for $150 even. I always like supporting local and like the ability to be able to play before I buy. I have checked out reviews and this model seems to get pretty favorable reviews. The nice thing about this option is that I can test out the 3-4 they have on the floor and pick the one I like the best.

My second option is to order off of ebay. I see a lot of good deals on used classicals for under $150 but I am weary of not playing one first.

The last option is MF. I like their return policy and they are always fair on shipping charges. Here are some of the models I am looking at (feedback appreciated):

Cordoba C5
Alvarez AC60S
Ibanez GA5
Yamaha CG111

Thanks,
Nick

P.S. Does anyone know anything about the older (anywhere from the 60's to 80's) Yamaha G-series (G50, G60, etc)? They sure do go for cheap and seem to get good reviews at harmonycentral.
FOR SALE:

Alvarez FD-60 acoustic electric- $295 obo (perfect condition, amber finish)
Lindy Fralin Blues Special Strat pickups (as set, perfect condition) - $175 obo

PM me if you are interested!
Last edited by ccrnnr9 at Jul 24, 2008,
#2
If you want to go cheap. Yamaha is a good choice. From then on it's up to you. Practice scales and arpeggios as you will never regret it and improve heaps.
Last edited by Akabilk at Jul 24, 2008,
#3
Yay! New classical guitar thread. Whoopie.


So, when is the audition going to be? I hope you do well man, university level classical guitar is going to be really rewarding. Make sure you prepare well. What pieces are you going to play?


Onto the guitars:

Out of those, I'd immediately shoot down the Ibanez. They make wonderful electrics, I love the one I have, but their acoustic guitars don't cut it. Lots of the regulars will agree with me on that. It also doesn't say whether the top is solid or not, so you might want to be careful. The other guitars all have solid tops, so that puts them above the Ibanez.

I know a guy on here that has a Cordoba C-5 and is very pleased with it and says it has good tone. He's called C.C. Deville, so you can search some recordings on his profile to hear the tone. It sounds good, at solid cedar top and mahogany backs and sides you probably can't go too wrong with it.


The Yamaha I can say from experience that it's good. I love the tone and it was very nice to play. Like most yamahas at the low end it's great on the quality price ratio. It's also solid cedar and the back and side are nato. You won't be able to tell the difference between nato and mahogany so don't be worried about worse tone because of that.


I have no experience with the Alvarez at all, but a user called Dreadnought has an Alvarez if I can recall correctly so you might want to shoot him a PM to ask him some questions.


The best advice I can give you is to go into the shop and try them all out. And as many other guitars you can find. Leave and think it over at home. Which ones did you like? Which ones did you really dislike? Were there anyones that seemed to be in between? Go into try some more the next day discarding the ones you disliked so that in the end you put your number down to two or three. Of those guitars, anyone will suit you so you probably won't make a bad choice.


Good luck man!
#4
The Ibanez is not solid so yeah that one should be taken off the list.

The other three though I have heard good things about so it is your choice between the three.
#5
Quote by confusius

So, when is the audition going to be? I hope you do well man, university level classical guitar is going to be really rewarding. Make sure you prepare well. What pieces are you going to play?


I have more than a year to prepare. Auditions are in early August or if I won't be in town for a live audition (although I will, or at least should be) I can send in a high quality video of myself. Audition information can be found here. Because I am new to the whole classical thing I haven't prepared anything yet. I am waiting till I get the guitar (hopefully this week) and the method book before my teacher and I start working together. My plan is to audition next August and if I don't get accepted to put another year in of practice and try again the following year. I am only a semester away from a BS in history at another university now so either way I will have a college degree it is more of a matter of getting that degree in a field I am passionate about (music fits that bill).

Thanks for the guitar advice. I am going to go look at the Alvarez guitars today. I wish I had more than one local shop but I don't. The only shop in town only sells Alvarez classicals. I could wait to purchase for another two weeks when I go back to Kansas City where I can browse the musician's friend outlet center but I am itching to start.

Lastly, does anyone have any opinions on purchasing used on ebay? There are a lot of Yamaha G-series guitars that normally go for 3-400 going for $150 or so. Seems like a good deal but I am weary of not being able to play before I buy on a used instrument.

~Nick
FOR SALE:

Alvarez FD-60 acoustic electric- $295 obo (perfect condition, amber finish)
Lindy Fralin Blues Special Strat pickups (as set, perfect condition) - $175 obo

PM me if you are interested!
#6
I don't know much about ebay myself but my general advice would just be look at a sellers other auctions and see what they're like. Most people on ebay are trustworthy but you never know.


PM Jimtaka, he's quite the ebayer.
#7
Well I went down the local shop and to my surprise they had a Washburn C40 in addition to the two Alvarez RC10s in stock. I played all three and I liked the feel of the Washburn and the tone quality best. I prefer the looks of the RC10 but the washburn was "used" (although the owner said he bought it and put it up for sale a couple months later after spending 700 on a new high end alvarez). The price was $90 and I didn't have to pay tax. I played the guitars for close to half an hour and decided that I liked the Washburn enough to buy it. They go for $140 on MF and it is in like new condition with not a single scratch or blem.

I think this will be good enough for me to practice on and learn to play classical on and did not set me back hundreds of dollars. Thanks for the helpful advice guys! I didn't think I would find anything this fast but it looks like I found a decent starter.
~Nick
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FOR SALE:

Alvarez FD-60 acoustic electric- $295 obo (perfect condition, amber finish)
Lindy Fralin Blues Special Strat pickups (as set, perfect condition) - $175 obo

PM me if you are interested!