Viviana Flamenco Negra review by Manuel Adalid

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  • Features: 9
  • Sound: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.4 Superb
  • Users' score: 8 (2 votes)
Manuel Adalid: Viviana Flamenco Negra

Price paid: $ 2500

Purchased from: Zavaletas

Features — 9
Built in Spain in the mid 2000s. Manuel Adalid oversaw the Esteve brand factory of good student guitars. But he also has his own line of better instruments. I found them carried by Zavaletas. A "Negra" is a flamenco guitar with spruce or cypress top and back/sides of dark rosewood ("negra" is black is Spanish versus "blanca," which denotes cypress or sycamore). A straight flamenco guitar and no electronics; pretty good tuners and unusually well set-up and cosmetically perfect wit ha nice hard foam cas clad in cordura.

Sound — 9
A "Negra" of this caliber is a good guitar for those who want a lower action, slightly thinner body depth, and less sustain. It is not a classical guitar and has a similar sound with a bass emphasis. It's a versatile tone for those who play Renaissance lute tunes as well as for singer-songwriter music that needs a nylon string sound. It is plenty loud if you plan to play on stage into a microphone. The bass register is very authoritative and the trebles are more "modern" than "sweet" like a Ramirez classical, for example.

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
"10" is extreme, but this guitar was cosmetically perfect in every detail. No blemishes of any sort and beautiful woods and setup. At $2500, you could not ask for a better physical guitar and case. A good classical is always going to be in the 3-4000 dollar range nowadays. But most of us need a good quality guitar that is more guitar than we will ever outgrow. An Adalid is so well made and detailed that you will always be proud to own and have it. There were no fret ends that needed attention, no marks, smooth tuners with no backlash or nut slot squeaks, etc. It was ready to go right out of the nice case.

Reliability & Durability — 9
I have to believe that these are very well made and should be kept humidified in the case. The top of a flamenco is thinner than a classical and so lends to cracking more easily. A fellow who wants a good flamenco crossover guitar will know to keep it humidified. Do not treat it like a cheap guitar; these are nearly pro caliber instruments. A classical or flamenco guitar is not like a commodity rack guitar at a big box store. And it's harder to locate quality nylon string guitars. Zavaletas does supply new as well as used instruments of quality and Adalid is one of the affordable and best values, in my view.

Overall Impression — 10
I'm an intermediate level player of classical/Renaissance music, write and perform locally and made a few recordings and a CD. And I'm a guitar geek who knows more about guitars than most pretty good guitarists. Classical and flamenco guitars are not like acoustics. But a person who wants a very good classical TYPE (nylon and plays easily) could do well with a quality guitar like an Adalid. And you will always get most all your money back if you sell it. It's much like a Toyota Corolla: known for quality and good components and resale.

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