Price paid: £ 800
Purchased from: Guitar Village
Sound — 10
For the price this guitar stands out. The walnut and traditional bracing give a warm tone that ooze sentiment and lament - it is absolutely made for Spanish guitar - for emotion and passion. The sound projection is good, not as loud as some guitars, and this is as much due to the exceptionally low action as anything else. The intonation is just superb. To match the sound I had to go to guitars over twice the price. In a side by side comparison with Ramirez and Taylor classical guitars up to twice the price and similar patterns the Bossa Nova 2 was the most soulful and passionate. I'd not played a walnut backed guitar before and this is a gem.
Overall Impression — 9
For the price I'd say it's amazing - outclassing the competition by some way. The action is low and so playable and if you can't sound passionate and soulful on this guitar - well it's definitely your fault. Knit picking wise - no pickup and difficult to fit an internal mike, as with all instruments in this class there are no strap buttons, and while you could fit it to the heel of the guitar you'd have to drill a hole for the output. And because the action is so easy it's a little quieter than other classical guitars. But the tone - oh wow, the tone is amazing.
Reliability & Durability — 9
Like all classical guitars this one needs a little care - keep the humidity about right, don't expose it to extremes of temperature and when you restring change one Sting at a time so as not to change the tension on the neck too abruptly. But that goes for every classical. The Cedar does change with age, whereas spruce doesn't seem to as much. But the change is towards a fuller and more striking tone - so second hand is worth a look if you see one. It's well made, and the tuning is amazingly stable. Unlike flamenco guitars there is no scratchplate - personally I think this is good for the sound but it does mean it's not a campfire guitar - it's the real deal.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
Perfectly set up. The Bossa Nova 2 is aimed at students (I think) or players who also use electrics - I say that because the action is so low and so soft - softer than many semi's and certainly softer than my old Ibanez semi. There is no fret buzz, the action is as low as a PRS Custom 24 and it still sounds full bodied. You could easily use this in a recital. The neck is wider than an electric but narrower by about 2mM than my other classical - so switching to this from an electric is easier than I expected. The Cedar is darker than a spruce topped guitar, with a little less snap. It also matures with age, getting fuller, crisper in the attack and rounded over the years. I've had mine 2 years now and it's still getting better.
Features — 9
This 2011 classical guitar was made by the Raimundo company based in Spain. It is a steel and nylon strung guitar, with a Cedar top, Walnut back (2 piece) and sides, Mahogany Neck and Ebony fretboard and bridge. Side dots no inlays. The machine heads are golden with wooden pegs and the headstock is carved in the Spanish style. The headstock is fronted by a 3 layer veneer toped in rosewood. The Rosette is made of a fine wooden mosaic in muted colours matching the Cedar well. The neck is narrower than some classical guitars at 50mM and it has a 640mM scale length. The neck joins the body at the 12th fret with 18 complete frets and the 19th being clipped as it reaches the sound hole. The heel looks to be the traditional Spanish joint and is well carved, flaring out at the base and capped with an ebony veneer.