I am sure you have all seen many of these "which guitar?" posts, so I'll try to be as specific as I can, because I did narrow it down to several options.
First let me introduce myself - my name is Oren, I live in Israel, and I have been playing guitar for about 25 years now.
I played mostly electric guitars through the years - mostly jazz, but also blues, rock etc.
Recently I have been more interested in classical and flamenco style playing, and I have begun to study it more seriously. However, I have found that my old, beaten Admira Paloma does not inspire me, and I need a more fitting instrument.
Ok, after that said and done, I'll tell you what I have tried and liked, and I would like to hear the thoughts of people with more experience with classical guitars than me about these models.
First, I have tried the Admira artista and Admira Virtuoso. Both are nice, but I have seen flaws in their construction. Both play and sound very nice, I like the artista better mainly because of the nice rosewood sides and back - though the back is laminated (is there any advantage to solid sides? I mean, when the back is a laminate?). These are the cheapest of the bunch.
Second, there is the Alhambra 4P. This guitar seemed better constructed than the Admiras but in the same ballpark. the 5P is too expensive in Israel, over my budget.
The third guitar I saw was a Raimundo model 140 which seemed to me much better built, and it also sang to my ears. But I tried it in a different store, in a quiet sound proof room, as opposed to the other store where I tried the Admiras and the Alhambra in the main store, so I can say I am totally sure about the sound of it vs the other ones. This one too has a laminate back and solid sides (again - is this a selling point?).
Ah, and the best thing, is that the store manager there sold me my first fender stratocaster 20 years ago, we go way back, so he's letting me have the 140 at 30% off - which makes it only a little more expensive than the admira, and well withing my budget.
Ok. This is what I have seen so far, and right now I lean towards taking the Raimundo.
However, these is this dude who sells Aparicio and Burguet guitars. He's not a real store, but a guitar teacher and performer, but he brings them from spain in small quantities and sells them in his studio.
I will drive and check them out, but it's on another town.
I was thinking about AA50 and AA70.
The AA50 is probably within my budget. How does it compare to the Raimundo 140? From what I understand Raimundo and Aparicio where partners for a long time, so I'd expect both know their trade well?
The AA50 has laminated back and sides. (again - does this make her less desirable than the Raimundo with solid sides?)
The other option is the AA70 which would stretch my budget a little, but of course if I am caught in her charms nothing will stop me
She's all solid, and I would guess she's a better instrument. But is it 30% price better than the 140?
Please remember, I am not a pro, just a guitar addict. I want an instrument that will last, be comfortable, inspiring, and sound as good as possible - considering my budget.