Alvarez Yairi CY140 vs. Yamaha GC41C

Construction and repair of Classical Guitar and related instruments

Alvarez Yairi CY140 vs. Yamaha GC41C

Postby aNovitiate » Sat Jul 03, 2010 3:34 pm

After reading (yes, I did my homework - before posting this question ... like 'a good boy' :P ) the Yairi and Yamaha threads, I am curious about comparing the two ... and I hope that others might find the comparison interesting/useful, too.

While the threads were informative and seemed to not have a bad word to say about either the Yairi or Yamaha top-end offerings - other than volume-projection limitations, I was unable to conclude which, if either, might be a better choice.

As a post-career, remedial student, seeking cathartic, low-stress enjoyment, a concert stage will, likely, never see me on it. :wink: Even if I ever did progress to concert-level, I would be more inclined to use a microphone and external amplification than to attempt to defy the laws of physical acoustics. To the engineer in me, trying to defy the laws of physics and acoustics ( Volume = 1/distance-squared ) ... via lattice-bracing, carbon fiber and double-tops etc. ... makes little 'sense', especially if such efforts compromise the tone and sustain-ability. I am more interested in nice tones, harmonics and bass timbre (within household air quantities) than volume-projection.

At this writing it looks like the Alvarez Yairi CY140 is about $1,400 vs. Yamaha GC41C about $1,600 ... the price difference, probably, not being a rational deciding factor in that price range. My understanding is that these are both cedar-top, low-volume, production-shop offerings.

If you have had opportunities to compare these two, I would be most interested and grateful to read your reactions and impressions.

Thank you for your thoughts,
Mike
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Re: Alvarez Yairi CY140 vs. Yamaha GC41C

Postby GuitarVlog » Sat Jul 03, 2010 3:44 pm

The CY140 is a solid-top with laminated Brazilian rosewood b/s. The GC41C is all solid with Honduran rosewood b/s.

I've only played the GC41C but I can say that I liked it a lot and think it or the GC41S (spruce top) would be a great value. Inquire if nacio still has his for sale for under $1200. You'll save $200 to $400.

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=49836&
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Re: Alvarez Yairi CY140 vs. Yamaha GC41C

Postby aNovitiate » Sat Jul 03, 2010 4:41 pm

GuitarVlog wrote:The CY140 is a solid-top with laminated Brazilian rosewood b/s. The GC41C is all solid with Honduran rosewood b/s.


I didn't catch that 'laminated' point, assuming that their top-line guitar would be solid. Shame on me - for missing that all-important "solid" adjective!
THANK YOU. I can't see paying that kind of money for laminates.

Looking, again, at the Yairi specs, I didn't know what "R/T" means, either.
"Top: Solid Cedar - RT "

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, "GuitarVlog"]
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Re: Alvarez Yairi CY140 vs. Yamaha GC41C

Postby Cary W » Sat Jul 03, 2010 9:43 pm

I realize some people insist on Brazilian or Honduras rosewood, but the Yamaha GC31C has Indian back and sides, and although selling for a few hundred less, is a first-rate instrument. I do not regret my purchase at all. In fact, some luthiers prefer Indian for projection and volume.
If the GC31C is available for a tryout, definitely do so. :idea:
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Re: Alvarez Yairi CY140 vs. Yamaha GC41C

Postby aNovitiate » Sat Jul 03, 2010 11:21 pm

Cary W wrote:I realize some people insist on Brazilian or Honduras rosewood, but the Yamaha GC31C has Indian back and sides, and although selling for a few hundred less, is a first-rate instrument. I do not regret my purchase at all. In fact, some luthiers prefer Indian for projection and volume. ...


... interesting point, you raised, Cary. I don't know of a local dealer, stocking the Yamaha GC... line; so, I'm unable to compare the sound of Honduras (Janka hardness: 2,200 lbs force ... Brazilian Redwood hardness: 2,270 lbs ) vs. East Indian Rosewood (Janka hardness: 3,170 lbs) . In theory, East Indian Rosewood is about 44% harder ... and, therefore, more likely to 'chime', like crystal, than Honduran or Brazilian Redwood !!!

Have you had an opportunity to compare a GC31 to a GC41? If so, how would you characterize the sound (tone and sustain) differences?

Tone matters more to me than volume-projection.

... many thanks for the idea,
Mike
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Re: Alvarez Yairi CY140 vs. Yamaha GC41C

Postby Cary W » Sun Jul 04, 2010 12:18 am

I have tried the GC31 spruce and GC41 spruce. The 31 was actually louder, both with great spruce tone. The 41 of course has the Honduras which imparts a rumble to the lower frequencies. The Honduras also makes for a heavier instrument.
I have not tried the GC41 cedar, but have seen them for sale on the web.
If you would like a sample of my GC31C after two years of opening up, try my recording here: viewtopic.php?f=102&t=49851

Search the web and you will find many luthiers endorsing the Indian-Cedar construction...try Jason Wolverton, or Mikhail Robert.

I love the tone of my guitar, and as it opens up I can hear more complexity, quite evident when playing chords.

All the best,
Cary
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Re: Alvarez Yairi CY140 vs. Yamaha GC41C

Postby aNovitiate » Sun Jul 04, 2010 12:33 am

Cary W wrote: I have tried the GC31 spruce and GC41 spruce. The 31 was actually louder ...


... as I expected, based on the 44% greater side & back-wood hardness.

Cary W wrote: , both with great spruce tone. The 41 of course has the Honduras which imparts a rumble to the lower frequencies. The Honduras also makes for a heavier instrument.


... interesting.

Cary W wrote: If you would like a sample of my GC31C after two years of opening up, try my recording here: viewtopic.php?f=102&t=49851


OOOhhhh ... that GC31S sounds nice & clean ... crisp trebles - without harshness ... and clean bass without the boominess, sometimes associated wth cedar. Ya got me thinkin' ...
Would you trade it - for my ice cream cone? :D

Great Reply, thanks,
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Re: Alvarez Yairi CY140 vs. Yamaha GC41C

Postby GuitarVlog » Sun Jul 04, 2010 3:34 pm

Let's confuse you even more! :wink: :D

Here's nacio's GC41S played by the man himself!


Youtube


Actually, when you think about it, it's great to have nice choices at your budget. Either the GC31 or the GC41 would probably be very satisfying although you could even expand your search to consider perhaps an Alhambra, a Kenny Hill Player, or an Esteve or maybe even a used luthier guitar.
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Re: Alvarez Yairi CY140 vs. Yamaha GC41C

Postby noodler » Sun Jul 04, 2010 4:27 pm

Take your time and play these two and many more like them. You want to be happy with the guitar and not always wondering how others compare. Also, Yairi does laminated backs very very well as do many quality makers. Enjoy your search!
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Re: Alvarez Yairi CY140 vs. Yamaha GC41C

Postby Nacio de Falla » Sun Jul 04, 2010 9:44 pm

GuitarVlog wrote:Let's confuse you even more! :wink: :D

Here's nacio's GC41S played by the man himself!


Youtube


Actually, when you think about it, it's great to have nice choices at your budget. Either the GC31 or the GC41 would probably be very satisfying although you could even expand your search to consider perhaps an Alhambra, a Kenny Hill Player, or an Esteve or maybe even a used luthier guitar.


Hey.......???..........who's this hack playing a GC41....?? :roll:
OH wait ........that's me!........ :oops: :oops: :lol:

My personal vote is for the GC41 but i really liked my GC31C as well.
The Yamaha's seem to be made with a little more attention to detail.

All in All though................you have to play them and find which one suits your liking better. :wink:
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Re: Alvarez Yairi CY140 vs. Yamaha GC41C

Postby brian » Mon Jul 05, 2010 8:33 pm

i have a gc41 spruce and
it's a very nice guitar. :bye:
if at first you don't succeed try again.
then quit.
there's no use being a damn fool about it.
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Re: Alvarez Yairi CY140 vs. Yamaha GC41C

Postby GuitarVlog » Mon Jul 05, 2010 8:36 pm

nacio wrote:My personal vote is for the GC41 but i really liked my GC31C as well.

You had a GC31C too? :shock:

What is this? You got an inside track to some well-stocked high-end Yamaha dealer?
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Re: Alvarez Yairi CY140 vs. Yamaha GC41C

Postby Nacio de Falla » Mon Jul 05, 2010 9:58 pm

GuitarVlog wrote:
nacio wrote:My personal vote is for the GC41 but i really liked my GC31C as well.

You had a GC31C too? :shock:

What is this? You got an inside track to some well-stocked high-end Yamaha dealer?


Yep!....... :lol:

Nah...........these local music stores will get me anything i ask for if they can.
They know me well. :wink: :casque:


btw......at one time i owned 2 GC41's and a GC31c just for the cedar/indian flavor. :mrgreen:
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Re: Alvarez Yairi CY140 vs. Yamaha GC41C

Postby Bonita » Tue Jul 06, 2010 12:11 am

I am liking my GC-31 spruce top more and more as it opens up.

It is sweet and well balanced, and is sufficiently loud.

And yes, I find Yamaha pays good attention to detail and finishing.
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Re: Alvarez Yairi CY140 vs. Yamaha GC41C

Postby Dave1947 » Sat Nov 20, 2010 6:08 pm

Yes I'm a little late posting this but wanted to add that I purchased a GC-41c form an online dealer for $1360 new. Not knowing what to expect, I was really surprised at what a beautiful guitar can be had for so little money. There is no fancy inlay but the wood and finish are as good as I've seen at any price. The sound is warm and sweet with a kind of music box quality. It takes some playing time and new strings and lowering the saddle to bring out the best sound. If you're going to play with other instruments or vocals you might prefer their spruce model for it's slightly brighter sound. You can't lose either way in my opinion!
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