Beginner Who Needs Help Finding Guitar

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Blue
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Location: Michigan

Beginner Who Needs Help Finding Guitar

Post by Blue » Sun Apr 15, 2018 2:16 am

Hello all!

I am wishing to learn how to play the classical guitar, but I’m at a loss as to which one to purchase.

I have seen past posts from beginners on this subject, but they all seem to have a much higher budget than my college student range of $200-$350.

Is it possible to find a decent guitar at this range that is not junk with strings attached? Any recommendations?

Many thanks,

~Blue

Norman2
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Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2015 11:01 pm

Re: Beginner Who Needs Help Finding Guitar

Post by Norman2 » Sun Apr 15, 2018 12:03 pm

Hi, I would take a look at the Cordoba line of guitars. They make probably the best beginner classical guitar. The C3M has a solid cedar top and laminated
mahogany sides and back, Rosewood fingerboard and bridge and matte finish. Also the Cordoba C5 which a slightly better guitar also with Solid Cedar
top and mahogany sides and back. Both are within your budget at Guitar Center. You can also find a Cordoba C7 used for about 350.00 which has solid
cedar top but Rosewood back and sides. This is the guitar I play and very happy with it. Google Cordoba guitars and take a look at them. Regards
Norman2
Cordoba C7 Cedar

prawnheed

Re: Beginner Who Needs Help Finding Guitar

Post by prawnheed » Sun Apr 15, 2018 12:18 pm

You can easily get a good guitar within your budget.

For example, Yamaha make excellent starter guitars - well made, consistent and sound good.

If you know what you are doing, or know someone who does, then buying used you could get an excellent guitar with your budget.

MIoutdoorguy
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Re: Beginner Who Needs Help Finding Guitar

Post by MIoutdoorguy » Sun Apr 15, 2018 12:25 pm

I have a Cordoba guitar, albiet a higher end model (45MR), and I and very happy with it. Bradford Werner has a review of the Cordoba C5 on his website (or YouTube) thisisclassicalguitar.com, which you might find helpful.
MIoutdoorguy

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dta721
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Location: Ottawa, Canada

Re: Beginner Who Needs Help Finding Guitar

Post by dta721 » Sun Apr 15, 2018 12:52 pm

It's good to see more endorsements of Cordoba guitars. I observed a few things from this Forum:
- good value for an all solid wood guitar, best bang for the buck especially from the OP's perspective;
- made in China models did not seem to have quality control issues relative to those made in Spain, e.g. Espana Series vs Luthiers series!
- Cordobas in Europe carry a premium relative to guitars made locally, whereas in North America the reverse is true! It can be a "culture thing", but trust your ears, not people's opinion!

I had my reservations about Cordobas in general before, but when I tried a few models and compared to the sound of a guitar I have, I was convinced the C12 SP that I tested offers the sound I really like, enough to pull the trigger!

II second Norman's suggestion of a used C7, but of course try before you buy as possible.

c.rispoli
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Re: Beginner Who Needs Help Finding Guitar

Post by c.rispoli » Sun Apr 15, 2018 6:21 pm

It might take a lot of work to find something special in that price range, but it is not impossible.

1. You need to play dozens of guitars. Companies like Yamaha and Ibanez make plenty of guitars in that price range and occasionally a few of them are quite good. I recommend playing as many of their guitars as you can find until one stands out of the crowd.

2. Avoid fancy gadgets like internal pick-ups and tuners that make the price tag higher. It is more in your best interest to have all of your money go towards a quality instrument instead to unnecessary additions.

3. Take an experienced classical guitarist with you whenever you can. A guitar will sound very different to a listener when compared to the perspective of the person playing it. Also, an experienced players' nuanced ear will be useful.

Best of luck,

Chris

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Blue
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Location: Michigan

Re: Beginner Who Needs Help Finding Guitar

Post by Blue » Sun Apr 15, 2018 6:31 pm

Thank you all for your helpful replies!

I have looked at Cordoba guitars and they seem nice for the price point. Does anyone know if there’s that much of a difference between the C3M and the C5?

Also, what Yamaha guitars would you recommend?

Thanks,
~Blue

Scott Phillips
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Re: Beginner Who Needs Help Finding Guitar

Post by Scott Phillips » Sun Apr 15, 2018 6:45 pm

Check out the Lucero LC 200s. The fit and finish is just as good as a Córdoba C7? The guitars come with a fairly low action, and have a 52mm nut and is a solid cedar top. They run around 300 dollars.

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dta721
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Location: Ottawa, Canada

Re: Beginner Who Needs Help Finding Guitar

Post by dta721 » Sun Apr 15, 2018 7:20 pm

Blue wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 6:31 pm
Thank you all for your helpful replies!

I have looked at Cordoba guitars and they seem nice for the price point. Does anyone know if there’s that much of a difference between the C3M and the C5?

Also, what Yamaha guitars would you recommend?

Thanks,
~Blue
Here is an old, archived but relevant thread, and FWIW:
viewtopic.php?f=130&t=52445

Wuuthrad
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Location: USA

Re: Beginner Who Needs Help Finding Guitar

Post by Wuuthrad » Sun Apr 15, 2018 7:33 pm

Manuel Rodriguez makes guitars comparable to the Cordoba line. I think the MR Caballero 11 is similar to the Cordoba C5 or C7.

If you look on R.e v e r b or B ay, you can find deals on refurbished guitars as well as used. One advantage of big retailers is a generous return policy.

Once your a classical guitarist and devotee, after you've fallen in love with the guitar and began a lifelong obsession, like the rest of us, you can find a really nice hand made artisan luthier guitar!
"I can sense the atonal...I always try very hard to bring it out."
- Julian Bream

Wuuthrad
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Re: Beginner Who Needs Help Finding Guitar

Post by Wuuthrad » Sun Apr 15, 2018 9:17 pm

I just noticed a Cordoba 45 r on the Verb for 4 bills... a heck of a guitar for that price. They retail new for over 1,000$!
"I can sense the atonal...I always try very hard to bring it out."
- Julian Bream

Norman2
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Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2015 11:01 pm

Re: Beginner Who Needs Help Finding Guitar

Post by Norman2 » Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:03 pm

Blue wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 6:31 pm
Thank you all for your helpful replies!

I have looked at Cordoba guitars and they seem nice for the price point. Does anyone know if there’s that much of a difference between the C3M and the C5?

Also, what Yamaha guitars would you recommend?

Thanks,
~Blue
Hi Blue, The C3M although cheaper than the C5 sound much better than the C5. The C5 has a very heavy Polyurethane finish which dampens the sound
On the other hand the C3M has a very light matte finish and the sound has more presence and clairty. I know as I have owned both. I do not recommend
Yamahas as they do not have a truss rod like the Cordobas that make adjusting the relief to obtain lower string action, which is paramount to playability
which is what you want. Try both and make sure you read the reviews on the C3M as they are super good. It is rated the best guitar under 300.00 by
various sites. Good luck,
Norman
Cordoba C7 Cedar

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Blue
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Location: Michigan

Re: Beginner Who Needs Help Finding Guitar

Post by Blue » Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:39 am

Hi guys,

I definitely want to start getting my hands on guitars- looking online can only be so helpful! :)

Couple things:

1. From what I’ve been reading in past posts, it sounds like there is variation within each type of guitar. What I mean is that, due to something such as improper humidity control in warehouses or in showrooms- one Cordoba C5 may sound different than another C5 that I find elsewhere.
Is this true? Is it more common in the lower budget guitars?
It seems like finding the “right one” is somewhat of a shot in the dark. :?

2. Along with my previous question: As a beginner, I’m not sure what would constitute a “good” sounding guitar. I have a friend who has played classical guitar seriously in the past, but it is very unlikely that he could come along with me as he is a very busy guy.
Is there a suitable way to distinguish “ok” from “great”?

Many thanks,
~Blue

prawnheed

Re: Beginner Who Needs Help Finding Guitar

Post by prawnheed » Mon Apr 16, 2018 1:26 am

The variation between individual guitars is probably more obvious at the highest end rather than in beginner guitars. If you buy an established brand like Yamaha or Cordoba then the consistency is pretty high as they are factory built to pretty tight tolerances. Like in any complex product though there can be the odd dud that gets through the factory qa, gets damaged in shipping or gets abused in the store.

So for the guitars you are looking at, you are generally pretty safe buying online, but it might be an idea to get your friend to check it over for obvious issues before the return period expires.

As to sound, for a while at least, the limiting factor will be you and your skills, not the guitar.

Edit: the truss rod is not an issue, no high-end guitars that I know of have them. Cue exceptions ....

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Blue
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Location: Michigan

Re: Beginner Who Needs Help Finding Guitar

Post by Blue » Mon Apr 16, 2018 1:59 am

prawnheed wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 1:26 am
The variation between individual guitars is probably more obvious at the highest end rather than in beginner guitars. If you buy an established brand like Yamaha or Cordoba then the consistency is pretty high as they are factory built to pretty tight tolerances. Like in any complex product though there can be the odd dud that gets through the factory qa, gets damaged in shipping or gets abused in the store.

So for the guitars you are looking at, you are generally pretty safe buying online, but it might be an idea to get your friend to check it over for obvious issues before the return period expires.

As to sound, for a while at least, the limiting factor will be you and your skills, not the guitar.

Edit: the truss rod is not an issue, no high-end guitars that I know of have them. Cue exceptions ....
Thank you, prawnheed! That is very helpful!

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