Yeah, I was shocked when I first saw how much less Picados cost in Spain. I paid ~$1500 for mine ($1350 + US tax), which came with a basic $100 case. Then this summer I visited Casa Luthier in BCN and saw that the same guitar was under 700EUR, and I think that included VAT (but no case). Eek! I realize that I could have gotten a Picado 60 for what I paid! Oh well, so life goes. I still love love love my 49, and even six years later it is a joy to play. I hope the next one will be even more inspiring.Mr.Rain wrote: ↑Mon Dec 03, 2018 9:41 amHaving also a studio Picado in cedar,only to comment that the main flaw on that guitar is the lack of projection (compared to a Picado concierto and other primeras ), I would keep it as studying/travel guitar if possible (very good ratio price quality).
Bring your teacher with you or another good player in order to appreciate that (specially if you are checking spruce tops),as sometimes the sound of a cedar top can be very loud for the player but not for the listeners...
Living in Spain GSI prices get me closer to a heart attack than any other thing...(when compared to local prices in Spain or Paracho ) ...
Buzz - I play my familiar repertoire with a strong right hand to see if the buzz is at a normal/acceptable level. Also do some chromatic scales, playing every single note from frets 1-12 using rest strokes. There is no such thing as a guitar without buzz, so be reasonable in your expectations.lucho wrote: ↑Mon Dec 03, 2018 5:02 pmAs I continue to think on this, I have some specific questions:
fret buzz: how do I check for this? When I play my guitar I don't have buzz unless I'm playing a section forte-forte, then the low bass string(s) may buzz. I always accepted that as normal (hit a string hard enough it will vibrate wide enough to touch frets). Is there such thing as a completely buzz-fret design?
luthier vs customer input: my attitude in life when dealing with craftsmen is to be very clear about what you want/expect but then leave them alone and left them do their thing. My vocation is in the fine arts, and there is nothing worse than a customer micromanaging an artist's work. That being said, BECAUSE I am in the art field, I have some strong views on aesthetics. In the event I elect for a commissioned instrument, how much should/can I express my preference for the purfing/rossette/other adornments? When does my input cross over into too much control?
guitar quiver: so I live a simple life and own few possessions. I know some people like a whole rooms of instruments (or garage of sports cars, or closet of shoes, etc), but that's not me. I'm debating whether to keep the Picado, since I will likely only play the new one going forward (under the assumption it is a better more refined instrument). However, I see Mr.Rain's point above about keeping it as a second/travel guitar. If I were to keep it, would it make sense in selecting a new guitar to look for something with a different sound profile so that I effectively had two timbre options for playing at home?
lucho wrote: ↑Mon Dec 03, 2018 5:02 pm..... However, I see Mr.Rain's point above about keeping it as a second/travel guitar. If I were to keep it, would it make sense in selecting a new guitar to look for something with a different sound profile so that I effectively had two timbre options for playing at home?
Well said!souldier wrote: ↑Mon Dec 03, 2018 3:03 pmIf sound and playability are your top priority, then my main suggestion would be to simply put aside preconceived biases and judge each guitar as objectively as possible regardless of luthier, price, woods used, etc. It could very well be that the guitar that speaks to you the most is the one that is less expensive and made by a less well known luthier. I remember once being excited to try a guitar by a particular luthier because I really liked everything their website said about their philosophy, goals, work ethic, etc. When I finally got to try the guitar, I was surprised that it really wasn't for me because my expectations based on the website, sound samples, etc. told me otherwise. The point is just keep an open, objective mind as you try each guitar. Other tips:
-ALWAYS bring your guitar with you so you can compare it side by side as environment and such play a huge role in how you perceive an instrument. If you really like a guitar, see if the luthier would allow you to put the money down and bring it home for a 1-2 trial period. Playing an instrument in the comfort of your home for several hours will give you a much better idea of the guitars sound.
-Ask the luthier about their return policy. You want this clear from the onset before you commission/buy any instrument.
-Buying a ready made guitar can be really advantageous if it meets your standard for sound/playability. As great of an experience as it might be to have a newly commissioned guitar, buying a ready made guitar significantly cuts out the risk and guarantees that you are getting exactly what you want with no wait time.
-Write down your impressions of the guitars you try shortly after you try them to ensure that you are intentional in evaluating the guitar and remembering how it sounded.
-When approaching each luthier, ask them what kind of sound qualities they go for in their guitars and see if it matches up with yours. You can also express what qualities you are looking for and see if they are favorable to that.
-Note that some luthiers want to pursue their own ideals while other luthiers want to adjust as much as possible to the ideals of the customer. Try to get a feel for what kind of luthier he/she is in this regard.
-If nothing really speaks to you, don't be in a hurry to get a new instrument.
Happy hunting! Let us know how it goes.
Most builders with a reputation are essentially building to order. Once a luthier is successfully on "the list" (if such a thing existed) the only time you will get a chance to try a "luthier" guitar is in the time between finishing the guitar and when it is shipped. This is not just in Mexico. The artisanal workshops may have some stock but as in your experience, more likely the lower end stuff.