1955 Fleta

ivan
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Location: Jakarta - Indonesia

Re: 1955 Fleta

Post by ivan » Sat May 25, 2019 9:28 am

larryguitar wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 10:39 am
Do interested buyers get to play it at the public viewing? It’s a lot of cash to put down on a blind purchase.

I actually played a Fleta recently and it was a terrible disappointment. The trebles were dead, the basses were nice. Supposedly, the strings were new. It was from the 1960s. Was it played out? Could it be fixed? I’m not a virtuoso but I could tell that it didn’t respond even when pushed hard.
I think more and more we've hear or read a disappointing experience when observing super expensive guitar.
I have some exactly similar experience with Larry. Few years ago in Singapore, i tried a 2nd generation famous German guitar (i won't drop the name), super expensive (55.000 US$), but it sounds dead. No dynamic, very weak sound. Almost like Yamaha CG series student guitar.
I also tried Centenario model limited edition famous Spanish guitar (28.000 US$). And it also sounds just so and so, nothing special although not as bad as the 55.000 $ guitar.
And my most recent terrible direct experience is on this thread : viewtopic.php?f=1&t=125699&p=1338263#p1338263
Mediocre craftmanship, lots of very obvious wolf notes, poor set up.

My friend also have terrible experience with real Bouchet that he tried at Andrea Tacchi's workshop (i drop the name here because the maker is already dead so i will not offend anyone). The guitar even can not tuned properly. Terrible intonation. Always out of tune everywhere.

I think this is a warning for all of us. Always be cautious when dealing with super expensive guitars. Some guitars are indeed has super high quality (sound, craftmanship, materials quality, and playability) to match their high price tag. But many of them are just gives you a fantasy, fairy tales, overhype reputation, myth, and another (sorry) b-s..

quixilver
Posts: 375
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 2:22 am
Location: Indonesia / Singapore

Re: 1955 Fleta

Post by quixilver » Sat May 25, 2019 2:45 pm

ivan wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 9:28 am

I think more and more we've hear or read a disappointing experience when observing super expensive guitar.
I have some exactly similar experience with Larry. Few years ago in Singapore, i tried a 2nd generation famous German guitar (i won't drop the name), super expensive (55.000 US$), but it sounds dead. No dynamic, very weak sound. Almost like Yamaha CG series student guitar.
Ivan... I tried that guitar and would assume it’s just another “not so good” sample despite the big name, but the owner/seller was very proud of it nonetheless. Having said that, I have tried a few other Hauser II guitars and they did good justice to the price tag. Similarly, I had also tried a 1978 Daniel Friederich which I sent you the video a couple of weeks ago. It costs about $35-40k but there was nothing else to shout about, sounds no better than the guitar made by Joshia de Jonge you did show to me the other day.

Back to the topic... Recently, I had a chance to try three different Fleta guitars from different years and one of them were made by the sons. Those guitars, although sharing the same DNA, they somehow sound quite differently. They were in a considerably good and original condition, no repair or whatsoever but quite clearly the better one was from the late 60s made by Ignacio Fleta Sr. The other two were just “okay” and had nothing special about how they sound, guess the values are just simply representing historical sentiments and purely subjective.

Hence, I would suggest to make sure to try the guitar and do not take any risk of throwing that sum amount of money to buy a guitar sight unseen especially if it is an old historical one, and costs a fortune.
"After food, air and water, classical guitar is the next necessity of life."

1988 Kazuo Sato | 2005 Tobias Berg | 2007 Rolf Eichinger | 2014 Alexandru Marian | 2015 Christoph Sembdner | 2015 Antonio Raya Ferrer | 2016 Masaki Sakurai P.C.

astro64
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Location: American Southwest

Re: 1955 Fleta

Post by astro64 » Sat May 25, 2019 4:39 pm

There is a price point where anything above that price point reflects name, reputation, resale value, fame, whatever, but not sound. Probably the limit is somewhere near $15,000 these days. Or maybe $10,000 or $20,000. No matter how good a guitar, if the builder is new on the market, or his or her instruments are not (or no longer) played by famous performers, etc and you pay a high price for it, the odds are you will never be able to sell it for anything near the amount you bought it for. For instruments priced in these high price ranges, the risk you take in resale value when buying a mediocre Fleta, or Hauser, etc is much less than in buying a superb instrument by a lesser known luthier.

larryguitar
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Location: New York City

Re: 1955 Fleta

Post by larryguitar » Sat May 25, 2019 5:08 pm

I think classical guitarists are incredibly lucky to have so many luthier-built guitars available in the $5-10k and even the $3-5k price brackets. This is not true in the violin world. It’s a bit puzzling as violins are crude instruments compared to classical guitars but they somehow command much larger sums. I guess the reason is historic.

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petermc61
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Re: 1955 Fleta

Post by petermc61 » Sat May 25, 2019 11:49 pm

Have not yet heard a mediocre Fleta. Maybe I am lucky. Maybe when people from Asia say they sounded dull they had gained moisture from being in an 80% humidity climate and this made a big difference. I know some of my guitars lose openness and vibrancy when the humidity (in Sydney) rises from 40% to 70-80%. It could be as simple as that, or a poor choice of strings.

larryguitar
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Location: New York City

Re: 1955 Fleta

Post by larryguitar » Sun May 26, 2019 12:10 am

petermc61 wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 11:49 pm
Have not yet heard a mediocre Fleta. Maybe I am lucky. Maybe when people from Asia say they sounded dull they had gained moisture from being in an 80% humidity climate and this made a big difference. I know some of my guitars lose openness and vibrancy when the humidity (in Sydney) rises from 40% to 70-80%. It could be as simple as that, or a poor choice of strings.
I think it could also be a case of neglected upkeep, in the case of the one I played. If you don’t cleat the cracks or prevent the guitar from cracking in the first place, don’t get new frets installed when they’re worn out, don’t have work done on the fretboard, etc, I think the tone and playability can suffer.

Fletas are not magical instruments, they’re still just guitars, and, yes, it was built by the old man in the 1960s. If I owned that Fleta, I would immediately bring it to someone to have it worked on to see if it could be brought back to life. I wouldn’t buy in its present condition because there is no way to know if it can improved.

As for the humidity theory, well, this Fleta lives in New York, so most of the year, it is not subjected to high humidity, it has to be humidified to prevent it from cracking.

quixilver
Posts: 375
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 2:22 am
Location: Indonesia / Singapore

Re: 1955 Fleta

Post by quixilver » Sun May 26, 2019 8:28 am

petermc61 wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 11:49 pm
Have not yet heard a mediocre Fleta. Maybe I am lucky. Maybe when people from Asia say they sounded dull they had gained moisture from being in an 80% humidity climate and this made a big difference. I know some of my guitars lose openness and vibrancy when the humidity (in Sydney) rises from 40% to 70-80%. It could be as simple as that, or a poor choice of strings.
I tried these guitars at a very well-known shop in Japan, they store hi-end guitars in a well treated room @45-55% RH. The room itself is acoustically designed (i.e. window shape, curtains, wood panels, etc.) to allow customers to play and to listen every single thing the guitar is singing in details. I’m pretty sure those guys know exactly what they’re doing in the business, making sure their premium guitar stocks are always “standby” whenever a customer comes into the playground :)

That said, those guitars are pre-owned and probably got their way into the shop quite recently. We don’t know how the previous owner took care of them and whether or not these guitars were exposed to moisture over the lifespan. This adds up another factor to consider when buying a relatively old/historical instrument.
"After food, air and water, classical guitar is the next necessity of life."

1988 Kazuo Sato | 2005 Tobias Berg | 2007 Rolf Eichinger | 2014 Alexandru Marian | 2015 Christoph Sembdner | 2015 Antonio Raya Ferrer | 2016 Masaki Sakurai P.C.

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