Buying a concert guitar (advice)

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RenaissanceStrings
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Buying a concert guitar (advice)

Post by RenaissanceStrings » Thu May 30, 2019 6:52 am

Hi all,

I am hoping to get some advice/views on what instrument you would choose if you were in my situation. I have recently sold my guitar and now have around 3500GBP to purchase a new one. I will be be in London (England) for two or three days and so far I've planned to visit "London Guitar Studio" as well as a few other stores in central London. So, my questions are; if you were in my situation how would you go about choosing your instrument? Which places in London would you recommend to find a concert level instrument for the budget I have available? And lastly, what things do you think I should consider before the purchase? I would very much appreciate your insight.

Thank you.

Mohsin

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petermc61
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Re: Buying a concert guitar (advice)

Post by petermc61 » Thu May 30, 2019 7:25 am

Kent Guitar Classics, not London.... take a little trip.

richtm
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Re: Buying a concert guitar (advice)

Post by richtm » Thu May 30, 2019 8:38 am

petermc61 wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 7:25 am
Kent Guitar Classics, not London.... take a little trip.
Agreed!!!
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Conall
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Re: Buying a concert guitar (advice)

Post by Conall » Thu May 30, 2019 10:44 am

Whichever shop you go to try as many within your budget as you can. Try 2nd hand too. Bring a musical friend, even better a good guitarist / teacher / performer. They can then give a 2nd opinion. What sounds great initially to the player is not always "the best" for the listener. For example a very loud guitar can initially impress you the player but can sound unpleasant tonally to the listener (some modern fancy braced / double topped / nomex etc can sound almost banjo like in their attack). Go for tone, balance, intonation, freedom from defects (fret buzz etc) over just volume (though a minimum level of volume is necessary to avoid playing with amplification in small halls and for unamplified ensemble participation).

Play every single note on the fingerboard & open strings & listen very carefully. Use a loud rest stroke to check for fret buzz. Check all octaves, harmonics esp at 12th fret & their fretted note equivalents for comparison. Check a good selection of chords for intonation too. Play a selection of pieces that exploit different parts of the fingerboard / strings. My testing pieces include Villa-lobos preludes 1, 3 & 5. Prelude 1 (1st section) and 5 (mid section) are great for 4th & 5th string melodies. Prelude 3 (2nd section) is great for melody on treble strings especially if you re-finger it to play most of the notes on the 2nd & 3rd strings.

I guess if resale value is important to you a recognised name is useful and excellent condition (if 2nd hand) & fairly conservative materials & looks though it's less important to me.

UKsteve
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Re: Buying a concert guitar (advice)

Post by UKsteve » Thu May 30, 2019 12:51 pm

RenaissanceStrings wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 6:52 am
I am hoping to get some advice/views on what instrument you would choose if you were in my situation. I have recently sold my guitar and now have around 3500GBP to purchase a new one. I will be be in London (England) for two or three days and so far I've planned to visit "London Guitar Studio" as well as a few other stores in central London. So, my questions are; if you were in my situation how would you go about choosing your instrument?
I would always try and buy used if money is an issue; you just get a lot more for it.
Stores do allow you to try a range of guitars etc. but it will cost you more. Even their used guitars will attract VAT and commission. Fair enough - they have to make a living.
If I were in your sutuation I'd wait for something right to come up in the classifieds here. If you need it immediately, go to a store.

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souldier
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Re: Buying a concert guitar (advice)

Post by souldier » Thu May 30, 2019 2:05 pm

Definitely try Kent's. I would just try a bunch, including ones over my price range. If there is one that really speaks to you that is above your price range, I'd try to find one used or directly commission from the luthier. When testing instruments, try not to be swayed by the maker, price, looks, etc. and you could very well find a guitar that really moves you that fits well within your budget. Sometimes a lower priced instrument performs better or comparably with one many times its price. You can always ask the owner of the shop to point you to what he feels is the best value for your budget and that should help you to narrow things down.
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Stephen Kenyon
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Re: Buying a concert guitar (advice)

Post by Stephen Kenyon » Thu May 30, 2019 7:26 pm

If you are actually in London it would be very odd not to visit London Guitar Studio - also Ivor Mairants Musicentre .
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quixilver
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Re: Buying a concert guitar (advice)

Post by quixilver » Fri May 31, 2019 2:31 am

Kent Guitar Classics is a “must” to visit when you’re in London.

Make a call or email Mr. Miles Roberts for a schedule to visit and he might be kind enough to give you a ride from Sevenoaks train station, which is about 20-30 mins going South by train. It is definitely worth the trip but please be warned, there are too many good guitars for you to try and play, then you might end up spending more than your budget!
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RenaissanceStrings
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Re: Buying a concert guitar (advice)

Post by RenaissanceStrings » Fri May 31, 2019 4:14 am

Thank you all so much for your advice and guidance. I will message Mr. Miles Roberts as well as try out as many guitars in London. For once, money isn't the big concern, it is about getting the right partner to accompany me on my musical journey, so I'll be sure to be meticulous in my search.

Thank you again.

Mohsin

Realstaff

Re: Buying a concert guitar (advice)

Post by Realstaff » Sun Jun 02, 2019 6:16 am

Here’s one for you, I was going to go for it but couldn’t raise the money. Great sound and competitive price.


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RenaissanceStrings
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Location: England and China

Re: Buying a concert guitar (advice)

Post by RenaissanceStrings » Sun Jun 02, 2019 3:48 pm

Thank you for sharing. It is a wonderful instrument but I am looking for a mellower/darker sound than this.

Much appreciated.

Mohsin

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