Mark Featherstone wrote: ↑
Fri May 31, 2019 11:28 pm
I read or heard recently that even excellent classical guitars, unlike excellent violins, have a short(ish) lifespan. That is to say, they will get better with some months? years?, but the sound will then begin to degrade. So my questions are (a) Do people agree that this is generally true? (b) And if so, how old is too old for a classical guitar? I realize that there must be a ton of variables that might make it difficult or impossible to generalize. Let's say we are talking about guitars from respected luthiers in the $3000 to $5000 USD range (new and in today's dollars).
I ask because I am seeing used guitars on sale on e - b a y and Craig's list that were made by reputable luthiers, but going back to the 80s or even the 60s. Are these guitars likely to be past their prime?
I think you'll find that many in the violin community wonder the same thing about non-antique violins, and debate it ad nauseum. You'll hear stories of violins deteriorating after a year, and others blossoming after decades of "playing in". So there seems to be similar risk, or at least fear of risk, involved. AFAIK, reputable luthier violins tend to cost a lot more than equivalent guitars, so on the basis of cost/risk we come out ahead. And even if it's true that guitars wear out faster and you have to replace your guitar every decade or so, in your playing lifetime you may end up spending less than you would for a single violin.
This has me wondering now how luthiers feel about second- or third-hand owners of their instruments, of any kind, coming to them for maintenance or repair, or questions about materials or care. I suppose that's a very individual thing?