This is my first post to the website! Despite playing for 5 years, I am still an intermediate classical guitar player. Until I started taking classical lessons, I had never played a musical instrument before. I have enjoyed learning to read music and I find that practicing guitar is one of the most wonderful ways to relax after a stressful day (something everyone can relate to).
I presently play a cedar top Manuel Rodriguez C3 and am very happy with its warmth and great projection. I am curious about adding a spruce top guitar to my armamentarium, just to have a different sound for particular moods. I have seen quite a few posts about buying classical guitars from China. To my naïve view, it would appear that the Chinese have rapidly acquired the ability to make very good guitars. Many of you have commented on the excellent performance of New World guitars (Kenny Hill) or Yamaha guitars, for example. Given the reputation for certain Chinese-made guitar lines, I would feel comfortable ordering a guitar on line (although I'd prefer to play the actual guitar that I'm buying).
I'd like to push it one step further and ask if anyone has experience buying directly from an OEM? Are there particular OEMs to avoid? As many of you have commented, it could be very risky buying a guitar without playing it, or at least hearing it. However, if the OEM already has the experience making high quality guitars, why not buy directly from the OEM?
Looking forward to hearing your perspective.