Advice on a second guitar

Construction and repair of Classical Guitar and related instruments
richbal

Advice on a second guitar

Post by richbal » Sat Feb 17, 2007 1:30 pm

Hi, I am new to this forum and fairly new to classical guitar (3 years or thereabouts - wasted many years just playing electrics). I am looking for some advice. I currently own a Rodriguez Model A which cost about £320 and am now looking to upgrade. Have considered Ramirez 1E, but would prefer rosewood rather than mahogany, purely for aesthetic reasons. My budget is about £1000 - 1200.

I'd be grateful for suggestions.

Would anyone recommend buying untested guitars on e - b a y ?

Thanks

StaticXD00d

Post by StaticXD00d » Sat Feb 17, 2007 1:48 pm

You'll probably find that nobody recommends buying an unplayed guitar on e - b a y.

You should probably find a local store that sells them and pay them a visit, play every guitar in the shop until you find the one that you don't want to put down.

Then plunk down the cash and take her home. :)

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James Lister
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Re: Advice on a second guitar

Post by James Lister » Sat Feb 17, 2007 2:17 pm

richbal wrote:
Would anyone recommend buying untested guitars on e - b a y ?

Thanks
No, you might get lucky, but probably not. If there's a specialist CG studio near you, try them first.

James
James Lister, luthier, Sheffield UK

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Vesuvio
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Post by Vesuvio » Sat Feb 17, 2007 2:26 pm

Hello Richbal,

You might edit your profile to say where inthe world you are—it might help members given you some more local advice.

I think your guitar has a cedar top? Personally, I love cedar, but if I were looking for a second guitar I would be tempted to look for a spruce top.

If you have time, you might like to drop in on the Introduce Yourself section so that everyone will see you have joined us and where you can tell us a little about your musical background and interests.

Best wishes, V

PS I agree with the others, I wouldn't buy an untried instrument on e - b a y.
"There are only two things worth aiming for, good music and a clean conscience." Paul Hindemith

richbal

Post by richbal » Sat Feb 17, 2007 2:38 pm

Vesuvio - thanks for your tips. I believe my Rodriguez does have a cedar top and laminated rosewood. I guess upgrading to solid timbers would give me a significant improvement in tone. I will certainly edit my profile. I live in UK. No specialists where I live and choice of classicals is limited in my local stores. I have been disappointed with lack of knowledge of staff in my local guitar store on classicals (no names, no pack drill - as they say), so am resigned to having to travel to London, or if anyone can recommend decent stores thoughout the country?

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Vesuvio
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Post by Vesuvio » Sat Feb 17, 2007 3:25 pm

Hello again,

Now I know where you are I can give you some ideas:

http://www.staffordguitar.com Very good range, helpful staff. *

http://www.classicalguitar.co.uk Very good range. Based in Birmingham.

http://www.sheehans.com Based in Leicester. Not guitar specialists but very helpful. *

http://www.promenademusic.co.uk Based in Morecambe. Quite a good range. Not guitar specialists but very helpful. **

http://www.spanish-guitar-bristol.co.uk Based in Bristol. I know nothing about them but they are not very far from you.

* Will send you a guitar to try without obligation if you pay the return postage.

** Usually has Ramirez 1E and 2E plus the R range in stock.

Give me five minutes and then check your personal messages.

Best wishes, V
Last edited by Vesuvio on Sat Feb 17, 2007 3:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"There are only two things worth aiming for, good music and a clean conscience." Paul Hindemith

richbal

Post by richbal » Sat Feb 17, 2007 3:39 pm

Glad you mentioned Stafford Guitar. That's where I bought the Rodriguez from and think I got some really good advice. They're prices look are good too. Thanks for the tip about the Bristol shop hadn't heard of them.

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James Lister
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Post by James Lister » Sat Feb 17, 2007 5:45 pm

I've been to the Bristol Spanish Guitar Centre - can't remember the guys name there, but he was very friendly and helpful.

James
James Lister, luthier, Sheffield UK

richbal

Post by richbal » Sat Feb 17, 2007 8:31 pm

Thanks, James
Nice website, by the way.

richbal

Post by richbal » Sun Feb 18, 2007 5:30 pm

thanks ameede for your reply. I like my current guitar. It was my first classical and I think I got some really good advice when purchasing it. However, I think now as my technique is slowly improving I want a better instrument. I have tried some more expensive models, and can appreciate the improved tone though have solid timbers rather than the laminates.

I quite often check out e - b a y for classicals, not brave enough yet to bid on any. I am keeping my options open.

I am also considering subscribing to Classical Guitar Magazine I have the January edition and its quite interesting , although I was expecting more sheet music, but I guess I can find that here now!

richbal

Post by richbal » Sun Feb 18, 2007 10:53 pm

Thanks so much for your advice

pradtf

Re: Advice on a second guitar

Post by pradtf » Sun Feb 18, 2007 11:46 pm

richbal wrote:Would anyone recommend buying untested guitars on e - b a y ?
i can't say for guitars, but we have purchased several brass instruments on e - b a y and have always been delighted. we checked the seller's history and always chose vintage instruments asking questions about the compression etc. in other words, we got to 'know' the seller before we bid. we also learned a fair bit about the instrument we were bidding on so i think ameede's advice is very good.

however, guitars may be a very different story. i know violins are to some extent. for instance, a vintage conn trumpet is a conn (pretty well no 2 ways about it). but a vintage stainer violin is very unlikely a stainer (apparently back in the old days luthiers would make copies but not label them as such - or so i was told).

i also think that string instruments are subject to personalization to a greater extent than brass - the feel and sound on a guitar or violin is more 'variable' depending upon who is playing it and how (assuming a reasonable threshold of competence of course). there is also a good deal more 'variability' to making guitars and violins than brass so the personalization is greater on that side as well.

so in summary, our approach is something like this. if we want to do e - b a y, we will look for vintage instruments because even on the rare chance we luck out on playability there is a certain amount of nostalgic value there. however, if we were looking for the perfect playing instrument, then the try before you buy would make more sense in all likelihood (you can often do this on e - b a y too with the really good sellers because they will give you moneyback trial period since they are very confident about what they are selling).

JQ.

Post by JQ. » Mon Feb 19, 2007 2:16 am

I have seen numerous instances where e - b a y sellers fraudulently misrepresented their product, right down to "borrowing" pictures of other guitars they did not actually own. So I'd say "buyer beware", especially when dealing with higher-end guitars.

If it's a low/mid-range guitar, you might actually get a decent deal, but I have seen some obvious junk on e - b a y that makes Estaban's Home Shopping Network offerings look like a good deal. There are shipping costs to consider (and possible damage in transit) and the fact that returning an item is not always easy.

Personally, I would not buy a guitar I could not play first. If you are open to buying used, there are other sources. In the US at least, craigslist.com is a good source for finding used items in most major metropolitan areas. Being able to contact a seller and meet them and try the guitar in person first is less risky than dealing with e - b a y, IMO.

obturator

Post by obturator » Mon Feb 19, 2007 2:51 am

I think there is a large amount of risk involved in buying an instrument on e - b a y. Even if the seller seems reputable. I had some very bad luck with a 100% positive feedback seller. (it wasn't a guitar though)

jcrants

Post by jcrants » Tue Feb 20, 2007 6:13 pm

Given that you already have a guitar that you like pretty well, it seems like you can take your time and be choosy about the second one. Personally, the only way I'm not testing my second guitar before I own it is if I build it myself.

One way or another, I think you should be sure your next guitar is one you'll love and not want to replace, at least for a long time. You might be able to get a decent deal on e - b a y, but I think the odds are against you finding your instrumental soul-mate when she's a mail-order bride.

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