Once you get beyond the beginner stage in classical guitar, you are immediately looking at serious musical instrument quality. If you do not have a huge guitar-buying budget, you will need to be quite choosy and able to bear in mind the qualities you feel that your present guitar lacks. Your next classical guitar is, to a large degree, your musical voice, so do not let a tight budget make you buy a second grade instrument.
Let us start with Alvarez guitars, makers of a wide range of guitars. Alvarez guitars have been recognized as one of the leading acoustic guitar brands in the world. Alvarez guitars have been made in America since 1965 and are handmade in limited quantities making use of traditional construction techniques and naturally seasoned wood. Because the Alvarez craftsmen do not use computers to build their guitars, each guitar has its own unique feel and character.
Alvarez Regent Series RC10 Classical Guitar is towards the more affordable end of the Alvarez guitar range. but the Alvarez family craftsmanship still makes itself felt. A hand picked spruce top projects a warm tone topped off by mahogany sides and back. Rosewood fretboard and bridge and a real mosaic rosette make for a sumptuous look set off by gold machine heads. The novice guitar player will be pleased with the low action and optimal string spacing.
Alvarez Masterworks Series MC90 Classical Guitar is maybe the finest classical guitar in its price range. Its Indian rosewood back and sides, plus Western cedar top with precision scalloped bracing are features usually found only on much more pricey guitars. This instrument features a really elaborate mosaic rosette, rosewood body binding and headcap. The gold machine heads with tortoise buttons make it a guitar you will be proud to play and be seen playing for many years to come.
And now for the Jose Ramirez 4E Classical Guitar. The Ramirez name has been synonymous with fine guitars since 1882, and the 4E Classical Guitar is the top of the line. It is all made completely by hand and contains much of the look and feel of more expensive instruments. With hand-inlaid purfling, the marquetry and detailing are the most refined of all the Ramirez student guitars. Humidicase is included. The Jose Ramirez 4E Classical Guitar features a Cedar soundboard, solid rosewood back and sides, Spanish cedar neck strengthened by ebony topped off by an ebony fretboard and Fustero machine heads.
Finally, the Manuel Contreras II C-7 Classical Guitar. Manuel Contreras was born in 1928 and died 1994. He started out as a cabinet maker moved onto making guitars in Jose Ramirez’ guitar shop in Madrid in 1959. He started his own luthier business in 1962. Manuel’s son Pablo was born in 1957 and presently makes guitars himself aided by a smallish staff. Although the Contreras II C-7 guitar is at the low end of the Contreras line, you still get the benefits of the Contreras tradition of making top quality classical guitars. This guitar features a light, player-friendly action and a satisfying clarity and evenness of tone.The Manuel Contreras II C-7 Classical Guitar features a Solid cedar top with Indian rosewood back and sides plus Honduras cedar neck and ebony fingerboard.