Information, suggestions and advice on choosing a classical guitar.
The Abanico guitar company was formed by a guitar teacher, frustrated at the lack of choice when his pupils came to upgrade their guitars from their basic models. There has always been a lack of instrument choice at the difficult £200 to £300 price point but these quality instruments represent extremely good value for that kind of money. Available with either solid spruce or cedar fronts, they have laminate rosewood back and sides and are fitted with Der Jung machine heads. They come complete with a semi rigid foam case. You can try them in Worthing, Sussex or, have them couriered to your door, with a money back guarantee if not completely satisfied. If you are a pupil looking to upgrade your current classical guitar or a teacher wanting a good quality workhorse, then please check out http://www.abanico-guitars.co.uk For sale now.
Review of Abanico Guitars (Lin Flanagan for BMG Magazine)
Ok, let’s start with the bit that will make many readers laugh. Abanico Guitars are handmade in China. Now, let’s look at all of the reasons why you should take these instruments seriously.
These guitars are very nicely finished from the woodwork through to the hardware. The woods are those that are traditionally used in classical guitar construction, and there are two models available, giving a choice of either a cedar or spruce top. The action is favourably low without unduly limiting the volume, and the neck is nicely shaped and feels very comfortable indeed. They are currently supplied with a set of respectable D’Addario strings*. In short, they feel good to play. (*Depending on the individual guitar, it will be fitted with either ‘Concertiste’ standard guage or ‘D’Addario’ high tension strings)
The quality of the sound that is produced by both of the two models on offer is quite exquisite. The cedar top version gives a warm rounded sound that to my mind best suits classical music, while the spruce top version emanates an equally pleasant but brighter sound that is more conducive to Latin styles. However, these are entirely subjective conclusions. There is a distinct difference in tone between the two models, but it is not easy to decide on a preference.
At the price that these guitars are offered they are an absolute steal. But the fact that they come with a hard case makes the price outrageous. If you’re looking to step up from the traditional sub-£150 beginners guitar range, you’ll be hard-pushed to get a better guitar for £225 (price correct at time of review, now £245) than an Abanico. Most European-built guitars of this quality are only available for around twice the price.
The prejudices of a lack of authenticity were eventually overcome by Japanese luthiers of electric and steel-string acoustic guitars, some of whom eventually matched and even surpassed their American counterparts. So, I have no doubt that there will now be those who will raise their eyebrows at the thought of a Chinese-built ‘Spanish’ guitar. But if you’re looking for a ‘next level’ instrument, then for price, quality of build and sound, I strongly advise that you consider trying an Abanico.
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