Kazu

Violão de sete cordas buying tips?

17 posts in this topic

Hello,

I would like to purchase a violao de sete cordas. Probably i would go for a costum made model. Problem is that i am not fluent in portuegese and most website by the luthiers i searched for were only in portugese language. I have a bit of knowledge on flamenco guitars, since their is a big english speaking community but i am not to solid in the brazilian scene. I like the sound yamandu costa has, snappy with lot of depth on that 7th string. Could somebody maybe name me a few of the top luthiers in terms of violao de sete cordas. I only know jao scremin and jm santos.

Greetings Lars

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Lars, there's no need to buy one from a Brazilian maker. Unlike the flamenco guitar, that has some specific types of wood, short sustain and percussive sound, the Brazilians use a standard classical guitar. 90% of the makers all over the world can build you one. In fact, Yamandu's current guitar was built by a Canadian luthier. :)

In Brazil, I'd suggest Antonio Tessarin, Sergio Abreu, Jorge Raphael or Lineu Bravo, they all have a good reputation for building 7-string guitars.

Again, it's no different than a classical guitar, you have to choose the woods, the internal bracing system (fan vs lattice), tuning machines, etc. Prices can also vary significantly depending on the maker.

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Thank you very much Eugenio.

What are your thoughts on buying the Yamandu model by Will Hamm? I really like the sound Yamandu has but I can really imagine that it all comes from his perfect playing. I bought a 7 string in Febuary by Rozini but I did not like it at all. The sound was somehow very flat and it was not very playable, action seemed to be very very high.

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Rozini is a basic guitar, typically meant for beginners. At best, it's a very "iffy" choice.

I don't have an opinion about Hamm's guitars except that they look nice. And you're right, what you hear there is Yamandu's sound, he also sounded pretty much the same when he played a Munhoz, a Tercio Ribeiro and a Pappalardo. :)

In Brazil, Tercio Ribeiro is another name with a great reputation, he's the luthier who learned directly from Mario Passos, the guy who built Rabello's last few 7-stringers.

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ok thanks. Well it is quit difficult to do the right choice considering the amount of money. As far as I know Rabello played a Ramirez 1a from 1969(or so) and a 1a from 1988 and wanted Passos to finish a guitar based on that 2 with an additional String.

I will maybe go with the hamm model ,lets see how much he wants.

Edited by Kazu

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Yes, you're right, the 6-string guitars were made by Ramirez, the 7-stringers were built by Mario Passos to be as close as to the Ramirez sound and character as possible.

Budget is always a constraint... :cold:

If you'd like to contact any of the Brazilian luthiers I listed, please send me a private message and I'll be happy to give you the emails. They are all able to communicate in English.

Expect a wide variation in price range. If you decide to go with a Brazilian maker, one thing that you'll probably need to change in the long run is the tuning machines. Most Brazilian makers use Schaller, they're not bad, but there are better ones at a good price point, it's just that Schaller dominates the market in Brazil.

You'd also have to ask for older woods and for your guitar to be conditioned to 40% humidity.

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I wrote an email to will hamm and he answered very fast and told me that the guitar with a 640 mm scale cedar top and indian rosewood will cost 12000 usd :icon_eek:. That is one of the highest prices i ever saw a luthier offering. I am really not willing to spend that much money, even if i would have it. I doubt that the cedar is from the garden of eden. I will max spend 4k, I mean you somewhere you get to the point where you realize that your are buying an rather small instrument and not a car or high tech computer.

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Oh my God, 12k on a guitar is a lot of money. I was very reluctant to pay 2k on mine, but I have no regrets. But I find hard to believe that another guitar would 6 times as good as mine. But maybe I'm talking out of my own ignorance and shallow pockets!

I remember hearing a while ago that Brazilian guitars are prone to cracking during winters or dry seasons, is that true at all?

Edited by Dan

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I'm more surprised at the 640 mm scale than at the price. I don't how renowned he is at this point but most famous makers are above the 10K price point.

But make no mistake, even in Brazil you won't find too many makers in the 4K range anymore, especially after including shipment and some other incidental expenses such as insurance and maybe customs.

Have you considered buying a used guitar or you're really into buying a brand new one?

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No i would buy a used one too. But here in Europe you do not find these usualy in good quality. Rather cheap guitars at 300 euro range. In local guitar stores here in berlin, nobody has what i am searching for.

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