Esteve 1GR08 Spanish Classical Acoustic Reviews
I'm very familiar with the classical guitar sound as my teacher plays a model he had custom made in Spain. I play purely steel stringed acoustics and always wanted my own classical since a lot of music we use for our sessions are of the classical genre. The thought being if you can play classical you can play anything.
I tried a number of guitars and fell in love with the Esteve 1GR08 at the Guitar Center($1500 retail, I paid $1283 for the whole smash including taxes) after spending some time with it. The guitar is rather smallish compared to some of my other instruments and I was shocked at how much volume it punched out. When aggressively played I REALLY noticed the vibration of the lows in my chest and even laughed out loud once or twice after having my guts scrambled (my wife didn’t understand). Being a classical, the action is a little higher than I’m used to (as it should be) and you can really give those strings a strum with your thumb for example and you typically won’t get a buzz. Vibration yes, buzz no. Sustain was exceptional and the tone was more than I’d hoped for. Finish is a high gloss with minimal decoration (which I like) and there were no major imperfections or small ones for that matter.
I’m partial to cedar-topped guitars and this was no exception. Back and sides are solid Rosewood, finger-board is ebony. Tuning machines are more than adequate and they’re smooth operators along with being ascetically pleasing – gold metal and pearl knobs. A smart and very professional look altogether, I’m proud to own it. My teacher commented “I didn’t know they made them that well” when I brought it to my lesson. I believe he was referring to the guitar vs. what I paid for it. I don’t know what he paid for his but I’ll bet it was a bundle in addition to his travel expenses to Spain. Heck, I just like the way he said it.
I really have no complaints regarding this instrument and actually feel as though I got more than what I paid for which is a real change from the status-quo. I'm very satisfied with the whole deal and believe I'll have this guitar for life.
The guitar is hand-built in Spain by one of the various artisans at the Esteve factory and I believe the components are machine made and then tuned by the individual as assembly takes place. Based on serial number information provided I know my guitar was built on October 1, 2003 and was the fourth instrument of its type produced that day. Importing is done by Ron Fernandez into the US and he personally performs a setup on the instrument – www.fernandezmusic.com if you’re interest in the details. You are also provided with a little booklet describing the guitar’s origin, construction materials, string recommendation and Ron writes a nice little love note on the back of the book to the purchaser. Making a long story short, I had some problems/questions about the information in my booklet and emailed Ron, he immediately sent me a new booklet and put a little personal note to me on the inside cover (at my request LOL). Ron and me, we’re pals now, lol. The guitar also comes with a good looking custom, lockable case that fits and works perfectly, I WD-40’d a squeaky hinge after about 2 weeks use.
The guitar is definitely a keeper. I strongly recommend it and was surprised to find there is very little information about Esteve's on the web. So I'm hoping I got in on the ground floor, at least in the US.Jeff Roberts
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