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Strings

What is the most appropriate strings action for my guitar?

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Strings action is one of the most common questions when talking about guitar adjustments because it is related to player's comfort. Strings action has been thoroughly checked in each Alhambra guitar in order to adjust it to certain parameters looking for a compromise between comfort and guitar's features, always based on experience and users' comments.

That is why we can find different heights in Alhambra guitars, according to classical, classical concert, flamenco, cut-away models,... Classical concert models, 8P, 9P, 10P and 11P, are used by players with a certain knowledge and level, so we use a height that let s them get the maximum features from the instrument with no inconvenience when playing. Their experience lets them get a stronger pulsation during a longer period of time. The traditional rule is: the bigger height, the stronger sound you get and, the smaller height, the better comfort (because the pressure put on the string is inferior).

However, it is important to mention that you cannot lower the strings all that you want, because there is a limit marked by buzzing problems. Alhambra classical studio guitars and for beginners have an inferior height than classical concert models, always looking for the above mentioned compromise between features and comfort according to the profile of the player buying these models.

On the other hand, we would like to mention that strings height in flamenco guitars is much lower than in classical models. In flamenco models, we obtain this height by using a certain angle in the neck, and not only by lowering the nut and the saddle.

Besides, you must bear in mind that flamenco players have a different technique than classical ones, so the appearance of buzzing does not represent a problem for them. (A player with a classical technique will always have buzzing problems with an authentic flamenco guitar).

What strings are on my guitar?

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CLASSICAL AND FLAMENCO GUITARS

We use extra high tension strings: D'Addario (EXP 44 Extra Hard Tension).

However, it does not mean you necessarily have to use extra high string models from these or any other strings manufacturers. You can also use High or Normal tension. Everything will depend on your comfort with the guitar and the features you obtain from each kind off string. This is due to different pulsations of each player.

Regarding flamenco models, and despite we use the same strings' models than in classical guitars, there are several brand names that manufacture specialized strings for flamenco guitars, and also people that install first and bass strings from different suppliers on their guitar. You know the concrete strings' brand installed on your Alhambra guitar thanks to a small label hanging on the machine head together with the guarantee and the advices for a correct use and maintenance of the guitar.

STEEL STRING GUITARS

We use: D'Addario Phosphor Bronze EJ-16, with a gauge of 0,12 - 0,53.

We strongly recommend this gauge because we have observed failures when some customers have changed the original diameter, specially when changing to inferior gauges.

You will also find a label hanging on the machine head that lets you know the strings' brand installed on your guitar.

GUITAR CLASSIFICATION

CLASSICAL GUITARS

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Student line (1 C, 2 C, 3 C and Iberia Ziricote)

The 1 C, 2 C, 3 C and Iberia Ziricote models mark the beginning of our range of traditional Spanish guitars. The workmanship of these instruments is of unquestionable professional quality, and they are an excellent value at a low price. They are ideal for anyone wishing to learn to play guitar.

Conservatory line (4 P, 5 P, 6 P, 7 C Classic, 7 P Classic and 7 P A)

These mid-range guitars are ideal for intermediate-level musicians who wish to continue their guitar studies. The selection of excellent materials and the special care placed in each of their individual components make these instruments excellent "companions" for advanced students who need a good instrument to improve their technique and musicality.

Concert line (8 P, 9 P, 10 P and 11 P)

Hand-made using traditional methods and an excellent selection of solid woods and other high-quality materials, these instruments are ideal for very advanced musicians. Excellent playability and a strong, beautiful tone with a rich variety of nuances are among the superior qualities to be found in the guitars of our Concert line.

FLAMENCO GUITARS

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Flamenco Student line (2 F, 3 F and 4 F)

The best workmanship and value for the money for anyone who wants to begin learning flamenco guitar. Beginning guitarists can learn and develop the techniques and styles typical of flamenco music using an instrument that delivers a sonorous tone and reassurance in mastering the art of interpretation.

Flamenco Conservatory line ( 5 Fp, 7 Fc and 8 Fc)

The flamenco style of guitar playing is felicitously supported by the guitars in this series, all of which are made to meet the demands of virtuosos of flamenco technique. Each and every one of the component parts, the wide variety of different characteristics, the proximity of the strings to the finger board and - ultimately - all the criteria of traditional, excellent craftsmanship are put into the service of the advanced tocaor who requires an excellent instrument with which to express him- or herself fully.

Flamenco Concert line (10 Fc and 10 Fp)

Guitarists who try out one of these guitars can sense immediately what well-made instruments they are. The craftsmanship of traditional artisans, along with the research and innovation experience gained by Manufacturas Alhambra, S.L. over many years, are reflected in these magnificent instruments that are sure to delight even the most demanding tocaor.

CUT AWAY GUITARS

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Cut away line (3 C CW, 3 C CT, 3 F CW, 3 F CT, 5 P CW, 5 P CT, 6 P CW, 7 Fc CW, 7 Fc CT, 7 P A CW and 9 P CW).

Based primarily on straight lines, distinguished for easy accessibility of the highest frets and the comfort afforded by its elongated neck. Manufacturas Alhambra S.L. presents a wide range of cut away models covering all of its lines of guitars. These models are all available in electrified versions and fulfill the expectations of beginners as well as professionals.

CROSSOVER GUITARS

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Crossover Line (CS-LR 1 CW, CS-1 CW, CS-3 CW).

The Crossover line comprises a series of instruments that fuse the characteristics of classical and acoustical guitars. A body like that of a classical guitar with a comfortable cut away and an elongated neck more like an acoustic guitar afford a wide range of versatility and suitability for different styles. This new guitar concept is available with nylon and truss rod. This Alhambra guitar features a radiused fingerboard and it enables the player to feel like playing a steel string guitar while sounding as a classical. The Alhambra Crossover is a guitar with a different look and sound that offers you the best of two worlds.

GENERAL

Where can I buy an Alhambra guitar?

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Manufacturas Alhambra, S.L. recommends the purchase of one of our instruments in authorized music stores.

A new guitar can demand small adjustments in order to be adapted to each player. The fact that you buy the guitar in a authorized shop familiar to this kind of operations will greatly help you.

In case of needing a deeper inspection by our side, you would have to return the instrument to us through the shop where you bought it.

In our web page, you will find a list of distributors and outlets. If you contact one of our distributors, they will provide you with the name and address of the nearest store to your residence.

Which are the differences between a classical and a flamenco guitar?

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Classical and flamenco guitars are different instruments, with different construction characteristics and specified materials, in order to get a new kind of sound. The main differences are:

  1. Different position of the harmonic bars inside the guitar. (Obverse part of the top).

  2. Sides measure: They tend to be narrower in flamenco models.

  3. String action: It is much lower in flamenco models. It is not only the fact of lowering the nut and saddle, but also the use of a different angle to joint the neck with the sides and the top when manufacturing a flamenco guitar.

  4. Buzzing: It is normal, up to a certain level, with a flamenco guitar, but totally unwanted with a classical model.

  5. Type of wood: In a flamenco guitar, traditionally Spanish solid cypress for back and sides and German spruce top. In a classical guitar, Indian rosewood for back and sides and German spruce or cedar top (although cedar is more commonly used).

Regarding the type of wood, we cannot avoid mentioning that, in the last years, model flamenco "Negra" has become very popular (manufactured in Indian rosewood for back and sides). This model has been popularized by famous flamenco players and the fact that obtaining cypress wood is more difficult and expensive right now.

These are the main differences from the manufacturing point of view. We can also mention the fact that, once you get a certain level, you will find some difficulties in order to progress in the flamenco learning depending on the guitar you play. And, the other way round, you will inevitable have buzzing problems when playing a flamenco guitar without the appropriate technique. And finally, sound and touch are completely different in both models.

How to install a Fishman preamp on my Alhambra guitar?

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Alhambra can install the followings Fishman preamps in all the instruments we make. We install Fishman brand and there are 3 options for classical and flamenco guitars and two options for steel string guitars.

This process is totally irreversible since we make a hole in one of the sides of the guitar to install the Fishman preamp.

 

For classical or flamenco guitar:

FISHMAN EZ with tuner.

FISHMAN E1 with tuner.

FISHMAN E2 with micro.

 

For steel string guitars:

FISHMAN E3 with tuner.

FISHMAN E5 with micro and tuner.

 

The price of this installation includes the labor costs.

To install the preamp or to make any reparation the guitar must be always sent back to the same shop or dealer where it was bought to be sent through them to us.

The estimated time of this installation is 1week plus the transit time.

Manufacturas Alhambra, S.L

New regulation about control of wood CITES Appendix II

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Information about CITES - Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora 

On January 2nd of 2017, the new regulation which controls some Dalbergia species, came into force in the so-called CITES Convention.

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES) is supported by 183 countries, which have joined it. The main objective of this convention is to preserve the conservation of endangered species of wild fauna and flora by means of controlling their trade.

The regulation in this convention is structured by appendices. The Appendix I, which is the most restrictive, encompasses the species that are forbidden to trade.

In the aforementioned modification of the regulation, some Dalbergia species, which were not included in Appendix II such as the Dalbergia Latifolia (Palosanto from India), become part of the Appendix II of the CITES Convention. This means that a series of controls are imposed on the trade of raw wood, including any item made of these kinds of woods which are part of mentioned Appendix II.

Their trade is not forbidden. Nevertheless, a series of declarations must be made. These declarations must provide the traceability of the origin of the wood to ensure that it has a legal origin.

Therefore, according to the rules, the inventory of these species must be notified to the competent authority (in Spain, the SOIVRE delegations), both producers and stores.

In our particular case, we must notify the guitars inventory, although it can be any other instrument, which are made of any of these types of wood, even if it is a single piece.

From January 2, 2017, the invoices for the sale of guitars must include the inventory number. It is relevant information to demonstrate the origin of the wood used in the guitar construction.

On the other hand, if in the future these species of Dalbergia become part of the Appendix I, the invoice will be the only supporting document of the origin of the wood, and therefore, the only way to legalize the instrument.

Manufacturas Alhambra, S.L., by means of the registration of the serial numbers, can attest, at any time, the number of the invoice issued to the distributor or point of sale. So that, if it’s required, we can always provide you the necessary information for getting the CITES certificate of your particular guitar.

TO BEGIN

When was my guitar built?

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First of all, we would like to thank you your confidence in purchasing an Alhambra instrument. Alhambra has the manufacturing date of each model registered thanks to its file including all the serial numbers.

From late 1998, all this information is automatically recorded on our computer at the same time we print the initial label when beginning the manufacturing of each guitar. This serial number has 8 digits (7 when it begins with number 0), and together with the guitar code (each model has its own identification code), lets us know the whole building and manufacturing process of that guitar.

From 1987 until late 1998, Alhambra did not use this system, but we also registered all the codes manually stating month and year when we began the process, so we are also able to know the manufacturing date.

From 2012 on, the serial number of our guitars is a combination of letters and number that is located on the bottom right side of the label.

If we are talking about guitars built before 1987, we would need some pictures of the guitar such as the internal label, the top (showing the rosette), the back and the head to identify the instrument and give you an approximate manufacturing date, the woods we used to build them and also the equivalent current model (if we have changed it). If you want to know the manufacturing date of your guitar, please send us the serial number or the guitar pictures to info@alhambrasl.com and we will give you a prompt answer.