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This article was originally published in issue #68
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Superb tonal range and features.
Can't see one at this price point.
Premium Solid Cedar Top
Flamed Mahogany Back & Sides
Fishman Clasica II EQ
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Sam Bell reviews the Santos Martinez Allegro Cutaway Electro-Classical Guitar. One of the purest, most expressive musical sounds is that of the traditional nylon string classical guitar, but great tones tend to come at high prices. Can this reasonably priced classical really live up to the competition?
There are many options when it comes to buying a quality classical guitar; however, Santos Martinez has made it possible for us players to get our hands on a good quality Classical at a highly affordable price. Whether you’re a beginner classical/flamenco player looking for your first proper instrument, or an electric player looking for a decent Nylon string for a session or recording, this guitar is going to be well worth checking out. Let’s dive in!
The Guitar features a beautiful Flamed Mahogany back and sides with a solid ’A’ grade Spruce Top. The neck is a slimmer profile than on some classical Guitars at only 48mm at the Bone Nut, making this good for smaller hands, or electric players looking for a quality classical guitar for session work. The Guitar looks stunning, small details such as the black wooden tuners with gold hardware make this feel quality. The heighten the experience of quality, the guitar comes equipped with a Fishman Classica II preamp, which features Bass, Treble, Volume, Phase and Tuner controls. This preamp is powered by a 9volt battery which is located near the input jack.
The playability of this guitar is fantastic, with the slim profile and cutaway design it’s a breeze to play faster passages and chord voicings alike. Tonally the Guitar fares really well, especially with the Fishman Preamp. Often ‘cheaper’ classical guitars and preamps can make for very plastic, harsh-sounding tones, however, the Santos Martinez Allegro sounds warm and articulate direct into the desk. In the video section of this review, I demoed it mostly direct to desk with everything set at noon. Towards the end of the demo, we put a 414 Condenser Mic on it so you can hear the best of both worlds.
In Summary, if you’re looking into the world of Classical or Flamenco and you are starting your journey, this guitar would be well worth looking at. Similarly, if you’re an electric player looking for a step into the Nylon world, this is well worth checking out to. I really enjoyed playing this Guitar and I’m very impressed with Vintages ability to deliver such quality at such affordable prices.