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In the classical market, you usually get what you pay for. However, as always, there will be those that are, well, just remarkably good value for money. The Admira is one such instrument.
It may not have the depth and richness of tone of its more expensive counterparts, but it does have that Spanish vibe, it’s well balanced and is in our opinion an ideal introduction to the nylon electro – definitely our credit crunch choice too.
If you’re looking to mix it with an electric set-up, then the Alhambra is an excellent ‘crossover’ instrument, with its slightly narrower nut and narrower string spacing at the bridge making it an easier transition for electric players who are more used to plectrums than fingers. This instrument also has a beautiful mellow Spanish voice, which can be enhanced by the Fishman Prefix Pro Blend electrics.
The Takamine is one of the easiest classical players that we’ve encountered but it carries less weight as an acoustic instrument, with the treble being particularly weak. Plugged in, however, it comes to life. But this reviewer found the Cool Tube preamp system seemed to want to add its own colouring at the expense of the guitar’s natural tone.
Perhaps the most interesting of all these instruments is the Solea, although at double the price of the Admira it’s a more serious purchase. Sound-wise its more Germanic than Spanish, with its bright attack and full middle, but its MiSi preamp really impresses. Not only does it come closest of all on review to translating the natural acoustic sound of the instrument but it’s also a very eco-friendly and easy way to power up a preamp and play for up to 16 hours.
A Headway Shire King 60 Acoustic amp was used in this test with EQ levels centred with a flat response.
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