Posts Tagged ‘acoustic’

Violin buyers guide – Acoustic, electric and electro acoustic Violins from Fidelius, Stentor, Antoni, Cathedral and many more

Our choice of violins/fiddles at Eagle Music Shop are selected to suit the absolute beginner through to the seasoned professional. We offer sizes to suit all ages from 1/8 through to 4/4. Check out our extensive range of excellent starter packs at sheer value for money.

There are three critical but simple decisions that you our valued customer should make when buying a violin:-

Buy from a Specialist Company … that will set up the instrument correctly
Eagle Music is one of Europes leading acoustic instrument specialist shops

Buy the Best Quality instrument … that is within your budget
Eagle Music carry a large selection of world class violin brands

Choose the Correct Size Violin… sizes vary for young and grown up players
Eagle Music’s specialist musician sales team  will ensure this for you

The notes below will help you choose the violin that is the right model for you.

Eagle Music Shop offer to you violins or ‘fiddles’ as you may wish to call them, starting from favourably priced Antoni and Stentor Student ‘outfits’ to the highest quality hand built electric violins that you see being played by professionals including fidelius, Bridge Electric Violins, Yamaha and Straus. The Antoni ‘Debut’ and ebony fitted Antoni ‘Premier’ violin outfits are exceptional value. Check out the ‘used instruments’ part of our website vintage violins.

Whether you are just starting to learn to play violin and are looking for an ideal starter model or are an experienced player looking to for a top quality hand made violin, Eagle Music can provide you with all the expert advice you will ever need, alongside an exceptional after sales service, including spares and repairs and a professional bow re-hairing service.

Violin spares and accessories are in plenty at Eagle Music Shop along with a multitude of violin / fiddle music books, violin tuition books and CDs and violin tuition videos. We also offer a bow re-hairing service.

Our violin technical advice section will also help you in deciding what type of instrument to buy.
Eagle Music are the exclusive UK retailer of Fidelius electric and electro acoustic violins hand built in Germany by Ulrich Schwabe they are played by world class stars including Nigel Kennedy and Boyd Tinsley.

Guitar buyers guide by Eagle Music including explanations of guitar types

Eagle Music explains all the the difference between acoustic guitars, classical and Spanish guitars, all solid timber guitars, laminate top guitars, electro-acoustic guitars dreadnought, jumbo size. Cutaway and what all this means in simple jargon.

There are three critical but simple decisions that you our valued customer should make when buying a guitar:-

Buy from a Specialist Company… that will set up the instrument correctly
Eagle Music is one of Europe’s leading acoustic guitar specialist shops

Buy the Best Quality instrument… that is within your budget
Eagle Music carry one of Europe’s largest selection of world class guitar brands

Choose the Correct Guitar… for the kind of music that you want to play
Eagle Music’s specialist musician sales team  will ensure this for you

The notes below will help you choose the guitar that is the right model for you.

Recognised as one of the Europe’s premier acoustic instrument specialist stores, Eagle Music offers a second to none range of all types of guitar. Along with acoustic and electro acoustic models, we also supply and can give help and advice on pure electric guitars. We offer some of the finest hand-crafted instrument brands that have many models within the range that are built from all solid timber. The leading world class brands  that we supply include Patrick James Eggle, Martin, Asher, Gibson, Taylor, Tanglewood, Sigma, Crafter and Yamaha.

These finely crafted instruments will grow to sound better with age, and will appreciate in value in the long term – although it is always a better idea to buy for playing rather than investment! The arrival of Taylor on the top-class guitar scene, with their amazing consistency of quality and modern manufacturing techniques, motivated all the other top makers into their move towards modern production methods, thus ensuring that quality relative to price has moved in the favour of the buyer.

The choice of your first guitar can be daunting as there are so many different guitar types and even more confusing in that there are so many models within a certain type!

From the 1940’s onwards the guitar has become the most popular stringed instrument as a first choice for a beginner wanting to play music because it encompasses and complements so many different types of music, including classical, traditional, folk, jazz, rock etc.
To make things easier, we shall explain in our technical sheets below the differences between guitar types.
In simple terms the guitar family is divided into two categories:

Nylon Strung

Music played: Classical, Spanish, Flamenco (Also crosses over to folk music)
Steel Strung: (Also called Western guitar) Music played: Folk, rock, jazz, funk also crosses over to classical

Another point to note here is that both guitar types can be supplied in different sizes.
eg. a nylon strung classical guitar can be supplied in  ½ size, ¾ size or 4/4 full size

A smaller ½ size or ¾ size nylon strung guitar is excellent for a young beginner because the nylon strings are easier to press down than a steel strung guitar. Many players start their playing life on a half size ‘classical’ type guitar.
All the above guitar types can be supplied with pick-ups already fitted to them. Eg. when a pick-up is fitted to an acoustic guitar it becomes an electro-acoustic guitar. Pure electric guitars in general have a solid wood body and are of no use for playing acoustically.

So, whether you want to be an acoustic street playing solo singer guitarist, on-stage-electric lead guitarist, chord backing jazz player in a dance band, flamenco or classical player there is a guitar that is designed and built purely for the purpose.

We shall explain in the individual guitar technical sheets all the different materials and timbers  that guitars are built from eg. laminate top, solid top, all solid timber etc. and shall also explain the different types, shapes and specific sizes of the guitar.

Guide to Buying an Acoustic Nylon strung Guitar

How to choose a Classical, Spanish or Flamenco guitar, which are also called ‘Nylon Strung Guitars’ are all described here by Eagle Music. Spruce or cedar top? solid or laminate timber? all the technical information you need is here in our technical notes.

Classical – Spanish and Flamenco Guitars

Many guitarists start their playing life on what is called a ‘Spanish Guitar’, or ‘Classical’ guitar. This guitar type is generally fitted with nylon strings in the configuration of first, second and third strings in plain nylon and the fourth, fifth and sixth strings metal wound on silk.

We stock a full range of nylon strung guitars from lower priced beginners / childrens models up to all solid timber professional models by various world class makers. The classical guitar has a wider neck than a western type guitar and also has a flat fingerboard. This type of neck with wider string spacing and the nylon strings leans itself more towards ‘finger-style’ solo melody playing.  The wider neck means a little more stretching for the fretting hand but the nylon strings are easier to press down for a beginner than the steel strings on a western type guitar.

Fingerstyle means playing the guitar with the tips of the finger nails. Although nylon strung guitars are best played finger style, they can be picked or strummed with a plectrum.

The general timber used for this guitar would a spruce or cedar top (soundboard) with mahogany,  rosewood or other type of laminate or solid timber for the back and sides. The neck is usually made from solid mahogany with a rosewood or ebony fingerboard.

In general classical players like the sweeter tone of a solid spruce soundboard (top) and flamenco music players would choose a cedar top which gives a brighter tone.

See our technical pages for the definition and explanation of laminate and solid timbers that are used for building guitars.

Check out our range of classical guitars from some of the world’s top makers Including many models that are made in Spain from Admira and the renowned workshops of B&M, Manuel Rodriguez and Tanglewood.

Guide to Buying an ACOUSTIC Steel Strung Guitar

Steel strung acoustic guitars are available in many different body shapes and sizes all of which have specific names. The most popular is the dreadnought shape.

Some other shapes starting from the smallest are travel, parlour, folk-body, auditorium, grand auditorium and jumbo.

There are other shapes and designs including many jazz guitar models that have ‘f’ holes and arch topped bodies!

In general, western guitars, as they are sometimes called, have larger bodies than nylon strung guitars. They mostly have narrower necks than classical guitars. They have radiused fingerboards and  ‘fast action’ necks  making them and very well suited to single note flat-picking styles. Many singer guitarists use a plectrum and strum along with this type of guitar.

This type of acoustic guitar is the most popular choice for playing pop, folk, country, bluegrass and jazz guitar music.

Electro Acoustic Guitars

Its simple really, an electro-acoustic guitar is basically an acoustic guitar that is fitted with a pickup system.

Steel-strung guitars, and a nylon-strung guitars are available ready-fitted with a pickup system. there are various systems from simple under the saddle transducers to sophisticated models that have what are called ‘blender systems’ that have a transducer type pickup and an internal microphone fitted that you blend together for the sound that you desire.

You then need to plug your guitar into an amplifier or PA system to get a louder relatively acoustic sound. Six string and twelve string models are available.

Many electro-acoustic guitars are designed with a cutaway body (part of the guitar’s body is cut away and missing adjacent the top frets above the 12th …enabling the guitarist to use these higher notes in classic rock ‘n’ roll style!

In general, it is cheaper to buy a dedicated electro acoustic guitar than to buy an acoustic guitar and fit a pickup system as a retrofit.

However, Eagle Music offers a workshop facility and fits pick up systems to guitars as a service for customers.

All Solid Timber

A guitar that is made from ‘all solid timber’ means that the back, sides, top and neck are all made from solid timber rather than laminate timber. These special ‘timbers’ are often referred to as Tonewood or Tonewoods.

All solid timber instruments produce a better quality of tone, more power and get even better as they age. They also hold their value better and in many cases gain value in time.

At Eagle Music Shop we offer some of the finest hand-crafted instrument brands that have many models within the range that are built from all solid timber. The leading world class brands  that we supply include Patrick James Eggle, Martin, Asher, Gibson, Taylor, Tanglewood, Sigma, Crafter and Yamaha.

These finely crafted instruments will grow to sound better with age, and will appreciate in value in the long term – although it is always a better idea to buy for playing rather than investment! The arrival of Taylor on the top-class guitar scene, with their amazing consistency of quality and modern manufacturing techniques, motivated all the other top makers into their move towards modern production methods, thus ensuring that quality relative to price has moved in the favour of the buyer.

Solid Top and Laminate Top Guitars

You may have noticed mentions of solid tops and laminate tops. The ‘top’ is the ‘soundboard’ of the guitar. Generally, the cheaper guitars have laminate tops, as they are quicker and easier to make. However, depending on the country of origin and the name that is on the headstock, you may sometimes find a solid top less expensive than another brand offering a guitar with a laminate top.

The way a laminate top guitar sounds on the day of purchase will be the way they will sound all through their lives. Many are great sounding and very good value for money.

Solid top guitars, on the other hand, cost more to make, as the choice of pieces of wood is crucial, and the construction has to be more accurate to stop the top bending. But they generally sound far more resonant and produce more volume – and as the wood matures, the sound matures too! About 90% of the sound of a guitar comes from the top (soundboard), so you will often find solid tops and laminate back and sides. This is a good compromise between price and sound quality.
The vast majority of our stock falls into this category. A few short years ago, solid top instruments were produced in small numbers in the USA and Europe, and were demanding very high prices. But in the past ten years or so a host of new companies, first in Japan, then Korea and now throughout the far-east, has changed all that.

Now we have an enormous selection of excellently constructed, affordable, great-sounding solid tops at unbelievable prices. Our Tanglewood Sundance and Heritage range represents the best value of all factory manufactured guitars, many of these models are hand finished. also check out the excellent value range of sigma Guitars Not only that, but western manufacturers. Also Seagull, Simon & Patrick and Norman of Canada are also producing very affordable, excellent quality solid top guitars.

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