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Guitar - General/Value of 1973 Garcia Classical Guitar

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c wrote at 2008-07-11 11:56:43
Actually I have a very similar story,.. but my Garcia 1A around 1973 as well, I used it for high school level recitals, went through classical guitar studies in college with it until I laid my hands on an instrument that was far superior. My particular guitar is in immaculate condition, no dings or scratches anywhere,.. but based on where guitar construction technique has gone,.. and more efficient factory methods ( these are factory made instruments in Japan ) I would value my instrument around $ 150 max.  Today for 2 or $ 300 one can get a far superior sounding and playing guitar than the Garcia 1A. But that's true for a Ramirez 1A as well. Back then the Ramirez were selling for approx 2500 to maybe 3000,.... I believe?  Today one can get a $3000 guitar that sounds and plays much better than a Ram 1A.  Thats progress in the area of guitar buidling, design, and innovations. They are still nice guitars,.. for me,.. I wouldn't sell it even if someone were to give me $ 2000 for it. It's priceless to me,.. it was my first classical, I spent countless hours with it,.. it's a friend, .. and still play it every now and then,.. so,..just consider what you have,.. it's a bit of history for you, it's probably not wourth selling it,.. you will be sorry you did.  Hope this helps.


rob wrote at 2009-03-10 17:49:53
hi all, there seems to be only speculation to the quality of these guitars, who is to say that the people assembling these guitars had or didn't have equal talent- perhaps better! ramarez farms out some of their models. cheers


Megan Hoyt wrote at 2009-06-15 23:24:28
It doesn't help your cause any, but I just picked up a 1973 Garcia from a Goodwill store for $25 and once home I discovered exactly what you did -- its exceptional quality! I was astounded. I like it better than my other two guitars and my son's Takamine put together. So enjoy it for 35 more years!


krm27 wrote at 2012-03-01 23:50:51
As a follow up, I recently purchased a 1970 Garcia No. 1 guitar from a pawn shop for about $200, with case (nice plum-colored fur lining, but very weathered on outside). Before buying, I read about the Garcia / Sherry fraud-source issue, and was on the fence about it, but I tried the guitar and the tone was great, to my ear at least.



The guitar itself is in very nice condition for being 42 years old. I am a relative beginner, but I tried a couple guitars from a local music store, Jasmine by Takamine listed at $250 (I think it lists under $200 online), and a very distressed looking Harmony model listed at $166, and then I went to the pawn shop and tried the Garcia No. 1. The Jasmine was by far the worst, shallow tone, lots of fret buzz, ugly light yellow color (I like the richer, darker wood tones) - even open strings were buzzy. The Harmony seemed okay, nice rich tone, but very distressed, wood chipping off edges, not sure how old it is but probably decades old. The Garcia had the best sound, least fret buzz (none, really), and was the nicest looking (maybe some finishing issues, but no chips in the wood that I could find) and came with a case that was distressed on the outside but pretty on the inside.



One reason I even tried out the Garcia despite reading negative stuff about the source-fraud issue, was that I read they came in different grades (no 1, 2 or 3) with No. 1 being the best. I thought maybe the  best of the line might still be pretty good notwithstandng the source issues. Maybe that's true. Anyway, if I get some friends more knowledgeable about classical guitar to listen and rate this Garcia, I may post more info.


David Sack wrote at 2012-03-08 04:16:43
I was pleased to see how much everyone loves the sound and appearance of the Antonio Hernandis No. 1 guitars, even though I was surprised and dissapointed to find that they are unfortunately not worth nearly as much as I had imagined. I bought such a guitar in 1970 from a friend, presumably no newer than 1969, and have kept it for 40 years, mostly neglecting it for my steel string acoustic and electrics that came after. I took it out tonight for the first time in years to practice "the girl from Ipanima" and was struck by how well it sounds even after over 10 years without a string change. I guess I will follow the advice of your correspondent who told another that he would be far happier keeping the guitar for sentimental value no matter what it is worth.  


chaplain george francis wrote at 2012-06-10 22:40:29
My Name is Chaplain George Francis. I am a Palliative Care (Hospice) Chaplain at Saint Joseph's Hospital in Tampa, Fl.I have used my Garcia 1973 (Feb) Grade 1 Sherry-Brenner Casa-Madrid. classical to provide bedside music for the terminally ill..Recently one of our Surgeons who is himself a Lutherier trained by the best, examined the guitar and said it was very nice..It is not an expensive guitar... However, I have not found any classical and i have played many for under $800.00 that sound nicer or play better...Therefore, I think it is a nice intermediate guitar worth used in excellent shape at least $400.00-$500.00.. it is most certainly comparable to Cordoba, Yamaha, or Romeriz in that price range.. also, the years of seasoning increase the tone.. it is very nice..georgelfrancis01@yahoo.com


Jon wrote at 2012-07-05 09:49:59
Hi: just read your answer regarding value of Garcia guitar. As you know, some of the Garcias were assembled in Spain. Jim Sherry contracted with a Japanese company to assemble those guitars around mid to late 1970. During the manufacturing transition,some of the guitars were apparently still being assembled in Spain in early 1970. If you look at the labels, you will see a progression of label types, starting with a single in early 1970, with no mention of Japan. In mid 1970,an additional label (showing wood origins and Japanese assembly) was added under the original label, and later a newer label, combining the previous 2 labels into a single label, was used. Considering the amount of time it would have taken to relocate the assembly process from Spain to Japan, and the progression of label revision, there is a good chance that the alleged deception was significantly overplayed and has continued to be by a certain "Expert" who sells a Garcia and Hernandis "Buyer's Guide" on E-Bay. I have two Garcia 2s and two Garcia 3s. One each of them were made in Spain, and there is no significant difference from the two that were assembled in Japan. The grade 3's are good student guitars and the grade 2's are significantly better. I am currently trying to find an affordable Hernandis 1A, as I have never heard anything negative about that guitar, and have read several comments from people who each own a Hernandis and a Ramiriz 1A, and the consensus is that the Hernandis has the better sound. The Garcia 1A is not far behind.


billy wrote at 2015-01-17 06:41:19
I sold a ton of Garcia's. Especially the Grade 1. They were our most popular CG.  I could have bought anything & picked a magnificent Hernandis Grade 2. The Grade 1/1A's were also very nice, but I liked the 2 that I bought sometime in the 75-76 timeframe.



Forget the drama of any Sherry scandal... there's no scandal, just internet noice, I believe.  Just listen to music and play a guitar.


John R. Hunt wrote at 2016-10-19 02:07:09
If   You play thousands of Guitars and  play   for  52 years ,i say this  because i am  62   and   started  playing .   you  are able  to see truth and  Know   yes   Know   what  is  what.   ok   so so many people  are  hung  up  on  NAME BRAND,,,,,Genuine,,,, what ever  else  you  want to   call it.  i have  played   Memphis and  Epiphone   Copies  that  were  far  surperior to  an  Original  Gibson   and I have  3 original Gibsons  my self  Les Paul  Recording ,Gibson SG 1964, ES335 Dot pattern   also have  Stratacasters 2 of   but  have  found  Squiers  that  serpass them.   and  I am the proud  owner of  a  garcia 1973  and  have  played  say 300  differant people s   classical guitars  that  they  put  hundreds  some  thousands   in   to  them   and  never  found   one  that  plays   better  than  my  Garcia,assimbled  in  Japan,  Fender   even  admitted  that  Japan  and  tiwan  copies  were  better  than  a  USA   made  fender.  it   is   all  in   the  opinions  and  the  musicians  ability. years  ago   Curtis  Mathas   said   we  make  the  best   and  most  expensive  television  sets   on the  market.  that  was  a  lie   and  hype  too.   eventally  they were proven  to be  lying   and  you find  then in trash  piles now.   ,but  when  you  play   guitar  long enough    you  will  know   a  quality   sounding  instrument and  playing instrument when you  play   it   reguardless of the  reguardless  of  the  reviews  and  opinions  of  other   so  called  experts.   if you  are  happy  with your   instrument   for get  others  opinions  and  comparisons   and  rationalizing.   if your  happy  with what you  have  enjoy  and  play  it.   quit  letting  others   make  you  swim  in  a sea   of  nonsense


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Lynne May

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Any question relating to guitar playing: scales, chords, music theory, arpeggios, soloing, chord progressions, key signatures, buying a guitar, guitar tabs, writing guitar music, musical styles including rock, blues and classical. I can no longer answer questions as to the value of a guitar. Please do not flag your question as "Private", as this prevents other readers from benefiting. I will no longer answer "private" questions.

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I have played guitar for 30 years. Fifteen years of that time I spent traveling nationwide as a performer. I have owned and operated May Music Studio in Washington state for the last 20 years. I also teach piano and drums. Recently I have started a website which provides absolutely free music lessons: http://www.may-studio-music-lessons.com

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