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carol m

My New Yamaha CGX 171CCA Classical Guitar

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carol m    64

Some of you may have noticed my search for a new Classical guitar over the last 2 years. It has taken me that long to find one that fitted all my requirements.

My requirements were: solid Cedar top, on board recording options, and able to convert it to a lefty. I used to look at every ebay classical to see if it fitted these criteria and none of them ever did.

One of our member Doug, told me about his own guitar that would fit all these criteria. It was a Yamaha CGX 171CCA, but I couldn't find one anywhere in Australia. USA sites always said, USA shipping only.

I had a saved search for this model on ebay. Last week it came up trumps. The guitar was Pick Up only....and it was located only 10 minutes down the road! But I still needed to see it in person to know that I could switch it around to a lefty.

So I went to try it out - perfect. But the seller said it wasn't fair to accept on the spot payment when it was listed with the ebay Bidding system, with no Buy it Now price.

Meanwhile I checked the local stores to see how much they would charge if they ordered one in for me. And.....it was a discontinued model! Aaaah! So I just had to have the ebay one, no matter what it cost.

When they used to be available, this guitar cost between $1,000 and $1,300 in Aus without a case. The ebay one had hardly been played, and was in an upmarket, light weight, fitted case that is airplane proof - it's not going anywhere now!

There was one other bidder, but I didn't care how much it cost me - the ebay bidding system is such that no matter what your max bid is, you will only have to pay $10 more than the highest bid the other people were prepared to pay.

So, I made my plan: first a bid just above the other guy to see if he was still 'in'. Yes he was, with an automatic bid. Last time I tried to buy something I got shut out at the end because other people kept bidding and it was constantly refreshing and I couldn't get my bid in.

So I told myself that it didn't matter how much it cost....and put in my max bid of $2,000 at 3 minutes to go. I knew this would give him time to rebid if he wanted to, but I couldn't risk being shut out again.

My logic was that I would definitely win the guitar (because he would never bid above $2,000 to beat me) and I wouldn't get shut out of bidding because my bid was already in the system.

Also, even in the unlikely event that he would bid above $2,000 to beat me, he wouldn't have enough time in 3 minutes to keep bidding to try to outbid me, and failing - my large bid would keep shutting him out. That was presuming he was still watching the bidding at all after putting in his automatic bid ($600 as it turned out) from 3 days before.

I thought he might have time to put in a few more bids but he would not have time to go anywhere near $2,000 so my $2,000 was never at risk. In fact he managed to put in 5 more bids in the 3 minutes, but of course, he never went high enough to beat me.

So after I put my big bid in, I watched as he struggled to outbid me, and failing, and then the time ran out, and the guitar was mine. He he...check it out: I"m one happy bunny.

http://www.ebay.com....=p2047675.l2557

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carol m    64

Thanks, friends.

Brian: you say you are posting from the local FBI Surveillance Van, but you don't say if you are in the front or in the back (in handcuffs) :)

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Doug    12

Congratulations, Carol. I've really enjoyed mine.

Now you'll have to post some recordings of it.

-Doug

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carol m    64

Hey Doug! Remember we talked about the slightly narrow fretboard? I had checked out the Yamaha catalogue specs (my spell-checker doesn't like my 'proper' spelling of 'catalogue').... and the catalogue said this model comes in the standard 2 inch or the narrower neck.

When I went to check it out pre-purchase, I took my tape measure and my tuner (to check the intonations).

Amazingly, she picked up the tuner and said, 'What's this?'. So I explained. I find it hard to believe (but still possible) that a professional guitar teacher and performer would not know about electronic tuners.

The neck of my model is the slightly narrower neck, which was great. I would have bought it anyway, but the narrower neck was a bonus. It's only very slightly narrower, but I think the neck as a whole, is slimmer, not just the fretboard width.

I found and bought this guitar solely because you recommended it, so if it turns out that I don't like the guitar at any time, I will be blaming you. You have been warned.

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Doug    12

Hmmm. :whistling Caveat guitarra emptor. (But I'm pretty sure you'll like it.)

Don't leave it outside overnight during torrential downpours. Kinda hard on the electronics - not to mention the bridge. (Don't ask me how I know this...)

How does it sound strung upside down? Remember I had mentioned the saddle (although straight up and down) had some angle to correct intonation on a couple of the strings. Hopefully not enough to worry about when strung lefty.

-Doug

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karcey    42

Carol that's great news. I know you've been looking for a while, so we'll have to conclude that this guitar was meant for you.

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carol m    64

Carol that's great news. I know you've been looking for a while, so we'll have to conclude that this guitar was meant for you.

Karcey! I'd given up on you! Have you been off touring around this wide brown land? I hope you and Mrs Karcey :) are well.

It's true I've been hankering after a better classical guitar for years! So now I have my full set of 'my' guitars - there will be a cull of a couple of guitars that were all i could get at the time, but which were never quite right, for each type of guitar.

Now I will keep

1. my new Yamaha classical $900 - right/left, cedar top, rosewood back and sides and 2 on-board mics.

2. My Tanglewood TW 145 ASC-LH ebay lefty special, ($400) with ding/chip, acoustic/electric - cedar top with mahogany back and sides.

3. My cheapy Samick Electric - ebay lefty ($100) in a really pretty green color - it's best feature.

4. My Monteray Resonator - a Santa surprise - thanks Santa! :)

5. My no name ebay righty switched to lefty ($80) acoustic/ electric - and set up as a lap-steel with raised strings using a ($25) lap-steel 'kit' from ebay. And who knew you could get a fully functioning acoustic/electric guitar including express postage, 3 days before Christmas for $80 in Australia?

6. My Takamine EG15 SC acoustic electric ($1,200) - righty with split bridge so i can't switch it to lefty - cedar top, but I will never sell it - it was my first 'good' guitar.

guitars that will go:

1. My first guitar - classical, now plays like a sponge - I will give it to someone I know who will never notice :) - that's how generous I am! What? I could flog it on ebay but I'm giving it away instead. It's actually not that bad, and it's going to a good home.

2. My black electric Torch (ebay) with genuine Tommy Emannuel autograph (also it's best feature) - any offers?

3. Tanglewood lefty acoustic electric with Spruce top (bought new) - I don't like the spruce bright sound and I never play it, but it the best decent acoustic/electric guitar (around $1,000), I could get in a lefty at the time.

I think that should do it - I think 6 guitars with only one that I can't really play anymore (my beautiful Takamine righty) - now my GAS days are over - no really, that's it! Done and dusted.

Selling the 3 extra guitars should pay for the new Yamaha, so I think I've done OK over the years it's taken, to get the set of guitars that i will keep forever. 2 on the wall and 4 kept handy for playing - floor space is limited.

Switching from right to left caused a few extra purchases along the way, before I got everything sorted out. Now I'm all set - but currently too busy to spend much time playing. But...no excuses now.

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carol m    64

Don't leave it outside overnight during torrential downpours. Kinda hard on the electronics - not to mention the bridge. (Don't ask me how I know this...)

-Doug

You don't need to tell me about the 'downpour incident' - I remember it well. I believe i suggested you could turn your guitar into an interesting flower pot. It's amazing how it recovered from that disaster.

Confession time: I've been so busy with non-guitar commitments lately, that I still haven't switched it around to lefty. But just looking at it gives me a warm rosy glow....have you ever thought how weird we guitar players are? Luckily for us, guitar tragics are cooler than train spotters.

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karcey    42

Karcey! I'd given up on you! Have you been off touring around this wide brown land? I hope you and Mrs Karcey :) are well.

Haven't given up work so no touring yet.

I actually check the forum daily, but as I've said before, if there's nothing to say I prefer to say it.

The guitar still gets a workout, and I have a lesson each week. After all these years I still have nothing I think is good enough to share. Maybe one day I will, maybe it won't happen. Who cares!?

Your news about your new guitar must've slipped by when I wasn't paying attention.

Anyway, enjoy your new toy. We might even get to hear it one day ...... possibly?

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carol m    64

Yes, I'm sure that at some point I will inflict my efforts on our members. I justify my uploads by telling myself, 'At least this will encourage other less gifted players (probably the majority of hobby guitarists) to have a go as well'.

And before anyone chastises me for 'being negative' :), I have to disagree - I don't think that attitude is negative, I think it's a perfectly reasonable way to deal with reality. If I know it was a good effort, even if it's at a lower than perfect standard, I never feel bad that it's not perfect. I remember how much worse I was before I spent all that time practicing it, and how much better it is now than before.

And besides, I'm sure I could be perfect if I really tried - that's a joke.

Oops, that sounds like criticism of your reluctance to upload your efforts - it's not that at all. It's important that everyone is comfortable in sharing their efforts, or not, as they choose. It's always a personal choice - I'm just explaining why I sometimes upload recordings that are frankly, hilarious or tragic, depending on your views. And I wince and laugh at myself as much as anyone - but it's all good fun.

I'm a firm believer that I should always ''Ave a go, yer Mug!' as long as it's not dangerous or ridiculous (like me trying to play footy with professionals, for example). Maybe I would have tried that in my youth, but that would definitely be silly at my stage of development. But that is just me - and I don't care if other people feel differently - about anything, as long as it doesn't hurt others.

This thread seems to have morphed into Philosophy 101 - sorry about that.

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Doug    12

Hi Carol,

I have an ipod in my car with 30+ Gig of mp3's on it. I have it on random play. Today I heard JJ Cale, Billy Holiday, Dr John, The Be Good Tanyas, etc.

I generally just fast forward after listening for a while - I seldom listen through a whole song.

The other day I heard this beautiful piece of music - very well played, almost classical. I listened to the whole piece and I thought, wow, that's nice. So I looked to see who it was...

It was you.

And I'd like to hear more...

-Doug

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carol m    64

Hi Carol,

I have an ipod in my car with 30+ Gig of mp3's on it. I have it on random play. Today I heard JJ Cale, Billy Holiday, Dr John, The Be Good Tanyas, etc.

I generally just fast forward after listening for a while - I seldom listen through a whole song.

The other day I heard this beautiful piece of music - very well played, almost classical. I listened to the whole piece and I thought, wow, that's nice. So I looked to see who it was...

It was you.

And I'd like to hear more...

-Doug

What??? You're kidding! Maybe you need to check your hearing. - in Aus you can get it free if you are over a certain age..... :whistling

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Doug    12

No - really. Exactly as I described.

It's kind of fun because interlaced with Billy Holiday, Dr John, Benny Goodman, Pierre Bensusan, Yes, Ella, Leonard, Leon Russell and everone else you can imagine, I sometimes here Eddie, Chris, Carol and others from the site. Sometimes the artist says "unknown" and the playing is really good. And I'll never know who it is. (Sometimes it's really bad too;) - they're usually mine).

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carol m    64

I have switched this classical from right to left, and didn't switch the bridge or do anything to the nut. Amazingly, the intonations is no worse than any of my other guitars. Certainly my ears would not pick up any problem.

I tried out the first classical tune I ever learned as a righty, and could still remember it. The guitar sounds great, and I sound like I need more practice! It looks like I won't be blaming you, Doug, for this purchase, but thanking you instead....so far. :)

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