First thing's first-- the guitar. My budding interest in flamenco and my hatred of having to mic instruments had me looking for a flamenco guitar with a built-in pickup. This kind of narrowed the field, and after some research and play time, I settled on two models from Cordoba-- the FCWE and the 55FCE. A phone call with Chuck from ASN settled me on the FCWE.
I'm in love-- the guitar feels great, it sounds great, it plays great, heck it even smells great. I'm new to the nylon string world, and I find the playability of this instrument is really accelerating my learning of the instrument. Given the occasional inconsistencies in Cordoba, I think I owe a lot of that to the team at All Strings Nylon.
I spent quite a bit of time on the phone with Chuck at All Strings Nylon before and after the purchase, and he came to understand me as a player and made sure the instrument was delivered to me in top working condition. It wouldn't have been better if I brought it to the master luthier next town over. Now this level of attention did come with a time tradeoff-- this isn't an order from a big box store, my instrument got personalized attention from a craftsman who wanted to make sure it was perfect for me. I could have ordered it from one of the big box stores and they would have sent it out the next day without a second thought. Instead, I got an instrument that was taken care of and ready to go out of the box pretty much exactly how I'd want it. There's not much more I can say as an endorsement than that.
One last thought-- in my conversations with Chuck, he sold me on the idea of pursuing the Barbera pickup upgrade. Wow. What a difference-- my steel string has a Fishman pickup and pre-amp system, and it lacks the fidelity and sparkle that this guitar's pickup has I'm a Barbera true believer. It's incredible and worth every penny.
I can definitely recommend this guitar to someone looking for an flamenco style instrument with onboard electronics, it's been great to me so far. (Posted on 11/10/2017)
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