Jocelyne Thompson. UK Alhambra 5P Spruce.

Not being a very proficient or experienced classical guitarist, rather than trying to give a review in those terms, I’d like to recount my experience of my visit to Stafford Classical Guitar Centre. When time came to retire my 40 year old Vicente Sanchis, I was advised to visit Stafford Classical Guitar Centre. I am no Paco de Lucia but although I play simply, I am fussy about my instrument and the sound it projects. Adrian’s extensive knowledge and experience was of immense value to me.

I knew what I was looking for but I didn’t know which instrument would give it to me. With a few pointed questions Adrian quickly assessed which guitars would fulfil my need and showed me three, inviting me to play one after another several times over, making instinctive then more educated comparisons between the instruments. How they felt to play, to hold, to hear etc. all the time guiding me sensitively but never trying to influence me unless I asked him to. Adrian made me feel very at ease and I quickly lost my inhibitions about handling, let alone playing those lovely guitars. Then one guitar was eliminated from the choice and only two were left to chose from; A Spruce top Alhambra and a Cedar top Sanchez.

The next step to assist my choice involved Selina playing (beautifully) the same classical piece on both guitars whilst I listened with my back turned to her and decided which sound I preferred between the two guitars. I was surprised at how the difference between the two was greater hearing from an audience point of view rather than from the player’s. There was little to chose between the two. The final decision was a matter of heart vs head and the heart won. I took the Alhambra home, with the knowledge though that however lovely it played now, it would still continue to develop, mature and improve with playing. So there are more exciting moments to look forward to from this beautiful instrument.

I take with me not only a beautiful guitar but the memory of a very special afternoon with people who are very knowledgeable, very attentive, make you feel completely at ease and offer a standard of service second to none. I would recommend them to players of any level of expertise who want to make a choice of instrument that is the right choice for them.