R. Fernandez Classical Guitars made by Esteve Guitars (March 7, 2013). Models R.Fernandez 40, 40-4864, 70, 70-4864, 70-4864 Cutaway, 70-5265 Cutaway
Real Spanish Guitars made in Spain.
These Spanish guitars are upgraded models of various Esteve Guitars designs which have evolved in response to my suggestions over many years. They feature deluxe tuners, real bone saddles and nut, plastic string guard below the bridge, my choice of soundboard bracing, straight forward ornamentations, good materials, and custom fret works and set-up by me (Ron Fernandez). These guitars have been well received by many players and are a good value for a well built Spanish guitar.
The R.Fernandez 40 has a solid western red cedar soundboard, rosewood fingerboard, rosewood fingerboard, laminated African Ovankol (AKA Mongoy) back and sides, real wood rosette (not a decal), real wood binding around the face, 3 strut Spanish fan bracing, deluxe tuners, 52mm nut width, 650mm scale, lower bout 360mm, upper bout 280mm, body depth 103mm, body length 490mm, overall length 1000mm. Price $650
R.Fernandez 40-- Face and back
Real wood rosette of R.Fernandez
Head of R.Fernandez 40
Bridge of R.Fernandez 40
NARROW NUT/SHORT SCALE. The R.Fernandez 40-4864 is the same as the R.Fernandez 40 but has a 48mm nut width and 640mm scale. This model is intended to be an instrument for people with smaller hands or for steel string guitar players who want to cross over to a nylon string guitar. Since they are just slightly smaller they can be tuned to standard guitar pitch. At 48mm the nut is a little over 1/8" smaller than a standard classical guitar and with a 640mm scale the scale is about 3/8" shorter--these differences are enough to make a difference for some people but not too small to prevent the average person from playing them. The price for the R.Fernandez 40-4864 is $695.
The R.Fernandez 70 has solid western red cedar sound board, solid Indian rosewood back and sides, ebony fingrboard, rosewood bridge with string block inlay, 5 strut Spanish fan bracing, deluxe real wood rosette, real wood binding, real bone saddle and nut, deluxe tuners. 52mm nut width, 650mm scale, 380mm lower bout, 295mm upper bout, 105mm body depth, 490mm body length. Retail Price: $1495
R.Fernandez 70 Front view and back view
R.Fernandez 70-5265 Cut)--Photos of Front and Back
Rosette of R.Fernandez 70 models
Head of R.Fernandez 70 with Deluxe Tuners
Bridge of R.Fernandez 70
There are 3 other models of the R.Fernandez 70:
the R.Fernandez 70-4864 This is the narrow nut short scale model. It has a 48mm nut and 640mm scale. Retail Price: $1595.
the R.Fernandez 70-5265 Cut is a cut away model of the R.Fernandez 70. Price: $1695.
the R.Fernandez 70-4864 Cut which is a cutaway version of the 70-4864. Price: $1695
Fishman Prefix Pro Blend EQ panel
PERSONAL NOTE about transducer and guitar microphonee: As of January 2011 Fernandez Music will no longer import any guitar R.Fernandez with the Fishman Prefix or Prefix Pro Blend.The Fishman is a good system and can work well for many players. I, however, have come to the decision not to import guitars with Fishman already installed for a few reasons: 1) I do not like the idea of having a square hole cut into the side of a guitar for EQ controls--I think that in the future people will see the putting of a plastic box into the side of a beautiful wood classical guitar as very short sighted. Al ready steel string guitars have controls which fit into the soundhole. 2) I think that the microphone of the Prefix Pro Blend sounds great, in contrast, the under the saddle transducer does not sound as warm and has caused me much unnecessay work. This is because the saddle slot in the bridge is rarely perfectly flat--this means that I must disassemble the EQ from the transducer under the saddle, set up a special plexiglas jig, mask off the guitar to prevent scratches, line up the jig with the exiting saddle slot and then very carefully route out a sub-slot in the saddle slot (about 0.5mm to 1.0mm deep) within which to lay the transducer strip. This is a finicky operation which I choose no longer to do. 3) If a subslot is not properly routed into the saddle slot then the transducer strip will be visible from the side of the bridge AND also the saddle will be too high in the bridge slot--this is bad because a saddle which is too high puts too much pressure on the front lip of the bridge and could eventually cause a crack. 4) In the last few years the connector wires inside of the EQ box have become shorter than years ago which make them more difficult to reconnect. 5) The screws for the connector wire and the screw hole they are inserted into in the EQ box are not as easy to work nor as strong as they were before. I mentioned some of these concerns to the technical people at Fishman and they told me that no one had ever complained bout these things.
I personally never use a guitar which uses a transducer under the saddle because I simply do not like the sound. It is not natural or full (it doesn't have the upper partial of an unamplified nylon string guitar. However, I fully realize that some performers need to use a transducer rather than a microphone. This is because with a transducer it is easier to control feedback and other extraneous noises. As far as the EQ box, some people like the convenience of having an EQ right on the side of the guitar instead of over on their amplifier.
In my opinion, the best sound is consistently obtained from one or more microphones in front of the guitar (this is the best for recording or for performing on stage), the next best situation is a microphone on the guitar or in the soundhole, and the least best situation is a transducer which converts physical vibration into guitar sounds. As far as transducers that are available on the market, I must say that a properly installed Fishman can sound quite good. However, if it is not properly installed then some strings will be louder than other strings. Since the mid 1990s when many makers of classical guitars started to offer cutaways with EQs and under the saddle transducers, I have experienced so many guitars with an uneven output. Most of the players just accepted the defective sound of their pick-up system.
While I have learned to correct the unbalanced loudness of the transducer by accurately routing out the saddle slot, other luthiers achieve a balance by putting drops of superglue on the bottom of a saddle under the position of the softest sounding string. Several years ago I told some technicians at the Fishman booth at a music masnufacturers' convention (the NAMM show) about this balance problem--they told me that the slot must be more accurately routed (something I already knew) and then they showed me a little trick to balance the loudness of a transducer by putting pieces of paper under the transducer strip. I have spent too many hours fiddling and fixing the sound of transducers. I now leave all of the fiddling to others who like to work on electronic/electric/computer amplication systems. I have decided to limit my work to the repair and enhancement of fretted (unampified) acoustic instrument.
Finally I wish to say that Fishman has a very interesting system (the Aura) which converts transducervibrations through computer controls into a wide variety of musical sound. It blew me away when I heard and played it. It could make a nylon string guitar sound like a steel string guitar. Personally, I will not use such a system. However, this is a really great system for the right player. Perhaps you are that person.
I suggest that the reader carefully consider what they really want their guitar to sound like. Do you really need a transducer in your guitar? Will a great microphone in front of your guitar work for you? Do you really need to ne amplified?
Below is a photo of the clear plastic string guard I put on my R.Fernandez models. It protects the face of the guitar from the damage of string ends and, hopefully, from the damage caused by breaking strings.
Having imported and sold so many guitars I have developed these models in response to requests for specific features. I have tested these models for several years and they have proven to be an outstanding value. They are very playable, and they sound great.
Please look at other Esteve, Juan Hernandez and Manuel Adalid models which are on my website.
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