Friday, December 23, 2011

Orpheus Valley Rosa Morena Guitar Review


Today we are looking at a gorgeous Orpheus Valley Guitars Rosa Morena model classical nylon-string acoustic guitar. I have found it to be a terrific value for the price.

I had never heard of Orpheus Valley Guitars until recently. They are produced by the Kremona Lutherie in Bulgaria, which has been in the business of building stringed instruments since 1924. I believe their main focus had been on the violin family of instruments.

I was looking for a new nylon-string guitar, and played this one the recommendation of a friend. The sound and the build quality impressed me, and it was not a bad looker either. Win, win, win.

The first thing you might say is “You call it a classical guitar, but it looks suspiciously like a flamenco guitar to me.” Well, yeah. But Orpheus Valley Guitars built it and they call it a classical guitar, so I am going with their name.

It is a handsome guitar that is built in Bulgaria, but its components are sourced from the United Nations of Lutherie supplies.

The Rosa Morena has a solid European spruce top, and Indian rosewood back and sides. The rosette is a pretty inlay and is all wood, just like the simple body binding. This is all sprayed with a super-thin layer of poly.

The neck is made of Honduran cedar with an Indian rosewood fretboard and headstock veneer. There are 19 frets with a 650mm scale. It is a chunky 52mm wide at the nut, which is about 2 inches, and standard for classical guitars. The neck is set with a dovetail joint (no bolts in there).

The Gebr. Van Gent gold-plated lyre tuners are sourced from the Netherlands, and are nice quality machines that hold well. It has well cut genuine bone nut and saddle, and an Indian rosewood bridge.

All of this is put together well. The finish is even, and the fretwork is well done. I think the end where the sides meet could be a little dressier, but it is a clean joint, at least.

It plays well and has a sweeter sound and more volume than the La Patrie classical guitar it is replacing. It has a balanced tone, and is a pleasure to play. I give it an A+ rating.

The Orpheus Valley Rosa Morena is a good value with a list price of $599 and a street price of $499. This includes a 3-year warranty, that may or may not be the easiest thing to use, as the Kremona headquarters is in Europe. Check with your dealer for details.


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