Review: Three Solid Mahogany Soprano Ukuleles – Flight MUS-2 + Ohana SK-38 + Sigma SUM-2S

The ukes have been recorded with a Citronic RM-06 ribbon microphone plugged into a Cranborne Audion Camden EC2 preamp. All EQ-settings were kept identical between the three models.

Alkuperäinen suomenkielinen juttu on ilmestynyt Rockway-blogissa.

Vintage C. F. Martin Style 2 soprano uke

Most of us will have started learning to play the uke with an affordable instrument, whose soundbox is probably made – at least in part – from laminated wood. Over time our playing will have improved, making us feel that it was maybe time to step up to a higher quality uke, which in most cases will mean an all-solid instrument.

If you’re interested in the history of this diminutive instrument you will have noticed that C. F. Martin & Co is a legendary maker of ukuleles. Even though Martin is a company based in Pennsylvania, they have started crafting ukes during the ukulele boom of the 1910s already. Not content making mere copies of Hawaiian instruments Martin almost singlehandedly developed the ukulele further, raising the benchmark for how a great uke should look and sound in the process. Martin also sold bucketloads of the little instruments – their ”economy model” alone, the Martin Style 0, sold almost 90,000 units between 1922 and 1994, when the original production run ended (temporarily).

The Martin Company originally introduced three soprano models in 1915, named Style 1, Style 2 and Style 3. The higher the Style’s number the more intricate the cosmetic features, like bindings and rosettes, would be.

My personal favourite is the dark brown all-mahogany Style 2, which is why I’ve chosen three all-solid Style 2-copies for this review.

A word about friction tuners

Most ukuleles these days are made with geared guitar tuners, which make tuning relatively easy for beginners. This is due to the so-called gear ratio, meaning the number of turns on a machine head’s knob relating to a full turn of the actual tuner post. This is normally somewhere between 14:1 and 18:1, meaning 14 or 18 turns of the knob shaft will give you one full turn of the tuner’s post.

Friction pegs aka patent tuners

Originally, all ukuleles came with simple wooden friction pegs that kept the strings in tune by simple friction between the hole in the headstock (aka peg head) and the wooden peg. This is exactly the same type of system that’s still in use on violins or cellos.

In 1920 Martin started introducing new-fangled friction pegs – first on more expensive models, but then across their whole uke range – which offered a much smoother tuning action. Friction tuners contain no gears, meaning their ”gear” ratio is 1:1 (like on a wooden peg), but here the friction is caused by metal washers, or plastic washers, or metal springs, that are forced against the front and back surfaces of the headstock. Their ”action” or stiffness can be adjusted with the screw at the top of the tuning button.

I would never recommend giving a beginner an instrument with patent pegs, because learning to tune your uke properly is hard enough in the beginning. But there is no reason to be afraid of friction pegs, either, once you know the basics of tuning your instrument. Just keep in mind that very little goes a long way with patent pegs, when it comes to hitting the correct pitch. You should also keep the right screwdriver handy for quick adjustments of the pegs’ stiffness, which can shift between summer and winter, due to the headstock wood expanding and contracting according to the relative humidity.

Nowadays friction tuners are mostly found on vintage-style ukuleles, like on the three instruments reviewed here.


Flight MUS-2

Flight is a Chinese brand concentrating mostly on ukuleles.

The Flight MUS-2 (current price in Finland: 199 €; incl. gig bag) is their version of a Martin Style 2 soprano ukulele. This is a beautiful instrument that invokes its vintage mojo with the help of a matte open-pore finish over a rich brown wood stain.

Flight’s own additions to the recipe include wooden body binding – instead of the celluloid plastic used on the original – as well as a cream rosette around the soundhole.

The Flight MUS-2’s neck is solid mahogany, too, but made of three parts, with the neck heel and the upper half of the peg head glued to the neck’s long main part. This way of doing things is both more economic and better for the environment than carving the neck out of a much larger wooden blank.

The Flight’s fretboard and bridge have been made from walnut, while the top nut and the bridge saddle are genuine bone.

The MUS-2 uses a set of Gotoh friction pegs, which employ plastic knobs, silicone washers and metal sleeves to build up the necessary friction for keeping the strings under tension.

Neck width at the saddle is 34 mm, which is the de facto standard for most modern soprano ukuleles, even though this is two to three millimetres narrower than on most vintage ukes. The MUS-2 has a scale length of 34.9 cm, which is three millimetres longer than on a Martin soprano.

The MUS-2 has a nicely rounded D neck profile.

The workmanship on the Flight is on a really high level. My only, tiny bit of criticism points to the matte finish which is something of a fingerprint magnet on the test sample.

The MUS-2’s string action is modern and low. I measured 2.4 mm at the 12th fret for the g-string and 2.1 mm for the a-string. The action and the nicely rounded neck make for a very comfortable playing feel. Despite the low action, the Flight offers a very good dynamic range without any string rattles.

The Flight MUS-2 has a surprisingly big and full-bodied voice that projects very well, both to the player and to his (or her) audience.


Ohana SK-38

Ohana is brand situated in the US, but with most of its production in China. Ohana is the Hawaiian word for ”family”.

Ohana’s 38 Series comprises of all-solid Style 2-copies in different body sizes, with the Ohana SK-38 (current price in Finland: 348 €) being the soprano model.

Cosmetically the SK-38 probably comes closest to the spirit of a vintage Martin Style 2, except for the slightly larger-than-vintage soundhole (about 2 mm more in diameter) and the position markers copied off a Style 1 instrument. Our test sample was a tiny bit heavier than the Flight ukulele, but still super-light compared to most string instruments.

In terms of colour and finishing the Ohana SK-38 is almost identical to the Flight, with the finish seeming even thinner here. Visually the SK-38 evokes the pre-1926 Martins that sported a brushed on cellulose-based finish. In 1926 Martin phased in spray finishes to speed up production.

The soundbox’ top sports three-ply plastic binding (b/w/b), while the back is single-ply. The vintage-type rosette is made up of alternating thin black and white rings.

The Ohana SK-38 sports a modern solid-mahogany neck with separate parts for the neck heel and the headstock’s top half. The Gotoh patent pegs are the same model found on the Flight, too.

The fretboard and bridge have been carved from ovangkol. The top nut and bridge saddle are both bovine bone.

Neck with at the nut is 34 mm on the SK-38, while the scale length is 34.9 cm.

I would call the Ohana SK-38’s neck profile a slightly flatted C-profile, which comes close in feel to modern Martin soprano uke necks. In terms of playing comfort there’s not much to divide the three reviewed sopranos.

The SK-38 displays a very high level of workmanship; I own an older version of this uke – one that sports a nut and bridge saddle carved from ebony – and I must say the build quality on the new version has clearly improved.

The very low string action on the test sample is a good indicator of the quality of the fretting. I measured 1.3 mm for the g-string and 1.4 mm for the a-string at the 12th fret. Despite this low action I experienced no problems whatsoever with fret rattle.

The Ohana SK-38 has a very balanced voice with a tiny bit less bottom end and a tad more sparkle, when compared to the Flight. The Ohana projects very well.


Sigma SUM-2S

Originally, Sigma Guitars was C. F. Martin’s far-eastern brand, founded to combat the ever-increasing flow of Japanese Martin-copies in 1970. In 2007 Martin sold the brand to German company AMI GmbH, who has done quite a lot to raise the brand’s profile. Apart from copies of Martin guitars Sigma’s model range now also includes several Gibson-style acoustic guitars. Sadly, Sigma’s ukulele range has been discontinued at the start of 2022, meaning that the current stock of Sigma ukes in shops now will be the last, at least for the foreseeable future.

The Sigma SUM-2S (current price in Finland: 315 €; incl. gig bag) looks a bit more refined than the other two instruments in this review, due to its flat matte finish. The finish is very thin, but has been buffed to a flat matte sheen.

The SUM-2S is in the same weight class as the Ohana SK-38.

Anoraks would say that the Sigma SUM-2S is more of a ”Style 2.5” soprano, because it comes with the longer fretboard – offering 17 instead of 12 frets – of a Style 3 (and Style 5) uke.

In some respects, though, the SUM-2S comes closer to vintage Martin specifications than the other two contenders in this review:

Arguably the most important point here is the one-piece mahogany neck, which is a genuine rarity in this price range. Other features include a 36 mm wide neck at the nut, a smaller soundhole, the vintage-correct size and spacing of the position markers, as well as the original (shorter) Martin-scale of 34.6 cm.

The fretboard and the bridge have been made out of Indian rosewood, while the top nut and bridge saddle are genuine bone.

The Sigma SUM-2S uses Chinese Ping friction pegs, which produces the require friction by pressing the plastic tuner knobs into fat plastic washers. These pegs have been in for some criticism in a number of reviews, but to be fair, I haven’t had any tuning problems with the Ping pegs over the whole duration of testing the Sigma uke.

The neck profile on the Sigma SUM-2S is fatter than on the Ohana, but flatter than on the Flight, combining the best aspects of the two necks.

Even though the difference in neck width at the nut is only two millimetres, the Sigma’s neck feels roomier. This can make a huge difference in feel for people with large (or thick) fingers!

The Sigma’s set-up is very comfortable. I’ve measured an action of 2.1 mm for the g-string and 1.8 mm for the a-string at the 12th fret. The fretwork is excellent, meaning I’ve experienced no string rattles.

Like the other two instruments in this review the Sigma, too, came with Aquila Nylgut strings. Due to the slightly shorter scale length the strings feel maybe a little bit too slinky. I’d recommend trying fluorocarbon strings on the SUM-2S, which generally tend to feel a bit stiffer.

At first I thought the Sigma was quieter than the other two ukes, when in fact it even offers more of a vintage-style ”bark” for the audience (or a microphone). The smaller soundhole simply makes this ukulele project slightly less in the direction of the player himself (or herself). In terms of its sound the Sigma SUM-2S is the brightest sounding of the three reviewed models.

Testipenkissä: Manuel Rodriguez Model A

Guitarras Manuel Rodriguez on hyvin arvostettu klassisten ja Flamenco-kitaroiden valmistaja, joka tekee niiden lisäksi myös cajoneja. Alun perin Manuel Rodriguez perusti yrityksensä vuonna 1905 Madridissa. Yhdeksänkymmentä vuotta myöhemmin hyvin menestynyt kitarapaja muutti Esquivias nimiseen kaupunkiin (Toledon maakunnassa), jonne he olivat rakentaneet itselleen nykyaikaiseen soitinvalmistukseen sopivat isot tuotantotilat.

Manuel Rodriguezin Model Clásica A on kokopuisella kannella varustettu espanjalainen klassinen kitara, joka on tarkoitettu jo selvästi edenneelle soittajalle.


MR Model A (650 €) -kitara tarjoaa kaikki tärkeimmät espanjalaisen laatukitaran tunnusmerkit.

Testikitaran kaula on veistetty erittäin kauniista afrikkalaisesta mahongista, ja sillä on espanjalainen kaulakorko. Soittimen kaula on tehty perinteisellä tavalla, jossa yksiosaiseen pitkään aihioon on lisätty erillisiä paloja korkoa ja viritinlavan ylempää osaa varten.

Kokopuinen kansi on laadukasta kanadalaista seetriä.

Model A:n ainoa myönnytys hintalapulle näkyy kopan pohjassa ja sivuissa, jotka on tehty vanerista. Vaikka kyse ei siis ole kokopuusta, on tähän malliin käytetty intialainen ruusupuu erittäin kaunista – sekä ulkopuolelta että sisältä päin katsottuna.

Sekä kannessa että pohjassa on monikerroksista puista reunalistoitusta.

Manuel Rodriguezin perinteiset virityskoneistot toimivat hyvin luotettavasti.

Viritinlavan etupuoli on koristeltu ruusupuuviilulla. Kitaran otelauta on eebenpuuta.

Satulan lisäksi myös Model A:n kompensoitu (!) tallaluu ovat aitoa naudanluuta.

Talla on veistetty kuvankauniista ruusupuusta.

Manuel Rodriguezin värikäs ja hienostunut rosetti on hyvin tyylikäs lisäys.

Koko soitin on kiiltäväksi lakattu.


Manuel Rodriguezin Model A on mielestäni erittäin hieno vaihtoehto täysin kokopuusta tehdylle klassiselle kitaralle.

Tässä on kyse herkästi resonoivasta, isoäänisestä soittimesta, jossa myös työnjälki on kiitettävällä tasolla.

Kaulaprofiiliksi on valittu hivenen verran nykyaikaisempi ja pyöreämpi versio perinteisestä, suhteellisen kulmikkaasta versiosta. Satulan kohdalla kaulalla on kyllä perinteinen 52 millin leveys, mutta tässä puuttuvat ne klassiselle kitaralle hyvin tyypilliset kulmikkaat hartiat.

Kielten korkeus oli testiyksilössä 3.6 mm basso-E:ssä ja 3.3 mm diskantti-e:ssä. Nämä säädöt ovat soittajalle ystävällisiä, mutta jättävät kuitenkin runsaasti varaa hyvin dynaamiselle soitolle ilman nauhojen aiheuttamaa särinää.

Kompensoidun tallaluun ansiosta Model A soi erittäin puhtaasti koko otelaudassa.

Niin kuin kokopuisella kannella varustetut akustiset kitarat yleensä, myös Manuel Rodriguezin A kaipasi aluksi hieman sisäänsoittoa, ennen kuin kitaran keskialueelta katosi viimeiset rippeet uudenkarheasta kireydestä. Kannattaa siis soittaa tätä mallia intensiivisesti muutaman päivän ajan, ennen kuin Model A:n ääni nousee täyteen kukoistukseen. Tässä kitarassa on kyllä niin viehättävän selkeä ja laulava ääni, että on jo melkein hankala lopettaa soittamista. Tehdasvarustukseen kuuluvat Savarez-kielet tuntuvat todella hyviltä ja pitävät vireensä kiitettävästi.


Manuel Rodriguez Clásica A on erittäin laadukas tapaus, joka näyttää hyvin kauniilta, ja joka soi erittäin kauniilla äänellä.

Joissakin forumeissa väitetään, että vaneripohjaisessa klassisessa kitarassa olisi automaattisesti lattea ja eloton ääni. Pötyä, sanoisin minä. MR:n Model A soi kuin unelma – tämä on hyvin dynaaminen ja inspiroiva soitin!


Manuel Rodriguez Model A

650 €

Lisätiedot: Musamaailma


+ aito espanjalainen soitin

+ työnjälki

+ soitettavuus

+ soundiSave











Review: Manuel Rodriguez Model A

Guitarras Manuel Rodriguez is a well-known maker of classical and Flamenco guitars, as well as cajons. Originally, Manuel Rodriguez was founded in Madrid in 1905. By 1994 the company had outgrown their original workshops, and made the move to a large, purpose-built facility in Esquivias in the the province of Toledo (central Spain).

The Manuel Rodriguez Model Clásica A is a solid-topped Spanish guitar aimed at the ambitious student or amateur, who wants to move up a few steps from the guitar he (or she) has started learning on.


The MR Model A (current price in Finland: 650 €) bears all the important hallmarks of a quality Spanish classical guitar.

The neck – which features a Spanish Heel – has been crafted from a gorgeous looking piece of African mahogany. The neck is a one-piece affair, save for the traditional addition of small pieces for the lower heel portion and part of the headstock.

The solid top uses tight-grained, bookmatched Canadian red cedar.

The only concession to price in the Model A comes in its use of laminated back and sides. But even if this isn’t solid wood, the Indian rosewood used is breathtakingly beautiful, both from the outside as well as looking in through the soundhole.

Both the top and the back sport intricate wooden binding.

The machine heads are traditional and of very decent quality.

The headstock veneer is rosewood, while the fingerboard has been made from a thick slab of ebony.

Both the top nut and the compensated (!) bridge saddle have been crafted from genuine bone.

Once again, very beautiful Indian rosewood is the material of choice for the Model A’s bridge.

Manuel Rodriguez’ intricate and colourful soundhole rosette is a very stylish touch.

The whole guitar comes in a natural gloss finish.


The Manuel Rodriguez Model A ticks all the right boxes if you’re looking for a high-quality alternative to an all-solid classical guitar.

This is a resonant and beautiful instrument that displays top-notch workmanship in every detail.

The neck profile is a slightly friendlier, more modern version of the traditional squarish design. The nut width is kept at a traditional 52 mm, but the transition between the flat back of the neck into its shoulders has been made a lot smoother and much less angular.

The action has been set at 3.6 mm for the low E-string and at 3.3 mm for the treble E. This gives you a player-friendly playing feel, but leaves enough fretboard clearance to really dig in for loud passages without fret buzz.

The compensated bridge saddle gives the Model A a very true intonation.

Being a solid-topped instrument, the Manuel Rodriguez A required a little bit of playing in to open up the guitar’s mid-range, but spending a few days of intensive playing will reap the rewards. This guitar has a charming clear and sweet voice that just makes you want to carry on playing. The factory-installed Savarez strings feel great and keep their tuning.


The Manuel Rodriguez Clásica A is a top-quality guitar. This instrument looks beautiful and plays like dream.

Don’t let anybody tell you that a laminated back automatically results in a dull and lifeless tone. The MR Model A’s sound is beautiful, dynamic and utterly inspiring!


Manuel Rodriguez Model A

650 €

Finnish distributor: Musamaailma


+ made in Spain

+ workmanship

+ playability

+ sound






Manuel Rodriguez Model A – the Kitarablogi-video

A short cover of the Beatles classic ”And I Love Her”.

Recorded with an AKG C3000.

Manuel Rodriguez Model A

• Made in Spain

• Top: solid Canadian cedar

• Sides: laminated Indian rosewood

• Back: laminated Indian rosewood

• Neck: African mahogany

• Headstock veneer: Indian rosewood

• Fingerboard: ebony

• Frets: 19

• Nut: Bone, 52mm

• Machine Heads: gold coloured

• Bridge: Indian rosewood

• Bindings: Indian rosewood

• Strings: Savarez

Finnish distributor: Musamaailma



Testipenkissä: Esteve Organic Eco-Series Jucar ja Segura


Esteven uudet Segura- (vasemmalla) ja Jucar-mallit (oikealla)

Jostain syystä me kitaristit olemme yllättävän vanhanaikaisia, mitä tulee työkaluihimme sopiviin puulajeihin. Tämä perinnetietoisuus on erityisen totta, kun puhutaan kitaraperheen vanhimmasta jäsenestä – klassisesta kitarasta. Meidän silmissä ”kunnon klassisessa kitarassa” pitää olla Etelä-Amerikkalainen mahonki- tai ”espanjalainen” seetrikaula, eebenpuinen otelauta (ja talla), kuusi- tai seetrikansi, sekä sivut ja pohja ruusupuusta.

Valitettavasti osa näistä perinteisistä materiaaleista hupenevat kasvavalla vauhdilla, ja osa näistä puulajeista alkaa olla jopa uhattuna. Vaikka monet syyt tähän kehitykseen eivät ole kitarateollisuuden aiheuttamia, kitaristit loppujen lopuksi maksavat isomman hinnan harvinaisista puulajeista, ja esim. jonkun lajin CITES-merkintä tarkoittaa paperisotaa ulkomaihin suuntaaville keikkaileville muusikoille.

Onneksi monet kitaranvalmistajat ovat ottaneet muuttuneiden aikojen haasteet aktiivisesti vastaan. Jatkuvasti kasvava ryhmä brändejä tarjoaa nykyään klassisia kitaroita uusista, ei-uhatuista ja/tai kestävästi viljellyistä puulajeista.

Yksi todella hyvä esimerkki on perinteinen espanjalainen kitaranvalmistaja Guitarras Esteve. Firman upouuteen Organic Eco -sarjaan kuuluu kolme käsintehtyä klassista mallia, jotka on tehty perinteisin menetelmin yhtiön pajassa Valenciassa, ei-perinteisiä puulajeja käyttäen. Loppusilauksen uudelle mallistolle antaa Esteven uusi ympäristöystävällinen vesiohenteinen mattaviimeistely.

Meillä oli mahdollisuus testata kahta uutta Esteve-kitaraa:

Esteve Jucar (679 €) on kokopuisella kannella varustettu soitin, kun taas Esteve Segura -malli (895 €) on kokonaan kokopuusta veistetty klassinen kitara.

Esteve Jucar

Esteve Segura


Ekologiseen teemaan sopivaksi Esteven Organic-uutuussoittimet on nimetty kolmen Valencian alueen läpi virtaavan joen mukaan.

Jucarin kokopuinen kansi on tehty seetristä, mikä on tämän mallin ainoa perinteinen puuvalinta.

Kaikukopan sivut ja pohja ovat metsälehmusta, joka on varsin yleinen puulaji Euroopassa. Koska luonnollisesti kermanvaalea koppa olisi ehkä näyttänyt liian erikoiselta, on Esteve Jucar -mallissa lehmusvaneri saanut ylleen pähkinäruskean petsauksen.

Kitaran kaula on veistetty okumesta, jota käytetään usein afrikkalaisen mahongin korvaajana.

Uusi Esteve Segura on seetrikannella varustettu kokonaan kokopuinen klassinen kitara muusikoille ystävällisellä hinnalla.

Seguran sivuihin ja pohjaan on käytetty ovangkolia, joka on afrikkalainen ruusupuun sukulainen.

Kaulapuuksi on valittu tässä khaya ivorensis, toinen yleinen mahongin korvaaja Afrikasta.

Kuva: Guitarras Esteve

Kuten mainitsin jo jutun alussa, perinteestä poikkeavista puulajeista huolimatta, Organic Eco -kitaroiden perusrakenne on hyvinkin perinteinen. Aidossa espanjalaisessa kitarassa kaulaliitos on koko prosesssin alku ja keskipiste.

Kitaran kaulaa ei tässä menetelmässä liimata valmiin kopan erilliseen kaulablokkiin rakentamisen loppuvaiheessa, niin kuin monissa muissa akustisissa kitaroissa. Estevellä käytetään sen sijaan ns. espanjalaista korkoa (Spanish Heel), jossa koko kaikukoppa – sivut, pohja ja kansi – liimataan kiinni suoraan kaulaan, mikä mahdollistaa – ainakin teoriassa – paremman värähtelyjen siirron soittimen läpi.

Ehkä silmiinpistävä merkki Organic-sarjan erilaisuudesta on näiden soittimien erinäköiset otelaudat ja tallat. Eebenpuun tai ruusupuun sijasta Jucarissa ja Segurassa käytetään wengeä, joka on hyvin eloisia syykuvioita omaava afrikkalainen puulaji.

Esteve tekee tämän sarjan satulat ja tallaluut aidosta naudanluusta.

Nykyään nähdään monissa edullisissa klassisissa kitaroissa liimatarralla toteutettuja rosetteja. Näissä keskihintaisissa Esteveissä käytetään kuitenkin aitoja, erivärisistä puista kasattuja rosetteja.

Jucarissa löytyy vaaleampi versio…

…kun taas Seguran kaikuaukon koristus on hieman värikkäämpi.

Molempiin malleihin asennetaan tehtaalla laadukkaita Savarez-kieliä Ranskasta.


Sekä Esteven Jucar- että Segura-mallissa löytyy satulan kohdalla muutamaa milliä perinteistä kapeampi kaulaprofiili. Paperilla muutos vaikuttaa hyvin pieneltä, mutta kapeampi kaula tuntuu selkeästi helpommalta soittaa. Kaulan profiili sinänsä pysyy kuitenkin vankasti perinteisenä – profiili on suhteellisen matala ja sen hartiat melko kulmikkaat.

Koska kaikki Organic-kitarat tehdään käsityönä, on selvää että yksilöiden välillä esiintyy pieniä eroavaisuuksia kaulojen tuntumissa ja soittimien säädöissä.

Testissä käyneen Esteve Jucarin kaula on hieman Seguran vastinetta matalampi. Kaula tuntuu myös pysyvän lähes samanpaksuisena koko matkan runkoa kohti.

Testiyksilön säädöt olivat suoraan paketista erittäin mukavat (basso-E: 3,1 mm; diskantti-e: 2,7 mm), ilman rajoitteita soittimen dynamiikalle taikka minkäänlaista räminää.

Jostain kumman syystä pidän Jucarin eloisesta, ruskeasta lehmusvanerikopasta pikkasen enemmän kuin Seguran vihertävästä, mutta kokopuisesta ovangkolista.

Esteve Jucarin ääni on iso ja selkeä, ja tarjolla on vaneripohjaiseksi klassiseksi kitaraksi yllättävän iso dynaaminen spektri. Alamidlessä on Jucarin soundissa pieni korostus, joka paksuntaa kitaran botnea oikein mukavalla tavalla.


Testissä käyneen Esteve Seguran kaula taas alkaa jo yläsatulan kohdalla hivenen paksumpana, kun vertailee Jucariin. Kaulaan tulee myös hiukan enemmän paksuutta runkoa kohti mentäessä.

Myös Seguran säädöissä ei todellakaan ole valittamiseen varaa (basso-E: 3,7 mm; diskantti-e: 3,1 mm), minkä ansiosta soittaja pystyy hyödyntämään tämän kitaran suuria volyymi- ja dynamiikkavaroja sydämensä kyllyydestä.

On lähes uskomatonta, miten vapaasti nämä Estevet hengittävät. Veikkaisin että tämä on seuraus huolellisesta työnjäljestä, sekä Organic Eco -kitaroiden erittäin ohuesta viimeistelystä. Tämä kaksikko haluaa musisoida sinun kanssasi. Tässä ei tarvitse tehdä ylimääräistä työtä saadakseen kitarat soimaan.

On minusta aina hyvin opettavaista, kun voi vertailla kahta hyvinkin samantyyppistä soitinta. Kokopuisella kannella varustettu Jucar on kyllä todella hieno kitara, joka tarjoaa roimasti vastinetta rahallesi, mutta kokonaan kokopuusta veistetty Segura on soundiltaan ja dynamiikaltaan selvästi vielä pari askelta Jucaria edellä.

Esteve Segura -mallista löytyy iso ja dynaaminen soundi, hyvällä kokopuiselle klassiselle ominaisella laajennetulla bassotoistolla.


Minusta on hieno nähdä miten luovasti tällainen perinteinen kitarabrändi kuin Esteve vastaa haasteeseen löytää uusia ja laadukkaita vaihtoehtoja perinteisille soittopuille.

Minun mielestäni firman uudet Organic Eco -sarjalaiset tarjoavat juuri sen oikean sekoituksen perinteistä espanjalaista kitaranrakentamista, ekologisesti kestäviä puulajeja ja nykyaikaisia, ympäristölle vaarattomia viimeistelyjä.

Esteve Jucar- ja Segura-mallit tuovat klassisia eko-kitaroita boutique- ja custom-pajoilta tavalliseen muusikon ulottuville. Ekologisen valinnan tekeminen kitaraostoksessa ei ole koskaan ollut niin helppo ja edullinen.


Esteve Organic Eco-Series Jucar ja Segura

Ekologisesti kestävät klassiset kitarat

Esteve Jucar: 679 €

Esteve Segura: 895 €

Maahantuoja: Musiikki Silfverberg

Suuret kiitokset Vantaan Musiikille testisoittimien lainaamisesta!

Plussat (molemmat kitarat):

+ konsepti

+ materiaalit

+ työnjälki

+ soitettavuus

+ soundiSave













Review: Esteve Organic Eco-Series Jucar & Segura


The new Esteve Segura (left) and Jucar (right) models

Many of us guitarists are surprisingly old-fashioned, when it comes to the choices of timber used in our instruments. This is especially true for the oldest and most traditional of guitar instruments – the classical guitar. We tend to automatically associate South American mahogany and so-called ”Spanish” cedar necks, ebony fingerboards and bridges, spruce or cedar tops, and rosewood rims and backs with quality and traditional guitar-making.

Some of these legendary materials are becoming scarce, some even teetering on the brink of being seriously endangered. Even though the reasons for this are mostly not the fault of instrument makers, scarcity does raise material prices, and CITES inclusions make the exporting of and/or the travelling with such instruments a bureaucratic nightmare.

Luckily, an ever-increasing number of guitar manufacturers are reacting to these developments by introducing environmentally friendly alternatives using non-traditional wood species.

One very good example is the traditional Spanish guitar company Guitarras Esteve, whose brand-new Organic Eco-Series introduces three classical guitar models that are handcrafted using traditional methods in their Valencia workshop, but who feature innovative wood choices. The icing on the new series’ proverbial cake is Esteve’s new, environmentally friendly water-based open-pore finish.

That was more than reason enough for us at to take two of the new Esteves for a spin. The Esteve Jucar (679 €) is a solid-top instrument, while the Esteve Segura (895 €) is an all-solid classical guitar.

Esteve Jucar

Esteve Segura


Fitting the ecological theme, Esteve has chosen to name its three Organic models after three scenic rivers that run through Spain’s south-eastern parts, near the Valencia region.

The Jucar has a solid top made from cedar, which is one of the traditional features of the instrument.

The back and sides are made from small-leaved lime (tilia cordata), which is a tree that grows abundantly in most parts of Europe. To give the Esteve Jucar a traditional look the lime plywood has been dyed a rich brown hue.

The neck has been crafted from an African mahogany substitute called okoume, which is found increasingly in many new acoustic string instruments.

The Esteve Segura is a very competitively-priced, all-solid classical guitar, which is also built with a cedar top.

The Segura’s back and sides are made from ovangkol, an African relative of rosewood. The neck has been carved from khaya, another proven alternative to genuine mahogany.

Photo courtesy of Guitarras Esteve.

As already mentioned in the introduction, the basic construction of the Organic Eco-Series follows Spanish guitar-making tradition, by making the neck joint the pivotal point of the whole building process.

The guitar’s neck isn’t glued into a neck block inside the glued body, almost at the end of the building process, like you see in many other acoustic guitars. Instead Esteve apply the Spanish Heel construction technique that glues the whole soundbox – top, back and rims – straight to the neck itself for superior vibrational transfer.

The most obvious sign that the Organic Series is using non-standard wood types is the look of the bridges and fingerboards. Instead of ebony or rosewood, both the Jucar and the Segura use wenge, a very hard and very lively looking African wood.

Esteve uses genuine bovine bone for the nuts and bridge saddles on both guitars.

While many entry-level nylon-string guitars these days sport stuck-on rosette decals, the soundholes on these mid-priced Esteves are adorned with genuine coloured wood inlays.

Here’s the rosette on the Jucar…

…and this is what the Segura’s rosette looks like.

Both models come factory-equipped with high-quality Savarez strings from France.


The Esteve Jucar and Segura both feature necks whose nut width has been toned down by a couple of millimetres. This might not seem much, but it makes the instruments noticeably easier to play. The neck profile, on the other hand, stays traditional, which means rather flat and slightly angular.

The amount of handwork going into the Organic guitars is noticeable in subtle individual differences in the feel of the necks, and in the set-up of the guitars.

Our review sample of the Esteve Jucar has a slightly flatter neck than the Segura. The neck also gains only a very little thickness going up towards the body.

The set-up is very comfortable (low E: 3.1 mm; high e: 2.7 mm), while offering a wide dynamic range without any fret buzz.

For some strange reason I prefer the lively look and brown hue of the Jucar’s lime body over the slight greenish tint of the all-solid ovangkol found on the Segura.

The Esteve Jucar has a clear and loud voice, and it offers a surprising amount of dynamic range for a classical guitar with plywood rims and back. There’s a slight, but very pleasant, low-mid bump that nicely fills out the Jucar’s bottom range.


The neck on our sample of the Esteve Segura starts out with a tad more thickness at the nut, compared to the Jucar. It also gains a slight bit of additional girth on its way towards the neck heel.

The Segura’s set-up is also excellent (low E: 3.7 mm; high e: 3.1 mm), making it possible to take full advantage of the instrument’s wide dynamic range without any annoying fret buzz.

I just love the way both of these Esteves seem to breathe. This is quite likely the combination of quality workmanship and the new ecologically sound, ultra-thin finish. These new Organic Eco-guitars seem to want to make music with you willingly, you never get a sense that you have to fight and conquer the guitar.

It is always very educational, when you get to compare very similarly built guitars. The solid-top Jucar is a great guitar, offering exceptional value for the money, but the all-solid Segura clearly takes things up one notch further.

The Esteve Segura displays a big and dynamic sound, with the added volume and expanded low end that only a well-made all-solid classical guitar can offer.


It is great to see such a traditional guitar maker as Esteve take on the challenge to come up with high-quality alternatives to long-established wood choices.

In my view the new Organic Eco-Series models feature the right combination of traditional Spanish luthiery, ecologically-sustainable wood choices and modern non-hazardous finishes.

The Esteve Jucar and Segura take eco-friendly guitar-making out of the realm of the boutique builder or custom shop, making such instruments affordable to a much wider clientele, without compromising their playability or sound one iota.


Esteve Organic Eco-Series Jucar & Segura

Ecologically sustainable classical guitars

Esteve Jucar, current price in Finland: 679 €

Esteve Segura, current price in Finland: 895 €

Finnish Distributor: Musiikki Silfverberg

A big thank you to Vantaan Musiikki for the kind loan of the review instruments!

Pros (both models):

+ concept

+ materials

+ workmanship

+ playability

+ soundSave





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