Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Alhambra 8P Review

Alhambra is one of those unique brands that has its very own flavor. Ironically most people claim them to be amateur copy cats of other famous Spanish breeds, but Alhambra with all its sincerity stood still for the last 30 years. From $400 student models to $3000+ Guitars, Alhambra has made some unbelievable and outstanding progress in guitar craftsmanship.Competing with brands such as Rodriguez, Hauser and Ramirez, the Alhambra was not a total letdown like everyone else had predicted. The 8P from Alhambra is the second model of the Guitars that have both solid top and solid back and sides. However, sellers of Alhambra recommend this model much more than the 7P, because the 8p was said to be made by a special , more smaller and experienced team. I had been skeptical about this from the very beginning, but when i got enough exposure to both the 7Ps and 8P's, I obviously spotted the difference. And to tell you the truth the difference isn't a big one, well atleast initially even after changing 2-3 sets of strings, trying Savarez, augustine, exp's, and even Hannabach. Yes strings come with their own flavour. But in terms of volume this Guitar wasn't really that much of a deal, I'd say it's volume is around 20% better and much clearer than a $500 alhambra 2c. But tone-wise it's just beautiful to begin with. Rich, expressive, clear and subtle.

The top notch material in this guitar which took all my attention was the neck. The neck is made of Spanish cedar, and the finger wood is made of some excellent ebony. The stock machine tuners weren't bad either, - Luxury Alhambra Gold Plated Tuners. Looks and rosette were simply exquisite.
Most Alhambra Guitars look great. But some people have a strange say on this that they make guitars that look superficially great but lacks a lot when it comes to projection. This is where I exactly beg to differ. This might be somewhat true for their beginner models, but the ones starting from the 8P range are definitely worth every penny. Anyways the 8P Guitar come in two models, one in solid German Spruce and one in Solid Red Cedar. There is also an option of getting pick guard or getting a Fish Man Pick up. I haven't tested them with the pick ups. But I've tested Fish-man pick ups on other Concert Guitars, which were simply superb. I do not know what kind of western cedar it had for the top.

In Conclusion, the guitar has really good value for money, although I wouldn't say great. The Bracing was particularly very interesting. Go check it out!

The most important thing about buying a classical guitar is not to conform to anyone’s idea, but to rely more on facts and objective evidence. Any guitar of any brand, cheap or expensive can sound terrible or weird if it gets damaged while shipping, or gets misused or is not maintained properly. Change in temperature is a huge constraint for properly maintaining classical guitars. Keep your guitar safely in a Hard-case. ( padded ones won’t do unless your guitar costs less than $500 ) Use a humidifier if you happen to live in an extremely dry area. Never expose it to direct sunlight. Keep silica gel packets in your guitar case, if u live in a very humid area. Standard relative humidity for maintaining classical guitars is around 50-60. A little fluctuation is generally not harmful. These guitars can talk and have a Life, so the way you treat them and take care of them will influence their tonal qualities.
Thank You and Have a nice day.


  1. Hi - I just read your review of the Alhambra 8P, and I was wondering what you thought the best strings were on it. Thank you.

    1. Try using Augustine Blue or Augustine Red's, they sound pretty good on them. If you cannot get them then just go for the D'addario Pro arte Strings. A point to note is that, if you've changed the action by adjusting the saddle, well then you need to find the right tension for your strings. Example - if it seems too loose with the medium tension strings then switch to high tension. And remember, Classical Guitars unlike Steel string Guitars do not require high tension strings for better tone or even volume.If Normal tension suits you well then stick with them. If you cannot produce enough volume as the frets buzz while rest stroking with a lot of force, well then you need to obviously raise the action a little bit. Have fun!