c.1965 Levin-made Goya G-10 Classical Guitar

Ya know, you've gotta love these old Swedish-made classicals. These Levin-made guitars really were made quite well and from the bottom of the line (this entry G-10) all the way up to the top they sound and play fantastic once they've been properly setup.

This one is no exception and has that definitive classical tone with tight (but big) bass and singing trebles. It's got a very good balanced tone which means you can switch between classical, flamenco, and string jazz with this pretty easily.

This has a solid spruce top with light fan bracing and solid semi-figured birch back and sides. The neck is one-piece mahogany and the bridge and fretboard are both rosewood. Because everything is solid and the build is lightweight and well-thought-out, this gets tone and volume that one typically associates with much more expensive instruments. In addition, the body is roughly Martin 00 or Gibson LG-1/B-25-sized which makes it a very comfortable "folk" guitar, too.

Original tuners and original synthetic nut and saddle.

The frets are all leveled and dressed.

I had to reglue the bridge. I also converted it to a "pin style" string load because I needed to get better back-pressure on the saddle since I had to shave it down for better action. This arrangement both looks smart and sounds nice, too! One simply knots the ends of the strings to make ball-ends before passing them through the pin holes. The new pins are ebony, too.

There's lots of finish-crackle and use-wear throughout but it gives the guitar a nice, well-loved look. The soundhole rosette is also still nicely red (usually these fade to brown). Strings are a light-tension D'Addario Pro-Arte set.

Aside from the inlaid rosette, binding on the top edge is the only other ornamentation. Note also that the finish on this side of the guitar shows what appears to be sun damage with sort of a greenish tint here and there. Fortunately this is the "leg" side of the guitar.

The simple Levin tuners are nice-looking and work well.

Nice somewhat-curly birch back (two piece). The center strip was a little open near the heel side of the back but I drop-filled it and cleated it up internally to keep it stable.

The only crack on the guitar was this one on the back which has been cleated and drop-filled and is stable as well.

Overall, I can't recommend these old Goyas highly enough -- they're just overall great guitars for the money and will 100% beat out any competitor in the same price range and timeframe. The neck profile is also a little slimmer front to back than many other classicals from the same time, so they're faster to play, too!


Valerie said...

I've had a G-10 since 1965 and have enjoyed it all that time. It was put away for a few years, and unfrtunately dried out casing major cracking of the top. Worth repairing?


Anonymous said...

Two years have passed since you posted this page about the Goya but in case you're reading this, I wanted to praise my Goya G10 which I got as a gift in 1964 and I still play it every day. The only problem it has is the surface crackling, which happened in the 1970s when I sent it with baggage on a flight and apparently it got cold. I also replaced the pegs once about 10 years ago because the original ones got stuck. The sound is mellow and beautiful. I never enjoy playing any other guitar as much as this one.