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Bulgaria is a delightful country, well-known for its delicious wine, majestic mountains, beautiful beaches, and – most importantly – their exquisite guitars, produced by Kremona. While the Bulgarian brand cater for all levels and price brackets, their Fiesta FC – part of their professional Artist Series – is a popular higher-end model that sits in the sub-$1000 classical guitar market. After some time with the guitar, we can see why it’s so admired.
This simple classical guitar exudes tradition and quality, with the non-cutaway body crafted entirely from solid woods – with rosewood a theme throughout the guitar’s construction. In particular on the back and sides, where Kremona use solid Indian rosewood, as well as solid red cedar on the top. The whole body is enrobed with a high-gloss polyurethane finish and birch purfling around the edges, while the top enjoys a very attractive wooden soundhole rosette.
The quality woods extend up the guitar, with a Honduran cedar neck and Indian rosewood fretboard. This neck demonstrates classical values, joining the body with a dovetail joint at the 12th fret, with a wide nut width of 2.05”. Kremona boast that the Fiesta FC is crafted by their most experienced luthiers, and it certainly shows – this guitar is flawless and feels like a lot of thought has gone into the design.
There are no electronics on the Fiesta FC – it’s an all-acoustic affair. But the hardware that it comes with enhances the sound and playability. On the slotted rosewood-layered headstock, you’ll find a set of good quality gold-plated Gebr. Van Gent tuners, along with rosewood buttons, while a bone nut sits just below. At the other end, there’s a matching bone saddle that sits on the bridge, which is crafted of – you guessed it – rosewood. The Fiesta FC comes strung with a set of quality Royal Classics Sonata strings (medium tension), and arrives in a protective Kremona deluxe hardshell case, with a nice plush lining.
With the red cedar top, it’s naturally a very warm and rich guitar in tone, with deep lows and plenty of character. The warmth is balanced well by the vibrancy of the Indian rosewood back and sides. The solid top resonates very well, so volume is in abundance, while the sustain was notably lengthy. In fact, for a sub-$1000 guitar, the sound on offer is some of the best you’ll hear in a classical guitar, and fits many styles of playing.
Unless you’ve been able to sample real ‘old-world’ craftsmanship like this before, you may not understand what it feels like to hold something so well-made. Kremona’s Fiesta FC is your chance, and is well worth adding to your shortlist, whether you’re an aspiring professional or a serious student. It’s certainly one of the best-looking and sounding classical guitars in this price range, and plays like a dream.