>I found and bought a Goya classical guitar that is in pretty good shape.
>a spruce top,and what appears to be maple ( flamed back) back and sides
>though>they are stained mahogany color.
Though they look like maple, the back and sides are almost certainly birch,
which was the main tonewood used by the Levin Guitar Company of Goteborg,
Sweden, the company that made that guitar. They were imported and sold as
"Goya" guitars only in North America.
>I found the serial number on a web site and>found that it was made in '55,
I'd be interested to see that website - what's the URL for that?
>I payed $200 for it but have a suspision that it>may be worth more.
Well, yes and no. From the standpoint of what it would cost you get another
new instrument made from the same solid woods, sure, it's a good deal. But
there is no market to speak of for Swedish-made Goyas. My sister has one and
asked me to check on what it would bring if she were to sell it. I spoke with
Stan Werbin at Elderly Music (among others) and he just told me what everyone
else had already said: you can't get any real money for them, regardless of how
nice they may sound.
So you might be able to get another $50 to $100 out of it, but that would
probably be the outer limit.
This is not to cast any aspersions on the quality of the instrument itself -
while the frets can be rough and the tuners are usually downright lousy, the
guitars themselves are pretty nice, and you can get a really nice tone out of a
lot of them.
But there's no collector interest in them, per se. So what you paid was a fair
market price, at least from what I've been able to discern.
>If anyone has knowlegde, opinions, experience with guitars of this
>vintage/make I'd like to hear what you think.
I think it's probably a nice little utility instrument. Have fun with it.
If you feel like scrolling backwards through this newsgroup, there was a pretty
amusing thread on the origins of the "Goya" brand name several weeks back. I
had always assumed the name came from the early 19th Century Spanish artist,
but that's not it at all......
It might be easier to go to this URL and run a Power Search on "Goya", with the
forum given as "rec.music.makers.guitar.acoustic." The particularly
illuminating posts in the thread I'm thinking of were written by Bob
Hope this helps.
Wade Hampton Miller
Not exactly. The Goya G20 was definitely made with maple back and sides,
sometimes nicely flamed and perfectly quartered. I had one recently that
needed a neck reset and apart from that the condition was quite nice and the
visual presentation was stunning.. After refitting the neck and adjusting the
action the guitar sold for $600. The tone was clear but with great depth and
smoothness. Some musicians will pay for sound and not worry about the
I have also seen a couple of G40s and one G60 which has Brazilian back and
sides. By far the most familiar model was the G10, with slab sawn birch back
and sides, sometimes laminated. The occasional solid wood steel string from
the '50s or early '60s also shakes out. (The Dick Lurie Guitar Studio in
Cleveland, Ohio was the largest dealer of Goya guitars starting in the late
By far the most unusual Goyas are a model of Spanish flamenco guitar possibly
made in the New York shop organized by Manuel Velazquez in the early 1960s. I
don't know how many were made but it could have happened after Velazquez pulled
out in late 1962. The shop continued using his forms, wood and labels and it
appears they may have made a few "high end" models for distribution by Goya
which was owned by Guild. As I have been given to understand, the daughter of
the Swedish owner of Levin married Al Dronge, who had Guild in the late '50s
A friend of mine has the Goya flamenco built like a Velazquez, but not as
cleanly. It has the Goya label inside and Goya script logo inlaid in pearl on
a rosewood head veneer. I looked inside the guitar and noticed a signed
business card glued to the underside of the soundboard just above the soundhole
where the fingerboard crosses the body. The card read: "Victor Manuel
Pineiro." Velazquez remembered this name and said that he was a
worker/apprentice in that shop before Velazquez bowed out. He didn't do
anything for Goya but it was possible after he left.
Here is the URL for the Levin serial # list:
It does not clearly state that the Goya numbers are the same as Levin. The G20
I recently sold had a number which, according to the above list, would place it
in 1952. I also have a G10 in bad condition (saw duty in the US Coast Guard
for several years) which comes from 1957. But I am not certain about these
Levin numbers being tranferable to the Goya line. The G20 is beautifully made
but it just doesn't seem to be that early.
Mostly you will encounter the G10 (I think they sold lots of them in the wake
of "The Sound of Music") and they are rather slap-dash in terms of
assembly/materials, and this creates a gnerally bad impression. But the higher
number guitars were definitely a step up.
Thurman Guitar & Violin Repair, Inc.
900 Franklin Ave.
Kent, OH 44240
25 years in repair, making and sales.
Martin - Fender Warranty Repair
Visa/MC Shipment on approval
Bingo! And you will notice that the lacquer cracking (or crazing) is confined
mostly to the spruce soundboard. This demonstrates how much spruce reacts to
humidity change (expansion and contraction) compared with the maple body.
Enjoy your Goya! Mostly we see the G10 which isn't nearly as nice as the G20.