1958 Goya G-12 (Levin) Classical Guitar

I've worked on lots of the Levin-made, Swedish, Goya guitars over the years and they've all been great in their own way after work gets done on them. This one's a little earlier for a Goya and was built in '58 per its label style and serial number. The model most-often seen out in the world is the G-10 classical guitar -- solid spruce over solid birch in the body -- and this G-12 model is the same as a G-10 but with white binding on the top and back edges rather than just plain black on the top edge. Later G-10s also had a satin finish but when this was built, the G-10 was gloss model just like this G-12.

While considered "folk guitars," these 00-size Goyas are really folk classical guitars and should be strung with either nylon/fluorocarbon strings or a hybrid classical set like Thomastik KR116s or the like. I have seen people use these with steel by accident and the lightly fan-braced tops to not enjoy the suffering steel invokes.

The Goya classical range came in two sizes -- this "folk" size which is a normal, 00-size classical shape with a shorter scale length and a larger, 15" classical shape with a longer scale that their upper-end models were built in. I prefer this size for regular use -- it's cozy and comfy and perfect for couch-potato use while also being large enough to sound full.

I treat these instruments like folk/flamenco guitars, though, because even though they will do the classical thing quite well, I think their tone is more suited to strummy or folk-fingerpicked styles. Post-repairs this one is playing perfectly and in good health.

Repairs included: a neck reset, fret level/dress, minor cleaning, and setup.

  • Weight: 3 lbs 5 oz
  • Scale length: 24 7/8"
  • Nut width: 2"
  • Neck shape: slim oval/C
  • Board radius: flat
  • Body width: 14
  • Body depth: 3 3/4"
  • Top wood: solid spruce
  • Back & sides wood: solid birch
  • Bracing type: fan
  • Bridge: rosewood
  • Fretboard: rosewood
  • Neck wood: mahogany
  • Action height at 12th fret: 3/32” overall (fast, spot-on)
  • String gauges: medium tension nylon
  • Truss rod: non-adjustable (aluminum rod)
  • Neck relief: straight
  • Fret style: medium-wider/low

Condition notes: it's pretty clean throughout for its age though the finish is weather-checked all over (crackled) which is normal for a guitar of the time. Everything on it is original, though when I reset the neck I did add a hidden bolt at the neckblock. The joint was a very sloppy dovetail and so I figured it would be useful to add a little extra joint security -- the joint is both glued and bolted, now. The top has a little doming-up under the bridge which is normal on these as they age. They're very lightly-braced (which is why they sound good) and if heavy-tension strings are used their entire life, they usually get a little doming like on this guy. I gave the neck a little extra back-angle so a normal-height saddle could be fit with the action low.

It comes with: sorry, no case.

Consignor tag: JW


strumdaddy said…
Melanie played a Goya for her whole career - a G30 with flame maple back and sides.