fingerstyle parlor or small body that projects under $500?

lespaulreedsmith

Silver Supporting Member
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3,713
Need a small (couch/recording studio/practicing) acoustic for finger style and something that really projects on a OM or Parlor or Auditorium size...
Of course Reverb has a huge selection of used Yamaha, (love some of those used Yamaha small bodies), Sigma, Recording King, Martin, etc. small body acoustics...
So what would you recommend for something that inspires and projects while sitting and playing and songwriting under the $500 mark in a small body (sorry, I know that's a lot to ask...)
:aok
 

Bluedano1

Member
Messages
7,045
Need a small (couch/recording studio/practicing) acoustic for finger style and something that really projects on a OM or Parlor or Auditorium size...
Of course Reverb has a huge selection of used Yamaha, (love some of those used Yamaha small bodies), Sigma, Recording King, Martin, etc. small body acoustics...
So what would you recommend for something that inspires and projects while sitting and playing and songwriting under the $500 mark in a small body (sorry, I know that's a lot to ask...)
:aok
Try a Blueridge BR-43 ( Google it for demo/info)
It's a 000-18 style import with solid Sitka top and laminate mahogany body,
But very nicely put together, affordable, and serious volume, balanced tone, easy player

Note: I'm ( along with a few friends) a Blueridge fan and owner- don't own this model, but came across it and it blew me away
 

Berserker26

Member
Messages
100
Yamaha CSF-TA I played one the other day and will be buying it after tax time. The reverb and chorus are just awesome
 

Mister Natural

Silver Supporting Member
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1,552
sorry but I don't know what "projects" means here

If I think of what "projecting" means to me : I've found most OM or Parlor-sizes instruments to sound small or very small
 

mccreadyisgod

Member
Messages
420
I have two parlors, an old Art & Lutherie Ami and a Rainsong Concert Hybrid. The Ami has a sweeter sound, more delicate. The Rainsong is a comparative cannon, huge sound out of such a small container. But it's in the $1300 price bracket. The Ami is/was an incredible value, $250-300 on the current used market. They have a new Roadhouse parlor, but I have no hands-on experience with that model.
 

Turbo Gerbil

Member
Messages
5,297
I just picked up a used ( but mint) Alvarez Masterworks 12 fret Parlor that is outstanding. All solid woods, killer build quality, great neck, for $600 new, or even cheaper used.
 

OM Flyer

Supporting Member
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5,499
Gotta second the GS Mini Mahogany suggestion. I'm floored by the full-spectrum tone and volume.
 

Turbo Gerbil

Member
Messages
5,297
Gotta second the GS Mini Mahogany suggestion. I'm floored by the full-spectrum tone and volume.
GS Mini's sound way better than they should, as good as many full size guitars. Some weird alchemy going on there by Taylor lol. I personally though would find the 1 11/16 nut a bit cramped for finger style playing.
 

Tony Done

Member
Messages
5,713
easy peezy. Taylor GS mini. Just get a used one. Personally, I think the mahogany sounds the best.

I've tried them in both the spruce- and mahogany-topped versions, pretty good, but I preferred the "softer" mahogany to the very bright spruce. I'm also a big fan of Taylor construction - the neck joint.
 

jnovac1

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,143
Need a small (couch/recording studio/practicing) acoustic for finger style and something that really projects on a OM or Parlor or Auditorium size...
Of course Reverb has a huge selection of used Yamaha, (love some of those used Yamaha small bodies), Sigma, Recording King, Martin, etc. small body acoustics...
So what would you recommend for something that inspires and projects while sitting and playing and songwriting under the $500 mark in a small body (sorry, I know that's a lot to ask...)
:aok
used guild m-20.
 

Pitar

Member
Messages
1,859
sorry but I don't know what "projects" means here

If I think of what "projecting" means to me : I've found most OM or Parlor-sizes instruments to sound small or very small
Projecting simply means the guitar's ability to project volume out of the sound hole rather than it being subdued, or dampened inside by the soundbox itself. Heavily built guitars, like Gibsons, do more to contain sound than project it. Hence the so-called "Gibson Sound" dodge when folks defend it. Projecting does not have anything to do with the tonal character (bass/mids/highs), or the balance thereof.

I'm a fingerpicker (because I've yet to find a way to fingerstyle a guitar).

The OO-05 Larrivee I had was a cannon but had a small voice, meaning, it had great projection but the tonal character was meek. Fact is, small guitars are necessarily small in voice. It can become annoying despite the good volume. It's why I sold the OO-05 I owned and never bothered putting an ear on any more small guitars.

I downsized years ago from Jumbo to dread to om/concert/classical/cross-over and stayed there. I have a Yamaha CG-110CE classical and a Goodall jumbo concert steel string that get equal time. I bought a Yamaha NTX1200R narrow body cross-over I gifted to my son. It has steel string specs, but uses nylon strings, and has a nice sounding onboard system with tuner. It's a great couch picker, unplugged, but shines when plugged. It was designed as a stage performer.

On a tangential note, if onboards are an important point, remember that Piezo and steel strings do not get along very well regardless of system maker reputations and despite their stellar claims. Steel strings over-excite the Piezo material and the result is the typical Piezo quack. No manner of electronic damping has resolved that yet. Nylon strings and Piezo get along much better and that's why I went with the Yamaha classical and cross-over. I mention it because people get small guitars for the physical comfort and think the small voicing can be amped up. It can but it will only be a louder small voice with a Piezo quack to make it sound even meeker.
 

boppy

Member
Messages
517
I bought a Dreadnought Junior a while back. That might fit the bill for you. Cozy size/huge sound.
 

zombywoof

Member
Messages
4,449
Yeah, I am another who has never gotten the "fingerstyle" moniker. Have you ever heard someone say they play "flatpickstyle?" Most of the guitars mentioned though are not parlors but probably what they used to call concerts with lower bout width ranging from 12 1/2" to 13 1/2" across. After that you move up to the Grand Concert with 14" to 14 3/4" width so an 00 size.

As I have been more than happy with the old guitars I own, I have no experience with those already mentioned and nothing to add to the list. But as a starting place there is neck carve, nut width and string spacing at the bridge. If you have a preference it will narrow the field down. How much will depend on how picky you are. After that just let your ears guide you. The tricky part with fingerpicking is, if you do not use fingerpicks, getting that Blind Blake snap out of a guitar.

Regarding body size, I am partial to something akin to a Gibson L-00 with a lower bout width in between an 00 and 000. That little bit of extra real estate can really come into play when you are looking for a guitar with a bigger voice. A bit of extra body depth will also come into play.
 

OM Flyer

Supporting Member
Messages
5,499
Yeah, I am another who has never gotten the "fingerstyle" moniker.
Fingerstyle implies instrumental music where the guitarist plays both the melody and the accompaniment simultaneously, while fingerpicking is a style of rhythm guitar that incorporates a repeating pattern while the vocal handles the melody -- more like what banjo players do. I don't like the term fingerstyle, but I think it should have a name that's distinct from fingerpicking.
 




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