Parlor, or parlor-sized guitars

StormSon

Member
Messages
713
"Parlor" guitars, in general, have gotten a lot bigger nowadays than the early 1900's versions... most makers have a "Parlor". but they're more like a OO Martin size...

The Breedlove Organic Series has a model called the Concertina, which is pretty small... and the Organic Series are all solid woods... should be well under $1,000, too...

Getting one in any sort of timely fashion might be a tough trick to pull off... getting anything from Asia is tough these days...

I've played a fair number of GS Minis and not been impressed with them - the novelty of the size wears off quickly, and then I was left with this feeling that they are more of a "toy guitar" than something I'd keep and play often. A lot of folks do like 'em, however, so you'd probably want to have one in your hands for a while before you choose...

As I said above, I already have a cheap parlor acoustic and I'm fine with the size.
 

Jim85IROC

Silver Supporting Member
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4,072
I’ve had a Seagull Grand Artist for several years now (I put a Fishman in mine), love it. I don’t think they’ve made the Grand Artist for a while now, but point is those Seagulls are for real. Check one out. :)
I don't think Seagull has any Parlors anymore, but Art & Lutherie does. The A&L Parlor construction appears to be exactly the same as my Seagull Entourage Dread: Cedar top, cherry back and sides, maple neck. I played one and I was very impressed with it. They're in about the $600 range new, so quite affordable, and I think they're outstanding guitars. The cedar top helps mellow out the sound a bit and helps keep it from sounding like a toy, which is how I feel like a lot of spruce Parlors sound.

 

axehandler

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
246
Get yourself a Paul Reed Smith P20 (only $550 without electronics, and $630 with) and enjoy! Comes in a couple different finishes, too. And then sit back, relax, and enjoy the fact that you just got a great parlor acoustic for well under $1,000.
 

StormSon

Member
Messages
713
Get yourself a Paul Reed Smith P20 (only $550 without electronics, and $630 with) and enjoy! Comes in a couple different finishes, too. And then sit back, relax, and enjoy the fact that you just got a great parlor acoustic for well under $1,000.

Yeah, thats on the list, although I've yet to find them in stock anywhere near me.
 

Mikeo01247

Member
Messages
44
I’m a huge fan of my GS Mini Mahogany. It gets the most playing time of any of my guitars. Much louder than it has any right to be. Very comfortable to play. Warm sound. Very well built.

Try one and see if you will dig the neck, string spacing, short scale, etc.

I also like the Taylor GS mini. I have a mahogany one ( no electronics) and a Koa one ( expressions pup system). The mahogany one is older. I liked that better than the spruce top model. The Koa is very charming. I play them a lot. Very small scale It's louder than you think, but would fit in nicely to an apartment.

I liked them enough that I ordered SBK plastic hard shell cases for them.

If you play the GS mini's too much, standard scale guitars start feeling a bit big.
 

big jilm

Member
Messages
4,253
I also like the Taylor GS mini. I have a mahogany one ( no electronics) and a Koa one ( expressions pup system). The mahogany one is older. I liked that better than the spruce top model. The Koa is very charming. I play them a lot. Very small scale It's louder than you think, but would fit in nicely to an apartment.

I liked them enough that I ordered SBK plastic hard shell cases for them.

If you play the GS mini's too much, standard scale guitars start feeling a bit big.

I agree - I actually really like the short scale on the GS Mini. I don’t have any problem with the shorter distance between the frets at all, even with a capo as high as fret 5.

My Martin 000-15m definitely sounds better than my GS Mini (by a lot) but I still reach for the little one more frequently. There’s something about it… I really like the size and scale.

Fun guitar. It makes me want to try other travel size guitars to see how they compare. I’d really like to try an Emerald X7, but I don’t have the bread to give that one a go.
 

BeeBaa

Member
Messages
1,563
Anyone reading this thread who’s looking for a cheap, rough-and-ready parlor sized guitar inspired by the ones played by blues/folk/country players of yesteryear could look into the Gretsch Jim Dandy. It gets a lot of love. Probably not what OP’s looking for but anyone looking for a $150 beater guitar might consider it.

Gretsch Guitars Jim Dandy Flat Top Acoustic Guitar 2-Color Sunburst
 
Messages
5,379
Any recommendations for general home playing? $1k max.
Yes. I recently sold a Faith 'Mercury' Classic Burst deep bodied parlour to help finance another guitar, but I have hesitation in recommending it. All solid woods, Western red cedar over mahogany, ebony fretboard, bridge, binding and bridge pins, Grover Rotomatics; comes with a good hardshell case including a humidifier, and is well within your budget. Forgot to mention it is fitted with a Fishman Sonitone pickup-not great but passable...
 

StormSon

Member
Messages
713
Yes. I recently sold a Faith 'Mercury' Classic Burst deep bodied parlour to help finance another guitar, but I have hesitation in recommending it. All solid woods, Western red cedar over mahogany, ebony fretboard, bridge, binding and bridge pins, Grover Rotomatics; comes with a good hardshell case including a humidifier, and is well within your budget. Forgot to mention it is fitted with a Fishman Sonitone pickup-not great but passable...


Thanks for the suggestion but not available in Canada, as far as I can tell, and I don't need/want electrics.
 

tiktok

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
24,568
I have a couple of the Larrivee P-09's that I've used for years, one in standard, one in DADGAD. I string the standard tuning one with mediums and use a DADGAD specific on the other one, and I've been quite happy with them. I got both of them for $1k or less, new, but that was many years ago. They're "real" guitars, they're just parlor sized. You used to be able to find the plainer (matte finish, no binding) versions for well under a grand used, but the prices seem to have gone way up. Still, they were the cheapest "real guitar in a small size" I recall finding--all solid woods, maple binding, gloss finish, HSC, etc.
 
Messages
5,379
Thanks for the suggestion but not available in Canada, as far as I can tell, and I don't need/want electrics.
The Mercury models have optional electrics. Pity they aren't available in your country-and the US has only half a dozen or so Faith dealers.
 

Jarick

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
9,765
I tried a bunch of guitars when I was shopping for a parlor size last year and ended up with a Taylor GS Mini Mahogany. It's not a true parlor but I liked it quite a bit more than the others. There was even a Yamaha CSF3M that was marked down $200 but I preferred the Taylor. The fret work and overall quality is really nice and it sounds very good. I purposefully wanted something a little quieter/mellower than a dreadnought so I went with the mahogany version. I don't really notice the smaller size to be honest.

I had tried a bunch of the cheaper true parlor guitars a few years back and didn't love any of them. I even brought home a Yamaha FS800 after liking one I played in store, but the one I got new in box had super rough frets and sounded like a $200 guitar. Plus it wasn't all that smaller than a full size. Most of the others sounded dead and lifeless. The one that stuck out was a Taylor GS Mini Koa, which is why I ended up with a Mini a year later.
 

csweldon

Member
Messages
900
Last year I picked up a used Maestro Temasek as a birthday gift to myself, at a steal of a price. (I actually still feel kinda guilty about it…) It’s simply a joy to play, and sounds great. Every time I bring it out to play, my bandmates remark at how nice it sounds.

Maestro doesn’t have a lot of traction in the states yet, so it’s possible to get one below $1k if you stumble across one.

Regardless, I look forward to finding out what you get!

(Also to note, I have a GS Mini Koa. It’s a great guitar, and a blast to play. It was my most played guitar prior to the Maestro, and it still brings a smile to my face whenever I take it out. Those Taylors are an absolute bargain and worth checking out!)
 




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