Played a Washburn parlor today -- nice, but ...

Discussion in 'Acoustic Instruments' started by NoahL, Feb 10, 2008.


  1. NoahL

    NoahL Member

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    http://www.washburn.com/products/acoustics/125/r316swr.aspx

    ... I have a dilemma. I loved the tone of this one and the feel -- it fought back just a hair, which you kind of want with a nice fingerstyle guitar. I thought it looked beautiful and was well made. Now the dilemma. I really want an extra couple frets before the body (14, not 12), and maybe just a hair narrower neck. Is there a nice parlor guitar out there with 14 frets and a narrower neck that's in the Washburn's $750-or-less price range? Or should I go just a bit bigger and look into the 00-size offerings from The Loar some of the others?
     
  2. pickaguitar

    pickaguitar 2011 TGP Silver Medalist Silver Supporting Member

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    Where did ya get to play one?
    I've been interested in this guitar but the dealers I talked knew nothing about it.
    IMO it has the right specs...I want a 12 fretter for the different sound/bloom.
     
  3. NoahL

    NoahL Member

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    Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago, their Lincoln Avenue location.
     
  4. NoahL

    NoahL Member

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    Just a quick bump on this one. Really good 14-fret parlors around $500 or less used? Or should I look into the Morgan Monroe or The Loar L-00 copies?
     
  5. Ogre

    Ogre Member

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    Nothing really good in that price range. You will have to step it up, if you want "really good".
     
  6. NoahL

    NoahL Member

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    I hear you. How about "pretty good"? Used if fine -- even preferred. At what price point does "real good" start?
     
  7. Ogre

    Ogre Member

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    There's not an exact point, where guitars start being really good. I bought a used J45(Bozeman) in a color(red) I didn't want for $1300. It was 2K new.The guitar was so good I just had to get it. My favorite guitar that I own is a Lowden O25, which I believe is around 4K these days. I bought it 10 years ago new(shopworn) for 2K. My favorite smaller guitars are made by Santa Cruz and Froggy Bottom, but you are lucky to find those used for less than $2500(Santa Cruz) and $3500.(Froggy) My advice is to get out and play a bunch of 'em, and you might find one that you can't leave behind. Good luck and happy hunting!
     
  8. NoahL

    NoahL Member

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    thanks. i went through this three or four years ago. i couldn't afford L-00s, new or used, but I found an Epiphone Blues Master for $500. There are small-bodied guitars that are more versatile at that price point, but it does a couple things really well and that's why people like them. widest neck on earth, though. I'm acoustic-less now, but at some point I'll want another one, 00-size or smaller, if possible. I have seen Morgan Monroe, The Loar and some cheaper makers, like Johnson, come out with their copies of the 00-sized Gibsons. I was hoping folks would have suggestions about what to look for for $500 or less, new or used. You're right, though, at that price, you never know what you're going to find, and you have to be open to surprises.
     
  9. Dotneck

    Dotneck Member

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    The older Larrivee parlors are nice but they've gone up a bunch recently...they used to be under $750...not sure if they are any more...
     
  10. solarbean

    solarbean Supporting Member

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    The Parlours typically have 12 frets to the body. 12 Frets limits you a bit if you like to move up the neck. But... Larivee makes one with a cutaway. This allows you to get access above the 12th fret.

    Here is a sound sample where I play it and grab a barre chord at the 12th. (Pardon the playing :) )

    The cutaways are above 1 kilobuck new, but they are rare so you would probably need to buy one new.
     
  11. NoahL

    NoahL Member

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    hey thanks. what's the model # on yorus?
     
  12. solarbean

    solarbean Supporting Member

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    PV-09e

    P=Parlor
    V=Venetian Cutaway
    09=9-series appomtments (gloss finish, rosette, bindings, etc)
    e=IMix electronics
     
  13. IanS

    IanS Member

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    Models to consider among the lower priced imports:

    Cort Earth 900, just 12 frets, but a narrower neck. Can be had on eBay periodcially for around $400. Well spec'ed

    Morgan Monore MV-01, narrower neck, nice guitar for the price

    Morgan Monroe Blues 32 seems well liked

    Slightly larger, Johnson 000's are being blown out, since they are discontinued:
    http://p072.ezboard.com/ftheunofficialmartinguitarforumfrm3.showMessage?topicID=14788.topic

    Some people like these tiny ones:
    http://www.republicguitars.com/parlorguitars.html

    Also consider the Seagull or Simon & Patrick parlors depending on which neck width you prefer. Softer sound than others, but they play well.

    Tanglewood TW73 is another OK model I tried, but the string spacing was way too narrow for me.


    I tried many. I ended up going for the custom ordered, lightly-braced 12-fret cutaway slothead, with 1 3/4" nut, 24.9" scale and slim V-neck. Taking delivery in a few weeks - finding these specs off the shelf was impossible, so I went with a new luthier who is trying to build a name for himself, and gave me a great price. We'll see how it works out.

    Good luck.
     
  14. bunuel

    bunuel Member

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    Try to track down a takamine fp317s. Stunningly great parlor, solid spruce top & solid koa back, 14 frets clear of body, great pickup/eq syst onboard. They ran over $1 K new when still made (and were well worth it!!), but never caught on. Fairly rare, but well worth it, with luck you can find one for around $700. As I have to tell almost everyone who hears/plays mine, mine is not and won't be for sale until I croak & my wife sells my stuff! G'luck, parlor bodies rock!
     
  15. indravayu

    indravayu Senior Member

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    I bought a Washburn 125th Anniv. parlor on Monday - have to say that I really love this guitar! I wasn't even in the market for a new acoustic - just happeend to walk into Sam Ash (NYC) during my lunch break, played the Washburn to kill some time (I had never played a parlor before) and was addicted right away. I returned to work, read a few reviews online, then went right back to Sam Ash at the end of the day and picked it up (last one that they had in stock, too).

    I have to sell some other gear now to offset the expense, but I think it's worth it. :)

    - Chris
     
  16. stephenT

    stephenT Supporting Member

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    I got one, like it a lot for the price, $570 shipped, #243 of 250 in rosewood. It is truly a cheap blues box in look and feel but sounds quite good. It has a light build on the body and chunky ass neck with a sharp "V".

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  17. thepimpdaddy

    thepimpdaddy Member

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    I purchased a Washburn 125th anniversary R316SWKK parlor and held onto it for about three weeks before sending it back. I wrestled with the decision, here's a few comments -

    I LOVED the neck, i will miss it, it was PHAT (fat), and the V was very substantial. I have stubby fingers, and started on classical guitar, so the 1 3/4" neck was just right for me. It's a natural fingerpicking instrument -- the guitar "fought" me a little too (that's just an observation, not criticism), it sounded pretty awful very very boomy in the midrange, sounded cheap and tinny (like a cigar box) in the highs, OK in the lows when I first got it - soooo tight cuz it was new, obvious no one played it in at the factory. i don't know whether the cheapness of the sound (lack of a better word for it) was due to the Trembesi sides and back - I have no prior familiarity with trembesi as a tone wood. looks a little like mahogany.

    I loved the look, mostly, although I probably would have liked the rosewood back and sides better.

    It had wonderful sustain, and being solid wood, you'd expect it - I did,. and wasn't disappointed there.

    But in the end, there were a couple issues. the slotted peghead and nut were not well set up, and I didn't see any way to fix it - the low E and high E strings did not like to wind towards the center of the peg (it looked like the peg angle was too steep in the wrong direction if that makes sense - it was not level for sure, but seemed a little too extreme), and so the string tended to wind toward the outside of the channel, and tended to rest against the wood inside the peg channels of the headstock - so much so that with the high E, you could hear the difference when it was bound up, and when it was not - annoying, and really poor quality control I think. The high E bound so bad, it came in its case with the high E firmly embedded in the wood of the headstock, I kid you not. THis was a special, limited edition, frankly very unique guitar - a signature model - and while it was under a grand, I expected better QC.

    I felt the guitar was not fretted too well, there was something grating about it when I would hit certain notes, with the guitar perfectly in tune, and the note sounded sharp/flat. the guitar also held tune poorly, which I could not tell whether it was the cheap strings, or the cheap tuners, or what. there were some spots above fret 8-9 where fretting the note mostly fretted the note out, or very buzzy. Because it came set up too high, I adjusted the action by slightly tightening the truss rod (1/8-1/4 turn only) on day 1 and let it sit for a whole day to rest and settle. It helped lower the action, but the fretted out notes were there before and after the truss rod adjust.

    the guitar loosened up nicely after a few days of playing it a lot (I was trying hard to loosen it up), and sounded more defined and less boomy in the mids, the highs still didn't quite do it for me (not really "sweet", more jangly-tinny).

    All in all, a great concept - if they could have pulled it off for under a grand, I would have kept it forever, I liked the neck that much - a very pronounced thick fat V. I have guitars I;ve had for 20+ years, and I'm not a guitar-of-the-month instrument flipper. I buy what I like, and keep it if I continue to like and play it.

    A word about the dealer - an Ebay purchase from a storefront music shop - he had a terrific price, and a 7-day satisfaction guarantee policy, I advised him of the several issues after about 3 days, sent him digital photos, and while he tried to persuade me to keep it, and suggested he'd send it to Washburn's custom shop for work, he took it back without a fuss, and was very very accommodating and good about it.

    hope this helps somebody - the guitar I purchased didn't work for me, but hopefully you guys aren't seeing those same issues with yours too. I;ve seen some "wow this thing is great - had it for 24 hours now and love it" reviews, but not a lot of long-term follow-up on them, so I wasn't sure how they were faring for others after several weeks of break-in. Mine didn't turn out to be the one for me.

    PD
     
  18. otaypanky

    otaypanky Gold Supporting Member

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    'Got a Martin all wood 000-15 used at a local shop last year for $525. I had a purchased a new J-15 Martin a few years before for a little over $700., but had always wanted the smaller body. When I saw the used one I grabbed it and sold my J. They are well made here in Pa, all wood, reasonably priced, and sound great
     

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