Parlor Guitars

Discussion in 'Other Cool Guitars' started by GuitarJunkie, Nov 22, 2016.

  1. GuitarJunkie

    GuitarJunkie Gretschie

    363
    Feb 22, 2016
    Georgia
    Don't know much about them and I have yet to find one I can try locally but i'm looking. Anybody got a thing for parlor guitars?

    I typically leave my Martin backpacker by the couch for something handy but it may be time to upgrade it to something better and more comfortable to play. I have been looking for a good deal on a Taylor GS-Mini Koa but I came across the Breedlove parlor guitar and to be honest I am a Breedlove fan, sold my cedar top Pursuit Concert earlier this year and I kinda miss it.
     
    Andrew Griffin likes this.
  2. Random1643

    Random1643 Synchromatic

    853
    May 10, 2015
    Upper Midwest, USA
    I never set out to play a parlor guitar, but I plucked a spruce/cherry Simon & Patrick Woodland Parlor off the wall @ a little music shop in WI and....woah, what's not to like? Great guitar. Really projects soundwise. Resonant tone. Hadta buy it. Very stable; I've never in 10+ years of >lots< of playing had it adjusted or repaired in any way - and I lived near Lake Michigan then Lake Superior for some of those years. Just steady, reliable. Keep in open D and G tunings. Medium strings. Decent for slide. I have it set up to plug & play with a Fishman Rare Earth humbucker.

    Here's a sound sample with no amplification, just the guitar played straight into a Hi-Q MP3 recorder. Old country ballad in open D. https://soundcloud.com/vern-equinox/send-me-the-pillow-take2

    Breedlove makes some good guitars. I have an amazing dread from their Atlas Studio series that's my go-to guitar now for standard & drop tunings. I've also played dozens of new K-built Breedloves that I wouldn't want to own. Poor, inconsistent build quality IMHO. As long as you can play the actual guitar tho, Breedlove in my limited experience may provide a cool parlor for you. And if you've got the resources, maybe go with an American built instrument?

    My duo partner plays a Taylor Mini - not Koa - when he goes acoustic. That's a great little guitar - altho some of the credit goes to his hands & playing style.
     
    GuitarJunkie likes this.
  3. Tinman46

    Tinman46 Country Gent

    Age:
    51
    Dec 19, 2011
    Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
    I don't own one but have tried a Larrivee P-03. Really liked it.
    Also tried a Washburn R314KK Parlor that impressed me.
    I ended up making a complete left turn when I was looking for a parlor acoustic and got a Washburn R360SMK which is a parlor size resonator.
     
    ishtar, Random1643 and GuitarJunkie like this.
  4. GuitarJunkie

    GuitarJunkie Gretschie

    363
    Feb 22, 2016
    Georgia
    Very nice, I'm trying to find a dealer with a good selection to try nearby but no luck so far. All of the sound clips I have heard so far seem very clear, crisp and balanced to my ear (not that I have a great ear). This may actually be a double guitar acquisition because I stumbled upon the Breedlove parlor models while investigating the Oregon Concert series....we shall see. I would love the Oregon series parlor with the myrtle wood top but this would be a couch/travel guitar so I'm thinking lower end of the price range.
     
    Random1643 likes this.
  5. GuitarJunkie

    GuitarJunkie Gretschie

    363
    Feb 22, 2016
    Georgia
    The Larrivee seems nice but a beyond the price point I have in mind.
     
  6. HBob

    HBob Synchromatic

    526
    Feb 26, 2012
    Plano, TX
    I went to visit the guy who owns Republic Guitars to buy a resonator uke and wound up also getting a parlor guitar, also from China, (different companies send him guitars to show what they can do) that needed some help. It has a fret marker in the wrong place and the strings really spread out as they approached the bridge. The tuners were poo, but it sounded nice to me. I bought it for $100 and spent another $100 getting it in shape. It was like a guitar on the Island of Misfit Toys. Now it's a really nice, for me, parlor guitar. I like that it's very light because I think that indicates that the guitar will vibrate more freely. Acoustics that feel heavy usually sound dead to me. Parlors also act a little like sports cars. When you do a little bend or vibrato, I think it shows up better than on a big acoustic. It seems more responsive. Recording King has a parlor that gets good reviews and is around $120. They have them at Guitar Center but I've never played one. Solid top, too.
     
    Random1643 and GuitarJunkie like this.
  7. loudnlousy

    loudnlousy Friend of Fred

    Age:
    53
    Oct 18, 2015
    Hildesheim, Germany
    I once owned a little palor-sized acoustic. It was the only acoustic I ever felt comfortable with. It had a nice and focused sound. Bigger than you would expect from a guitar of this size. If pure acoustic loudness does not matter to you, this formate is a nice alternative. Very present in the band-mix.
     
    GuitarJunkie likes this.
  8. GuitarJunkie

    GuitarJunkie Gretschie

    363
    Feb 22, 2016
    Georgia
    It will spend most of its time propped against the fireplace near my chair for when I need to grab something and figure out a new song or just spend some time noodling. Probably go with me to the occasional get together around the campfire.
     
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  9. thunder58

    thunder58 I Bleed Orange

    Age:
    60
    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
    I traded in my Taylor GS Mini for this Martin Dreadnaught Jr .( both are equipped with pickups )
    I really like it a lot . About $100 cheaper then the Taylor GS Mini .
    Taylor comes with a case you can sleep on , very padded
    Martin ....I need to upgrade the case . You can actually grab the case at the neck of the guitar and feel the neck through the case .
    I still prefer the Martin over the Taylor . Good luck
     

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  10. fender62custom

    fender62custom Gretschified

    Age:
    54
    Mar 3, 2012
    Helidon, Australia
    Parlors are great!! i'm a fan!! a Taylor Mini is also worth a look at!!
     
    GuitarJunkie likes this.
  11. GuitarJunkie

    GuitarJunkie Gretschie

    363
    Feb 22, 2016
    Georgia
    Have not had a chance to play the Martin Jr. either...but I have read some favorable reviews.
     
    thunder58 likes this.
  12. drmilktruck

    drmilktruck Gretschified

    May 17, 2009
    Plymouth, MN
    I've long been obsessed with parlor/parlour guitars. I've been GASing for a Martin 0-12 or a Larrivee P-09 for awhile. There is this lust inducing Larrivee P-10 Custom at Willie's:

    [​IMG]

    http://www.williesguitars.com/index.cfm/home/1/newlisting/13

    I've also checked out the Simon & Patrick, which may be the one for Xmas this year.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2016
    Random1643 and thunder58 like this.
  13. GuitarJunkie

    GuitarJunkie Gretschie

    363
    Feb 22, 2016
    Georgia
  14. Ricochet

    Ricochet I Bleed Orange

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    What defines a Parlour guitar? Is it the size, bodyshape, scale, all of the aforementioned?
     
  15. Ricochet

    Ricochet I Bleed Orange

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    What defines a Parlour guitar? Is it the size, bodyshape, scale, all of the aforementioned?
     
  16. Henry

    Henry Gretschified

    Apr 9, 2014
    Petaluma
    I think size. I've seen them different shape but all smallish.
     
    Ricochet likes this.
  17. GuitarJunkie

    GuitarJunkie Gretschie

    363
    Feb 22, 2016
    Georgia
    Best I can tell it is subjective from one maker to the next but in general they are small.
     
    Ricochet likes this.
  18. Andrew Griffin

    Andrew Griffin Synchromatic

    594
    Oct 22, 2015
    I have "a thing" for parlor guitars. I'm a big guy, and I don't have a problem with holding onto a jumbo sized guitar, but I find the parlor sized guitars to be very comfortable to hold on to, and that translates into feeling more relaxed, which turns into better playing. In the photo I've arranged my guitars from smallest to largest, and you can see there's barely any different in length or width between the Gretsch cheepo parlor "Jim Dandy," the Gretsch resonator and the Blueridge Parlor. I like the tone on each guitar. The Jim Dandy is bright but balanced and sounds cheap but in a good humored way and I enjoy it. The Jim Dandy neck is 1.68 at the nut, which makes it a little tight for me to fingerpick on so I usually strum it. This is a "couch" guitar for me because I'm not too freaked out if it gets banged around. The Resonator has a deeper tone with lots of overtones. It sounds "metalic" but in a rich and satisfying way. This guitar has a 1.75 inch wide neck at the nut and is very satisfactory for finger picking- less so for strumming because it can begin to sound muddy and it's VERY LOUD. This guitar get the most use of the three in my house. The Blueridge has a gorgeous tone I prefer to my dreadnought (I almost never play the Dreadnought any more) but the neck is even fatter (1.87?) than the resonator- easy for fingerpicking but slower up and down the neck for the hand. Martin has a parlor with a 1.75 nut I'd love to try.
     

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  19. drmilktruck

    drmilktruck Gretschified

    May 17, 2009
    Plymouth, MN
    There is no agreed upon definition of a parlor guitar but in general they are usually 13.5 inches or less wide at the lower bout. The shape is characteristic - relatively narrow but long. Usually 12 fret with a slotted headstock. Full depth and scale for the most part, unlike travel guitars.

    [​IMG]

    Here's a nice summary:

    https://parlor.guitars/blog/what-parlor-guitar

    The bottom line: If the guitar is smaller than Concert size and has an "elongated" body then it is a legitimate parlor guitar. It should be small and comfortable enough to play on your couch or your front porch.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2016
    NJDevil and Random1643 like this.
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