Penguin Parlors

Discussion in 'THE Gretsch Discussion Forum' started by section2, Aug 3, 2021.

  1. section2

    section2 Country Gent

    Dec 21, 2016
    Toronto
    I've been thinking about picking up a Penguin Parlor for those times when I want to play an acoustic guitar but don't want to wrestle with my bulky dreadnought. Anyone here have any experience with them?
     
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  2. drmilktruck

    drmilktruck I Bleed Orange

    May 17, 2009
    Plymouth, MN
    No surprise that I had one but moved it on as I didn’t play it much. The neck was a bit on the skinny side for me.
     
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  3. section2

    section2 Country Gent

    Dec 21, 2016
    Toronto
    I'm going to go out on a limb and assume that you had the Midnight Sapphire version. :cool: What did you think of the tone?
     
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  4. loudnlousy

    loudnlousy Gretschified

    Age:
    55
    Oct 18, 2015
    Germany
    I have never played a Penguin Parlor but I can completely understand your preference for a parlor-sized guitar.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2021
    section2 likes this.
  5. Freshy

    Freshy Synchromatic

    Age:
    68
    926
    Sep 30, 2017
    Homosassa FLA
    Funny because I like a shallow "C" profile and the standard to thick "C" profile is too thick for me. I have the Midnight Sapphire version. Tone is good but the electronics are most impressive. Still I have an Alvarez dreadnought hanging on the wall that gets most of my time and an Epi Hummingbird tuned down to D that gets the rest. I thought the parlor size was intriguing but in the end the volume acoustically (to matchup with my vocals) and the thicker neck does not work well for me. It is by far the most glam guitar out there. Build is very good and it is always in tune. Ive been going to sell it but the PIA factor dont cha know.
     
  6. Bertotti

    Bertotti Friend of Fred

    Jul 20, 2017
    South Dakota
    I have the white one along with a little Martin and a 00-18 GE '37 burst. The Penguin Rancher sounds like a cross between my Little Martin, my Little Martin has the Sitka top and is an exceptionally good tone-wise, and a Taylor. I say Taylor because they all seem to have a similar base tone to my ears as Martin has their base tone. I am more of a Martin guy. The electronics in the Penguin work well but you can't leave the 9volt battery in it as it eats batteries while just sitting and of my three acoustics listed above it feels the heaviest. The top is thicker and just more heavily built than either Martin. I have considered selling it but it is a different flavor of tone from the two Martins so I haven't. Truth be told if I pick up a guitar to play it is almost always the 000-18 GE. I don't mind the neck although I prefer the Martin V on the 000 the Penguin isn't a problem. If you like Martin and Taylor this would probably work well for you. If you want a pickup system this one has good electronics better than could be expected really. Any chance you can play one before you buy. I didn't and I wasn't disappointed but it is always best to try first of course.
     
    section2 likes this.
  7. Thicker neck. I see some necks are now asymmetrical.
    Is there a width difference to the neck as well?
     
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  8. Bertotti

    Bertotti Friend of Fred

    Jul 20, 2017
    South Dakota
    If you are in a position to try other small-bodied guitars I would. There are some fine examples out there. Not sure of the price points but the LM with Sitka top is a keeper to me. @TSims1 loves his Maton, a friend of mine who is way beyond anyone I know if laying ability tried to buy it but I refused he found a small Taylor that that sounded great as well. Lots of options out there.
     
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  9. Is that at the same price point?
    The Taylor mini is in the same range, but not the new GT.
    PRS P20?

    What puts you onto a particular guitar these days,
    when few have them in stock to try out? Feeds GAS, I imagine.

    Going from a dreadnought is quite a change.

    Not very long ago, it would offend the ego
    ((or eggo, as auto-correct would have us believe)), to play what is today parlor size (a loose term nowadays). Its incredible what it takes to make a thing fashionable.

    Smaller body size also means old growth solid tops don’t need to be quite as large?
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2021
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  10. TSims1

    TSims1 Gretschified

    Jun 18, 2013
    Atlanta
    The Maton Mini is the BEST sounding mini acoustic PLUGGED IN. I mean, miles above anything else. But its $2k.

    However, imo the Taylor GS Mini is a fantastic value and a terrific sounding guitar ACOUSTICALLY.
     
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  11. mrfixitmi

    mrfixitmi Country Gent

    Mar 20, 2010
    Michigan
    I think everyone has valid points. I bought a penguin parlor in white, I could not find the blue sapphire which would have been my preference. I found it has a Gretsch type tone, and pleasantly surprised that it had more bass than I would have expected. I ended up finding an "openbox" with full warranty, but at a lower price. In reality it came in the original sealed box. With the savings, it helped fund the Round Neck Resonator Gretsch hard case #099-6495-000.

    I thought that it played well, I replaced the Gretsch strap buttons with the Schaller locks, if you go that route, the buttons retainers (studs) are left-hand thread. If you want to remove them, just keep tightening the strap button, and they will back themselves out. That is one reason I replaced them, my son tends to over tighten the strap buttons, and we have had them back out on some other guitars.

    We found the electronics are excellent, but you need to unplug the guitar after use, or the battery will wear out.

    We found our Taylor GS mini to have a warmer tone, but also love the Gretsch. The Gretsch Parlor gets used in hospice a lot, with some hearing challenged patients, the Gretsch seems to cut through better.

    I am sure that most of the Gretsch people are sick of hearing my son, so I do apologize, but here is a clip of him playing it acoustically. This gives a perspective of the tone.
     
  12. section2

    section2 Country Gent

    Dec 21, 2016
    Toronto
    Thanks; this is great info.

    The clip is wonderful. I'm surprised at how rich the tone is for such a small guitar. More importantly: your son plays beautifully! You must be very proud of him. I've been away from the forum for a while, so I haven't seen his other videos, but I don't blame you one bit for posting them.
     
  13. mrfixitmi

    mrfixitmi Country Gent

    Mar 20, 2010
    Michigan
    Section2,

    You are too kind.

    The only way to explain the rich full sound is to hear what it can do. I like the Taylor GS mini, it has a warm low range, but it does not replicate those sparkly high ranges like the Gretsch Parlor.

    In my opinion, Bang for the buck, you can't go wrong.
     
    section2 likes this.
  14. Bertotti

    Bertotti Friend of Fred

    Jul 20, 2017
    South Dakota
  15. mrfixitmi

    mrfixitmi Country Gent

    Mar 20, 2010
    Michigan
    Bertotti,

    I played the Jim Dandy and thought that it was a great guitar for the money. Since we already have several acoustics with sound hole pickups, we could not see the need for another one. It was really that simple.
     
    Bertotti likes this.
  16. drmilktruck

    drmilktruck I Bleed Orange

    May 17, 2009
    Plymouth, MN
    I liked the body size and the sound. Decided to keep only 1 acoustic and the Martin 00-17 in Dark Navy Blue won out.
     
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  17. Bertotti

    Bertotti Friend of Fred

    Jul 20, 2017
    South Dakota
    Naturally!
     
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  18. section2

    section2 Country Gent

    Dec 21, 2016
    Toronto
    That blue Martin is just stunning. I know you had a Jim Dandy too—how did it compare to the Penguin Parlor?
     
  19. section2

    section2 Country Gent

    Dec 21, 2016
    Toronto
    Bertotti and drmilktruck like this.
  20. Bertotti

    Bertotti Friend of Fred

    Jul 20, 2017
    South Dakota
    Found and amii in a dumpster once, neck was badly bowed but a good humidification made it a fine instrument. I felt a bit quilts getting it for free from a. Dumpster so I asked a local store to get it to someone deserving. I got pissed when I found out the guy gave it to a friend to use when he teaches lessons in case someone forgets their instrument. Who goes to a lesson and forgets their instrument!
    You’ll love it they make a nice Parlour.
     
    section2 likes this.
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