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Best Parlor Guitar For Under $1,000?

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by PenCapChew, Dec 3, 2016.

  1. PenCapChew

    PenCapChew TDPRI Member

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    Looking for an all solid wood (no laminate!) parlor size guitar for $1,000 or less. Preferably one with a slotted headstock. I've bee looking at the Ibanez AVN6. Not bad for $500. Suggestions?
     
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  2. studio1087

    studio1087 Telefied Silver Supporter

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  3. DSharp

    DSharp Tele-Holic

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    Love my Larivee.
     
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  4. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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  5. lammie200

    lammie200 Friend of Leo's

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    Tanglewoods are nice, too.
     
  6. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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  7. Tony Done

    Tony Done Friend of Leo's

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    Why do you want solid b&s? I see that as both a structural and tonal liability in mid-priced and inexpensive guitars. IMO, good laminate is a lot better than bad solid. The earliest parlors, from the 19th century were, I think, generally laminated. Also, I've got three slotheads, and find them a pain for restringing. Good if you want to flip the tuners over for lap steel though. :)

    Not exactly a parlor, but I've tried a few Taylor GS minis and really liked them, especially the mahogany-topped version.
     
  8. ebb soul

    ebb soul Poster Extraordinaire

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    Alvarez and Art and Lutherie get my vote at under $500, guess they are considered 001 sized, but slotted, which I just like the look of.
    Morgan Monroe is a good equivalent to Blue Ridge.
    Pre plant switch Laravee anything are my favorites.
     
  9. studio1087

    studio1087 Telefied Silver Supporter

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    Another North American option (if that matters to you) is the Seagull Grand. They usually have a solid cedar too and laminated back and sides. They make several models that range from $375-$500. I bought a used one through the Guitar Center used gear finder online....paid $180 plus reasonable shipping. It's still here but I gave that one to my son. I get to visit it in his room. Again 1-3/4" nut so it's a nice sitting/fingerstyle or any style guitar but the back and sides are very nice looking veneer.

    I believe that solid wood guitars bloom the best over time. Solid wood is nice. Solid wood ages well.

    http://www.musiciansfriend.com/guit...-grand-parlor-acoustic-electric-parlor-guitar

    The Seagull. FYI.
     
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  10. Telepathist

    Telepathist Tele-Afflicted

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  11. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Silver Supporter

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    I went through this a few years ago. Eastman E10P and absolutely love, love, love it: It has an ebony fretboard so it has a bit of non traditional parlor tone, but fantastic projection. Mine is the mahogany w/sitka top, but there is another wood option. Sweet nitro finish, 25" scale length.

    Eastman front.JPG

    BTW, it feels, plays and looks almost like a Gibby, but made in China for half the price. If you look at the manufacturing video on YT, it appears to be more hand made than Gibsons. Eastman has a pretty good history and what convinced me is a guy I know with an older semi-hollow electric Eastman. Yeah, pretty amazing stuff.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2016
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  12. Tony Done

    Tony Done Friend of Leo's

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    Eastman have terrific reputation, of the parlors mentioned so far, that would be my first choice. Solid adi and mahogany, forget what I said about laminated. :)
     
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  13. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Yep, I'd shoot for the Eastman, too. Personally, the Adi/Rosewood.

    I owned an AR810ce for a month this year. Returned it because a longer-waited-for opportunity arose unexpectedly, but jeez, I was surprised how nice. Finish was flawless, and so thin nitro. But mine was used, a 2007, and still not a nick on it, so they can hold up, assuming cared for properly. The sound (it was solid carved maple/spruce) was phenomenal. Acoustically very loud, long sustain. Very nicely braced. Lightly built.

    The only thing that gets me about their nicer vintage style acoustics is that most of them, to me, look Martin-inspired. But, like Obsessed says, I've heard that they have a very Gibsonish tone. That would be weird, and not good if I thought I was getting a "cheaper" Martin. But as long as you just take them at face value, and quit comparing, if they're anything like my jazzbox, they're great.

    Now I miss that guitar. Again.
     
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  14. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Silver Supporter

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    Mrs. Obsessed has a GS Mini and it is an awesome short scale guitar, but it has the intentional sound of a dread instead of a parlor. I borrow it to play "Death Have No Mercy", but both Rev. Gary Davis and also in the Hot Tuna remake, the song is done with dread-like guitars. My Eastman parlor is a much more mid range focussed parlor. FWIW
     
  15. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Silver Supporter

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    Moosie, you are absolutely correct that the Eastman parlor were fashioned after the Martin according to their literature, but they sound way more like Gibbys to me. I'm not a Martin tone fan, but I'm thinkin' that with some Martin strings (the Eastman comes with my fav D'Addarios), it can probably start taking on the voicing of a Martin. The unique sound I think is because of the ebony fretboard, but as you mentioned there is the solid rosewood body option. FWIW
     
  16. texastengu

    texastengu Tele-Holic

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    I have a Larrivee P-03 also. Solid guitar all the way around.
     
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  17. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I'm not sure what you're saying there. Unique as in "like nothing else", or as in "looks Martin, plays Gibby"? Not the latter, methinks, because they don't sound like Martins, but Martins have always had ebony boards. And I'm not sure your point about rosewood. There have always been both, no?
     
  18. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    The thing perhaps being taken for granted by the OP, not sure, is that slotted headstocks are usually associated with 12-fret models. Are all parlors by definition 12-fret? I dunno. But a 12-fret is going to have a very different voice than a 14. They're little cannons, with much more low end than you'd expect. Point is, the slotted headstock may not be just a cosmetic preference. Make sure you know which voice you want. Especially true if your attention drifts to slightly larger bodies, like double-o's.
     
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  19. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Silver Supporter

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    Yeah, to me the ebony marks a change from the Gibby sound, but not enough to call it a Martin voiced parlor to me. I think that is what makes the Eastman unique. I mention rosewood only because that adds another layer of uniqueness.
     
  20. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Silver Supporter

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    +1 Yup. I enjoy both 12 fretters and 14 fretters, but as Moosie points out, they are quite different voicings. Typically, but not always, the smaller parlors are the ones with 12 frets to the body and maybe have the slotted headstocks, whereas the 14 fretters are usually a larger 00 body and rarely have a slotted headstock.

    Of course the only solution is to have one of each.:D
     
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