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Discussion in 'Acoustic Heaven' started by swervinbob, Jan 21, 2021.
From the sublime to the ridiculous...
I like it! "Don't be a hater. Play your P-tater." P for parlour!
I've got two that are billed by their respective makers as "parlor" gutiars. One is a Wechter Nashville-tuned parlor acoustic/electric (model # NV-5413E) and the other is a Gretsch Jim Dandy (# G9500).
I didn't buy either one of them because of the "parlor" designation. The fact that they were parlor-sized wasn't a negative factor, by any means, but it wasn't the deciding factor in either case.
With the Wechter (on the left in the pic above) I bought it because of the Nashville-tuned/high stung sound. Wechter designed the guitar to be specifically for this particular tuning, and the parlor size was conducive to the sound, since the lighter string tension wouldn't move the top on a dreadnought the same way. So a thin top and small size were intentional design features for the tuning application. But I was just after the sound. The jangly high strung sound I use to approximate 12-string sounds, or to approximate mandolin/bouzouki sounds in Celtic music.
The Gretsch Jim Dandy (on the right above) I bought as a beach guitar. My daughter and her family came down for the Memorial Day weekend in 2017, and were going to the beach. I didn't want to take an acoustic/electric to the beach. And at the time, I had only one guitar that wasn't acoustic/electric, and I prize that guitar too greatly to make it a beach guitar.
So I went shopping. I tried several, but honestly I'd had my eye on the Jim Dandy even before I went to the store. That little Gretsch looks a lot like an early '60s Stella by Harmony H929 my Dad had, the first guitar I ever plunked around on. So an inexpensive, all laminate, Made in Indonesia acoustic fit the bill for a guitar to take to the beach. The fact that its looks are an homage to Dad's was a plus. The parlor size made it convenient for travel.
I find myself playing blues on it, particularly Delta style. I also play Tin Pan Alley stuff on it (e.g., Berlin, Carmichael), old folk songs, etc.
Your point is well taken. In old school terms the OPs PRS is a Grand Concert size. But I guess you would have to be Old School to know it.
I’ve never owned a parlor guitar.
I love me some little guitars. Not exclusively, as my main acoustic is an OM. However, I love me some little guitars.
I had a Larrivee Parlor, the cheapest one with the satin finish. It was everything I thought I wanted in a guitar: Mahogany sides, spruce top, ebony fretboard and bridge. But I never really bonded with it. Partially, I had difficulty with fitting my fingers into a d chord in the narrow frets of a 24" scale, and partially it was just too precious to leave out where I could grab it on a whim. Sold it and made money on the deal.
Had a Martin Backpacker. Was mostly just ridiculous, but it did sound good in Nashville tuning.
Bought a Yamaha FG JR for my goddaughter. It set around waiting for Christmas to arrive. Easy to pick up and hard to set down. Sounded pretty decent.
Had an Ibanez Guitalele. Very pretty and very portable. Played it in M3 tuning, but it was just too crowded to play.
Picked up a Recording King Dirty 30s Model 5. Size of a Martin O. Nice wide neck. I don't play out, but that 12 fret body does produce good bass for round the house; I frequently play it in Open C: CGCGCE or even CGCGCC. Bass C is a little bit floppyish, but still good volume of sound. Has a cheap gold foil soundhole pickup that I plug into a Danelectro Nifty Fifty. Pretty or greasy filthy, it's all good. Still have this one. Put a sticker on the soundboard so I wouldn't sell it in a moment of weakness.
And the one that got away. An Art & Lutherie Ami in blue. Some suburbanite bought it, and didn't learn to play it. They gave it to their ten year old. They covered about half the soundboard with some thick transparent material on both sides of the soundhole like it was a flamenco guitar. Seems the child dragged it around the house by the neck and used a ring of house keys for a pick. Still, I tuned it up and it's voice was just rich and sweet. So I paid a little too much for a thing in that condition just to get it out of it's abusive home. Put new strings on, removed the plastic, got the adhesive off it, and adjusted the neck relief. It still had that voice. It looked like the blues, and sounded like angels singing the blues. I did let it go. I do regret it. If you find one that doesn't sound like that, maybe you need to let a ten year old drag it around for a while. It was one of the guitars that you pick up and an hour disappears before you think to set it down.
I still have another guitar like that. It's a Johnson knock off of a National Model O. So a smaller guitar that weighs a ton. It's not a National, but if another guitarist goes to pick it up I can say, "Take your hands off my Johnson." That tends to work most of the time.
Your Mileage May Vary. No warranties express or implied.
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