Slope shoulder question (moved over from Home Depot)

Freeman Keller

Doctor of Teleocity
Aug 22, 2018
Hi all-
Question on the acoustic front: I like smaller body shapes than typical dreadnought size and am curious about slope shouldered bodies… I have a Gibson L-00 now that I really like and have tried J-45 before. But how many other different slope shoulder types are out there besides those two? (Thinking both contemporary shapes and historic ones…)
I remember seeing a Huss & Dalton model in the past that I liked (pic similar to that one attached- I think it’s their DS model) and I think it was pared down some from J-45 size if I remember right… what other shapes / close variations are out there as well?

Avri, I've already commented that I think of "sloped" shoulder mainly as that group of Martin and Ditson dreads during the time they went from 12 to 14 frets clear. I happen to have a picture of a modern 14 fret D18 next to a J45 which shows the squared upper bout very nicely.


Obviously there are the scale differences and all the other things.

You mention that you prefer smaller guitars to dreads (as do I) and I think the 12 and 14 fret 000 vs OM comparisons are interesting. As you know the original triple oughts were 12 frets clear and most of them were long scale. When Martin created the OM they basically pushed the shoulders down to the 14th fret (there was some moving of bridge and braces too). However Martin also created a 14 fret version of the 000, most of which are short scale. Here is an OM on the left and 12 fret 000 on the right (both long scale). Not a great picture but you can see the differences


I'll add that I learned a long time ago when experimenting with different shapes of guitars to build to fit available cases - I have made three instruments that required custom cases and they were very expensive.

Anyway, good luck finding what you want.


Nov 8, 2012
This is a Martin 000-15sm. It's not designated as a slope shoulder, but as you can see it has the narrower upper bout and fatter bottom. Note that it is also a 12 fret.



Poster Extraordinaire
Dec 6, 2015
Adirondack Guitars has this Martin… a DSS-17 which I hadn’t heard of before… not sure how sloped it really is though: View attachment 1078391

"Slope shoulder" is just marketing code for a guitar in the style of a dreadnought sized gibson, like a J-45 or advanced jumbo. I don't think it should apply to L-00s. It's only relevence is that it is just what stands out visually when comparing a J style to a martin dread.

I have a DSS-17. It is a little bigger than a normal martin dread, but it's a full pound lighter than a D-28. It is loud. It is not much like an L-00, except for having a dry top end and a little more midrange than a D-28 or D-18. It is made to resemble a gibson J whatever, or an AJ, and market to people interested in that style. The current 17 series was directly inspired by collings' waterloo line.


Friend of Leo's
Mar 4, 2006
These Days NE Ohio
Thanks so much for that. Love the diagrams on that page which very clearly explain. I think all guitar spec pages need to include that type of thing!
Most do provide these kind of specs. Unless I missed them (which is entirely possible) what were missing were the usual suspects such as string spacing at the bridge and depth of neck at the 1st fret and near the heel. While sound may be subjective feel can be measured. Providing you have a frame of reference for such specs you can render a judgement as to whether an instrument you have not been able to hold in your sweaty little hands before buying falls within your comfort zone.


Dec 1, 2018
I’m curious to try Yamaha’s “jumbo” shape, the LL family. This guy is holding a LL16 and the guitar on the far right is one. It looks like a good shape to me. It definitely has a mini slope shouldered dread thing going on
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