Affordable Parlor Guitar

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Paul Nicholas
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Location: Hagerstown, MD

Affordable Parlor Guitar

Postby Paul Nicholas » Tue Mar 14, 2017 11:19 pm

Greetings!

Recently, I have become fascinated with the smaller, somewhat strange shape of parlor guitars. I am looking for something in a smaller scale and fairly inexpensive (<$500) that I can play on the couch, take to friends houses, or just throw in the back of the car and go. I like the look of the La Patrie Motif, but know very little about them other than they are a part of the Godin family. Any insight on similar guitars would be great!

Separate and apart from the cool parlor style, I've also began looking at 1/2 and 3/4 size guitars for this purpose. I'd prefer something that uses standard tuning (EADGBE). Ibanez, Yamaha, Cordoba, Giannini each have a few small-scale guitars, but I really have no experience with any of these smaller guitars. The Cordoba Requinto 580 looks cool and sounds great but wasn't sure about the tuning.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thx!

Paul
2016 Cervantes Hauser Concert (SP/IN)
2016 Yamaha C40
2012 Yamaha Silent Classical Guitar (SLG130NW)
2003 Seagull Coastline S6 (Folk Cedar)

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Eberhard Mueller
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Location: British Columbia, Canada

Re: Affordable Parlor Guitar

Postby Eberhard Mueller » Wed Mar 15, 2017 12:39 am

I have owned and played the Motif for over a year now. I, too, wanted a smaller, robust "take along" guitar with 650mm scale length, and minimum 42.5 mm. string spacing at the nut, with a tone reminiscent of the early 1900's parlours. The Motif fits that bill and, in those respects it has not disappointed.

The tone is a bit boxy in the base, very loud, (belies the small size,) sweet trebles, but not as tonally nuanced compared to expensive guitars. Here it also fits what I expected from hearing romantic era transcriptions played on vintage nylon strung parlours. The action set up is good, easy to play with medium tension strings. I did upgrade the tuning machines.

Although smaller in size, it is just as heavy as full size guitar, due to laminated woods in back and side and the truss rod. When packed in it's TRIC case, it is in effect full size. The TRIC case uses a custom reduced size liner to fit the Motif, but there is also a smaller hard case available.

When comparing to fractional size guitars and requintos models of similar price, I found these scaled down guitars also came through as a bit boxy in tone, not as loud as the Motif, and suffered from having too narrow necks. Their shorter scale lengths are nice, to a point, but the body shapes are not as aesthetic as the parlour shape that I was looking for. I also felt that sticking to the 650mm. scale would create less confusion for me.

Then, I proceeded to add to my confusion, a year later, by also purchasing a Cordoba Mini which I pack in baritone ukulele hard case. Now, that is a really compact and light "take along!" The tuning is the same as requintos, (as capo on fifth fret,) but I also use regular strings of light tension in terz tuning, (as capo on third fret.) If conventional tuning is preferred, one has to use extra high tension strings. There are string sets available which are designed to keep the fractional sized bodies tuned to standard EADGBE.

If you want the Cordoba Requintos, then there should be no problem finding strings to keep at standard E, if that is your wish.
Neil Douglas 2001 (German Spruce / German Maple)
Neil Douglas 1992 (Engelmann Spruce / Brazilian Rosewood)
La Patrie Motif
Cordoba Mini M

Bax Burgess
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Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2017 6:12 pm
Location: Phila, PA, US

Re: Affordable Parlor Guitar

Postby Bax Burgess » Wed Mar 15, 2017 6:07 am

The op will have to search for sound clips. I haven't played this new, lower priced model.

Romero Creations Pepe Romero, SR. Signature Model 6-String, Spruce and Mahogany

Retail $369.00

souldier
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Re: Affordable Parlor Guitar

Postby souldier » Wed Mar 15, 2017 5:31 pm

I've played a C10 Parlor that blew me away. Its above your price point, but it can easily compete with full size guitars that are a lot more expensive. If you want something more rugged and cheap, look at some of the cheaper parlor Cordobas.
"Success grants its rewards to a few, but is the dream of the multitudes.
Excellence is available to all, but is accepted only by a few." - Christopher Parkening

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Eberhard Mueller
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Location: British Columbia, Canada

Re: Affordable Parlor Guitar

Postby Eberhard Mueller » Wed Mar 15, 2017 7:32 pm

I have entertained buying C9 or C10 parlor and there have been great deals on Canadian amazon site. (Easily down to about $500 US equivalent for the C9 - some have been advertised as minor blems, and others pristine - I can't figure why the occasional deals and not so offered on the US amazon site.)

That said, I question that these are "parlors" as they are really fractional conventional guitars, cleverly marketed to appeal to a broader base of customer. Everything is scaled down, including neck width, string spacing, scale length, all same as 7/8 fractional model. That is something to keep in mind, if possessing large hands. They are fine guitars, 'though. Here is an extensive review of the C9 Parlor by another classical guitar site (This is Classical Guitar:) https://youtu.be/AOSiKdEmmxQ
Neil Douglas 2001 (German Spruce / German Maple)
Neil Douglas 1992 (Engelmann Spruce / Brazilian Rosewood)
La Patrie Motif
Cordoba Mini M

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Paul Nicholas
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Location: Hagerstown, MD

Re: Affordable Parlor Guitar

Postby Paul Nicholas » Wed Mar 15, 2017 10:34 pm

Thanks for the info and suggestions! I do really like the Cordoba C10 Parlor in SP/IN. Looks fantastic and sounds even better! I'm beginning to think I may get an inexpensive model (Cordoba Requinto 580, La Patrie Motif, etc.) now and continue saving for the C10 Parlor in the fall.

As for the difference between a C10 and a C10 Parlor, I'm not sure, I'd have to look at the specs as it does appear to be just a small-scale version. I really like the Cordobas a lot! Too bad Esteve doesn't have any parlor size guitars comparable to the c9 or C10... or maybe I just haven't found them yet!

Thanks again and I look froward to your thoughts!

Paul
2016 Cervantes Hauser Concert (SP/IN)
2016 Yamaha C40
2012 Yamaha Silent Classical Guitar (SLG130NW)
2003 Seagull Coastline S6 (Folk Cedar)

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ragdoll serenade
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Re: Affordable Parlor Guitar

Postby ragdoll serenade » Sun Mar 19, 2017 5:57 am

I was interested in smaller guitars a while back. I bought a Motif with some minor cosmetic damage for a good price. I did not care for the guitar. I am really not that picky but this one just did not do it for me. I was looking for maybe a quieter or softer sound, the Motif was loudish and harsh, boxy. I moved it on for about what I paid for it.

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Eberhard Mueller
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Location: British Columbia, Canada

Re: Affordable Parlor Guitar

Postby Eberhard Mueller » Sun Mar 19, 2017 7:20 pm

ragdoll serenade wrote:I was interested in smaller guitars a while back. I bought a Motif with some minor cosmetic damage for a good price. I did not care for the guitar. I am really not that picky but this one just did not do it for me. I was looking for maybe a quieter or softer sound, the Motif was loudish and harsh, boxy. I moved it on for about what I paid for it.

I find that smaller guitars, including traditional and vintage parlor bodied instruments do sound more or less boxy. I describe it as sound quality akin to or moving towards ukulele tone. That can have its charm if in context of suitable repertoire. One can always play around with strings to find something better sounding, too. But with acquiring and playing guitars, one has to exercise one's tastes and preferences - no harm in that! :casque:
Neil Douglas 2001 (German Spruce / German Maple)
Neil Douglas 1992 (Engelmann Spruce / Brazilian Rosewood)
La Patrie Motif
Cordoba Mini M

tree-hugger
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Location: Wollongong, Australia

Re: Affordable Parlor Guitar

Postby tree-hugger » Thu Mar 23, 2017 11:21 am

Paul,

I have a Raimundo requinto. It is 560 mm, and comes in normal tuning with Savarez strings. I recently replaced the strings with Daddario EJ 45' strings thinking I might tune up a minor third, but did not like the sound. I am now using those strings in normal tuning without any problems. Neck width at the nut is 50 mm.

George.

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Paul Nicholas
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Location: Hagerstown, MD

Re: Affordable Parlor Guitar

Postby Paul Nicholas » Fri Mar 24, 2017 2:54 am

Hey, George!

Thanks for the info! I like the smaller scale (530-590mm), but also like the wider nut (50-52mm). I'll have to check it out!

Thx!

Paul
2016 Cervantes Hauser Concert (SP/IN)
2016 Yamaha C40
2012 Yamaha Silent Classical Guitar (SLG130NW)
2003 Seagull Coastline S6 (Folk Cedar)

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SeanWinkler
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Re: Affordable Parlor Guitar

Postby SeanWinkler » Fri Mar 24, 2017 6:11 pm

There is a nice Aria A19C-100N on reverb dot com right now for $500. I'm not affiliated with the seller, but I figured it might fit what you're looking for.
Remember Anthony Weller, please help. Contact myself or Aaron Green for details.


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