Best Parlor Guitars: 10 Small Bodied Guitars with Soul!
The word parlor truly refers to reception rooms from past times and since compact-sized guitars have been often played in these compact-sized rooms, they grew to become generally known as parlor guitars.
There is no such thing as a set size to determine a parlor guitar actually – or at least what has been labeled parlor guitars as of late – however, those which have bouts smaller than 13.5 inches are often known as parlor guitars.
Due to this, one of the best ways to determine an actual parlor guitar is through its form. An authentic parlor guitar will probably be smaller than a concert size and could have an elongated body. The lengthy form of the parlor guitar is specifically designed by the makers to present some quantity to the small guitars.
In the modern era, parlor guitars are maybe most closely related to folk singers, such as Joan Baez and a younger Bob Dylan, in addition to earlier bluesmen akin to Blind Blake and Blind Lemon Jefferson. Even in bluegrass, a style wherein most guitarists favor huge dreadnoughts, some players favor small guitars.
In our article here we will try to provide you with the 10 best parlor guitars choices that you can go for and not be wrong. So stay tuned for our reviews on the 10 models and hopefully, you will decide to purchase one of the picks we will present.
We just want to let you know that we’ll list these best parlor guitar reviews in no particular order. They’ll be randomized as we don’t wish to sort them from best to worst.
Listed below are our Top 10 Best Parlor Guitars for 2022:
1. Recording King RPS-9-TS Dirty 30’s Series 9 Single 0 Acoustic Guitar
Recording King’s Dirty 30s collection rivals the Gretsch parlor-style guitars with its Dust Bowl-era design and 0-sized physique. Nonetheless, the RPS-9 carves its personal sonic identification with a vibrant solid Sitka spruce top and a 25.4-inch scale size – one of the greatest in this section.
It additionally incorporates a layered whitewood body related to a mahogany neck with a dovetail joint. The skinny C-profile neck is topped with an Ovangkol fretboard that hosts 20 frets with massive ivory dots. The RPS-9 features notable value-additions such as the ivory physique binding, bone nut + compensated bone saddle, and a satin Tobacco Sunburst end.
The guitar is gentle, ergonomic, and feels snug to carry when seated. The projection is considerably reigned in, however crisp nonetheless. It’s very best for unamplified vocal accompaniment, particularly for fingerstyle blues or country music.
The notes sound well-defined and the chords sound fat, each sharing a gratifying mid-range bark. The lows are targeted and there’s no noticeable boominess. It’s nice for playing or practice and has a definite predilection for some old-time tunes.
The Recording King RPS-9 is an enjoyable and easy-to-play bargain. It’s at home within the hands of people/roots players and as an underlay for singer-songwriters. It’s excellent to have at hand in a house or studio to play on a whim or as a journey guitar that you just don’t have to handle with extra care.
- Dirty 30’s series
- Single O body shape
- Revebond fretboard and bridge
- Dovetail joint
2. Luna Gypsy Muse Parlor Acoustic Guitar
Luna’s Gypsy sequence of Parlor guitars carries ahead their well-known custom of crafting beautiful-looking guitars, together with providing a fairly an earthy distinct general tone. The Muse Parlor acoustic with its darkish, mystical hue and slender body has a hanging aesthetic that, certainly, seems to be like a classic guitar that was performed by the inventive, musical nomads of yore. Due to the all-mahogany construct, it has a deep, warm tone with a strong midrange.
Luna is a brand that’s famed for taking particular care within the visible aesthetics of their guitar, and they’ve completed it once more with the Gypsy Muse Parlor guitar. The traditional elongated Parlor form is in a darkish, deep brown mahogany shade in an open-pore finish, which provides a satiny clean feel to it. The intricate design across the soundhole is lasered onto the body. Playability-wise, this model sits fairly comfortably and is simple to play for freshmen and skilled musicians alike.
The muse Parlor is made with a totally laminate-mahogany build – be it the top, back, sides, and even the neck! This provides this guitar a unique visible aesthetic in addition to tonal high quality. In the meantime, the fretboard and the bridge are crafted with black walnut, including the nice and cozy tonal depth and the deep darkish parts of the general design.
Coming to the tonal quality and sound, you’ll discover that this guitar has a really inviting, warm, and earthy tone. This provides it fairly a singular sound that records very distinctly. The set neck makes your complete body vibrate as one, whereas the black walnut fretboard mellows the general tone, making it nice for fingerpicking and flatpicked sound. The all-mahogany body introduces a bass-oriented, warm tone that you simply won’t easily discover elsewhere.
- Tuners: Sealed Die Cast
- Multi ply top black on back
- Satin Natural Finish
- 21 Frets
3. Fender CP-60S Parlor Guitar
The CP60S has a solid Spruce top with a laminated mahogany physique in a satin sunburst finish. It’s additionally available in a 3-tone Sunburst finish. The guitar features Fender’s ‘easy-to-play’ neck profile with a walnut fretboard and curved edges.
Regardless of the modest value, Fender has thrown in some noteworthy options such as the headstock rosewood veneer, rosewood bridge, pearl acrylic rosette, and compensated synthetic nut saddle. Different notable features embrace scalloped X-bracing, die-cast tuners, and a dual-action truss rod.
The CP60S is an average-sized parlor guitar with a 24.75” scale size and a well-known 12” fingerboard radius. It sounds brilliant and full, with an intimate emphasis within the mid-range. The guitar has a powerful projection for its scale and worth.
This sonic character lends nicely to strumming, which makes it a worthy instrument for a sofa or campfire playing. In the event you aren’t anticipating the sky, the CP-60S will impress you with the construct and tone. It might not be stage-ready, nevertheless, it’s loud, nice, and presentable. Up-and-coming guitarists will benefit from the playing expertise it affords.
Fender CP-60S is a conventional design for folk/blues players and singer-songwriters. It strikes an excellent stability between prices and delivers the parlor feel without breaking the bank. It may be an excellent first guitar for fingerstyle novices or a second guitar for informal play. The cheap worth makes it a compelling prospect for musicians who like to travel.
- Top: Solid spruce
- Fretboard and bridge: Walnut
- Nut width: 43 mm
- 20 Vintage-style frets
4. Yamaha CSF-TA Parlor Transacoustic Guitar
Yamaha is an upscale model that’s broadly recognized for the quality of its built and the tone of its instruments present. The Yamaha CSF-TA TransAcoustic parlor guitar is crammed with a mahogany body, it’s all spruce top, and they do neck, and is paired with a Rosewood fingerboard.
Once you play this venture guitar and the acoustic form, you’ll discover it has a really heavy mid-range presence. What’s akin to this instrument when it’s unplugged is what you’d usually discover in Dreadnought acoustic or a concert acoustic. It is because the wide body on this parlor guitar makes it much more versatile than every other parlor guitar on this listing.
And that is primarily because you can use this transacoustic parlor guitar for fingerpicking, strumming, and slide playing. There are chorus sounds, in addition to a built-in Reverb as part of the built-in effects which might be accessible on this guitar. You possibly can even use these effects without having to add any pedals and even plugging in on the guitar.
Additionally, it comes with an onboard preamp and piezo. Because of this, your guitar could have the flexibility for you to play on stage or from the consolation of your own house with no need to do a whole lot of organizing.
However, you don’t have to fret about digital emulations with the Yamaha CSF-TA Transacoustic parlor guitar. As a substitute, this instrument will get its effects from an actuator that’s already within the guitar. This means that the chorus and reverb are naturally created to combine with the tone that the instrument produces.
- Bottom and sides: Mahogany
- Top: Solid spruce
- Nato neck
- 20 frets
5. Cordoba C9 Parlor Small Body Classical Acoustic Nylon String Guitar
For musicians in search of unsurpassed craftsmanship, timeless high quality, and a sweet, warm tone of their Parlor guitars, the Cordoba C9 Parlor is one thing that may check all of the boxes.
Granted, this piece could not match each musician’s budget, however, those that may spend money on a high-end Parlor ought to discover all of the options of this beauty. Its all-solid wooden body produces a warm, lovely tone that shines through both in live performances in addition to recordings.
By trying on the way the C9 Parlor is constructed, it’s straightforward to see why it’s such an exquisite-sounding guitar. Its all-solid development, Spanish heel construction type, and bracing type all are masterful strategies to deliver the absolute best sound out of the guitar.
The vintage class is kind of admirable in its design – the cedarwood and solid mahogany body have an exquisite pure brown, high gloss finish, together with glimmering and tasteful mother-of-pearl weave rosettes. Due to the solid mahogany top and the rest of the body, this instrument provides a very warm and rounded-up sound.
This C9 is crafted from an all-solid wood, which performs an enormous role in not simply its durability but in addition to its sound quality and volume. This instrument has a solid cedar top, whereas the back and sides are constructed out of solid African mahogany wood. The neck is also mahogany, whereas the fretboard is produced from rosewood.
Whereas the all-solid wooden development goes a great distance in ensuring the sweetest tone, it’s the way in which its numerous items are linked that is a gamechanger. The model makes use of a method referred to as the Spanish heel development to piece the guitar collectively. All in all, this is a good parlor guitar that will not let you down.
- Solid Canadian Cedar top
- Ebony fretboard
- Scale: 630 mm
- 19 frets
6. Gretsch Guitars G9500 Jim Dandy Flat Top
Gretsch is a model that not many individuals have heard of; it definitely doesn’t have the same stage of fame as Fender, Yamaha, or Gibson does. Simply because Gretsch isn’t as well-known as Fender or Yamaha doesn’t imply that the standard of the instrument is any different!
The Jim Dandy is a wonderful newbie’s guitar that has an exceptional classic sound that’s nearly unattainable to search out in laminate guitars. The Jim Dandy is a parlor guitar that’s produced from laminate. Whereas the sound and tone that this guitar produces are wonderful, there are some tonal attributes that aren’t very nice to hear.
General, in case you are in search of a parlor guitar that may stand up to some abuse and has a classic voicing, the Gretsch Jim Dandy is a parlor guitar you must take a look at. Then again, lots of people discuss how much they just like the “C” form the neck has because it makes the neck very comfy to carry.
There are a variety of “high-end” perks that come with this guitar, similar to classic body model frets and fretboard, Pearloid dot inlays, and warm tone sounds. And as to be anticipated with any parlor guitar, the Jim Dandy doesn’t have an unbelievable amount of volume. Maybe one of the downsides of any vintage parlor guitar since they focused on quality and not on volume.
- Body shape: Flat Top Parlor
- Neck profile: C
- Saddle made from synthetic bone
- 18 frets
7. Larrivee P-09 Rosewood Select Series Parlor Acoustic Guitar
This NASA-approved parlor guitar has helped make the Larrivee model so common all over the world and as a consequence, it has grown to be one of the most popular instruments.
A part of the Rosewood Select Series, this parlor guitar is made from premium all solid wood construction. The top is made from solid Sitka spruce and supported by symmetrical braces. This conventional tonewood combination provides this parlor guitar with a well-balanced tone that resembles a louder tone than a classical guitar parlor.
The rosewood that’s used on the P-09 separates this parlor guitar from the Cordoba C10 because the rosewood actually permits this instrument to provide a big dynamic range. Additionally, you will discover that the P-09 is a bit heavier on the bass side in comparison with different parlor guitars, that are recognized to focus on the treble.
The P-09 is supplied with a one-piece mahogany neck, connected to the body on the 12th fret. This guitar is compact in dimension with a brief 24 “scale size and thin nut width which makes this parlor guitar straightforward to play. Like any traditional parlor guitar, the solid wood body makes it a dream guitar among the guitar makers and players.
Lastly, to make sure stability and consistency this parlor guitar motion has a dovetail neck joint that matches the hand. Others embody a bone nut and bone-compensated saddle. This parlor guitar has an aesthetically premium look that’s worth each penny. Unfortunately, this is not a budget-friendly parlor guitar but that is one signal that this is a great parlor guitar.
- Back and Sides: Indian Rosewood
- Gloss Finish
- Bone w/Black Dots
- Bridge: Ebony
8. Ibanez Performance PN1MHOPN Mahogany Parlor Acoustic Guitar
A superbly crafted guitar with a sweet, resonant tone, this Parlor guitar from Ibanez’s performance collection is a good little Parlor that you may purchase without burning a hole in your pocket. The spruce and mahogany body initiatives an open, resonant, and wealthy midrange tone, whereas the mahogany neck and rosewood fretboard makes for butter-smooth playability
The PN1MHOPN (fairly a mouthful to say!) is smaller in measurement than most different Parlor guitars – which isn’t a good or a bad factor – it’s merely about personal choice. Regardless of its measurement, it produces a wealthy tone with loads of sustain.
The open-pore pure brown finish makes it fairly irresistible to look at, and the fragile adornment across the soundhole and the body provides a wonderful touch. It has a 24.4” scale size with 18 frets, which will probably be fairly comfortable to play at even for those used to playing common-sized guitars.
This guitar is made with a laminate spruce top and mahogany back and sides. The neck is also crafted with mahogany wood, whereas the fretboard is made with rosewood. General, they’ve used good high-quality laminates that manage to supply a fair sweet tone even at a $150 price range.
Given its value range, this guitar produces a warm, resonant, and well-balanced mid-range tone. In contrast, we’ve come through loads of different guitars within the $150 range with tones that can be nothing to write home about.
Because of its small-bodied measurement, you naturally won’t get a really loud projection like the opposite bigger Parlor guitars. Nevertheless, you possibly can expect a definite and pleasing tone that can sound nice each when strummed or fingerpicked.
- Natural Color
- Sprice Top
- Body and Back: Mahogany and Spruce
- Right Handed
9. Fender Paramount PM-2 Parlor Acoustic Guitar
Fairly often in this world, things we expect are true are usually not. Well, once we think of Fender, we consider solid-body electrical guitars. Fender has at all times been the go-to company in America for solid body electrics with curvy female shapes and hot rod appearance. Fender makes some excellent acoustic steel-string guitars. They simply aren’t so visible within the company’s product lineup. However, when you know, you know.
The Fender Paramount PM-2 parlor guitar is a good little parlor guitar, and it’s priced just right for somebody in the market for one. That is an all-solid wooden building guitar. Every time you shop for an acoustic steel-string guitar, the brand that made it matters a lot less than the development methods involved with the thing.
An all solid wooden building guitar is at all times a superior guitar to at least one that’s involved with laminates. This can be a very critical and good basic rule of thumb for any shopper. Solid wooden construction is for the win, and the Fender Paramount PM-2 is an all-solid wood-constructed parlor guitar.
These guitars, due to their small dimension, will as a rule include Fishman electronics. Fishman doesn’t make crap electronics. This can be a professional-level guitar, as are all that includes Fishman electronics. And the Fender guitar right here comes with an ebony fingerboard. Only high-quality guitars have ebony fingerboards. Ebony for the win, every single time.
- Mahogany Color
- Bronze Strings
- Hardtail Bridge
- Right Handed
10. Gretsch Guitars G5021WPE Rancher Penguin Parlor Acoustic/Electric
Gretsch is usually recognized for the twanging, rockabilly tone of its hollow body electric guitars, however, has at all times made acoustics as well. The Rancher series provides a few of the Gretsch styling to an acoustic platform, making for some distinctive instruments, together with one with a Bigsby.
The original Penguin is a chambered solid physique, with the styling of a White Falcon utilized, and the identical strategy has been taken to the Penguin Parlour. The solid spruce top is, like all of the wood, hidden underneath a coat of solid white paint. Other parlor guitars do not have this much attention added to their paint job.
The top bears a Rancher collection signature – a triangular soundhole with rounded corners – and has a gold scratchplate with a penguin brand. The top and back are sure in probably the most extraordinary gold sparkle treatment; don’t anticipate some kind of gold leaf effect, that is glitter all the way.
The back and sides are of laminate, and there’s a sparkle effect heel cap to proceed with the theme. There’s a chic, barely notched bridge, with a compensated saddle of what appears to be like like Nubone or similar, and a nut of the same materials at the different end.
The primary impression on picking up the guitar is that it isn’t as small as some parlor guitars. Actually, it’s slim-waisted and accessible, however, the scale is pretty lengthy at 25”, and the lower bout extends deeper under the bridge than on the Roots assortment parlor.
While the Penguin does have fairly an intimate tone, it’s probably not a typical parlor tone in any respect, maybe extra redolent of a mid-sized model like a OO, and one at that. Just like the Delta parlor, the Penguin has good headroom when pushed hard, but surely the best voice is offered by backing off a bit and playing with dynamics.
- Penguin series
- Pearloid Neo-Classic thumbnail fretboard inlays
- Pickup: Fishman Presys III with integrated tuner
Methods to Choose The Finest Parlor Guitar
Materials & Construct Quality
There’s a surge of fake guitars available on the market. Evidently, they won’t carry it out. Prevent becoming the proprietor of a counterfeit by buying from respected websites.
Good sellers may even cover you should you select to return your guitar. Links on this article will go to websites that protect should if you want to return your guitar. This article is the product of appreciable research. Guitars reviewed right here have a constructed quality that surpasses their worth point.
As a basic rule, solid woods will likely be peak tonewoods. The extra solid woods on a guitar, the more resonance. Solid woods may even age like a fine wine.
Producers use laminate woods to maintain costs down. These will likely be much less resonant however are a durable cost-effective alternative. So check the tonewoods. Cedar, spruce, and mahogany are good beginning points.
Diving deeper, it nonetheless isn’t as lower and dry as the kind of wood. For instance, the premium pick and underneath $200 pick each have a mahogany top. Are they pretty much as good as one another?
Well, no. That is where the country of manufacture comes into play. The wood used on American-made guitars goes by means of a stringent interval of drying and aging. This will increase stability and lifespan.
Search advice like we’ve supplied in this article and search for manufacturers with a powerful status. No guitar is ideal. If guitars have low-cost plastic elements, you possibly can all the time replace these parts down the road.
You may count on commonalities in tone all through parlor guitars. Centered and detailed, they’ll have profound higher mids and highs. The slight nuanced distinction in tones throughout parlors’ tones comes from tonewoods. Right here’s what some top woods will supply in sound.
- Basswood – Light-weight and gentle, basswoods are additionally abundant, which means it’s low-cost. Don’t let the charge fool you. It supplies a balanced tone, edging in direction of warmth versus brightness.
- Cedar – Soundboards of cedar are widespread for classical guitars. Darkish and dense however with a much less low end they work well for finger kinds. For heavy attack strumming, they are often much less responsive.
- Mahogany – Typically mahogany tops compliment the back and sides of the identical wood. Direct and daring in mid frequencies, they have a punchy attack. For finger styles present in the country, blues, and Americana, guitars of these materials sit well.
- Solid Sitka Spruce – That is one you’ll see on loads of guitars. Its dynamic range permits it to respond effectively to strumming or picking. Whereas overtones aren’t outstanding, contemplate it as an all-around top wood.
Parlor guitars, with their small slender bodies, have heightened playability. However what else contributes to creating your new parlor comfy to play? Each guitar is unique. What some musicians like, others won’t. Listed here are a number of details to look at.
- Body dimension – Though smaller than dreadnoughts, parlors cover a variety of sizes. Think about what dimensions will serve your physique. What’s the proposed utilization of the parlor? For instance, in case you crave a journey guitar, smaller is extra portable.
- Neck profile – Referring to the form of the back of the neck, the cross-section might be C, U, or V-shaped. C is the commonest with an oval profile. Trendy C shapes are thinner than normal. V-shaped neck profiles are old-fashioned. They’re preferable for gamers who like their thumb to protrude from the fingerboard. U-shaped necks also called ‘baseball bats’ are appropriate for players with bigger fingers.
- Action – This refers back to the distance between the string and the fretboard. If the action is simply too high, you’ll want extra finger pressure to hit a note. So a sweet action leads to little hand fatigue.
- Finish – Once more, that is all the way down to preference. Generally talking, guitars are available in gloss or satin finishes. Each has benefits in comfort and velocity.
You may obtain heightened playability by getting the fundamentals right. If the guitar has a form, finish, and neck you can deal with different options. A guitar tech can modify action with a setup and you’ll change strings to suit.
The sheer sound quality of a premium guitar goes to trigger longing urges. In case you have the money, nice! In the event you don’t have the disposable revenue, don’t give in to temptation.
There are top-performing guitars in all price factors. Creativity is all-inclusive. No matter your background you need to be free to specify yourself no matter the funds.
Number crunch and discover what you possibly can afford. Use this article as a guide to uncover what’s accessible for the money.
As you train your ears you’ll discover the distinction between a premium pick and an affordable one. However keep in mind, that most listeners won’t discover an audible distinction. If what you’re playing is pure gold, the value won’t matter.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What Are Parlor Guitars Good For?
A: Parlor guitars provide a definite tone. The definition during which notes resonate makes them optimal for fingerpicking.
The brightness in tone may also work in some strumming situations. Slight bodies, they’re transportable so are good travel guitars. Manageable in dimension, they’re simple to play. Historically a folk instrument, the appeals of parlor guitars now reach many genres.
Q: Are parlor guitars good for strumming?
A: All acoustic guitars are good for strumming or fingerpicking, some extra so than the others. Parlor guitars aren’t any exception to that rule. They might lack openness and projection of different body shapes.
Body shapes, nevertheless, usually are not the one factor that contributes to how strumming-friendly a guitar is. You’ll discover that we’ve listed a number of guitars on this roundup that might be nice for campfire or sofa playing.
Q: Are parlor guitars good for newcomers?
A: Parlor guitars are a superb selection for kids, younger students, and folks with small hands. They’re undoubtedly simpler to play than full-sized instruments such as the dreadnought acoustic guitar.
Seasoned musicians want parlors for their mid-range emphasis, however, their small bodies and scale size make them a terrific alternative for newcomers.
Q: Parlor Guitars and Dreadnought Guitars: What’s The Difference?
A: Dreadnoughts have a bigger and squarer body form than a parlor. Due to their larger capability and firepower, C. F. Martin named them after the battleship. Typically, a bigger body will produce extra volume.
Parlors are smaller and narrower with an extra focus on the mid and higher frequencies. As a rule of thumb, dreadnaughts suit strumming whereas parlors suit more fingerpicking variety of playing.
Picking the best parlor guitars can be a tricky task. We tried to cover as many parlor guitars as possible, depending on the body shape, scale length, the woods that are made of, and many more factors.
Not the same as the other acoustic guitars, the parlor is more of a travel guitar option that is good for folk music and many people’s genres of stringed music. Every affordable parlor guitar will be able to get you to the sound authentic to these genres.
If you are at the point of getting your first parlor guitar then this article will come in handy for you. Also, if you have any questions in regards to our topic here, feel free to let us know in the comment section below.