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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,Songster Bob A little guitar-buying advice, please (43) RE: A little guitar-buying advice, please 09 Jul 02

I agree with the rest of the posters in that if the sound, which is what you get a guitar for, isn't right, then you'll nag yourself and tinker and eventually sell it. If it's cheap enough, that's not all that bad a process -- you can learn about setup and tone factors and all that -- but only if it's cheap enough to sell later without worry.

Now, if you can remember what made it so playable, you can look for that aspect of construction, that feature, on other instruments. Was it the width of the neck? The thickness of same? The contour of the fingerboard (called "radius;" it's a big deal to some electric guitar players)? The action? [If it's the latter, that's a setup factor that can be adjusted on any good guitar.]

You mentioned the size of the "big end," meaning, I take it, the body. Well, smaller-bodied guitars aren't so boomy in the bass department, so that's not going to change, no matter what make you buy. If you're used to a Dreadnought's sound, a parlor guitar isn't going to sound the same. It may sound very good, and might even be more balanced (which is the hallmark of the "Grand Concert" -- Martin 000 and OM sizes), but it's not going to be quite so bass-heavy and assertive in those low notes.

If you have the opportunity -- or if you can MAKE the opportunity -- play several makes and models in different body sizes, from small parlor to jumbo to grand concert to dreadnought. Then go with what feels and sounds like the best compromise. If this one was the first smaller guitar you've tried out, try several similar models from other makers, and hope against hope that you'll stumble on a yard-sale price for That One guitar. And if you don't, you'll at least know better what it is you're looking for.

Good luck.

(Songster) Bob Clayton

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