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Advice: The Size Of Ones Guitar

tandrink 14 Feb 02 - 12:32 PM
53 14 Feb 02 - 12:35 PM
Gary T 14 Feb 02 - 12:43 PM
catspaw49 14 Feb 02 - 12:53 PM
Clinton Hammond 14 Feb 02 - 12:55 PM
Desdemona 14 Feb 02 - 01:00 PM
catspaw49 14 Feb 02 - 01:15 PM
Wesley S 14 Feb 02 - 01:19 PM
Steve in Idaho 14 Feb 02 - 01:23 PM
catspaw49 14 Feb 02 - 01:30 PM
tandrink 14 Feb 02 - 02:00 PM
Wesley S 14 Feb 02 - 02:09 PM
Steve in Idaho 14 Feb 02 - 02:41 PM
Ned Ludd 14 Feb 02 - 04:23 PM
Desdemona 14 Feb 02 - 04:27 PM
Midchuck 14 Feb 02 - 04:37 PM
C-flat 14 Feb 02 - 04:39 PM
Rick Fielding 14 Feb 02 - 06:09 PM
Willie-O 14 Feb 02 - 08:19 PM
Justa Picker 14 Feb 02 - 08:41 PM
GUEST,A Pigs Ear 14 Feb 02 - 09:35 PM
53 14 Feb 02 - 09:53 PM
AndyJim 14 Feb 02 - 11:21 PM
Justa Picker 14 Feb 02 - 11:32 PM
bigchuck 14 Feb 02 - 11:33 PM
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Subject: Advice: The Size Of Ones Guitar
From: tandrink
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 12:32 PM

I'm just starting to look into buying a new guitar and was hoping some of you knowledgable guitar folk could help me.

I currently only have one acoustic guitar and it's a bit of a beater (Korean, plywood) and it's a Dreadnaught size. I play mostly fingerstyle blues (delta) and noticed some players of this style play smaller (00 or 000) sized guitars.

Does anyone have any thoughts or advice on getting a smaller body guitar. Is it worthwhile or restrictive? Is a D sized guitar a better choice because of it's versatility? Somebody help!


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Subject: RE: Advice: The Size Of Ones Guitar
From: 53
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 12:35 PM

Try a Taylor Big Baby, you'll be surprised at the amount of guitar for your money.


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Subject: RE: Advice: The Size Of Ones Guitar
From: Gary T
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 12:43 PM

All other things being equal, a larger guitar would tend to have more volume and stronger bass. All other things are hardly ever equal, however, and it's probably more fruitful to choose a guitar that sounds right and feels right to you. I would venture you'll get the most applicable answers to your questions by playing several guitars in various sizes.


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Subject: RE: Advice: The Size Of Ones Guitar
From: catspaw49
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 12:53 PM

Balance is generally much better on 000 or 0M sizes and both still have excellent bass.....probably not enough to flatpick Bluegrass, but a great fingerpicking size. We have some fine pickers here that fingerpick on everything from 00's to Jumbos so obviously there are no hard an fast rules here.

Martin's 0000 (also called M) size is considered to be one of the best balanced guitars around. But the builder factors in too. Larrivee for instance builds a couple of their own styles such as the Larrivee body (L) and the smaller version (LS). The LS is pretty similar to the old Gibson B-25 in size and shape (slope shouldered) and has always been a real favorite in the line.

The question is of course, "What sounds good to you?" What do you play? In a group? Use picks or bare fingers? Thumbpick? We have a ton of threads around here dealing with this and other issues in buying a guitar so go back and research some of them too. (Enter guitar in the filter box-refresh for 3 years) Some people just don't like the feel of a specific size and fit does enter into the equation here too.

And remember, if you can have someone along with you and can "blindfold test" several guitars from out front of them...that's important too. You may also find that your style fits mahoghany better than rosewood.......Rosewood has more class, but what about your sound when you play both. And what about the quality of build? Have a good look inside too.

Have fun and look and play as many as you can........ENJOY!!!

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Advice: The Size Of Ones Guitar
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 12:55 PM

Well, I'm not sure how they 'rate' on the guitar size scale, but ever since I got my Seagull 'folk' guitars (I think they call it a 'parlour' sized guitar??) I've never been happier playing...

"choose a guitar that sounds right and feels right to you"

Abso-frigg'n-lootly!

;-)


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Subject: RE: Advice: The Size Of Ones Guitar
From: Desdemona
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 01:00 PM

Hmmmm....I'm always hearing that size doesn't matter!


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Subject: RE: Advice: The Size Of Ones Guitar
From: catspaw49
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 01:15 PM

Desdee......You obviously have not heard 'Catter Bert's wonderful.....

SIZE DOESN'T MATTER.....Bert Hansell

When I was a Kid, we went for ice cream,
my sister had vanilla and I had a raspberry-ripple-rocky-road-chocolate-fudge-sundae-dream.
I looked at hers and I started crying,
when I saw that her ice cream was bigger than mine;

but Ma said....

"Size doesn't matter, Size doesn't matter, Size doesn't matter
It's the flavor you see
Size doesn't matter, Size doesn't matter, Size doesn't matter".
Well it matters to me.

When I went to school, I tried hard to please
but my sister got A's while I got mostly D's.
I took my report home for mother to see
I remembered the ice cream and what she'd said to me;

so I said....

"Size doesn't matter, Size doesn't matter, Size doesn't matter
for I tried hard you see
Size doesn't matter, Size doesn't matter, Size doesn't matter".
She said "it matters to me". *Thump*

I started courting when I was sixteen,
the girl next door was the girl of my dreams;
But she got real mad and she called me a louse,
when she caught me staring real hard at her blouse;

she said....

"Size doesn't matter, Size doesn't matter, Size doesn't matter
If you really love me --
Size doesn't matter, Size doesn't matter, Size doesn't matter".
Well it matters to me.

When I got a job I worked hard every day,
hoping to see an increase in my pay.
Though every pay check I got was so small
my Boss said "Don't worry, don't worry at all

because....

Size doesn't matter, Size doesn't matter, Size doesn't matter
and I'll make you VP
Size doesn't matter, Size doesn't matter, Size doesn't matter".
Well it matters to me.

The girl next door was the love of my life,
she finally consented that she'd be my wife.
How well I remember the night we were wed,
How she raised her left eyebrow as I climbed into bed.

She said....

"Size doesn't matter, Size doesn't matter, Size doesn't matter
It's how you use it you see
Size doesn't matter, Size doesn't matter, Size doesn't matter".
Well it matters to me.


Bert would sing that on about every other edition of Mudcat Radio.....Matter of fact Des, go back and listen to Episode 1 of Mudcat Radio and you can hear it there for a fact!

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Advice: The Size Of Ones Guitar
From: Wesley S
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 01:19 PM

Tandrink - Spaw had some good advise esp. about the blindfold test. It's your money and you get to vote with your wallet. Now that I've said that I would encourage you to try several brands in an OM size.It's a very comfortable size and has 14 frets clear of the body. I have a Martin OM-28V that I love. But that doesn't mean that you would. If you're on a budget I would check out the Martin OM-15. All mahogany and they sell for around $600 or $700. Good luck and let us know what you decide on.


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Subject: RE: Advice: The Size Of Ones Guitar
From: Steve in Idaho
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 01:23 PM

Here's a thread that ran for two years on pretty much the same subject. Lots of good links in it also - I know I learned a ton about guitars and size is probably the least of the worries!

Steve


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Subject: RE: Advice: The Size Of Ones Guitar
From: catspaw49
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 01:30 PM

BTW, since Wes mentioned it, that Martin OM-15 is getting rave reviews all over the place. We have several 'Catters who have bought them and are really happy.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Advice: The Size Of Ones Guitar
From: tandrink
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 02:00 PM

Well, thanks for the thoughts everyone. Everyone kind of reiterated what I've already learned. You gotta play as many as you can and pick the one that feels right. There are just so many out there (sizes, price range, makers) that I was hoping to narrow down the options a little before I getting overwhelmed at the guitar store.

Norton, I think you're definitely right on when you say that size is probably the least of your worries when learing the guitar (and we are all at some stage of our learning). But as I step up the level of my play and practice more and more, it's become apparent that a better instrument would help me along. I was just hoping for a starting point.

I, too, have see those Mahogany Martin's on several websites. They seem like a great value based on what everyone has been saying about them. I am yet to try a Mahogany guitar and am interested to hear the tone these babies can produce.

Also, does anyone know what the V stands for in the OM-28V that Wesley mentioned above?

Well, thanks again for the help. If anyone else has some thoughts I'd love to hear them.

(why do I alway feel like I'm writing a pen pal letter when I post here?)


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Subject: RE: Advice: The Size Of Ones Guitar
From: Wesley S
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 02:09 PM

The V stands for Vintage since it's supposed to be similar to styles that Martin made back in the '30's. It used to be called VR for "vintage reissue".

My other thought is that whenever you hear that a certain guitar is unsuitable for blues you'll find someone that can just tear it up on that same guitar.


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Subject: RE: Advice: The Size Of Ones Guitar
From: Steve in Idaho
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 02:41 PM

Tandrink - - I think for what you have and for where you want to go - I would opt for a Seagull "Folk" model. Clinton has two and loves them. I've played a couple and they are a lovely instrument. I've decided to buy one for my trip to Washington DC next month as I won't be near as petrified if it gets checked as I would my Mossman.

And they are fairly inexpensive. With a good hardshell case I am going to pay $250 for it.

I have ordered a custom built guitar from my luthier and it is going to have Mahogany back and sides. I've played a few and they have a right sprightly sound to them. As a Bluegrass flat picker that is important to me. It also has a superbly boomy bottom end.

Try the Seagills though - best value for the money in my opinion. Look on eBay as there are some pretty good deals there in used instruments. The better the instrument the better you'll play - least that is my experience! Hope this helps!

Steve


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Subject: RE: Advice: The Size Of Ones Guitar
From: Ned Ludd
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 04:23 PM

Spaw is right(as is often the case when he's being serious) Listen and play. Take a friend to do the same,as guitars sound different from out front.Ihad two guitars and had to choose(I know, I know. Keep both.)Several respected friends said one suited me better, so thats the one I kept.


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Subject: RE: Advice: The Size Of Ones Guitar
From: Desdemona
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 04:27 PM

Spaw---LOL!!!


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Subject: RE: Advice: The Size Of Ones Guitar
From: Midchuck
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 04:37 PM

I am going through a phase where I'm convinced that the 12-fret 000 is the perfect guitar body size. Brought on by having aquired a 000-15S, and having played, but been about $2500 short of being able to acquire, a Collings 000-2H.

I will probably be in a different phase next year. I'll let you know.

Peter.


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Subject: RE: Advice: The Size Of Ones Guitar
From: C-flat
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 04:39 PM

A handy tip when buying a guitar is to try it standing up! I once bought a beautiful Ovation but the first time I gigged it I realised that when I stood with the guitar strapped on, the bowl back of the instrument and my not inconsiderable belly were like two worlds colliding! I felt like I'd chased the damn thing around all night! I wonder if they might consider making a concave back model, It could even be called the "Standing Ovation" Sorry!


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Subject: RE: Advice: The Size Of Ones Guitar
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 06:09 PM

C-Flat's advice is excellent. Sometimes you'll find the balance doesn't seem quite right when you stand up. It's tricky to do 'cause there may not be the proper strap button on the guitar (at the heel) but you can always put a strap on the old fashioned way (at the headstock) and get an idea how it feels when standing.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Advice: The Size Of Ones Guitar
From: Willie-O
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 08:19 PM

This is all wrong but I just love flatpicking the hell out of my li'l old (not old enough to be vintage, a 1973) Martin O-18. You can dig right in and the sound may not be naturally bassy, (although plugged in with a fishman pro-EQ or the built-in pre-amp setting on my Peavey ECoustic amp, it is Plenty bassy) it is BRASH as all get out. And it's light as a feather, you can hang onto it real comfy like. THAT, my friend, makes all the difference.

love dreadnaughts too, but either makes you appreciate the virtues of the other.

W-O


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Subject: RE: Advice: The Size Of Ones Guitar
From: Justa Picker
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 08:41 PM

For a very long time, I was absolutely convinced that dreadnought-sized guitars were the size God intended man to use when playing guitar. And (quite arguably) they are, for bluegrass, rhythm and flat-picking music. Then I discovered fingerpicking and first worked it all out on dreddies.

One day I had an epiphony in a vintage shop and for a lark picked up and OM sized guitar (a Collings) and played my then arsenal of fingerpicking tunes on it. It was like the diffence between driving a car and sitting on a bench style front seat (Plymouth Reliant comes to mind) and sitting in the plush leather and full powered bucket seat of an Infinity J-40.

For fingerpicking, I'm now firmly in the OOO camp. I prefer the slightly shorter neck scale of the OOO (24.9") over the 25.4" inch scale of the OM - eventhough the body size of the OM and OOO are identical.

It all comes down to comfort...and the style(s) of music you want to play.


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Subject: RE: Advice: The Size Of Ones Guitar
From: GUEST,A Pigs Ear
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 09:35 PM

Can I 'twist' this thread slightly and ask for advice on 12 string models - size, manufacturer and whether all mahogany. The problem is I will probably have to buy 'blind' on a quick trip thru the US (I'm based in the UK)so probably won't get the luxury of trying out various options. I've done some groundwork and have narrowed down to these half dozen 'possibles': MArtin J12-15, J12-16GT,D12-1, DM12 Gibson J-185 (pricey?) and Guild JF30-12 Maybe I have missed some? I presently play a Yamaha FG412 and want to upgrade. I sing/play in an acoustic group, mostly pubs, some clubs and with NO amplification (!) so volume does count! Any suggestions/guidance?


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Subject: RE: Advice: The Size Of Ones Guitar
From: 53
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 09:53 PM

I keep telling you guys, try a Taylor.


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Subject: RE: Advice: The Size Of Ones Guitar
From: AndyJim
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 11:21 PM

Justa Picker, I'm working on this same question. Could you expound just a bit in the 000 neck scale? Does the shorter neck scale meant the fret spaces are compressed a bit? Easier to play? And while we're on the neck, what width do you like? I'm playing with going a bit wider than the standard 1 3/4.

All the best, AndyJim


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Subject: RE: Advice: The Size Of Ones Guitar
From: Justa Picker
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 11:32 PM

Yes, on the shorter scale, the frets are ever so slightly closer together making certain chord positions where the fingers are out-stretched, a tad easier to play.

For me neck width preferences are dependent on the style of music I'm playing. If I'm doing Travis stuff, I prefer a 1 11/16" nut width. If I'm doing Doc Watson or Blind Blake stuff 1 3/4" nut width is nice. The ideal width for me is 1 23/32" - somewhere in between the two width sizes I previously described.

Depends on the size of your hands and length of your fingers as well.


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Subject: RE: Advice: The Size Of Ones Guitar
From: bigchuck
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 11:33 PM

Since I work in a Music store, I get to try a lot of guitars. I would agree with Midchuck that the 000-15S is perhaps the best guitar under $1000 that is available. It works fine for both flatpicking and fingerstyle and is very comfortable, with what I consider to be the quintessential folk sound. As far as 12-strings go, I have tried several Taylors, which are certainly fine guitars, but I think I prefer the sound of Martin's J-1215, which is certainly very affordable. I've been lusting after one for sometime now. YMMV, of course.
Sandy


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