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you may have noticed a thread about swapping a 414ce for GC4 that i recently posted. i have had a couple of back surguries, and am looking at the prospect of more. i sold my Sullivan Festival 5 string banjo last fall due to weight factor, and the most recent heartbreak was the sale of my 94 BMW K75 bike- my doctors' have all stated that bike riding is OUT- so this last weekend i sold her. my lovely (and compassionate) wife ,when told of my deep funk on the passing of a past time that had been with me for over 40yrs, suggested that perhaps a new, smaller bodied acoustic might lift my spirits (did i mention how wise she is as well). and i said, you know it might! my 414ce has been a faithful friend since it's purchase (new in 2003), but i can't play standing, and the body size is a bit more than i can handle comfortably seated. so here is my difficulty, i have approx $1500 from the sale of my bike to spend on a a new guitar. i have looked at the GC's and other grand concerts from some of the other makers, but still not sure if it will be suitably smaller than the 414. so that leaves the parlor guitars. i hadn't realized the number and grades of parlors out there- whew- there's a batch to say the least. i want a traditional body as opposed to a "baby" or "mini", and would love a 12 fret Taylor, but they're just a little too pricey. i wonder what the collective opinions are here on the larivee parlors? they offer such a wide range of models & materials, with many of them in my price range.

as luck would have it, i leave about a 100 miles from Dallas, and the weekend of April 21-22 is the International Guitar Fest (the old Southwest Guitar Show) and i plan on being there the 21st to sample any and all within my budget. take a notepad and make the rounds noting make/model/price and then to make a descision on which lucky little acoustic will go home to a life of fingerpicking in the living room, or out on the porch, and the daily caresses from an ardent and loving new owner. i'd like to concentratee on 4 or 5 guitars to keep from becoming overwhelmed with data, so if anyone has a suggestion i'd love to hear them. this is one of the few un-restrained pleasures left to me, and to say the pleasure of looking over a huge number of fine guitars from which to choose a new instrument has got me "little kid-santa claus" excited.

thanks to all

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Replies to This Discussion

First, I pray for your continuing recovery from your surgery...
Have you tried any of the Grand Auditorium, OM, Folk, or Mini-Jumbo sizes?
Stop by the Godin booth and check out Seagull, Simon & Patrick, Norman, and Art & Lutherie lines. Also, check out the higher-end Waldens - the Orchestra model and Grand Auditorium are very nice - and they have a "Stage" version with a shallower body, but the Grand Auditorium dimensions.


I'm really liking my Epihone Masterbilt 500R. Small body. Big sound. Made for fingerstyle with slightly wider string spacing.



Have you thought of something like a T5? While not acoustic, the thin body makes it easier to hold. You can add a small amp so that you can "play load" when you want to but it has enough volume unplugged for your own use.

Don't give up the ship.  You will heal up from the surgery.  I healed up better than I had been in years.  Stronger too.  

thanks for the input. most of makers mentioned i have looked at. i'm wanting to go a little "higher end" than most of these.

i will surely look at the waldens and Tom i will look into the epi as well. Mike, on the T5- i've already got a thin-line semi-hollow that covers most of that area of music- altho those T5's are some really beautiful guitars.


As the owner of a Larivee Parlor guitar, I can only say how much it is a joy to hear and play but is also very comfortable. It is also a "cannon" if you need it to be. I have a walnut model which is a very unique tone...this is the guitar that I leave out on a guitar stand for easy access so I can grab it and play. Also can sit in my lounger and play as the body is small. Highly recommend one.Play on.

I would suggest playing the Larrivee OM models, possibly an OM5. They are easy to play and have a great sound. I think you would really be pleased with one of these. Enjoy! Nina

You are probably at a tough price point...about $ 500 over the typical "lower end" models, and about $ 500 under a nice rise in quality.

I have played a number of Larrivee parlor models and have found their quality pretty inconsistent.  But the nice ones have a really nice feel and sound.  Make sure to take a peak inside the guitars to get a sense of how nice or sloppy things are.  (I do this on whatever guitar I take a serious look at buying...)

You might try a few of the smaller model Recording King guitars.  A bit inconsistent in quality, but again the nice ones feel and sound nice.  These should be a few hundred under $ 1K

Given you seem to be used to Taylors, I'd try an om or two.

I recently bought a Martin 2012 om-21, and it has a completely different and smaller feel from my Taylor 714ce.  This is so even though the nut and string spacing are exactly the same on the two guitars.  The new om-21 neck is less bulky than the prior om-21 incarnation.  These should be just over $ 2K.

Another nice om is the Huss and Dalton Road Edition OM.  Quite amazing sound for a smaller guitar.  I bought one but had to return it because the string spacing was just a bit to narrow for me.  This should by $ 2K on the nose, or maybe a few bucks cheaper.

Good luck with your hunt !


If you haven't found anything yet, may I suggest checking out Eastman Guitars?  Here's a link to their OM's:

They have parlours and grand concerts, too...

Also, my Giannini Craviola is extremely comfortable to play - check out - they are the US importer...


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