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The "allure" of the small body guitar......


onewilyfool

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Although I'll admit there is a nice rush playing a powerful Jumbo or Dread guitar....there is something extraordinary about a good small body guitar. I think ounce for ounce and inch for inch the small body guitar out performs their larger cousins in sound, tone, and volume...AND....they are very comfortable to play. You may have to work a smaller body more to get all the best sounds out of her, but when you get to know her, there is no guitar that is more fun and rewarding to play. Not a guitar to take to a jam with 6 dreadnaughts playing at the same time....but a wonderful experience for a solo player, which is what I do most of the time. With the fun factor, the comfort factor, and the tone factor, I find myself reaching for the small body most of the time........how about you???

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Wily, How "small" is "small"? Does OOO/OM size count, or do you mean "really" small guitars?

 

I happen to think the OOO/OM is a great all-around guitar, provided, as you say, you aren't trying to compete with a bunch of dreads. But it's not very small.

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Wily, How "small" is "small"? Does OOO/OM size count, or do you mean "really" small guitars?

 

I happen to think the OOO/OM is a great all-around guitar, provided, as you say, you aren't trying to compete with a bunch of dreads. But it's not very small.

For me Nick..."Small Body" in MArtin Parlance is 00 and smaller, and in Gibson terms L-00 and smaller. I agree with you 000/OM is the best all a-rounder, and a good one can hold it's own against larger guitars, but the smaller body guitar is still my favorite!

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Purchased a an Eric Clapton Martin small body guitar, I think scale length is 24.9". Played it a week and returned it, I did not like it.

 

On the other hand I have a very small body guitar a Taylor GS mini and that guitar is outstanding, had good tone and really projects.

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For me Nick..."Small Body" in MArtin Parlance is 00 and smaller, and in Gibson terms L-00 and smaller. I agree with you 000/OM is the best all a-rounder, and a good one can hold it's own against larger guitars, but the smaller body guitar is still my favorite!

 

Great post. I favor my OM as related to a full size dred/jumbo. It is much more comfortable and somehow intimate as a novice singer/songwriter. The L-00 is on my wish list...

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I totally agree. Not all guitar playing calls for a big dreadnought sound with gobs of bass and metallic chimes.

 

I played an L-00 Pro at GC a few weeks back, and it makes a lovely, lovely sound. My little vintage LG-1 too.

 

I tend to agree on size. A Martin 000 is pretty good sized, you need a 00 to feel 'small'. In Gibson, the 00 are a nice small guitar, perfect for curling up in the easy chair. [thumbup]

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I'm 'Allured'!

 

 

Can you make a little audio demo of those guitars of yours for us, Wily? Perhaps play the same short tune with each guitar?

 

I don't know which one I would fight for, but I think all of them! After the Kenny Sultan thing, I am eying your 00-18v, but the others are great too.

 

 

 

BluesKing777.

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And here are my two 00s again - a 1995 L-00 and a 1937 L-00 Legend.

I haven't played my Southern Jumbo, or anything else much, for that matter, since I got the Legend - I'll probably sell my others and just keep these two - maybe set up the '95 just for slide...

Small bodies just suit me - love 'em!

 

 

1995l00and1937l00legend.jpg

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A lower bout of up to 14.75" takes in alot of guitars there Hoss. But I'm in.

 

First up - a 1929-31 Oscar Schmidt First Hawaiin Conservatory of Music concert. Pretty much a standard Stella - all birch, square top kerfing, angled neck heel, arched back - originally set up for lap playing. These were provided free when your ordered lessons from Schmidt's mail order music business.

 

022.jpg

 

Next we got a mid-1930s May-Bell Style 75 (made by Slingerland). All-mahogany slothead archtop with a lower bout just a tad over 13".

 

MayBell005.jpg

 

How about another round soundhole archtop - a mid-1930s Kay Kraft. One of the last of the Kays to sport the Zorzi adjutsable neck.

 

kay_K-2_Front.jpg

 

Not to leave the Gibsons out - a 1946-1947 LG-2

 

006-1.jpg

 

Last but certainly not least a 1932 National Duolian - with a lower bout of 14 1/8" it qualifies.

 

Duolian.jpg

 

 

Not pictured late 1920s Regal parlor guitar. I am still putting this one back together.

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And here are my two 00s again - a 1995 L-00 and a 1937 L-00 Legend.

I haven't played my Southern Jumbo, or anything else much, for that matter, since I got the Legend - I'll probably sell my others and just keep these two - maybe set up the '95 just for slide...

Small bodies just suit me - love 'em!

 

 

1995l00and1937l00legend.jpg

 

those are beautys! am also droolin at wily's L20 . the more i see / hear these small bodied gits on here the more i like 'em . bluesking777 has a couple tunes uploaded .

 

you have a SJ , which would give me somethin to relate to . how do the smaller ones compare in volume ??

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Well, Bluesking....here is the L-2 and the Bruno......I will make other vids soon.....What I like about the above "smalls" is that no two sound even remotely alike.....t's like having a golf bag full of tones.....ahhhhh gotta love them small bodies!

 

 

 

thangew . thangewvurrymush

 

totally brilliant wily . you shoulda worn the jumpsuit though

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Well, Bluesking....here is the L-2 and the Bruno......I will make other vids soon.....What I like about the above "smalls" is that no two sound even remotely alike.....t's like having a golf bag full of tones.....ahhhhh gotta love them small bodies!

 

 

 

Thanks Wily, I have seen those, thanks, really nice. But, I am keen to hear the flat-top L30 next to the 00-18v! You don't have to do a major production with a video, new clothes and possibly a haircut and shave if you just put the gadget on audio only and strum ex4, ax2, ex2 you get the story, then without turning off gadget grab next guitar ex4, ax2 HAhaHa someone could really do something with those eeeehs, a few of that mysterious yx4....

 

 

 

BluesKing777.

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Oh I totally agree. In fact my main 'couch' guitar is my Furch OM. I really enjoy just kicking back on this little beauty, very comnfortable and a killer tone reminiscent of vintage Martins. It has an 'aged' top which basically means it has been treated with enzymes which treat the wood to deliver a very similar structure that you would find in a 70 year old top. It could all be bollocks but this guitar definitely has the vintage look, feel and tone. I love it.

 

IMG_4037.jpg

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lol @ it could be bollocks , and you in advertising too !

nice lookin little guitar , any sound clips ?

funny place this forum , always wanted a j45 and a hummingbird , have a j45 , but now i'm not sure what my next one would be , bluesking has a lovely sound coming from his , and it looks like it would be great for the couch like you say . i spend a fair amount of time like that if the missus is out , i tend to strum away while i'm staring at the TV.

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lol @ it could be bollocks , and you in advertising too !

nice lookin little guitar , any sound clips ?

funny place this forum , always wanted a j45 and a hummingbird , have a j45 , but now i'm not sure what my next one would be , bluesking has a lovely sound coming from his , and it looks like it would be great for the couch like you say . i spend a fair amount of time like that if the missus is out , i tend to strum away while i'm staring at the TV.

 

 

I recorded this Radiohead cover with her about a year ago. Listening to it now I feel this guitar has since open up even more and has a deeper tone which Im really diggin'.

 

 

Below is more of an explanation of the 'aging' process. I believe there is somethign in it. I know the owners son who is involved in the business with his father 'Frantisek Furch' and while it wont substitute 70 years of vibrations, it seems to physically 'evolve' the sitka top to one which would be reminscent of an aged top. Either way I really enjoy this guitar a lot and the tone is constantly evolving.

 

Roger Schmidt, owner and director of

Tech Music Marketing, the company who

imports the Furch guitars to North America

under the Stonebridge name, explains that

the "aging" process organically changes

the wood in structure and composition to

resemble an 80-year-old piece of wood. He

said, "The wood is exposed to enzymes and

micro-organismst hat eat away everything

from the wood that would decay naturally

over time. What you are left with is a

non-hydro scopic piece of wood that is

completely dry and much lighter. It is open

and light and produces a tone that is close

to that of a vintage instrument."

 

At the International Bluegrass Music

Association's annual convention and

Fanfest in the fall of 2006 Roger Schmidt

exhibited the Stonebridge line of Furch

instruments. One of the professional players

who was impressed by the instruments on

display there was this issue's cover story

artist Andy Falco. Andy said, "When I tried

the guitars at IBMA they had yet to build a

Dreadnought that had undergone the aging

process. But I tried two OM models that

they had on display. One of the guitars had

an aged top and the other didn't. I could

really tell the difference."

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I played a Robert Johnson L-1 recently that I can't get out of my head! Oh the GAS pains!

 

And wily's L-20 is killing me. I had to pass up a 20th Anniversary here locally. I tried it out for about 15 minutes and my wife and I both agreed it was a great sounding little guitar, but alas I have bills to pay... :(

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