Parlor guitars feature smaller bodies with distinctive looks and tones that evoke the vintage appeal of guitars from the Victorian era in the late 1800s or the gritty looks and tones of “blues box” mail-order guitars from the 1930s. Parlor guitars are usually lighter due to their lower size. Because of their shorter scale length, they frequently have a softer, more pleasant playing feel, making them a good option for both young and mature performers who desire an easy-on-the-hands instrument.
Parlor guitars have a long history, are incredibly playable, and have been used as the lead instrument for countless social events, fireside jams, and even vintage studio recordings. Similar to a full-sized acoustic guitar, a decent parlour guitar requires a lot of expertise and craftsmanship to make. You’ll need to know which parlour guitar best meets your needs and budget if you’re considering purchasing your first parlour guitar.
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Cordoba C10 Nylon
- Solid European spruce top
- Solid Indian rosewood back and sides
- Hand inlaid Mother-of-Pearl "Esteso" Rosette
The sides and back of the Cordoba C10 Nylon guitar are made of solid wood, with Indian rosewood serving as the instrument’s standout feature. The Cordoba C10 is a fantastic guitar to consider if you’re searching for a reasonably priced instrument with an exceptionally clear sound. This parlour guitar resembles a classical guitar in many ways, and like other classical guitars, the Cordoba C10 nylon string guitar is sold without any electronics pre-installed. It’s entirely up to you whether you want to increase your guitar’s playability by adding electronics after you buy it.
Some players and collectors might be searching for a parlour guitar that adheres to these vintage design tenets. The Cordoba C10 is an entirely acoustic nylon-string parlour guitar that adheres to the tried-and-true methods of antique guitar building. Quality construction is necessary for non-electric guitars to compensate for the absence of external amplification. The body of the Cordoba is made of Indian rosewood, which is solid yet pliable and has a pleasant tone.
The body is formed in a traditional manner and is ideal for playing guitar in a manner similar to fingerpicking. Although the Cordoba’s larger neck might not be suitable for beginners, its warm tone fits its playability. However, seasoned and professional musicians who need an acoustic guitar that is sensitive and dependable should really appreciate the Cordoba C10.
The Cordoba C10 Nylon guitar is available for purchase; Cordoba is renowned for being an exceedingly traditional guitar manufacturer that makes many musicians happy with their musical instruments. The Cordoba C10 Nylon is unique since it is the only nylon-stringed parlour guitar on this list. This is the Best Parlor Guitar in 2023.
Fender CP-100 Parlor Small-Body Acoustic Guitar
- Laminated spruce top with laminated mahogany back and sides
- Quartersawn Scalloped X-Bracing
- 20-fret rosewood fingerboard with smaller dot inlays
You should have a look at the Fender CP-100 if you want to buy a guitar for less than $500. However, as this guitar is a cheap instrument, I should caution you not to expect it to produce high-quality sound or volume. Having said that, Fender did an excellent job creating a good parlour guitar that is fun to play (fantastic quick playability) on if you’re on a tight budget.
Many players remark on how much they enjoy the sunburst finish, which gives the parlour guitar a more vintage appearance and feel. Playing this instrument is a lot of fun and has a great sound. The tone quality of the guitar you’re going to buy won’t be as nice as one constructed of solid wood because it’s a laminate wood instrument. You won’t notice a large difference if you’re a novice guitarist, though.
Overall, if you are a starting guitarist seeking to try out a parlour guitar, I would highly recommend that you check out this guitar. The Fender CP-100 is a fantastic beginner guitar that is simple to learn on and play; it also makes a wonderful present for young kids who want to learn to play parlour acoustic guitar for the first time. The only real drawback to this guitar is that it doesn’t come with a case. As a result, you’ll need to buy a bag or hard case to store it in.
Guitar Acoustic Epiphone L-00 Pro
- Sonicore pickup system
- Solid Top
- Features the ‘blues box’ style body
The renowned L-00 of the 1930s and 1940s is the ancestor of the Epiphone EL-00 Pro Acoustic-electric Guitar. Whether you refer to it as a “parlour guitar” or a “blues box,” the simple-to-play EL-00 Pro is ideal for acoustic jam sessions and recording. Aim a small-diaphragm condenser mic at the 12th fret in the studio, and you’ll be successful. A focused sound that fits well in your track is produced by the small size and trim waist, while the bottom’s spacious lower bout provides a pleasantly zoftig appearance. You’ll enjoy the Epiphone EL-00 Pro with its vintage Vintage Sunburst paint and built-in Fishman electronics.
Despite being a Gibson subsidiary, Epiphone has built a strong independent reputation for offering high-quality guitar models at competitive prices. One of the few parlour guitars Epiponhe offers is the El-00 Pro, which is perhaps their most cost-effective choice in this category. The guitar has a sturdy Sitka body with a superb spruce top to produce a vibrant tone response.
The EL-00 Pro has a neck that is thinner than most parlour versions, and the fingerboard is made of rosewood. For musicians who want to play lots of lead guitar sections, the top end of the fretboard may provide a challenge. Piezo pickups on the EL-00 Pro provide users with a straightforward and dependable method of amplification and are powerful enough for smaller stages and bar-style gigs and situations.
Gretsch G9500 Jim Dandy Flat Top Acoustic Guitar
- Basswood body with X-bracing
- 12th fret, 24”-scale nato set neck with synthetic bone nut
- Vintage-style 18 frets
Gretsch isn’t frequently regarded as the top brand for entry-level guitars. The brand is significantly better known for creating some of the best top-tier acoustic and electric versions. Its appearance and design are vintage. like the Gretsch parlour guitars produced in the 1930s and 1940s. You get a retro vibe with the white scratchplate and the dark wood finish. It is therefore among the best vintage-style parlour acoustic guitars available.
Gretsch, one of the original brands in the guitar industry, was established in New York in 1883. They’ve had some well-known athletes. Naturally, the moniker was closely associated to Chet Atkins. But throughout the early to middle years of the Beatles’ tenure, George Harrison may have done more to advance the Gretsch brand. He frequently might be spotted using a Gretsch during their live performances.
There have, however, been others. Malcolm Young of AC/DC, Eddie Cochran, Neil Young, and even Pete Townshend. However, he never uses it outside of the studio. A parlour guitar, this one is called a “Jim Dandy Flat Top.” Although it may appear to be a cheap instrument, it nonetheless produces a pleasant tone. You could choose a lot worse than this guitar if you’re on a tight budget or purchasing for a novice.
The G9500, on the other hand, pays homage to some of the best performing eras in country and folk music and offers beginner players a dependable level of tone and playability. The G9500 does not have any electronics because of the asking price, which is something to take into account for players who might require amplification once they have mastered their fundamental techniques. The C-shaped neck of this guitar is one of its best features. It’s one of the easiest parlour acoustic guitars out there to play, having a comfortable feel in the hand.
The G9500 offers a peculiar, honky tonk-style tone that works well for most campfire jams. Even though the G9500 has a very reasonable asking price, it is a wise choice for gamers who want a dependable workhorse but are on a tight budget. This is the Best budget Parlor Guitar in 2023.
Recording King RPH-05 Dirty Thirties Solid Top Single O
- Solid Spruce Top
- White Wood Back and Sides
- Forward X-Bracing
For contemporary blues players, the Recording King RPH-05 is a fantastic parlour guitar. When I say that, I mean to imply that the sole reason this guitar was created was to satisfy the demands of a blues player looking for a reasonably priced parlour guitar.
The King RPH-05 can be used for other genres, but I wouldn’t advise it because it has a more hunkier side that makes it ideal for playing the blues. However, this guitar lacks the mellower tone that is widespread among many instruments today and is frequently heard in contemporary music. I strongly advise you to consider buying this parlour guitar if you’re seeking for a parlour guitar that’s ideal for your blues playing because the maker has faithfully reproduced the sound of an early blues parlour acoustic playing in this reasonably priced instrument.
This guitar’s makeup is fantastic, despite the fact that its physical appearance isn’t particularly noteworthy. A solid spruce top, white wood sides, white wood back, front X-bracing, rosewood bridge, and rosewood fingerboard are all features of the Recording King RPH-05. In particular, the rosewood fingerboard is exquisite.