Small Body Flat Top Acoustic Recomendations

A discussion of techniques, and equipment for guitar. Fretted, bottleneck or slide, acoustic or electric, this is the place.

Small Body Flat Top Acoustic Recomendations

Postby Disciple » Thu Feb 10, 2011 3:20 am

I'd like to get a small body acoustic suitable for finger pickin blues etc. Not that I can play that way but gotta start somewhere.

I'm kind of stoked about the idea of picking up something old and cheap and tweaking it into playable shape without dropping big bucks. By that I mean maybe $200.00 tops to buy and maybe another $100.00 or so to get a set up done on it.

Are there typical and common guitars that fit this description?

I know that is a pretty specific demand but I do see a fair bit of posting here where guys are grabbing known older brand names and fixing them up to satisfactory playable condition. Usually for just a few hundred bucks.

So is there any hope in finding something parlor sized and functional for a couple hundred bucks?
Disciple
Regular
 
Posts: 90
Joined: Wed Sep 22, 2010 2:34 am
Location: Haliburton

Re: Small Body Flat Top Acoustic Recomendations

Postby gaucho » Thu Feb 10, 2011 4:30 am

I'd say get a Harmony Stella. There are dozens on Craigslist and Ebay. You can find really good ones for anywhere from $20 to $100. If you find a good one, they have a great bluesy tone. I found one in pretty decent shape and the guy gave me a 2nd one for parts. I fixed them both up and they are a blast to play.

Image

Check out this:
gaucho
Regular
 
Posts: 213
Joined: Sun Mar 29, 2009 3:56 am

Re: Small Body Flat Top Acoustic Recomendations

Postby rodman » Thu Feb 10, 2011 11:48 am

Not old but cheap and well made ... Ibanez sgt 110 . I got one from E-bay , new B-stock , for about $100 . It had a bad spot on the side about the size of a pencil eraser . It came from barryclark music . Check out the reviews , I'm very pleased with mine. Rodman
rodman
Regular
 
Posts: 32
Joined: Fri Oct 08, 2010 10:34 am

Re: Small Body Flat Top Acoustic Recomendations

Postby old mojo » Thu Feb 10, 2011 12:39 pm

Instead of $200 for a beater, another $100 for parts and work time, you could get one of the best, and get most of your money back if you decided to try another route...

http://guitars.musiciansfriend.com/prod ... sku=518369

http://www.epiphone.com/news.asp?NewsID=1901
User avatar
old mojo
Regular
 
Posts: 59
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am
Location: Near Cincy

Re: Small Body Flat Top Acoustic Recomendations

Postby gaucho » Thu Feb 10, 2011 1:05 pm

Check this guy's site. He always has a bunch of vintage parlor guitars, all fixed up and ready to go. Right in the range you mentioned price wise too. It's really fun to get a "beater" and fix it up yourself. I changed the nut and bridge, rubbed out the finish and reworked the binding, put on new strings and installed a home made, $5 pick-up on my Stellas and they sound great! I had no previous guitar wrenching experience either. The key to a good blues tone is to find a ladder braced one and the vintage ones were made that way.

http://vintageparlorguitars.com/current.html

I'm a sucker for the looks of a vintage with a slotted headstock and a tailpiece. Probably not the best combo technically, but they sure look purdy! I first got turned onto parlor sized guitars at my little nephew's house. I'd been playing my biscuit cone reso and picked up his Dean kid-size guitar. Tuned it to open G and I've been hooked ever since. I should mention that I play mostly with a slide.

Frank at Republic Guitars has a good looking parlor in his line up too. http://www.republicguitars.com/guitarso ... ducts.html near the bottom of the page. But there's something special about a guitar you save from the trash bin, and $200 is way to much to pay for a "beater". Neither of the Stellas I posted the photo of have more than $100 bucks in them (parts and cost of the guitar)!
gaucho
Regular
 
Posts: 213
Joined: Sun Mar 29, 2009 3:56 am

Re: Small Body Flat Top Acoustic Recomendations

Postby rodman » Thu Feb 10, 2011 1:17 pm

I am sure this reply will step on some toes but I agree with Old Mojo on his guitar choice . Stella , Kay , etc. [60's and up anyway] were cheap guitars , not really well made , and they haven't improved with age . I know they have a certain tone , but good tuners and an adjustable truss rod are nice to have . Rodman
rodman
Regular
 
Posts: 32
Joined: Fri Oct 08, 2010 10:34 am

Re: Small Body Flat Top Acoustic Recomendations

Postby guitarslim101 » Thu Feb 10, 2011 3:10 pm

Image

I love my old Stella. I rescued mine from the basement of the music store I work at. Had to glue the top back on in a few spots, make a bridge for it, find some new crown gears for a few of the tuners, and clean it up quite a bit. When all was said and done, new strings and everything, I was in about $15. Of all my guitars (the number of which is growing quite ridiculous), it's the one that gets the most attention at home. Every time I pick it up, it has a new crack in it and the old cracks are all a little bit bigger, and I had to pull a broken brace out of it a few weeks ago, but that damn thing just sounds awesome. And I'm determined to play the hell out of it till it falls apart.

That said, if you're looking for something new, check out the Art and Lutherie Ami. I can't recommend those little things enough. You should be able to find a new one for less than $300, probably with a gig bag or case of some sort. They're X-braced, but still have a good parlor sound to 'em.
User avatar
guitarslim101
Regular
 
Posts: 918
Joined: Fri Nov 26, 2004 3:50 am
Location: Nowheresville, MN

Re: Small Body Flat Top Acoustic Recomendations

Postby bottleneck » Thu Feb 10, 2011 8:25 pm

Disciple wrote:I'd like to get a small body acoustic suitable for finger pickin blues etc. Not that I can play that way but gotta start somewhere.
?


what kind of guitar do you have now?it might be just fine for finger picking blues.

and there's always the republic flat top parlor : http://www.republicguitars.com/guitarso ... ducts.html


www.myspace.com/shakeylyman
bottleneck
Regular
 
Posts: 488
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am
Location: PHILADELPHIA

Re: Small Body Flat Top Acoustic Recomendations

Postby bottleneck » Thu Feb 10, 2011 9:14 pm

of course if you want to keep it under 35 dollars there's this :
http://guitars.musiciansfriend.com/prod ... sku=519266

www.myspace.com/shakeylyman
bottleneck
Regular
 
Posts: 488
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am
Location: PHILADELPHIA

Re: Small Body Flat Top Acoustic Recomendations

Postby Disciple » Thu Feb 10, 2011 9:28 pm

Currently I have a Strat replica that I built, nice rig with much guidance from a career luthier.

I have a Republic Tricone that sounds great when played traditionally but its usually tuned to G and those heavy slidin strings are tearing up my fingers a bit.

I've also got a Takeharu Classical guitar with nylon strings that is nice to go to when learning new and complex chordings because its soft on the hands and has lots of space for fat carpenter fingers to get accustomed to contorted fingerings before I try them on the electric or the reso. I'd tweak it but it's actually not mine and grabbing a parlor flat top would allow me to give back this classical guitar and not be without a finger friendlier option in an acoustic.

I realize that the smaller arrangement of a parlor size may be just as tight for learning positions as the Strat but I'm far enough along where that is less of an issue.

I'm partially jazzed about the idea of doing some tweaking and also just like the idea of a smaller less valuable acoustic for general messing around....travel....backyard....camping use.

I'm likin the Harmony Stella option on eBay, sounds exactly like what I'm after. I'll get into that later tonight and see whats there.
Disciple
Regular
 
Posts: 90
Joined: Wed Sep 22, 2010 2:34 am
Location: Haliburton

Re: Small Body Flat Top Acoustic Recomendations

Postby bottleneck » Thu Feb 10, 2011 9:39 pm

gotcha.i like that type of guitar too.i play a 30's supertone a lot.it has a warped top and fallen braces,but still is a fun box.check craigslist too.

www.myspace.com/shakeylyman.
bottleneck
Regular
 
Posts: 488
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am
Location: PHILADELPHIA

Re: Small Body Flat Top Acoustic Recomendations

Postby kiwiblues » Fri Feb 11, 2011 1:25 am

Plenty of Stellas on Ebay at the moment. Unfortunately the cheap ones don't ship to New Zealand.
The prices of some are more than a little outrageous!
User avatar
kiwiblues
Regular
 
Posts: 934
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 5:59 am
Location: Aotearoa (New Zealand) - Shaky Ground!

Re: Small Body Flat Top Acoustic Recomendations

Postby gaucho » Fri Feb 11, 2011 3:45 am

Use this link to search Craig's List (and E-bay too) nationwide for Stellas. The main thing to look out for is the neck. Have the owner send you a photo of the neck joint and maybe the string height at the 12 fret.
http://www.searchtempest.com/results.ph ... tring_neg=

One poster said they were cheap guitars and that's true, but it's not true that they were poorly made. Some folks say they are overbuilt and that's why there are still so many of them around! Take your time and find a good one and you'll love it!
gaucho
Regular
 
Posts: 213
Joined: Sun Mar 29, 2009 3:56 am

Re: Small Body Flat Top Acoustic Recomendations

Postby k1w1 » Fri Feb 11, 2011 4:45 am

kiwiblues wrote:Plenty of Stellas on Ebay at the moment. Unfortunately the cheap ones don't ship to New Zealand.
The prices of some are more than a little outrageous!


Yeah been looking for one for a few months and WTF people starting these at $150 and "rare", get off my lawn, I even saw one the other week start $400. I managed to snag one for $41, in the post at the moment should be here early next week, this one is an early 70s one and has the Harmony logo..

http://harmony.demont.net/model.php?id=157

Really looking forward to getting it.
k1w1
Regular
 
Posts: 39
Joined: Sun Dec 12, 2010 4:40 am
Location: Tairua New Zealand

Re: Small Body Flat Top Acoustic Recomendations

Postby zhyla » Fri Feb 11, 2011 5:02 am

I just set up up a 70's Epiphone FT-133 acoustic for a coworker. He snagged it off Craigslist for $130. It's an old guitar that was in need of a neck reset... but it's got a bolt-on neck! It took me all of 15 minutes to get that thing set up nice. Ease of setup aside, I really like that guitar, may pick one up next time flat tops call to me. It's not parlor sized, but it's not a dreadnought either... I think they call them 000-sized? I think it's a great basic flat top.

Here's an example:

Image

The old Harmony Stella's can be had dirt cheap, but will need a ton of work to play nice. If you're set up to pull necks and reset the neck angle then go for it, if not... go get that Epi :).
User avatar
zhyla
Site Admin
 
Posts: 947
Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2006 2:43 pm

Next

Return to Guitar

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 7 guests

cron