Jumbo guitars are a larger bodied guitar, producing great sound in the lower ranges, as well as great sustain and volume.
The body of most acoustics are large and hollow; acting as a resonating chamber which amplifies the strings. Larger bodied guitars with bigger curves tend to have a deeper or heavier tone, while guitars with a smaller body tend to sound brighter. Acoustic guitars can have cutaways, similar to the cutaway on the Gibson Les Paul which allows easer access to the higher frets but this also changes the tone. Acoustic guitars have a weaker sustain than electric guitars but master-built classical or steel-string guitars often feature very good sustain and excellent overall performance. (source: WIKI Books)
The most popular body sold, the dreadnought is a large body guitar producing booming lower and mid-range tones, as well as great sustain and volume. It’s a very popular for it’s full sound, especially among country and western performers, blue grass flat pickers, and me (ha ha)
This style tends to have a slimmer waist than the Dreadnought and a slightly smaller body. The result is a guitar that some find easier to handle, with a sound that emphasizes the mid and treble ranges.
The OOO designation is used by C.F. Martin Co. . It’s a 12-fret flat-top guitar, that originally measured 15″ (W) x 4 1/16″ (D) x 20 7/16″ (L) when introduced in 1902. In 1934, it changed to a 14-fret guitar whose dimensions were (and still are) 15″ (W) x 4 1/8″ (D) x 19 3/8″ (L). The 000 designation is used by other luthiers as well, and now the term 000 is an industry standard.
Orchestra Model aka “OM
Originally developed by Martin by shortening the body of their 000 model. (The Martin OM later became the Martin 000, so today’s OM’s are based on the original.) This size instrument is much smaller than a dreadnought in both width and depth, usually measuring around 15? across and 4 1/8? deep.
The Martin OM was one of the first mass produced guitars with 14 frets above the body. Though originally designed for classical players, it quickly gained popularity among cowboy and bluegrass performers.
The Parlor Guitar
Parlor guitar has also come to denote a style of American guitar music from the 19th and early 20th centuries .Thease guitars could be found in many homes of the 18th and 19th centuries.
The parlour guitar is currently enjoying a renaissance amongst fingerpicking guitar players across the USA and Western Europe. There are a number of modern luthiers making parlour guitars in a wide variety of tonewoods. Their defining characteristics are a brightness of tone and an often surprising volume for such small guitars. Although they might be underpowered compared to larger guitars, modern amplification has made sound volume a non-issue.
The smallest widely manufactured body size for many years is the Parlor or O style. Very popular through the 18th and 19th century small instruments like these were usually played in peoples’ parlors, hence the name. Parlor guitars are wonderfully balanced, and very fun to play. parlor guitars work great for finger-style or classical music, The shorter scale length of these instruments can make many left hand stretches easier. Larrivee’s P model, Martin’s O model, and Santa Cruz’s PJ guitar are all good examples of the parlor guitar body size. They don’t have a big sound, however they are comfortable, well balanced, and very fun to play. Parlor guitars work great for finger-style or classical music, The shorter scale length of these instruments can make many left hand stretches easier. Larrivee’s P model, Martin’s O model, and Santa Cruz’s PJ guitar are all good examples of the parlor guitar body size.
Backpacker or Travel
Lastly today is the Backpacker or Travel guitar These are small body guitars for smaller players or for packing and taking on the road. Some are scaled down versions of full-sized body shapes. Others are unique shapes. and others have a semi detachable or fold down neck, that makes them even more convenient for travel. The combination of lower prices, compact size and good sound, makes them a great guitar to have. Keep one handy, for your next hiking or camping trip. they’re perfect for around the campfire.
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