View Full Version : Help buying travel or parlor guitar?

07-10-2010, 06:43 PM
Hey all,
I currently have a Taylor 110 and a Takamine G series and I'm looking to add a smaller guitar to the collection. I have very small hands and I'm just looking for something a little easier to handle when traveling. I've narrowed it down to two choices:

The Martin LXM Koa.

A & L Parlor Style

If anyone has played either and has some tips, I'm open to anything :) Thanks!

07-11-2010, 12:21 PM
Of those two, I'd go for the A&L. Have you looked at the Wechter travel guitar? In parlor guitars or diminutive alternatives, the Takamine New Yorker is a really nice guitar and it sounds pretty nice. I wanted a smaller-bodied guitar with better balance across the strings than my Martin dreadnaught and I bought the Parkwood PW320M. Here are some vids on YouTube. I recorded these with the "Flip". http://www.youtube.com/PW320M

I just bought a Zoom Q3 for doing video, so, the sound quality will be greatly improved and I plan to repost the songs once that camera/recorder arrives... before July 16.

07-21-2010, 08:26 AM
I like the Martin LXM's and the LX1 too. They have a Martin kind of tone that I like but which some folks find muddy. Since it looks like you;re a Taylor fan, you might want to try before you buy a Little Martin though. A lot of Taylor fams don;t dig the Martin sound. Me, I like Martin's and Taylor's, but I don't like the Baby Taylor's.

Mind you, I'm not saying the Little Martin's sound like a full size Martin, whether made of wood or formica. But they are clearly related in my opinion. The Little Martin;s are good for small hands too if you like the narrower nut and string spread in addition to the short scale. They have a full sound I think in part because they use medium gauge strings rather than lights.

Formica guitars and now formica ukuleles... mmmmmmmmmmmm, good...

Not familiar with the other guitar you mention.

07-21-2010, 10:47 AM
I owned a Martin LXM for a while. I liked the playability but was unimpressed with the tone. It always sounded a bit muffled to me. I liked the Tacoma Papoose, but they're discontinued. They were actually designed to be tuned up 4th, like a guitar capoed on 5th fret. They show up used sometimes.

07-22-2010, 01:06 AM
I also don't like the sound of the LXM, though the LX1 with the solid spruce top is a lot better. The Ami is nice, and there is a better choice with a solid cedar top.

The travel guitar I'm excited by now is the Taylor GS-Mini. Solid top with that great Taylor NT neck (the baby Taylor does not have the same neck system) , a bit rounder shape giving a fuller tone - about $500 retail.

08-04-2010, 05:28 PM
I have a laminate AMI and have played the Martin LXM. I like the AMI better for travel and playing around the house. The LMX sounded dead to me; (I don't know if it had been set up, but) it was easy to play and probably tough as nails. The AMI is a little heavy for it's size. Probably as heavy as my Yamaha FG 75 and FG 110, or more, but it balances well enough on my thigh or when I use a classical guitar strap.
If you think you'd like a less bluesy sound, I'd look at the solid top AMIs. For me though, living in (arid) Colorado, the wild cherry top is what I take camping and x-country.

P.S. I should state that I took the AMI to Detroit from Denver and back 2 years ago and nobody raised an eye when I took it on board the crowded flights with me. The gig bag is well made and fit in the overhead. Air travel with guitars seems to be a fluid situation though.