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Thread: Help buying travel or parlor guitar?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2010

    Default Help buying travel or parlor guitar?

    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!
    Cordoba 25CK
    Kala Acacia Tenor

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Klumbus Uh-Hi-Yuh


    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".

    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.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Oakland/Berkeley, CA


    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.
    Hard times have hit - selling most everything - just guitars left now...
    Larrivee hogtop Parlor Guitar with 24" scale
    Larrivee 00-03R rosewood and spruce Guitar with 24-3/4" short scale
    Eastman AC512 mahogany and engelmann spruce Guitar with 25" short scale

    All are solid wood isntruments.
    All come with original hardshell cases, all have 1-3/4" nuts with a 2-3/16" string spread at the saddle.
    All come from a smoke-free house - let me know if you're interested!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Black Mountain NC


    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.
    KoAloha KTM-00 tenor uke
    Recording King RU-998 resonator concert uke
    Kala archtop A/E tenor for gigs
    1920s Stromberg banjo uke
    Mango Fluke
    BugsGear mahogany Eleuke
    Mainland Classic Mahogany soprano

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    near chicago


    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.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010


    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.
    Last edited by MutinousDoug; 08-04-2010 at 05:34 PM. Reason: Add'l Info

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