Vintage Parlour Guitar Build
01 April 2019  | Tags: build log, parlour guitar
One of my early parlour guitars was inspired by the Martin style parlours. It was somewhere between a 0 and 00 in size, with quite a deep body. I wanted to squeeze as much tone as I could out of the small shape, so when thicknessing the plates i feathered the edges a bit more than normal. This has the effect of allowing the soundboard and back to vibrate more freely in the monopole, helping the bass response.
I also experimented with a tapered x-brace on the lower bout of the back. This kept the back a bit looser than standard ladder bracing would. The reverse kerfing also adds more stiffness to the rim which helps keep the energy going into the top (via the strings) from leaking out into the sides. To end up with a great sounding guitar you have to make sure it is using the strings energy efficiently. The more energy that is kept in the system to drive the top the better sustain, response, and richness of tone will be. If a lot of that energy leaks out due to loose parts, poorly glued braces, or not enough stiffness then you don't have an efficient system. Likewise if a lot of that energy is absorbed by overly heavy bridges or bracing then you also don't have an efficient system. Every decision in the build process has an effect !
The guitar ended up sounding great. Very loud and responsive, with a great bass response for a little instrument. I gave the fretboard MOP snowflake/diamond inlays and added more decoration with a multicoloured backstrip.