12 fret Dreadnoughts for Fingerpicking? Or Super-jumbos?

ToneControlToneControl Frets: 5511

I mostly (95%) play in a fingerpicking style, with a little bit of nail, and plenty of skin too, especially my thumb

I’ve been having a rethink  on some of my opinions after reading a post from Nigel Forster: he says that a dreadnought he built (with the rest of the spec the same as his normal non-dread designs) is the best fingerpicking guitar he has ever worked on

I had always gone with the flow (mostly), by aiming for Jumbo and Auditorium models, but when I went and checked, I realised that 3 of my 5 favourite guitars are dreadnoughts.

For me, my best sounding 2 are the Avalon L1-320C (12 fret baritone). My other top guitar is a Goodall RCJ (Jumbo Rosewood cedar). The next 3 are all dreadnoughts, 2 of them are 12 fret

My first serious acoustics were Larrivees, I sold them all except a 12-fret slope-shoulder dread SD-60, which sounded amazing. 2 years ago I picked up a baritone version of the same, which also sounds amazing, both worlds beyond the normal Larrivee 50s

 I am thinking that the extra mids from larger bodies and tone from 12 frets really work for me.

I seem to definitely prefer larger bodies. I went to Frailers and tried  Lowden O, F and S models, the O won by a mile for me 

 I am wondering if a 12-fret Dread or Super jumbo body with a cutaway would be a good idea, I rarely go beyond the 14th fret on an acoustic. 

Am I right in thinking that the wider waist on a dread is what adds the mid frequencies? Would a super jumbo compete?

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Comments

  • ICBMICBM Frets: 39136
    I think it's more to do with the internal volume, not the shape. I had a little Gibson mini-Jumbo CJ-165 (which I may be getting back...) which was much more midrangy than my Dove, despite the very narrow-waisted body. The Dove is a much better fingerpicker, the CJ is better for jazzy/bluesy rhythm chording.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone." - Walt Kowalski

    "Just because I don't care, doesn't mean I don't understand." - Homer Simpson
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  • ToneControlToneControl Frets: 5511
    edited May 8
    ICBM said:
    I think it's more to do with the internal volume, not the shape. I had a little Gibson mini-Jumbo CJ-165 (which I may be getting back...) which was much more midrangy than my Dove, despite the very narrow-waisted body. The Dove is a much better fingerpicker, the CJ is better for jazzy/bluesy rhythm chording.

    Forster thinks it is the waist size that matters (I assume because it prevents some mid-range standing waves)

     https://www.nkforsterguitars.com/blog/the-best-sounding-acoustic-guitar-ive-ever-made/
    An Indian rosewood and torrefied sitka spruce Model D-SS.
    "And it was the best sounding guitar I’ve ever made. Or worked on. And I mean the best sounding guitar since I started the trade in 1988. A truly magnificent sounding guitar, and nothing like a traditional American D guitar. It sounds like my Model S or C but with a warmth you can’t get from a guitar with a tight waist."


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  • earwighoneyearwighoney Frets: 1802
    edited May 8
    ToneControl said:  

    Am I right in thinking that the wider waist on a dread is what adds the mid frequencies? Would a super jumbo compete?

    NF's guitars are probably not the most representative of all guitars, his guitars are incredibly well balanced, pretty much irrespective of what the body sizes or woods he goes for.  His guitars always sound like his guitars if that makes sense.  I'm a fan of his work, superb luthier. 

    As to this question above, I genuinely have no idea!  Aside from body shape, type of bracing - straight or scalloped, forward/rear/centre shifted, ladder, laminated will all have an impact. 

    IMO, all guitars can be used for fingerstyle playing but the most important thing IMO is to find a guitar that fits the player's ergonomics.  

    I'd say for you preferring larger bodies, more often than not they shift out more air for the bass and that could be something that your ears prefer. 
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 39136
    Forster thinks it is the waist size that matters (I assume because it prevents some mid-range standing waves)

     https://www.nkforsterguitars.com/blog/the-best-sounding-acoustic-guitar-ive-ever-made/
    An Indian rosewood and torrefied sitka spruce Model D-SS.
    "And it was the best sounding guitar I’ve ever made. Or worked on. And I mean the best sounding guitar since I started the trade in 1988. A truly magnificent sounding guitar, and nothing like a traditional American D guitar. It sounds like my Model S or C but with a warmth you can’t get from a guitar with a tight waist."
    If that was correct then the Dove would be much middier/warmer than the CJ, but it's the opposite - the Dove is much deeper-sounding and more scooped. Both are all-maple too, so it isn't a wood difference.

    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone." - Walt Kowalski

    "Just because I don't care, doesn't mean I don't understand." - Homer Simpson
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  • brucegillbrucegill Frets: 136
    edited May 8
    I've found nearly every dred I've played to be scooped in the mids, and tighter waisted guitars the opposite I'd assumed. Interesting to hear what your all hearing though. 

    I did find the Lowden O scooped compared to an F when trying all manner of wood combinations. I only found one or two F models to not be too middy for me (The S and Wee just sounded like small bodied boxes to be honest and had loads of mids so I gave up trying them)
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 39136
    Every J-200 I've ever played has been very scooped-sounding too, which is possibly responsible for the idea that a narrow waist gives less midrange, but it could just as easily be that a bigger internal volume gives less midrange.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone." - Walt Kowalski

    "Just because I don't care, doesn't mean I don't understand." - Homer Simpson
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  • octatonicoctatonic Frets: 21445
    ICBM said:
    Every J-200 I've ever played has been very scooped-sounding too, which is possibly responsible for the idea that a narrow waist gives less midrange, but it could just as easily be that a bigger internal volume gives less midrange.
    They must use the vintage style X bracing- no 1 brace is much smaller and the X is wider, so you get more bass response.

    The non-vintage series bracing has a chunkier no1 brace and.a tighter X brace- also the transverse braces are splayed which accentuates the mids.
    I don't know much about the J200- but I know they've used both types of bracing on the J45.
    It could be that you get J200's with non-vintage bracing, I just don't know.

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  • ToneControlToneControl Frets: 5511
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  • brucegillbrucegill Frets: 136
    edited May 13
    So are you still thinking dreadnaught size? Don’t think I’ve ever seen a ooo long scale 12 fret (or a OM 12 fret). 

    Might be worth trying one of the new 12 fret lowden?
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  • earwighoneyearwighoney Frets: 1802
    brucegill said:
    So are you still thinking dreadnaught size? Don’t think I’ve ever seen a ooo long scale 12 fret (or a OM 12 fret). 

    Might be worth trying one of the new 12 fret lowden?
    They exist

    https://www.maurysmusic.com/inc/sdetail/blueridge_br_162/103179
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  • brucegillbrucegill Frets: 136
    Ah, not really looked at those. Just seen Larrivée do one too
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  • ToneControlToneControl Frets: 5511
    brucegill said:
    So are you still thinking dreadnaught size? Don’t think I’ve ever seen a ooo long scale 12 fret (or a OM 12 fret). 

    Might be worth trying one of the new 12 fret lowden?
    I already phoned them, they don't make it in the O size (i.e. Jumbo)
    they don't do Dreads anyway

    Since I already have 2 slope-shouldered dread 12 frets, it's not a shot in the dark for me, I just think I should add a cutaway
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