Small bodied acoustic advice wanted

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ExorcistExorcist Frets: 562
Hello chaps, 

So I have a little Tanglewood all mahogany small bodied acoustic, that I absolutely love, but it has a few issues with the neck, and its time for me to upgrade. I have looked at the two obvious (to me choices) but here are the issues:

Martin 00-15M - Scale length 25.5, I would rather a shorter scale.
Guild M20 - nut width too wide at 44.5mm I would rather 42mm
I like 12 Fret's but can live with 14
So...

Has to be all Mahogany
Has to be shorter scale
Has to be 42mm(ish) nut
And has to be 00 or smaller.

Anything I should be looking at? 

Cheers!

Si
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  • TrevinDevonTrevinDevon Frets: 22
    edited May 5
    The B&G Caletta for sale here looks perfect for you.
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  • Andy79Andy79 Frets: 614
    Yep that B&G is the ticket 
    Mahogany L-00s pop up from time to time. 
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  • mgawmgaw Frets: 4093
    That B&G is a great buy....
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  • ExorcistExorcist Frets: 562
    Its probably amazing, I'm having trouble with that bright binding though tbh, fickle I know, but you gotta live with these things...
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  • TheMadMickTheMadMick Frets: 33
    There's a mahogany bodied Martin lurking among the electrics for sale at £950.00 if you care to search it out. The vendor has 2 electrics and the Martin.

    I'd have had a go at it but I bought something else.
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  • BingManBingMan Frets: 29
    santa cruz 00-1929 

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  • KilgoreKilgore Frets: 4234
    Exorcist said:
    Hello chaps, 

    So I have a little Tanglewood all mahogany small bodied acoustic, that I absolutely love, but it has a few issues with the neck, and its time for me to upgrade. I have looked at the two obvious (to me choices) but here are the issues:

    Martin 00-15M - Scale length 25.5, I would rather a shorter scale.
    Guild M20 - nut width too wide at 44.5mm I would rather 42mm
    I like 12 Fret's but can live with 14
    So...

    Has to be all Mahogany
    Has to be shorter scale
    Has to be 42mm(ish) nut
    And has to be 00 or smaller.

    Anything I should be looking at? 

    Cheers!

    Si
    That's a tough ask.

     Short scale, all mahogany, 43mm(1 11/16), 00 and preferably 12 fret often default to 44.5 (1 3/4) nut.

    No chance you could get used to 44.5mm?
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  • ExorcistExorcist Frets: 562
    Kilgore said:
    Exorcist said:
    Hello chaps, 

    So I have a little Tanglewood all mahogany small bodied acoustic, that I absolutely love, but it has a few issues with the neck, and its time for me to upgrade. I have looked at the two obvious (to me choices) but here are the issues:

    Martin 00-15M - Scale length 25.5, I would rather a shorter scale.
    Guild M20 - nut width too wide at 44.5mm I would rather 42mm
    I like 12 Fret's but can live with 14
    So...

    Has to be all Mahogany
    Has to be shorter scale
    Has to be 42mm(ish) nut
    And has to be 00 or smaller.

    Anything I should be looking at? 

    Cheers!

    Si
    That's a tough ask.

     Short scale, all mahogany, 43mm(1 11/16), 00 and preferably 12 fret often default to 44.5 (1 3/4) nut.

    No chance you could get used to 44.5mm?
    Yeah its tricky, I've been faffing with 44.5 guitars tonight to see if I could live with it on a small body... not sure, maybe?
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  • TanninTannin Frets: 370
    Borrow a 12-string from somewhere. Play that for a week. (Take six strings off if you like.) Now pick up something with a 44 or 46mm nut. Bliss! Well, a bit tight and squeezy, but you'll get used to it. 

    That sounds flippant, but I'm serious: if you play a 12 (most 12s have 50mm nuts, some are 48mm) or a classical (usually 50mm) for a while, you'll be fine with any sensibly sized 6-string not around. Going bigger is always easier than going smaller.

    (How one gets used to those little 43mm things if (like me) you find them impossibly cramped I don't know. Maybe borrowing a mandolin would help.)

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  • GandalphGandalph Frets: 426
    Yeah its tricky, I've been faffing with 44.5 guitars tonight to see if I could live with it on a small body... not sure, maybe?
    If you can the Guild M20 will take some beating.
     Brilliant guitars I’ve been keeping my eye out for a used one for a while now. 

    As others have pointed out a short scale all hog with the specs you mention is a tough find. 

    Just to offer a couple of alternatives and going in the other direction with a narrower nut you could look at a vintage Gibson  LGO (visit Glenn’s guitars website).  Or even an all hog Taylor gs mini. 
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 55379
    Tannin said:
    Borrow a 12-string from somewhere. Play that for a week. (Take six strings off if you like.) Now pick up something with a 44 or 46mm nut. Bliss! Well, a bit tight and squeezy, but you'll get used to it. 

    That sounds flippant, but I'm serious: if you play a 12 (most 12s have 50mm nuts, some are 48mm) or a classical (usually 50mm) for a while, you'll be fine with any sensibly sized 6-string not around. Going bigger is always easier than going smaller.

    (How one gets used to those little 43mm things if (like me) you find them impossibly cramped I don't know. Maybe borrowing a mandolin would help.)
    I read this sort of thing all the time and it simply isn't true for everyone. I find the opposite. I can adapt to smaller necks, but larger ones are just uncomfortable and remain so or get worse the more I play them. I do have a 12-string - 48mm width, but luckily quite a shallow slightly v-shaped neck so it doesn't feel quite as huge as that - but I rarely play it because it just hurts after a while. My favourite widths are 41-43mm. I can't play classicals properly at all.

    Gandalph said:

    If you can the Guild M20 will take some beating.
    Guild M120 GAD series - 42.8mm nut not 44.5. This series has been replaced by the Westerly series which has a 44.5mm nut, so you'll need to find a second hand one.


    "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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  • earwighoneyearwighoney Frets: 2805
    ICBM said:

    Guild M120 GAD series - 42.8mm nut not 44.5. This series has been replaced by the Westerly series which has a 44.5mm nut, so you'll need to find a second hand one.


    There is one on Ebay right now.
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  • ExorcistExorcist Frets: 562
    Thanks chaps - if it was a Guild, it would have to be USA made I'm afraid... I'm after a relatively premium purchase for this one. Thanks for all the feedback though. ICBM is on the money regarding big necks, 12 strings etc, I have a 12 string, I have dreadnoughts - this one ideally would be 42-43mm, its the guitar I noodle on ALL the time as it sits by the sofa so I have to be fairly specific.
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  • earwighoneyearwighoney Frets: 2805
    Exorcist said:
    Thanks chaps - if it was a Guild, it would have to be USA made I'm afraid... I'm after a relatively premium purchase for this one. Thanks for all the feedback though. ICBM is on the money regarding big necks, 12 strings etc, I have a 12 string, I have dreadnoughts - this one ideally would be 42-43mm, its the guitar I noodle on ALL the time as it sits by the sofa so I have to be fairly specific.

    I can't think of many USA built instruments with the specs you are after.

    If you have the funds there's custom shop or get a vintage Martin 0/00-17 or Guild M20
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  • TanninTannin Frets: 370
    Best you look to Japan then. Many Japanese made guitars have very small necks. I had one of my mad I_Want_one_of_Those! obsessions over this one recently - https://www.scmusic.com.au/product/takamine-ltd2020-limited-edition-peace-acoustic-electric-guitar-green-tea-gloss-finish/ more here - https://www.takamine.com/ltd2020 That's about £2600, give or take. Thankfully, I twigged to the very narrow 42.5mm nut after a few days worth of unrequited lust and the obsession wore off as quickly as it had arrived. I really didn't need another guitar!

    So look at Takamine, Yamaha, and any of the other makers you can find. Both those first two mentioned make the bulk of their stuff in China, but both retain operational Japanese plants which turn out guitars of quality at least equal to anything made in the US or Europe. Not cheap, but quite reasonably priced for what they are, and I'd be very surprised to see any of the QC problems we see with Gibson and Martin in a made-in-Japan Yamaha or Takamine. Beautiful instruments.

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  • BasherBasher Frets: 821
    I've got an Eastman E10-OO-M that ticks almost all the boxes. OO size, all mahogany, 12-fret neck, short 24.9" scale but the deal breaker, I'm guessing, is the 1-3/4"/44.5mm nut. Thing is, I'm not a fan of wide necked acoustics but this one feels great to me. I have a Stanford/Furch OM that's got a 45mm nut and it feels much wider, probably due to the wider string spacing. 

     Only suggesting Eastman as they do a number of other small bodied OO sizes with the 1-11/16" nut width, although these are spruce topped and 14-fret necks such as this one: https://www.eastmanguitars.com/e10ooss_v

    Not sure if they would count as "premium" but I've had a Brook Taw, Larrivee OM a high-end Yamaha etc. and this is every bit the equal of those. In fact, I'd say it's a lot better than the Brook, which was pretty poor IMO. (Obviously, I'm in the minority there but it was a terrible guitar to play and I think there were neck angle issues so maybe it's unfair to judge from a sample size of one.)

    The Eastmans (Eastmen?) are not as nice looking as the Martin all-hogs unless you're into figured timber (I'm not) but they're a much better deal used and, as far as I can tell, amazingly well put together.




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  • rogdrogd Frets: 306
    https://www.takamine.com/ltd2020 My apologies Tannin but Ugghh. In more a traditional colour, without the bling and half the price OK.
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  • Andy79Andy79 Frets: 614
    Let’s cut the nonsense. You need an old 0-15 as @earwighoney has said. Deal with the longer scale or tune down a half.
    No binding to bug you and sound utterly decent 
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  • Jez6345789Jez6345789 Frets: 1438
    Ok will probably get banned for this lol  but have to throw Taylor GS Mini mahogany but to me preferably the Mini Koa is an acoustic that covers all those bases in terms of the shorter scale, nut width, don’t be put off by the travel guitar monicker my Koa bats way above its pay grade tonally. and don’t be bullied by the those macho acoustic players who have hands like shovels and think anything short scale is for kids and real men play. Mine has got better and better over the last 5 years. 

    Again staying in the non popular camp I also love the little Gretsch Gin Rickey as a primitive style blues guitar it ticks a lot of boxes it’s not pretty it is has an interesting sonic signature and sounds great for blues picking and slide less use as a strummer or modern singer song write vibe but plug in the old school pickup to a few grungy pedal or plug-ins and you can get some great basic electric tones or unplugged  it just does that old time vibe.


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  • GandalphGandalph Frets: 426
    .... the Mini Koa is an acoustic that covers all those bases in terms of the shorter scale, nut width, don’t be put off by the travel guitar monicker my Koa bats way above its pay grade tonally. and don’t be bullied by the those macho acoustic players who have hands like shovels and think anything short scale is for kids and real men play. 

    I have to agree, many times I’ve considered selling my mini koa due to the narrow nut and tight string spacing but I just can’t bring myself to do it. It just sounds too good and has its own little vibe going on.
     It’s worth taking those extra few minutes to re-adapt the fingers. 

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  • Andy79Andy79 Frets: 614
    Mahogany L-00 just gone on Reverb. 
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  • ExorcistExorcist Frets: 562
    Andy79 said:
    Mahogany L-00 just gone on Reverb. 
    Thanks Andy - what is it with the light binding though, gah... wish I could get over that.
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  • Andy79Andy79 Frets: 614
    Exorcist said:
    Andy79 said:
    Mahogany L-00 just gone on Reverb. 
    Thanks Andy - what is it with the light binding though, gah... wish I could get over that.
    I’d be fine with the binding, those tuners would have to go though. What were they thinking 


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