a line up of parlor guitar models fender alvarez washburn and martin

Parlor Guitars: A Brief History and Buyer’s Guide

Lyon and Healy Lakeside parlor guitar from the early 20th Century
How to Avoid String Tension Problems on Vintage Parlor Guitars

What is a parlor guitar? A parlor guitar is a compact and narrow-waisted instrument, generally smaller than Martin’s single 0 size. The name comes from the rooms in which the guitar was typically played in the late 19th century. Here you’ll find our reviews of parlor guitars. (And you’ll find reviews of even more small-body acoustics here.)

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Yamaha CSF-TA

Gear Review: Yamaha CSF-TA

Few musical pleasures compare to playing well-made small guitars. They’re comfortable. They resonate easily. They reward a subtle touch in ways few of their big siblings can match.

ADVERTISEMENT

Tanglewood Java Parlor and Winterleaf Orchestra Model acoustic guitars.

Gear Review: Tanglewood Java Series Parlor and Winterleaf Series OM

  Despite being distributed in 60 countries and receiving the “All-time best-selling acoustic guitars in the UK” award by the Music Industry Awards, Tanglewood brand isn’t a household name in the US. But that may change now that the UK-based brand of guitars made in Indonesia and China are being…

ADVERTISEMENT

Faith Mercury Classic Parlor Guitar

Review: Faith Releases the Impressive Mercury Parlor Guitar

Like all Faith guitars, the Classic Burst Mercury is made from solid, eco-friendly FSC-certified woods at the company’s workshop in West Java, Indonesia. It does have that imported-guitar vibe, thanks to its polyurethane lacquer finish and its chemical-rich aroma. But unlike the typical budget guitar, it’s very well-built. The frets are cleanly dressed and the sunburst finish is perfectly graduated—inside the box things are relatively neat and tidy.

ADVERTISEMENT

Alvarez AP70 Acoustic Guitar

Alvarez AP70 Review

The AP70 is part of Alvarez's Artist Series of instruments, a comprehensive line of guitars that includes dreadnoughts, jumbos, folk guitars (slightly smaller than dreadnought, designated by other makers as 000), classical, 12-string, acoustic bass, and parlor models, many available with built-in electronics, some with cutaways, and all priced for the experienced, budget-minded player or beginning enthusiast.