Author Topic: 3/4 size guitar vs full size  (Read 8372 times)

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Offline LG

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3/4 size guitar vs full size
« on: December 13, 2013, 07:46:34 pm »
Full size versus 3/4 size sounds like an old guideline.  When I was in photography a prime lens was always better quality than a zoom. Technology changes.......
I'm looking at a Taylor MS mini and a Taylor Big Baby.  I'm using an Alvarez grand symphony (i think) right now. 
I'm doing ok but I think the taylor might be a better fit.   I'm 60 and looking to play for enjoyment.   Eventually hope to fingerpick.  Still w/i the return period and can make the switch.  What do you all think?   
 ;)

Offline Bobke

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Re: 3/4 size guitar vs full size
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2013, 07:52:58 pm »
At 60, you should do whatever you like best!  ;)

Offline stitch101

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Re: 3/4 size guitar vs full size
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2013, 08:20:22 pm »
Quote
I'm looking at a Taylor MS mini and a Taylor Big Baby.  I'm using an Alvarez grand symphony (i think) right now. 

I've heard good thing about both the Taylor MS mini and a Taylor Big Baby but haven't tried either.

The main reason for recommending a full size guitar is people will buy 3/4 size for their kids and then
the kid grows out of the guitar. At 60 I thing you may have stopped growing  ;) I can say this because
I'm 53 and the only growing I'm doing is around the middle :(.  If you find the smaller neck length easier
get on or the other. But if your just looking for a smaller body guitar with a full length neck try a 00 size
guitar. I bought a Epi L00 a few years ago to take camping and it  has a nice small body with a 24.5"
scale neck. Here's how it stacks up full size Dreds

Offline LG

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Re: 3/4 size guitar vs full size
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2013, 01:15:22 am »
Quote
I'm looking at a Taylor MS mini and a Taylor Big Baby.  I'm using an Alvarez grand symphony (i think) right now. 

I've heard good thing about both the Taylor MS mini and a Taylor Big Baby but haven't tried either.

The main reason for recommending a full size guitar is people will buy 3/4 size for their kids and then
the kid grows out of the guitar. At 60 I thing you may have stopped growing  ;) I can say this because
I'm 53 and the only growing I'm doing is around the middle :(.  If you find the smaller neck length easier
get on or the other. But if your just looking for a smaller body guitar with a full length neck try a 00 size
guitar. I bought a Epi L00 a few years ago to take camping and it  has a nice small body with a 24.5"
scale neck. Here's how it stacks up full size Dreds


Offline Drubbing

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Re: 3/4 size guitar vs full size
« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2013, 01:46:24 am »
An 00 or 000 is a nice size and still considered a full size guitar. Certainly more comfy than a dread, but without the potential boxiness of small guitars. Although I had a chance to try out a lefty Taylor BB and it didn't sound like a small guitar either.

Offline justinguitar

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Re: 3/4 size guitar vs full size
« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2013, 11:36:23 am »
I always suggest a full size instrument but best to go to a store and try some out and see what feels good... with acoustics you often get what you pay for so try a couple of high end instruments too so you know what to look for in the cheaper ones - the same brand, same model is likely to have significant variation, so try a few!
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Offline LG

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Re: 3/4 size guitar vs full size
« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2013, 04:00:48 am »
I just find my arms hurt when I'm done practicing.  I may be tensing up or the guitar isn't that comfortable.
Going to check out epiphone 00 and 000;  and the Taylors Mini and Big Baby again. Why do u suppose the Mimi is more expensive than all of them?   Some come with a travel bag.  Should I still get a hard case?  I've been going to two huge chain music stores.  They sell the guitars right off the wall.  Should I ask for one in a box.  Justin suggests playing a few.  I think the sales guy may think I'm obsessive . 
How do you know if the neck is straight, or if the strings need replacing.  I was in a store and a guy was playing who sounded like he knew what he was doing and said the strings needed replacing on a used guitar I was looking at. 
How important is how it looks.  Would it be a deal breaker if you weren't keen on its appearance?

So many questions. 

Offline stitch101

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Re: 3/4 size guitar vs full size
« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2013, 05:46:29 am »
Play as may guitars as it takes to find one that's comfortable for you. Your not going to want to play a
guitar you don't like. Besides it's the salesman's job to help you find the guitar you like.

Offline mike42

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Re: 3/4 size guitar vs full size
« Reply #8 on: December 18, 2013, 05:48:31 am »
I don't know if I can answer all your questions, but I'll try clear up a couple things. First, do you know any experienced players who are willing to go to the shop with you and try out some guitars? It'd be ideal to have someone there who knows that they're looking at and can help steer you away from any potentially dishonest salespeople ;)

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Some come with a travel bag.  Should I still get a hard case?

It depends. The gig bag will offer some protection, but if you're planning on taking it a lot of places then a hard case might be a better investment. For an instrument that is not going to be leaving the house often then a gig bag would probably suffice. It's really up to your discretion.

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I've been going to two huge chain music stores.  They sell the guitars right off the wall.  Should I ask for one in a box.

I would purchase the exact same guitar that you try out. Every guitar is going to be slightly different, so by trying out a bunch of different guitars you are able to find the exact one that you like the best. Just be sure that it doesn't have a lot of damage and wear from being played a lot. Some of the guitars in the big chain stores have so much wear they could easily be sold as used!

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Justin suggests playing a few.  I think the sales guy may think I'm obsessive .

Not at all. Every person who goes to buy a new guitar generally plays a whole bunch of them before deciding which one they like. It's really the only way to go. Play as many guitars as you possibly can before making the decision.  And you will usually find that one guitar you keep coming back to. THAT is most likely the guitar for you.

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How do you know if the neck is straight, or if the strings need replacing.

Well you should be able to tell if the neck is straight (at least a rough approximation) from looking straight down it, from the headstock towards the body of the guitar. But a new guitar in a shop should NOT already have issues with the neck.

For the strings, if you run a fingernail underneath the strings and there's some dirt/grime buildup then it's probably time for a new set. Also if they sound very dull then it may be time. But I'd recommend a new set of strings on whatever guitar you purchase (and hopefully the shop will throw a new set on for you anyway).

Quote
How important is how it looks.  Would it be a deal breaker if you weren't keen on its appearance?

Another matter of personal preference. I think you should probably go with a guitar that you like the looks of, because if you hate looking at it you're more likely to throw it in its case and never take it out to play it  ;) But I'd say sound should be the deciding factor, not looks. Make sure you like the looks, but whichever one sounds the best is probably a better choice.

Hope some of that helped. And remember, when you go in and start playing some guitars, if you find that there's one guitar you come back to over and over again, it is most likely the right one for you!

Offline froggiebecky

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Re: 3/4 size guitar vs full size
« Reply #9 on: December 18, 2013, 11:21:41 am »
I've got a Taylor GS Mini, so I can offer a few comments on this….

If you're determined to get something smaller than full size, and given the choice between a Mini and a Big Baby, I would choose the Mini. To me, the Big Baby sounds a little like a toy, and the Mini sounds like a full instrument. The Mini is (I think) as close to a full size as you can get without it being full size. It's slightly shorter in the neck, but that's about it.

Personally, I bought that (over a full size) for several reasons: 1. I'm an adult, but I've got really small hands (I buy gloves from the children's department). Even on the smaller guitar, I can't wrap my thumb around to the E string. Giant fretboards just aren't comfortable for me. 2. At this time in my life, I'm moving a lot, and switching between different climates. I needed laminates, and a price point that I wouldn't be heartbroken if my guitar was cracked while being shipped between hemispheres. 3. The GS mini is aimed at being a "travel" guitar (though only US domestic flights will let you bring it on the plane)…but still--I need that portability right now.

So..given what I need, the Mini's a perfect fit. And it sounds great. When I'm a bit more settled, I've got my eye on some full-size (well, folk size or orchestra size) instruments… :)

Take someone with you when shopping, and no, don't be afraid to try out everything. Look around for hours, if you like. That's the fun of it.
Get whichever case you like. I've got a padded gig bag, no hard case (because there isn't one available for that size). The gig bag was wrapped in cardboard and travelled from the US to Australia with no problems--aside from being left on a runway in Texas.  It was also freighted from Australia to the UK that way. No cracks, no dings, nothing. It provides good protection. Or maybe I'm just lucky.

Offline LG

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Re: 3/4 size guitar vs full size
« Reply #10 on: December 18, 2013, 02:54:26 pm »
Need clarification
Once I decide on the model I want should I ask to try several of that model ?  I've seen pictures of the Mini Taylor with pronounced grain and w/o, are there sound variations from one to the other, etc.   Am I being obsessive compulsive neurotic and intimidated for a beginner?

Wish I had someone to go with me.  Anyone in Westchester, NY?

Thanks everyone. 

PS loving Justinguitar.


Offline froggiebecky

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Re: 3/4 size guitar vs full size
« Reply #11 on: December 18, 2013, 04:32:08 pm »
Wood grain patterns should not affect the sound of a guitar. Wood CHOICE does. Specifically with the GS mini, their two main types are Spruce top and Mahogany top. I've heard both and thought there was a big difference. There's some other limited edition ones floating around (for more $$)--rosewood, etc, and they will sound different again.

Once you find the model you want, there's not much point to playing a dozen of the same type. If the one on the floor has some damage to it, maybe ask if they have another in the back and play that one.

Also, it's a bit like shopping for a car. You can always walk away and try another place, or another day.


Offline stitch101

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Re: 3/4 size guitar vs full size
« Reply #12 on: December 18, 2013, 04:47:58 pm »
Quote
Am I being obsessive compulsive neurotic and intimidated for a beginner?

No. The more info you gather the more you can tell the salesperson about what your looking for.
The more the salesperson knows about that the better they can help you.

I just want to clear some things up that froggiebecky said. The neck on a Taylor Mini is 23.5 in this is 2 in
shorter than a regular scale and 1.25 in shorted than a short scale guitar. This isn't a little it's a lot.
The neck at the nut on a Mini is 1 11/16th wide. There are a lot of full size guitars with 1 11/16 nuts so
you will have any more difficulty with the size of the neck. The neck on my Gibson J35 is only 1/32 of an
inch wider than a mini.

@froggiebecky I'm not trying to under mine your post just wanted to make sure LG doesn't get the idea
that the mini has a smaller width of neck because it's a mini.

Offline Cal

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Re: 3/4 size guitar vs full size
« Reply #13 on: December 18, 2013, 04:58:47 pm »
Wood grain patterns should not affect the sound of a guitar.

From FRETS.COM:
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A wide grain top will tend to produce stronger bass response; that's because there are fewer stiff grain lines so the top is more flexible.  From the flexibility comes a lower natural resonant frequency and more easily produced bass notes.

A narrow grain top will have comparatively stronger treble and more subtle bass.

Click here for the article.

@ froggiebecky
This isn't meant to be a froggiebecky attack day.  It's just that your first sentence (above) jumped out and hit me.
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Offline froggiebecky

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Re: 3/4 size guitar vs full size
« Reply #14 on: December 18, 2013, 06:23:24 pm »
Quote
Am I being obsessive compulsive neurotic and intimidated for a beginner?

No. The more info you gather the more you can tell the salesperson about what your looking for.
The more the salesperson knows about that the better they can help you.

@froggiebecky I'm not trying to under mine your post just wanted to make sure LG doesn't get the idea
that the mini has a smaller width of neck because it's a mini.

I should have been clearer--yes, the nut is a standard-size width, but the neck is shorter (and yes, by a fair amount).

 

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