6/5/11

Buying a Parlor Guitar?



Talking Farida Guitars  The Farida M-26 is a great-looking parlour guitar and sounds really great for Mississippi or Delta blues and slide playing as you can hear from this video. Farida has a range of models which replicate the parlor guitars of the early 1920's.

They are smaller in size than your usual dreadnought or Grand Auditorium. Good for finger-picking, too.


I thought The Guitar Store at Damansara Perdana would carry this model and went to check it out but Jordan Kuah there said Farida could not supply them with this model. In stead they stock three other models -- M-2, H-16E and H-67.

The cheapest model M-2 was the Choice of Guitarist Magazine (UK) in their review. Tried it out and it sounded great. It features a 12th fret neck/body joint with high-grade solid Red Cedar top and mahogany back and sides.

The H-67 is the top model and comes with a price tag of nearly RM5,000. For that price it features a solid Engelmann spruce top and solid rosewood back and sides. It's a beautiful guitar with a one-piece mahogany neck with a green abalone "Tree of Life" inlay, and an ebony fingerboard and bridge. It's a work of art for that price.

And yet it's still so much cheaper than some Taylors and CF Martins. With good projection of sound and great playability, the China-made parlor guitar can be considered great value for money against those expensive American-made models.

However, having tried all three models, I settled for the H-16E not only because it has the Fishman Isys T EQ system for amplified performance but, according to my ears, the twang was fantastic.

I have owned a Seagull Mahogany Folk made in Canada for more than 10 years and it still gives good service. Now I find the H-16E has got that unique twang so different from the Seagull but that's not belittling the Canadian guitar. This parlor guitar features a solid spruce top with rosewood back and sides. Of course, it's plainer than the H-67 but for a price tag of less than RM2,000 it's definitely great value for money for the sound coming out of it.

I have also tried out some Takamine, Yamaha, Epiphone, Ibanez, Taylor and CF Martin and this well-built Farida really stood out and beat the hell out of them. - AcousticTwang


UPDATE - Aug 1 2011:  The Farida M-26 model is now available at The Guitar Store in Damanasara Perdana, Malaysia, and probably  their other outlets will carry it, too.