A Guide to Acoustic Guitar Sizes – Part I: Small Guitars

Acoustic guitars come in a wide variety of sizes from really small to huge. You might not know whether a “Grand Concert” sized guitar is a small or a large guitar. How big is “00” sized guitar and how does it compare to a L-00. For that matter, should you call the Martin Eric Clapton model a “OOO” (triple ‘oh’) or a “000” (triple zero) 1?

It’s impossible to be definitive regarding guitar sizes. Guitar makes sometimes change the dimensions from one year to the next. Sometimes different models having the same size designation have different dimensions. And although Martin is often the standard for acoustic guitar sizes, other companies may use a Martin-like designation yet not have the same specifications.

Thus, with all the above caveats in mind, here is an attempt to sort out Acoustic Guitar Sizes.

There are guitars smaller than any I list here. I am only going to talk about sizes from Martin, Gibson and Taylor for full scale guitars 2.

The first part of this two part post is for small guitars having a lower bout of 15 inches or less. The second part is A Guide to Acoustic Guitar Sizes – Part II: Big Guitars

Martin Size 0. This size of guitar can be called a parlor guitar. It is the smallest size guitar Martin currently has in production with a full length scale.

Make Size Frets to body Lower Bout Depth Body Length Scale Nut Width Example Size Name
Martin 0 12 13.5 4.2 19.125 24.9 1.875 0-28VS ‘petite’ (parlor)
Martin 0 14 13.5 4.25 18.375 24.9 1.875 (parlor)

These guitars have a lower bout smaller than 14 inches.

Other companies having similarly sized guitars are Washburn’s parlor guitars and the Arts and Lutherie Ami Parlor. The guitar on the right is Recording King RP1-626 Studio Series Size 0 guitar for about $800 3.

The only model in size 0 Martin is currently selling is the 0-28VS which is a 12-fret to the body model.

Martin size 00. This sized guitar is also called a Grand Concert.

I’m grouping all guitars having a lower bout between 14 and 15 inches in this category. Gibson models fitting in here are the L-00 (clearly copied from the Martin designation) and the Gibson Nick Lucas models.

Make Size Frets to body Lower Bout Depth Body Length Scale Nut Width Example Size Name
Martin 00 12 14.125 4.125 19.625 24.9 1.875 00-28VS Grand Concert
Martin 00 14 14.3125 4.125 18.875 24.9 1.75 00-18V Grand Concert
Gibson Nick Lucas 12, 13 or 14 14.5 4.5 19.375 24.75 1.75
Gibson L-00 14 14.75 4.675 ? 24.75 1.75  

The 00 size has often been compared to a standard classical guitar sized guitar. However, many recent classical guitars have grown in size and I’m not sure the comparison applies as frequently as it might have in the past.

The guitar on the left is a Loar LO-16 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar, L-00 Body.

Martin makes both 12 and 14 fret models of this guitar while some copies of the Nick Lucas model have 13 frets to the body as the Nick Lucas model did for part of its production run.

Martin Size 000. This is also called the Auditorium size by Martin. A variation on this sized guitar is Martin Orchestra Model (“OM”). It has the same sized body. Originally the OM increased the scale length from 24.9 to 25.4 inches and increased the nut width to 1.75 inches. However, there are so many variations now it is difficult to be sure if all of them keep to those changes.

Make Size Frets to body Lower Bout Depth Body Length Scale Nut Width Example Size Name
Martin 000 12 15 4.125 20.4375 25.4 1.8125 000-28VS Auditorium
Martin OM 14 15 4.125 19.375 25.4 1.75 OM-21 Orchestra Model (Auditorium)
Martin 000 14 15 4.125 19.375 24.9 1.75 000-28EC Auditorium
Taylor #12 14 15 4.375 19.5 24.875 1.75 512ce Grand Concert

These guitars all have a lower bout width of 15 inches.

Note that the Taylor guitar in this size range is called a Grand Concert not an Auditorium. The guitar pictured on the right is the Taylor 512ce.

Information sources for above specifications:

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  1. The Martin website has zeros as in 000-28EC, the Eric Clapton model. But many people pronounce those zeros as ‘ohs’. I found some online merchants and information sources where zeros were used in some places and ohs in other places. My recommendation: don’t worry about it. Both are acceptable.
  2. Full scale guitars having at least a 24.75″ scale length
  3. Prices as of March 2015 online

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