Goodbye to my Ami Parlor Guitar
About 10 years ago I stopped at a Daddy’s Junky Music store in Boston and discovered the Ami parlor guitar by Arts & Lutherie, one of the Godin family of guitar companies. When I first saw the guitar I was impressed that such a small and inexpensive guitar could sound so good. The guitar was built from Canadian cherry with a solid spruce top and X bracing. Back then the cost was only about $200 (it’s now about $350 new).
My first thought was that this would make a great acoustic travel guitar. It had a full-length scale (about 24.8 inches) but was a 12-fret to the body design with parlor guitar dimensions — small. I’d been looking for a small and less expensive guitar I could bring on summer vacations (guitar camp for one).
I must have told my wife about the guitar. On Father’s Day 9 years ago I got a present from our cats (or so the card said — apparently the rascals got my wife to do their bidding since they didn’t have credit cards nor did they ever leave the house).
No one, cat nor human, had ever given me a guitar before. For a guitar player, being given a guitar must be the ultimate expression of love. It made the Ami extra special, even if it was from the cats.
I still can’t get over how good the guitar sounded. It was a great little guitar. But compared to say a Martin 0-18S, or the classic parlor guitars from a hundred years ago, it had a few missing elements. The thing I missed most was the neck width. Many parlor guitars of 1 3/4 inch nut widths and some are wider at 1 7/8. The Ami’s neck seemed narrow although when I measured it I found it was no different that my Epiphone Casino’s neck. But it seemed narrow.
I sold the Ami because my wife and I are downsizing for retirement to a place where winters aren’t as severe as in New England.
The cats are no longer with us. Daddy’s Junky Music — a great name for a store — is no longer in business. And now the Ami is gone. It was redundant with other guitars I own. It has been some time since we’ve had an extended vacation where I would want to bring the Ami. I miss our cats: Kinsey (aka Big Girl), Molly (aka Foofy) and Petey (the best cat ever). I’ll miss the the thought that went into giving me the Ami parlor guitar. But I’ll be just fine without that guitar.