If you did a survey of people’s idea of a typical steel string acoustic guitar, I’d think the common response would be something along the lines of a concert, orchestra or jumbo-style guitar – that is, a bigger bodied instrument that we’ve grown to see on TV in the hands of famous musos and what most music stores stock. Guitar history, however, is littered with small bodied examples from early Spanish explorers to Central America, Europe and indeed the United States of America. The Parlour guitar, as it is often referred to, became popular for its smaller size, projection and considerable volume. Whilst typically a mainstay of many brands’ lineups, the Parlour has enjoyed a resurgence over the last few years for anything from country and bluegrass through to singer-songwriters, rock and a range of other purposes and genres. Coming from its Luce series, the Cort L100P follows the traditional Parlour look at quite an affordable price.
Styled on the vintage Parlour shaped acoustic body, these guitars are known for their 12th fret neck body joint and overall smaller shape and scale (around 25.3”). A gorgeous darker tinged Blackwood top on this particular model (along with blackwood back and sides) gives the guitar a rootsy, natural look with the mahogany neck and rosewood fretboard feeling solid. The headstock is of the slotted variety (which is something more commonly used on classical guitars) and is definitely a distinctive identifier on Parlour models such as the L100P.
The first thing you’ll probably notice about the L100P is the projection and volume. As a smaller bodied guitar, you might be thinking that means less sound, but indeed the L100P is super punchy and really has some bite. The neck is fairly wide and definitely not something from a half-sized guitar (like some small bodied guitars), but it still feels comfortable with the reduced scale length giving you a nice feeling of control. Arpeggios and fingerstyle technique work nicely, whilst the guitar responds beautifully when digging in for snappier picked lines. Again, the punchy mid-range really adds volume and body to the guitar’s overall sound.
The increased popularity of Americana, blues and roots over the last number of years has seen instruments such as mandolin, banjo and ukulele take more of a centre stage. Parlour guitars have seemed to follow a similar path with their retro looks and rootsy tones adding a different guitar voice to many players. The Cort L100P is definitely worth a play if you’re looking for something smaller bodied or slightly different. It’ll cut through beautifully at a jam session, offer some added tones for recording, and sit comfortably in a range of musical styles.
Hits and Misses
Projection and punchy tone
Smaller body not for everyone