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  #1  
Old 12-25-2021, 09:51 AM
tbirdman tbirdman is offline
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Default Harp guitar interest with questions

Doing some research and seems like Timberline with their parlor guitar gives and inexpensive way to get started at their $999 price point for their cheapest model.

I play steel and classical guitar now but Ive only been playing for 1.5 years. A harp guitar would be an interesting add to my mix of instruments. I do play a lot of fingerpicking, so hopefully the transitions wouldnt be that steep.

Not sure about the differences between the parlor and auditorium size models and looking for guidance over why I would choose one over the other. I understand there would be a price increase. I would have electronics installed.

Is the arm bevel a desirable feature and should it be on my have to have features list?

Can you string the Timberline with nylon strings?
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  #2  
Old 12-25-2021, 08:47 PM
Jason Cornwell Jason Cornwell is offline
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Hi tbirdman,

I just bought my first harp guitar a couple of months ago - a Timberline T20HGC. I went back and forth trying to decide between the less expensive parlor model and the full-sized, more expensive one. I’ve never played the parlor hg, but I’m happy I went with the full-sized model. The price for the parlor is hard to beat, but I have to say I still feel like I got more than my money’s worth with the T20HGC.

I think someone with a smaller build might appreciate the parlor size, but I’m 5’10” and I think a parlor would have been too small for me. Another consideration would be if you’ll be playing while seated with a footstool, or standing. I play seated (classical style) and I find it to be comfortable.

Also, a parlor might be preferred if you’ll be playing exclusively at home (?)

I think if you would typically play a parlor, you’d be at home with a parlor harp guitar. Otherwise I don’t think I would recommend it simply because it’s the cheapest option.

Keep in mind shipping is around $150, and the onboard electronics will add $400 or so, regardless of which size you choose.

I decided against the arm bevel. The models that feature this option were out of my price range. I’m not sorry I didn’t get it (I’ve never had one on any of my guitars).

The other models are made from different tone woods, I am very happy with the T20HGc (mahogany).

So my T20HGc with electronics installed plus shipping was around $1,900.

I find it to be a very easy guitar to play, really good tone imho. Coming from a classical background I was worried that the narrower nut would make fingerpicking difficult but I have had no trouble. It took me time to adjust to the bass strings - I actually had trouble at first playing the regular guitar portion because the bass strings were sort of in my way visually.

I don’t believe nylon strings would be suitable, but Gregg Miner offers a string configuration service to get you the right strings for your type of playing - he would be happy to guide you on strings.

Tonedevil guitars makes a nylon-string version which you might want to consider. albeit at a higher price point.

If you ever want to expand to super trebles, check out Muriel Trebles made by Brunner Guitars!

Hope this helps! Good luck!
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Old 12-26-2021, 12:00 AM
tbirdman tbirdman is offline
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Thanks for the response. Im about 2-3 inches shorter than you so maybe a parlor would suit me. As I understand if you are amplified the sound should be very similar from either size guitar. The 1.73 nut doesnt bother me as I play finger style with a 1.75 nut and daily switch between the classical 2 inch nut and the steel string nut of 1.75.
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  #4  
Old 12-27-2021, 07:55 AM
j3ffr0 j3ffr0 is offline
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I've got the auditorium size HG60 and am happy with it. I have not had the chance to play the parlor size, but I know two folks who have. One smaller framed guy has one and is happy with it. Another guy, who is used to a full sized harp guitar said it sounded small and disappointing to him. Well, it actually IS quite small for a harp guitar. The lower bout is only 13" vs a little more than 15". The scale is in travel guitar territory at 23.9" vs 24.9", and the sub bass scale is about 1.5" shorter as well. See https://www.harpguitarmusic.com/list...ine-models.htm for reference. Note the auditorium size timberline is a little shorter than average on the sub bass length to begin with.

Speaking for auditorium sized instrument I own. It sounds like a harp guitar.... It has the all the resonance and rumble that is associated with the instrument. I might not like the sound of the parlor, based on my experience with smaller sized 6 string guitars (but maybe the extra size in the lower arm would make a difference? not sure). That said, I'm also pretty glad the auditorium sized model isn't any bigger I do appreciate the arm bevel and I wish more of my guitars had one -- Timberline is spoiling me there. If I had the parlor size, I might put mediums on it right away and perhaps thicker sub bases as well in an attempt to create more tension and resonance. One definitely would not want to put nylon strings on the Timberline... won't work.

harpguitarsmusic.com offers a 48 hour return period that might be worth considering if you order one of the two and find yourself disappointed -- you could just return it and get the other. In addition to making nylon string instruments, the Tone Devil brothers might be willing to work with you on a custom sized instrument if the Timberline parlor is too small.

Side note: I mostly play in some variant of classical position with the guitar between my legs. One thing that has made a big difference for me is using a guitar support. Of the few I've tried, I prefer the Ergo Play Tapert model so far.
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Old 12-28-2021, 11:00 AM
tbirdman tbirdman is offline
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Thanks for the reply. For support for my classical guitar, I just use an adjustable footstool and a sticky pad for car dashboards for support.

I love fingerstyle playing and the sub bases adds a whole new dimension to playing. Not sure if I'm ready for an Harp guitar yet.
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Old 12-29-2021, 08:31 AM
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Teleplucker Teleplucker is offline
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I think either of the Timberline guitars would be great to get you in the harp guitar game. Having one is really the only way to know if it's something you want to continue to try to learn.
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Old 12-29-2021, 09:11 AM
tbirdman tbirdman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teleplucker View Post
I think either of the Timberline guitars would be great to get you in the harp guitar game. Having one is really the only way to know if it's something you want to continue to try to learn.
At the entry price point seems like there's two players in town, Timberline and Tonedevil. Any thoughts on how the guitars compare?

One thought is to dab my feet into the water and acquire a parlor Timberline harp guitar or "**** the torpedoes, full steam ahead" and get an 18 string Tonedevil with super trebles.
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Old 12-29-2021, 11:17 AM
j3ffr0 j3ffr0 is offline
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With either Timberline or Tonedevil, you will be getting a solid, quality instrument. Both are well regarded, the feature sets are just different. I've played a Tonedevil and had my Timberline for a few years as well as played a couple others. Rough impressions are that Timberline's come with a little bit lower action/setup and the Tone Devil might be a bit more resonant. I'd be happy with either brand.

Features: The Timberline is shorter scale, hardwood top. The Tonedevil is standard 25.5" scale, USA Made, Englemann top. If you go up the line you can get the arm bevel on the Timberline (which is nice). Tone Devil is willing to do custom builds and higher-end features/finishes. Both have good options for electronics (I bought mine without and installed my own).

After owning my Timberline a few years, I'm happy still happy with the sound and the intonation remains pretty spot on, so I've felt no real need to get a second harp guitar yet. I initially thought I might want 18 strings, but it's taking be a bit just to get half decent at hitting the subs and muting them when I want too. I'm kind of glad I stayed away from the super trebles starting off. When/if I do get another harp guitar... it might be a nylon stringed version.

Good luck deciding... Please keep us updated with your progress.
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Old 12-29-2021, 12:47 PM
tbirdman tbirdman is offline
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So is the Hog vs Spruce top a major deciding factor?

I believe the Tonedevil S12 model has the bevel, but I'm unsure.

Looks like Musician Friend carries the Tonedevil S12.
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Old 12-30-2021, 08:07 PM
j3ffr0 j3ffr0 is offline
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Well some people on this forum are connoisseurs of wood. Me, not so much. That said, I don't tend to like hog topped steel string guitars as much as spruce or cedar. Some people love their hogs and swear by them! I had never heard acacia before, but I took a chance on that anyway when I bought my Timberline. Kind of brightish and the the growl of the subs seems to balance it all out pretty nicely in mine.

But a guitar is a combination of body shape, woods, and build choices.... kind of a soup where all the ingredients work together.
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