4/5 Parlor Size Review

manufacturer: Zager date: 07/14/2014 category: Acoustic Guitars
Zager: 4/5 Parlor Size
My favorite likes of this guitar are the size, weight, the feel of the neck. Followed closely by the sound. I love it!
 Features: 10
 Sound: 9.3
 Action, Fit & Finish: 10
 Reliability & Durability: 10
 Overall Impression: 10
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reviews (7) pictures (1) user comments vote for this gear:
overall: 10
4/5 Parlor Size Reviewed by: slackkey, on july 14, 2014
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 495

Purchased from: Zager

Features: The Zager parlor guitar that I own just rolled off Denny Zager's work bench. I waited perhaps 3 months while he caught up on his orders. It is, after all, a hand-made in the U.S.A. custom guitar, which makes the price even more incredible. With a 12-fret-to-the-body neck (a 23.5 scale), it is really designed for smaller players, and I originally bought it for my wife, who is the real guitarist in the family, even though I have been playing for 45 years. With an all solid mahogany top, back, sides (no laminate), and neck, hand-carved nut and Tusq saddle, high gloss finish, rosewood fretboard and bridge, and abalone rosette, one would expect to pay top dollar. The hard shell case is extra. // 10

Sound: With a parlor size body, I did not expect the deepness of the bass, remarkable resonance, and long sustain that this guitar has. I did get the strong mid-range, which is what I expected from an all solid mahogany guitar, and there is enough sparkle and ring to the treble to suit the Hawaiian slack key that I play. Dropped down in tuning to an open G taropatch, all of that resonance is really impressive and belies the actual size of the guitar. In fact, I think that the bass response is a bit stronger than my koa/sitka spruce top Taylor, which makes it nothing short of amazing. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: Now, in terms of action and fit, well this is how Denny Zager made his reputation as a luthier. It's called an EZ Play guitar precisely because Denny pays such close attention to setting up his guitars to perfection. The action is perfect throughout the neck with not a buzz to be heard. The mahogany shimmers beneath the finish, and the finish is flawless. Clearly, Denny Zager believes in quality control even in this small model. Denny hand files all the frets and takes care of details so that there is nothing to criticize in this area. I have never bought a guitar where that was the case. Even the Taylors that I've had needed a set-up, but this Zager came already perfectly set-up. Even the tuners were smooth. // 10

Reliability & Durability: Although I only just took shipment of this guitar a couple of days ago, I am confident that this is a guitar that is performance worthy. It is solid throughout and a real beauty. The high gloss finish is not only beautiful to look at, but it is also more protective than the satin finish that I normally prefer. And the finish clearly does not interfere with the vibration of the top, as the guitar has resonance out the wazoo. I don't play with a pick, so the fact that this guitar comes without a pickguard is a real plus, allowing the top to vibrate without restriction. I suspect that is one reason for the marvelous tone and deepness of the bass in spite of the relatively small size. // 10

Overall Impression: Though I bought this for my wife, I have inherited it because the guitar she was playing is just a bit thinner and better suited to her size, making me the real winner here. While Zager's selling point is the set-up and playability, I have to say that the tone is the real prize. We have Taylors (612CE, 514C, 314CE, two GS Minis), Martin SP00016, and have had Guilds, Ovations, and numerous others, but this Zager has become my new favorite. I thought that my koa Taylor was the dream guitar, but I now have a second dream. // 10

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overall: 9.6
4/5 Parlor Size Reviewed by: R Keller, on may 27, 2013
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 395

Purchased from: Zager Guitar

Features: Solid-Top, Body and Neck woods all mahogany with a High Gloss Finish. It has an abalone type rosette inlay. The size is close to a traditional OM size but with a 2 inch shorter neck. It has a tusq hand carved nut and saddle. The case was an additional $95. It is made of wood with a leatherette covering and includes a digital humidity system. Also included are a set of light gauge Martin strings and an allen wrench for truss rod adjustment, and a sample package of Zager picks. The guitar also features a Lifetime warranty. // 10

Sound: I have less than a years experience so I am a real beginner. My interest is in learning finger style playing. The sound of the Big Baby is bright and clean but with considerable depth, given the small size of the body. The body is 25% smaller than a full size guitar so the sound is understandably not as full. But while the sound does not have the depth of a dreadnought it is more than adequate for parlor use. I was initially unsure if the Big Baby size body would have enough fullness to satisfy me since my only experience was with a dreadnought. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: Every Zager guitar is personally set-up by Denny Zager personally before it is shipped. Included was a print out explaining how the action was set. I checked the measurements given and they were right on. Also given were instruction on adjusting the truss rod if string buzz became a problem. The overall quality of the guitar is excellent. I've gone over the instrument closely and have not found one flaw. The frets appear to be hand filed and are very smooth with no rough edges. The nut and saddle are hand carved tusq and appear well shaped. // 10

Reliability & Durability: With less than a years experience I have nothing to base this opinion on. The finish seems consistent over the whole instrument. Given the way this guitar will be used, in my home, I can't believe it will ever wear off. The Grover tuners have covered gears and appear to be extremely sturdy. There is only one strap button, which is on the bottom of the guitar, but I have no plans to add another button or in any way use the button that is already there, so I'm sure it will last a very long time. // 10

Overall Impression: I am learning finger style, country-blues. I've been playing guitar for about 10 months and own a low end dreadnought acoustic guitar. I did a lot of reading up on this guitar before buying and really had no surprises. If anything were to happen to this guitar I am only sure of one thing and that is I would replace it with another Zager guitar, but I may want to try one of the other models. I haven't found anything that I don't like about it. My favorite likes are the size, weight, the feel of the neck. Followed closely by the sound. I love it!

// 10

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overall: 10
4/5 Parlor Size Reviewed by: unregistered, on july 22, 2013
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 695

Purchased from: Zager Guitar

Features: - Style: 2013 Big Baby with case. - 25% smaller then the full size guitars. - Top: Mahogany - Back & Sides: Mahogany - Neck: Mahogany - Headstock: Mahogany - Rosette: Abalone - Finish: High Gloss - Truss Rod: Custom Adjustment Setting - Saddle: Tusq Hand Carved - Strings: Zager Custom Lights (by Martin) - Frets: Zager Soft Touch (hand filed) - Dimensions: 38 x 19 x 9.75 Height: 38 inches - Box length: 19 inches - Waist: 9.75 inches - Widest bout: 14.75 inches - Depth: 4 inches - Scale: 23.5 inches // 10

Sound: I play lots of fingerstyle and this guitar is so much fun to play. The shorter scale neck brings you chording fingers right in front of you and the closer spaced frets make the hard stretching chords so mucy easier to accomplish. And when using the capo it maintains true pitch all the way up the neck. For a smaller scale guitar the sound was just wonderful, with full base and brilliant tones. Not quite the same as my Zad 50ce which is a full size but so much better then expected for its 3/4 scale. It is quite amazing. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: Right out of the box this guitar was set up just perfect. Very little pressure has to be applied to the strings to get those perfect chords, even those hard to play bar chords were a breeze. The Big Baby will be wonderful when I take my music to friends or relativities home, and the case I purchased is very heavy and will protect it well. Absolutely beautiful and you can tell that care was taken when producing such a beautiful instrument. The finish is flawless and as wonderful to look at as it is to play. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I know this being a Zager it will withstand anything I put it through. My previous Zager which I have owned for about 6 years has never needed any adjustments other then the new strings which I put on. And being so easy to play seems to make the strings last longer then any other guitar I have played. I often hit my guitar strings with the pick when doing some strumming and the finish withstands any scratches. The quality hardware on Big Baby will pass the test of time. I have always been able to take my Zager out of the case and know I will never have to be concerned on something not performing as it should. // 10

Overall Impression: I have been playing guitar for 10 years and this is such a wonderful match for the music I love to play. I spend lots of time sitting on the easy chair in my living room cuddled up playing my finger style music. The smaller scale is a wonderful choice for this and when traveling it is so much easier to transport. If this guitar were lost for some reason I would replace it with the exact model with no second thought. The 3/4 size scale seem to bing the musing and the emotion of you music closer to home. I feel so much more connected. You can not go wrong with the Zager Big Baby. // 10

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