flattop guitar

Parlor dimensions and upscale appointments add up to a flattop that’s a pleasure to cradle.

Ultra playable, super comfortable, and great action. Beautiful design details. Sweet fingerstyle voice.

Pricey for an import.

$829

Fender Paramount PS-220E

fender.com

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Fender’s new Paramount PS-220E Parlor is a million kinds of fun. For starters, imagine picking up a little old Stella tucked away in a dusty corner of a garage sale—only to find the action is perfect and the tuners actually work. Then consider the basic joys of any good little acoustic: how easy it is to hold, how light it is, how little room it takes up when you leave it sitting around the living room waiting for whatever spark of inspiration hits at random. The PS-220E dishes oodles of those small pleasures. And while the price isn’t exactly small for an imported instrument of this stature, the playability and versatility are equal to much more expensive instruments.

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A close look at acoustic design reveals artfully engineered contours that strike an ideal balance between structural strength and musical responsiveness.

As acoustic guitar players and makers, we use the term "flattop guitar" so often it may come as a surprise when careful investigation reveals the top and back of a guitar to be anything but flat. While an archtop guitar's dramatically sculpted top and back contours are obvious at first glance, signaling cello-like inspiration and construction, the subtle contours of our favorite flattops are equally critical for the structure and sound we love.

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