0 vs 00: How These Guitar Sizes Compare (2023 Guide)

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If you’re curious about 0 vs 00 size guitars, you’ve come to the right post!

Acoustic Guitar Shapes and Sizes Explained

To do this comparison properly, we need to discuss what these shapes are.

Today, these different shapes are somewhat of “standards” although they’re not set in stone.

But back in the old days, the late 19th and the early 20th century, these numbers represented acoustic guitar models, particularly their sizes.

C. F. Martin & Company were the ones to set this standard, and everything goes back to their old instruments.

However, other companies like Taylor have also done their share of standard setting.

At this point, standardized acoustic guitar body types are used on a variety of models by pretty much all manufacturers.

Although most models rely on these basic principles, companies are free to step outside of these standards and do their own twists.

These different shapes and sizes can impact both performance and tone.

As for the list of all body shapes, because shapes aren’t fully standardized, you can’t provide a totally comprehensive list.

In other words, guitar manufacturers are free to make sizes that conform to Martin’s conventions.

Additionally, some shapes can have different names.

That said, here’s a relatively detailed list of fairly standard acoustic guitar shapes:

  • Dreadnaught
  • Parlor
  • 0, also known as “concert”
  • 00, or “grand concert
  • 000
  • 0000, or M (usually pretty rare)
  • OM, or “orchestra model”
  • Jumbo
  • Auditorium
  • Grand Auditorium
  • Classical, or “Spanish”
  • Travel, or “mini”

These guitar body types usually refer to the dimensions of the upper and lower bout, as well as its depth.

Different dimensions will create different shapes.

However, in some cases, you’ll have almost identical shapes where one is just proportionally larger or smaller than the other.

Aside from the body dimensions, these types can also refer to the scale length in combination with the body dimensions.

0 Acoustic Guitars

Martin 0-18 - Classic Small-Body Martin Acoustic Guitar

Introduced in the 19th century, 0 guitars, or so-called “concert” guitars, are among the smallest variants.

That said, they’re still significantly larger than “travel” guitars.

The width of the lower bout, the wider one, is around 13.5 inches.

Their depth is usually slightly over 4 inches, most commonly 4.09 inches.

However, some variants go deeper, although they aren’t that common.

The body length is usually 19.1 inches, but some could be shorter, even under 18 inches.

As for the scale length, they’re usually 24.9 inches, which is under the average.

What’s also important to note is that they’re usually 12-fret versions.

This means that the body meets the neck at the 12th fret.

However, 14-fret concert guitar variants aren’t uncommon either.

Concert guitars are the smallest of all standard Martin variants.

But as far as all body shapes go, they’re only larger than parlor guitars.

This, of course, has its impact on the tone.

Firstly, they’re quieter compared to most other guitars.

Additionally, they sound softer, although there’s also a “crispier” twist to their tone.

Of course, the bottom ends are still there, although they’re subtle and not so “boomy.”

Overall, the tone can get pretty clear and “punchy.”

Even though they are quieter, they can still cut through the mix. 

They’re usually a great choice for solo finger-picking performers.

But they could also find use as backing instruments if you use heavier strings.

00 Acoustic Guitars

00, or “grand concert,” is another one of Martin’s traditional body shapes.

And this one is usually more common in Martin’s arsenal and with other companies.

However, you shouldn’t confuse this with Taylor’s “Grand Concert” model, which is slightly different.

The 00 “Grand Concert” is what we’re looking into here.

So this is a guitar with a body just under 19 inches long.

The width at the lower bout is around 14.3 inches in most cases, and the depth is 4.125 inches.

Like with the 0-type shape, this one also comes with 12-fret and 14-fret variants.

However, from my experience, neither of these two options is more common.

Both 12- and 14-fret variants seem to be equally available.

In terms of the scale length, it’s 24.9 inches, which is considered slightly shorter than usual for acoustic guitars.

These features, of course, affect its tone in a certain way.

Overall, 00 guitars sound somewhat softer on average.

You can notice the crystal clear high-ends, which help it cut through the mix.

The bass isn’t that prominent, although you can feel its warmth.

Its sound won’t exactly fill up the room, but the lower spectrum is tight and adds some punch.

While it’s generally recommended as a guitar for finger pickers, particularly solo performers without a backing band, it can have other uses.

For instance, I’d recommend it to a folk or country singer-songwriter performer with a deeper voice.

It would “contrast” their vocals with clear and prominent high-ends.

At the same time, it wouldn’t get too loud to interfere with their singing.

Even though it’s a relatively smaller guitar, you can get some volume out of it.

With the right choice of tonewoods, it projects pretty well.

0 vs 00: How Do They Compare?

0-18 vs 00-18 - Small Body Martin Comparison

It can be challenging to adequately compare these two models since they aren’t the same across manufacturers.

On one hand, there are obvious similarities.

The 00 shape is essentially a larger version of the 0 shape.

The only difference is that it’s slightly shorter, deeper, and wider.

On the other hand, in practice, they can sound different.

Although overall very similar, the 0 shape tends to be brighter and “punchier” than the 00.

And in return, the 00 shape tends to be warmer and somewhat more balanced compared to the 0 shape.

In terms of playability and ergonomic qualities, it all depends.

While the overall feel might be similar, 0 could be a better choice for those who just prefer smaller instruments.

Then again, it’s not like 00 is super large, so it could work just as well if you get used to it.

0 vs 00: Which One Should I Get?

With all this said, i can be hard to choose between these two on the basis of size and shape alone.

If you want my honest opinion, you’d have to be a pretty experienced player to have a strong preference here.

Overall, I’d recommend 00 to those who like a more balanced tone.

On the other hand, 0 is usually better for those who need something punchier and slightly quieter.

They both gravitate towards the high-end but have a softer flavor as well.

And both are usually a great choice for finger pickers.

In short, choose the 00 if a larger instrument is more comfortable and the 0 if you feel more comfortable with a smaller one

0 vs 00: Conclusion

I hope this article has helped you think through these instruments and which is best for you.

If you have more questions about it, please let me know in the comments!

And if you want to read more about size comparisons, check out the following posts:

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