If you’re looking for the best 00 guitar recommendations, then you’ve come to the right post!
00 Guitars: What Are They?
As you may already know, acoustic guitars come in different shapes and sizes. But these shapes and sizes are kind of standardized. And, for the most part, it’s all according to standards set by Martin back in the day.
One of those body shapes is the so-called 00, or double O, also called Grand Concert. Some even call it the S size.
It comes with a relatively smaller body. The scale length is also shorter, measuring 24.9 inches. The body length is 18.9 inches, the width is around 14.3, while depth is 4.1. These are standard measures for Martin 00 guitars. Other brands may vary a little.
They pretty much always have the same shape. When combined with the instrument’s size, it makes it a pretty comfortable one. So it’s no wonder that it’s popular even among some guitar greats. One of them is Steve Howe of progressive rock champions Yes.
Due to their slightly smaller size, they might get a tad brighter-sounding. They could also lack some volume compared to larger guitar models. However, they still project nicely.
Best 00 Guitars
But what’s the best 00 guitar? Well, it’s impossible to put a single 00 model today on a pedestal. There are too many factors involved and, most notably, we have the issue of personal preferences.
Nonetheless, I’ll discuss a few models that I think bring the best features within the 00 dimensions. Bear in mind that Martin is the strongest one in the game. But there are others worth mentioning.
Martin’s 00-28 is one of the all-time classics. It comes with an awesome combo of a spruce top and East Indian rosewood back and sides. This combo brings an incredibly balanced tone and great projection.
There’s also an ebony bridge on it, as well as a bone nut. There are also nickel open-gear tuners, giving it a true old-school vibe.
It’s also worth mentioning that the guitar comes with scalloped X bracing. This is a classic formation that noticeably enhances the tone.
What I also love about the instrument is the balance in the aesthetic department.
If you want something a bit different, Martin’s 00-15M could be an interesting choice. It takes no more than a glance to notice the difference. This dark brown instrument has an all-solid mahogany body.
There’s also the mahogany neck and a rosewood fingerboard on it with a 16-inch radius. What is unusual, however, is the scale length. It measures 25.4 inches, which isn’t your standard deal for 00 models.
The instrument’s old-school aesthetics are rounded up with open-gear tuners. There aren’t any fancy bindings on it. And there’s a very simple soundhole rosette. So it looks like it came from the old days.
What I love about it the most is the tone. It’s super warm yet it keeps some of the high-ends shining through the mix. It’s a great tool for finger pickers. And it also comes in handy if you need a warm tone not to mess with the vocals. Open strings on this one sound really good.
Gibson L-00 Studio
The L-00 model by Gibson sits somewhere between a Parlor and a 00 design. So this may feel like cheating from my side that I included it here. But it can technically pass as a 00 guitar.
Here we’re looking at a spruce top with walnut back and sides. Not your usual combination, it has its specific twist to the tone. Most importantly, it brings tighter bottom-ends and improved sustain.
The neck is a mahogany one although it comes with a walnut fingerboard. But aside from these unusual traits, we have Gibson’s regular scale length of 24.75 inches. With a SlimTaper profile and 12-inch fingerboard radius, it feels like any Gibson’s electric guitar neck.
It sounds and looks old-school. The only exception is with the tuning machines which are Grover Mini Rotomatics.
It’s also worth noting that there are other variants to the L-00 model. Aside from those with walnut back and sides, we have rosewood or mahogany.
You may not stumble upon a Larrivee 00-40 that often. And you may not like its price tag that much. But this is a prestigious high-end instrument that’s worth every penny.
There’s the classic combo of a spruce top with mahogany back and sides. That’s accompanied by a mahogany neck with an ebony fingerboard on top.
Despite the 00 body design, the guitar comes with a longer scale length of 25.5 inches. At the same time, we have slightly different body dimensions. Nonetheless, it still feels like a genuine 00 guitar.
The instrument’s stylish and old-school visual identity is rounded up with open machine tuners. There’s also a bone nut and a compensated bone saddle.
All of these features sum up to a pro-level instrument. There’s hardly anything like it on the market.
Huss & Dalton 00
Now, Huss & Dalton 00 is another one that you won’t be able to find that easily. On top of it, it’s a fairly expensive one.
Once again, we have a guitar that’s kind of gravitating towards the Parlor body style. But it still comes with most of the 00 features. You have a scale length of 24.9 inches and some of the basic 00 dimensions.
At the first glance, you’d confuse it for a 19th-century classical instrument. The Englemann spruce top along with the rosette and bindings, give it that old-school charm.
I really cannot say much about it except that it’s a fabulous instrument. Aside from its looks, it also sounds like it came from the old days (as you can tell from the demo video above). It accentuates the midrange, all while keeping things balanced. There’s also noticeable clarity with every note that you play. Strum any chord, and you’ll easily make out every note on this guitar.
Santa Cruz 1929-00
Now we get to Santa Cruz 1929-00, which is a custom-order guitar with an even more shocking price tag. This would be your ultimate go-to 00 variant.
The standard variant is an all-mahogany one. Santa Cruz offers many other options. But it will cost you even more.
From top to bottom, it’s a serious instrument and an investment for upcoming generations of musicians. It’s not just a guitar but a valuable artifact as well. Visually, ergonomically, and sonically, barely anything can stand up to it.
If we take the standard all-mahogany variant, it brings super warm tones that still keep the crystal clear high-ends in the mix.
Lastly, I’d like to go back to Martin. But this time around, I’d also like to step down to more affordable prices. Although reasonably priced, 00-X2E still keeps some of the pro-tier traits.
The main noticeable downgrade, so to speak, is the lack of some aesthetic features. But if you don’t care much about that, 00-X2E will serve you nicely.
It’s your standard guitar with a spruce top and laminated back and sides. Martin doesn’t even specify what exact tonewoods they use for the back, sides, and neck. But it all looks, feels, and sounds awesome. You can’t go wrong with it.
I hope this article has helped you think through these guitars and which might be right for you!
And if you want to read more about guitar recommendations on this blog, then check out:
Lastly, feel free to leave a message in the comments below if you have questions about this or another guitar-related topic!