If you’re curious about the Grand Concert vs Grand Auditorium guitar body shapes and how they differ, you’ve come to the right post!
I’m not a guitar expert, but I have played since 2003 and know a thing or two about guitars.
So how does the grand concert guitar size differ from the grand auditorium and which is better for you?
I’ll unpack this more in the following sections.
Acoustic Guitar Body Shapes and Sizes Explained
Acoustic guitars seem simple enough. There’s just the body with a soundhole glued to the neck, right? Well, in reality, things are a bit more complex. If you’re playing an acoustic guitar, you should know that there are several different body shapes and sizes.
(Semi-)standardized sizing was established during the 20th century. So it’s more of a modern concept. Nonetheless, it’s still helpful to differentiate between these sizes and shapes.
Now, there are a few different categorizations. And it seems that many manufacturers categorize in a different way (hence the “semi” in standardization). But here’s a rough division of acoustic guitar body shapes and sizes:
- 0 (pronounced as letter “o,” also known as “concert”)
- 00 (double-o or “grand concert”)
- 000 (triple-o)
- OM (or “orchestra model”)
- M (or 0000, not that common)
- Grand Auditorium
- Classical or “Spanish”
- Travel guitars
Of course, this division is not always the same. For instance, some guitar players or luthiers count OM and 000 as the same type of guitar. The bodies here are actually the same. However, they come with different scale lengths and nut widths.
It would take many articles to explain every shape in detail. You have different bout sizes, overall body sizes, body depth, width, and other measures. All of these standards were set by famous guitar manufacturers in the 20th century. Martin and Taylor are probably the most influential ones here.
But these bodies and shapes are more than just visual features. They help define the instrument’s tone and volume. Of course, the tonewood also has an impact. But if you change the dimensions of the body, you can get a completely different sound.
Finally, the body size and shape affect your performance. Experienced acoustic guitar players usually prefer a specific body type.
Grand Concert Vs Grand Auditorium
But in this article, I’m focusing on the Grand Concert and Grand Auditorium body shapes. In the following sections, we’ll get into more details about both of these body shapes. Let’s get to it.
Now, the Grand Concert shape is also known as the 00 (double-o). Just like with most of the acoustic stuff on the market, it was C.F. Martin & Company who brought this innovation. The design has its roots in the 19th century. And some also refer to it as the S-size guitar. From the early 1930s and onwards, models like 00-18 or 00-42 have acquired legendary status.
These are mid-sized guitars. In other words, they technically aren’t full-size guitars. The body is noticeably smaller and shallower. However, the waste is full-sized. The body length is just below 19 inches, the width is around 14.3, and the depth is 4.1 inches. 00 guitars also come with a 24.9-inch scale.
Now, with a smaller body like this, you’ll get a slightly brighter or thinner tone. This, of course, doesn’t make it bad, just more treble-heavy. At the same time, the instrument retains its projection.
Additionally, its smaller size makes it more ergonomic for some players. Whoever prefers smaller guitars, the 00 is a viable choice. This isn’t exactly like a ¾-size student guitar since it has a normal scale length. However, the body does feel a bit different compared to a standard-size guitar.
One advantage of Grand Concert guitars is that they’re versatile. They work for pretty much any genre and both lead or rhythm sections. In my opinion, this is a great choice for acoustic solo sections.
There’s also the 00L body variant. It’s very similar to the Grand Concert one. However, the body has its modifications and it’s slightly larger.
Despite what its name might suggest, the Grand Auditorium is a mid-sized guitar body. This one comes from Taylor and is the company’s classic design. However, it’s much younger. Bob Taylor, the founder of Taylor Guitars, introduced it in 1994. And it was the guitar body model that put them on the map.
In some way, they resemble Dreadnaught guitars. However, it’s slightly smaller and comes with a narrower waist. The idea was to have something that’s in between Concert and Dreadnaught guitars.
The body is mid-sized, with a 20-inch length. The width is 16 inches, while the depth is around 4.6 inches. Sure, it’s slightly smaller than a regular guitar. But such dimensions bring a fairly balanced tone.
It’s also another example of a very versatile instrument. For instance, it’s popular for both finger pickers and those who use a pick.
How Do They Compare?
Now, neither of these guitar sizes is clearly better or worse. These are just two different variants. But how do they compare? And which one should you choose?
Honestly, the differences are more or less nuanced. Both of them are guitars with mid-sized bodies. However, as you already may have noticed, the Grand Auditorium is slightly larger.
This also comes with a different tone. The Grand Concert is brighter while Grand Auditorium is more balanced. While both guitars are versatile, the Grand Concert variant is usually more popular among finger pickers. And Grand Auditorium is more of a multi-purpose instrument.
From my experience, the Grand Auditorium is a bit more versatile. However, the Grand Concert model can cut through the mix more easily. This makes it a great choice for lead sections.
Here’s an interesting comparison of the two models done by the guys from Taylor Guitars:
I hope this post has helped you think through which guitar size is best for you!
And if you want to read another article of mine about guitar sizes, check out 00 Vs 000.