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jumbo or dreadnought?


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  • jumbo or dreadnought?

    ok i have an old washburn dreadnought i played the hell out of it were the frets are dead and a refret costs more than a new guitar

    i also have a washburn parlor guitar from the anniversary series, which i like

    the parlor is fun to play, but sound wise its kinda small and not full sounding the higher strings are not so shimmering...

    so i'm looking for a new guitar, mostly for recording

    hard thing to this task is, i'm a lefty, so there is not so much choice and not so much possibilities to try things out

    but basic question, dreadnought or jumbo? what are the pors and cons of the one and the other?

  • #2

    My experience has been that dreads are louder and have more bass usually.  The jumbos I've played have a more delicate voice with punchy mids and a distinct lack of the dread thump.


    • #3

      A good jumbo with have the perfect balance of bass, mids, and treble, while a dreadnaught has bass at the expense of the mids and treble...just the design.

      Good jumbos often have the name "Guild" on the peghead, and sometimes you'll find one called "Taylor" or "Gibson"...

      Go try some, see what you think.


      • Emory
        Emory commented
        Editing a comment

        I agree with Graeca. Jumbos sound better, and they sure as heck look better. A dread is more a box that has been rounded off, but a jumbo still has the curves. This is my unscientific view, but I believe the roundedness allows notes to bounce around inside as nature intended, so come out sounding better.  I believe they are pretty close in cubic inch volume. Yes the pricy ones are nice (duh) but one worth looking at if you have the chance is the Epiphone EJ200CE. I think they can be had for around $400 and are quite impressive. My jumbo is a Tacoma Jm something or other. Finish peeled off like sunburned skin, but oh the tone baby!

    • #4


      Martin HD35 | Gibson J45tv | Taylor DN3 | Guild GAD25 | Taylor Baby | Yamaha FG413SBD | Yamaha FG200


      • guildfire
        guildfire commented
        Editing a comment

        I've had both a Guild J55 Jumbo and my current D55 Dred.  I agree with the assessments above re tonal qualities of each.  Since you mention recording as your main use I would go with the Jumbo as it articulates better across high,mid and lows.  For live playing I prefer the Dred as it has more punch and is louder.

    • #5


      • Freeman Keller
        Freeman Keller commented
        Editing a comment

        Pine Apple Slim wrote:

        Yes - but I would say


        Grass (as in blue) - Dread

        Fingerstyle/blues/and everything in between - OM/000   (remember that the OM means "orchastra model" and was designed to play along with bands.

    • #6

      I can't think of any jumbo I've tried that I liked.  I know they are out there.  I've always played dreads, but recently got a little OM Martin that I just love.  Don't let the size fool you, OMs can put out pretty full sound.  Also check out the grand auditorium or grand concert size. 

      Bottom line is all the advice you'll get here isn't worth a minute of the time actually trying out different guitars.

      Please visit my website www.treeguitarworks.com


      • Opa John
        Opa John commented
        Editing a comment

        I play folk, country, bluegrass and some blues..........and I'm a dread head!

    • #7

      I'd second the opinion that guitars are too individual in character to evaluate them by body type alone. My '74 Hummingbird sounds NOTHING like my Takamine EF350 and neither of those sounds anything like my all-plywood beater. But all are dreads. I will say that I love both types. My lone jumbo is a late 70s Yammie CJ838S.

      She's the lady of the light
      Yellow incandescent night
      Tiger eyes burning bright
      In the understory
      I can't see the forest
      For the branches and the leaves
      But I believe
      I do believe
      by me:


      "Music is your own experience, your thoughts, your wisdom. If you don't live it, it won't come out of your horn."
      Charlie Parker


      • guildfire
        guildfire commented
        Editing a comment

        I've always had dreads but had a jumbo J55 or a couple years.  It had excellent balance but I ended up selling it cause it didn't have great low end.  Now I'm back to an all dread lineup.