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Thin vs Thick Body Acoustic Guitar (Battle Depending On 6 Aspects)

Thin vs Thick Body Acoustic Guitar

Wondering about thin vs thick body acoustic guitars? Check out this article for a breakdown of 6 aspects to understand the differences between the two guitars (thin/Thinline and thick/full-sized) with the pros and cons of each.

When it comes to acoustic guitars, one of the biggest decisions you’ll need to make is whether to go with a thin or thick-body guitar. Both have their own benefits and drawbacks, so it can be tough to decide which one is right for you. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at six aspects to learn the differences between thin and thick body acoustics so that you can make an informed decision. Let’s get started!

Acoustic Guitar Buying Guides

The 6 aspects are as follows in the below chart with a sneak peek:

No.AspectsThin BodyThick Body
1Body ShapeThinnerThicker
2Body SizeSmallerLarger
3Sound And ToneBrighterWarmer
4ConstructionLaminateSolid
5PlayabilityMore ComfortableLess Comfortable (For Some)
6Ease Of UseLess ChallengingMore Challenging (For Some)

Before diving deep into these, let’s get to know what is the key difference that sets a Thinline apart from a thick body acoustic:

Key Difference Between A Thin And Thick Body Acoustic Guitar

The key difference between a thin and thick body acoustic guitar is the size of the body. Thin body acoustic guitars have a smaller body size, while thick body acoustics have a larger body size. This difference in body size affects the sound of the guitar, with thin body guitars having a brighter sound and thick body guitars having a fuller sound. The size of the body also affects the weight of the guitar, with thin body guitars being lighter and thick body guitars being heavier.

What Is A Thinline/Thin Body Acoustic Guitar?

A thin body or Thinline acoustic guitar is a type of acoustic guitar that has a thinner body than a standard acoustic guitar. These guitars are typically lighter, more comfortable to play, and have a brighter sound than their full-size counterparts. Thin-body acoustics are a great choice for players who want the best of both worlds: the portability and comfort of a smaller guitar with partially the full-bodied sound of a larger one.

The first thin-body acoustic guitars were introduced in the 1930s, and they quickly became popular with jazz and blues players. In 1955, Gibson released the first Thinline model called the ES-225T, which was even thinner than previous models. The model had a centrally mounted and single P-90. Later on, in 1956, Gibson introduced the two pickup version of the previous model. Since then, many other companies have released their own versions of the Thinline guitar.

Today, thin-body acoustics are some of the most popular types of guitars on the market. They’re perfect for players who want a versatile instrument that they can take with them wherever they go. Thinlines are often considered travel guitars. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, there’s a thin-body acoustic guitar that’s perfect for you.

Now, let’s have a look at what a standard or thick body acoustic is all about.

What Is A Thick Body/Regular Acoustic Guitar?

As mentioned in the name, a thick body/regular acoustic guitar is a type of guitar that has a thicker body than other types of guitars. This makes them ideal for people who want a heavier, more substantial, and slightly darker sound. They are also great for people who want a more traditional look and feel to their guitar. These are mainly granted as the standard acoustics.

The first steel-string guitar was developed by Christian Frederick Martin. He came from Germany to America, where he made the sets of this type in 1834 – precisely between 1796 and 1867, which later evolved into the modern standard steel strings acoustics. Some of the common body shapes of the full-sized guitar include the grand auditorium, grand concert guitar, dreadnoughts, and jumbo acoustic guitar.

Let’s take a closer look at the aspects of both:

Thin vs Thick Body Acoustic Guitar (The 6 Aspects Battle)

Body Shape

The first difference between these two types of acoustics we are going to talk about is their body style and shape. Thin body acoustic guitars have a thinner body than thick body acoustics. This makes them more comfortable to play for some people, as they don’t have to deal with the extra weight of a thicker guitar. They also tend to be more affordable in many cases than their thick-body counterparts.

Body Size

Thin body acoustics also tend to be smaller and narrower in size than thick body acoustics. This makes them more convenient to travel with, as they can easily fit into a suitcase or backpack, making these a great travel guitar option for traveler guitarists. They’re also a good choice for people with smaller hands, as the smaller body guitars are easier to hold.

Sound And Tone

The next difference between guitars with a thinner body vs. thick-body acoustic guitars is sound quality and tone. Thin body acoustics have bright tones with a more delicate guitar sound than thick body or full-sized acoustics. They’re often used for finger-style playing or other styles of music that require a light touch and less volume. Thick-body acoustic guitars tend to have a fuller tone, richer, warmer, and louder sound that’s well suited for guitar players who like to strum. It’s also well-suited for other musical styles that require a heavier hand, as a thick body makes the sound louder. Note that larger guitars often produce a balanced sound with more volume.

Construction

Wood types also play a vital role in the output. Thin body acoustic guitars are typically made with a laminated top and overall construction, while thick body acoustics are usually made with solid wood construction. Laminate construction is less expensive. Also, it doesn’t produce as high-quality of a sound as solid wood construction. So, many guitarists prefer a thicker body. But, then again, it’s a matter of personal preference, depending on the needs.

Playability

Another difference between these two types of acoustics is playability. Thin-body acoustic guitars typically give a more comfortable playing experience for beginner guitarists to play for extended periods of time, as they don’t weigh as much, and their smaller size can make them easier to hold. Novice players generally feel more comfortable with these in their hands and consider these a great option to start with. On the other hand, thick-body acoustics can be a bit more challenging to play for long periods of time, as they’re heavier and can be more difficult to hold.

Ease Of Use

Finally, thin ones are typically easier to use than thick-body acoustics. Thin-body acoustic guitars have lighter strings, which can make them easier to press down. They also have shorter necks, which can make them easier to reach the strings. Thick-body or bigger acoustic guitars usually have heavier strings and longer necks, which can make them a bit more challenging to play.

Should You Buy A Thin Body/Thinline Acoustic Guitar?

These guitars are known for their sleek design and lightweight feel. But, as with anything, there are pros and cons to consider before purchasing one of these guitars.

Pros:

  • They are typically more affordable than other types of acoustics.
  • They are easier to transport due to their lightweight.
  • They have a sleek and stylish design.
  • They produce a clear and bright sound.

Cons:

  • They can be prone to feedback at higher volumes.
  • They may not be as durable as other types of acoustics.
  • They may not have the same “full” sound as other types of acoustics.

So, what is the verdict? Should you buy a thin body/Thinline acoustic guitar? – This decision comes down to personal preference. If you are looking for an affordable and stylish guitar that produces a clear sound, then a thin body/Thinline guitar may be the right choice for you. But when should you get a thick body or standard acoustic? Let’s take a look:

Should You Buy A Thick Body/Standard Acoustic Guitar?

Standard Acoustic Guitar

There are both pros and cons to having a thick body or standard acoustic guitar. Here are some things to consider before making your decision:

Pros:

  • The thicker the body, the louder the sound. If you want your guitar to be heard over a band or in a large room, a thick body is ideal.
  • Thicker bodies tend to have a fuller, richer tone. If you are looking for a warm, mellow sound, a thick-body guitar is a good choice.
  • They are also very durable, so if you are hard on your instruments, a thick body guitar can withstand more wear and tear.

Cons:

  • They can be more difficult to play. The thicker the body, the harder it is to reach around and fret the strings. If you have small hands or are just starting out, a thick-body guitar may be challenging.
  • They are also heavier, so if you are gigging a lot, you may get tired of lugging a heavy guitar around.
  • Thick body guitars can also be more expensive, so if you are on a budget, you may want to consider a different option.

Ultimately, the decision of whether to get a thick body or regular acoustic guitar comes down to personal choice. If you are looking for a guitar that is durable and has a fuller sound, then you can consider one of these. Basically, you have to consider what style of music you will be playing and what type of sound you are going for before making your final decision.

What Are The Best Thin Body Acoustic Guitars? (Our Top 3 Picks)

EDITOR'S CHOICE
Yamaha APX600 BL Thin Body Acoustic-Electric Guitar, Black
Yamaha APX600 BL Thin Body Acoustic-Electric Guitar, Black
9.9
  • Thin-line cutaway Body design for exceptional playability
  • 25" Scale Length and narrower string spacing for Enhanced comfort
  • New scalloped bracing pattern for increased bass response
  • Abalone sound hole rosette
  • Stage-focused pickup system for shaping your sound in the mix
PREMIUM PICK
ESP LTD TL-6 Thinline Acoustic Electric Guitar
ESP LTD TL-6 Thinline Acoustic Electric Guitar
9.8
  • The LTD TL-6 Black has a Mahogany Body with a Maple Top, Mahogany Neck and a Rosewood Fingerboard
  • This guitar comes equipped with a Rosewood Bridge w/ Graphtech Nubone XB Saddle
  • It has a Set-Neck Construction with a 25" Scale with 22 Jumbo Frets and a Thin-U Neck Contour
  • The Pickup is a B-Band Electret Film Transducer w/ B-Band T-7 Preamp w/ Onboard Tuner
BUDGET PICK
Ashthorpe Full-Size Cutaway Thinline Acoustic-Electric Guitar Package
Ashthorpe Full-Size Cutaway Thinline Acoustic-Electric Guitar Package
9.6
  • Incredible sound
  • Fine hardwood construction from X-braced, A-grade Spruce wood, known for its resiliency and versatility, and Basswood for warmth.
  • Thinline cutaway design
  • Loaded with upgrades
  • Complete kit

What Are The Best Thick Body Acoustic Guitars? (Our Top 3 Picks)

EDITOR'S CHOICE
Yamaha FG820 Solid Top Acoustic Guitar
Yamaha FG820 Solid Top Acoustic Guitar
9.9
  • Solid Sitka Spruce Top
  • Mahogany Back & Sides
  • Rosewood Fingerboard
  • Rosewood Bridge
  • Diecast Tuners
  • this guitar has an adjustable truss rod
PREMIUM PICK
Seagull S6 Original Acoustic Guitar
Seagull S6 Original Acoustic Guitar
9.8
  • New Deep Dark Custom Stain on Wild Cherry Back and Sides
  • New Custom Pick Guard
  • Solid Cedar Pressure Tested Top
  • New Deep Dark Custom Stain on Neck and Headstock
  • Made in Canada
BUDGET PICK
Squier by Fender SA-150 Beginner Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar
Squier by Fender SA-150 Beginner Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar
9.7
  • The slim easy to play neck shape is perfect for beginners
  • Steel string acoustic guitars are traditional in folk, country, and blues
  • Designed by Fender one of the most trusted and recognizable names in the musical instrument industry
  • The traditional dreadnought Body shape provides excellent tonal balance and projection

What Size Guitar Does A Child Need?

What size guitar does a child need? This is a question that many parents ask when their child expresses an interest in playing the instrument. The answer depends on several factors, including the child’s age, height, and experience level. For very young children, ages 3-5, a small-sized guitar is the best option. These guitars are easy to hold and play with, and they’re the perfect size for little hands. As children get older and grow taller, they’ll need a larger guitar. A full-size guitar is typically appropriate for children ages 8 and up. If your child is serious about learning to play the guitar, it’s important to choose an instrument that is the right size. A properly sized guitar will be easier to play and will help your child develop their skills more quickly.

What’s The Difference Between Slimline and Thinline Guitars?

When it comes to electric guitars, there are two main types: slimline and Thinline. Both have their own unique features that set them apart from each other. Slim body guitars are typically smaller in size and have thinner bodies than Thinline guitars. They are also typically lighter in weight, which makes them more comfortable to play for extended periods of time. Thinline guitars, on the other hand, have a larger body size and are usually heavier than slimline/slim body guitars. However, they often have a more mellow sound due to their larger body size.

What’s The Difference Between Parlor Guitar And Thinline Guitar?

Parlor guitars are smaller and have a more intimate sound, while Thinline guitars are larger and have a fuller sound. Both types of guitars have their own unique advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to choose the right one for your needs. Here is a more detailed look at the differences between parlor and Thinline guitars:

Size: Parlor guitars are smaller than Thinline guitars, which makes them more comfortable to play for some people. They are also more portable, making them a good choice for traveling musicians.

Sound: Parlor guitars have a warm, intimate acoustic sound that is well-suited for singer-songwriters and other solo performers. Thinline guitars have a fuller sound that is better suited for band settings or larger venues.

Construction: Parlor guitars typically have a solid wood top, while Thinline guitars often have laminate tops. This affects the tone of the guitar, with solid wood tops producing a richer sound.

Cost: Parlor guitars are generally more expensive than Thinline guitars due to their smaller size and higher quality construction.

FAQ

Q. Which acoustic guitars have the thinnest necks?

There are many acoustic guitars with thin necks. Some examples include the Yamaha APX500III, the Takamine GD20-NS, and the Ibanez AE245. These guitars have necks that are thinner than average, making them easier to play for those with smaller hands.

Q. Does the guitar neck affect the tone?

The guitar neck is one of the most important parts of the instrument, and it can have a major impact on the tone. The type of wood used for the neck, the thickness of the neck, and the shape of the neck all play a role in determining the tone of the guitar. Thinner necks tend to produce brighter tones, while thicker necks tend to produce darker tones. The shape of the neck also affects the tone, with V-shaped necks tending to produce brighter tones and U-shaped necks tending to produce warmer tones. The way the neck is attached to the body of the guitar also plays a role in determining the tone. Bolt-on necks tend to produce brighter tones, while set-in necks tend to produce warmer and darker tones.

Q. What is the size chart of a full-size guitar?

The size chart of a full-size guitar is as follows: the body length is 19 inches, the width of the body is 15 inches, the depth of the body is 4.75 inches, and the string length is 25.5 inches. These dimensions are for a standard dreadnought guitar.

Q. What is the size chart of a Thinline acoustic guitar?

There is no definitive answer to this question as the size of a Thinline acoustic guitar can vary depending on the make and model. However, most Thinline acoustic guitars will generally fall within the standard size range for acoustic guitars, which is between 38 and 42 inches in total length. Therefore, if you are looking for a Thinline acoustic guitar, it is advisable to consult the size chart of the specific make and model that you are interested in to determine the exact dimensions.

Q. What affects the weight of a guitar?

There are a few things that affect the weight of a guitar. The first is the type of wood that the guitar is made out of. Lighter woods like cedar or spruce are going to be lighter than something like mahogany. Another factor is the size of the guitar. A smaller guitar is going to weigh less than a larger one. And finally, the hardware on the guitar can also add to the weight. Things like metal tuning keys or strap buttons can add a bit of weight to the instrument.

Q. How Thick Should An Acoustic Guitar Body Be?

Acoustic guitars have a variety of different materials used for their bodies which results in different guitar body thicknesses for the top, back, and sides. As a general rule of thumb, the thickness of the top is .10″, while the back and sides are .11″ and .080″ – .085″, respectively.

Q. Are Thin Acoustic Guitars Good?

Thin acoustic guitars are a great choice for beginners and those with small hands. They’re typically more affordable than thicker-bodied guitars, and they can be easier to play thanks to their smaller size. While they often don’t have the same powerful sound as thicker guitars, thin acoustics can be a great option for those just starting out.

Final Verdict

I hope, with all the information above, you have a clear picture in mind by now about our main topic – thin vs. thick body acoustic guitar. There are significant differences between the two guitars that you can memorize from the aspects I discussed, including body shape and size, playability and sounds, construction, and ease of use. And take these under consideration before moving to your next step. A thin body isn’t necessarily the best option over thick ones for you or vice versa. So, before making the final decision, it’s better to give it a try to both and take the stand yourself.

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Author | Acoustic and Classical Guitar Expert at Instrument Insight | Website

James B. Laskowski was born and raised in Fresno, CA. He has been working as an acoustic and classical guitar expert at Instrument Insight for over 5 years. In this time, he has gained a great understanding of acoustic and classical guitars and gears, their materials, build quality, playability, and versatility. James also has an in-depth knowledge of the history and origins of many acoustic and classical guitar brands.


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