Rathbone has just made the market for compact and cheap acoustic guitars that little bit hotter with its very handsome and sensibly priced 'No. 6' parlour acoustics.
There are two options in the lineup, one a classic all-mahogany build, the other a little more exotic, paring a solid Englemann spruce top with a bocote back and sides, with both instrument's bodies finished in with tidy binding and sporting slotted headstocks.
Both No.6 parlours have a relatively short 24.4" scale and measure 38.5" from nose-to-tail. Although not quite 3/4 acoustic guitars, these dimensions are certainly couch-friendly, and if you are all looking for an acoustic guitar for travel and don't fancy Rathbone's short-scale No.1 baby concert, these are just 1.5" inches longer and worth trying side by side to see which is more suitable.
Indeed, despite the No.6 models having the same dimensions, the rosewood fingerboards and the 42mm bone nut making for a similar feel, you'll want to compare and contrast the two models because the tonewoods should make quite a difference to their sound.
The all-mahogany R6M has a solid mahogany top with sapele mahogany on the back and sides, identifying it as potentially the warmer-sounding instrument of the duo. Perhaps this could be the one for the Delta blues fingerpickers.
The R6M is "a warm and mellow tone that performs especially well as an accompaniment instrument," says Rathbone. "It responds well to strumming and fingerpicking, occupying the midrange with balance and personality.
As for the spruce/bocote R6SB, that should offer a little more presence in the upper-mids and high-end, with an abundance fo sparkle coming from that bocote, much as you would expect from a maple-backed acoustic.
Elsewhere, both No.6 models have open-gear chrome tuners, rosewood bridges, and abalone rosettes, small dot inlays and an angled headstock design that Rathbone says will increase note clarity and definition on open notes.
The R6M and R6SB have high-gloss lacquer finishes and area available now from authorised dealers. The R6M is priced £299, while the R6SB retails for £415.
See Rathbone Guitars for more details.