Cimarron Guitars has being making custom instruments since 1978 in the dry, mild climate of southwest Colorado.
The company’s Model P guitar gets its name from its parlor-guitar-sized body (“parlor” guitars were popular in the late 19th/early 20th century, when small social events often occurred in parlors where music was played; the instruments typically were small, inexpensive pieces). It has rosewood back and sides with a solid Sitka spruce top, a three-piece, dovetailed, set maple neck with a double-action, adjustable truss rod. Two graphite rods ensure stability, and the neck is topped with an ebony fingerboard. Other details include a slotted headstock, adorned with Gotoh tuners that give the guitar a classic look. The bridge is ebony, which gives a nice aesthetic matched to the ebony fingerboard. Its look is finished with a tortoise pickguard and classic binding and a nitrocellulose lacquer finish.
The Model P is quite small, even for a parlor guitar. Its upper bout measures 8.25″ inches, while the lower bout is 12.25″. Thickness at the heel is 35/8″. But at first strum, it’s apparent this little guitar has big attitude. An open G chord impresses with its low-end response and volume. Granted, it’s no Super Jumbo, as it does relay a bit of that boxy small-body tone, but still, many preconceptions about size fade as one becomes engulfed by the sound of this little guitar.
The Model P exhibits excellent craftsmanship, works very well for playing styles ranging from fingerpicking to chordal passages, and tracks very nicely in the studio.
If you’re into parlor or other types of small-body acoustics, you’ll want to check out this instrument. Beyond its cool appearance, it’s a convenient size for travel, offers dreamy playability, and sounds wonderful.
Cimarron Model P
Price: Starts at $2,500 ($2,700 as tested)
This article originally appeared in VG October 2011 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.