Recommendations for my retirement Guitar!

Welcome to SCGC Players Forum Forums A General Discussion Recommendations for my retirement Guitar!

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    • #1227

      Good morning everyone, I am new to the forum. Okay, after 30 years in the Corps, I am about to call it quits. Retirement gift to myself, Santa Cruz. I am a lefty (UGH), never have had the chance to play a SC, hence my Topic Title. My favorite guitar to date that I’ve owned is my Taylor 522ce. I am 6′, 170pds, small hands. I love the deep rich sound from the Mahogany, love the size of the Grand Concert, and the playability, low action, light tension. For those of you that have been privileged enough to play SC, what would you recommend? I’ve looked on the website at the 00, 000, om/pw, 1929, oo Skye, Catfish special, and Firefly. If I had to rank my preferences they would be, size, playability, sound, cost (what I mean by cost is buying a standard guitar with most of my preferences without having to customize), and I like the 12 fret, but if there is a 14 fret that is the same size, I am good with that.  Thank you everyone! -Newbs

    • #1229

      Welcome Newbs and thank you for your service. It’s a small but great group here, thanks for joining!

    • #1230

      Good to have you join us Newbs. From your preferences listed  I’d say but you are on target .    OOO and OM’S /PW’S. Are sure to hit home for that full dynamic tone in a comfortable size. German spruce and mahogany is a brilliant combo!!          Thanks for your 30 years of dedication and service sir.

    • #1231

      Semper Fi Sir and welcome.
      OF MY 5 SCs The size I play most often is the OM “The Tree”. I am retired and enjoy sitting in a chair and just picking through a stream of conscience tune and an adult beverage or two…..The OM is the perfect size for this.
      The H size is also a great size(if an O.T. model it will have more head room).
      Since you are going to give yourself such a well earned reward I would hope you’ll play all the models of SCGC and find the SOUND that grabs you….Don’t worry about the size….Y’All will adapt to the size.
      Thank you for your service Mate.

      1993 Martin HD-28 IR/Sitka
      2001 SCGC F Cutaway Maple/German
      2008 SCGC OT Madi/Italian
      2015 SCGC OM “The Tree” Hog/ European
      2016 SCGC 1934 D45 Braz/ Adi
      2016 Taylor K62 CE Limited Edition 12 string all Koa
      2019 SCGC FTC Granadillo/Redwood
      2022 SCGC 000 African Blackwood/Moon Spruce.
      Life is a journey…not a guided tour,
      The Bay,The Gulf Stream , The Open Ocean are particular about who they share their secrets with.

      • This reply was modified 3 years, 8 months ago by Hank.
      • This reply was modified 3 years, 8 months ago by Hank.
    • #1236

      Hello Newbs and welcome!

      The Taylor 522ce looks like a 00 with  cutaway to me.  So there you go for size.

      Putting a cutaway on Skye would be wrong.  Look Eric up on Youtube and you’ll see why.  😉

      A Firefly would be a bit smaller than a 00, and it will have a shorter scale.  So it might suit you right down to the ground.  But I would try one first.

      I wouldn’t worry about sound and playability from a SGCG.  Those are built in.

      If you’re in California, go to Santa Cruz and do a shop tour.  Have a conversation with Richard or anyone one of his staff about what you’re looking for.  They’ll  hook you up with a dealer who will sell you the guitar, whether you have it custom made or want one from stock.

      Failing that, call up or visit your closest SCGC dealer and chat with them.  They can make special orders on your behalf to the shop.

      Enjoy the process!

    • #1237
      Black Beauty

      I’d say variety is the spice of life. I’d go for a Rosewood SCGC if you already have a Mahogany Taylor. If you find the GC shape comfortable, an OM might work for you.

    • #1241


      I would suggest that you contact the couple of dealers that specialize in lefty guitars – they have more than a few Santa Cruz in stock, and that would be your best first choice.  I would not recommend that you consider a custom for your first Santa Cruz – at least, not unless you’ve had the opportunity to spend a considerable amount of time with a few different ones just to make sure that the size you’re considering is really ideal, and hopefully you’ll get a sense of how different woods can flavor the tone.

      You don’t really say why the Taylor is your favorite – is it size, or playability, or tone, or ?? –   What other guitars have you had, and what would you consider your second favorite, and even third? Each of those may have qualities that you should consider when thinking about a Santa Cruz.

      As soon as I read deep rich sound of mahogany, I flashed on a nice OOO, or OM, but maybe even a D-12. Those would also have the better trade-in or resale value if you decide to go custom at some point. The other guitar that I immediately thought of is an OMG in mahogany that I played in SoCal – but not a lefty. Still would have loved to justify that one –

      A Santa Cruz guitar can open you up to a new level of experience in playing – there’s a lot to consider, but very few ways you can go wrong – feel free to ask away! You’d be hard pressed to find a group of better enablers!

      Lots o’ SCGC guitars! But never ask which is my fav

    • #1242

      Newbs, welcome to the forum. Being lefty, as you know, works as a disadvantage in finding guitars to try. Maybe just have to listen to right handed models being played?

      Not at all to bash Taylor, I own a 2007 GA5 mahog/cedar… by choice, no cutaway & no electronics, fully open upper bout. Your 522ce is all mahog(?), with basically no upper bout, cutaway on one side and the electronics pcb taking up the other side. Sound/tone is being generated by the lower bout. Playing plugged-in is the primary design for this type guitar.

      With acoustic tone as your goal, a full upper bout makes a diff.   K&K mini is a good option for my VJ and a couple others with no cutaway. Can’t recommend a model, that’s up to you, but SCGC mahog is excellent.

      best wishes on your journey, bert

    • #1246
      Frozen Rat

      Welcome and thanks for your service. My family is full of servicemen and women too.

      A Taylor GC is sized about like an 000 guitar. An SCGC 00 or Skye would be ever so slightly smaller I think. A Firefly smaller still and I’d recommend you put hands on that one before buying as it’s real short scale and pretty small. Nice guitar, but you really gotta play it first. Single-0 size is nice too but sometimes they have really thick bodies, which you will want to be aware of if this is a consideration. Single-0 guitars have a unique sound and I like them a lot too.

      A 1929 000 would be the closest to that Taylor you have (except it will likely have a longer scale), and in my opinion has more texture and depth than typical a Taylor. I don’t dislike Taylors, I just like SCGCs more.

      I think a safe bet for you is anything from an 00 on up to an 000 or OM. The 00s come in 24.75″ scale, the Skye in 24.9″ scale and most 000 and OMs are something like 25.125″ scale. I feel you on the small hands. While I wouldn’t call my thick hands small, they do sport fingers that aren’t especially long, which has led me to stick with 24.75″ scale guitars and never again look at anything else. The longer scale is just not comfortable for me and if your fingers aren’t long, maybe not you either, and you’re already used to 24.9″, which is what the GC Taylors are set at.

      Other notes: The Skye is a pretty unique sounding guitar with that Adi top married to a Cocobolo bottom. Make sure the sound is what you want before buying. Eric makes it sound incredible of course. An 00 in EIR or Mahogany sounds a bit warmer in my opinion, the mahogany especially (I have both types of SCGC). The Skye has this mid-range and treble clarity though that I haven’t heard duplicated elsewhere but I ended up selling mine due to the wider nut, which, BTW, it has and you need to be aware of that too. The more you play the various models the more you understand their individual personalities. So my final advice is to play as many as you can because it’s tough to know exactly what will strike that chord in your soul until you hear and feel it directly.

      Santa Cruz 00 — Goodall 000 — Martin 00-28

    • #1256
      Matt Hayden


      I’ll join others and suggest perhaps an OM – it’s close in dimensions to your 522, with a slightly larger and deeper upper bout (see link to dimension comparison below) and a 14-fret neck.  Neck shapes, nut width, scale length, and string spacing are endlessly variable because so much of SCGC’s output is custom, so chances are good you can either find what you want or have SCGC make it.

      The OM as realized by SCGC definitely does have nice rich bass and lots of sustain.  It’s a reasonable size and extraordinarily versatile – mine has been my go-to instrument for (gulp) twenty years now, and it’s not slowing down.   And the 14-fret neck does offer a bit more real estate free of the body.

      Link to comparison of OM-and-similar small-body dimensions on Google Drive:

      (ps if anyone wants to add a set of dimensions to that list, send them and I’ll add them and add attribution).

      That said, if you like the 12-fret, a 00 or 000 12-fret would work.  I’m fond of the sound of the SCGC o0 more or less across the board, and have a custom 00-29 (all mahogany) that’s quite extraordinary.



      • This reply was modified 3 years, 8 months ago by Matt Hayden.
      • This reply was modified 3 years, 8 months ago by Matt Hayden.
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