You are currently viewing Kit Guitar Forum archives. To view the current forums go to


What is the loudest acoustic guitar you have ever played?

Total Topics: 2
Total Posts: 3
Hi,I regularily jam down the local pub.

It is an acoustic jam sometimes wth 6 or 7 acoustic guitars plus violins banjos flutes and all other manner of instruments.

So I am looking to build the loudest acoustic in the world! I sometimes need to play lead and we are not allowed anything with a plug!! ( I did explore tucking a little battery amp and speaker inside the guitar where no-one can see it but dont want to get blackballed and booted out..!!)

So does anyone have any advice on what would make the loudest acoustic guitar?
I did think a jumbo might be the way to go, but I know its not as simple as that and size isnt everything(as my wife keeps reminding me...)
I would appreciate any advice on this one
Best wishes Vince

Dec 03, 09 | 3:24 am
Bill Cory

Total Topics: 158
Total Posts: 3584
I'd say a dreadnought with medium (013-055) strings would be louder than a jumbo. Build it with a light top, maybe forward-shifted bracing. Adirondack or sitka top. Just my opinion.

Dec 03, 09 | 4:46 am
Ken Cierp

Total Topics: 58
Total Posts: 2262
Hi Vince,
I played a Tony Rice model (shame on me can't remember who made it Santa Cruz?) It had X forward, Red Spruce top and and an oversize sound hole --- huge sound! I am a finger picker so I found it a bit "barky" certain notes seemed to jump out more, but I imagine that for the skilled flat picker this would be the one.


Kenneth Michael Guitarsest. 1978

Dec 03, 09 | 5:28 am
Woody O'Keefe

Total Topics: 31
Total Posts: 102
Hi Vince,

I play a '75 Martin D-28, loudest guitar I've ever played. When I play with Fiddle and Mando etc. and It's my turn for lead the other guys back off a bit. Otherwise you must amplify!


Dec 03, 09 | 6:43 am

Total Topics: 27
Total Posts: 668
When my 74 D-18 came back from being hot rodded by Bryan Kimsey, my wifes comment was "you are playing louder tonight". I didn't think I had changed anything. The old Martie has been played along side a 1937 D-18 and a newer GE and held its own nicely.

Sel-Mac's (gypsy jazz guitars) are pretty loud, but probably not what you are looking for. And of course for just plain loud and nasty, you can't beat a

Dec 03, 09 | 10:28 am

Total Topics: 1
Total Posts: 9
I may be little prejudice but the loudest flat top I have heard and others have said so too is the 1981 Takamine EF360 I have had since 1981. I use Martin lights on it and it really rings.

Dec 03, 09 | 11:22 am
Ken Hundley

Total Topics: 40
Total Posts: 2169
My First Jumbo Kit.....

Dec 03, 09 | 1:32 pm

Total Topics: 2
Total Posts: 3
Hi andthanks for al your opinions - keep em coming...

I have owed a 30 year old Martin HD28 - ( which was unfortunately stolen by a shop in London- long story) and, currently live play a Martin dxie cutaway dread which were/are fairly loud but nothing special.

I did briefly own a handmade Guitar made by an American luthier called Kevin Skaja.
It was a jumbo with white oak sides and back, oak and walnut neck, and a top which looked like the pine that Ikea make their furniture from! I paid $650 for it and it sounded beautiful. It was also very loud. I guess this is a strange combination of woods, and although the sides looked great i wasnt too keen on the top, but it was well made and finished and I liked it very much. Unfortunately during a big gear clearout when i ost my job, I had to sell it, which I very much regret.

Has anyone else come across this guy? This guitar was the reason I figured Jumbos would be louder.

Could anyone tell me what determines the potential volume of a guitar?

Dec 03, 09 | 2:42 pm

Total Topics: 27
Total Posts: 668
One thing that you can do is record different guitars in the same fashion (same mic, recorder, mic location relative to the git, etc) and then use a graphical program such as Audacity to analyze both the intensity and duration of notes on each. When I tested strings and pins I did this, playing the same notes and chords with the same pick and my bare fingernails, in fact I even tied a piece of string on the mic so I would get it the same distance from the top. There is no reason you couldn't use this technique to compare different guitars - take your little digital recorder to the music store, put it exactly the same distance in front of each guitar you want to compare, play the same notes, load the recordings into two Audacity sessions and compare the strength of each signal. A whole lot more scientific than whatever your ears perceive.

Dec 03, 09 | 2:42 pm

Total Topics: 64
Total Posts: 509
The loudest guitar I've palyed is a Martin D-35. Everyone of them I've played were very loud. I don' tlike the tone of them as much as a scalloped brace Martin but they seem to be louder than the scalloped braced guitars.

I'm with Bill, I think a dreadnaught in general will be the loudest guitar.

Dec 03, 09 | 5:06 pm

Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 3
I liked the quote in the "Dan Ferrington" book that said "the loudest guitar is just about to fly apart at any time." If all components are delicately balanced one can have more volume. The weight and tension of the strings in relation to the weight and excursion of the top is the primary formula. The interior volume primarily effects tone color. My self I prefer an instrument with no cutaway. What ever you do to a guitar, a banjo is usually louder

Dec 30, 09 | 9:50 am

You must be a registered and logged in member to post in this forum