Founded in 1871, and incorporated in 1911, the Oscar Schmidt company has a long history of building guitars and other instruments. Although not as well known today, they were doing quite well in the early 1900s, having five factories in Europe and a factory on Ferry Street in Jersey City. The instruments in their lineup were available locally and affordable, and were popular for those looking for budget friendly acoustics including parlor guitars.
Now under Washburn, the Oscar Schmidt brand continues to create acoustic guitars with quality hardware at modest price points. Each one of the guitars that they sell are quality checked and setup in their USA facility, assuring smooth fret ends, comfortable low action and good tone, and among their line up is a nice and affordable parlor guitar, the Oscar Schmidt O315.
Since there isn’t a demo of the O315 yet, check out this interesting demo of a 1930’s Oscar Schmidt parlor:
The O315 is inspired by the parlor guitars that the company built in the 1920’s, featuring elaborate cosmetics and traditional tonewood combination that is affordably priced. The top is crafted from select spruce, while the back and sides come from Trembesi, an exotic yet cost-effective wood sourced from Indonesia. The top and back form the compact parlor shape that mimics the look and sound of old parlor guitars.
The neck is crafted from mahogany and features a modern fully adjustable truss rod, something that vintage parlor guitars usually don’t have. And the slotted headstock with classical style tuners serve as a crowning piece that completes its authentic vintage appeal.
Like its mother company Washburn, Oscar Schmidt does not compromise cosmetic quality even in their entry-level to mid-tier instruments, this includes the O315. For its price, it has quite the embellishments, featuring celluloid-bound top and bottom edges that give the guitar a convincing old school look.
Regarding the tone of this guitar, the official description says, “It has a very distinctive bright sound reminiscent of those ’20s era guitars with a rich depth unequalled in this body shape.” This is a parlor guitar that does not try to sound like a dreadnought or other bigger acoustics, rather it stays true to the snarly tones of old blues boxes. Reviews for this particular parlor guitar has been consistent in saying that this is an excellent instrument, crediting its unique bright sound and impressive workmanship quality. If you are looking for a nice value for money parlor guitar with a unique voice, then check this one out.
The Oscar Schmidt O315 is currently retailing online for under $300, for more information and other details visit Oscar Schmidt.