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Preston Thompson 00-12 SMA
 
A great mahogany-and-spruce 12-fret guitar with custom inlay.
March 23, 2022
 

Built in Sisters, Oregon, Thompson guitars are among the finest vintage-inspired flattops on the market. The company’s dreadnoughts in particular have earned the respect of a growing fanbase of flatpickers, but its small-bodies are no less impressive. I recently had a chance to check out a slightly customized version of Thompson’s 12-fret 00 model in the Peghead Nation video studio. 

12-fret 00s are a well-established type of instrument. A body width of 14⅛ inches at the lower bout makes them smaller than a typical midsize guitar but larger than a parlor, with a short scale length contributing to the compact feel and playability. Traditionally built with a slotted peghead, these instruments are about as close to a classical guitar as steel-strings get. Tonally, 12-fret 00s can be surprisingly versatile, delivering great sound for anything from strumming cowboy chords to playing intricate fingerstyle. 

The 00-12 SMA that Thompson sent us was built with an Adirondack spruce top and “sinker” mahogany back and sides. As with every Thompson I’ve seen, the woods are gorgeous, and the craftsmanship is top notch. In many respects, the guitar follows a style-18 template in its appointments, which include tortoise-style binding, black-and-white top purfling and rosette, and abalone dot position markers in the fingerboard. But the guitar also has an optional semi-gloss sunburst finish with a lovely reddish hue, and a beautiful daisy inlay in the face of the peghead. Not wanting to distract from the flower, Thompson placed its logo on the back of the peghead, a tradition frequently used by Martin and other makers. 

I found the 00-12 SMA to be the kind of guitar you immediately bond with. It has a highly responsive voice and the excellent balance this type of instrument is known for, regardless of how it’s played. The neck width is 1¾ inches, which is narrower than you’d find on most older 12-fret 00’s, and with its soft V shape, it has a contemporary feel without completely losing a certain degree of vintage vibe. 

Overall, the 00-12 SMA is another great example of the beautiful work done in the Thompson shop. While honoring tradition, it moves the 12-fret 00 style into a contemporary realm with a creative approach to its appearance.

SPECS: 12-fret 00 body. Adirondack spruce top with advanced-X Adirondack bracing. Sinker mahogany back and sides. Mahogany neck. Ebony fingerboard and bridge. 24.9-inch scale. 1¾-inch nut width. 2⁵/₁₆-inch string spacing at the saddle. Waverly tuning machines. Made in the USA. $6,425 (base model $5,400). pktguitars.com

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    ● Courses
    ● Live Workshops
    ● Instructors
    ● Sample Lessons
    ● Notation Guide
    ● For Beginners
 
 
    ● Vintage Vault
    ● New Gear
    ● Fine Lutherie
 
 
    ● Workshops
    ● Advice
    ● Repertoire
 
 
    ● Recordings
    ● Events
    ● Breaking News
 
 
    ● In The Studio
    ● Live Onstage
    ● Backroom
 
 
    ● New Products
    ● Inside Look
    ● Performances
    ● Partner Pages
 
 
© Copyright 2020 PegheadNation.com