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Product J21307

Recording King Dirty Thirties Solid Top Single O Parlor Acoustic Guitar

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The Dirty Thirties Dust Bowl-inspired Single O is meant to sound great wherever the road takes you. With a solid top and solid black finish, it sits ...Click To Read More About This Product

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OVERVIEW

A solid spruce top and period refinements make this vintage-style O guitar a winner.

The Dirty Thirties Dust Bowl-inspired Single O is meant to sound great wherever the road takes you. With a solid top and solid black finish, it sits at the perfect crossroads of classic sound, vintage style and exceptional value. Like the original Montgomery Ward mail order guitars in the first half of the century, the Dirty Thirties Single O is the perfect companion for singer-songwriters, folk stylists or traveling troubadours.

All of Recording King's Dirty Thirties guitars start with a solid Spruce top and rosewood fretboard, with bone nut and saddle. They've finished each guitar with classic extra-large fretboard dots, aged ivoroid body binding, vintage-inspired tuning keys and the historic Recording King headstock.

The Dirty Thirties Series packs excellent playability and historic vibe into an ultra-affordable package that makes vintage style accessible to even the most budget-conscious players. Case sold separately.

FEATURES
  • Model: Rph-05
  • Body Shape: O
  • Top Material: Solid Spruce
  • Back Material: White Wood
  • Side Material: White Wood
  • Top Bracing Pattern: Forward X-Bracing
  • Top Braces: Scalloped
  • Neck Material: Nato
  • Neck Profile: Contemporary "C"
  • Neck Joint: Dovetail
  • Fretboard Material: Rosewood
  • Scale Length: 25.4 in.
  • # Of Frets Clear: 12
  • # Of Frets Total: 20
  • Nut Material: Bone
  • Nut Width: 1-11/16 in.
  • Headstock Overlay: Rosewood
  • Headstock Inlay: Historic Recording King Decal
  • Tuning Machines: Vintage-Style, Plastic Button
  • Body Binding: Ivory
  • Rosette: Classic Style
  • Top Purfling: None
  • Fretboard Inlays: Classic Extra-Large Dots
  • Fretboard Binding: None
  • Bridge Material: Rosewood
  • Bridge Shape: Straight
  • Saddle: Bone
  • Bridge Pins & Endpin: Ivory Plastic
  • Pickguard: None
  • Finish: Black
  • Electronics: None
  • Case: Sold separately

Get back to the future with this celebration of guitars gone by, now in black. Order today.

Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
Recording KingDirty Thirties Solid Top Single O Parlor Acoustic Guitar
 
3.7

(based on 26 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (11)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (3)

67%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Stays in tune (3)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

No Best Uses
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (18)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Unbelieveably good little guitar!

I had been wanting a parlor guitar for a while, as my dreadnought is a bit large for relaxed playing. I saw the satin black model on Stupid Deal of the Day at a...Read complete review

I had been wanting a parlor guitar for a while, as my dreadnought is a bit large for relaxed playing. I saw the satin black model on Stupid Deal of the Day at a good price, so I did quick research and found nothing but positive reviews all over the Internet. I decided to buy it, figuring that if it wasn't all that great then I could give it to some kid starting out.

I was very pleased with the purchase. It is a solid, well designed guitar that sounds pretty darned good. Mine had absolutely no blemishes of any kind. It is flawless. Although I haven't played a lot of parlor guitars, I have played a 1936 Martin of the same size and the Recording King sounds good in comparison... and plays much easier. It isn't a loud guitar, but it's not supposed to be loud. It's supposed to sound quietly good, which it does. The bone nut and bridge offer excellent sustain. The setup is superb. The action is great. I love the retro satin black finish. It looks like it really did come out of a 1930's catalog.

The only thing I don't particularly like is that the tuners are difficult to turn, which makes it hard on my arthritic left hand. However, they hold their tuning well. I have not yet done a size comparison to the Kluson tuners they are emulating, but it's possible that Klusons or vintage style Grovers may be a direct replacement option. Again, this is more of a personal issue. The tuners do their job, so it won't be a problem for most players.

Overall, this is a great guitar. I'm glad I bought one. I may buy another if they ever go on sale again.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Bad Truss Rod

This guitar arrived in a poorly packed carton, but received no damage in shipping. It is a plain-looking instrument, but the intonation was surprisingly good. Unfortunately, the truss rod was seized up,...Read complete review

This guitar arrived in a poorly packed carton, but received no damage in shipping. It is a plain-looking instrument, but the intonation was surprisingly good. Unfortunately, the truss rod was seized up, no amount of coaxing would get it to move either way, so I decided to return it for a refund.

I was planning to install new strings right away, but the balky truss rod changed my mind, as it was a deal-killer. The sound of the guitar with the original strings was rather tinny, but in all fairness, there were no buzzes or sharp frets, and it played well up and down the neck. Not a bad deal, if it had not been for that one major issue. Maybe some lube and some gentle persuasion would have fixed it, but I wasn't about to accept a new guitar in that condition right out of the box. Your luck may be different.

Reviewed by 26 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

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(3 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

 
1.0

Not Good when they paint the strings!

By Kel

from Seattle

Pros

    Cons

    • Bridge plate was splintered
    • Nut fell off when I was putting new strings on
    • Paint overspray on the strings!

    Best Uses

      Comments about Recording King Dirty Thirties Solid Top Single O Parlor Acoustic Guitar:

      I read the comments from other sources, about how this is a great little guitar once you put some work into it. The more closely I looked the more flaws I saw. Literally looked like it was put together by a child at playtime.
      When I saw black overspray on the strings up near the tuning keys, I laughed. When the nut fell off when I went to change the strings, I said " Uh Uh ".

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

       
      3.0

      Bad Truss Rod

      By Jimmy J

      from Way Up North

      See all my reviews

      Ask me a question

      Verified Reviewer

      Comments about Recording King Dirty Thirties Solid Top Single O Parlor Acoustic Guitar:

      This guitar arrived in a poorly packed carton, but received no damage in shipping. It is a plain-looking instrument, but the intonation was surprisingly good. Unfortunately, the truss rod was seized up, no amount of coaxing would get it to move either way, so I decided to return it for a refund.

      I was planning to install new strings right away, but the balky truss rod changed my mind, as it was a deal-killer. The sound of the guitar with the original strings was rather tinny, but in all fairness, there were no buzzes or sharp frets, and it played well up and down the neck. Not a bad deal, if it had not been for that one major issue. Maybe some lube and some gentle persuasion would have fixed it, but I wasn't about to accept a new guitar in that condition right out of the box. Your luck may be different.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      (2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Like it, but requires I play well to get its good sound out

      By Dale

      from Orlando, FL

      See all my reviews

      Ask me a question

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Price, quality, fun

      Cons

        Best Uses

          Comments about Recording King Dirty Thirties Solid Top Single O Parlor Acoustic Guitar:

          I've had this black Recording Kings a couple of weeks now, and played it several hours. It is hard to review because I completely understand people saying this is wonderful guitar, and I understand others saying "bleh". I'll try to navigate through both views. I'm reminded of an old poem, "The Touch of the Master's Hand". An old, ugly violin is being auctioned, starting at a buck. No one wants it. An old man walks up, takes the violin, tunes it, makes sublime music on it, and sets it back down. The stunned silence is broken by the auctioneer resuming at a much higher price, and it sells for an amount thought preposterous moments earlier. Some cheer, others cry, "What changed its value!?!". Swift comes the reply, "The touch of the Master's hand." I think that sentiment fits this little gem. I've played a lot of years, always on the lookout for THE guitar that would make me sound good. I've come to the place where I consider sounding good more my responsibility than the guitar's. But the guitar DOES need to bring a few things to the table. It has to be in tune all the way up the fingerboard. It needs to make a clear sound when fingered right. It needs to move as the player moves. Decent action, of course. Not every guitar (or every popular singer, for that matter) has full, "pear-shaped" tones in the bass, middle, and highs. But to be a player, it MUST be able to make distinct sounds so you can hear what's going on. Bass might not "boom", but it MUST sound different from mids. And mids different from high. They should blend nicely. If a solo guitarist is playing a melody with a bass & chord accompaniment, the melody should be able to stand out, and the accompaniment be in the back, and blend. So, this guitar? It sounds bleh if played bleh. I'm finding if I ask more of it, it complies. It does the things I described above. It responds. Good value!! And ...at SD of the D price, it is stunning. I like it!! Just remember it CAN play bleh if you ask it to.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

          (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

           
          4.0

          A Smart Stupid Deal

          By Mr. Smitdogg

          from Milford, CT

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • great for learning
          • Plays well

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Practice, playing outdoors

            Comments about Recording King Dirty Thirties Solid Top Single O Parlor Acoustic Guitar:

            I'm happy I decided to purchase this as a Stupid Deal of the Day! I was looking for a knock around guitar that I don't have to worry about getting banged up and this fit the bill. A slight neck adjustment and I'm off. It plays like a dream with no other adjustments out of the box with original strings. Sounds good enough for what I'm using it for.

            My 10 year old son even enjoys playing it. It will probably be his before the end of school year.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Unbelieveably good little guitar!

            By Mike B.

            from Myrtle Beach SC

            See all my reviews

            Ask me a question

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Bone nut and bridge.
            • Comfortable "parlor" size.
            • Good tone.
            • Nice action. Very playable.
            • Nice durable satin finish.
            • Solid spruce top.
            • Sturdy construction.

            Cons

            • Tuning machines are hard to turn.

            Best Uses

            • Home recording.
            • Playing with friends.
            • Practice.
            • Writing & arranging music.

            Comments about Recording King Dirty Thirties Solid Top Single O Parlor Acoustic Guitar:

            I had been wanting a parlor guitar for a while, as my dreadnought is a bit large for relaxed playing. I saw the satin black model on Stupid Deal of the Day at a good price, so I did quick research and found nothing but positive reviews all over the Internet. I decided to buy it, figuring that if it wasn't all that great then I could give it to some kid starting out.

            I was very pleased with the purchase. It is a solid, well designed guitar that sounds pretty darned good. Mine had absolutely no blemishes of any kind. It is flawless. Although I haven't played a lot of parlor guitars, I have played a 1936 Martin of the same size and the Recording King sounds good in comparison... and plays much easier. It isn't a loud guitar, but it's not supposed to be loud. It's supposed to sound quietly good, which it does. The bone nut and bridge offer excellent sustain. The setup is superb. The action is great. I love the retro satin black finish. It looks like it really did come out of a 1930's catalog.

            The only thing I don't particularly like is that the tuners are difficult to turn, which makes it hard on my arthritic left hand. However, they hold their tuning well. I have not yet done a size comparison to the Kluson tuners they are emulating, but it's possible that Klusons or vintage style Grovers may be a direct replacement option. Again, this is more of a personal issue. The tuners do their job, so it won't be a problem for most players.

            Overall, this is a great guitar. I'm glad I bought one. I may buy another if they ever go on sale again.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

            (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

             
            2.0

            Dissapointed

            By Me the me

            from Grand Rapids, MI

            Verified Buyer

            Comments about Recording King Dirty Thirties Solid Top Single O Parlor Acoustic Guitar:

            This one is hard for me to review because of the cost. All I can say is I regret the purchase. You can tell it was put together pretty sloppily. There are glue and paint imperfections. More important to me was how it played. It arrived horribly set up. Action of the strings was very high. After spending time setting it up it buzzes. Hi action or buzzing? Not a choice I like. I have another recording king (RO10) that plays really nice so I know they can make good guitars. This ones a lemon though. Would not recommend.

            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

             
            4.0

            Great Value

            By Phill F.

            from Austin, TX

            See all my reviews

            Verified Buyer

            Comments about Recording King Dirty Thirties Solid Top Single O Parlor Acoustic Guitar:

            Been playing 45 years. It's a solid instrument with a decent tone and snall enough to leave in the corner of the living room to grab and play

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No
             
            5.0

            Cheap guitar sound with GREAT intonation: COOL!

            By Dale

            from Orlando, FL

            About Me Experienced

            See all my reviews

            Ask me a question

            Verified Reviewer

            Pros

            • Fun To Play
            • Plays in tune

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Recording
              • That special small box sound

              Comments about Recording King Dirty Thirties Solid Top Single O Parlor Acoustic Guitar:

              I bought one, and like it because this guitar does one vital thing: it plays well in tune up and down the fingerboard. It is built simply, clean and cheap, and you probably won't cry a lot if it gets run over by a truck. But it plays in tune very well. So it DOES record well, true to its name. I guess they use computer-run machines to place the frets, which makes this boxy sounding guitar play in tune... which makes it a capable, fun, satisfying instrument. Neck is playable, no problems on mine. But don't look for a fat, full sound. It sounds like the old catalog guitars the Blues pioneers we love used, I'm told. But it probably plays better in tune than those guitars. NOT necessarily saying it STAYS well in tune.Tuners are okay, not amazing. But the fret placement. GOOD!!! I like it for its good intonation.

               
              4.0

              excellent value

              By slim shady

              from Middle Georgia

              About Me Novice

              See all my reviews

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Consistent
              • Fun To Play
              • Good Feel
              • great feel
              • Little but loud
              • Rich Sound
              • Stays In Tune

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Great "shop" guitar
                • Jamming
                • Practicing
                • Small Venues

                Comments about Recording King Dirty Thirties Solid Top Single O Parlor Acoustic Guitar:

                Dirty 30 stands in the corner in the office at the shop.

                 
                3.0

                It is what it is. Cheap!

                By Sharpfinger

                from Massachusetts

                About Me Experienced

                See all my reviews

                Pros

                • Stays In Tune

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Jamming

                  Comments about Recording King Dirty Thirties Solid Top Single O Parlor Acoustic Guitar:

                  Broken tuning peg. Won allow you to tune the low E. I had to tune in open G. Cheap enough that I'll keep for my office. But, you would think someone would be checking this stuff. Not the first time I was sent a damaged item that should have been caught before shipment. This guitar was an open box item and I'm pretty sure the peg was why it was returned! Hey guys, if you want to keep customers lets try and do a better job. That's it for me!

                   
                  5.0

                  I love this guitar

                  By Andy Average

                  from New Orleans

                  About Me Novice

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Consistent
                  • Good Feel
                  • Stays In Tune

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                      Comments about Recording King Dirty Thirties Solid Top Single O Parlor Acoustic Guitar:

                      I decided at 59 to learn to play guitar but which one? I looked and looked finally decided I wanted a parlor sized guitar - smaller size and neck- and saw good reviews for Recording King. It has really not felt old bluesy sound kinda like if Mississippi John Hurt would have played and I love it. Still learning but the guitar holds tuning and the quality is excellent and so is the service from musicians friend. Maybe in a year or two I'm gonna buy me a RK resonator. Woo hoo

                       
                      5.0

                      Great guitar for the price

                      By RD

                      from Phoenix

                      Pros

                      • Great price
                      • Plays easily
                      • Set up well out of the box
                      • Surprisingly good sound

                      Cons

                      • None

                      Best Uses

                      • Beach/camping/travel
                      • Blues

                      Comments about Recording King Dirty Thirties Solid Top Single O Parlor Acoustic Guitar:

                      Bought this on an impulse as a SDOTD, great price. The box it came in was really damaged, but the guitar was packed in another box inside and was flawless. Set up perfectly, plays easily, perfect intonation, decent volume considering the body size. I've now had it two months, have played it a lot, have had several different string sets on it (currently have Monels), and I continue to be impressed. I plan to use it as a travel guitar this summer. Heck of a deal, a serious guitar at a cheap price.

                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • No
                       
                      4.0

                      Decent Little Couch Guitar

                      By JD

                      from Florida

                      See all my reviews

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Comfortable size
                      • Decent sound
                      • Great value

                      Cons

                      • Bad for hard strumming
                      • Needs a setup before it plays right

                      Best Uses

                      • Fingerpicked blues
                      • Leaving it out so there's a guitar handy
                      • Practice

                      Comments about Recording King Dirty Thirties Solid Top Single O Parlor Acoustic Guitar:

                      Some reviewers had quality issues. Mine was fine. File down the saddle, adjust the truss rod, and throw some new strings on and this thing is just fine. Decent sound, particulary with a light touch. Hard strummers will not like this guitar. Fingerpickers will find a great value, especially if its on sale.

                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • No
                       
                      5.0

                      For the low price it's 2 thumbs up!

                      By Bob

                      from Indiana

                      See all my reviews

                      Verified Reviewer

                      Pros

                      • Price

                      Cons

                      • Its a budget guitar

                      Best Uses

                        Comments about Recording King Dirty Thirties Solid Top Single O Parlor Acoustic Guitar:

                        In my opinion this is a fun little guitar for the ridiculously low SD price I paid. This isn't an expensive Martin for Pete's sake! Decent sound, decent playability down to around the 10 fret (it's a parlor after all). Not a boomer. You can fingerpick with it but better with flatpicking do the low volume. Tuners are marginal but work. Truss rod need adjusting out of the box but no problems with it. Just what I wanted to drag around camp sites.

                        • Was this a gift?:
                        • No
                         
                        1.0

                        Serious issue with top warp

                        By Desert Rat

                        from Tucson, Arizona

                        See all my reviews

                        Verified Reviewer

                        Comments about Recording King Dirty Thirties Solid Top Single O Parlor Acoustic Guitar:

                        I really wanted to keep this guitar because it was so much fun to play. The first one developed a split in the top wood between the bridge and the tail after 3 weeks of constantly going flat. Replacement guitar also started going flat daily and after 3 days, the top started to change shape and low e string developed a bad buzz. I can only think they had a production run with bad bracing or bad top wood or both. Two with the same problem? I am done with this brand.

                        • Was this a gift?:
                        • No
                         
                        3.0

                        Bought mine for open tunings.

                        By William

                        from Detroit Mi

                        Verified Buyer

                        Comments about Recording King Dirty Thirties Solid Top Single O Parlor Acoustic Guitar:

                        Finish and fretwork excellent for price, lightweight for back porch and campfires.

                         
                        5.0

                        Supremely playable

                        By Patawan

                        from NC

                        See all my reviews

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                        • fun to play
                        • perfect size
                        • solid top

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                          • playing!

                          Comments about Recording King Dirty Thirties Solid Top Single O Parlor Acoustic Guitar:

                          My friend bought a similar guitar and I played it for 2 solid weeks but kept saying "I don't need another guitar, I'll just play yours!" - until it was 99 as Stupid Deal and I couldn't resist. I ended up getting a great guitar right out of the box - no adjustments needed. It got new strings (Martin .10 gauge) but the original strings were actually ok, I just think lighter strings make it even more fun.
                          This actually has a solid top and the bracing inside is the same as in my dreadnoughts. I even bought a second one (another SD) as a "guest guitar" at my sister's house.
                          The case was a little harder to find because it is slightly larger than a classic parlor guitar but the Gator GBE-Classic Gig Bag for Classical Guitars fits like a glove for under 25. http://www.musiciansfriend.com/accessories/gator-gbe-classic-gig-bag-for-classical-guitars
                          I love when I have so much fun with an instrument that It makes me want to play more - like this little gem.

                          • Was this a gift?:
                          • Yes
                           
                          3.0

                          I can only give it a "just OK"

                          By JD

                          from NYC

                          See all my reviews

                          Verified Buyer

                          Pros

                          • Small neck easy to play

                          Cons

                          • Not happy with the quality

                          Best Uses

                            Comments about Recording King Dirty Thirties Solid Top Single O Parlor Acoustic Guitar:

                            This sounded pretty good in videos but when playing it it sounds pretty cheap. I had to return the first one due to two issues: the headstock had a little nick in it and there was fret buzz on the high E string on a couple of upper frets. The replacement process was a little slow for me since you have to return it, wait until MF gets it, then they reship. I considered returning this one due to poor quality as well. The pointy top of the headstock is beat up. It's not chipped but it's not a smooth point like it should be. Looks to me like a factory second.

                            • Was this a gift?:
                            • No
                             
                            5.0

                            Very playable, good tone.

                            By Joe

                            from Wyoming

                            See all my reviews

                            Verified Buyer

                            Comments about Recording King Dirty Thirties Solid Top Single O Parlor Acoustic Guitar:

                            If they had good playing guitars like this in the 1960s, I would have been a guitar player, not a bass player.
                            Now my dormant guitar genius emerges! Well...

                            • Was this a gift?:
                            • No
                             
                            4.0

                            better than I expected

                            By john

                            from dallas

                            See all my reviews

                            Verified Buyer

                            Comments about Recording King Dirty Thirties Solid Top Single O Parlor Acoustic Guitar:

                            louder then expected good for playing around the house
                            nice little guitar

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