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The ideal travel guitar?

Little Hawk 08 May 10 - 05:15 PM
Murray MacLeod 08 May 10 - 05:36 PM
Murray MacLeod 08 May 10 - 05:40 PM
Little Hawk 08 May 10 - 06:17 PM
DebC 08 May 10 - 06:34 PM
Little Hawk 08 May 10 - 06:45 PM
Tangledwood 08 May 10 - 07:25 PM
DebC 09 May 10 - 01:49 AM
banjoman 09 May 10 - 06:51 AM
bankley 09 May 10 - 07:29 AM
matt milton 09 May 10 - 09:25 AM
vectis 09 May 10 - 03:53 PM
Murray MacLeod 09 May 10 - 04:13 PM
Acme 09 May 10 - 05:09 PM
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Subject: The ideal travel guitar?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 08 May 10 - 05:15 PM

It might be the Voyage-Air guitar. Have a look at these links:

magazine review


video review


user review


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Subject: RE: The ideal travel guitar?
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 08 May 10 - 05:36 PM

I believe our own Deb C owns one of these, I am sure she will be along to contribute to this thread.

My gut feeling looking at the review video is that the body could have been made smaller, something like a Martin NY would have been right.

I actually designed a travel guitar many years ago (proper drawings and all) which had a detachable neck, (as opposed to folding) which fitted diagonally in the case. As I recollect, my design was way smaller than the Voyage-Air.

Maybe I will resuscitate it ...


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Subject: RE: The ideal travel guitar?
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 08 May 10 - 05:40 PM

just read the user review on Harmony Central.

forgive me for being sceptical, but if ever I saw a review written by a manufacturer's stooge, that was it.


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Subject: RE: The ideal travel guitar?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 08 May 10 - 06:17 PM

Sure, that's possible, Murray. And what about the other (magazine) review and the accompanying video? More manufacturer's stooges? Also possible. But one could say that about any positive review of anything one saw anywhere, couldn't one?

There is no reason to make a travel guitar with a smaller than regular body (soundbox). The problem isn't the size of the body, it's the overall length of a full size guitar that is the main problem (if you want to have it be a "carry-on" bag suitable for putting in the overhead rack on an airplane).

What one needs is a bag that doesn't look "too big" to be a carry-on bag, and then the flight attentdant won't make you abandon it to the tender mercy of the baggage handlers.

What Chris Smither recommends in a recent article in Acoustic Guitar Magazine is to put your regular guitar, whatever it may be, in a black, well-padded gig bag. Black, because it makes the bag look smaller. Gig bag, because it looks way smaller than a hardshell case does, and it is much less likely to draw the ire of gate agents and flight attendents, specially if you sling it casually over one shoulder so as to conceal the neck portion, use the shoulder away from the gate agent/flight attentent (normally the right shoulder). Position it to visually minimize it, in other words. Board the plane as early as possible when there is still lots of room for luggage in the overhead compartments. Fly business class.

There's more. Read his article in the April 2010 issue of Acoustic Guitar magazine. He says he almost always gets his Collings safely on board this way, whereas he usually would not succeed in doing so if it was in a hardshell case.

Also, Acoustic Guitar Magazine likewise reviewed these Voyage-Air guitars some months prior to the issue I speak of...and they spoke very well of them. I don't think the whole magazine is in the pocket of the Voyage-Air Company. It doesn't seem very likely.

But what I hope is that we will hear from someone here on Mudcat who has tried out these guitars in person. They have no dealers up here in Canada, as far as I know.


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Subject: RE: The ideal travel guitar?
From: DebC
Date: 08 May 10 - 06:34 PM

I do have one. Mine is a custom Leach Voyage-Air that was made by Harvey Leach, who invented the guitar. You can see pics of it on my Facebook page. I also have some photos on Flickr, but I don't have time to go searching for them.

I'll try to write more later when I have a moment.

That said, I love the Voyage-Air and those that have heard my custom Leach and have also seen the Dread that I was traveling with last year always remarked on how great they sound.

Debra Cowan


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Subject: RE: The ideal travel guitar?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 08 May 10 - 06:45 PM

Good stuff. Did you get one with mahogany body or rosewood body? I'll have a look at your Facebook page shortly. Mine's under George Coventry.


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Subject: RE: The ideal travel guitar?
From: Tangledwood
Date: 08 May 10 - 07:25 PM

A friend is using an alternative which she is happy with; a baritone uke. It's four strings are the same tuning as a guitar's top four.


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Subject: RE: The ideal travel guitar?
From: DebC
Date: 09 May 10 - 01:49 AM

Mine is a custom-made guitar with walnut back and sides, koa bindings, and a couple of nice thin maple strips on the back of the neck. Harvey also did a nice inlay of an orchid bloom I have.

The factory model I toured with in '08 and '09 was a VAD-2 Dread with Indian rosewood back and sides and adirondack spruce top.

Deb


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Subject: RE: The ideal travel guitar?
From: banjoman
Date: 09 May 10 - 06:51 AM

Thanks Deb - I saw your guitar at Broadstairs and have been trying to find outwhat it was ever since.
I own a Washbourn Travel Guitar which, although it has not got the quality of sound the contributors to this thread talk about, it is very compact and easily fits in a planes overhead luggage compartment. I use it mainly when my normal instruments are just too bulky to carry about. I also have a small 5 string banjo which is tuned to open A and is great for carrying about on planes.


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Subject: RE: The ideal travel guitar?
From: bankley
Date: 09 May 10 - 07:29 AM

If it's good enough for Tom Bresh, that says it all...

I once unbolted the neck from a Charvell electric so I could squeeze it into a duffle bag with my clothes, so I wouldn't have to pay for extra luggage.... of course I had to re-string and adjust the neck again.. so this is a good idea... that's when I used to floss with 'phosphur bronze lights'...

thanx LH


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Subject: RE: The ideal travel guitar?
From: matt milton
Date: 09 May 10 - 09:25 AM

The Blondel travel guitar is great - the best I've tried. (The manufacturer describes it as a "cittern guitar".) It's also very affordable.


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Subject: RE: The ideal travel guitar?
From: vectis
Date: 09 May 10 - 03:53 PM

I have a martin backpacker and have never been stopped from taking it on long haul flights. Some folks take their guitar as their hand baggage but don't carry a second bag and don't seem to have problems even on long haul budget airlines.

Best thing is to phone ahead and make a deal with them and get them to e-mail their agreement to you and then take the e-mail to the check in with you.The first time I took a guitar it was agreed in advance and they were very helpful.

Most objection come about when people take more than one bag with them without prior agreement and then try it on, they don't like that.


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Subject: RE: The ideal travel guitar?
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 09 May 10 - 04:13 PM

there is no doubt that the Voyage-Air guitar is a work of genius, and it is probably as good a travel guitar as it is possible to get.

I haven't been able to track down the body dimensions (ie width) on the net, but it looks to me like the Voyage-Air is a full 15" across the lower bout (could you confirm or otherwise, please, Deb ?)

If it is 15", I can see where Harvey Leach is coming from, he obviously set himself the challenge of creating a folding guitar which would be as near as possible to what the player was accustomed to in his/her usual environment, however I can't help but feel that a slight reduction in body width would have been advantageous. No loss in tone or volume, and increased facility in storage and handling imo. It's not all about overhead compartments, travel guitars also go in trunks, and above the rear wheels of Harley-Davidsons, so every inch saved is a bonus.

I do so wish to hear your guitar one day Deb, missed you this time around, but next time for sure. I trust you still have your Martin ???


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Subject: RE: The ideal travel guitar?
From: Acme
Date: 09 May 10 - 05:09 PM

There was a really good thread about this a few years back. Maybe one of the clones will link it in the top of this thread? I remember reading a detailed description of a travel guitar that Don Firth bought and really enjoyed.


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