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Travel guitars - need advice

GUEST,Seaking at sea without a cookie 29 Apr 12 - 03:42 AM
Continuity Jones 29 Apr 12 - 04:11 AM
GUEST,Seaking 29 Apr 12 - 04:16 AM
My guru always said 29 Apr 12 - 04:23 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 29 Apr 12 - 04:49 AM
s&r 29 Apr 12 - 05:25 AM
foggers 29 Apr 12 - 06:03 AM
GUEST 29 Apr 12 - 06:36 AM
Midchuck 29 Apr 12 - 06:42 AM
foggers 29 Apr 12 - 11:40 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 29 Apr 12 - 11:53 AM
DebC 29 Apr 12 - 12:08 PM
DebC 29 Apr 12 - 12:25 PM
Backwoodsman 29 Apr 12 - 01:05 PM
Don Firth 29 Apr 12 - 04:29 PM
Seamus Kennedy 29 Apr 12 - 11:14 PM
JedMarum 30 Apr 12 - 02:23 AM
jonm 30 Apr 12 - 03:15 AM
GUEST 30 Apr 12 - 03:41 AM
GUEST,Backwoodsman sans cookie 30 Apr 12 - 03:41 AM
GUEST,vectis at work 30 Apr 12 - 08:53 AM
GUEST,John Foxen 30 Apr 12 - 10:48 AM
GUEST,999 30 Apr 12 - 11:21 AM
Tim Leaning 30 Apr 12 - 11:27 AM
GUEST,bankley 30 Apr 12 - 02:35 PM
Cool Beans 30 Apr 12 - 02:48 PM
scouse 01 May 12 - 04:41 AM
Rob Naylor 01 May 12 - 09:29 AM
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Subject: Travel guitars - need advice
From: GUEST,Seaking at sea without a cookie
Date: 29 Apr 12 - 03:42 AM

I need some advice please. My teenage son is planning to travel to and around spain later this year and I've promised to equip him with a travel guitar. I've no experience whatsoever with travel guitars or their virtues, I'm assuming you get what you pay for etc but I'm not sure the obvious choice (to me) of a Martin would be a good idea as it wil probably get the odd battering. Any views on good buys, avoid buys, value, quality, new/second hand etc most welcome please.

Thanks
Chris


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Subject: RE: Travel guitars - need advice
From: Continuity Jones
Date: 29 Apr 12 - 04:11 AM

Hi,

I got a battered 2nd hand Taylor on eBay. It's great for what it is - a tiny wee guitar which can take a few knocks and dints without me losing sleep. Very light, easy to play, good action. Sounds fine unless you strum hard when it sounds awful.


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Subject: RE: Travel guitars - need advice
From: GUEST,Seaking
Date: 29 Apr 12 - 04:16 AM

Thanks CJ, raises a good point. My son's playing style is inclined towards heavy strummimg. He may have to temper this a bit if it's an issue with tiny guitars..


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Subject: RE: Travel guitars - need advice
From: My guru always said
Date: 29 Apr 12 - 04:23 AM

How about a guitar like DebC had when she ws over and stayed one Easter - it folded..... Probably expensive though!

Chris, have emailed!


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Subject: RE: Travel guitars - need advice
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 29 Apr 12 - 04:49 AM

The Washburn traveller has a good reputation, we saw Jane Sibbery with one once and it was divine. My wife's perserving with one right now, but capoing is always an issue on these things. You can get an internal mic for them which requires serious baffling even at low volumes. You wonder at times, you really do...


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Subject: RE: Travel guitars - need advice
From: s&r
Date: 29 Apr 12 - 05:25 AM

Baby Taylor is great - full sound for a small guitar. Martin backpacker we kept for about a month before we got rid.

Stu


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Subject: RE: Travel guitars - need advice
From: foggers
Date: 29 Apr 12 - 06:03 AM

I have a baby Tanglewood for camping trips; same size as a baby Taylor but cost less. It has great tone and playability. However, the body (being basically a normal shape but smaller) probably makes it less portable and more prone to damage when backpacking. (We camp by car so my main need was for something compact that does not take up too much space).

I do not especially like the tone of those slimline bodied travel guitars like the Martin and cheaper clones. I would be tempted to think about a baritone uke tuned DGBE personally, but I don't want to confuse matters further, when your enquiry is about travel guitars!


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Subject: RE: Travel guitars - need advice
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Apr 12 - 06:36 AM

I have a Washbourn Traveller and although its not used much it is a reasonable travel guitar (and fairly cheap) Mine came in its own fitted foam case designed to fit in airplane luggage bays so it does the job fine.


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Subject: RE: Travel guitars - need advice
From: Midchuck
Date: 29 Apr 12 - 06:42 AM

CA Cargo. Nothing else even comes close.

Virtually as much sound as a full-sized instrument; immune to heat, cold, humidity; can be used as a weapon in a bar fight, if needed, without so much as going out of tune...

Peter


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Subject: RE: Travel guitars - need advice
From: foggers
Date: 29 Apr 12 - 11:40 AM

Aye - the practical issue of fitting in an aeroplane overhead locker is a good point. My baby Tanglewood (now discontinued and replaced by their "Roadster" series) would be too big for hand luggage. There are lots of those Washburn "Rover" models on eBay and that foam case is a great accessory as part of the package. There is one with a demo video of the Washburn, which may help with this decision!

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Washburn-Rover-Travel-Acoustic-Guitar-Natural-Case-/330719742599?pt=UK_Musical_Instruments_Guitars_CV&hash=item4d006eca87


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Subject: RE: Travel guitars - need advice
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 29 Apr 12 - 11:53 AM

Just been rehearsing with the missus playing her Washburn Rover complete with internal mic through a Zoom acoustic FX pedal and microcube at capo 7. Perfect! And no feedback. Alas, like other traveller guitars the neck is way too wide, but otherwise a nice little guitar and - as already pointed out - a nice package with the case.


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Subject: RE: Travel guitars - need advice
From: DebC
Date: 29 Apr 12 - 12:08 PM

The guitar that Hilary (Guru) mentions is called a Voyage-Air. They range anywhere between $400 - $1700 depending on woods and build. They fit into the overhead in most planes and I never have an issue with it as hand luggage or carry-on.

The guitars were invented by a California luthier, Harvey Leach. I (along with a number of other 'Catters) road tested the prototypes and I have been using Voyage Air guitars as my road guitar now since 2008.

Disclaimer: I am an endorser, but then again I never endorse something I don't believe in 100%.

You can check the guitars out at Leach Guitars. Or go to Voyage Air Guitars website

Debra Cowan


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Subject: RE: Travel guitars - need advice
From: DebC
Date: 29 Apr 12 - 12:25 PM

I also forgot to add that the case can be used in the rucksack or backpack fashion. Very convenient!

Debra


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Subject: RE: Travel guitars - need advice
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 29 Apr 12 - 01:05 PM

Taylor GS-Mini.
It's between the Baby Taylor size and a standard guitar, nicely made, sounds wa-a-a-a-a-y better than the Baby Taylor. Excellent.

Tayor GS Mini

Elderly


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Subject: RE: Travel guitars - need advice
From: Don Firth
Date: 29 Apr 12 - 04:29 PM

I need a small guitar if I'm going to play while sitting in my wheelchair because the lower bout of a full-size guitar and the right wheel of the chair try to occupy the same space and it throws the guitar out of position. So I went Googling for travel guitars. After a fair amount of research, reading reviews and such, I settled on a Go-guitar made by Sam Radding of San Diego.

I passed them up at first because they don't look all that much like a guitar. In fact, they look like the love-child of an unnatural relationship between a guitar and a canoe paddle. But reviews in places like Harmony Central raved about them: convenience, playability, and sound. And it also comes with a neat, padded gig back (extra charge, but worth it).

When I got mine, tuned it up, and started to play it, I knew I'd made the right choice. Not real strong in the bass as one would expect with such a small box, but strong enough, and with a warm tone and a good sustain. I'm tickled with it!

And I have a good basis for comparison because I've owned some pretty pricy lumber over the years. Three Martins early on, and then a couple of Spanish hand-made classics. After I bought my flamenco guitar from Arcangel Fernandez in 1961, I learned that Carlos Montoya had retired his Barbero and was now playing a new Fernandez.

For the past ten years I've been using the Go-guitar in all my performances, including a number of concerts. Sounds fine! I've asked audience members afterward if the guitar came across well, and they've all said that it sounded like a regular guitar. And even though it doesn't look at all like a lute or cittern, it looks like a canoe paddle with strings, I've had audience members ask me if it was a period instrument of some kind.

I got the GO-GW (slightly deeper body for fuller sound, walnut back and sides rather than mahogany) nylon-string model. Some months later, I got a GO-GW steel-string model as well. A friend of mine played it and commented that the fingerboard and action feel just like a Taylor. He wanted to know where it got it.

Also. Sam Radding is a nice guy and very accommodating. He makes the guitars to order, and if you want anything special (a little customizing), it may cost a bit more, but he's game. Good guy to deal with.

Sam's main web site (CLICKY #1).

His line of models of the Go-guitar (CLICKY #2).

Don Firth

P. S. Careful if you carry it through an airport in its gig bag. It looks like you have a rifle in the bag. By the way, the strap on the gig bag unbuttons from the bag so you can also use it as a shoulder strap on the guitar.


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Subject: RE: Travel guitars - need advice
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 29 Apr 12 - 11:14 PM

What Deb C said. I have one too.


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Subject: RE: Travel guitars - need advice
From: JedMarum
Date: 30 Apr 12 - 02:23 AM

I would get the Larrivee Parlor guitar. It is a simply beautiful instrument and fits quite easily into the overheads. You can find used on-line at Ebay or elsewhere ... or new through your favorite dealer. It is a beautiful guitar.


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Subject: RE: Travel guitars - need advice
From: jonm
Date: 30 Apr 12 - 03:15 AM

I have a Baby Taylor. It tried all of the available options before buying - Tanglewood, Crafter, Washburn, Martin etc. and bought on sound quality and playability. Couldn't try a Larrivee Parlo(u)r as they are not available left-handed, although I believe they are significantly larger than most "travel" instruments.

The GS minis are even better than the standard Baby but are much more expensive.

My Baby has been all over with me and fits most locations easily. Good sound, fairly loud, I've gigged with it, and both the guitar and the carry-bag are robust. The bag can become a rucksack and I've cycled with it like that.


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Subject: RE: Travel guitars - need advice
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Apr 12 - 03:41 AM

"The GS minis are even better than the standard Baby but are much more expensive."

Slightly over 400 quid in the UK (under $500 in the USA) - still relatively inexpensive, and much nicer than a BT (IMHO, YMMV).

GuitarGuitar.co.uk


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Subject: RE: Travel guitars - need advice
From: GUEST,Backwoodsman sans cookie
Date: 30 Apr 12 - 03:41 AM

That was me at 03:41 AM


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Subject: RE: Travel guitars - need advice
From: GUEST,vectis at work
Date: 30 Apr 12 - 08:53 AM

I have a Martin backpacker. Tough little unit which sounds good enough to me and strums just fine.

Called the musical matchstick locally. No problems with airpane overheads despite being quite long, if skinny.


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Subject: RE: Travel guitars - need advice
From: GUEST,John Foxen
Date: 30 Apr 12 - 10:48 AM

I've been very pleased with my Ozark travel guitar. I tried the Martin and but bought the Ozark as I thought it had a better tone.


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Subject: RE: Travel guitars - need advice
From: GUEST,999
Date: 30 Apr 12 - 11:21 AM

I had the opportunity to play a Washburn Rover a few weeks back at Ron Bankley's place. What's neat about them is that the neck is the same size as a regular guitar thus allowing people to stay in shape with picking/chording, and for what it is, the sound is ok: not great, but good enough for practicing. They are cheap enough that if they sustain damage it's not a big loss, no offense to Mr Washburn. I was in tears when my D-28 was broken by an airline; I doubt I'd be in tears over a Rover. A drawback is that they seem to require X-light strings (???) and I'm used to mediums. That will require me to use less pressure in fingering.


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Subject: RE: Travel guitars - need advice
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 30 Apr 12 - 11:27 AM

Have had a Takamini in my Locker at work for around 6 years now...
It is doesn't fold up ..Needs tuning after every few hundred mils int eh back of the works van..Narrow neck frets seem to be in the right place etc..
Its not solid wood but it seems to be quite tough.
I know they do one with pick up too..
I finger pick on mine but if you strum it it can be quite loud.


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Subject: RE: Travel guitars - need advice
From: GUEST,bankley
Date: 30 Apr 12 - 02:35 PM

you can put medium strings on the Rover, I just like 'em slinky. Hey for $100 with case, you can even paint on them, trick it up a bit.
I got another on order for a buddy


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Subject: RE: Travel guitars - need advice
From: Cool Beans
Date: 30 Apr 12 - 02:48 PM

I second what Don Firth said about the Go Guitar. I've had mine for four years. It sounds great and although it looks like a rifle in its gig-bag, nobody has ever stopped me at an airport. Incidentally, I learned about Go Guitars by posting a question similar to the OP on Mudcat. Several Mudcatters recommended it and I'm glad they did. Cost about $300.


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Subject: RE: Travel guitars - need advice
From: scouse
Date: 01 May 12 - 04:41 AM

Roy Bookbinder has one of those fold-up guitars he played it a the Tonder festival great sound some of the other artists saw it and started yelling I want one to!!!! Fits into a back pack.. Great.

As Aye,

Phil.


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Subject: RE: Travel guitars - need advice
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 01 May 12 - 09:29 AM

I have a Washburn Rover.

As others have said, it's a bit light on the bass (but almost all travel guitars will suffer from that). However, I really like the neck...full size, with 19 frets and not at all cramped like a Martin I tried a whle back.

I have medium strings on mine and it doesn't seem to have suffered from it. The case is fine for aircraft luggage racks, but to be honest I'm usually walking with mine so I just wrap an old bit of foam camping mat around it and shove it in a rubble sack which I strap to my backpack.

I wouldn't dare do that with a really expensive travel guitar, but am happy to treat the Washburn that way. As an all round "value-for-money" option which you don't need to worry about cossetting, I think it would be difficult to beat.


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