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Small Guitars?

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murray@mpce.mq.edu.au 02 May 98 - 01:14 AM
Barbara 02 May 98 - 05:54 AM
Frank in the swamps 02 May 98 - 07:05 AM
judy 02 May 98 - 12:48 PM
Will 02 May 98 - 03:28 PM
Roger Himler 02 May 98 - 05:45 PM
Earl 02 May 98 - 07:56 PM
murray@mpce.mq.edu.au 02 May 98 - 08:29 PM
murray@mpce.mq.edu.au 03 May 98 - 03:11 AM
Szarak 04 May 98 - 05:10 AM
steve t 04 May 98 - 07:11 AM
murray@mpce.mq.edu.au 04 May 98 - 07:33 AM
Brad Sondahl 04 May 98 - 09:37 AM
Doc423 04 May 98 - 04:26 PM
murray@mpce.mq.edu.au 04 May 98 - 08:23 PM
jeffs 04 May 98 - 09:45 PM
murray@mpce.mq.edu.au 05 May 98 - 03:02 AM
Bert 05 May 98 - 09:04 AM
steve t 07 May 98 - 12:44 PM
Roger in Baltimore 25 Oct 98 - 07:37 PM
Big Mick 25 Oct 98 - 08:20 PM
BSeed 26 Oct 98 - 12:08 AM
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lingolucky 26 Oct 98 - 04:07 PM
murray@mpce.mq.edu.au 26 Oct 98 - 07:55 PM
BSeed 27 Oct 98 - 01:44 AM
lingolucky 27 Oct 98 - 02:20 PM
Bert 27 Oct 98 - 03:34 PM
murray@mpce.mq.edu.au 27 Oct 98 - 07:15 PM
Bert 28 Oct 98 - 02:20 PM
lingolucky 28 Oct 98 - 02:35 PM
Snookums 31 Oct 98 - 01:03 PM
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Subject: Small Guitars?
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au
Date: 02 May 98 - 01:14 AM

I will most likely be in the US later in the year, and one of my projects there is to search out a (cheap) small guitar for traveling.

I have heard of the "Martin Backpacker" and the "Tacoma Papoose". The impression I have is that the Backpacker has standard tuning, but sounds like junk, whereas the Papoose is tuned a fourth higher than the standard guitars. There also seems to be a "Taylor Baby"--but I suspect that is out of my price range--even second-hand.

It has also occurred to me to get a cheap electric and listen to it with an earphone. It would be the only ugly looking instrument in my house.

I would be interested in opinions and other ideas for a good guitar for traveling.

(I most likely can peruse the archives of the acoustic guitar newsgroup and get plenty on this subject, and I will; but I would like the opinion of other mudcaters)

Murray


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Subject: RE: Small Guitars?
From: Barbara
Date: 02 May 98 - 05:54 AM

I wouldn't say the Martin Backpacker sounds like *shit*, it just doesn't sound like a guitar. My dulcimer playing friends love it, and some even are evolving 6 string modal tunings for it. We got a half size Hohner, yes, like the harmonica, for about $100 new, with a plywood top and while it isn't nearly as good as our good guitars, it does fit nicely in the overhead carrier rack of an airplane. And it's durable. You could paddle a canoe with it if you had to. Barbara


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Subject: RE: Small Guitars?
From: Frank in the swamps
Date: 02 May 98 - 07:05 AM

Backpacker as a dulcimer? Hmm. Well Barbara, a moment ago I would have said the instrument does sound like "doo doo" but the different perspective throws a whole new light on it.

Anyway, I have tried the Papoose, it's quite a nice guitar, but it is tuned higher. If you're ok with that then I'd say it's a good buy, I seriously considered one for a camping guitar, but since my Lady Fair plays violin, I couldn't be bothered with refiguring all the damn tunes. The baby taylor is a pretty expensive crittur, if you want a knockabout it is a lot to spend. NOT TO WORRY! there are a lot of small instruments in the stores that are pretty inexpensive, I bought a half size for my niece last autumn for about eighty dollars. I've seen more minis hitting the market lately, so you should find you have a lot of options when you get here. Just don't buy anything until you've checked out the second hand shops. Look in the retail stores first, then check the hand me downs.

By the way, where in this lovely land will you be arriving? I live in Florida, but regional variations in the states exist. Local Mudcateers can give you better advice.

Frank i.t.s.


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Subject: RE: Small Guitars?
From: judy
Date: 02 May 98 - 12:48 PM

If you're going to be in LA I could let you have (read: borrow) a small guitar I picked up in a garage sale for very little. Someone more knowlegeably than I am said it has a pretty nice sound. You could use it for however long you want and send it back when you're done.

enjoy! judy bc031@lafn.org


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Subject: RE: Small Guitars?
From: Will
Date: 02 May 98 - 03:28 PM

Gotta concur about the Backpacker. It's a better curiousity than a guitar.


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Subject: RE: Small Guitars?
From: Roger Himler
Date: 02 May 98 - 05:45 PM

I don't think the Backpacker is the guitar for which Murray is looking. It sounds like he wants to be able to perform with it.

I have owned the precursor to the Martin Backpacker, a Mc Nally Backpacker, for over 10 years. It is a practice guitar. The neck duplicates a standard guitar neck and it uses light gauge strings. Given it's very small size, however, means it has not richness of tone. Sometimes it reminds me of Lightnin' Hopkins playing through an old tube amp with a cracked speaker.

I certainly feel like I have gotten my money's worth and I have taken it many places I would not take a decent guitar. I just wanted to speak up for it. It sounds like doo doo, but you can treat it like doo doo and practice your licks most anywhere.

Roger from Baltimore


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Subject: RE: Small Guitars?
From: Earl
Date: 02 May 98 - 07:56 PM

The Backpacker is true to it's name, take it camping.


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Subject: RE: Small Guitars?
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au
Date: 02 May 98 - 08:29 PM

Thanks for the answers. I will be in Philadelphia and in Iowa City where my family and in-laws respectively live.

I didn't give enogh detail. I don't want to perform with it. I just want to practice on it. I don't have to be in the city as much as I used to and I am planning to move out into the mountains. I will probably come into Sydney on the train and stay there two or three days per week. I got rid of my car many years ago, so I want to be able to carry it to the train by foot or bike. In fact I will probably be carrying it around on a bicycle quite a bit.

What is the nut width of the Papoose, and of these fractional sized instruments? From what you say, one good thing about the Martin is that it has a standard fingerboard.

Barbara, I said "junk" not "shit", not that I know the difference when it comes to describing the sound of an instrument :-) One of my projects when I get better on the instrument, is to try to imitate the Carter Family sound. How does a Backpacker compare to an autoharp?

Thanks for the offer, Judy. I will probably land in Lax; but I don't think there will be time to pick up a guitar. After sitting on a 'plane all those hours, you can probably give me a Uke and tell me it is a 12 string guitar. ;-} I will keep your email address, however--you never know.

Murray


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Subject: RE: Small Guitars?
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au
Date: 03 May 98 - 03:11 AM

Oh yeah, and I meant to ask those in the Phila. and Iowa City areas if they can suggest good second-hand instrument stores.

My mother has moved all the way up in northeast Philly--almost at the end of the city, and I will be staying with her; but as long as the buses and the Frankford El are still running, I can get almost anywhere.

Murray


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Subject: RE: Small Guitars?
From: Szarak
Date: 04 May 98 - 05:10 AM

Hi, Murray

I've tried several small models, just to play myself while camping or traveling. Of course I've always preferred playing my Martin HD-28, but it's quite unconfortable to use US$2200 guitar near the camp-fire.

At last I bought second hand Yamaha APXT-1. You can see it on http://www.yamahaguitars.com/ns/guitars/apx.html It's quite cheap, you can use it as acoustic or electro-acoustic, it's reliable, small, etc.

As for the sound: well it tunes and you can play it. Of course you can't expect the sound of full-size dreadnought or jumbo model...

Sláinte,

Szarak


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Subject: RE: Small Guitars?
From: steve t
Date: 04 May 98 - 07:11 AM

I think I know the Yamaha guitar Szarak is talking about. In Ottawa it goes for about US$245. and comes with its own gig bag. It sounded terrible compared to my full size Korean Yamaha, but OODLES better than any Uke I've ever held. I never thought to try sticking headphones into the pickup socket.

Travel guitars are only great while you're moving. If you have a stable base camp, I'd suggest renting an instrument. But don't forget your tuner at home as I've been known to do...


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Subject: RE: Small Guitars?
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au
Date: 04 May 98 - 07:33 AM

Thanks for the tip Szarak. It sounds like a real possibility.

Murray


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Subject: RE: Small Guitars?
From: Brad Sondahl
Date: 04 May 98 - 09:37 AM

A friend of mine plays a Martin Ukelele. That's about as small as guitars get... :')


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Subject: RE: Small Guitars?
From: Doc423
Date: 04 May 98 - 04:26 PM

Has anyone tried the OVATION APPLAUSE Model AA 13?? It is small, tough, and sounds pretty good. Check it out.


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Subject: RE: Small Guitars?
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au
Date: 04 May 98 - 08:23 PM

I always feel I should wear a racoon coat when I play a ukelele, Brad ;^)

The trouble with that instrument is that (I think) it only has four strings which makes it an unsatisfactory practice instrument, although I broke a G-string on Sunday and wassn't near a music store on Monday, so I have been playing a five-string guitar for the last two days.

I have put the Ovation on my list of guitars to look at.

Murray


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Subject: RE: Small Guitars?
From: jeffs
Date: 04 May 98 - 09:45 PM

There's also the baby Taylor. I think it's a bit bigger than the Ovation. I've heard that it comes with a hardshell case now.

jeff s


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Subject: RE: Small Guitars?
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au
Date: 05 May 98 - 03:02 AM

I found Martin's website and had a look at the backpacker. The picture they provide is too small to get too much detail, but it looks to me like a balalika that has been on a hunger strike.

Don't take that as a negative statement. Probably a sturdy little guitar with standard tuning should have a different design from the traditional shape.

Jeff, I was under the impression that the baby Taylor was pretty expensive.

Murray


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Subject: RE: Small Guitars?
From: Bert
Date: 05 May 98 - 09:04 AM

Murray

Let us know when you are arriving in Philadelphia and we will organize a sing.
I'll keep my eyes open at local flea markets to see if I can find a small guitar, but reasonable guitars at reasonable prices are pretty rare.
Looking forward to seeing you. Bert


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Subject: RE: Small Guitars?
From: steve t
Date: 07 May 98 - 12:44 PM

In Ottawa, Baby Taylors go for about US$350.


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Subject: RE: Small Guitars?
From: Roger in Baltimore
Date: 25 Oct 98 - 07:37 PM

Just refreshing this thread. I was wondering what Murray ended up buying (if anything) and how satisfied he was.

Roger in Baltimore


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Subject: RE: Small Guitars?
From: Big Mick
Date: 25 Oct 98 - 08:20 PM

I picked up a Baby Taylor for my 6 year old to begin her musical journey with. I got it at Elderly for $200/US used, although there is not a mark on it. Their shop set it up and it is wonderful, with a sound that is surprising.

What did you finally end up with?

All the best,

Mick


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Subject: RE: Small Guitars?
From: BSeed
Date: 26 Oct 98 - 12:08 AM

Murray and others (too late to be of much help to Murray, I suppose) I have a Baby Taylor, w/HSC, purchased from Guitar Center for $340, including tax. Their price on the guitar alone is about $240. I was in there yesterday and saw a baby Ibanez--looked nice (I didn't play it because there was someone in the room playing beautiful blues on a Weber mandolin). I also have a Yamaha guitalele, essentially a six string baritone uke--bought it in Japan for $80 last fall because I hadn't brought an instrument along. Fun, but not a performance instrument, unless you're Tiny Tim.

The Baby Taylor, however, has the sound of a much bigger guitar (except the low E string hasn't got much oomph), and has excellent action. It has a back shaped to bounce more of the sound out, which I imagine plays a large part in the volume it produces. I consider mine an honest guitar, one which ought to get better and better with use. --seed

And Mick--I bought mine for myself, all 6'6" of me.


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Subject: RE: Small Guitars?
From: Big Mick
Date: 26 Oct 98 - 12:29 AM

Sweet Jazus, Seed, but are you not a great huge bear of a man to be playin' such a wee small guitar? Faith, but I am 6'2 and 240 meself. And I agree with you about the Baby Taylor. After I bought it for wee Ciara, I end up playing it meself. And doesn't she get after her ole da, when he does.

Do you use standard tuning?

All the best,

Mick


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Subject: RE: Small Guitars?
From: Mike T.
Date: 26 Oct 98 - 02:37 PM

I saw a cute travel guitar at http://www.stringsmith.com/order.html called a "Vagabond travel guitar"

$349.00 if I remember right.

Does anyone have any info on it?

Mike T.


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Subject: RE: Small Guitars?
From: lingolucky
Date: 26 Oct 98 - 04:07 PM

I have solved this portable guitar problem for myself. I simply made my own folding guitar. It's not at all light, and when the neck is unfolded it's not small either. But it sounds very good indeed, and when folded it will go in an airplane overhead or under a seat. I am not a skilled woodworker or luther, but I enjoyed putting this thing together and it gets a lot of attentiom everywhere I take it. Lane goldsmith


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Subject: RE: Small Guitars?
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au
Date: 26 Oct 98 - 07:55 PM

As a matter of fact, I haven't bought a travelling guitar yet. My travelling plans are postphoned for the time being, so the problem became less urgent.

For travelling around Sydney and environs, I found a small guitar made in Italy Called a "Sisme model A". It has a trapezoidal tailpiece and a moveable bridge (like old Gibsons), so it can take fairly heavy strings with a light body construciton. It has a very small body with the dimensions of a classical but about 2/3 the depth. It also has a short (12 frets beyond the body) fingerboard. As to tone, well, if I could only learn how to make scratches it would sound like and old record :) That has its advantages. You can really hear the melody when fingerpicking. I carry it around with a cheap, light gig-bag with shoulder straps like a rucksack.

I did a lot of investigating of travel guitars, though, and I will get one someday. My opinion is that the Backpacker is probably the strongest one, and it seems to be offered cheaper by the month. I got my hands on one and I found it a bit awkward to play. You need a strap and even with the strap as it comes. But if you refasten the strap on the scroll (like all old-time guitarists did), it has fairly good balance.

I think the Baby Taylor is the closest to a "real" guitar. So is the Tacoma Papoose if you don't mind the higher tuning. I am interested in the Tommyhawk, but I couldn't find any info. The Vagabond looks interesting. Apparently it is played by some performing groups; but plugged in.

There is also the Soloete which is a folding guitar that you play while listening with an earphone (stethescope?) arrangement. It is a bit expensive, though.

Lingolucky: What do you do with the strings when you fold it?


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Subject: RE: Small Guitars?
From: BSeed
Date: 27 Oct 98 - 01:44 AM

yes, Mick, I do use EADGBA (maybe part of the reason the low E is a bit dead?). The original strings on it seem somewhat heavy for tuning higher; when I change to lights, I'll likely tune it up a whole note (F#BEAC#F#) (Maybe all the way to G, if it'll take it. Who wants to play blues in F#? --seed


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Subject: RE: Small Guitars?
From: lingolucky
Date: 27 Oct 98 - 02:20 PM

Answering Murray: My homemade folding guitar started out as a dresser drawer, which I modified and used as the box, I narrowed it at the small end and put a trap door in the back. Tension is maintained with a heavy piece of piano wire, adjustable, There are no tuning gears, it's tuned with tuning pins at the butt end. Wheb folding I place several capos down the neck, gather up the strings through thr trap door with a strip of rubber and tie them down. Lane Goldsmith


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Subject: RE: Small Guitars?
From: Bert
Date: 27 Oct 98 - 03:34 PM

BJ's Wholesale club, which has locations in the North East and Florida have just got in a stock of cheap guitars. The most expensive is a full size steel string acoustic for $90. It sounded really good for the price. They also have two smaller styles which are about $30 & $50 each.

I didn't try one of the smaller ones but if you have a BJ's in your area it might be worth taking a look.

My experience of similar cheap guitars is that if you are prepared to try a fey different ones you might luck out and get a good one.

Happy hunting,
Bert.


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Subject: RE: Small Guitars?
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au
Date: 27 Oct 98 - 07:15 PM

Lingolucky: Do you disconnect the strings from the tuning pins, or do you disconnect the tuning pins from the body (or do I still not understand.)

Murray


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Subject: RE: Small Guitars?
From: Bert
Date: 28 Oct 98 - 02:20 PM

Lingolucky: You're just going to have to publish the plans, 'cos we all want to make one.

Bert.


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Subject: RE: Small Guitars?
From: lingolucky
Date: 28 Oct 98 - 02:35 PM

I'd be glad to share my plans for folding guitar, but I don't have any plans--I'll have to draw some. But, Murray I do not need to disconnect the strings , When I unlatch the wooden hinge joint and disconnect the tension cable, the strings go slack and can be pulled inside the box. Ok? Lane Goldsmith


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Subject: RE: Small Guitars?
From: Snookums
Date: 31 Oct 98 - 01:03 PM

Backpacker- plays nice, sounds like a bad banjo. Good price- $249 at Rieman's in Des Moines. Tacoma Papoose- would likely get my vote- kind of pricey, around $400 in Iowa- plays nice, fingering would not throw you off- tuned to A. Baby Taylor- haven't seen in Iowa so haven't played. I understand from the local dealers that it is tuned to A as well. Don't know about cost. Yamaha makes a nice little travel guitar. Don't know that much about it other than it plays nice. Found an acoustic/electric model in Lexington Kentucky for about $450. Right now, Iowa is not the acoustic instrument of the world and it's hard to find second hand instruments- especially things like travel guitars that are just beginning to become popular in these parts. Favorite dealers are Rieman's on Douglas in Des Moines as well as the Fort Dodge store, Mainstreet Music in Ames, Last Chance Guitars in Des Moines (the best place so far for vintage and 2nd hand instruments in this area) and Solar Loan- a pawn shop on E. 5th or 6th street in Des Moines.

Since Iowa City is a college town, there are likely some decent music stores and pawn shops there as well, however, I am closer to the Des Moines area, so I don't know Iowa City very well.


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Subject: RE: Small Guitars?
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au
Date: 31 Oct 98 - 08:18 PM

OK Lane. It was the tension cable I didn't have straight. Now I can visualize it. (Although I'm not sure I could make one.)

There has been some postings in RMMA about an inflatable guitar that is being developed. It is meant to be a serious instrument that will sell in the US$600 range.

If that intrigues you like it did me. Look at:

http://www.chrysalisguitars.com

Murray


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Subject: RE: Small Guitars?
From: Snookums
Date: 01 Nov 98 - 01:00 PM

Just bought an Applause mini for my mom- price $250. Sound a little better than strings across a tin can- sort of like any acoustic electric unplugged. Not much volume. But still a nice toy. Probably the best for the least money that I have found. Uses standard tuning. Mom's rather petite, so I think it will be the easiest for her to start with.


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Subject: RE: Small Guitars?
From: clansfolk
Date: 01 Nov 98 - 03:40 PM

You think the Martin backpacker is **** and a uke would be a small guitar?

What about the Martin Backpacker Uke??? that really is taking things to the extreme, however I couldn't resist it - it grabs the attention and really doesn't sound "that bad", have and like the papoose sounds nice in Nashville or open tuning (or using a shubbs partial capo) also like the Baby Taylor (prefer the tone of the newer mahogony fronted model)

Could try busking in the rain maybe the guitar would shrink - maybe that too silly.

Bye.................Pete


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Subject: RE: Small Guitars?
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au
Date: 02 Nov 98 - 05:34 AM

That is too silly Pete. The guitar would shrink unevenly and you would be left with a funny-shaped instrument (maybe an Ovatiion ;})

Seriously, I have heard that the BP Uke is a lot more satisfying to play as a uke than the guitar is to play as a guitar. I don't know much about playing the uke; but I think there would be no problem holding it like there is for the guitar.

Murray


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Subject: RE: Small Guitars?
From: Snookums
Date: 02 Nov 98 - 09:05 AM

I don't think Ovations can shrink- too much plastic in them.


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Subject: RE: Small Guitars?
From: Steve in Wisconsin
Date: 02 Nov 98 - 07:50 PM

So, what's the deal? Have all of us folkies gotten old and have too many kids. dogs, and luggage to travel with a full-size!?! Okay, that's me. I'm late to this discussion, but I just spent part of last weekend looking at smaller guitars. I was insulted when someone put a "Montana" in my arms. Trust me, though I agree the Martin Backpacker is nothing more than a neck and a cigar box with strings, it has 100% more integrity than the guitar this young, arrogant salesman tried to sell me.

I live in Wisconsin and have been intrigued by the Baby Taylor concept. I have heard from several people that it at least sounds and plays like a real guitar. (Papoose was nice, but I don't want to play a fourth up always-though sometimes it's nice). A $200 price tag on a Baby Taylor sounds good too. Anybody know where in Wisconsin to look?

Acoustically, Steve


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Subject: RE: Small Guitars?
From: Barbara
Date: 02 Nov 98 - 09:05 PM

No, but Elderly Music is just a stone's throw across the lake (in Lansing, Michigan) and I gather they ship. Have a web page too, I b'lieve. Ask Mick.
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: Small Guitars?
From: Dan Keding
Date: 02 Nov 98 - 09:16 PM

If small means able to get it into an overhead compartment on an airplane than any O, OO, OOO or OM size guitar will do. I travel a fair bit by air and have never had a problem getting my om size in an overhead bin. If the plane is truly a puddle jumper then they take your guitar away at the plane and give it back to you at the bottom of the stairs at your arrival. I use a Calton case which is slightly larger and it still fits in the overhead, except on L1011's. Weird bins on those. I'm also a fairly large man and the small size feels fine to me. Too small (Backpacker, etc.)and you're not playing a guitar, you're playing a toy.


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Subject: RE: Small Guitars?
From: Big Mick
Date: 02 Nov 98 - 11:43 PM

Yup, Barbara, they do indeed ship. If you go to www.elderly.com they probably have it in there catalogue.

Jazus, but I have turned into a shill for these guys. I ought to be getting a cut. If they offer one, I will just have them send it to the 'Cat. ****grin****

Seriously, Steve, they have an excellent selection and their luthiers are second to none. They setup every instrument before it leaves the shop. I am not connected to them, just an absolute devoted customer due to excellent service, fair prices and a product line second to none. And by the way, one of the most amazing showrooms you will find.

All the best,

Mick


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Subject: RE: Small Guitars?
From: GUEST,fredzon
Date: 28 Oct 04 - 07:31 AM

Check out this site!! I think this solves the problem.
www.fredzon.com


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Subject: RE: Small Guitars?
From: Ragman
Date: 28 Oct 04 - 01:52 PM

I got an Ozark travel guitar latt year in Glasgow for £125, and it has been a great buy. It looks rather like a tenor mandolin with a 7/8 size guitar fretboard. It plays very accurately, nice sound, though not very loud, so it's better suited for practice, or a small group in a quiet setting. It comes with a strap and a soft flat rectangular carry bag, which rather resembles a rifle case. You should see the airport security staff gathering round the x-ray machine to decide what it is! When I offer to play them a tune, they let me through without further delay. It usually fits without problems in the storage over the seats. When unzipped in public, it usually attracts some interesting comments, and provides opportunities to pass what would otherwise be very lonely spells in hotels, stations and airports. Apparently there is also a version with a pickup, if you really want to be heard.

I'm rather surprised that no one so far has mentioned the Ozark in this thread.

Before anyone makes the comment, No I am not an Ozark rep. I just found this little guitar to be just what I needed when travelling.


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Subject: RE: Small Guitars?
From: Blissfully Ignorant
Date: 28 Oct 04 - 11:27 PM

Hehe, see i have the opposite problem to the 'tall person, small guitar' thing. I'm 5'1" and i only have full sized guitars, so it's a little awkward and i probably look like an idiot, but smaller guitars just don't sound big enough for my purposes :) I have been trying to find one for travelling with, but they're all way too expensive. Hope you find one that suits!:0)


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Subject: RE: Small Guitars?
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Oct 04 - 04:26 PM

I used to have a Martin Backpacker and it does fit in an airline overhead - I took mine to Hong Kong a few times. However, I would not recommend it - I am mainly a bedroom player but I found the sound really tinny. I eventually sold it and bought a Baby Taylor. I have never tried that in an overhead and the sound is nowhere as good as my full size guitars but it does the job when you are in a hotel room somewhere and you want a quiet strum.

Eric


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Subject: RE: Small Guitars?
From: GUEST,Tom
Date: 29 Oct 04 - 05:18 PM

I've got a Greg Smallman, bought in Australia 1979. As far as I know, one of only two that he made. Its got a small, classical style body with steel strings. Beautiful guitar.


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Subject: RE: Small Guitars?
From: caz2ufolk
Date: 29 Oct 04 - 06:25 PM

I'll second you Ragman about the Travel Ozark. I've had mine for about 8 months same price(lovely guitar) It has a medieval sound to it and great for finger picking.

caz


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Subject: RE: Small Guitars?
From: DougR
Date: 11 Nov 04 - 06:27 PM

Anyone familiar with the Ibanez DT traveler guitars? If so, what do you think of their quality? I've been looking at the Baby Martin guitars, and the Baby Taylor, the Baby Yamaha, but I'm considering the Ibanez too.

Any advice will be appreciated.


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Subject: RE: Small Guitars?
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Nov 04 - 07:14 PM

http://www.daisyrock.com/products/pixie/px_acoustic_boxset.htm


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Subject: RE: Small Guitars?
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 12 Nov 04 - 10:31 AM

I picked up a "cheapo" parlour-sized guitar recently (Gremlin - made in China)- just out of curiosity. I own a Lowden, a top of range Norman and a Pro-series Simon & Patrick, so had no need for, nor any intention of buying, another guitar - certainly not one at £125!!

BUT - I was amazed at it's quality and sound. Solid top (spruce) with Tacoma back & sides - nice looking guitar - very solidly built/beautifully finished/quality tuners, and a woody sound reminiscent of Rob Johnson's blues guitar. I was hooked.

It's my "knock-about" guitar/slung over the shoulder/caseless/bagless cruising axe - with no worries if it gets bust or pinched - I'd just buy another.


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Subject: RE: Small Guitars?
From: DougR
Date: 12 Nov 04 - 12:58 PM

GUEST 11:04:you meant that website as a joke, right? I actually went there. I don't think I'm quite ready for a pink guitar yet, though, nor a folding one either.

Thanks for the thought though.

DougR


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Subject: RE: Small Guitars?
From: Don Firth
Date: 12 Nov 04 - 03:00 PM

Hi, Doug —

I posted THIS some time back. Give it a look, check the links at the bottom of my post, and see what you think. I use both of these li'l guitars more than my full-size guitars and I love 'em. As far as sound is concerned, they're well balanced and sound like real guitars. They may be a little thin in the bass, perhaps, but that goes with all small-bodied guitars. I've used the nylon-string GO-GW of a number of gigs and it sounded just fine.

When I first looked at the GO on Sam Radding's website, I passed over them because they looked kind of weird and un-guitar-like, but I find that people seem to think they're "kinda funky" and "cute." After one gig, someone came up and asked me if it was a period instrument of some kind.

They're really handy. I keep one of them within arm's reach almost all the time. Check them out. Good hunting.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Small Guitars?
From: DougR
Date: 12 Nov 04 - 03:31 PM

Thanks, Don, I'll check out the link you provided.

DougR


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Subject: RE: Small Guitars?
From: Cluin
Date: 13 Nov 04 - 03:31 AM

I was looking at a beautiful little cedar top Seagull the other day. Great sound and feel. Great value for the buck, those Seagulls. I'm trying to talk myself into getting it for myself for Xmas. ;)

(like I need another guitar I won't take to gigs)

I also played a buddy's new parlour guitar today. A Glen Reid. Fantastic machine. Big full sound from such a small instrument. That Glen Reid guy works some real magic with sound wood.


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Subject: RE: Small Guitars?
From: DougR
Date: 14 Nov 04 - 09:16 PM

Does Glen Reid have a website?

DougR


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Subject: RE: Small Guitars?
From: Grab
Date: 15 Nov 04 - 06:06 AM

Guest 07:14, I played one of them in our local shop. Briefly. Very briefly. If you could put strings on a brick, it would sound like that. I've never played a cheaper, nastier, more poorly-made guitar.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: Small Guitars?
From: 12string growler
Date: 15 Nov 04 - 05:27 PM

Check out this website.
http://www.hmsmusic.co.uk/
The guy builds "STRUMMERS" with or without electrics. Good tone, not too costly. Nothing to do with me, although he did repair my Yam FG412 for me. He's based in Scunthorpe, England.


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Subject: RE: Small Guitars?
From: DougR
Date: 16 Nov 04 - 01:29 PM

One last question: If you had to choose between: Baby Martin, Baby Seagull, or Baby Taylor, which would you choose?

DougR


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Subject: RE: Small Guitars?
From: GUEST,wpageubs
Date: 16 Nov 04 - 03:11 PM

Hello All, I am looking for a small electric guitar my son can travel with. best sound and base I can find. Any help would be great. Thanks. He said they come with clip on amps that you can clip to your waist? Thanks again. Theresa.


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Subject: RE: Small Guitars?
From: Cluin
Date: 18 Nov 04 - 06:43 AM

Glen Reid's Website.


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Subject: RE: Small Guitars?
From: GUEST,txlongarm
Date: 09 Dec 04 - 01:10 AM

Your answer is in the "Baby Taylor" and the "Little Martin". The best of the two is up to you. What I have found is the Taylor fans like the "baby" and the Martin fans like the "little". All you have to do is go to each website and find them. I've played both and settled on the "Little Martin" because...well...I liked the looks of it better. I talked to about ten different guitar salesmen and they were split about half and half. You can't go wrong with either. Retail is about $380 on both, but all stores that I called or visited in Houston or Austin have them for $249 to $289. Plus a free (very nice) padded soft case. These two are big guitars in small bodies, or as close as I've found.


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Subject: RE: Small Guitars?
From: Cluin
Date: 10 Dec 04 - 05:03 PM

Check out the new limited edition Tayors on this site. Beautiful machines.

Also watch the on-line video there and hear Bob Taylor explain the benefits of the shorter scale... not the 12-fret guitar but the shorter scale length of the string. Most Taylors have the longer, more common 25.5 inch scale length, but they have been making some with a 24.75 inch scale length (which Gibson used a lot). I've always liked that scale length--the resulting lower tension and closer fret placement makes it ideal for a lot of blues work and fingerstyle playing.


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Subject: RE: Small Guitars?
From: Cluin
Date: 11 Dec 04 - 03:18 PM

Sorry. I guess the new short scale Taylors use a scale length of 24.875 inches, not the Gibson short scale length (24.75"). An eighth of an inch difference there, just for accuracy's sake.


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Subject: RE: Small Guitars?
From: GUEST,Pat Q
Date: 26 Oct 05 - 07:04 PM

I'd echo Ragman's sentiments on the Ozark travel guitar... beautiful sound .. though wouldn't do if you're planning a gig at, say, the Royal Albert Hall! Had mine a year or so now, easy traveller .. had to convince security at Dublin airport that it was indeed a guitar .. by getting it out and playing .. first time I've ever played for an armed guard!! .. but word of warning .. was talked into buying the electro-accoust version last monnth ... terrible when played as an accoustic ... the pick up completely screws up the sound .. at times, sounds like a untuned sitar !


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Subject: RE: Small Guitars?
From: spindrift
Date: 29 Mar 06 - 09:00 AM

Can't believe I've read this whole thread and no one has even mentioned to Little Martin series. I have the one with the spruce face and the rest is composite. Pretty good sound, rugged and compact. Much better sound and playability than the Backpacker that had before.


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Subject: RE: Small Guitars?
From: Ragman
Date: 26 Apr 06 - 06:03 PM

Re Entry by PatQ
".. had to convince security at Dublin airport that it was indeed a guitar .."


Had a similar experience to Pat in Dusseldorf Airport in early 2005. The Ozark case is flat and rectangular and looks rather like a rifle case. I became aware that the X-ray machine had stopped, and several security personnel wer staring silently at the screen. I offered to take it out and play a tune, but they waved me through... You got one up on me there!

I have also found that when you have a long wait in an airport, you can end up with a session going... I find a quiet corner, and start to play quietly to amuse myself (with the guitar of course). People come over, listen for a while, some sit down, and some ask for a song. Some ask politely, "what is that you are playing? Is it a mandolin?" It certainly helps to pass the time.

I have to confess however that I found that the Ozark was too quiet for pubs and clubs and I sold it. I am considering upgrading to a baby Martin. Beautiful instruments, much better tone, and much louder. Just a little more bulky. Probably won't have so much fun now with airport officials...


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Subject: RE: Small Guitars?
From: Tim theTwangler
Date: 29 Apr 06 - 12:21 PM

Hi all you experts,
I am a learner guitar player,my wife bought me a Takamini for when we go camping and it is great imho.
i takes normal strings is not any more difficult to play than my full size electro accoustic and has been to work with me on many occasions and so I know I can sit behaind the whell of a car or van and practice the three chords i have learned.
Mine is an accoustic one but they do them with electrics too.
Fretboard /neck are narrow which I prefer and the sound is just smaller than a full size. I have fitted 12 guage to it and that has bumped up the bass end a deal and given the whole a better balance.
Anyone else tried a Takamini?
Greetings from the UK
Incidently I live in a town near Scunthorpe and the strummer guy and his strummers are well made and quite popular around here.


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Subject: RE: Small Guitars?
From: Bugsy
Date: 14 Feb 07 - 10:58 PM

Get a load of these babieS!
MINI MATON


HUGE SOUND for a tiny guitar.


Cheers

Bugsy


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Subject: RE: Small Guitars?
From: bubblyrat
Date: 15 Feb 07 - 12:09 PM

Oh!! Yes please !! I"ll have one of each ! I have actually had a few backpacker -type guitars----I quite liked the baby Taylor, but there"s no bass in dropped-D. ;The mini-Martin is nice too,but it isn"t that small----The Martin backpacker is very 'tinny',& more like a mandolin.I did own a used, baby Yamaha a few years ago -----I was "On the move" & needed a small guitar. The Yamaha was cheap ( 90 pounds )& actually sounded quite good although it needed constant re-tuning. I used it for "busking " around Exeter for a while.Then I went to Germany, & my companion,a German lady guitar-teacher,liked it so much,she used it for her lessons at night school !! I would like to try the Ozark.Oh, and Tanglewood have brought out a couple or three of really small guitars,two of which I"ve tried,and they too are pretty good for what they are ! At the end of the day, I"d rather put up with the inconvenience of a slightly larger guitar to get the better sound----I guess I"d have a Mini-Martin !!


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Subject: RE: Small Guitars?
From: Phil Manchester
Date: 15 Feb 07 - 04:02 PM

I bought an ASHTON Joey - designed in OZ, built in China - for £69 last year (From Music Warehosue in Colchester). It looks like an early Martin tyep 2. I played it next to a small Martin and could not tell the difference - indeed to my ears the Joey sounded better than 340 quids worth of Martin. The deal includes a nice padded case, spare strings, a strap and three picks. It also includes a DVD tutor!
Great 'travel' instrument - the neck is on the small side though.


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Subject: RE: Small Guitars?
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 13 Jun 07 - 04:06 PM

Reply to Don Firth:

Once again, you come to the fore! I belong to a small group of old backpackers and horsepackers, Los Viejos Locos, which spends a week each summer in the high Sierra. I have taken a Martin Backpacker's Guitar on two occasions, but the sound was somewhere between a banjo and dulcimer. Playing while sitting on a log at 10,000 feet doesn't require a lot, but I was disappointed. Last year, I took my Takamine classical guitar with me. It was better, obviously, but difficult to transport and fragile. I am contacting GO Guitars postehaste, after reviewing the website you so thoughtfully included. Many thanks!


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Subject: RE: Small Guitars?
From: Rog Peek
Date: 13 Jun 07 - 04:56 PM

Has anyone seen or had experience of these? Are there any cheaper alternatives around?

http://www.voyageairguitar.com/


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Subject: RE: Small Guitars?
From: Don Firth
Date: 13 Jun 07 - 07:00 PM

Great, TJ! I think you'll probably be happy with the GO. I'm very happy with mine. Bob (Deckman) Nelson and I are planning to do a concert together this coming fall, and I'll be using it for that.

Living in San Diego, you do have a chance to drop in and talk to Sam Radding directly and give his handiwork a try. Address on the Go-Guitar website:

Go Guitars
4242 View Place
San Diego, CA 92115
(619) 582-7891

But then, you're probably way ahead of me on that idea. Good luck!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Small Guitars?
From: John Hardly
Date: 13 Jun 07 - 08:10 PM

A fine sound sample recorded to compare the Go with the Larrivee parlor.


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Subject: RE: Small Guitars?
From: Don Firth
Date: 13 Jun 07 - 08:57 PM

It took me awhile to find the links to the sound samples. Under the "side-by-side" photo, imbeded in the text.

Actually, that's Sam's Type II parlor guitar, not his travel guitar. To my ear, the Go Type II sounded nice and mellow, but the Larivee came on a bit stronger. It also sounded like "slack-key" to me, which could toss a ringer into the comparison.

My Go guitars are both GO-GWs (deeper body, walnut back and sides rather than mahogany), one nylon-string and one steel-string. Talking with Sam on the phone a few months back, he remarked that he thought the nylon-string GO-GWs were somewhat louder than the steel-string ones. My ears bear that out.

I also talked to Sam about maybe getting one of the Type IIs with a full 2" 12-fret neck, slotted headstock, and nylon strings (Sam builds the nylon-string parlor and travel guitars lighter that the steel-string models, and with a different bracing system), but a little measuring revealed that I'd have the same problem with the lower bout of the guitar and the right wheel of my wheelchair interfering with each other. The parlor is 12" at the lower bout, the GO-GW is only 8" wide. Just clears the wheel.

Best thing for TJ to do, since he lives in San Diego, is to drop in, talk to Sam, and try them out. Nothing like "hands on" to tell you what you want to know.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Small Guitars?
From: Tim theTwangler
Date: 13 Jun 07 - 11:45 PM

Get a Takamine Takamini plug in mate
Plays like a proper guitar.
Takes fairly heavy strings and is good to play.
Well i think so anyhow


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Subject: RE: Small Guitars?
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Jun 07 - 02:56 AM

Problem with all of these travel guitars is that some airlines (e.g Ryanair) will not permit them as cabin luggage. I have been toying with a fold up guitar. Can only find the 'Voyage Air', - very expensive!


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Subject: RE: Small Guitars?
From: Davetnova
Date: 14 Jun 07 - 03:08 AM

I don't know if they are available in America, but I recently got a LAG parlour size guitar, solid wood top, built in electrics, UK price £199, which has a really full sound, very playable. If you see one give it a try, I was surprised enough by it to buy and find myself playing it more than my Martin.


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Subject: RE: Small Guitars?
From: old moose
Date: 14 Jun 07 - 03:45 PM

I had a three quarter size Applause-made by ovation, sounded good but with my mitts, next to impossible to play, and have A Juan Estruch small guitar, called a laud, pear shaped body, flat back, elaborate sound hole cutouts, twelve strings tuned in unison, , all of them, and in fourths all the way across the finger board. Makes some unusual chords for an old moose to learn. I tuned it like a guitar, only from a low A, makes playing it a whole lot easier. It has a beautiful sound, an easy action, and sets of strings are available from La Bella. For a twelve stringer the action is surprisingly easy. Good small guitars are hard to find-I traded the applause fir a running subaru. el moose


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Subject: RE: Small Guitars?
From: Kaleea
Date: 14 Jun 07 - 07:00 PM

Does anybody know if the Mini Maton has the thin & skinny neck on it as do the guitars Tommy Emmanuel plays? I have carpal tunnel, & I once played his guitar for about an hour--without my srist splints I have to wear all the time--with no pain! If it has the sknny neck, it may be the guitar I've been hoping to find in recent years.


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Subject: RE: Small Guitars?
From: Goodsonbasinger
Date: 14 Jul 08 - 09:31 AM

I have an old checkmate, actually 5.They are great with gut strings.Got one at a flea for 3 dollars.Liked it so much I tracked down 4 more.


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Subject: RE: Small Guitars?
From: Silas
Date: 14 Jul 08 - 10:47 AM

Little Martin? - Brilliant. I bought a Martin Felix, just to see what it was like. The entire body of these is made of HPL and the sound is fantastic. I use it all the time at home now, only getting my 'proper' guitar out for gigs and sessions. Some little Martins have a spruce soundboard, never tried one of those, but I bet they are good. My pal ghas a baby taylor and my felix sounds about a million times better.


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Subject: RE: Small Guitars?
From: GUEST,Mark C
Date: 11 Sep 09 - 01:33 PM

I've had the mini Martin for about 3 years now and I play it a lot when I just want to pick up something quick and easy while waiting for the missus to get ready etc. I have also travelled extensively with it and it helps pass the time in hotel rooms.....never had a problem on any airline. Only trouble was when i left it in the trunk of my car one day in desert heat....the neck is composite, (top is spruce) The neck warped which made playing that night in front of some friend nearly impossible. The neck has gone back into shape and I raised the action slightly to compensate a little so it still sounds great. It's still a substitute for a real guitar but a very reasonable substitute especially if you hate not being able to play when you travel.


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Subject: RE: Small Guitars?
From: Midchuck
Date: 11 Sep 09 - 04:25 PM

CA Cargo. Makes everything else mentioned, that I've ever heard, sound like a toy, and damn near indestructible.

Peter


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Subject: RE: Small Guitars?
From: GUEST,Scott
Date: 25 Dec 09 - 09:13 AM

No one has mentioned the Washburn Rover travel guitar.They are compact inexpensive,made of all solid wood, come with a tough travel case and have surprising volume for their size. The tone sounds a little bit like a ukelele, I guess because the body is so tiny, but the overall tone/sustain is still quite good. They also have good access to the upper frets and play almost like an electric. Worth checking out for a travel guitar, although it won't likely replace your full size guitar at home


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Subject: RE: Small Guitars?
From: Suffet
Date: 25 Dec 09 - 06:46 PM

Click here to see a video of me fingerpicking an accompaniment to Railroad Bill on my Martin Felix the Cat guitar. It's easy to play, the tone is more than acceptable, and it's a real conversation starter. The volume is a little weak, so I have since added a pickup.

Take a listen

--- Steve


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