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Travel guitars

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Blues=Life 28 Aug 03 - 08:52 AM
JedMarum 28 Aug 03 - 11:55 AM
Wesley S 28 Aug 03 - 01:12 PM
Don Firth 28 Aug 03 - 02:47 PM
Fortunato 28 Aug 03 - 03:04 PM
Blues=Life 10 Sep 03 - 07:56 AM
Deckman 10 Sep 03 - 09:45 AM
GUEST,MAG, stuck in Portland 09 Jan 04 - 03:55 PM
Amos 09 Jan 04 - 04:04 PM
GUEST 10 Jan 04 - 06:14 AM
MickyMan 10 Jan 04 - 08:13 AM
s&r 10 Jan 04 - 12:13 PM
GUEST,Got more than most tried even more...... 10 Jan 04 - 04:11 PM
Don Firth 10 Jan 04 - 04:30 PM
McGrath of Harlow 10 Jan 04 - 10:20 PM
Justa Picker 10 Jan 04 - 10:23 PM
MickyMan 11 Jan 04 - 08:56 PM
dwditty 11 Jan 04 - 09:34 PM
MickyMan 12 Jan 04 - 09:47 AM
clansfolk 12 Jan 04 - 01:08 PM
clansfolk 12 Jan 04 - 01:16 PM
Don Firth 12 Jan 04 - 01:32 PM
Justa Picker 12 Jan 04 - 02:14 PM
Justa Picker 12 Jan 04 - 03:07 PM
clansfolk 12 Jan 04 - 03:21 PM
clansfolk 12 Jan 04 - 03:31 PM
iancarterb 15 Mar 04 - 11:24 PM
Dave Bryant 16 Mar 04 - 04:28 AM
Dave of Mawkin 16 Mar 04 - 07:46 AM
GUEST,wpageubs 16 Nov 04 - 02:34 PM
Don Firth 16 Nov 04 - 08:56 PM
McGrath of Harlow 16 Nov 04 - 09:09 PM
Once Famous 16 Nov 04 - 10:14 PM
vectis 17 Nov 04 - 03:07 PM
GUEST,Thanks Don! 17 Nov 04 - 05:18 PM
GUEST,phil@quartic.net 08 Nov 05 - 11:59 AM
mooman 09 Nov 05 - 05:14 AM
GUEST,Jon 09 Nov 05 - 06:38 AM
jonm 09 Nov 05 - 07:07 AM
GUEST,Raggytash 09 Nov 05 - 08:05 AM
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Subject: Travel guitars
From: Blues=Life
Date: 28 Aug 03 - 08:52 AM

Just put an order in for a Traveler Pro guitar. Anyone else use a "travel guitar" on a regular basis, and if so, which do you use, and how do you like it?

Blues


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Subject: RE: Travel guitars
From: JedMarum
Date: 28 Aug 03 - 11:55 AM

what's a Traveler Pro?

Larrivee makes the very best "travel-sized" guitars that I have seen - by far. Check out the Parlor Series at this link. The check out the Parlor Guitar user reviews here.


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Subject: RE: Travel guitars
From: Wesley S
Date: 28 Aug 03 - 01:12 PM

I had a baby Taylor for awhile but sold it. I always had intonation problems with it. Your mileage my vary. I have liked the Larivees that Jed talked about.


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Subject: RE: Travel guitars
From: Don Firth
Date: 28 Aug 03 - 02:47 PM

Travel guitars.

For the past thirteen years I've had to use a wheelchair to get around, and it's pretty hard to play a standard size guitar in a wheelchair because the lower bout of the guitar and the right wheel of the chair want to occupy the same space. This throws the guitar into an awkward position for playing. So a couple of years ago I set about trying to find a small guitar—small enough so that, with a neck strap, I could hold it high enough not to bump the wheel, but it would still be in a good position for playing. I tried a child-size guitar, but that didn't work. I tried a couple of odd-ball instruments, restringing them so that I could play them like a guitar, but they didn't work out either. So I figured "travel guitar."

I had a problem, because I play a wide-necked classic guitar, and most travel guitars are made for steel strings. I looked at a Martin Backpacker nylon-string, but I thought the sound was just too puny and thin. My two regular guitars are top quality (José Oribé concert classic and an Arcangel Fernandez flamenco—a real flamenco guitar—that has appreciated so much since I bought it in 1961 what I'm afraid to take it out of the house), so I wanted something that sounded at least passably good.

Then a search of the internet turned up the "Go" guitar, made by Sam Radding in San Diego. He makes several models, including a nylon-string, and since he makes them to order, he's willing to customize an instrument. At first I passed them by because they looked so weird and un-guitar-like. But still searching for travel guitars on the internet, I kept running into reviews of the Go guitar (several on Harmony Central, and a number of others), and they all raved about them. Simple looking, but superb woods and workmanship, and they all said that even though they are small, the sound is surprisingly big. "It sounds like a real guitar!" was the comment I kept running into.

So a little over two years ago, I ordered one. The GO-GW ("Grande" with a slightly deeper body, spruce soundboard, and walnut back and sides) nylon-string, complete with plush, padded gig bag. I got it about a month later. The thing looks like a cross between a guitar and a canoe paddle, but what the reviews said was true. When I took it out of the gig bag (which is really well padded and lush, by the way) and tuned it up, the sound amazed me. It was really surprising to hear that volume and quality of sound coming out of that small box. The bass was not as strong as my two full-size guitars of course, but it's certainly strong enough, and the balance between bass and treble is good. The sustain is as good as that of any guitar I've ever heard. I was truly amazed. And once I attached the neck strap (which can double as a shoulder sling on the gig bag, if you want) and tried it while sitting in the wheelchair, everything worked like a dream. This was it!

I have since used it a hoots and parties, and I used it in the Coffee House Reunion concert at the 2003 Northwest Folklife Festival over Memorial Day weekend. During the concert, I sang a couple of duets with Bob (Deckman) Nelson, including guitar intros and breaks between verses, and my little musical canoe paddle kept up with Bob's fine old (collector's item) Martin Classic. When I ask people out front how it sounds ("Is it puny? Does it sound okay? Whadya think?"), the response is "It sounds good. It sound like a regular guitar."

About a year after I got the nylon-string Go, I ordered a steel-string, same model. Same story there. It doesn't have the strong bass of a Dreadnought, but it's certainly strong enough, and the balance is good, sort of like a parlor guitar. My steel-string playing friends are highly impressed, and one said, "It's got good heft to it for something this small, and the neck feels like I'm playing a Taylor."

I play the steel-string some when I want a change of sound and such, but I now consider the nylon-string Go to be my primary guitar. It's so convenient that I keep it within arm's reach most of the time, and I play it constantly. During the two years that I've had it, the sound has opened up and got even better—a sure sign of a quality instrument. In addition to all the above, it's a fun instrument and people think it looks "cute" or "kinda funky."

And Sam Radding seems to take a personal interest in each guitar and each purchaser. He answers his own e-mail and he's a pretty friendly guy.

Check 'em out. Home page. Various models

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Travel guitars
From: Fortunato
Date: 28 Aug 03 - 03:04 PM

I use a Baby Taylor, Rosewood back and sides. I chose it out of the eight available at Washington Music Center. After 3 years no problems, intonation or otherwise. I like it. It serves to keep my chops up when I'm flying on business and sounds quite nice, but not very loud and won't fully stand up the the wife's banjo or autoharp.


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Subject: RE: Travel guitars
From: Blues=Life
Date: 10 Sep 03 - 07:56 AM

Sorry, I lost my own thread! Senioritis. *g*
The Traveler Pro is about as small as you can get, and still have a full scale neck. It has both an accoustic and electric setting (but only the electric side sounds "right" to me.) Most importantly, I will be able to pack it by strapping the case to my briefcase. I fly almost every week, and never check luggage. (There's two kinds of luggage... carry-on and lost.) This should satisfy my "gotta-play-the-blues jones" that I get on the road.
Take a look at Traveler Guitar
Blues


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Subject: RE: Travel guitars
From: Deckman
Date: 10 Sep 03 - 09:45 AM

Yes indeed, I can attest to the sound of Don's guitar. It does sound just fine, and is very well balanced. In fact, I have to say that it is the BEST sounding canoe paddle I've ever played, and I've played a bunch of canoe paddles! CHEERS, Bob(deckman)Nelson


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Subject: RE: Travel guitars
From: GUEST,MAG, stuck in Portland
Date: 09 Jan 04 - 03:55 PM

THIS thread, Amos. "Go" guitars. I thought they'd be worth a try, but it wasn't meant to be. Sigh. I think I'm gonna start a thread. The hotel, it turns out, has a computer center.


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Subject: RE: Travel guitars
From: Amos
Date: 09 Jan 04 - 04:04 PM

Those "Go"'s look good to me, MAG! Give them a call! (619) 582-7891

A


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Subject: RE: Travel guitars
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Jan 04 - 06:14 AM

..... Martin LMXE .......

Now there's a great small guitar - great price and sounds like a martin.... real rich tone....

Great electronics and a good price


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Subject: RE: Travel guitars
From: MickyMan
Date: 10 Jan 04 - 08:13 AM

So interesting to hear Don Firth and others waxing poetic about the "Go Guitar". I'm planning an extensive backpacking trip in Vermont this summer and a very good friend of mine, John Ficcaro of CT, has lent me his "Go-GW". I just got it two nights ago and I'm very impressed with its' sound. A few years ago I hiked with his Martin Backpacker. It was the nylon string model and so a true comparison is not possible, but I must say that these new travel guitars work very well on a pack with their light weight and rigid construction. My first reaction is definately favorable toward this steel string "Go".
Do any hikers have some ideas about several of the following issues,,, 1.The lightest good capo I could bring. 2. The lightest decent tuner aavailable (maybe I'll just live with a tuning fork, what do you think?) 3.HOW BEST TO PACK ONE OF THESE PADDLE=LIKE TRAVEL GUITARS WHEN HIKING? (I'm borrowing this instrument and would like to get it back to my friend in one piece.) 4. How to keep it clean on the trail? 5. Types of strings that may even fatten up the sound more.
   Any other related backpacking experiences would be appreciated... but no horror stories, please. My friend will probably be seeing these messages and I don't want him to take it back! I'll keep this thread posted as to my experiences in the "high hills and mountains" while happily strumming away.


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Subject: RE: Travel guitars
From: s&r
Date: 10 Jan 04 - 12:13 PM

Hated the Martin Backpacke: Swapped it (with a bit extra) for a Washburn parlour guitar - not as small but very playable.

Stu


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Subject: RE: Travel guitars
From: GUEST,Got more than most tried even more......
Date: 10 Jan 04 - 04:11 PM

Martin Backpacker was made to be sent into space and should have stayed there - however the "Strumstick" came out of the Backpacker (same designer) and they are great.

The new Martin Babies LMX & LXME (electric version)are totally different kettle of fish and knock the bags off the Baby Taylors etc. and when talking backpackers NOT parlour guitars - it must be the best avalable at the moment if you want a real guitar sound and not a uke on steroids!!

The Washburn Parlours repo's were good a few years ago and they made some nice "copies" they have ruined them though with the last releases eg the new R305 which are poorly made look imported (in the worst possible sense) and are badly set up - but this is what happens when you make down to a price!

Paddles are for boating nor playing :-)


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Subject: RE: Travel guitars
From: Don Firth
Date: 10 Jan 04 - 04:30 PM

Greetings, MickyMan,

I noticed this thread came up again, so I popped in to take a look at the latest.

First up, I continue to be pretty happy with both of my Go guitars. I play the nylon-string mostly (back to practicing a lot of the classic stuff I used to play . . . well . . . tried to play), but I do beat on the steel-string fairly often.

Early on, I asked Sam Radding what strings I should use on these instruments. He said that he had experimented with a variety of strings and had found the D'Addario EJ44 Extra-Hard Tension nylons to be the best sounding on the "classics," and the D'Addario EJ16 Light-Tension the best for the steel-strings. I found the EJ16s that came on the steel-string "Go" pretty hard on my sissy fingers after playing classics almost exclusively since the mid-Fifties, even if they were light-tension, so I tried putting a set of even lighter tension D'Angelico light-guage silk-and-steel strings on it. Not a good move. The 6th string sounds oddly "boomy," and the rest sound kind of unbalanced and thin, so I'm going back to the D'Addario EJ16s. On his web site, Sam says,
"All steel string Go Guitars are designed to use light gauge strings. The saddles are compensated to ensure accurate notes over the entire fret board. We use Rosewood fret-boards and bridges. Unlike some other brands, all of our steel string necks have truss rods and a comfortable shape. In short, our instruments feel and play like expensive quality guitars." (Emphasis mine)
Convinced that Sam knows what he's doing, I'd stick to his recommendations, not just for the best possible sound, but for the good of the instrument itself. I get my strings from Elderly Instruments, where they're a lot less expensive than in the local music stores.

I have a Shubb Classic Guitar capo GA 71 (for a flat fingerboard) for the nylon-string, which is neat, tidy, unobtrusive, and easy to use. For the steel-string, I have a Kyser Quick-Change capo, but I can't say that I like it that much. The spring is so tight I practically have to use a pair of pliers to move it, and it sits there on the fingerboard like a rack of elk antlers. I plan on replacing it with a Shubb GA 70 (slight curve).   These are also cheaper at Elderly than they are around here.

Tuners. Probably one of the Sabine AX 2000 stick-on jobs would be about as light and convenient as anything. But since the instructions say not to just stick it on the guitar and leave it there all the time—take it off when you put the guitar away—it's easier to lose. You could put it back in its little plastic box and stick it into the gig-bag with the guitar. For general use, I like the Intellitouch PT-1. Easy to read, and works well when you're trying to tune amid a lot of background noise. I also have a Qwik-Tune QT-11. Light weight. Not a contact tuner like the Sabine and the Intellitouch, it uses a mike, but it has a built-in electronic pitch-pipe, and Elderly has them for only ten bucks, so if you lose it in the tall-and-uncut, you're not out that much (check the pictures on their web site). A tuning fork is always good.

To protect the guitar, I'd keep it in the gig-bag whenever possible. The plush padding doesn't weigh that much and it does a good job of protect the instrument from most bumps and bruises. This may not be too great when you're trying to scale a 60 degree slope, and I imagine you'll be carrying a fairly substantial pack, so I can't really offer much advice. Trial and error, I guess. The strap that comes with it is designed so it fits on the guitar itself, or it can be clipped to the outside of the gig-bag so you can sling it over a shoulder. That way, it looks remarkably like you're carrying a rifle rather than a guitar. Great for walking through airports these days. . . .

I don't know if any of this helps. Anyway, have a good trip, and good pickin'!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Travel guitars
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 10 Jan 04 - 10:20 PM

I got tired of carrying what felt like a grand piano around festivals a couple of years ago, so I bought an Ashbury STR100 Traveller electro-acoustic, on this page, about two-thirds of way down.

Very pleasant to play, fair volume, beautifully light to carry and crowd-friendly in a crowded bar. Plug it in to an amp and it's a great sound.

All right, it's a bit light on the bass, as you'd expect, so it's not the best playing tunes in an Irish session, though not at all bad either.


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Subject: RE: Travel guitars
From: Justa Picker
Date: 10 Jan 04 - 10:23 PM

Agree about the Martin LXM.


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Subject: RE: Go Guitar info from another message board
From: MickyMan
Date: 11 Jan 04 - 08:56 PM

I was just surfing over at Harmony Central (sorry to be two-timing on all you filthy folky felines...) and I saw a great thread about go guitars.
(love that copy edit command = to see some neat go-guitar pictures go to Jeremy's geocities website listed below)
Excuse the pun....Here GOOOOOOO's





my go-guitar (go-m)
i got my go-guitar (model go-m) this week. here is the page i made for it. review, pictures, mp3's, etc. --

http://www.geocities.com/netbiz3/goguitar.htm


01-10-2004 03:50 AM         



orsino
Senior Member

Registered: Sep 2002
Location: Florida
Posts: 2069
Nice page Jeremy! Glad you like yours. I'm still loving mine. Play it every day at work. I also took it from FL to CA and it travels VERY well.


__________________
Tom
www.orsino.lfhost.com


01-10-2004 12:37 PM         

Registered: Jun 2002
Location: this side of heaven
Posts: 1030
thanks. wow, yours has quite a few miles on it! glad you're still enjoying it. and thanks again for the video review and clips you posted, those played a role in my decision.


01-10-2004 02:30 PM         



Cams
Member

Registered: Jul 2003
Location: Luxembourg
Posts: 255
Congratulations Jeremy! And nice review too. I think it's great the way that guitarists are sharing reviews of their instruments on the Internet.

Wishing you a happy relationship!

Cams


01-10-2004 03:53 PM         



seven7
Senior Member

Registered: Jun 2002
Location: this side of heaven
Posts: 1030


thanks cams. i agree with you. the internet can be a great resource. it certainly has been and still is for me.

01-10-2004 06:17 PM         



bsman
Senior Member

Registered: Jan 2000
Location: Santa Clara, CA, USA
Posts: 3696
My Go-M turned 3 about Thanksgiving time, and has logged approximately 30,000 air-miles, been to work and back every week and is still going strong. 'Course, It's got its share of dings and scratches, but it keeps on ticking. One nice thing; the sound has improved markedly over the time I've had it. It is now a lot less tinny-sounding than it was when it was new. Also, the top has darkened quite a bit.

I like it so much, I'm thinking about getting Sam to install the fishman pickup in it. I have also been contemplating getting one of his parlor guitars (debating between that and a Tacoma DR12).

Anyway - enjoy your Go - it's a rather small fraternity, but a happy one!

01-10-2004 10:57 PM         


seven7
Senior Member

Registered: Jun 2002
Location: this side of heaven
Posts: 1030
bsman,

wow, after reading your post i'm even more pleased with my purchase. that's awesome.

i'd be curious to know how sam installs an undersaddle pickup in one of these guitars that's already built. i'm used to reaching through the soundhole and doing the installation by hand but the hole on these guitars is too small for that.
i'm counting on using an external pickup with mine...
i have a schatten dualie that i really like...(http://www.schattendesign.com)

01-10-2004 11:56 PM         



bsman
Senior Member

Registered: Jan 2000
Location: Santa Clara, CA, USA
Posts: 3696

quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by seven7
i'd be curious to know how sam installs an undersaddle pickup in one of these guitars that's already built. i'm used to reaching through the soundhole and doing the installation by hand but the hole on these guitars is too small for that.([
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------




That little, tiny soundhole is why I decided not to even try installing a pickup myself! I'm interested to get your opinion on how the duallie works, because if it does the job (at less than half the cost of the fishman) it might be a good alternative.


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You have the right to free speech - as long as you're not dumb enough to actually try it - Joe Strummer
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01-11-2004 10:00 AM         



orsino
Senior Member

Registered: Sep 2002
Location: Florida
Posts: 2069
Hey seven,
Do you have any recordings of one of your guitars using the Dualie. I'd like to hear what it sounds like.


__________________
Tom
www.orsino.lfhost.com



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01-11-2004 12:43 PM         



seven7
Senior Member

Registered: Jun 2002
Location: this side of heaven
Posts: 1030
ya guys, i have recordings of the dualie. i actually just recorded one last night with the dualie and the go-guitar. sorry, i don't have any on full size guitars but these are what i have right now.

you'll probably have to type these in rather than clicking on them to get them to work..also, i don't know if my eq preferences are the same as yours so whether you like my eq'd samples or not is determined by that i'd guess..also, where you stick the pickup is a major factor in the sound.

this first sample is the dualie on my go-guitar into danelectro eq into computer. the pickup is placed running parallel to the bridge not really favoring bass or treble side. eq is set flat other than dropping the mids down

http://www.geocities.com/netbiz3/goanddualieeq1.mp3


these next two are the dualie on my baby taylor (same setup as above).
eq set flat:

http://www.geocities.com/netbiz3/dualie.mp3

bass dropped some, treble flat, mids dropped:

http://www.geocities.com/netbiz3/dualieeqd.mp3

as far as how the pickup works goes:
it's basically two sensors mounted into a small wooden block that detect the vibration of where you stick it. it's very simple looking but also very effective. they are handmade. the output is pretty good on these things without any boost, but i get my best results with it using my danelectro eq pedal and eq'ing to preference as well as boosting the gain up some too with that pedal.
how the pickup sounds has A LOT to do with where you stick it.
i have found best positions for my ears to be right behind the bridge running parallel to it. from there you can move it slightly towards the bass or treble side to get your desired sound. as with any other acoustic pickup eq'ing it to shape it to personal preference is a good idea.
this pickup sounds far more natural than the fishman matrix, that's for sure. of course the matrix would win out in being the most feedback resistant. i think that's the only thing the matrix has over the dualie.
oh, i have failed to mention how it mounts. the pickup includes two types of putty. one marked for 'outside use' and one marked for 'inside use'...i use the outside putty as i like to mount the pickup outside so i can take it on and off. it doesn't seem to harm the finish at all. in fact, after pulling it off i can't even tell it's been on there. you will get the best results by using as thin a layer of putty as you can get away with.

i bought mine directly from schatten design. les schatten will answer anything for you that i can't. i talked with him quite a bit before and after my purchase. also when you buy direct from him there's a money back guarantee. if you don't like it, you return it for a refund..
check out the guarantee and you will see he stands behind his product:

http://www.schattendesign.com/moneyback.htm


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folk rock on

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http://www.andrew-peterson.com
http://www.jillpaquette.com
http://www.jarsofclay.com
http://www.caedmons-call.com


Last edited by seven7 on 01-11-2004 at 01:53 PM

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01-11-2004 01:51 PM         



takeout
Senior Member

Registered: Nov 2001
Location:
Posts: 2418
Question for the Go-Guys:
Any reason you guys picked the regular as opposed to the Grande? I'm curious whether the extra air volume from the deeper body makes a difference.

I'm also pissed that the Go-Bro is no longer listed. I was really curious about that one.

They need samples on their site.


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01-11-2004 03:33 PM         



seven7
Senior Member

Registered: Jun 2002
Location: this side of heaven
Posts: 1030
Re: Question for the Go-Guys:

quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by takeout
Any reason you guys picked the regular as opposed to the Grande? I'm curious whether the extra air volume from the deeper body makes a difference.

I'm also pissed that the Go-Bro is no longer listed. I was really curious about that one.

They need samples on their site.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



for me, even initially i was looking at this as more than a travel instrument and wanted a different acoustic voice. i figured the standard go would be a more unique voice and further away from a standard sized guitar in sound than the grande. so that was cool with me. and it doesn't hurt it's not as expensive either. although i did get some upgrades on my go-m. but they were worth it. i did consider the grande, and i won't rule out getting one of those sometime down the line since it would be yet another voice to add to my arsenal. but ultimately it was the
go-m i wanted.
even if you go with a grande though i don't think portability would be any different. i think it may use the same exact carrying bag.

you can call or email sam and i'm sure he'll talk about the 'go bro' with you. he does actually work building the guitars though so he's not always answering the phone, but you can leave him a message to call you back. he always replies to his e-mail assuming it's working properly. i never felt like he was in a rush or anything when i talked to him either, he took all the time to thoroughly go over everything i had questions on and then some.


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folk rock on

http://www.silersbald.com
http://www.andrew-peterson.com
http://www.jillpaquette.com
http://www.jarsofclay.com
http://www.caedmons-call.com



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01-11-2004 06:12 PM         



orsino
Senior Member

Registered: Sep 2002
Location: Florida
Posts: 2069
Re: Question for the Go-Guys:

quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by takeout
Any reason you guys picked the regular as opposed to the Grande? I'm curious whether the extra air volume from the deeper body makes a difference.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



takeout,
As seven said, my GO-M has become more rounded since I've bought it as well. I'm almost certain that the deeper bodied model will sound fuller, but my reason for buying was to have the smallest guitar I could find for carrying on the plane but still felt and played as close to a full sized guitar as possible. I think the GO-M meets both criteria. I've been thinking about the deeper bodied one for kicking around the house with as well.

seven,
I think the Dualie sounds pretty good for the price. Might have to check it out.


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01-11-2004 06:18 PM         



seven7
Senior Member

Registered: Jun 2002
Location: this side of heaven
Posts: 1030
orsino,

be sure to post some clips and give your thoughts if you try out a dualie. i honestly can't say the k&k pure western is any better to my ears as far as a starting point to eq to my preference. at any rate, both of those are quality products, imo.


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Subject: RE: Travel guitars
From: dwditty
Date: 11 Jan 04 - 09:34 PM

I played a martin lxm next to a new HD-28...oh there was a difference, but the sound was much much closer than I ever would have imagined. At about $250-300 US, the LXM (or LXME - fishman pickup)is a bargain, not to mention that you could play it in the rain...it is plastic!!!!!!

dw


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Subject: RE: Travel guitars
From: MickyMan
Date: 12 Jan 04 - 09:47 AM

Martin has a plastic guitar? I have a friend with a few old late 50's - early 60's Maccaferri plastic guitars that were very inexpensive when first made by this classic wooden archtop jazz guitar maker. They still play quite well...and I wonder if that could be said about any inexpensive wooden guitar after over 40 years in an attic. They don't sound like his famous wooden models but they were intended for a beginner market.
A beginner could start playing on one now with just as much success as the day it was built (Great low action and decent intonation). Nothing like plastic for permanance at a low price.


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Subject: RE: Travel guitars
From: clansfolk
Date: 12 Jan 04 - 01:08 PM

I have the LXME - "My Formica Friend". Acoustic sound is good likewise projection (for size)- no it's not up to the standards of my D41 - or even the D.15 But nicer than the Baby Taylor I have - the top on it isn't much thicker than a plectrum - but stronger than wood and when played through a PA sounds like a standard wood guitar....

specs:-

Tenor size (modified 0) body of High Pressure Laminate, mahogany & spruce finish, 6 strings, Stratabond neck with low oval profile, black micarta fretboard (1 11/16" nut, 23" scale). 34" overall length. Mini Q transducer pickup, 1/4" jack. Strung with medium gauge strings to play in standard tuning.


Stratabond has been used for rifle stocks for a long time and micarta for fret boards on guitars for some time - even Taylors???

Like the way the VOL/TONE unit forms the jack output section next to the back block where it doesn't interfere with the sound output (acoustic) as much as on a standard guitar and once you've got used to it's position it's as easy to adjust.

Love it!


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Subject: RE: Travel guitars
From: clansfolk
Date: 12 Jan 04 - 01:16 PM

Link to Elderly Instruments - LXME pictures etc


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Subject: RE: Travel guitars
From: Don Firth
Date: 12 Jan 04 - 01:32 PM

It depends on a lot of factors, but some wooden guitars hold up pretty well, and it's glorious when you find an old-timer that's still usable.

I first became actively interested in folk music in the very early Fifties when Claire, the young lady I was going with at the time, developed an interest herself. She mentioned to her grandmother that she was going to buy a guitar and learn to play it, and her grandmother said, "No need to buy a guitar. I haven't played my guitar in years, so you may as well have it." Claire didn't even know her grandmother had a guitar or played one. Her grandmother went into a back closet in her house and emerged with a beat up old leather guitar case. It contained a guitar that was a dead ringer for this one, except that it didn't have a pick-guard. A "New Model" parlor guitar made by George Washburn. The date stamped inside the sound hole was "1898." Claire's grandmother said, "I think it's a good guitar. Your grandfather bought it for me for $50.00." That was a heck of a lot of money back in 1900. Needless to say, Claire was ecstatic.

The little Washburn was in excellent condition, but it did need a little work. The bridge needed to be re-glued (a paper-thin gap had developed under the back edge, away from the fingerboard), but once that was taken care of by a local guitar repairman and it was strung with a new set of light-gauge strings (some modern strings can pull an older guitar apart), it sang out loudly and sweetly for the first time in several decades. Beautiful instrument!

A few weeks after getting the guitar, Claire taught me G, C, and D7. Shortly after that, I went to a music store and, just for fun, shucked out $15.00 plus tax for a little plywood guitar, complete with fiberboard case, free pick (which I never used, because Claire played with her fingers), and a "How to Play the Guitar" pamphlet. And that altered my life.

By the way, the George Washburn "New Model" guitar that Claire had was no relation to the Washburn guitars that are made now. Completely different outfit.

Plastic would undoubtedly hold up better over a long time in inclement conditions, but a find like Claire's grandmother's old parlor guitar is a real treasure.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Travel guitars
From: Justa Picker
Date: 12 Jan 04 - 02:14 PM

The so-called plastic composition of the LXM is actually what Martin refers to as HPL. (High Pressure Laminated - wood.)


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Subject: RE: Travel guitars
From: Justa Picker
Date: 12 Jan 04 - 03:07 PM

Specs on the LXM


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Subject: RE: Travel guitars
From: clansfolk
Date: 12 Jan 04 - 03:21 PM

High Pressure Laminates

Laminated thermosetting products consist essentially of fibrous reinforcing materials, such as cellulose paper, cotton fabric, asbestos fabric, nylon fabric, glass fabric etc. that are impregnated with thermosetting resin binder and consolidated under high temperature and pressure into dense solid products capable of having high mechanical and electrical properties. Resins used in laminated thermosetting products include phenolics, melamines, silicones, polyesters and epoxies.


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Subject: RE: Travel guitars
From: clansfolk
Date: 12 Jan 04 - 03:31 PM

The top, back and sides of the XM models are constructed of a wood-fiber derivative material laminated under high pressure. The outer surface is permanently treated with a mar resistant coating which serves as the instrument's semi-gloss finish. The rosette is Martin's famous herringbone pattern in black and gold, and a tortoise colored pickguard adorns the top.

sounds like formica to me :-)


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Subject: RE: Travel guitars
From: iancarterb
Date: 15 Mar 04 - 11:24 PM

A friend of mine has a Tacoma Guitar Co PAPOOSE, which is an A guitar, not E, although the body is about the size of the baby Taylor. It's inexpensive, $300 US +/-, durable (about 40,000 Washington State Ferry miles on it and counting, covered but outdoor playing 5 days a week, and loud enough to be heard playing with a D size Larivee or Martin and a mandolin and bass quite regularly. It's harder to get a gig bag which has zippers that will outlast the guitar when it's used that often.


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Subject: RE: Travel guitars
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 16 Mar 04 - 04:28 AM

A couple of years ago, fed up with carting a heavy Hiscox case around festivals, I bought an Art & Lutherie baby guitar for under £200. I carry it around in a 3/4 soft case and very rarely play my old FG180 these days. It has plenty of power a sweet sound that really works with Linda's voice and plenty of bass when I'm jamming in on instrumental sessions.


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Subject: RE: Travel guitars
From: Dave of Mawkin
Date: 16 Mar 04 - 07:46 AM

The Martin LXM is good but is severely over priced for what it is.
If Tanglewood made a guitar with a spruce top and mdf backs sides and veneered neck would you pay that sort of money?


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Subject: RE: Travel guitars
From: GUEST,wpageubs
Date: 16 Nov 04 - 02:34 PM

Hello all, I am loking for an electric travel guitar for my son. Closest sound & base I can get to a full size guitar. The "Go" certainly sounds good but does not come electric does it? Thanks for the help. Theresa


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Subject: RE: Travel guitars
From: Don Firth
Date: 16 Nov 04 - 08:56 PM

Yes, Theresa, it does, if you wish.

Sam makes each guitar to order, and if you want it, he will install a Fishman Matrix pickup in your instrument. Much easier to do if it's put in while being constructed. Go to the "Options" page and scroll down a bit.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Travel guitars
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 16 Nov 04 - 09:09 PM

Currently I'm having a lot of fun with a tiny guitar I rescused from a charity shop - no name, nylon strung. The whole thing is only 32 inches from end to end and 12 inches wide.

The trick is that the whole neck can be unfastened for travelling pourpose, so the guitar would fit in the kind of little bags you can take in aeroplanes as hand luggage which are only 20 inches long. But it's got an amazing sound for such a tiny instrument, and is really pleasant to play.


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Subject: RE: Travel guitars
From: Once Famous
Date: 16 Nov 04 - 10:14 PM

I use my old Gibson LG0.


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Subject: RE: Travel guitars
From: vectis
Date: 17 Nov 04 - 03:07 PM

I like my Martin backpacker, one of the originals, it suits me fine and I like the light sound of it. No bass but a pretty sound.


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Subject: RE: Travel guitars
From: GUEST,Thanks Don!
Date: 17 Nov 04 - 05:18 PM

I did not realize that's what that was. (By the way you can see Nick at tnt.tv;20 finanlist;Nick Mathis. (He'd laugh at me for being such a Mom!) thanks again!


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Subject: RE: Travel guitars
From: GUEST,phil@quartic.net
Date: 08 Nov 05 - 11:59 AM

Has anyone played any of the following travel guitars?
   Johnson Trailblazer JG-TR1 acoustic
   Vintage VTG1 travel acoustic
   Aria AMG10 travel electric

I'm wondering if any of them are worth tracking down, or do they all play and sound too crappy? I'm looking at these budget ones bacause I'll only use it a few times a year. Also, I don't want to worry about it getting damaged/stolen. Failing these, I'll probably opt for an Ozark travel acoustic, which is a little more expensive but seems to attract appreciative comments. Any other suggestions are welcome, but I don't want to stretch my budget as far as a Martin Backpacker, for example.

Thanks
Phil


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Subject: RE: Travel guitars
From: mooman
Date: 09 Nov 05 - 05:14 AM

Tried the little new Washburn travel guitars (steel and nylon string versions available) and a very low price with an excellent light case. Sound was rather thin as might be expected but acceptable given the tiny size. I have no need of one personally but it seems to be a new name on the block.

Peace

moo


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Subject: RE: Travel guitars
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 09 Nov 05 - 06:38 AM

I have a Crafter TRV23/N travel acoustic with steel strings.
It performs close to a Baby Martin at a fraction of the cost.
When amplified (via a decent pick-up), you cannot distinguish it from a full size.

A friend has a similar unit from Tanglewood with built in pick-up.
Once again, this sounds great for a budget guitar.

When you are gigging, you need a decent sound but also the risk of damage (or even theft)is greatly enhanced. Consequently a budget guitar makes sense, particularly if it sounds great too.


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Subject: RE: Travel guitars
From: jonm
Date: 09 Nov 05 - 07:07 AM

I have a Baby Taylor. I only experience intonation problems with elderly strings. It fulfils my criteria for a decent enough tone in a compact, portable and disposable package. The gig bag is very protective. I would not cry if it sustained damage, just get another one.

I tried all the travellers available left handed before buying this one, plus considering coverting righties. The best sound seemed to be the Go I heard, but it was not for sale and the UK distribution does not appear to exist any more. Martin Backpacker and the Vintage were ridiculously weak and boxy, didn't like the tone of the baby Martin as much as the Taylor, the Tanglewood and Takamini were OK but the cost of converting to lefty swung it for the Taylor.

I take it when travelling and on occasions when I don't know if I'm going to get a chance to play, but would regret not having an instrument.

I really like the boxy raw tone for blues and use it live occasionally for blues lead into a mic (haven't succeeded in finding a suitable p/u) over another guitar. Short scale makes for easy bends. The Baby wouldn't cope with another guitar without amplification, but it does fine backing up fiddle, flute or mandolin.

Hope this helps.


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Subject: RE: Travel guitars
From: GUEST,Raggytash
Date: 09 Nov 05 - 08:05 AM

I have a lovely little Simon & Patrick Patlour Guitar slightly more expensive than the Taylors (of which I've played a few) but to my mind a better quality of sound. The extra £30 or so was worth it.


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Subject: RE: Travel guitars
From: GUEST,phil@quartic.net
Date: 09 Nov 05 - 03:46 PM

Folks,

Thanks for your responses.

I play for my own pleasure only (no one else would want to listen, I assure you) so portability and price outweigh sound quality for this purchase. The Ozark Travel Guitar can be had for £95 (GBP) and is near the top of my budget, and gets good reviews. That's my most likely purchase, but I might stretch to £125 for something highly recommended, or I may just buy a Johnson Travel Guitar for £50 and save a few quid instead.

I was hoping someone had tried the Aria AMG10 travel electric, which has a built-in battery amp and speaker, like the Pignose but cheaper. I think it might be too big for airliner's overhead lockers, and it probaly sounds naff anyway.

How about the Artisan Travel Guitar? It's like an Aria Sinsonido or Yamaha Silent Guitar, but it's much cheaper than they are. Has anyone tried one?

Thanks again
Phil


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Subject: RE: Travel guitars
From: GUEST,charlie
Date: 12 Feb 06 - 07:31 PM

I think I'm with McGrath of Harlow - (16/11/04) -

I needed something to take on canoe trips up in Canada - so the Taylor 912 was out of the picture. A week out in the woods - with portaging. I picked up a very cheap used child-size nylon string old japanese plywood guitar that someone painted brown - and it certainly doesn't compare to a quality guitar (I think the fretboard is formica?) - but when you are in the woods, all alone, and quietly picking, it sounds like heaven. I keep it in a very light non-padded gig-bag (and stuff some clothes or a towel in it - so they double as padding). And I don't care when the guitar rubs against a tree or rock, or if it gets a bit dirty or caught in a little rain. And I'll be upset one day when I accidentally step on it, or something like that - but then I'll replace it for about $30 . . . and like I said - when not doing a direct comparison, it sounds fine and satisfies the "jones" - (and my camping buddies think it's an expensive guitar) -

Now, sometimes I even pick it up at home - where I have lots more expensive alternatives - but the tone draws me back to the woods . . .


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Subject: RE: Travel guitars
From: GUEST,tedbelly
Date: 13 Dec 10 - 12:10 PM

Got a Traveler Pro guitar and I find it surprisingly good to play, the sound can be a little rough around the edges on the piezo setting but fine on the electric. The main weakness is that changing the strings is an absolute bas***d of a job. Stretching the strings after their installation is nigh on impossible, which can result in serious tuning problems until they finally settle down. Maybe I'm missing something and I'd appreciate any advice.


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Subject: RE: Travel guitars
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 13 Dec 10 - 01:01 PM

I LOVE my Leach Voyage-Air OM size Guitar. Neck folds down, and the backpack size case fits in aircraft overhead bins. Magnificent full sound and superb caraftsmanship throughout.
I'm now using it every time I have to fly.
For many years as some 'Catters know, I recommended Calton cases for flying. Just check the guitar and go; another great piece of workmanship and value. The case got dinged up a bit but the guitar was never damaged.
But after having airlines misplace the guitar (sometimes for up to 4 or 5 days) I became reluctant to check my guitar into the hold.

So our own Deb Cowan told me of her Leach Voyage-Air guitar, and I got one.
Can't recommend it highly enough for traveling....and just playing.


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Subject: RE: Travel guitars
From: DonMeixner
Date: 13 Dec 10 - 01:04 PM

In September my band and I played a stage in Syracuse with Seamus Kennedy. The night before we swapped tunes with Seamus and pulled forth a folding guitar. When he screwed the guitar together the damned thing was in tune and it played well and sounded good.

Don


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Subject: RE: Travel guitars
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 13 Dec 10 - 01:06 PM

Oops...URL here:

travel guitar


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Subject: RE: Travel guitars
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 13 Dec 10 - 01:10 PM

I happened across one of WalMart's "First Choice" brand kid guitars at a thrift store for $10.00. I bought it for my grandson, but it stays at our house. (If I let it go home with him, it'd never have a full set of strings on it.) So I get to fool around with it.

It has the high action and miserable intonation you'd expect from a $10.00 guitar, so it blows as far as conventional playing goes. But it's an absolute hoot for playing bottleneck slide. It sounds remarkably funky -- a tone that would be right at home on a scratchy old 78. Since the scale length is so short, I usually tune it to open A or open E tuning (as opposed to open G or open D on a full-sized acoustic).

If you're a slide player and you should happen across a cheap little almost-toy guitar at a steal price, buy it! It won't become your main axe, but it could be a really fun occasional diversion.


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Subject: RE: Travel guitars
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 13 Dec 10 - 02:16 PM

I have a Washburn Rover...sounds a bit "tinny", as you'd expect from such a small body, but it's got a full-sized neck and is just right for me to take camping or climbing.


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