Travel Guitars

Guitarmom
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Mon Apr 27, 2009 9:58 am

Hello,

I travel 2 to 3 weeks a month for work and must fly to most of my destinations. While I know I could (and have) carried my Martin into the cabin, it is difficult including it with everything else I must take for work that cannot be checked. As such I have tried a number of travel guitars with varying degrees of success. I have used a Baby Martin, Backpacker and Yamaha Silent Guitar in past years. While all provide the necessary neck width etc for my practice, I have not been pleased with the tonal quality of any used to date. I know I want my cake and eat it too... but I ran across a guitar at NAMM last year called the Voyage-Air, and I was wondering if anyone on the TG Forum has had a chance to really put one through its paces. They make Dreadnoughts to Orchestra models and sound great (at least at the show). But how it stands up in the real world is what I am seeking. I am considering the Rosewood Orchestra model.

Any thoughts?


spags
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Mon Apr 27, 2009 11:22 am

I've heard that when flying with a guitar you should de-tune it. Loosen up all the strings because of the pressure differentials. Especially if you check it. Is this true or just an urban legend?


Guitarmom
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Mon Apr 27, 2009 11:46 am

I believe it is absolutely true.

It is especially salient if you check (God forbid) your guitar. The difference in temperature and pressure make a BIG difference. I say don't check your guitar, because I watched in horror as my Martin D 12-20 was going up a loading ramp hit the doorway at the plane and fell about 15 feet to the ground. Granted it was in a travel case and was perfectly fine, but my heart was in my throat until I held my baby in my arms again. 0:(

As an aside, whenever we played in an outdoor setting with rehearsal studios underneath the stage, we always had to take our instruments up to stage level a minimum of 30 minutes before we played... to let them acclimate... then re-tune offstage. 0:)


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skaladar
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Mon Apr 27, 2009 12:27 pm

Acoustic Guitar Magazine had a review of Voyage Air recently. It is archived in the website but you have to be a member to access it. They also recently had an article on traveling with your guitar (how to pack it, take it on an airplane, etc.) Try this link for user reviews on the Voyage Air: http://reviews.harmony-central.com/revi ... AD-06/10/1

I use to be a Wilderness Ranger and always brought a travel guitar with me (I was in the backcountry for 5 days at a time--too long for me to be away from a guitar!) I was not impressed with the Martin Backpacker's sound, shape, and feel. I ended up buying a Vagabond. The neck is like a full-sized guitar and the tone is similar to a mandolin. I bought it 15 years ago and I know that there are a lot of new travel guitars on the market now. Of course, nothing sounds like a full-sized guitar, but a good travel guitar is the next best thing!


Guitarmom
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Tue Apr 28, 2009 7:47 am

Thanks for the link to the review...that really helped. Choosing a guitar is such a personal thing but a travel guitar makes you think beyond wood and steel. How big is too big... How small is too small etc. Its a balancing act at the airport especially if you are traveling for business. Being a woman makes it a bit more complicated because a purse counts as a carry on. Now add a computer bag and a travel guitar and something has to go. Obviously my passion for guitar helps me overcome the obstacles. 0:)


BigBear
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Thu Apr 30, 2009 6:02 pm

Guitarmom- I was pretty impressed with the Baby Taylor I played. It sounded really good for such a small instrument, the price was right and it was really rugged. I hate to shill for Bob Taylor but they do a great job with everything they put out. Even the Baby Taylor has the high ringing tones they are famous for.

Happy Playin'!!


Guitarmom
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Thu Apr 30, 2009 8:09 pm

Well... I am excited. After a lot of thought I have ordered a Voyage Air VAOM-2C Cutaway.

The specifications read:
Orchestra Model" shaped body with rounded cutaway
Solid Sitka Spruce Top
Solid Rosewood Back and Sides
"C"shaped Mahogany neck for fast and easy playability
Rosewood Fingerboard with inlaid green abalone position markers
Rosewood Bridge and bridge plate

And of course it folds for travel. I played one at NAMM in Austin last year and it sounded great. Harvey Leach designed the guitar so I have very high hopes! I'll let you know.

Blessings,

Rev Kate


kelemenj
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Fri May 01, 2009 9:50 am

Congratulations!! Definitely keep us posted on your new acquisition! Out of curiosity, what made the decision to go Voyage Air?


Guitarmom
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Fri May 01, 2009 12:42 pm

I guess it evolved over a long period of time... coupled to trial and error. I have three travel guitars, and none of them left me satisfied when I was practicing on the road. Whenever someone (usually parents) ask me what price to pay for a guitar for someone just starting, I tell them to purchase one of the better guitars that their budget can handle. If you buy a guitar that is cheap, chances are that it will be more difficult to play and the resulting sound will not satisfy the player. As such they will not receive the gratification in sound that will keep them playing. SURPRISE! I listened to my own advice! I had been trying to get away with saving money and the resulting sound, action (adjustable I know), feel/touch was not pleasing. I could have bought two Voyage Air guitars with the money I spent on the first three. Of course your post gave me another nudge in that direction, when you reminded me about the Acoustic Guitar Magazine review in the April issue 0:)


buddy
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Fri May 01, 2009 2:47 pm

Glad I could help! Despite what my wife says, I CAN be helpful sometimes! :lol:


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