Note: Things That Make Noise is my new series for reviewing instruments. I will also have a series called Things That Record Noise where I review recording gear. Check back soon for a review of the new Apogee Duet 2.
Traveling with your Guitar
If you’ve ever tried to bring a guitar onto an airplane, then you’re well aware of the ensuing headache that comes with the whole process. The great debate is over whether to check the guitar in a flight case that you trust will survive the baggage handlers, or whether one should attempt to bring the guitar onto the airplane and stow it in the overhead compartment. The happy medium for me was always to gate check the guitar. In fact, I’ll likely do this many times again in the future. I’ve never really had any major complications with this process, and sometimes just need my G&L ASAT with me. It's just kind of a hassle though.
When I realized how many flights I would be taking in the coming year, one of the first things that crossed my mind was this very issue. And, me being the guitar geek that I am, the conclusion that I quickly came to was that I needed (“needed”) to get a travel guitar. I suppose that an indestructible Tele or Strat in a gig bag would survive each trip. However, I don’t think I’ll be taking an amp on the plane with me. So that means traveling with an acoustic guitar. Was my main acoustic guitar going to survive multiple flights, even with a great flight case? Maybe. But would it be a pain to travel to multiple cities, often with stopovers in between, with a full sized guitar in a thick road case, a backpacking backpack, and an additional bag? Yes. It certainly would be.
Okay, so travel guitar it is. Where to begin…. None of the travel guitars that I had tried in the past struck me as being particularly inspirational if you will. The Big Baby Taylors sound pretty terrific for the price, and the necks can unscrew. But that sounds like a recipe for warped necks and stripped screws over time. The smaller Baby Taylor sounds okay, but isn’t full sized. The Martin LXM series felt kinda cheap in my hands. The Breedlove felt pretty good, but again - not quite right. Unfortunately, this is the story for most travel acoustic guitars. They’re just too small! Short-scale necks don’t feel right, and small-bodied guitars don’t resonate.
This quandary narrowed the field down to two guitars: The new Taylor GS Mini, and the Voyage Air guitar (the what?). After playing both, I ultimately decided on the latter of the two options. Click here for my full review. I think you guitar players will be impressed with this guitar find.