Travel Guitars - 200$ price range - your recommendations

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  • @scottlake 2 weeks

    Currently about to pull the trigger on this:

    Convince me of something else if you have a recommendation.

  • @johnstaples  2 weeks

    I've had this Martin for a few years,

    It sounds great and has a funky shape (that makes it almost unplayable if you don't use a guitar strap!)

  • @scottlake 2 weeks

    Thanks John, I had already ruled out backpacker due to the sound and shape. That one is great for backpacking and compactness. I can tolerate more weight and size in my travels.

  • @tootoobee  2 weeks

    Unfortunately, above your price range, still a cool travel guitar with the carbon fiber body and detachable neck.

  • @scottlake 2 weeks

    There are many out of my price range! There are a couple different types with detachable necks, and the oh-so-delightful CA Cargo that doesn't need to be broken down and could actually be used for a canoe paddle because of it's all carbon-fiber construction.

  • @bootlegger 2 weeks

    That's a tough call. I was in the market a few years ago and ended up splurging and getting a gs-mini mahogany. I play it more than any of my other guitars though cause it's just so easy to play and convenient.

    That Yamahaay well be your best bet in the price range. Just make sure the neck is straight when you get it and it doesn't have any signs of being too dry and get a good setup. The good thing about those cheaper $200 guitars is hardly any of it is real wood so as long as it's okay to start it shouldn't warp too much.

    I have a "campfire guitar/beater" at my parents house I leave there that just sits in their basement and I haven't even had to tune it in years. It just stays put. It's just some cheap fender dread.

  • @spingo  2 weeks

    I've actually been playing a Yamaha JR-1 as my main guitar in my band. They show up on all the time as ignored kid guitars and you can easily get one for under $50 shipped.

    I got the classical equivalent (CGS-102A) because I like my Yamaha Guitalele so much, but it's a little hard to make some chords because I have gorilla hands. I didn't like it at all -- the string tension was just weird, where the JR-1 somehow feels fine.

    I wrote a couple of songs the first week I had the Guitalele because it's so EASY to pick up. It's tuned to A, so like a capo on the 5th fret. Those are $100 new and I got mine used at a pawn shop for $50.

    I got one of these to make t

  • @spingo  2 weeks


    I got one of these to make the JR-1 acoustic-electric but haven't installed it yet.

  • @spingo  2 weeks

    I've been kind of on a mini-guitar kick (I've been playing a $50 Squier Strat Mini and my other guitars are gathering dust) and found Harley Benton acoustics (various folks love their electrics).

    This is their $138 GS Mini knockoff and it may sound decent, based on watching very few YouTube videos.

  • @scottlake 2 weeks

    Got to play 4 travel sized guitars today back to back. All nearly same size.
    Mitchell DJ120
    Martin LX1
    Taylor Baby Taylor
    Luna Muse

    The Luna had razor sharp fret ends. The Baby Taylor needed a neck adjustment. The Martin sounded nice for the size. The Mitchell was the big surprise. Almost indistinguishable in sound from the Martin, solid spruce top, bound fretboard, and 1/3 of the price of the Martin at $99. Tomorrow I try out the Yamaha.

  • @scottlake 2 weeks

    Btw, I made a quick back to back recording on my iPhone in the Guitar Center humidified room of the two contenders. The humming at the beginning is the humidifier running. I won’t say which is which

  • @oddbod  2 weeks

    As expected, neither has much low end - #1 has more jangle/brightness
    #2 is more middle range tonally
    It's all personal taste of course but I prefer #1 based purely on what is a rough and ready sound recording.
    The Taylor GS Mini remains the most tonally rounded and pleasing (to my ears) smaller guitar I've tried (which is why I have one) - though of course you have to pay more than $200.

  • @scottlake 1 week

    Yamaha APXT2 no longer a consideration. Really crummy sound and poor build materials by comparison.

  • @valeriecox  1 week

    I'd second the Baby Taylor. Those sound really good for their size. If you could find one used in your price range, it'd be well worth it.

  • @scottlake 1 week

    @spingo i think that the Harley Benton brand might be made by the same company as the Mitchell brand sold in the US

  • @spingo  1 week

    @scottlake I would not be surprised in the least, or that they both come from the same factory, etc.

    I'm tellin' ya, Yamaha Jr 1 from shopgoodwill will do you right. This one is $40 incl shipping at the moment, and there's another up in a couple of days.

  • @vomvorton  1 week

    Electric rather than acoustic, but has anyone used a Hofner Shorty? I'm kinda tempted to get one to play in the car on my lunch break (using an iPad or some mini battery powered amp thing to rock out on headphones).

  • @helenseviltwin  1 week

    I have one of these

    It's not what you're looking for, but it vaguely relevant. I don't use it often, but it folds up to the size of a trumpet case so I can take it anywhere (including on flights)

  • @scottlake 1 week

    @helenseviltwin thats a cool concept!

  • @scottlake 1 week

    @spingo I picked up a used Yamaha FG JR1 today. No intonation issues on the b string, but there is one on the low E - but I did put mediums on the guitar - I probably need to file the nut slot down just a bit for that string. Got a brand new Baby Taylor bag for $34 for it.

  • @spingo  1 week

    @scottlake Hooray! I hope you enjoy it. I have Martin Flexible Core custom light 11s on mine and it's been great. Though I did just get some nickel 12s based on a Recording King parlor YouTube demo.

    @vomvorton I haven't tried that guitar (I use the neck pickup a lot), but my $50 Squier Strat Mini plays and sounds much much better than it has any right to with 12s on it. (Maybe 11s, but I think 12s). The short scale likes thicker strings, and they're not harder to play at all and stay in tune great.

    I've barely played my full-sized electrics since stumbling across it at a pawn shop. Also constantly found at shopgoodwill! And all over OfferUp.

  • @torsten 5 days

    I also have a snapdragon: I'm more than happy with it. Cost's around 250$ and I use it together with a blackstar fly mini amp (60$).

  • @scottlake 2 days

    @spingo - if you are in the US, Musician's Friend has Baby Taylor gig bags right now for $40, and it fits the FG JR-1 just right. Very well padded.

  • @spingo  2 days

    @scottlake Thanks! I have the paperthin one it came with somewhere, but it rarely leaves the house anyway.

  • @ustaknow 2 days

    @scottlake - I've had many of all kinds; I've kept my Hofner, elec with batt amp. and stuck a Gibson SG pup in mine. A very cheap unit and once Setup as I can do, - plays "OK"... still awkward since ends at bridge, pup... (there are wire inserts for hand rests, but to much for here, now).

    However, why I respond is that for what these are how they sound I've picked up, e.g. "SX" brand necks from his parts side for the cost of lunch. (This is a great Luthier 101 project for kids, etc. anyone). Then, using the bridge to nut length, for Scale, screw the neck/locate it, - INSIDE an Olive Oil Can, or e.g., metal Gas Can and thread the strings along the back lip. You can make a bridge from anything, a Bridge, a bridge, πŸ˜€ , a pencil, a chunk of plastic, dried chicken bone, etc., - and just slide it under the strings to intonate and adjust height. Also, the neck bolted inside the Can (well, you can get fancy and pull the Frets and flatten the top of neck fitting inside the can, makes for a great fit), makes for great initial action, - adjust fwd bow on the neck if needed.

    If you want to get creative you can sink metal threads into the neck, for infinite neck removals, -- or just be careful with regular neck screws, - take it apart a few hundred times πŸ˜€ Some may use large washers on top too, and etc. design, fancy elements, metal slip on top soundboard for QA of breakdown.

    Unless you cut a hole or large hole, the Can holds up structurally well, and is both Acoustic as-is or you can put a contact pickup on it for, like, .25 cents, - I got a bag of them.

    Oh, and with the contact tab pickup, it seconds as a great "AM" radio sounding Mic πŸ˜‰ - screaming into you guitar can be cathartic too.

    You can screw any other kind of pup, and get a large sound.

    Also, since a standard size neck, - does not throw me off and looks interesting.

    The sound on all of them are marginal other than maybe tootoobee's recommendation, - those look interesting, carbon fiber composite.

  • @ustaknow 2 days

    Hey @scottlake - since you're here asking this, figured you want input, right? πŸ˜€

    So, looked that over at the yamaha site... specs, - and the string gauge, looks heavy which fits since a shorter scale will be "floppy" and needs a "stiff" string. However, stiff strings come in lighter gauges, -- so, since I too love amazon with prime and free returns, -- I'd take my time. I see it has a pup in it too.

    It looks like a nice unit, --can't tell if solid spruce unless missed that. For a unit like that a ply-top could be a benefit, or not.

    In case you wonder Scale Length, - its from the bottom of the Nut, to the middle of the Bridge, generally speaking. This is 22 13/16 ... likely as short as one can get and still be in *Standard Tuning. Sometimes in Travel Bass's the E-string gets funky in a number of ways, due to the floppy-ness of the string. (There's a great no-brand one on Amazon, no issues... but I digress.)

    I didn't read all you may have written, but as well, when I've traveled, one-off/one time stuff, with all things considered, I'd just buy an el-cheapo there and give it away when left, e.g., Key West, foreign countries. Lots of pawn, 2nd hand shops, or just plain cheap-new.

    It's why I tossed in the above too, since if even got crushed, likely can bang it out and play anyway πŸ˜‰ -- no loss, or go to any restaurant/hotel dumpster. You can put that neck in with a can opener or pocket knife πŸ˜€ -- very green here πŸ˜‰

    I figured while I have the time, I'd toss that in. -- And there may be others who like the Folk-enginuity instruments.

  • @scottlake 2 days

    @ustaknow i bought the guitar already. I do like 4 string bass is an SX and my Classical is a Valencia, sold by Rondo, which is the sales outlet for SX in the US. The little Yamaha I bought actually sounds pretty great, as good or better than a Baby Taylor.

  • @vomvorton  1 day

    I picked up a Hofner Shorty today, my local second-hand shop had one in and since I was there to clear out some unwanted gear I ended up getting it for free (disclaimer: unless you consider the money I spent on the stuff I was getting rid off, but that was Long Ago). It's a little top-heavy, but with a strap on it seems to be very playable sitting down or standing up, and sounds good plugged into the iPad via an iRig. A bit of fret buzz in places but definitely seems like a lot of fun, hopefully this will open up my lunch breaks for some songwriting and basic demo recording!

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