Features — 9
I've been playing guitar for about 5 years now and recently started to travel quite a bit. I purchased one of Journey Instruments' Overhead mahogany travel guitars and it is a beautiful instrument! One of my favorite features of the guitar's design is its Manzer wedge. This wedge design and its shorter body make it really comfortable to hug underneath my arm and against my body while I'm playing. Another feature that I love is the built in pick up that does not require batteries. No more inconvenience and hassle needing to switch out batteries! When I'm ready to pack it away and head out the door it has a really simple release button and fastener nob that make it quick to detach the neck from the body and pack it away in the bag. Speaking of the travel bag! It has fit easily in every overhead compartment I've had to use on planes and because the bag has a laptop zipper pocket and two other zipper pockets it allows me to only carry this one bag while traveling and not have to lug around a second backpack! When storing the guitar in the bag there is a separate padded zipper pocket for the neck and two Velcro straps on a flap that allow you to constrain the strings so they don't become tangled or kinked during transport and the flap protects the body of the guitar. I have taken apart the guitar and put it back together many times and every time it has a solid, consistent functionality. When I'm ready to re-attach the neck to the guitar it takes me less than 30 seconds and I'm ready to start playing again. While taking the guitar in and out of its bag the tuners tend to get moved quite a bit so the guitar must be re-tuned after connecting the neck to the body.
Sound — 9
Even though it is smaller than guitars I'm used to playing the amount of sound it can produce is impressive. The mahogany Journey Instrument that I have has a beautiful rich and full sound. When I'm playing in a place with lots of background chatter it's a bit hard to hear myself because it doesn't project quite as much sound as a full size body but if I plug it into an amp, problem solved. I love playing rhythm and percussive guitar and I have been able to get some unique sounds from tapping, slapping, and strumming different places on this guitar. A unique advantage to having a small guitar body with this style of music is I have been able to get some higher pitched snare pop sounds by hitting to top/front of the body that would be very difficult to get with a larger guitar body. But I can still get a nice base drum sound by bumping the center of the body with the palm on my hand. It's not quite as low of a bass sound as I could get from a full size body but sufficient.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
Initially I was worried that purchasing a collapsible guitar would mean that I would have to deal with some poor action but I have been pleased with the action. Other guitars you can buy will have even lower action but it's still very nice to play. The fret spacing is comparable to a standard Les Paul and I find the neck very comfortable to hold while playing even with my big hands. I can tell that care was taken when manufacturing this guitar because of the attention to detail. All of the guitar's hardware has been placed precisely and aesthetically pleasing. The wood doesn't contain flaws and the back is made from a single piece. The rear knob for attaching the guitar strap and also has the input is a little small and a bit tricky to attach my strap. The groove isn't quite deep enough for a thick leather strap so I need to get a thinner strap connector to make sure it won't come detached while playing. All in all it's not an issue and an easy modification.
Reliability & Durability — 8
The instrument has some great quality hardware with a bone nut and saddle and ebony bridge pins. The tuners are also some solid hardware that I have been very content with. Being that it is a travel guitar with a detachable neck I was initially skeptical that the hardware required to hold the neck firm to the body would hold up and have a secure solid feel to it but I was pleasantly surprised when I started using it. While the neck is locked into place and the safety knob is quickly screwed into place the neck and body become one unit. The first couple times I attached the neck to the body after disassembling the guitar it was a bit tricky because I had to get used to the process of quickly attaching them, but now that I've done it a bunch of times it's not a problem. The trick is to hold the guitar between your legs and push on the back of the body while attaching the neck to get some good leverage and click it into place.
Overall Impression — 9
My favorite style of music is rhythm and percussive guitar and this instrument has been a blast to play! If this guitar was stolen or lost I wouldn't hesitate to purchase the exact same guitar from Journey Instruments. Not only is the guitar awesome, but the customer service that I received from the company was great too. When comparing this guitar to full size guitars that I've played in the past I don't see the point in going back. This travel guitar gives me plenty of acoustic volume while playing and has a great pick up for when I need to use an amp. All in all I highly recommend Journey Instruments' Travel Guitars!