travel

ZON VB SERIES

The design of Zon VB4 bass started out as a headless prototype made for Michael Manring in 1993, who named this bass "Vinny" after the My Cousin Vinny film. Although Zon were initially reluctant to release a production headless bass, this original “Vinny” design eventually morphed into the headless line of Zon basses called the VB series, introduced around 2004. Designed for portability and ease of travel, the headless design and small body of VB basses means they will fit in the overhead compartment of an airplane or behind the seat of a tour bus.

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Strobel Guitars

Strobel Guitars make proper playable electric travel guitars that fit into a laptop sized briefcase. These are real gigable guitars that can be packed in your carry on luggage! After experimenting with several prototypes Russ Strobel built the first Rambler Custom travel electric guitar in 2003.  Since then two more portable Rambler models have been added as well as a bass.  Strobel offer both US made and Korean made models to fit your budget.
 

Make a folding guitar

Hinged guitar neck

This instructable shows how to make a folding guitar. The technique of folding the neck using a hinge to the body end of the neck is not new, but this guide shows a DIY version. This guide has some interesting ideas, but I would say its still in the development stage: I can't see a mechanism to lock the unfolded neck in place. There is also a strange cylinder mechanism on the back of the neck that coils up the strings when the neck is folded, but it looks like it would get in the way when you are trying to play the guitar.

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ERLEWINE CHIQUITA

erlewine-chiquita-travel guitar line art

The Erlewine Chiquita has been around since the early 1980s. It is a travel sized electric guitar, just 28 inches long and weighing 4.5 pounds. Scale length is short, at 19 inches. Erlewine state that "Airlines accept the Chiquita in its hardshell case (with the mini practice amp!) as carry on luggage".

The body is mahogany. Hardware is a Schaller bridge, single humbucking pickup and single volume control.

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ERLEWINE LAZER

 Erlewine Lazer electric guitar - front view pointing to the sky

The lazer was designed by Mark Erlewine, and first patented in 1987. It is a headless design with a cut-down body. At a total length of 31 inches, and weight of 5.5 pounds, it would make a good travel guitar. Scale length is 25.5 inches, 24 frets, with neck-though construction. Pickups are a single-coil at the neck and humbucker at the bridge. These are controlled by a volume pot, pickup selector and push-pull tone pot.

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Rees Rambler

Rees Rambler travel guitar, oriented approximately 20 degrees

The Rees Rambler is a travel guitar. It has a full size neck (25.5 inch scale), but the smaller body (with no wasted space behind the bridge) and compact 3-a-side headstock mean it is small enough to fit into aeroplane lockers. The double cut-away korina body is finished in silk nitrocellulose with an extended upper horn to help balance.  The maple neck has a side adjustable double truss rod, pau ferro fingerboard and Fender LSR roller nut.

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Blackbird Guitars

Joe Luttwak and Kyle Wolfe founded Blackbird Guitars, and were later joined by Troy Stevens. Their vision was to produce a good sounding acoustic travel guitar. They use the latest tools and materials: 3D CAD , CNC laser cutters and routers, carbon-fibre, and structural foams. Their first model is the Blackbird Rider: a compact acoustic guitar with a full-bodied sound.

ATLANSIA DUALIST 2 STRING

dualist_2str.jpg

This is a striking 2 string fretless bass from Atlansia. It would make a good travel instrument as it folds to only 8cm wide by 6.5cm thick (although it is 101 cm long). The body and neck are a single piece of maple, with a folding maple strap supporter.

The hardware is innovative, as you would expect with an instrument from N. Hayashi. The string nut is a Hayashi patented adjustable type, the bass has combined tailpiece+tuners (see photo) desigined by Wilkson and Hayashi. The pickups are ATLANSIA ARSX2, individual click and turn pickups that go in like a lightbulb.   

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TAYLOR BABY TAYLOR

Baby taylor acoustic guitar

This is a 3/4 size dreadnought guitar, so it is a good choice for younger guitarists with smaller hands. Taylor have cut a few corners to keep the price of this instrument down. It is made in Mexico with a solid Sitka spruce top with mahogany veneered back and sides. The neck is solid mahogany neck with 14/19-fret ebony fingerboard with plastic dot inlays. It comes in a natural satin finish only.

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