Thanks for your interest in my new guitar. As you know, I’ve been looking for a while - admittedly not too intensely - for a travel guitar. I’ve tried quite a few in various guitar stores over the past year or two.
But first, what is a ‘travel’ guitar? It very much depends on what type of travel you have in mind of course, as clearly, given the right circumstances, you can take any guitar with you anywhere you go.
The ultimate I suppose is one that you can disassemble and put into your hand luggage for air travel. This is not something I ever envisage doing so I discounted those. They are also pretty expensive and I made up my mind that I didn’t want to spend a ton of cash on something that wouldn’t be my main guitar and that might get bumped about a bit and be subjected to different temperatures. So rather than look at guitars that were advertised specifically as ‘travel’ guitars, I decided the answer was to look at smaller body guitars that wouldn’t break the bank. I’ve also had a few suggestions from other Community members as a result of previously asking advice.
Travel guitar - any recommendations?
The first thing I had to come to terms with was the different sound a small guitar produces. No point comparing it to a dreadnaught as that was not the point.
Next thing is many smaller sized guitars are advertised as suitable for children and beginners. We all know that is basically code for not that great.
In the course of my search I tried some very high end small guitars, some middle range models and some really cheap ones. The Taylor GS Mini seems to be the popular benchmark that others copy in the middle price point but that was still above what I wanted to pay. The problem was I didn’t like the sound and build quality of the cheaper brands I tried. No point buying something I wouldn’t want to play even if it was at a BBQ or whatever.
So next thought. Do I need a really small guitar? Perhaps something that was simply smaller than a dreadnaught was the answer. That was when I started looking at parlour guitars and discovered that despite being small, due to their body shape they have a really decent tone and a fair bit of projection. Clearly there are parlour guitars in all the price points so I started looking at the lower price range options.
I came across the PRS parlour range and I knew from other posts on the forum that PRS has a good name and reputation. Some reviews on the internet confirmed that their parlour guitars had a good press. So I asked Santa for one.
It’s terrific. Made in China by Cort under license to PRS. The quality control must be good as it seems to be really well made and finished.
For the price, it’s got some great features. Solid mahogany top, ebony fingerboard and bridge, bone nut and saddle and of course the PRS bird inlays on the fretboard which look really cool. It has a full length neck joining the body at fret 14 but a shorter scale length. It came with quite a decent gig bag too. Perhaps the only thing I don’t like are the tuning knobs which are a bit plasticky.
How does it sound? Well as I said earlier you can’t compare it to a larger guitar but it has a bright but at the same time mellow sound due to the mahogany construction, decent bass despite the lack of body size and plenty projection too. It has 12-53 strings of unknown make so I’ll change them for better ones of the same gauge.
Well I’ve certainly rambled on here longer than I meant to but hopefully someone might find this interesting.
Now I just need somewhere to travel to.