Really small guitars - traveling guitars

Discussion in 'Other Cool Guitars' started by DennisC, Apr 10, 2021.

  1. DennisC

    DennisC Country Gent

    May 11, 2017
    Aloha mis Amigos,

    as I will have to travel for work during the week, and currently neither see nor want this to end (... given that I'll get a Covid-vaccine and stuff will be back to normal, kind of normal...), as it has some advantages to it ... I get to get used to a lot of different CAD-systems, companies, types of machinery - guess my specialization in internal combustion engines won't serve me any well, economically, anymore ... although I still see a point in making them more efficient, ... anyway - a lot of towns and different people and stuff, and taking care of myself at least can reduce the risk of exposure ... you get the point. Anyway...

    ... anyway:

    Therefore, I developed the demand for a very small, short, light guitar to have with me then without carrying half a household. Purely meant for practice, nothing else is important. If she sounds good on top, that's a bonus, but required is only that the instrument will sound like ... uh, like a guitar does... Inbuilt amplifier isn't required, as I have a little Vox Amplug, but having one in her doesn't knock any out of the race.

    I never looked into that kind of guitar before, as, usually, I'm set with Teles and Hollows and don't see myself needing or wanting anything else ... but, this time it's different - I just want a practicing instrument that is as small as a fully functional guitar can possibly be.

    So, as I know this place as a place full of men of wealth and taste, I guess asking here will lead to the most reasonable answers without a ton of tara'ish blabla, ... and so I do.

    While researching this, I came across a few possible ones:

    First of all, the name just seemed right: Traveler guitars. They build these ones:


    ... strats with a body not exceeding the p

    ickguard. Ok, I'm not much of a strat guy. But that company offers different models, another one I found is this:


    which is a bit more to my liking, due to not having the full strat electronics but just one angled pickup - seems a bit righter for a Tele-guy.

    Looking into different brands, I also found a few more ... Strandberg for example - but that exceeds my current budget a bit, I don't wanna be in the four figures here - this guitar will be meant for practice before any else, so my preferenes regarding pickups and so forth aren't totally irrelevant, but being smaller, fitting in a smaller case even, weighing less and being robust are the key features I'm after here. I find it pretty pointless to not practice Monday to Thursday and, when getting that problem fixed, my lack of practice during work weeks, ... well, anything is beyond, after, less important than being travel-fit.

    ... and, of course - the Höfner Shorty crossed my eyes, too. I've seen Lou Reed play one on stage in his last years (on youtube - not knowing he'd die, I delayed visiting one of his concerts in 2012 ... and learned my lesson - if someone you wanna see play plays, go and see them, they might very well be finished with living before there even is a next chance), which contributes to it being cool, of course:


    ... so, this leads to the questions that I wanna ask:

    Does anybody around here play a guitar of that species? Any experiences? Have you suffered from - or enjoyed - any surprises with any specific model? Is there anything you can recommend - or warn about?

    And, as a side note - the cat is very well taken care of while I'm elsewhere. She loves my Dad, too, and he loves cats since he loves any at all ... actually, interacting with her revived something in him that I totally love to see still being around.

    Anyway, enjoy your weekends, have a nice day - and thank you in advance!
    new6659 and Archtops like this.
  2. Ricochet

    Ricochet Senior Gretsch-Talker

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    ^I don’t like that there is no place for the picking hand to rest, except on the bridge.^

    I’m gonna sound like a broken record but... J&D mini Tele, 22.2” scale. €88, also in Sky blue and Surf green.
    Telechamp, Cazza64, Jeff67 and 4 others like this.
  3. Archtops

    Archtops Synchromatic

    Mar 4, 2021
    Based on looks alone, I like the J&D Mini Tele. Nice suggestion Ricochet!
    thunder58 and Ricochet like this.
  4. Ricochet

    Ricochet Senior Gretsch-Talker

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    The tuners are atrocious and the pickups are meh, but I love everything else.
    Archtops likes this.
  5. wildeman

    wildeman I Bleed Orange

    May 10, 2015
    I have a Ibanez Mikro RG thats pretty cool, mine actually has an amp built in but i think that one got discontinued. Kinda a cheap-student thing but fun to play (after some setup) and i think it'll do what you want for 150 buk. 20210410_102344.jpg next to a full size Strat
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2021
  6. drmilktruck

    drmilktruck I Bleed Orange

    May 17, 2009
    Plymouth, MN
    SAguitar and MotorCentaur like this.
  7. wabash slim

    wabash slim Gretschified

    Feb 10, 2010
    lafayette in
    I have a Martin Back[acker---the only Martin I'll ever have. It's 1st Generation---absolutely no shoulders at all. Baseball bat of a neck. You have to use a strap, but once you have that figured out, it's a comfortable guitar to play. You can play it while sitting in the passenger seat of a car, or while in a recliner. I got it as it fit in a locker at work, and it has a handy soft case. Doubles as a canoe paddle. Quiet enough not to annoy folks.

    Carrying it onto campus once, a cop stopped me and asked me if I had a weapon in that case.
    "Maybe. You've heard me play?"
    Wavey, Cazza64, Jeff67 and 5 others like this.
  8. El Marin

    El Marin Gretschie

    I am travelling a lot now. I take my Tele Custom72 (Partscaster), just unbolt the neck and put it with my clothes and a screwdriver. I even manage to keep the old strings.

    Tele, Yamaha THR10 and a cable. There you are
  9. hcsterg

    hcsterg Friend of Fred

    Feb 13, 2012
    I like this one :


  10. hcsterg

    hcsterg Friend of Fred

    Feb 13, 2012
    They even thought about us Lefties :cool: :


    DennisC likes this.
  11. panhead6zero

    panhead6zero Country Gent

    Jan 17, 2015
    The Motor City
    I just bought the blue Hofner. Leaving for the Wild West Wednesday. A friend plays bass and bought the Hofner bass. Said it fits right in the overhead bins! It is very neck heavy, so I took the strap button off of the front of the body and mounted it under the headstock. Now with the strap I made it will be easier to play. Sounds great and I will use a Vox AC30 Amplug to not disturb the neighbors or the missus.
    drmilktruck likes this.
  12. drmilktruck

    drmilktruck I Bleed Orange

    May 17, 2009
    Plymouth, MN
    Another option is the Yamaha Silent Guitar. Take the sides off and it fits in a little bag.

    sgarnett and Bob Perrone like this.
  13. Tony65x55

    Tony65x55 Gretschified

    Sep 23, 2011
    The 'Shwa, Ontario, Canada
    I have a Traveler Speedster. Great little guitar with terrific sounding twin-rail humbucker it is. Super light, stable for tuning and is designed to fit in the airline overhead storage. The armrest detaches with a thumbscrew and stores in a separate pocket in the gig bag. It is not a toy or a novelty. I've gigged it.

    sgarnett, gtttrrr, Cazza64 and 2 others like this.
  14. GlenP

    GlenP Country Gent

    Jul 23, 2019
    These may be hard to find now, Peavey bought Composite Acoustics and there don't seem to be many of these available lately, this is the "Cargo" I like this travel size composite guitar. Great for summer camping trips or winter ski trips, not afraid to leave it in the car any time of year. I have not traveled with it on a plane, it just has a soft gig bag, but it might fit in the overhead, would be afraid to gate check it. if you capo, might be a little tricky if you need to capo V, but lower positions work fine. For a travel size guitar, the neck is still wide enough for adult hands. And, I like the acoustic body with the offset sound hole, it puts out an impressive amount of sound. It has a built-in UST mic also.

    Screen Shot 2021-04-10 at 6.42.16 PM.png
    drmilktruck likes this.
  15. Hammerhands

    Hammerhands Country Gent

    Aug 26, 2011
    I use my Steinberger a lot.

    I have really wanted to buy a Kiesel HH2X.
  16. mbkri

    mbkri Country Gent

    Sep 22, 2012
    Really small careful; somethings don’t scale down well.
  17. MotorCentaur

    MotorCentaur Synchromatic

    May 11, 2016
    I second or third the Steinberger Spirit. It's not a travel guitar, it is a guitar. It has a full 25.5" scale length, and has a nice fretboard, and it sounds pretty good overall. The bridge is a little fussy to intonate, but that is the only niggle I've had with it. I made a 12" radius cardboard template to set the bridge height with, and that really helped in the set-up. The tuners take some finger strength to turn, but they have a cross cut in them so you can use a phillips screwdriver for more leverage if needed. I would put it up against guitars 4x it's price.

    I have a Martin backpacker, and pretty much hate it. I can't ever get it to stay in one place, short of leaving it the case. And it sounds like an anemic banjo.

    I have read too many reports of those Traveler guitars with the wrap around bridge and in body tuners being unstable and unsatisfactory, so I never pursued getting one, even though I sure liked the Lefty Les Paul shape they made a very few of. YMMV
    sgarnett likes this.
  18. montereyjack66

    montereyjack66 Country Gent

    Feb 29, 2012
  19. Scamp

    Scamp Gretschie

    Feb 22, 2018
    I have an Ibanez Mikro. 3/4 size came with a gig bag. 2 humbuckers and a 5 position switch. Fun to play had to do a little set up but nothing drastic, changed strings. Squire makes a mini strat that friends have been having a ball with.. They even use them in their gigs, for fun they have them tuck in out of site of the stage. While they have their backs to the audience they grab the and turn around playing. Now mind you they are all over 6' and 220' so it looks really funny but they play them great.
  20. AZBrahma

    AZBrahma Gretschie

    Dec 18, 2020
    Steinberger Spirit is the go-to in my mind. That's about as compact as you can get and they are actually cool guitars. Combined with a headphone modeler and you've got a good travel rig.
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