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Travel guitars

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by kidmeatball, Apr 26, 2016.

  1. kidmeatball

    kidmeatball Tele-Meister

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    I'd like to carry around a cheap travel guitar in my work van for practicing during breaks. I had an idea to grab a cheap used guitar off Kijiji and just buck off the sides and wire up a single pickup and then use a little portable amp. Anybody try something like this? Anything I should watch out for?
     
  2. titchy

    titchy TDPRI Member

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    Anything will do i guess. In the UK the Squier series are pretty cheap.
    I've got a couple to try out different pick ups.
     
  3. JazzboxBlues

    JazzboxBlues Tele-Afflicted

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    I've been giving this some thought as well. I'd like to hear some ideas and some sort of price range. My thoughts have been a used squire of some sort no amp or some kind of acoustic with 10s on it.
     
  4. Mr. Lumbergh

    Mr. Lumbergh Poster Extraordinaire

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    Get yourself a used Steinberger Spirit or equivalent Hohner. Those small headless guitars are perfect for travel.
     
  5. 4 Cat Slim

    4 Cat Slim Friend of Leo's

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    I've been known to travel with a soprano uke on extended business trips. Not the same as traveling with a Tele, to be sure...
     
  6. tweedman2001

    tweedman2001 Tele-Afflicted

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    Back in the day I did the exact same thing. Work van and travel guitar but I used a Fernandes. Worked fine for what it was with a built in amp.
     
  7. xafinity

    xafinity Friend of Leo's

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    For air travel (YUK) where each bag is $20-40 extra charge, How about a used $100 Squier with a 10$ Snark type tuner for the amp a Danelectro 9v HoneyTone or a modeler guitar plug with headphones. One minute to unbolt the neck (dont remove strings) and the whole rig fits in a small suitcase with clothes. About a 150$ all in. If by car or train just stuff it all in a $40 gig bag.
     
  8. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Any beat up beginner model guitar will work for this. Strat-style or LP-style models are out there for cheap, less price if they need a little detailing and setup. There are some small amps that run off batteries. If you know you have power available the Squire beginner packs have those SP-10 amps that are quite small.

    One guitar company is selling (not cheap) a Strat-style where the body is cut down to the shape of a standard Strat pickguard with an output jack on the side, and a little wood for the bridge.
     
  9. Tony Done

    Tony Done Friend of Leo's

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    I guess it depends one where you interests lie, electric or acoustic. For electric, just about anything would do, as noted. I had a ministrat with a 19"scale that would have worked well for what you want. If you want to play seated, I would leave some kind of waist on the treble side so it will rest on your knee. You could use something like a Vox Amplug with it, and a top-mounted socket ala Fender strat is better if you want to do that.

    In acoustic, I've travelled with ukes, but the Ibanez guitalele or the like would be a better bet if you want six strings. Here's the Peavey version:

    http://peavey.com/products/index.cfm/item/1176/118610/Guitalele
     
  10. Plan9

    Plan9 Tele-Meister

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    Mr. Lumbergh might have meant Hofner (as in Hofner Shorty). They seem to be $150 online, which would be hard to beat with all the work of cutting up a cheap guitar.
     
  11. Mr Green Genes

    Mr Green Genes Tele-Afflicted

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    For acoustic, Baby Taylor is the way to go.

    For electric, I just picked up a Squier Mini a short while ago, and I have to say that I'm pretty surprised by this little $100 guitar!

    Many of the reviews I've read say that the machine heads are crap, and that the pots are 500k, that there's no tone cap, and that the setup is bad. I was fully expecting to have to replace the tuners, the nut, the electronics, the pickups, the bridge, install copper shielding, do a complete setup on it, level and crown the frets, etc.

    The stock tuners were fine, I had no problem at all with them. I did swap them out for a set of Grovers, but if I hadn't had the Grovers lying around, I would've been fine with the stock tuners.

    The truss rod already had the correct relief, the action was set well, and the intonation was almost spot on.

    The pots in mine are mini Alpha 250K audio taper pots, not the 500k pots I was expecting, and it has Fender's usual dark red .022μ polyester film cap on the (single) tone pot. I'll still end up replacing them with full size CTS pots and an O/G 5-way switch, but again if I didn't already have the parts lying around, the ones that are in there are doing the job just fine.

    The cavities are covered with a very thick layer of graphite shielding paint. I was planning to shield the cavities and the back of the pick guard with copper, but this is actually an amazingly quiet guitar. There's really no sense in fixing something that isn't broken.

    Other than one slightly high spot under the A on the second fret, the frets didn't need any work at all.

    I did put some nickel-wound 10s on, and I think next time I do a setup on it, I'll set it up with 11s. The 9s that is comes with may be great for kids, but they're just too light for this guitar.

    The scale is 22.75" (same as a "regular" 25.5" scale guitar with a capo at the second fret) and it's a blast to play. All those crazy extended jazz chords and inversions are suddenly very easy to play, Albert King bends take less effort, and it's much easier to wrap a thumb around the top to bar the E and A strings Hendrix-style. As short as it is, it's still a longer scale length than John Lennon's guitar.

    As with any guitar, play it for a while and "kick the tires" before buying, but in my opinion, for less than $100, the Squire mini is worth checking out. I've been having lots of fun with mine.
     
  12. royem

    royem TDPRI Member

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    both of my current favorites have been mentioned, the steinberger spirit guitar with the Danelectro honeytone 9v mini amp... really nice quality for fun wherever you are.
     
  13. 61fury

    61fury Friend of Leo's

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    I had one for a while. And while I'm far from expert or have the highest level of gear I found the pickups to be far better than anything else I own
     
  14. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Silver Supporter

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    Gotta add my wife's MIM Duo-Sonic that is way, way, way better than a Squier mini strat. Still though, for me it's tough to play a 22 1/2" scale. Acoustic is hands down the Taylor GS Mini. Great sound for such a small guitar.
     
  15. Asmith

    Asmith Friend of Leo's

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    He meant this,

    [​IMG]

    I like the Steinberger Spirit, a friend had one and it played really well.
     
    kidmeatball likes this.
  16. dezb1

    dezb1 Tele-Holic

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  17. Plan9

    Plan9 Tele-Meister

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    My apologies to Mr. Lumbergh - he knows his stuff! But i think the Hofner might be closer to the cheap and cheerful approach it sounded like OP was after.
     
  18. adamsappel

    adamsappel Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    I have a Hofner Shorty which I love. I think it's a great little guitar. The tuners are rock-solid; I took it on vacation last month and I just played it, still perfectly in-tune. The humbucker has a lot of character and is very responsive to the volume and tone knobs. It's nice that it has a full-size 24-fret neck, though it is subsequently neck-heavy (I use a suede strap). I got mine in a $99 blowout sale. Stop me before I buy the pink one on eBay right now!
     
  19. Mr. Lumbergh

    Mr. Lumbergh Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yup, that's the one. Kinda like this beat up but well-loved girl here:
    [​IMG]
    The gig bag is tiny and fits in the overhead or under the seat with ease, and if you need to a large suitcase can fit it inside as well.
    This and a Vox Amplug is all you need.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2016
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