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I need an electric travel guitar, so I’ve been doing a lot of comparison shopping online–feverishly reading Amazon reviews, watching YouTube videos, and soaking-up anything that’ll help me pick a little travel axe I can take on flights with me. Yes, I wrote a blog post on flying with a guitar awhile back, but I’d like to avoid the hassle and risk of taking my full-sized guitar on the airplane with me.
Then, an idea hit me: Why don’t I document my search and turn it into a quasi “product comparison” post for my readers? So, in this post I’ll show you my top 3 final contenders–the electric travel guitars I’m actually considering–and then conclude by telling you which one I decided to buy.
My Minimum Specs
Before we get going, I should lay out my must-haves for an electric travel guitar. If any single guitar doesn’t meet all these bullet points, it’s a deal-breaker and it won’t even be considered:
- Must be a true travel guitar, not just a “mini” or 3/4 sized guitar
- Must have humbuckers
- Must have a scale length of at least 24.75”
- Must be headless
- Must accept standard, ball-end electric guitar strings (not bullets)
- Must be under $400 (sweet spot is $150 – $300)
- Must be under 5lbs
After hours of research, reading reviews, watching videos, etc. I narrowed my choices down to 3 final candidates. These are the 3 electric travel guitars that meet all the minimum specs I outlined above, and I’d be happy to lay down cash right now on any one of them. However, each guitar has features that I like as well as stuff I’m unsure about, and I can only choose one…
Candidate #1: Anygig AGE
What I Like:
I like that this guitar is at the low end of my price range. I love the fact that it has a 25.5” scale neck and 24 frets, which I’m already accustomed to playing (it’s also rare in travel guitars). I also like the fact there’s no volume or tone control, because I rarely use them and appreciate the extra space-savings you get without them. I like that the Anygig’s body and neck are made from maple. Another big plus (for me) is that there are several very impressive Metal demos on YouTube for this guitar. Here are my two favorites:
What I’m Unsure About:
There aren’t many reviews of this guitar on Amazon which isn’t necessarily a bad sign, but it means I have less information to base a decision on. This guitar is the longest of the 3 candidates–a downside of the full 25.5” scale, 24-fret neck. I’m very suspicious of the placement of the output jack–it seems like it could be problematic. I also worry about the positioning of the tuning pegs, though all the reviews I’ve seen and read say they’re a non-issue. The fact that this guitar has no body whatsoever concerns me a little, because I like to anchor the pinky of my picking hand on the guitar’s body just under the strings. No body = no anchor point.
Candidate #2: Traveler Guitar EG-1B Blackout
What I Like:
The first thing that jumps out to be about the EG-1 Blackout is the beefy Seymour Duncan Devastator humbucker. I might actually like this humbucker and not have to replace it. I love the fact that this guitar is more than 3 inches shorter than the Anygig AGE, despite having a larger body. Speaking of the larger body, I actually have room to anchor my pinky below the strings. I like that the output jack is in the traditional spot, unlike the previous guitar. I like the position of the tuners on this one too–there’s no way anything can accidentally bump them during play. Lastly, I really like the “blackout” look of it–very “metal.” Jumbo fretwire is also a big plus (for me).
What I’m Unsure About:
There aren’t many reviews of this guitar on Amazon. Again, that just means less info for me to base a decision on. It’s really odd that this guitar only has 21 frets. This guitar includes many extras that I really don’t need or want in a travel guitar like volume, tone, headphone jack, aux jack, and an on-board preamp that creates overdrive and distortion sounds (which I’ve heard and am not impressed with). These extras are why the price tag is so high on this one–putting it at the absolute top of my price range. I’m still intrigued though, so it’ll stay on my list of final contenders.
What I Like:
This guitar has a good number of reviews on Amazon, and most are very positive. At only 28 inches, this is the shortest guitar of the 3 and to me that’s a good thing. I love that this guitar doesn’t have any unnecessary extras–no volume or tone controls, nor any on-board effects, headphone jack, etc. which just add bulk and weight to the guitar. I like that fact that this guitar has 22 frets. Like the other Traveler guitar, I like the position of the tuners on this one as well–out of the way. Despite the tiny body, there’s just enough beef below the strings for me to anchor my pinky while playing, unlike the Anygig guitar. This guitar comes with a detachable leg rest too, which elevates it on your leg a bit when sitting. This guitar is priced in the middle of the 3 contenders… higher than the Anygig, but lower than the EG-1 Blackout. It’s right in my sweet spot, price-wise.
What I’m Unsure About:
According to the specs, this guitar has “medium” fretwire. I’ve only ever played jumbo fretwire, so I’m not sure how medium will feel or if I’ll like it. The dual-rail mini-humbucker gives me pause, because I always replace factory pickups in my guitars, and a mini rails humbucker gives me fewer aftermarket options.
And my Winner Is…
After carefully considering the three guitars above, I feel that the Traveler Guitar Ultralight is the one that’ll meet my needs and be the perfect little electric travel guitar. Sure, there are tradeoffs with all 3 models, but the Ultralight required the fewest number of compromises. It’s affordable, super light, and very tiny… while still having a 24.75″ scale length. I also really like the fact that it doesn’t have volume or tone controls; I just don’t need ’em. Even better, they have a matte black version, which I’m always partial too.
Electric Travel Guitars – Honorable Mentions
If this had been your typical “product comparison” post, I’d have reviewed many more guitars. However, as I said in the beginning, I only reviewed the final candidates for my particular needs. That said, there are other great electric travel guitars out there that you should definitely check out, because your needs and price range may be different from mine. Here’s a list of other travel guitars you need to take a serious look at:
Do you own a travel guitar? Or, maybe you’re currently shopping for one? If so, I’d love it if you told me about it in the comments section below.
Bobby Davis is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.
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