Are you a person who travels a lot? Or a person who takes his guitar everywhere you go? If so, I bet sometimes you regret taking your guitar to some places like airports, busses, or around people who don’t care about instruments as much as you care! If that’s you, then you are in the right article, because here we will list the 5 best travel acoustic guitars for you to buy in 2019.
Maybe you are afraid to scratch or destroy your $2,000 Martin that is made out of all solid wood materials. If that’s the case, I suggest you leave it in your home. But what if I told you that nowadays you can take a full-sized dreadnought guitar and fold it in half and make it properly fit your traveling accommodation or get a smaller version of that dreadnought?
What if there is a whole market filled with guitars which are specifically made to be travel-friendly and offer you the great opportunity of taking them with you to just about anywhere?
There are so many guitars which you can put in your backpack and take them everywhere you go and you don’t need to worry about scratching or taking so much space of your traveling bag.
Yes, there are instruments categorized as ‘travel guitars’. If you’re wondering if there’s a difference between a regular guitar and a Travelers guitar, the answer to that is Yes.
Traveler guitars are almost like the regular ones but they come with a tiny almost irrelevant price to pay, they do not project a powerful sound or the booming sound that most of the regular sized guitars can make.
Nonetheless, there are some guitars who have almost authentic sound like some robust full-sized guitars and are being currently marketed at the most affordable prices ever. So here we are going to discuss about the best traveling guitars you can get your hands on.
I promise you will be happy traveling around the world and you will not need to care so much or overthink about taking or leaving your guitar since you can’t fit it somewhere to take it with you wherever you are going.
So here I say again leave your $2,000 Martin that is made out of all solid wood materials at your home and get your hands on one of traveling guitars like LXM Little Martin, Taylor BT2 or more guitars which we are going to discuss in more details in this list.
Don’t get me wrong, some travel guitars are technically full-size but are specifically designed for quick and much easier transportation, they could be as 3/4 or half of a full sized guitar or can look like an alien design but have the sound of a real quality guitar, some may be constructed with different materials like laminate and some are all solid wood in the inside but laminated on the sides and the back.
Also, a great contributing factor in deciding which is the best travel acoustic guitar is the price. If you are someone who likes to play only for fun you don’t need to invest on a 1000$ guitar but on another note, if you are a great performer then you need a guitar which is going to help you perform as great as possible.
So whether you’re traveling for one day, one week or one year you can take your traveling guitar everywhere you go, so check out the guitars one the list for more information about traveling guitars.
Which is the Best Travel Acoustic Guitar?
5. Little Martin LXM
It would be unfair to start a best travel acoustic guitar list without mentioning a Martin guitar, right?
Martin maybe not one of the brands you may associate with affordable instruments. But the reason they managed to survive to this day for almost perhaps two eras was the reason because they don’t want to sacrifice quality over mass. But circumstances have evolved. And one of the best of traveling guitars is the Martin LXM who has a lot to offer but is so provocative at the identical time. But like I said it’s the best performing guitars that can satisfy your traveling purposes at the time.
This is the reason for all the controversy, the fact that they applied mostly artificial elements at the time they produced the Martin LXM. Rather than wood, they’ve used mahogany and spruce top is made out of High-Pressure Laminate. This is the reason why people turned around from this guitar, which we can understand.
But someway somehow Martin LXM it was all put together perfect. If we talk about hardware we are looking at some of the traditional arrangements. There is a perfect quality bridge made of rosewood. The nut is made of Tusq which gave these elements almost like equal features as a bone. Talking about strings, guitar Martin Lxm comes with a proper set of steel strings which will not require any modification or change.
Maybe the reason why this guitar became so much famous is probably the tone, even with all High-Pressure Laminate you still get that trademark tone that Martin guitars have always been good at producing. One of the foremost reasons people fret and tend to look about travel guitars it’s the sound and the resonance. And the Martin LXM is the best you can get in the market right now. Sure, it’s not as powerful as a full sized guitar can be but it’s sooo far from sounding like other traveling guitars.
Overall, Martin LXM is a great guitar or a great choice for traveling purposes that is being offered at a fair rate. The mark of using High-Pressure Laminate won’t go away so easily. Maybe the price for all HPL material cant be justified but the sound may be one of the reasons for you should buy it. For more, you should read our Little Martin LXM review.
4. Yamaha JR1 3/4
One of the best traveling guitars is Yamaha JR1, Yamaha Jr1 told us that quality doesn’t have to charge us so much money. Since the first appearance, this guitar found a way to take over the Traveling guitars market. Their small size is the reason why people are all over Yamaha JR1. So with little words, this guitar is the best for you if you need a small guitar with yourself to travel around the places you would like to take your guitar away with you.
Yamaha reduced the size of guitar for 3/4 and made this baby and this is mainly the reason why people like it so much. They used solid sitka spruce for the top of the guitar and the other parts of the guitar are made of meranti wood. But what we see in this guitar that others don’t, is the reason that this guitar comes along with a bound top.
A characteristic that we see only at expensive guitars. After all the tone is so much better and it definitely doesn’t leave any room for wondering about the amount of money it will cost you.
A guitar that doesn’t cost so much sometimes can come with cloudy hardware, this is one of the ways for the companies to reduce the cost of the money they use to create one guitar. The bridge is made out of rosewood and nut its made of compact synthetic, cheap synthetics can’t come near to the real bone but they are a reasonable solution.
Guitars for traveling are known for having a low or a weaker volume and they lack the sound of the low notes, but with this guitar, there is another story, for the money you buy it has enough sound to satisfy every traveler’s needs.
For the people who don’t have so much money to invest in a travel guitars, this is the greatest solution they can get, this guitar is packed with some rich tone and it’s well made so this is a win-win situation. On our Yamaha JR1 review, we also mentioned it’s Pro’s and Con’s, so make sure to check that out too!
3. Gibson Maestro 30
Experienced guitars players can understand, but beginners should know that a Maestro Gibson it’s not like a real Gibson guitar. Its a portable acoustic produced on behalf of guitar company Gibson. Still, that doesnt mean it’s not good or it’s not fun to play with it.
There isn’t something special about this guitar design, it’s almost like a normal guitar with the color of honey burst. It’s simple and elegant, a clear design nothing else for decoration. It’s made of laminated wood, and this is a great thing.
This guitar is as cheap as it is can be, It could greatly benefit from a good setup and it can be hard for a normal guitarist to turn it into something very good. The sides of the back are made of basswood and from the top is made from spruce veneer. This guitar is so much durable in the opinions of a person who buys it.
The fingerboard has 21 frets and has a thin neck that means the guitar is easy to play.
Overall this guitar is wonderful sound wise although its apperance may not impress you so much you will rarely find any guitar that has a sound quality like this. Also, this guitar its so competent of stress that happens during your travels. If this short introduction caught your eye, make sure you read our full review on the Gibson Maestro 30″.
2. Taylor Baby BT2
Taylor’s Baby was created to fill the needs of people who like to travel and to take their guitar with them wherever they go so this is the 3/4 of a full-sized guitar. Like the past ten years of Taylor, this is one of the most popular guitars to this day.
Some people say that BT2 is not a guitar to travel around because of the size but for many other experienced guitar travelers it is, some say that the reason that it is not capable of being a travelers guitar is because of the body shape, it’s like a real full-sized guitar and maybe they are right.
Even though this is not a guitar made by hand you still can see the trademark quality of the Taylor being applied here. The guitar’s made out of a mahogany top and layered sapele for the whole board.
Regarding the quality, BT2 has nothing out of the common guitars. You will get rosewood bridge implemented with a compact saddle made of nut and bone.
The guitar works fairly well if you don’t shift it out of its comfort zone.
One of the main reason people like this guitar is the sound that this guitar brings out, some people compare it with a fully-sized dreadnought and given that it has a powerful projection you can see where they are coming from. Everything about this Taylor is normal, from the tone to the range of frequency, clarity and warmth. With small words, it’s a real Taylor guitar.
If you like quality over quantity i think this is the best you can get, this guitar will give you a wonderful performance, also I’d like to tell you that when you pull it from the case, when you buy it, you need to do some adjustments to boost it for a real performance. This is one of the cons as we mentioned in our Taylor Baby BT2 Review.
1. Little Martin LX1
We started this best travel acoustic guitars list with a Martin and we are going to finish it with one.
If you have small hands or if you like to teach a child to play guitar properly the first brand that pops to the head of the people is Martin. This popular guitar is one of the best in terms of tone and sustainability of sound quality you deliver to other people while playing this Little Martin. Plus for an actual assembled in Mexico Martin is really affordable.
This small Martin is made for the traveler who enjoys his guitar and given that it is a small acoustic it is precisely what you think, a small measure of a real martin. The guitar is made from solid Sitka spruce on the top and Highly Pressured Laminate on the back and the sides.
Like many other instruments which are produced from Martin that fall into the affordable range of acoustics this guitar too features a neck that is made from rust birch laminate, which gives you a wonderful feel on the hands along with 20 frets.
As we mentioned in our Little Martin LX1E review, this guitar looks great and beautiful and feels like a quality instrument. Soundwise this martin produces a great powerful projection of sound quality and you can play it for a great amount of time and it still stays in tune.
Does this guitar sound like a full-sized martin? Not really, but it was never meant to be so, since it was specifically made for practice and small performances around your house or around your friends. It is a really great guitar you can put your hands on. If you are looking for a guitar which you can keep with yourself when you are traveling and also that fits properly in your hands and smaller hands like children, then this is the best you can get at this price range.
This is it. The guitars listed above are the best travel acoustic guitars rated from the people who like to travel and like to take their guitars with them everywhere they go. There we talked about different things or different pros and cons of guitars, regarding the price and their quality. Whether you decide to buy one of these guitars is all up to you, I’d advise you to see a couple of videos about each guitar separately before buying it since there you can see their actual size or hear their genuine sound.
This article was meant to be an inspiration for everyone who’s ever thought of buying or has considered to buy a traveling guitar. So with small words, these are the best guitars you can buy and you can use while traveling, they are very durable and are not so prone to being breakable unless you slam it hard to the wall or throw it from a 2 story building into the ground.
These guitars are specifically designed to be part of your travels and allow you to produce your unique style of music everywhere you go. So we hope we gave you a glimpse of best traveling guitars and you have gained some knowledge from this article to make a somewhat more informed decision, or just narrow down your options. So good luck with your next traveling guitar and remember to always keep your beloved instrument safe.