Composite Acoustics Cargo Travel Guitar Review

2965142858_87c3627a33While size is an important factor when choosing a travel guitar, durability is equally important. This is the reason that many musicians prefer the Composite Acoustics Cargo travel guitar.  Winner of Acoustic Guitar’s bronze player’s choice award in 2008’s “Guitar of the Year” category, this guitar is well, lets just say it…  Nothing short of astounding.

The Composite Acoustics Cargo is built mainly of carbon fiber (also known as “composite”). This is done with the same skill the company uses to develop their full-size, impressive-sounding instruments.

Why the composite acoustic guitar is special

The Cargo is resonant, light-weight, very sturdy, and ideal for travel, whether it is stored in a cargo hold, a car trunk, or a crowded airplane. It can also handle extreme temperatures and harsh treatment that have ruined more fragile instruments.

This company is well-known for the unique design and outstanding tone of its instruments, portraying carbon fiber in a new light. It also developed a super-deep cutaway extending along the back of the guitar that provides easy access along the neck, and integrated bracing. At the same time, while the guitar’s design is practically flawless and a bit futuristic, the rough interior surfaces are clearly visible through the sound-hole, and this is common in the process of manufacturing carbon fiber.

Composite acoustics cargo travel guitars are very appealing because of their “playability,” and there is very little change in the setup once they leave the factory. Its intonation is outstanding, and this is especially impressive on a short-scale guitar. The composite fingerboard creates a spacious feeling on the fret-board that enhances certain techniques, and this instrument’s response and tone are particularly well-suited to finger-style playing. The Cargo can also , but it should also be noted that vigorous strumming can interfere with its over-tone rich capability.

This guitar’s bass-rich quality can be difficult to control when it is amplified, and you may experience some feedback at high volume. At the same time, electronics aren’t the main issue when it comes to travel guitars, and their addition makes the Cargo more versatile than the rest.

Some of the outstanding features of the composite acoustics cargo travel guitar include the following:
● The fact that it easy to play and extremely responsive makes it a good investment.

● It is a truly travel-ready instrument that has remarkable tone, dynamics, and color.

Published in Acoustic Travel Guitars

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  1. Mel Ortner

    I own a Raw finish Cargo for several months. It sounds fantastic and is so much fun to play not to mention, maintenance free. I take it everywhere and play it every day. Everyone that hears it or plays it can’t believe the sound and bass coming out of such small body. The set up is perfect and never changes. Got it on a 30 day trail from MacNichol Guitars but after only 5 minutes of playing I knew it was a keeper.

    If you have an opportunity to play one, go for it. But bring your checkbook.

    I just sold my Martin 000-28EC Eric Clapton because I stopped playing it and stopped worrying about it. Composite Acoustics guitars are great. My next one will probably be their OM size Xi model.

  2. Pingback: What is the best travel guitar? | Best Travel Guitars

  3. Petros S

    A friend introduced me to CA and the little Cargo and I’m glad he did. I find myself on the road several time a year and I prefer not to check my luggage which until recently meant that if I want to take a guitar with me it would be my trusty Baby Taylor. Heard about the CA Cargo but the price tag kept me away. Seems dealers are aware of the popularity so they seldom go below MAP. Well after doing some serious price shopping I came across one of CA’s premier dealers, LA Guitar Sales who not only had every version in stock, but gave me a price that I couldn’t resist. My new Cargo not only travels with me on business trips, but it sits next to my barbeque while I’m cooking, comes with me on weekend boating trips, and is a permanent part of my camping equipment. Thank you CA for a great little guitar, and thank you LA Guitar Sales for making it affordable!

  4. Pierre B

    Hey gang, I’ve owned a cargo for over a year now…best money I ever spent…I take it campeing with me ,it sits out in the sun & humidity in the summer no worries…I just got back from Jamaica (Of caurce I drought it….) no problem s on the plane and I got to play my guitar on the beach every day It was great…all who tried it were ammased at the playability and sound. I rarely play my Larrivee anymore as the cargo just sits around the house ready to grab & play…Perfect size for just sitting on the couch & jamming. I plan on buying a gx model in the very near future as I do find that the cargo kinda gets drowned out when you’re playing with others..
    2 thumbs up fromm this Canadian…

  5. Eric

    Too bad Composite Acoustics closed down. I’d have really like to get one of these. 🙁

  6. Pingback: Composite Acoustics Closes the Doors | Best Travel Guitars

  7. Ellis

    Sold my Martins. So CA’s are not quite the same as woodys but with a Zoom AU acoustic pedal for $99 they sound amazing. I like the High Gloss ones. No more worries about playing in extreme conditions. These are the most comfortable guitars I have played. And trust me I’ve been through a few. Sad such a good company closed shop.

  8. Michael Lydon

    I am interested in your guitar…
    How do I Purchase one, as I am in Afghanistan!!!
    I have an APO/AE address, will that do for shipping?

    What would my price be, and what does it include?
    I don’t get Leave until Christmas, so it would be Nice to have it now!!!

    Please email me the particulars ASAP.

    Thank You,

    Michael Lydon

  9. Wandering Musician Post author

    Michael Lydon, we do not sell guitars but offer guitar reviews. We do however offer some links when applicable as to where to purchase said guitar. As for this particular guitar, the manufactuer closed the doors and they are becoming hard to come by. Occasiaonly we spot one on eBay and post it here but otherwise I have not seen them around lately.

  10. Wandering Musician Post author

    Thanks Dan, it is a shame. They are some great guitars and eBay is about the only place I see them now days. Why you avoid eBay? I find great deals all the time on things. Many times you will find a company using eBay to auction off something just to drum up business and get added exposure. I find some good deals. My experience has been about 99% positive but I only deal with people who have good seller rating with lots of positive.

  11. Dan Rocco

    I first encountered the CA Cargo, at a Sam Ash. I was in the store to look at lightweight sound systems, when I spotted this little dude sitting on a stand on a display case.

    I played it and WHAM, the first thing I noticed was the base response!!! I have an Adamas II and this thing had a deeper sound than that.

    I went back the next day to grab it and it was sold, gone! It was right at the time the factory just evaporated and I was
    amazed that they went under, that guitar had a BIG future!

    I guess Blackbird makes something comparable, but ascetically
    they look like a log with strings.

    I see them every now on then on Ebay, but I NEVER buy things
    on Ebay!

    Somebody should buy the old factory and get them back in production…..


  12. andy johnston

    Aloha! Got my hands on a new CARGO (wine red finish) last year after waiting for something like 9 months for Elderly Instruments to deliver it (not their fault, CA was back-ordered). Well worth the wait! Such a killer sounding, fun to play little guitar, it has become my main “go-to” guitar as I can leave it lying around the house without worrying about the Kauai humidity tweaking it. I have also taken it on kayak trips on the Na Pali coast of our island, camped with it, left it in the back seat of my truck with the windows up, etc. You get the idea…but the best thing is that it is a REALLY good guitar with nice tone, great action, and amazing volume for its size. I hope Peavey continues making these UNREAL instruments. MAHALO!

  13. Arun

    Anyone know where I can find one of these? Hey Andy, does Elderly Instruments still have any available?

  14. jake

    Just to let you guys know, peavey bought the company a good too months ago, Their new lineup is being announced sometime during winter namm, so withing the next few days.

  15. Wandering Musician Post author

    opps!, thanks Jake, I updated our post on them closing the doors but forgot to update the review. It’s great news 🙂

  16. They're Baaaack!

    I have had my Cargo for just over a year in nice humid Houston and I love it. Everyone is amazed by the sound when they hear it. I was sorry to hear when they went out of business, but there new web site is up and running. Not quite the variety they had before, but give them time.

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