The prospect of heading to Kunming, China for three months without my guitar was not appealing. But the thought of dragging around my Martin Custom D did not enthrall me either. So I went in search of the perfect travel guitar.
It had to be lightweight, but still put out great sound. I wasn’t expecting remarkable warmth or quality, like my Martin or other full-size guitar, but I didn’t want it to sound like a ukulele either. I looked around town for something that would fit my needs but I didn’t have much luck. The local guitar store only had one and it sounded more like a banjo, like a toy. I wanted something that would give me that warm, homey feeling when I played it.
I did a lot of research online and finally decided on the Washburn Rover Travel Guitar. I looked at a couple of Martin travel guitars, but overall, I liked the features the Washburn had: 24″ scale, spruce top and nice mahogany on the neck and back just like my Martin, nice binding and inlay, and straight-forward butterbean tuners.
The reviews I read convinced me to give the little Washburn a try. And it is little. It looks a bit like a toy, but the sound is really amazing. The headstock was heavier that I thought it would be, but after playing it for a while, I got used to it. I really loved the full-scale fret board! It makes playing a breeze. I went ahead and put different strings on it, which really made the sound come alive. And it stays in tune pretty well.
This little guitar came with a strap (that I didn’t like either – went ahead and bought a different one), and a molded hard case that actually fits into the overhead storage bin on the airplane. What a difference from the last time I flew with my full-size Martin. I banged into almost everyone on the way down the aisle and got quite a few dirty looks since it took up the full space in the bin after shoving it in diagonally. The Washburn Rover was a compact little friend that caused no social discomfort.
Nice price. Great sound. Portability. To sum it up, you really don’t have to sacrifice your music in order to travel anymore.Published in