I tried out every backpacker-type guitar i could find, from Martin's version (which sucked) to the one put out by Applause. i discovered Go Guitars by doing a Web search to find any travel guitar manufacturers i may have missed. i'm really glad i found them. This guitar has exceeded all expectations.
Model Year: 2000
Price: $199.00 (new)
Where Obtained: Go Guitars, Sam Radding, luthier
This guitar is absolutely gorgeous, assembled by hand with painstaking attention to detail. Strictly a travel-sized "backpacker" type of axe; its shape is reminiscent of a boat paddle. Simple elegance throughout, constructed entirely of solid tonewoods--sitka spruce top, mahogany back/sides, African rosewood fretboard--with a satin finish. Gold-plated, sealed Grover tuners (an option), bone bridge and nut. No electronics, though a Fishman system is available.
Being a travel guitar, the neck on this instrument only goes up to 17 frets, but it plays as well as just about any full-size dreadnought. The action is phenomenal--you can do those tricky pull-offs in Led Zep's "Over the Hills and Far Away" with ease. An absolutely flawless setup, all the more amazing considering that this is a backpacker guitar. The intonation was absolutely spot on--as verified by my Korg chromatic tuner.
Again, this is just a tiny little travel guitar...but the tone and volume are amazing. As the top opens up, it just gets better and better. i've heard of people who've the Fishman pickup option actually using these little axes to perform gigs with.
I have only had it for a few days. The satin finish on the body, back, and sides i've no concern over. The *only* fault, slight as it is, would be the fact that the fretboard is very quick to show up the effects of fingertip oils--something that Sam Radding, the luthier who invented and built this guitar, was up-front in telling me about.