You are here: News & Reviews - Get the Latest - Reviews from the Press - cNet Review

Voyage-Air Guitar

Voyage-Air
Your Cart is Currently Empty

Like Us on FacebookWatch on YouTubeFollow Us on TwitterRead our RSS-feedPost Your Instagram

cNet Review

Voyage-Air Guitar: Know when to fold it (review)
John Scott Lewinski
How does the Voyage-Air folding guitar for troubadours on the go stand up to the rough rigors of review? Crave's John Scott Lewinski gives it a strum (and a serious hinge test).

by John Scott Lewinski   June 29, 2012 8:00 AM PDT



When reviewing a gadget as big and tactile as the Voyage-Air folding guitar, there's always a danger the testing process could break or somewhere ruin what is otherwise a beautiful piece of kit. Playing with it is so cool, breaking it becomes a genuine, though juvenile, temptation.

A hinge is fitted to the Voyage-Air Guitar's fretboard precisely at the point where it connects to the hollow body. (Credit: John Scott Lewinski/CNET)The Voyage-Air Guitar has nothing whatsoever to do with waving your hands like a spaz in tune with Lynyrd Skynyrd, however. It's an actual musical instrument -- the kind it takes years of daily practice to master. In other words, this isn't a toy or a gimmick.

The California-based company specializes in guitars for the troubadour on the go. If you look at an acoustic Voyage-Air from the front while fully assembled, it looks no different than any other well-made guitar. But turning it over reveals two specially designed differences.

First, a hinge is fitted to the fretboard precisely at the point where it connects to the hollow body. Also, a heavy-duty, screw-in bolt on the back of the fretboard fastens into a mounting hole on the body of the guitar.

If you unscrew that fastening bolt, the hinge allows the neck and fretboard of the guitar to fold forward so it all rests on the hollow body. The strings remain attached to both the tuning board and the base of the guitar.

Once folded nearly against itself, the Voyage-Air can then be packed up into the specially designed container, which essentially looks like half a guitar case (minus the neck) and becomes more or less a large carry-on bag. The Voyage-Air case is packed with Velcro wraps to keep the folding instrument secure. The transporter also comes with straps in case the traveling minstrel wants to wear it as a backpack.

We had a chance to play with the Transit model, and we did treat it a little rough. Remember what I was going on about with trying to break the gadget? I wasn't kind to this Voyage-Air.

The Voyage-Air Guitar case more or less becomes a carry-on bag. (Credit: John Scott Lewinski/CNET)To see how consistently functional the hinges and screw fastener were, I spent an anal-retentive amount of time screwing and unscrewing (it was as much excitement as I've had in weeks). Still, the hardware showed no signs of wear or alignment failure.

I pulled the hinged neck up and down like a busy Las Vegas slot machine handle, but the hinge is solid. Most importantly, the strings never tangled or let loose from either end of the instrument. Believe me. I tried with devilish intent to tangle and snag those strings.

As the player closes the neck of the guitar in toward the body, the strings bow and fold outward.

Somehow, six strings suddenly look like a spaghetti mess of metal wires. But after you unpack, unfold, and refasten the guitar into playing shape, the strings slide back into perfect position every time. They even make a cool metallic twang as they click back to proper playing tension.

The truly mystifying feat of the Voyage-Air was how it stayed in tune.

I have an electronic tuning gadget that allows even an untrained ear to bring the six strings of a traditional acoustic guitar into melodic alignment. I assumed I'd have to retune after every folding. But the only time I had to break out the pitch finder was after I'd played for a while, which you have to do with any guitar. Folding and unfolding never distorted the strings.

Since I can only play some chords and make a basic, pretty sound on a guitar, I decided to hand the Voyage-Air over to my neighbors. Both are professional musicians who were eager to try out an instrument they'd never seen before.

Pierre Karlsson, a live and studio session guitarist, immediately noted that the weight and feel of the instrument gave him confidence.

"It's made of quality materials," Karlsson said. "It feels like a quality instrument. And the tone is nice. It's rich. It'd be a good guitar to own even if it wasn't easier to get around."

Professional musician and School of Rock instructor Tevis Sauer found the string action a little heavy, but marked that down to the demo model being practically brand new.

"Since this saves a musician having to carry around a full-size guitar case," Sauer said, "this would be a nice instrument for a professional to own."

Since the Voyage-Air does what it's supposed to do, the question comes down to need and affordability for would-be buyers. These guitars aren't cheap, entry-level instruments. Voyage- Air Guitars range from $399 for an entry-level model to $1,700 for the Premier edition. A foldable solid-body electric sells for about $750.

If a would-be buyer is a experienced player or dedicated student with a need to keep a guitar nearby regardless of location, there's no worry the Voyage-Air will let them down when it's time to strum.


courtesy of news.cnet.com, as seen http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-57463262-1/voyage-air-guitar-know-when-to-fold-it-review/

 

 


Back

More Reviews

*Editor's Note: This article is from the weekend section of the Sueddeutsche Zeitung ( Munich ), a v...
Acoustic Guitar reviews a a full-size dreadnought with a folding neck for easy storage and travel....
Note: Mixdown Magazine is noted for its gear reviews in Australia.  Here's their first look at ...
The Voyage-Air Guitar by Dan Miller - Over the last couple of decades many guitar companies hav...
Voyage-Air Guitar: Know when to fold it (review)How does the Voyage-Air folding guitar for troubadou...
The Quiet Room Guitar Review -Voyage-Air VAOM-04 - An acoustic guitar that folds-up into a rucksack?...
The Voyage-Air VAOM-04 is featured in a Camping Life magazine review of various "travel" guitars in ...
MotorHome Magazine tests Voyage-Air Motorhomes, 5th wheel rigs, RVs... wow! What a gr...
Vintage Guitar gave a Rave Review of the new Voyage-Air Belair guitar in the March, 2011 issue. "Th...
300 Guitars.com Review of the VAD-06 It is the best travel design I’ve ever seen and is complet...
Guitarist Australia Magazine Review Voyage Air VAD-2It folds, but how does it sound? by Kris Peterse...
Harvey Leach - Cutting Edge Inlay - Feature in Premier Guitar Magazine (click here for the full c...
Acoustic Guitar Magazine Video Review of the VAD-2 by Teja Gerken, Senior Editor, Acoustic Guitar Ma...
Christian Musician Magazine feature By Bruce Adolph This is a well thought out design that is rea...
Then when you actually hold the instrument in your hands and take the full size guitar neck, loosen ...
Lance McCollum Jumbo 2008   Acoustic Guitar Magazine pays tribute to Lance McCollum and his amaz...
Video review by By Gayla Drake Paul of Premier Guitar Magazine  
The Art of the Sing Along By Tim Brookes - Photography By Adam Voorhes If I had owned a Voyage-Air ...
  Acoustic Guitar Magazine Review of the VAD-2 A radical approach to the travel-guitar conc...
Premier Guitar Magazine Review of the VAOM-1C By Gayla Drake Paul "it truly is a remarkably portabl...
  FRETS Review By Art Thompson ...the Voyage-Air (guitar) has all the complexity, depth, and ...
Harmony Central ReviewBy Jon Chappell ...the Voyage-Air guitar plays as well and sounds and looks...
Guitar Jam Daily Review By Jim Basara ...The guitars themselves are extremely well built, and th...
"Please I apologize my english, I am from Ukraine and in 5 years it is better but this Voyage-Air is...
VAOM-2C "I travel for a living (Railroad Conductor) and have bought and sold 8 different travel gui...
"This is one of those rare products that you buy because it's a portable travel guitar, but then you...
"This guitar folds in half for travel! That makes it a 10 right there because no other full-size Dre...
Last December, the guitar-nut website 300Guitars.com did a review of the amazing Voyage-Air VAD-06 S...
Hands-On ReviewSongwriter Series VAD-06 DreadnoughtA different breed of travel guitarBy Mike Fitch, ...
Guitar Player Magazine - the most widely circulated guitar magazine in the United States - just now ...