Collapsible Guitar Questions
If you’re experiencing undesirable action (string height) on your collapsible Journey Instruments Travel guitar, this can be addressed quickly with one of the first two steps in most cases.
1) Firstly, please check to see that the knob on the back is fully tightened. Fully tightening the main knob on the back will resolve 95% of any high action issues. To tighten fully, there’s two effective methods:
a. Placing the body of the guitar between your knees, Twist the knob with one hand while pressing the headstock downward against the guitar body – this makes it easier to twist fully.
b. Alternatively, you can grab the neck of the guitar near the headstock and angle the guitar soundboard facing down at about a 45degree angle against a floor, table, desk, chair or flat surface. Now tighten the knob while applying downward force against the guitar back until it’s tight.
c. If you experience high swings of humidity and have kept your collapsible wood guitar assembled during this time, it’s likely that the bolt may be very tight. Apply force to the neck in one of the above two methods while twisting the knob to loosen the bolt. (this is not an issue for carbon models as the material does not swell and contract with humidity or temperature changes.
2) Secondly, check your truss rod adjustment. After confirming the neck mechanism is fully tightened – if you still find string height is too high or two low, this may also be due to changes in temperature or humidity causing changes in the neck of the guitar. Usually in high humidity and a wood guitar neck will have a more forward bow (causing high action), and in low humidity it will have a backward bow (causing low action and buzzing). Here’s a great video by Tony Polecastro that clearly explains how to do this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KFlIFN8oPDw
a. Start by evaluating the neck bow. There should be a very slight neck bow (nearly flat) to achieve proper string height.
b. If the neck bow is high, causing high action – remove the truss rod cover and use the included hex wrench to tighten the truss rod. Turn the truss rod clockwise a quarter turn and then evaluate the neck curve. Repeat this process
c. If the neck bow is backward or too low, causing low action – remove the truss rod cover and use the included hex wrench to tighten the truss rod. Turn the truss rod counter-clockwise a quarter turn and then evaluate the neck curve. Repeat this process
3) Thirdly, you can file down the saddle. Here’s a great video from StewMac that shows how to file down the saddle, change nut slot depth, as well as adjust the truss rod. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6DpLRfbv9ok
4) Fourthly, we can provide you with precision shims to adjust the neck angle if needed. This is rarely needed, but can be done within 5 minutes if needed.
From our experience, tightening the neck fully and adjusting the truss rod if necessary usually fixes 98%+ of string height issues. Steps 3 and 4 are rarely needed.
Sustain: Actually sustain is better on our guitars than on a normal traditional acoustic guitar. The main reason is that we use premium grade Mahogany for our necks, and we embed stainless steel latch and bolt components. The neck plate connector is also stainless steel. As energy transfer is primarily horizontal (from nut to saddle through the neck), our design makes for very efficient energy transfer, hence prolonged sustain.
Intonation: Our guitars have intonation in line with premium brand guitars in the US market – which is very good. Moreover, because our necks are detachable, you can quickly add shims behind the neck connector plate to compensate for any intonation issue that may occur over time. (Though we don’t have a single report of this being done to date)
Nope. We’ve been producing our collapsible guitars for years and our guitars are played by some of the best guitarists on earth. We’ve personally been on hundreds of flights with our collapsible guitars. Not a single complaint to date about string life.
HOWEVER, if you play your guitar daily, and you’re a tone freak, you should change your strings at least once every 3 months or every 300 hours – whichever comes first. This assumes you’re using coated strings, and is recommended for all acoustic guitars – regardless of if they’re collapsible or not.
There is no crack in your string retainer (the plastic component above the neck that holds your strings in place when you remove your neck). Our string retainer is made from two parts that come together like two jigsaw puzzle pieces. We designed the retainer in two components so that a luthier or guitar technician can remove this piece and have access to file down the nut without removing the strings. Click the image below to order a replacement. NOTE: We have Two sizes one NARROW 1 11/16″ and one STANDARD 1 3/4″. If your Guitar ends in the letter “N” you need the narrow version, otherwise you can order from clicking the image below.
Because they’re awesome. Seriously. We spent years designing our pickups to be maintenance free with great transparent and balanced sound reproduction. Travel guitars have a rough life – they are frequently played, and then stored for a while, and then played again in another season. They’re also taken in regions that are hot or cold, and they get shaken around in transport. This kind of life makes for high battery consumption, and is high risk for complicated electronics. By using premium German piezo electronics, we get a solid signal with a great tone that’s completely maintenance free – and they’re more eco friendly to boot! If you have any doubts to our sound reproduction check out this video.
Recently we have developed our own upgradeable active pickup system as well. You can find them here.
You can keep your Journey Instruments collapsible guitar either packed away in its case or assembled.
For our wood guitars, you should keep your guitar stored in moderate temperatures and humidity levels. (Humidity 40%-60% and Temperatures between 65-80 Fahrenheit (18-27 Centigrade). If you have big swings in temperature and humidity (over 15 degrees or 15%) wood guitars will expand or contract accordingly. This is common for all wood guitars. This means in big variances in temperature and humidity you will likely need to adjust your truss rod and saddle. (Additionally, if you’ve assembled your collapsible wood guitar before a significant rise in humidity, you will likely find the bolt to be very tight if you disassemble your guitar in the higher humidity level.)
For our collapsible carbon guitars, you can keep them fully assembled or disassembled with very little change. As these are entirely carbon fiber, they are extremely stable and can handle most any temperature or humidity swing without any noticeable change. However, we recommend against keeping your guitar in extremely hot environments for a prolonged period of time.
We recommend the following strings for our bass guitars. To install, we recommend assembling the guitar, installing the entire untrimmed string (through the string retainer), and making 2-3 wraps to tune to pitch. After tuning, then trim the strings.
Flat Wound: D’Addario ECB81S Chromes Bass Guitar Strings, Light, 45-100, Short Scale
Round Wound:D’Addario EXL170S Nickel Wound Bass Guitar Strings, Light, 45-100, Short Scale
Tape WoundD’Addario ETB92S Tapewound Bass Guitar Strings, Medium, 50-105, Short Scale
We recommend the following strings for use in our instruments:
For Collapsible Steel String Guitars (All Carbon and Wood Overheads, Carbon RoadTrip, First Class) we use:
Elixir 80/20 Phosphor Bronze 12/53 Lights
*For collapsible wood guitars, we recommend only light gauge strings. Our carbon fiber steel string guitars (OF660, RT660) can use up to medium gauge strings.
For Journey Junior and Puddle Jumper Series we use:
D’addario EXP16 Coated Phosphor Bronze Lights
For our Classical Guitars: All OC520, OC522, FC522, JC520, OC660M we use:
Savarez 520 White Card Traditional Series classical guitar strings for our OC520, OC522, and FC522.
*we do not recommend high tension nylon strings on our collapsible wood classical guitars, but they can be used on the OC660M carbon model.