If you play guitar and love to travel - then you've experienced at least one of those pains above. The truth is, most guitar players are terrified to take their instrument on a trip for one of the following reasons:
- Fear of breakage: I love this guitar and would hate to see it damaged.
- Stress over loss or delays: What do you mean you can't find my instrument?
- Anxiety at the gate: Is there room for my guitar or will I have to pay excessive fees?
Consequently, guitarists usually resort to bringing a tiny thin-sounding guitar, a "beater" guitar, or dealing with a cumbersome traditional bolt-on neck that requires tools and probably won't be stable after a dozen or so re-attachments.
First Class Travel Guitars: World's First Collapsible Acoustic Guitar w/Carry-on Roller Case - Designed for any and all who love to travel and want to take a great guitar along without the stress.
Why Journey Instruments Travel Guitars?
- Patented detachable neck technology - 10 seconds to attach/detach without tools, over 6 years market tested and guaranteed for life.
- We reverse engineered the problem by starting with the dimensions of the overhead carry-on requirements and then built the best sounding, best feeling guitar that is guaranteed to fit within airline requirements.
- The only company to produce an all-carbon fiber collapsible guitar with a patented bracing system for full-bodied tone in a smaller guitar body.
- We pioneered the use of an ergonometric design which gives a small body guitar a richer bass response and much more volume - features that other travel guitars lack.
- We focus on the guitarist's journey by creating a custom travel case to carry not only their guitar but the other items they need like a laptop, gear & clothing.
The Overhead First Class line offers the best balance of premium features, ergonomics, stability, and portability for travel and stage-worthy performance.
- 18:1 Tuners - all First Class guitars feature premium 18:1 Grover® Tuners or 18:1 gold plated premium classical tuners,
- Ebony bridge pins
- Real bone nut and saddle
- Solid soundboard and back
- Beautiful binding and rosettes
- Thick Manzer© Wedge asymmetrical body designs make for super-comfortable playing that reduces stress on shoulder and wrist joints by angling the guitar in a way that makes fretting and strumming more ergonomic.
- Mini Armrest Bevels enhance comfort for the strumming arm, and reduce fatigue for finger-style playing, yet don't reduce tone by shrinking soundboard space.
- Solid Tops and Backs with Engineered Sides to give the best of both worlds - both the satisfying tone of an all-solid wood guitar, and the increased stability of layered sides that prevents shifting and risk of split sides common to all-solid acoustic guitars.
- Patented Stainless Steel Latch Mechanism with Carbon Reinforcement make for a super reliable neck attachment with a substantial increase in energy transfer and sustain. Guaranteed for Life.
- CITES Free Woods used on all First Class guitars, which means you can travel in any country without worrying about customs restrictions on wood types.
- Patented Detachable Neck Technology reduces the over-all case size of the guitar by half for easy portability
- Efficient and Optimized Case Design makes it a joy to travel with, perfectly organizing all you'd bring for a live performance, business trip or family vacation.
- Roller-Case with premium aluminum pull handle and nylon wheels, that converts to a
- Backpack Case that's actually comfortable with thick padding on backpack straps - perfect for the backpacker or motorcyclist.
As the creators of the world's first collapsible fully-carbon fiber acoustic guitar back in 2012, we certainly believe that carbon fiber is a great material for stress-free travel. As such, our Overhead OF660 and RoadTrip RT660 models both employ all-carbon fiber construction - body, neck, bridge, fingerboard. So with those guitars you can climb the Himalayas on one day, and cross the Sahara on the next - worry free of warpage or cracks common to wood bodies and necks. But even with the stellar tone of our patented carbon soundboard technology - there are a vast number of guitarists that love the smell, touch, feel, and tone of wood. This is why we offer both - and we engineer our wood guitars for optimal stability and tone. So, if you're usually traveling in moderate environments and staying in hotels, homes, or playing in normal venues - and you want a GREAT sounding and playing guitar that's hassle-free and packs small - the First Class line is for you. Let's put it this way - if you travel with the First Class, you probably won't miss your hand-built guitar you left at home, and you'll definitely have a more enjoyable Journey.
Our Patented latch & bolt mechanism is the best in the industry, enabling you to secure your neck without tools in a matter of seconds with minimal tuning adjustments. Moreover, you can make adjustments to string height with a twist of the knob on the back. No need to keep track of tools and bolts, or spend 20 minutes assembling and winding tuners. Check out this demo on the OF660M collapsible carbon Overhead:
The Custom Travel Case - Definitely NOT Your Father's Gig Bag
Our Overhead guitars are renowned for their killer travel cases, and the Overhead First Class cases are a truly innovative upgrade. Our cases conveniently stow the neck and body safely and securely for maximum protection and enable full assembly IN SECONDS. The First Class case gives you premium nylon wheels and a telescoping aluminum handle - letting you glide your guitar in a compact case with ease. And if you prefer, the hideaway backpack straps and cushioned wheel-cover panel make this case comfortable for trekking up and down stairs or around trails. The GA model case features a zippered clothing compartment as well as a padded laptop compartment big enough for a 15" laptop. The Classical and Parlor model case substitutes these features with a fold-out computer compartment for 14" laptops, and a front tablet pocket. All First Class cases feature top and side reinforced grips, a zippered accessory pocket, elastic pockets under the fold-out computer compartments, room beside the neck pocket for extra cables, and an optional rain cover. Here's a graphic to illustrate:
Our Snazzy tri-fold travel hat gives great protection from the sun (and bad hair days), and folds to a size you can slip in your back pocket!
Super comfy T-shirt with our snazzy logo. 'Nuff Said. Standard T-shirt Sizes. Please specify, S,M,L, XL, or XXL.
Great set of guitar accessories to keep in your custom travel case.
The FF412C First Class Collapsible Grand Auditorium
The Goal in designing the FF412C was to build the biggest sounding, most comfortable, and easy to transport Grand Auditorium guitar in the world. In addition to the First Class case and features mentioned above, it features a full 25.5 inch scale, 1 3/4 bone nut and saddle, an arm bevel, full satin finish, premium appointments, and and thick Manzer Wedge© that makes for the most comfortable, fullest-sounding Grand Auditorium guitar around! This is the perfect guitar for artists who want a huge-sounding, super-comfortable, Full-Sized GA guitar that packs small and travels like a dream.
The FF412C is in production phase and should be shipping around December 2018/January 2019.
The FP412 Collapsible 12-Fret Parlor (See Updated Pics at Bottom)
(Current picture is of a semi-finished guitar - we'll post the updated photos during the campaign.) The FP412 was designed to put a modern spin on the old Nick Lucas Special from the 1930's. At 12 frets to the body, this places the bridge right in the "sweet spot" for maximum tone in a 13.9" smaller body guitar. The FP412 has a 24.5 inch scale with a 1 3/4" nut, and is almost 2 inches wider than our current Overhead models. The thicker Manzer Wedge© and arm bevel give this guitar extra comfort and a fuller volume and tone similar to a OOO-sized guitar. It features a gloss top, but has satin back & sides for improved resistance to scratches. Comes with the First Class roller-case and a great-sounding hassle-free passive piezo pickup. This is the perfect guitar for guitarists who want a small but full-sounding performance-grade guitar for traveling. The smaller wedged body also make this a dream-come-true for guitarists who suffer from shoulder or wrist pain. (Note: all back and sides have dark vintage hand-rubbed finish with curly maple binding and bevel)
The FP412 is concurrently in the sample finishing and production phase, and is scheduled to ship in February 2019.
FC522 Collapsible Performance Classical
See Updated Pics at Bottom
(Current picture shows a semi-finished guitar - we'll post the updated photos during the campaign.) The FC522 was designed in response to our sponsored classical artists' request for us to make a performance-grade, beautiful classical guitar with optimal ergonomics and stellar tone and volume, while implementing our collapsible technology. It has a full 650mm scale with standard 52mm classical nut and it has a traditional Torres body shape and bracing, yet with the wedged body. Featuring a solid Western Red Cedar top paired with a solid Pau Ferro Bolivian Rosewood back and engineered sides, the FC522 has curly acacia binding, a mini armrest bevel, and full gloss on the body and the figured acacia headstock plate. The thicker Manzer Wedge© makes this classical a delight to play with surprising comfort and satisfying tone. It comes with our active bridge plate piezo/mic pickup with tone control.
The FC522 is concurrently in the sample finishing and production phase, and is scheduled to ship in February 2019. We are in the final stages of testing our new active stereo pickup system for this model, which we expect to complete in early December, and move straight into production.
*February 2019 Delivery. First Class case replaces backpack case.
*February 2019 Delivery. First Class case replaces backpack case.
So...Who Plays a Journey Instrument?
Some of the most talented musicians play our travel instruments. Check out our YouTube channel for videos by the following professional artists along with dozens more:
Journey Instruments began back in 2011 by Rob Bailey who ran a supply chain management company called Convergent Sourcing. At that time he was practicing guitar daily, but had to travel frequently for consulting. Turns out traveling with a full-sized guitar on consulting trips got old fast. After spending 300+ hours of market research on guitar forums, Rob worked with his team of in-house mechanical and carbon fiber engineers to design and patent the Overhead collapsible travel guitar system. James Brawner, his good friend and former colleague, joined the project as a partner in late 2012 and they brought the product to market at NAMM in 2013. Journey now has a team of 3 stellar staff headed by James Brawner in our Austin,TX location. Rob manages a team of 9 in our own in-house assembly and inspection line in Asia. We're a small team, but passionate about bringing fellow musicians the best travel instrument solutions possible. Over the years, we've created collapsible steel string guitars in wood and all carbon, collapsible classical wood guitars, collapsible bass guitars, ergonomic small body guitars, and great instrument cases.
Faces behind the Journey:
Journey Instruments Introduction Video
FF412C First Class Grand Auditorium Travel Guitar
OF660M Overhead Carbon Fiber Travel Guitar - Jack Haig
OF420 Overhead Wood Travel Guitar - Rob Swift
OF410 Overhead Wood Travel Guitar - Marco Cirillo from BlitzGuitar
OC520 Overhead Classical Travel Guitar - Bradford Werner
So If you’re looking to travel with an awesome guitar and want to put an end to stress during check in and boarding, delays at the baggage pickup, annoyance from other passengers from hogging overhead space, and the sheer risk of damaging your guitar, please support us to bring these awesome travel instruments to all who love to travel and want to take a guitar along.
The Journey Instruments Team of players & travelers
Updated Pics for FP412
(FP412 Front - note this paint is semifinished, headstock will be gloss ebony veneer and soundboard is gloss)
Updated Pics for FC522
(FC522 Front with bevel shown - note finish is not complete, guitar will be full gloss with matte neck)
(above back comparison of OC520 vs FC522)
Risks and challenges
Challenge 1: Failure to execute on timely production of multiple guitar models for an novel product.
Mitigation Strategy: We have been working with our upstream suppliers for years and have stable production in place already. All critical neck joints use our templates and existing hardware. We conduct final assembly and inspection in our own assembly line, and we have a great reputation in the market for superior quality.
Challenge 2: Dealing with complex fulfillment for international orders.
Mitigation Strategy: We have a robust international dealer and distributor network (USA, China, Australia, UK, EU, Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, and others) we can leverage to consolidate shipments and mitigate upward price pressure. For delivery to the US, we already have existing negotiated shipping rates in place.
Risk 1: Finalizing our new Stereo pickup for the FC522 First Classical.
Mitigation Strategy: Our supply chain partner produces pickups for some of the biggest brands in the industry and we’ve worked with them for a very long time. We have already approved the piezo elements for use in our existing guitars. We’ve tested multiple microphones for the stereo microphone component and have selected two options. Currently we’re finalizing the tuning of the Tone adjustment for the pickup and are confirming samples in late-November. From experience, we anticipate 2-3 rounds of sampling for tweaking the tone and balance, then we’ll move straight into production in Mid-December. Production time is 25 days, and we have 20 extra days of cushion built in.
Risk 2: If we only minimally fund and the production run is small, its common for suppliers to push your order back in queue – resulting in delivery delay.
Mitigation Strategy: We have years of continuous orders with our current suppliers, and these new products are produced in line with our current production orders, so this risk is significantly decreased.
- (30 days)