I've been intrigued with the Voyage Air Guitars since I first saw them at NAMM. The entire line is an amazing concept; Voyage Air Guitars feature a collapsable neck that allows the guitar fold and be carried in a portable case for travel. This is a highly desirable feature for songwriters and guitarists, as it gives players the ability to easily take their guitars with them on the road. Voyage Air Guitar has proved that good things can be made to fit into smaller packages.
The Future is Unfolding
The VAOM-2C comes in a durable, back-style case. When I first received it, I admit it was a little surprised to think that a guitar could fit inside a case this small! The neck of the guitar is hinged, and you have to lift the neck up and away from the guitar to unfold it, and lift it gently out of the case. The neck of the guitar needs to continue to be gently bent back as the guitar's soundhole faces down. Once the neck is aligned horizontally with the body of the guitar, there is a small hinge that must be tighten to seal the parts together.
As a first time user, I had to loosen the strings considerably as I positioned the neck into place, and was a little concerned that the strings might snap as I tightened the hinge. I'm happy to report that they didn't; the procedure was a success. I did have to spend a few extra minutes tuning up after the guitar was put together. It will likely take a few more attempts at folding/unfolding the guitar before I'm completely comfortable with this process; its' still such a futuristic concept to fold a guitar together!
Body and Design
The rosewood body gives this special guitar a tone that's uniquely its own; its gorgeous tone surpassed my expectations for an instrument that can be so easily folded up!
I was lucky enough to be able to try out the VAOM-2C model, which is the top of the line model that Voyage Air Guitar produces. Manufactured in California, the guitar features a gorgeous cutaway design, with solid east-indian rosewood on the back and sides, solid sitka spruce for the top and solid mahogany for the neck and a solid rosewood fretboard. The guitar is beautiful, and sounds every bit as good as it looks. The rosewood on the back and sides give the VAOM-2C a deep tone, and the spruce on top gives the guitar's harmonics extra character. The rosewood body gives this special guitar a tone that's uniquely its own; its gorgeous tone surpassed my expectations for an instrument that can be so easily folded up!
The guitar features an abalone rosette (for those who don't what this is, this is the inlay around the sound hole of the guitar.) The rosette is a real focal point, and also helps to protect the soundhole's edges.
The craftsmanship and attention to detail make this guitar a joy to play.
The VAOM-2C features a beautiful mahogany neck, and a rosewood fingerboard. I've always preferred to play on guitars with rosewood fingerboards, as I feel that they add a warmth to the sound and increase the overall ease of playability. The neck is marked with green abalone position markers that begin at the third fret. The fretboard is 1-3/4” wide, a good size for most guitarists. The craftsmanship and attention to detail make this guitar a joy to play.
The head of the guitar has a slightly curved shape, and is equipped with high-quality gold plated tuners with ebonized buttons. The gold plated tuners really do add a nice finishing touch to the guitar, and make it even more attractive.
The VAOM-2C comes strung with D’Addario 12-54 Phosphor Bronze strings, which are held in place by the rosewood bridge. The strings are spaced with 2 3/16” at the bridge, which feels fairly comfortable. Close by the bridge is a dark brown tortoise-style pick guard, which protects the guitar's finish. Like all of the other components on this guitar, the bridge is well-made; it holds the strings in place even after multiple rounds of folding and unfolding.
Voyage Air Guitar has added in a few finishing touches that really make this guitar a special treat to play (and admire, while it's not in use). The body is encircled with a grained ivoroid body binding, and the backside of the guitar features a center-stripe with a decorative pattern. These features are secondary to the 2-ring soundhole rosette with the abalone center ring, which to me is one of the main focal points of the guitar, next to the cute cutaway shape.
On the Road
One of the many good things about this guitar is the fact that it comes with its own portable carrying case, which is a different shape than any other guitar case you've ever seen before. The case is small, and is just a bit larger than an overnight bag. The case is certainly easier to travel with than standard large guitar cases, which have always been challenging to cart around on the road.
I'm still somewhat mystified that the guitar manages to fold up so easily and fit inside!
The guitar has to be collapsed before it can fit into the well-padded carrying case. To keep the neck safe from hitting the body of the guitar during travel, it includes a soft strap that holds the body in place.
The folding neck really does make this guitar a remarkable invention, which will it make it an attractive instrument for forward-thinking guitarists. While some players may be skeptical and think that a folding guitar doesn't live up to the standards of traditional guitars, the overall quality of the VAOM-2C is impressive. Simply put, it's a well-made, high quality instrument that sounds, looks and feels great to play.
Both professional players and hobbyists will benefit from Voyage Air Guitar's unique neck hinge. Pros will enjoy the fact that they can reduce the amount of bulky baggage they take to their gigs, and a hobbyist player will enjoy the ease of taking the small carrying case up to the cottage for fire-side summer jam sessions. The VAOM-2C combines together great craftsmanship with Voyage Air Guitar's innovative folding neck; overall this guitar is pretty stunning. It's worth seeking this guitar out to try for yourself, as it's an amazing innovation.
• 1 3/4” width at the nut
• 25.5” Scale length
Rosewood and Spruce wood on the body, and rosewood fretboard
Patented Voyage Air Guitar Patented neck hinge
Quality craftsmanship, manufactured in California
As this is the top of the line model, its' a little more expensive than regular acoustic guitars. Sometimes the best things in life can be a little pricey!
Web: Available from: Voyage-Air Guitar (http://www.voyageairguitar.com) or a local dealer
Photography by: Brett Ida – Idamagine Photography, http://www.idamagine.com
MUA: Roopa Sega - Redcoat Artistry, http://redcoatartistry.wordpress.com