Haworth meets Traveler
I first came across these innovative travel-sized guitars on a trip to the Namm show in Annaheim, California in January 2012. We were walking past the thousands of guitar stalls and I couldn’t help but notice people gathering around these interesting-looking travel-sized guitars so we dropped in to say G’day and find out a bit more about these instruments.
After a lengthy chat with the Traveler team we became fascinated by their innovative way of constructing these light-weight, full-scale-length guitars so we asked the team if they had anyone importing the product into Australia. When they said no, we thought we’d just go ahead and do it ourselves, so we submitted our very first order of Traveler Guitars to be shipped directly from Redlands California to our main store Haworth’s Shellharbour Music Centre in Albion Park Rail NSW.
After that first order quickly sold out we knew we were onto something and quickly established an agreement to became the sole dealer of Traveler Guitars in Australia and now stock the Traveler Guitar range in both our Wollongong and Shellharbour stores as well as ranging the guitars on our website.
What I personally love about these guitars is the history of the brand. It started in 1992 with Leon Cox constructing the very first prototype in his home workshop out of spare guitar parts he had laying around. His wife who was a nurse, actually added a stethoscope to the instrument, which created a battery-free personal listening system.
In 1993, after selling the first ever Traveler guitar in Redlands Guitar Shop, Cox began producing hundreds of these guitars in his home garage. It was just a few years later when they took a tour around California and Arizona with a van-load full of Traveler Guitars. They visited music stores across both states and before long, they had sold out all of their entire inventory.
They now also have a wide-range of artists using their guitars including Lee Malia of Bring Me The Horizon, Dave Trio of Plain White T’s, Tom Hamilton from Aerosmith and even comedy legend Jeff Daniels (who doesn’t love Dumb and Dumber – one of my all-time favourite movies).I love the grit and hustle this company showed in the early years - just getting in the car and cold-calling every music store they could find until they sold out. It’s this kind of determination and persistence that has led Traveler Guitar to where they are today, with a whole range of awesome guitars and basses in production and selling across 30 Countries worldwide.
After what started out as just one model – the Traveler Guitar Ultra-light acoustic, the company has now produced over 85,000 guitars and has a guitar/bass for just about every type of customer imaginable.
The Ultra-light acoustic is the original Traveler Guitar and is a super-lightweight, full-scale-length guitar with in-body tuners, which means that you just use the same ball-end steel strings that you would use on any other guitar. It also has a piezo pickup system which sounds fantastic and crisp when the guitar is plugged in. This guitar has a maple through-neck design and has a comfortable leg-rest which can be removed for easy storage and travel. They also make an Ultra-light Nylon model for classical guitarists.
The Escape Mark III takes the Ultra-Light Acoustic guitar and adds a Shadow pickup system with headphone amp, aux in and built-in tuner. Plus the body shape is more like a traditional guitar with a cutaway for easy access to the higher frets. This model also comes in the classical style with nylon-strings.
The Ultra-light Electric guitar takes the original Ultra-light Acoustic and adds a dual-rail humbucker pickup to the guitar instead of the piezo for that classic lead tone. It also adds a tun-o-matic style bridge and has nickel-wound strings instead of acoustic-steel strings.
The Pro-Series is really the best of both worlds and takes the Ultra-Light Acoustic and the Ultra-Light Electric and combines them into one guitar with both the piezo pickup and a single-coil electric pickup to blend between. The Pro-Series Deluxe adds in the dual-rail humbucker pickup which combines with the piezo while the Pro-Series Mod-X adds an extra arm-rest to the design which is surprisingly very comfortable as well as a coil-split switch for the humbucker pickup so you can get those spanky single-coil tones as well as that smooth and creamy humbucker sound.
One model I’m personally a huge fan of is the Travelcaster Deluxe. This guitar is just simply a work of art. Just looking at this guitar is enough to make you want to play it to see how it feels and sounds. It takes that spanky strat sound that we know and love and transforms it into a Travel-sized version. With three single-coil pickups, 5-way switch and an array of cool-looking colours, this one is probably by favourite at the moment out of the whole range.
The Speedster model is a fast-feeling, rock n roll beast with a dual-rail humbucker pickup and an adjustable tun-o-matic bridge. The detachable arm-rest on this model is super handy and comfy. The Speedster Hot-rod adds in a coil-split switch and a headphone amp where you can choose between clean, boost, overdrive and distortion tones as well as an aux in and a headphone out.
The Sonic Series takes the travel-sized idea and adds in the full headstock design along with full-sized humbucker pickups and a tun-o-matic bridge with tail-piece.
For the strat and les paul lovers, the EG-2 has that smooth Stratocaster type of feel and tone with single-coil pickups and a 25.5 inch scale length while the EG-1 gives that classic Les Paul tone and feel with a 24.75 inch scale length and humbucker bridge pickup plus a built-in tuner and headphone amp with clean, boost, drive and distortion tones. For a more Metal tone check out the EG-1 Blackout which adds a Seymour Duncan Designed Devastator humbucker pickup to the design.
Speaking of Metal, the LTD EC-1 has an ESP designed high-output humbucker pickup and a sleek body shape and neck which make this Traveler Guitar a beast for shredding and heavy riffs.
For the bassists, the Ultra-light Bass is an awesome full-scale length bass guitar with thumb-rest, detachable leg-rest and piezo pickup system. It’s light as a feather and really is leading the charge as a travel-sized bass guitar.
For a bit more of a beefy tone and chunky feel, check out the TB-4P Bass Guitar which adds a built-in headphone amp with clean, boost, drive and distortion tones to choose from as well as the punchy Seymour Duncan Designed Mustang Bass Pickup.
The AG, Camper and CL series offer incredible travel-sized acoustic guitars which generate beautifully warm natural acoustic tones without needing to be plugged in. With three core acoustic models to choose from and different timbers, styles, pickups and designs between them, these travel-sized acoustics really hit the mark.
In short, every guitarist and bassist will have their own preferences when it comes to selecting a new instrument. Personally I think that Traveler Guitar have done an awesome job in making a range of guitars and basses that appeal to so many different styles and tastes. They are a great young company who we love dealing with and we are proud to support such an innovative and professional company here in Australia.
For any questions about the range please feel free to call or email us here at Haworth Guitars.