- Neck Pops Off for Travel
- Solid Top and Back Tonewoods
- Forward Bracing and Deep Body for Volume
- Packs into Rolling Travel Bag for Overhead Bins
- Beveled Armrest, Premium Appointments, and Pickup
Travel guitars have been popular for years and with a more mobile society the need for them is growing. Everyone from students to business people on the move are utilizing instruments that are easy to travel with.
Journey Instruments has been an innovator in this field with their patented guitar necks that pop off of the guitar body and then neatly folds into a back pack styled travel bag (strings and all). You throw in your laptop and iPad too, some accessories you need to play, and off you go.
What Journey’s customers asked for next surprised them. They loved the ability to travel well with their guitar, but several professional players asked if they can make a full-sized acoustic guitar that once they arrived at the gig… would have the quality sound good enough to play the gig with!
Now you worship leaders/worship guitar players pay attention here. You go back and forth from home to rehearsals to the church platform stage each week… some of you load in and out of mobile church locations each Sunday too. What if you could have a quality instrument that could truly be as “mobile” as you are?
Enter the newest model from Journey – the FF412C First Class Grand Auditorium travel guitar, which includes their patented collapsible neck system (which allows for assembly/disassembly in a matter of seconds).
While researching ways to capture a full-size performance guitar in a travel package Journey made all of the right moves. A hand-picked solid Sitka Spruce top with a solid premium Sapele Mahogany back and laminated Sapele Mahogany sides – this ensures maximum stability for climate variations while traveling, yet retains all of the tone of an all-solid-woods guitar.
For bracing they use a forward-shifted, tapered and scalloped X-bracing that maximizes the resonance and volume of the soundboard. The wedge design gives a lower shoulder/bout depth that’s deeper than a regular dreadnought, giving this Grand Auditorium body size the ability to deliver volume and bass surpassing that of a standard Grand Auditorium guitar.
I played some chords at regular strumming volume and it sounded good, and then I jumped on it and strummed hard – the guitar opened up and got loud! But it did not break-up or lose any of its tone. That was remarkable. I looked down and realized how deep this body is. No wonder. Journey calls it a “ginormous” body. It has the voice of a cannon!
To keep the quality components coming, Journey added a bone nut, carbon fiber neck reinforcement, a compensated bone saddle, and ebony bridge pins. All of these contribute to produce the good tone of this FF412C. For plugging into a PA this guitar comes with a proprietary under-bridge transducer pickup system that accurately amplifies the guitar.
The wedge design also angles the guitar into your body which places the guitar in a comfortable position for fingerboard access and the Satin-finished low-c profile neck make this 25.5 inch scale easy to play. The FF412C has 14 frets to the body – 19 frets total. The cutaway design gives easy high access to the fretboard.
The last touch that makes this a desirable performance guitar is the arm rest bevel. It is amazing how much a slight bevel on the lower bout of the guitar body will reduce arm fatigue. Seriously, you can play a lot longer on any acoustic that has a bevel. It is just body mechanics. Kudos to Journey for adding that feature to this already well-equipped guitar.
The last two features have to do with why this is truly a travel guitar.
First, the guitar’s neck is designed to be removable instantly. The stainless-steel load-bearing components work seamlessly. There is a push-button release latch and a large adjustment knob on the back of the guitar that makes sure everything is lined up just perfectly each and every time you build or dismantle it.
Second, the travel case/gig bag is made of 1680D nylon and includes a retractable pull handle and wheels, a laptop compartment, a large accessory pouch, and a divided clothing/document pocket to carry clothing or your guitar accessories. It can be carried-on to most major airlines, easily fitting in the larger overhead bin compartments of a Boeing 737, 747 and Airbus A320 planes. Note: it may be too large for smaller “puddle jumper” flights. This case part of the whole FF412C package is made up of high quality components as well.
You have to give it to Journey on this one – they pulled out all of the stops to respond to their customer’s requests and made a very good product for a very reasonable price.
If you are in the market for a travel guitar, or find yourself bouncing back and forth from playing at church at a regular rate – do yourself a favor and go and play the FF412C. It is a winner!
Editor’s note: You can watch their demo video on how that neck easily pops on and off here (note that the guitar in the video is a smaller body model – not the Grand Auditorium size).
Proprietary Body Design: Full Sized Grand Auditorium Body
Bracing: Forward-shifted tapered and scalloped X-bracing
Compound block for reduced weight and strengthened latch support
Scale: 25.5 in (647.7 mm)
Finish: Satin on soundboard, back, and sides
Bridge: Ovangkol, high break-angle
Tuners: Grover® 18:1 precision mini chrome tuners
Electronics: Journey™ under-saddle passive transducer pickup system
Removable Neck Assembly: Stainless steel load-bearing components
Push-button release latch under neck
Large adjustment knob on back
Neck: Carbon fiber reinforced traditional C shape with two-way adjustable truss
Solid Sapele Mahogany
Neck width at nut: 1 ¾ in
Fret Board: 16 inch Radius, Ovangkol – Medium brass fret wire
TRAVEL BACKPACK SPECIFICATIONS
Overnight Travel Ready: Larger carry-on size with 15-inch computer compartment
All- Premium Material Construction: Premium aluminum push-button pull-handle with nylon roller wheels
Extra-durable Ballistic Nylon external case with premium nylon and velour lining
Internally-accessible padded neck compartment with premium velour and string slot
Padded Top and Side handles
Zippered Computer Compartment
Hideaway, reinforced padded backpack straps with padded back
Maximum Case Dimensions: (unpacked) L*W*H: 22*16.5*9 inches
will expand to 10+ inches thick if packed fully