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ASK AUDIO Review: VAOM-2C

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Review: Voyage Air Guitar VAOM-2C

Sara Simms on Sep 29, 2014

headline-Voyage-guitar-reviewTraveling on trains or planes can be hard for guitarists. The idea of bending a guitar to fit a luggage space may seem absurd. But Pic 6 does just that. But does it play well too?

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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

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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.

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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

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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!

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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.

Neck

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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.

Head

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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.

Bridge

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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.

Finishing Touches

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

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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.

Innovative Design

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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.


Price: $1,149.00

Dimensions:

  • 1 3/4” width at the nut
  • 25.5” Scale length

Cutaway design

Full-size “OM” 

Pros:

Rosewood and Spruce wood on the body, and rosewood fretboard

Patented Voyage Air Guitar Patented neck hinge

Quality craftsmanship, *admin note: All instruments are inspected and setup in California

Cons:

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! 

Guitarist: Sara Simms, http://sarasimms.com, Instagram: sarasimms

Photography by: Brett Ida – Idamagine Photography, http://www.idamagine.com  Instagram: idamagine

Hair and Makeup by: Roopa Sega - Redcoat Artistry, http://redcoatartistry.wordpress.com  Instagram: redcoatartistry

 

Owner Testimonials

  • This is a beautiful sounding instrument. It has a distinct sound of its own and that in and of itself is extremely attractive. The finish and construction of the instrument is of a high standard. 

    Gerry G - VAD-04LH with a LR BAGGS Element VTC pickup

  • I have been a pro guitar tech for over 40 years now. I have a vaom-04 in my personal arsenal that I’ve had about 4 years. I absolutely love it. It’s been on several airlines in the overhead and on many trips by car. The gig bag is great too as it holds all the 04’s gear (soundhole pup, tuner, strings, picks, etc.) And also clothes and some suitcase items for an overnight. It’s like a piece of luggage that happens to have a guitar in it as well. Very cool! 

    Dean - VAOM-04

  • The action is the same as my Taylor 514 CE, so my practice is undisturbed on the road. The sound is also very good for the price. I think I have one of your less expensive models, but it sounds quite good. Thanks for making such a great guitar. 

    Jim N. - VAOM-02

  • I am extremely happy with the guitar. I can’t believe how good it sounds and its overall playability. The pick up you installed  is incredible . Amplified it sounds way better than my Takamine which was considerably more expensive.

    Phil C. - VAD-04 w/ Stage Pro Anthem

  • Unzip the case, unfold his Voyage-Air guitar, lock the neck in place...and then play the guitar without even retuning -- all in the matter of about two minutes! The guitar played in nearly perfect tuning and the tone was stunning. In that instant I was hooked. The timing of my discovery of the Voyage-Air guitar could not have been better. 

    Karl D. - VAOM-04LH

  • My first impressions are this is an excellent instrument, even compared to my Martin, with a good tone across the range. I have capo’d to the 7th fret and found the tuning remains accurate. I am amazed at how light it is, which will be a bonus when taking on plane trips.

     Brad C. - VAD-04

    FOR INTERNATIONAL ORDERS - The Grand Total is for the product and shipping only. This total does not reflect any additional import duties or taxes that may apply. Any import duties are paid upon delivery/pickup of the guitar and is the responsibility of the purchaser. Please refer to your country’s customs and import offices for the correct amounts and pertinent information. Note: Left handed guitars can take 5-7 days to ship. Pickup options can take 3-5 days to ship. Rush shipments are available, additional expedited shipping charges and handling fees will apply.