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Dean are renown for their vast catalog of iconic rock-fueled electric guitars, but they also make a pretty mean travel acoustic – namely the Flight Series Bubinga, which is a petite 3/4 size model from their road-friendly Flight Series (a range that also includes two lovely all-mahogany models). The Bubinga model is stylish, with a good dose of rock attitude, and – at well under $200 – has a very attractive price. Let’s check it out!
Unlike a few models that appear on our chart of the best travel acoustic guitars, the Flight Series Bubinga has all the style you could ask for and is a striking little instrument. With a 3/4 size non-cutaway body and a 22” scale length, it features a top made from laminated bubinga – a bronze-colored tonewood with a beautiful grain, which is on full display with this guitar. With a satin finish, the back and sides are made from mahogany, as is the set neck. This features a comfortable C-shaped profile, with a rosewood fretboard and 19 frets (14 in the clear). As you may expect from Dean, there are some stylish appointments, including the distinctive Dean winged headstock, an attractive rosette, and some cool ‘flight’ fretboard inlays. As the price suggests, it’s essentially an entry-level guitar that’s made in China, but this doesn’t stop it feeling well-built and durable for travel.
With no electronics this guitar isn’t swimming in hardware, but the components included are not bad. On the headstock sit six sealed chrome die-cast tuners, which are decent – they felt a little loose, but they do the job asked of them. You will also find a solid rosewood bridge, strap pegs, a two-way truss rod, and a GraphTech nut and saddle. The guitar also comes with its own basic gig bag, which is useful for transporting it.
For such a small guitar the sound is surprisingly full, with ample projection – just what you need for camping, hiking, hotel rooms, or wherever you end up taking this acoustic. Of course, it’s no match for a full-size dreadnought in terms of resonance or low end, but the bubinga and mahogany combine for a mellow, warm sound that’s pretty sweet.
For its cool looks alone, the Dean Flight Series Bubinga is worth the relatively low asking price, but it sound pretty great too. A 3/4 size guitar may take a little adapting to if you’ve only played full-size in the past, but its lightweight, compact nature makes it an awesome travel companion. It’s certainly capable of turning a few heads wherever you end up!