|Body And Neck:|
Hands up who’s heard of Rondo Music? Sure, it’s not a brand that competes with the likes of Fender and Taylor in terms of prestige and history, but when they produce an affordable travel guitar that is good enough to make it onto our list of the best travel guitars, who’s complaining? Let’s take a look at the ultra-compact SX Trav 1 (also known as the TG1) to see how it compares.
Unlike a parlor or 3/4-sized guitar, the SX Trav 1 is undoubtedly an all-out travel guitar, with a tiny overall length (just over 33”) and body shape that is similar to other dedicated travel models (the Washburn Rover for example).
Yet the manufacturers don’t skimp on the materials or construction quality. It actually features a solid spruce top, with laminated mahogany used on the back and sides. There’s nothing in the way of elaborate décor or binding, but this is to be expected (and not necessary) with an affordable travel guitar.
As for the neck, this is made from mahogany and features a rosewood fretboard with 20 frets (joined at the 14th fret). Due to the drastically reduced size of the guitar, the neck is a little narrow (1.69”) so will suit strummers more than fingerstylists. The action out of the box is also surprisingly low and makes this a fun guitar to noodle around with, with no extra setup needed – apart from…
…a string change! Even though it comes with a set of D’Addario EXP 16’s, these still feel a little rough out of the box, so changing the strings will instantly upgrade the tone and playability of the SX Trav 1. Otherwise the rest of the hardware is good for the price.
Inside the neck is a truss rod for neck adjustments on the move, while the headstock is fitted with a set of good chrome tuners – these function well and hold tuning quite stable. The bridge is also rosewood, while there’s a genuine bone nut and a saddle made from GraphTech’s NuBone XB material. Finally, note that – like all good travel guitars – the XS Trav 1 comes with its own cream-colored padded gig bag. A good inclusion.
At 2.5” deep, the body of the SX Trav 1 is naturally going to struggle to produce a huge tone capable of filling anything more than a small room, but the projection offered by this guitar is ample for practice and play on the road. The wood combo goes some way to providing it with a real guitar sound and, although it gets a little tinny in the treble, it’s ultimately very good.
Check out a sound demo from the manufacturer in the video below:
Unlike some of the other small acoustics we have featured, the SX Trav 1 (or TG1) is a full-on travel guitar designed for practice on the move. And it certainly delivers a great platform on which to do so. While it lacks a bit of volume, the overall tone is great, the hardware is reliable and the experience of playing this model is one of satisfaction, no matter where you are.