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Old 03-20-2023, 05:29 PM
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KevinH KevinH is offline
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Default Anyone have a Journey FF660?

I'm curious how it compares to their smaller OF660, volume, tone, bag size and all that.
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Old 03-23-2023, 04:19 PM
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Perhaps I'm just talking to myself (it happens, a lot) but I figure there are at least some of you carbonistas, or carbonaras, that have Journey CF guitars and may have some interest in their latest FF660 model. It's the one that's bigger than the OF660 (14.5" lower bout vs 12.5"). So it's more like an X7 in size. Still has the detachable neck that the OF660 has, which means it's great for travel.

But the FF660 is still fairly new, with not many reviews online. So I called Journey and asked them about it. Spoke with a guy named James who was really helpful and enthusiastic about his work, which I appreciate. I was curious how the FF compares to their Road Trip model, the RT660 since they're about the same size. James said they've spent quite a bit of time developing the FF, improving the sound, without going into all the details of course. One obvious thing is the placement and shape of the sound hole. So its not just a remake of the RT.

I was also curious how the FF compares to the OF660, which I have. I love the sound the OF, but there are times when it'd be nice to have more volume. James said the FF is considerably louder than the OF.

I'm still looking for the perfect travel guitar. My Furch Little Jane is pretty close, but it's wood, so you know, not the best for travel. The FF might be worth a shot.

cf1.jpg
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Old 03-23-2023, 04:38 PM
Pine Cone Pine Cone is offline
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So I called Journey and asked them about it. Spoke with a guy named James who was really helpful and enthusiastic about his work, which I appreciate. I was curious how the FF compares to their Road Trip model, the RT660 since they're about the same size. James said they've spent quite a bit of time developing the FF, improving the sound, without going into all the details of course. One obvious thing is the placement and shape of the sound hole. So its not just a remake of the RT.
You probably were talking to James Brawner, one of the partners who started Journey. I talked with him a couple of times on the phone and exchanged a few emails. Very helpful and knowledgeable. I am pleased with the two Journey guitars I own.
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Old 03-23-2023, 06:33 PM
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You probably were talking to James Brawner, one of the partners who started Journey. I talked with him a couple of times on the phone and exchanged a few emails. Very helpful and knowledgeable. I am pleased with the two Journey guitars I own.
Yes, interesting to talk with him. He said that while wood guitars generally produce about 70-80% of the sound from the top, CF guitars have most (60%) of the sound coming from the body, 40% from the top. I'm not sure why that would be, but he said it's based on some work done by an acoustics engineer they had working for them. So they spend more time thinking about the properties of the body than the top.
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Old 03-23-2023, 07:37 PM
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I'm still looking for the perfect travel guitar. My Furch Little Jane is pretty close, but it's wood, so you know, not the best for travel. The FF might be worth a shot..
Kevin you know that the perfect travel guitar is in fact a large collection of them so you can spend hours agonizing over which one to take when you do actually travel.
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Old 03-23-2023, 08:44 PM
bsman bsman is offline
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Ive had two overheads - a Sitka/Pau Ferro one OF442 and a new matte orange OF660 I got yesterday in anticipation of upcoming travel. I was curious about the FF but ultimately decided that for my needs portability trumps volume (plus I have a little Blackstar Fly ac/dc amp that can provide extra oomph). Also - I have a Rainsong Shorty and ancient Emerald X7 that fill that in-between niche.

However, if you do go with the first class, we expect a full report!
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Old 03-24-2023, 06:43 AM
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David Eastwood David Eastwood is offline
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Kevin you know that the perfect travel guitar is in fact a large collection of them so you can spend hours agonizing over which one to take when you do actually travel.
I like the way you think
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Old 03-24-2023, 09:11 AM
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Kevin you know that the perfect travel guitar is in fact a large collection of them so you can spend hours agonizing over which one to take when you do actually travel.
That should be written into the AGF forum rules.
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Old 03-24-2023, 09:36 AM
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That should be written into the AGF forum rules.
We need a "Like" button.
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Old 03-24-2023, 12:01 PM
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I bought a FF660M, played it for a couple of days and sent it back. It might be a bit louder than the OF660 but it was still too quiet for me. Tested side by side with an Overhead+ (OF882c) the difference in projection was obvious despite the smaller size of the wooden model.
On the positive side, it has a warm tone and is comfortable to play.
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Old 03-25-2023, 07:14 PM
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Yes, interesting to talk with him. He said that while wood guitars generally produce about 70-80% of the sound from the top, CF guitars have most (60%) of the sound coming from the body, 40% from the top. I'm not sure why that would be, but he said it's based on some work done by an acoustics engineer they had working for them. So they spend more time thinking about the properties of the body than the top.
I will speculate that this may be true of Journey carbon guitars, but not all carbon guitars. The Journey I tried for a few days had a thinnish top and thinnish body. It was not very loud. Holding it against your body you could easily feel the back vibrate and it got quieter. The Blackbird that I own has a very thin top, and rather thick body. Dampening the body by holding it tightly against your body does not alter the volume, nor can you feel much vibration. It is much louder than the Journey.
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Old 03-25-2023, 09:13 PM
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I bought a FF660M, played it for a couple of days and sent it back. It might be a bit louder than the OF660 but it was still too quiet for me. Tested side by side with an Overhead+ (OF882c) the difference in projection was obvious despite the smaller size of the wooden model.
On the positive side, it has a warm tone and is comfortable to play.

Yup. It’s interesting that Journey Guitars moved up from the cubic volume of a 12” bout to the cubic volume of the 14” bout which is a 00 body size instead of the 15” bout of a 000/OM full size guitar.

I’m hoping for the step up to 16” for a bigger voice like their FF412/422 wood versions. It’ll depend on whether Journey thinks the potential sales are worth the startup investment. They are expanding their wood guitar models much faster than carbon fibre.
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Old 03-25-2023, 09:35 PM
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Yes, interesting to talk with him. He said that while wood guitars generally produce about 70-80% of the sound from the top, CF guitars have most (60%) of the sound coming from the body, 40% from the top. I'm not sure why that would be, but he said it's based on some work done by an acoustics engineer they had working for them. So they spend more time thinking about the properties of the body than the top.

I wonder if he communicated their design ideas correctly? If accurate and effective this would be an innovation in guitar design.

My understanding is that in guitars the energy from strings goes into the bridge which vibrates the soundboard. The soundboard vibration produces the sound, and the cubic volume and sound hole size allows the initial sound to resonate as described by the Helmholtz equations.

The back and sides reflect the initial sound signals, and the design objective is to shape and minimize dampening (absorption) of that initial sound signal as it travels around inside the body cavity.

Its perplexing to understand 60% of the sound coming from the body which is not being directly driven by the strings. Perhaps they were speaking about *tone quality* instead of *sound volume* ?

Best regards.
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Old 03-26-2023, 10:50 AM
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Its perplexing to understand 60% of the sound coming from the body which is not being directly driven by the strings. Perhaps they were speaking about *tone quality* instead of *sound volume* ?
...
Yes thats probably right. Technically nearly all of the sound volume is generated by the top, either directly or through the Helmholtz oscillations in the body volume. So he must have been thinking tone.
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Old 03-26-2023, 01:50 PM
Captain Jim Captain Jim is offline
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I really appreciate you folks who know all this stuff. My technique to determine sound quality: if I strum the strings and it sounds like a guitar, that’s a good start. If it sounds better to my ears than other guitars, it becomes a candidate for adoption. If it feels good to my fingers, that’s another good thing. If it appears that it can be adjusted to be even better (for personal differences), another positive. If it feels comfortable when you play it, in combination with all the above being right, then it goes into the “does it offer something I don’t already have in a guitar” category.

I don’t know the intricacies of different bracing, no bracing, hide glue, bowed back, etc, etc… I just go with what makes my hands, ears, and heart happy. I usually figure, a smaller guitar will sound “smaller”… a bigger guitar will sound bigger… comfort is as important to me as the volume, ‘cause I can always make a guitar louder with a pickup or a mic.

Occasionally, I find myself impressed with a small guitar that sounds bigger than it should (an X7, a Touring, a Cargo, even a GSmini)… that is the wizardry of the maker. An FF660 should sound bigger than an OF660. But, will it be enough to sway you? That is in the ear of the beholder.

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