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  #1  
Old 05-10-2016, 03:50 AM
tonyo tonyo is offline
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Default NGD - Got my Journey OF660 today

Hi All,

After a long period of research and waiting, it's finally here and I'm very happy with it.

This is my first carbon fibre guitar and I mainly bought this one for it's capability as a travel guitar.

I started my research because I bought a Mazda MX5 convertible (aka Miata) and had to figure out how to transport my guitar as going places without a guitar is not an option.

I had heard the carbon fibre guitars sound 'tinny'. I don't find that at all with my Journey. The sound is a bit quieter than I was hoping for but when you look at the body size compared to my full size guitars, it's unrealistic to expect to have as big of a sound.

I compared the sound volume by recording both my full size wooden guitar (spruce top, rosewood back/sides solid wood) and the OF660 with my zoom recorder, then I played it back and watched the sound levels as shown on the zoom.

I'd say the OF660 was approx 20% quieter. The sound I would describe as mellow and pleasant.

The other thing I like is the feel of the neck. I'm used to playing with a 1 3/4 nut width but the neck is also a different shape to what I'm used to and I've very quickly grown to like the shape.

So, in summary, I'm quite happy after day one. I was fortunate to be able to get this guitar on evaluation so I would have been able to return it if I didn't like it, yet the more I play it the more I like it.

The local Australian distributor, Sonic Frog, have been superb to deal with, very happy to recommend them wholeheartedly. Helpful, patient and easy to do business with.

Not sure how to post pictures, otherwise they would be here....

Last edited by tonyo; 05-10-2016 at 03:51 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 05-10-2016, 04:01 AM
tonyo tonyo is offline
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Pictures.... (thanks to the FAQ)

https://www.flickr.com/photos/243064...posted-public/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/243064...posted-public/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/243064...posted-public/
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Old 05-10-2016, 07:54 AM
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pjmacd pjmacd is offline
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Would you be willing to post the recordings you made? I would love to hear the similarities and differences.
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Old 05-10-2016, 08:18 AM
Captain Jim Captain Jim is offline
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Congrats on the new guitar - looks great! OMG - brand spankin' new and you broke the neck off already??!! That should be a good companion in the Miata!

We had a Miata years ago - fun car! I drove a new one a couple months ago, and was very impressed.

And, of course, your new OF660 is impressive, too. It is great that more people are appreciating what carbon fiber brings to the guitar experience.

Enjoy!

Jim
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Old 05-10-2016, 08:44 AM
Ted @ LA Guitar Sales Ted @ LA Guitar Sales is offline
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Congrats, tonyo. Use it in good health, and welcome to the CF club.
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Old 05-10-2016, 03:59 PM
tonyo tonyo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pjmacd View Post
Would you be willing to post the recordings you made? I would love to hear the similarities and differences.
I'll work on posting something for you. If you've not heard from me in a week, email me at tony@tamborine.to as a friendly reminder.

I've got 4 acoustic guitars I can provide comparison of, my daily play, epiphone spruce / rosewood, a taylor gs8 spruce / rosewood, an 89 year old parlor and the new journey.
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Old 05-10-2016, 06:15 PM
Captain Jim Captain Jim is offline
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A photo of the OF660 with the Miata would be nice, too.
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Old 05-11-2016, 05:56 AM
PeteCady PeteCady is offline
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"The sound is a bit quieter than I was hoping for but when you look at the body size compared to my full size guitars, it's unrealistic to expect to have as big of a sound."

That was my first - and second - impression as well. I'm still experimenting with pick and string combinations to get the best power. Right now I have GHS silk and bronze "medium lights" on the wound strings, and have taken the high E down from a .12 to an .11. Better, but I'll keep trying different combinations.

I did notice that it seems a LOT louder if you stand in front of it and strum the strings, than from behind it in normal playing position. Maybe they ought to put a side port on the things.

It's nice to have, though - not only in hopes of getting in a little more travel than I have in the past, but just for something to play at home that's a convenient size and not so loud that it scares the cats.
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Old 05-11-2016, 06:20 PM
tonyo tonyo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeteCady View Post
I did notice that it seems a LOT louder if you stand in front of it and strum the strings, than from behind it in normal playing position. Maybe they ought to put a side port on the things.
The vast majority of my playing is fingerstyle and I'm not a loud fingerstyle player so having projection with a guitar is important. When I play the journey with a pick it sounds great to me but then a fair number of pick / strummers I listen to sound so loud I find it disconcerting.

The lower volume of the Journey is making me dig in with my fingers a bit more which is probably good for me as a fingerstyle player.

A side port would be cool I think. I notice the Emerald CF guitars have a port that projects forwards and upwards and would love to play one of them. A friend recently put a side port in a cheap basher guitar he has and both him and I were impressed with how much better it helped the sound for the guitarist. But I'm not about to dig out the dremel and use it on this baby just yet.
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Old 05-11-2016, 06:31 PM
tonyo tonyo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Jim View Post
A photo of the OF660 with the Miata would be nice, too.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/243064...posted-public/

Hey Captain Jim,

Here's that photo you asked for. I positioned it so the closing of the boot (trunk) lid and the swinging down of the boot hinge will just go to the right of the guitar. This means there is still a bit of space to the right of the guitar for say a bottle of wine or two.

But the beauty is all the space to the left of the guitar. When I put my full size guitar in it's case in the boot, there is room for very little else.

The Journey in it's case could even fit on my wife's lap if the boot needed to be filled with other things. I also put the soft top up and there is plenty of room behind the seat but up at headrest level where the soft top sits when it's down for the guitar to fit.

That would still put it in the sun from the rear window and while this guitar would handle that better than a wooden one, I notice the owner's guide for the Journey gives this caution:

"For carbon fiber models, while they are substantially more resilient to temperature and humidity changes than are wood models, exposures to high temperatures may damage the instrument and are ill-advised."

So perhaps I'd need to still cover it with a blanket?
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Old 05-11-2016, 06:42 PM
Captain Jim Captain Jim is offline
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That photo shows the size perspective. Having done a week-long trip in a Miata once, I know it requires some creative packing/positioning.

Cruising with the top down, playing your new guitar in fun new places - sounds like a good way to go!
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Old 05-11-2016, 09:42 PM
tonyo tonyo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pjmacd View Post
Would you be willing to post the recordings you made? I would love to hear the similarities and differences.
Here you go, it goes for about 6 and a half minutes....

https://www.reverbnation.com/tonyobe...mpling-journey

In the sound level meter in my Zoom H5 on playback the results were
- Journey (-18)
- EPI EF500 (-15ish)
- Taylor GS8 (-15ish)
- Harmony (-15ish)

Hard to come up with an average reading, a number closer to zero is louder. All 4 guitars were much the same, around the -18, but on pinching of strings, bass runs and such I noticed the wood guitars all jumped louder on the sound meter, hence the estimated levels above.

Play it lots! That should help my ReverbNation ranking. Ha!
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Old 05-11-2016, 11:09 PM
Earl49 Earl49 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tonyo View Post
....I notice the owner's guide for the Journey gives this caution:
"For carbon fiber models, while they are substantially more resilient to temperature and humidity changes than are wood models, exposures to high temperatures may damage the instrument and are ill-advised."
So perhaps I'd need to still cover it with a blanket?
When I lived in Alaska, the guitar would sometimes have to ride in the trunk or in the unheated back of the pickup truck, or in the cargo hold of an airplane. I would put case and all inside my survival sleeping bag, which always went everywhere with me. And that was for wood guitars. Never had any problems, but I would not leave them in the car overnight to get cold soaked. Cold is not a problem.

Heat beyond a certain point is not good for the resins and ultimately the material's overall strength, even for carbon fiber guitars. More durable, yes. Indestructible? No. I know that lots of people here keep their CF guitar in their car trunk all summer long, but I would still err toward caution.
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Old 05-12-2016, 10:05 AM
EvanB EvanB is offline
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Tony;

Very nice comparison. While the Journey does sound softer, it sounds to me like it also excels in note separation and clarity. Indeed, your sampling surprised me in the tonal quality of the Journey. If I had to pick a guitar from the from your demonstration I think I would probably run with the Journey. That might just be me--it will be interesting to hear what others have to say.

Thank you for taking the time to do this.
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Old 05-12-2016, 10:41 AM
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Acousticado Acousticado is offline
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Of course, I'm curious about tone among the various travel size guitars, but given the discussion about volume, I'll focus on that. The only such guitars I've owned or had a chance to play have been a Baby Taylor...which got crushed in the trunk of a rented convertible...which caused me to immediately replace with my new (at the time) '08 CA Cargo. The Cargo blows away the BT in every respect, including volume. What's impressive about the Cargo is its incredible volume (and tone) for its size, which can keep up just fine with full size guitars. I wonder if the same can be said for the Journey, Emerald X5 or X7, Blackbird Rider, or any other in the travel size category? It's unlikely that anyone other than Ted has broad-based experience, but anyone please feel free to share what you may know.
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Wood: '02 Taylor 814c | '18 Taylor 214ceDLX (Rosewood) | '18 Taylor 150e-12 String (Walnut) | '79 Ibanez Dread (First acoustic) | '02 Fender Strat - American '57 RI
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