Tacoma SP-1 Papoose Reviews 5

I was looking for a travel guitar that wouldn't be a hassle getting on a plane, and that wouldn't be disruptive playing in a hotel room at all hours. I chose to go the electric route because of the second reason. I purchased the Papoose new, with the hardshell case (a must), from Fairview Music in Downers Grove Illinois for $400 out the door.

The action on this little thing is incredible. It has sustain out the wazoo. And with all this great sound, you can plug in your headphones RIGHT TO THE GUITAR. It has a built in amp, with gain, that is powered by a 9 volt battery. The gain is adjustable by the second knob on the body, with the first knob being the volume and gain on/off switch, that by pulling it out. It is tuned in A as the first string, equivalent to a capo on the fifth fret. It took a little while to get used to the high notes, as it always sounded very mandolin-ish.

It's hard to pick this guitar apart because I spent a lot time comparing to make this purchase. It is not a toy, though it looks like one. I would have liked a tone control on the guitar, as well as volume and gain. With just a very light satin finish on the solid mahogany body, the body is somewhat fragile to dings. I guess that's just the character of a travel guitar.

Tacoma has a reputation of well built acoustics, and this guitar, being their only electric, is no exception. With the solid mahogany body, leading to great sustain, but the aforementioned dings, and the familiar Tacoma bolt-on neck, it is very functional. A single Seymour-Duncan P/U sounds great over headphones, and can rock the house plugged into the 1/4" jack also provided to go your marshall half-stack.

For what I wanted, this guitar fit the bill. The hardshell case is mandolin-size, and therefore no problem on flights. It has enough storage space to also fit a Smokey Amp, about the size of a cigarette pack, complete with speaker. Altough I play strictly acoustics at home, on the road I must make concessions. This can give me the clean sound of jazz or just downright grunge. I'll even play it occasionally at home for a change. As it is said, "it is what it is", a great travel guitar that can keep your chops and provide some fun along with it.

Steve Kull rated this unit 5 on 2001-06-27.

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