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Traveler Guitar Escape Mark III Acoustic-Electric Travel Guitar with Gig Bag
- Full 25 1/2" scale acoustic/electric travel guitar
- Alder body with bolt-on maple neck; natural finish
- Custom Shadow preamp w/headphone out and 1/8" aux-in
- Built-in chromatic tuner
- Deluxe gig bag included
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From the manufacturer
Mark III Acoustic-Electric Travel Guitar with Gig Bag
With advanced features for the discriminating player on-the-go
The Escape Mark III is a full 25 1/2 inch-scale acoustic/electric travel guitar with a headphone amp built in. The proprietary In-Body Tuning System uses standard tuning machines relocated into the body, eliminating the need for a headstock. As a result, you’ll have the same full-scale playing experience you’re used to on an instrument that’s 26% shorter and 47% thinner than a typical, full-sized acoustic. The built-in Shadow headphone amplifier produces a crisp, clean signal through headphones for private practice sessions. A Shadow Nanoflex pickup under the saddle senses the vibrations of the strings and body for an acoustic-style sound without the bulk of a resonant body. The control plate includes volume, treble and bass controls, a built-in chromatic tuner as well as a headphone output and aux-in for jamming along with your favorite tracks. A standard ¼ inch output jack allows you to plug into your favorite amp.
Features include an alder body with cutaway for high fret access, and a bolt-on maple neck with rosewood fingerboard. It has standard tuning machines and uses standard acoustic strings, measures only 29 1/2 inch long, and is ready to play right out of the gig bag. The Escape Mark III is a perfect solution for traveling acoustic players unwilling to compromise on scale length, and looking for a compact yet comfortable guitar. Fits easily in airline overhead compartments in the included Deluxe Gig Bag.
The Escape Mark III has the same playing area as a standard acoustic guitar, preserving the full-sized playing experience in a much smaller package.
Built-in Headphone Amp w/ Tuner
With the Mark III’s built-in preamp, you can plug in to your favorite amp, go direct into a mixer, or connect headphones for a private practice session.
The In-Body Tuning System and minimalistic body preserve playability and portability.
Take it anywhere
Measuring just 31 1/2 inch in length and weighing only 6 pounds 10 ounces in its included gig bag, the Escape Mark III can go wherever you want to take it.
Scale Length: 25 1/2 inch
Electronics: Custom Shadow preamp w/onboard EQ, headphone amp and built-in tuner
Pickup(s): Shadow Nanoflex
Finish: Natural Satin
Fingerboard: Ebonized Rosewood
Fingerboard Inlays: Pearloid Dot
Frets: 22 Medium
Hardware: Chrome 14:1 closed gear (Closed Gear)
Neck Width at Nut: 1 3/4 inch
Strings: D’Addario EJ-15
Overall Length: 29 1/2 inch
Overall Depth: 2 1/8 inch
Body Thickness: 1 5/8 inch
Body Width: 10 3/4 inch
Gig Bag LxWxH: 31 1/2 x 13 x 4 1/2 (inch)
Weight: 4 pounds, 8 ounce
Weight in Gig Bag: 6 pounds, 10 ounce
Audio Output: Standard 1/4 inch jack, 1/8 inch headphone out
Instrument Input: 1/8 inch aux-in
Batteries: 2 x AAA
Q: Can I use regular guitar strings on a Traveler Guitar?
A: Yes. Feel free to use your favorite brand of guitar strings. The Escape MK III has D'Addario EJ15 strings factory installed.
Q: How loud is the Traveler Guitar Escape MK III?
A: The Traveler Guitar Escape MK III is a solid body acoustic/electric hybrid. It sounds as loud as an unplugged electric guitar.
Q: Can I use a strap on a Traveler Guitar?
A: Yes. All our guitars are equipped with strap pins.
Q: Does the Escape MK III have a truss-rod?
A: Yes. All our guitars have fully adjustable truss rods.
Q: Can I plug the Escape MK III into amp?
A: Yes. All of our guitars come with a standard ¼ inch output jack.
Q: Is the Escape MK III full scale?
A: Yes. All of our 6-string guitars are full scale.
Q: What kind of warranty does the guitar come with?
A: Traveler Guitar instruments come with a limited lifetime warranty.
Q: Can I install locking tuners on the Escape MK III?
A: Yes, contact Traveler Guitar for specifics on models that can easily be installed.
Q: Can I carry the Escape MK III on an airplane?
A: We've carried our guitars on every major airline over the past 22 years—and we've never had a customer complain that they had a problem carrying their Traveler Guitar on a commercial flight. However, airline administrators control what they allow on their jets—so it's best to check your airline's website for details, or call before you arrive at the airport.
About Traveler Guitar
Since 1992, Traveler Guitar has been the leading innovator in the design and manufacture of full-scale travel guitars. After two decades, we’re still focused on the same goal: providing high quality, portable solutions for mobile musicians. From our original Pro-Series model, to the cutting edge EG-1 Custom, to the revolutionary Traveler Acoustic Series, our guitars have traveled all over the world, from a submarine deep in the Atlantic to the peak of Mt. Everest.
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This item Traveler Guitar Escape Mark III Acoustic-Electric Travel Guitar with Gig Bag
|Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping|
|Sold By||Amazon.com||Amazon.com||Amazon.com||Sam Ash||Amazon.com||Music123|
|Body Material Type||Alder||laminated-wood||laminated-wood||Alder||laminated-wood||Maple|
|Hand Orientation||Right Handed||Right Handed||Right Handed||Right Handed||Right Handed||Right Handed|
|Neck Material Type||Maple||Maple||Maple||Maple||Maple||—|
|Number of Strings||6||6||6||6||6||6|
The Escape Mark III is a full-scale acoustic/electric travel guitar with advanced features for the discriminating player on-the-go. Features include an ergonomic body co-designed by John Carruthers, a full 25 ½”-scale neck, and completely redesigned electronics featuring a Shadow Nano flex pickup and Shadow headphone amp/preamp, which features a 1/8” aux-in jack so you can plug in headphones and your mobile device and play anywhere. A standard 1/4" instrument output allows you to plug into any acoustic guitar amp or P.A. system. The Mark III comes with a Deluxe Gig Bag and fits in airline overhead compartments.
Top Customer Reviews
The original Mark III with the alder body has a bright, defined tone and is noticeably louder than the mahogany version. The mahogany Mark III in comparison has a much darker, warm tone and seemed slightly more muted. Personally, I preferred the darker, warm tone of the mahogany, but that's entirely a matter of subjective taste and I know many people may prefer the bright tone of the alder body. It was a tough choice, and the thing that really steered me toward the mahogany body was the sustain. It turned out that notes on the mahogany Mark III would sustain for several seconds longer than those on the alder-bodied Mark III. It was quite noticeable and reminded me so much of my Gibson Les Paul Standard that I decided that's the one I'd keep.
The Mark III is advertised as being an acoustic guitar, but I feel like that's sort of a mistake, or at least a misnomer. It's a solid-body guitar just like an electric, but uses acoustic strings and an under-saddle pickup like an acoustic. The result is something of a hybrid. If played without headphones or through an amp, it's more or less going to sound like playing an unamplified electric guitar (meaning very quiet). When used with headphones, the built-in amplifier (also a handy tuner) makes a pretty decent attempt at modeling a hollow bodied acoustic-electric guitar's sound, which I'm pretty certain is going to exceed most people's expectations. It also sounds great when played through an amplifier via the 1/4" output, though I feel like you need to judge that tone on it's own rather than trying to compare it to a full-size acoustic-electric guitar. The Mark III is sort of it's own beast, I think, and needs to be judged as such. When you do that, I think you'll be plenty happy with the sound of the Mark III guitars.
I also think the Mark III is remarkably playable for what it is. I have a Gibson Les Paul Standard, Fender American Deluxe, and Martin D35, and in direct comparison, well there isn't one. Those full-size guitars play much, much better. However, the Mark III is still fun to play, and I find I grab it a lot more often than the full-size guitars when I want to sit around on the couch and play while watching TV, which has the benefit of leading to a lot more practice/playing time. Honestly, I think having one of these sitting on a stand next to your couch is probably one the best things you can do to inspire you to play more often.
As far as the build quality and components go, I think Traveler offers a great value in these guitars. The tuners are very good (for this price level), but re-stringing them is a bit tricky due to the space-saving design (this is not a complaint, just a design reality/trade-off). Of the ones I've tried, they are all playable right out of the box, though I'm sure some people may want to take them into their luthier and have them fine-tuned to their preferences.
Fit and finish is generally quite good. However, one caveat here, I've noticed that many of the Traveler guitars I've used/seen are perfect, but a few will have slight manufacturing blemishes/defects in the finish. It seems the same could be said of all guitar manufacturers though (I've been disappointed by both American-made Fender and Gibson in the past on their flagship products as well). If you order one sight-unseen, you are most likely to get one that's perfect, but there's a slight chance you won't (maybe it was a Friday in China where they're made). I'm picky and return the one's I've received with blemishes, but others may not care as the reality is you're eventually going to put more dings in them than even the worst will arrive with when new.
If someone told me they wanted to learn guitar, and asked what they should purchase, I might actually suggest the Mark III. I think it's a better quality instrument than you'd generally get for a similarly priced full-size guitar. I think the size makes it a lot more convenient to play and practice with casually, which will have a beginner doing that more often. There's also always this argument about whether it's better to learn on an acoustic or electric because of the strings (acoustic strings being less forgiving and therefore force the development of better habits). Well, this one has acoustic strings, but since it's solid body and built to be used with headphones, it's quiet and a beginner won't drive anyone nuts hacking around on a full-size acoustic, which are actually quite loud in a home environment. Given that the neck is full-size, eventually graduating to a full-size guitar will be easy, and I think the small body size and shape of these guitars actually leads to learning better picking hand placement from the get go; there's so much space to rest your hand on a full-size that I think it's easy to get lazy with your picking hand. The positioning of the tuners on the Mark III also keeps you from developing the bad habit of resting your little finger on the guitar when arpeggiating (that's a bad habit that will eventually hold your playing back).
Obviously, the reason most people will be turning toward these guitars is portability. Personally, I think Traveler has really done a fantastic job with their entire line of travel guitars with their novel design that allows them to reduce the size and weight while retaining a full-size neck. I've tried other travel guitars and hated them; they all have shortened necks, are unbalanced and awkward to hold, and typically sound horrible. Traveler offers a hollow-bodied acoustic travel guitar (AG-105EQ), which I also have and love, but it's not as airline friendly as they'd like you to believe (it's more car-camping friendly). The Mark III, when in its travel bag, is just small enough not to raise any eyebrows if you're bringing it along with another carryon as a personal item. I also have the exceptionally tiny Traveler Pro-Series which is another great option, and much easier to travel with, but it doesn't have the built-in headphone amplifier/tuner, which means you have to basically hack something together with a separate headphone amplifier to get sound out of it.
One last thing. I discovered that the Mark III pairs really well with the Bose Soundlink III speaker if you connect the Mark III's headphone amp to it via the Soundlink's AUX input. That particular speaker doesn't distort at high volumes and the combination of the two leaves you with a remarkable rendition of playing a full-size acoustic guitar in overall tone and volume. The speaker easily fits in the Mark III gig bag's accessory pouch and gives you several hours of rechargeable battery powered playing time wherever you go. However, the Soundlink III should not be confused with an amplifier, it's not, it's a speaker. If you're looking for a great portable acoustic amplifier and some effects to go with the Mark III, then I suggest the Yamaha THR5A. The Yamaha amp sounds excellent with the Mark III, is designed to play well with the under-saddle pickup, and you can power it with regular AA batteries. However, the THR5A, though compact, will not fit in the Mark III's gig bag and so isn't as travel-worthy a setup.
Let's just say I've been searching for something like this all of my 55 years of playing guitar. It's a bit pricey for what it is. Meaning that as much as I love it, I wouldn't pay more for it, but still at this price it's just what the Dr ordered!
For the on-board pre-amp, I used a pair of $20 on-ear Amazon head-phones which I use for casual everything else listening. The sound was muddy but it was still good enough that I could practice some of the more gross fretboard fingering techniques and exercises while away from my gear in my rehearsal studio. And yes, I did use the on-board bass and treble adjustments and it cleaned it up to a point but not well enough so it sounded above a small portable amp (think "PigNose"). But good enough for a traveling guitar player away from their gear. And it was fine without being plugged in for just working on my licks and chords sitting on the bed.
I bought a blonde "Warehouse Deals" version which cost a lot less (I wanted the mahogany version but they didn't have one in Warehouse Deals). Unfortunately, the "phase" button did not function at all so I had toreturn it. Which raises the fact that they are marked "made in China," if that matters to you.
I would like to save up and replace the defective Blonde version I'm returning for a new Mahogany version even though it costs more.
I recommend this Traveler Guitar Mark III.