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Travel guitars often come up short; small versions of full size guitars, with compromised tone and playability. Traditional construction also fails to deliver when subjected to different environments, as well as overall durability. Klos (pronounced close) Guitars rethought the whole concept, with a full scale acoustic/electric that can take the abuse of travel.
Our test model came in a smallish flat pack box, with the neck and body in separate gig bags. Not to worry though, the Mahogany neck and the carbon fiber body follow the bolt on design that’s usually found on electric guitars. Threaded inserts in the neck provide a positive contact and proper placement of the neck in the body. The instructions were clear, and all the tools were included to assemble it — within 5 minutes it was ready to go.
The Mahogany neck has a gloss finish with a blackwood fingerboard, and the frets are finished off nicely. Most acoustics have a tilt back headstock, but again Klos followed the zero angle design found on bolt on guitars, eliminating any headstock breakage issues. It’s also quite small, with just enough space to fit the tuning machines. What you can’t see are the carbon fiber stiffening rods inside the neck, which provide additional stability. What this means is less having to adjust the truss rod, as the guitar travels through varying environments.
Two pieces of carbon fiber comprise the body; the back is a molded weave, with a gloss finish, and the top is made from a separate piece in a satin finish. Underneath isn’t the usual x-style bracing, with two braces that run parallel to the strings. While it may look like a short scale instrument, it’s a full 24.75” scale, with just a downscaled dreadnaught size body. It’s also hyper lightweight. Fishman’s Sonitone Pickup system is installed with the volume and tone controls, stealthily placed inside the soundhole’s edge.
So, with all that technology, how does it sound? First impressions were a slightly brighter response overall, which was odd, but then realizing the picking hand was naturally going to an area closer to the bridge. This is probably due to it being a small form body, with a full scale length. Changing our picking nearer to the soundhole, it warmed up nicely. The action was nice and smooth, lead/melody parts just seemed to pour out easily like a liquid. It felt like a great acoustic should, with immediate response and an overall natural feel. There is plenty of loudness, and the tone is quite full and rich overall. The Klos easily outclasses other travel size and short scale guitars in overall sound quality. The Fishman pickup has plenty of clarity and depth as well, with enough sparkle to cut, and enough chunk for big rhythm parts.
Players who travel a lot, this is the one for you. It’s travel sized, and travel designed, but delivers full scale sound and feel with no worries as to what climate you’ll be playing in.
Well designed, durable construction, great sound