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The Cupit Travel Guitar- Review
The Cupit Travel Guitar
Strings: Medium gauge .013 - .056
Length: 22.5" (This measure is from end to end)
Case: Custom fitted case repels water and protects guitar. The back straps and handle make for easy carrying.
Weight: 4.5 lbs. including case.
Price shipped: $370.00 m/l from the only source in the world right now, Cupit Music
Jerry Cupits Ingenious Design!
“…patented revolutionary unique design…. better listening perspective for the player…”
that’s the pitch you read on the web page dedicated to this unique little travel guitar,.. The Cupit Travel Guitar” and for the purchase price of $370 with shipping,. It better live up to the hype. But that’s just the conundrum,.. There is no hype! A virtual unknown in the travel guitar scene, the Cupit Travel Guitar is truly unique in its form and design, selling itself on artistic appearance alone.
I first stumbled across the tiny beast while google searching travel guitars, wishing a more compact model for he sidecar on my bike, and the image of the Cupit popped up on the image search. I was intrigued by its appearance, and then by the story of its design.
Jerry Cupit, long time Nashville song writer, producer, and label owner had been pondering the same question that I had, how to get a guitar into the saddle bags of his street glide. Not being able to find one that suited him, he set about designing and producing his own, the end result being the Cupit Travel Guitar.
With a design that joins the end of the neck to the body, Jerry removed the need of a truss rod, thereby eliminating one of the KEY complaints of all guitar owners, travel models especially,.. Movement of the neck affecting the tuning of the strings.
Then, by positioning not only an artful sound hole with the company logo front and center, complimented by a traditional F-hole, Jerry went one step further and placed 3 sound holes in the top side of the instrument to deliver a more full sound to the player. This makes the Cupit unique in that I thinks of what the player hears, in addition to what the listener hears. And what sound they hear! The amount of sound pushed from this small package was the FIRST thing the guys at the garage mentioned after the unique appearance, most of them are hard rock and metal heads living in country/blue-grass driven Missouri,... but they loved this!. I didn’t have it tuned up well yet so there were no test drives at the shop.
The tuning machines are more than adequate for the “A” tuning of the Cupit, and placed so well that they blend in with the lines of the guitar. It almost has an old world feel to it, as if I might be serenading lords and ladies in Tudor England,.. But lets not get crazy here,.. I know I can't pull off the tights.
The semi-hard case was one of the selling points for me! Only one other nationally available travel guitar comes with a semi-hard case (the Washburn Rover). I personally don’t see the wisdom in paying good money for a travel instrument and toting it around in little more than a drawstring gunny sack,.. so the "free gig bag" ploy was not working on me at all. (I also don’t have the gall to complain that my martin back packer or some other model wouldn’t stay in tune after admitting I bungeed it to the back of my bicycle in the provided gunny sack and took it over the Appalachian trail,.. duh!)
This case is nicely put together, right down to the embroidered logo, and VERY protective. I think it would be nice to have had a zippered pocket on the outside back, to keep a tuning fork, writing paper, pencils, etc. (must also say that while many musical instruments and cases of this type coming out of china have a heavy petroleum smell, this did not,.. At all)
Out of the box, this little bugger is ready to go after you tune it. The relief is more than agreeable, any buzz on the low “A” string does not appear until the 8th or 9th fret, and were your really walking that far up this much abbreviated neck anyway??
The Dreaded Caveats
I will say that this gem is very playable with 2 caveats,…
I have arthritis so I tend to always fault myself first when judging these things, but,.. There is a learning curve with the ergonomics of this bugger, a unique creature that must be held and played in a somewhat unique way,… but NOTHING that would be unable to be overcome,.. And well worth the doing so.
The Cupit has a very abbreviated neck, as Jerry has chopped off the top frets, when i would have been more comfy if they had sawn off the bottom end of the fret board. really, no one is actually gona shred on this thing,... it seems to have been intended for writing when on the road or confined spaces,.. not for shredding 2/3rds up the neck at lightning speed. (it doesn’t scream Metallica to me, lol!) by using the narrow fret space section of the scale, you’ve greatly impinged my ability to play because my fingers don’t like to cooperate in those confined spaces, ha!.... but I'm getting hang of it,.. slow but sure. Which is not to say others cannot do this, or might even be bothered by it at all,.. But I and my 40 yr old RA hands were.
The included strap buttons were employed immediately as I adjusted a strap and sat down in my ugly platform rocker to enjoy my new toy. I am still getting used to the tiny fret space but the over all ergonomics adjustments are already accomplished.
So overall?… what would I say?
Would I advise you to get one of these?… that depends. If you have the extra money to purchase a really unique piece for your collection, and love the idea of holding someone else’s vision in your hands,… yea,… go get one of these. The shipping is quick and customer service is great. The personal emails between myself and Dan Hager of Cupit Music were excellent and a tribute to their dedication to what they do.
However,.. If your needing a travel model guitar that is a bit more user friendly in scale and ergonomics,.. And you need it NOW with no time for acclimating to a new toy,.. No. go buy some other travel guitar like the Washburn Rover that also comes in a semi-hard case that is carry-on sized,… and then buy this one to play with till you get the hang of it when you have more time,… its worth the smiles on your friends faces when they see it.