The hinge mechanism is finely made; the strapbolt
on the heel easily loosens, taking the
tension down slightly, so that when you do the
fold over the impact is somewhat diminished.
The hinge itself looks like something that
would move a robotic arm—it’s a very fluid
motion, clean and smooth. Taking it back up
again is a little tricky the first couple times, but
once you get the hang of it, it is a lot easier.
You have to hold it pretty firmly to allow the
bolt to meet the opening, but it catches quickly
and tightens easily. You don’t have to torque
it down with an air wrench for it to be
secure—just tighten it until you can’t move it
with your fingers anymore and it’s good to go.
Jody Maphis is a “power-user;” he gigs with
his Voyage-air on a nightly basis, folding and
unfolding it several times throughout a single
night, and says the guitar is unbelievably durable
and hasn’t given him a minute of trouble in
all the years he’s had it.
Just because I’m a skeptic, I folded and unfolded
it a few times back and forth. The guitar
eventually went out of tune after four folds,
but it only needed a little tweaking to get back
into tune again. I’ve owned guitars in the past
that wouldn’t stay in tune for a day without
being folded, so it’s not really a mark against
the Voyage-air that it de-tunes after you fold it
a few times. In fact, it would scare me a bit if
The action on the guitar I got from the factory
was set a little high for my taste, however
a zero-fret and compensated saddle make
additional setup pretty straight forward. As it
sits, it’s very playable and frets perfectly clean
all the way up with no intonation issues at all.
The seam where the hinge is hidden is about
3/8” from where the heel meets the body, and
you can barely feel it when you’re fretting up
around the cutaway. Nut widths at this point are
standardized—1-11/16” for the dreadnaughts
and 1-3/4” for the OM—but Leach says if there
is enough demand, they may consider offering
some factory alternatives in the future.
The Corian nut is very interesting—it’s a “no
release” design, so when you release the
screw and fold the guitar over, the strings
stay in place at the headstock, and you can
simply roll them neatly out of the way into the
soundhole. The zero-fret works beautifully to
keep the strings at the proper height, while the
no-release nut locks them into place for the
The factory can install a pickup for you if
desired; their standard is the L.R. Baggs Active
Element, but any pickup that attaches to the
underside of the top (such as a Baggs I-Beam,
a B-Band or K&K) will work just fine.
The Final Mojo
If you travel at all with your guitar, many of the
experiences related above will ring very true
to you. Personally, I love that there is enough
room in the case for cables, mics, DI/effects
pedals and a small guitar stand, and there’s still
room in the extra compartment for my laptop
and recorder—and I can throw it on my back
and carry my amp in one hand and a bag full
of merch in the other. The more compact and
self-contained we artists can be, the easier our
lives get and the fewer expenses we have. It’s
a beautiful equation, and the bonus points
are that this is a fantastically good guitar that
sounds, plays and feels like one of the best
factory made guitars out there. At a retail price
of $1695, the value is through the roof, making
this a real no-brainer.
you travel at all and you need
a very real guitar.
you never make it past your front
porch and you’re completely in love
with all the guitars you already own.