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Quick Hit: Traveler Guitar LTD EC-1 Review

Quick Hit: Traveler Guitar LTD EC-1 Review

If you’re burned out on TSA hassles or have even given up on traveling with a guitar, here’s a way to fret more and fret less at the same time.

The “travel guitar” moniker often just means an instrument is smaller, cheaper, and/or kind of toy-like. Not so with Traveler Guitar. They’ve been in the portable-guitar biz for 25 years and have built a reputation on quality construction and full-scale playability, so guitarists don’t feel like they’re giving something up by going stealth.

The all-mahogany, ESP-humbucker-loaded LTD EC-1 speaks to the aforementioned construction. I didn’t find a single blemish or component connection off-kilter, the fretwork was clean and buttery smooth, and the setup excellent. One of the coolest features of a Traveler is the ability to simply plug in a set of headphones and rip wherever and however loud you like. Opting for headphones to start, I effortlessly shifted through the four available settings—clean, boost, overdrive, and distortion—which are accessed through the push-activated tone pot. Strong, distinct, unwanted-noise-free tones were delivered thanks to the EC-1’s preamp and active pickup, and each setting inspired sound-appropriate riffing. (I spent most of my time in overdrive land thanks to its creamy growl.)

The EC-1 is a light and tight guitar that’s fun to play, but spending $600 on what will likely be an auxiliary axe might sting a bit. However, for those who simply must have a guitar in close range always, and one that actually plays/sounds like a real instrument you’d be fine gigging with, the EC-1 will fit that role nicely.

Test gear: Monster Inspiration headphones, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 interface, C.M.I. Electronics SG-212 combo



Impressive build, good tones, onboard effects, and you can take it and play it just about anywhere. Nice gig bag.

Tuners take some getting used to.


Traveler Guitar LTD EC-1