EO Folding Travel Classical Guitar

Monteverde
Posts: 80
Joined: Mon Nov 16, 2015 2:54 pm

EO Folding Travel Classical Guitar

Post by Monteverde » Wed Aug 02, 2017 5:39 pm

Has anyone had experience with an EO Folding Travel Classical Guitar, made by Ken Hattersley of Hertfordshire, UK? The basic idea is similar to a SoloEtte, but Mr. Hattersley has developed and patented a mechanism for folding the neck between the 12th and 13th frets for travel, thereby reducing the length of the instrument to 42 cm when folded. The website for EO Guitars is easily found by a search.

Here is a photo, emailed to me by Mr. Hattersley, of a recent EO guitar. The capo-like device at the middle of the fretboard is a string retainer, which maintains tension on the strings when the neck is folded, so that retuning is quicker upon setting up the guitar for play.
EO Folding Travel Classical Guitar.jpg
Thanks in advance for your thoughts and comments.

Best regards,
Jon
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Laudiesdad69
Posts: 1392
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2016 1:16 pm

Re: EO Folding Travel Classical Guitar

Post by Laudiesdad69 » Thu Aug 03, 2017 11:34 pm

That looks really cool. And it's even smaller that a Soloette. I didn't see any pricing info on their website.

Whiteagle
Posts: 549
Joined: Wed Oct 27, 2010 8:48 am
Location: Wollongong, Australia

Re: EO Folding Travel Classical Guitar

Post by Whiteagle » Fri Aug 04, 2017 12:56 pm

Monteverde wrote:
Wed Aug 02, 2017 5:39 pm
Has anyone had experience with an EO Folding Travel Classical Guitar, made by Ken Hattersley of Hertfordshire, UK? The basic idea is similar to a SoloEtte, but Mr. Hattersley has developed and patented a mechanism for folding the neck between the 12th and 13th frets for travel, thereby reducing the length of the instrument to 42 cm when folded. The website for EO Guitars is easily found by a search.

Here is a photo, emailed to me by Mr. Hattersley, of a recent EO guitar. The capo-like device at the middle of the fretboard is a string retainer, which maintains tension on the strings when the neck is folded, so that retuning is quicker upon setting up the guitar for play.

EO Folding Travel Classical Guitar.jpg

Thanks in advance for your thoughts and comments.

Best regards,
Jon
Hi, how much does it cost?

Monteverde
Posts: 80
Joined: Mon Nov 16, 2015 2:54 pm

Re: EO Folding Travel Classical Guitar

Post by Monteverde » Fri Aug 04, 2017 8:59 pm

Laudiesdad69 wrote:
Thu Aug 03, 2017 11:34 pm
That looks really cool. And it's even smaller that a Soloette. I didn't see any pricing info on their website.
Whiteagle wrote:
Fri Aug 04, 2017 12:56 pm
Hi, how much does it cost?
Hi Scott and Whiteagle --

The price quoted to me by Ken Hattersley in an email earlier this week was 459 GBP (about 600 US dollars), with 4-day insured and tracked shipping to the US costing about 67 GBP (about 100 US dollars). In the US, at least, this means the cost is roughly on a par with the retail price of the new Yamaha SLG 200NW. The EO guitar is an interesting idea; what I don't know -- and I don't mean to be impolite about it, it is simply a reflection of my ignorance and of my never having seen or played an EO guitar -- is how well-executed it is. I was hoping that one or more of our UK members might have had a chance to try one.

In his email, Mr. Hattersley stated that he offers a 7 day full refund, minus return shipping charges and repair cost of any damage incurred. From what I can tell by internet search, Mr. Hattersley is an engineer. I may email him and ask about his experience and training in guitar-making; if I do, I will post a follow-up note with what I learn.

Best regards,
Jon

Laudiesdad69
Posts: 1392
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2016 1:16 pm

Re: EO Folding Travel Classical Guitar

Post by Laudiesdad69 » Fri Aug 04, 2017 9:03 pm

Monteverde wrote:
Fri Aug 04, 2017 8:59 pm
Laudiesdad69 wrote:
Thu Aug 03, 2017 11:34 pm
That looks really cool. And it's even smaller that a Soloette. I didn't see any pricing info on their website.
Whiteagle wrote:
Fri Aug 04, 2017 12:56 pm
Hi, how much does it cost?
Hi Scott and Whiteagle --

The price quoted to me by Ken Hattersley in an email earlier this week was 459 GBP (about 600 US dollars), with 4-day insured and tracked shipping to the US costing about 67 GBP (about 100 US dollars). In the US, at least, this means the cost is roughly on a par with the retail price of the new Yamaha SLG 200NW. The EO guitar is an interesting idea; what I don't know -- and I don't mean to be impolite about it, it is simply a reflection of my ignorance and of my never having seen or played an EO guitar -- is how well-executed it is. I was hoping that one or more of our UK members might have had a chance to try one.

In his email, Mr. Hattersley stated that he offers a 7 day full refund, minus return shipping charges and repair cost of any damage incurred. From what I can tell by internet search, Mr. Hattersley is an engineer. I may email him and ask about his experience and training in guitar-making; if I do, I will post a follow-up note with what I learn.

Best regards,
Jon
I look forward to your post,
Scott

Whiteagle
Posts: 549
Joined: Wed Oct 27, 2010 8:48 am
Location: Wollongong, Australia

Re: EO Folding Travel Classical Guitar

Post by Whiteagle » Sat Aug 19, 2017 9:17 am

Monteverde wrote:
Fri Aug 04, 2017 8:59 pm
Laudiesdad69 wrote:
Thu Aug 03, 2017 11:34 pm
That looks really cool. And it's even smaller that a Soloette. I didn't see any pricing info on their website.
Whiteagle wrote:
Fri Aug 04, 2017 12:56 pm
Hi, how much does it cost?
Hi Scott and Whiteagle --

The price quoted to me by Ken Hattersley in an email earlier this week was 459 GBP (about 600 US dollars), with 4-day insured and tracked shipping to the US costing about 67 GBP (about 100 US dollars). In the US, at least, this means the cost is roughly on a par with the retail price of the new Yamaha SLG 200NW. The EO guitar is an interesting idea; what I don't know -- and I don't mean to be impolite about it, it is simply a reflection of my ignorance and of my never having seen or played an EO guitar -- is how well-executed it is. I was hoping that one or more of our UK members might have had a chance to try one.

In his email, Mr. Hattersley stated that he offers a 7 day full refund, minus return shipping charges and repair cost of any damage incurred. From what I can tell by internet search, Mr. Hattersley is an engineer. I may email him and ask about his experience and training in guitar-making; if I do, I will post a follow-up note with what I learn.

Best regards,
Jon
Did you buy one?

Monteverde
Posts: 80
Joined: Mon Nov 16, 2015 2:54 pm

Re: EO Folding Travel Classical Guitar

Post by Monteverde » Fri Sep 01, 2017 7:40 pm

Whiteagle wrote:
Sat Aug 19, 2017 9:17 am
Did you buy one?
Hi Whiteagle --

My apologies for the delay in replying to your question. I haven't purchased one, yet; I am still thinking about it and comparing it to other options. I have exchanged a couple more emails with Ken Hattersley, maker of the EO guitar, to gather more information. Excerpts of his replies to my questions are pasted below, along with some photographs that are not on the EO guitar website.

Regarding the ergonomics of the EO guitar:
"You're absolutely correct about the fret / string / joint geometry - this has to be right to have a guitar, so there is focus on the precision of the parts and way the joint is integrated with the fretboard and body - my goal has always to achieve the tactile playability of any quality guitar from the reference points of hands, leg and RH arm."

"The current standard does include the anhedral of 7 degrees in the side wings. What are your thoughts on this? This has been an enduring feature and originally the thinking was that the rake provides better stability and RH reach as it makes the front of the guitar project a bit more under the RH arm. The Eo has a centre of balance over the Xiv fret, so it sits well in the lap."

"I was initially concerned about the wing shape / angle acceptance - amongst the numerous other ergonomic factors in such a guitar and as with any new product I have sought validation of the design and am required and happy to take the feedback. What I can say is that in all the instruments sold to professionals, keen amateurs and through retail I can say that no one has once mentioned the rake angle in any adverse way, so I have continued to use this, but as I say it is totally easy to revise if required. "

"I did have a comment once from a person who felt the that the wings should be front-planar, based on a visual although he never actually tried the instrument. As I say it is easy to change if required. "

"Given the concern with the wing shapes I could easily provide them in the same plane as the guitar front. "

"I have had comments about the size of the wings, some players like a larger shape and I can provide a standard upper/ lower bout profile (38/48cm) if required."

Regarding the construction of the instrument, especially the folding joint and the fretboard/string set up:
"It has been very much an engineering thing. The joint, being CNC made is strong, stable, and precisely dimensioned and integrated with the wood parts which are carefully dimensioned and controlled. The components are sized / measured accurately before they are all fitted together and once assembled I check to get the fret top planarity. Once built and strung after a period of time to let everything settle (chiefly the neck contour), the nut and saddle are cut to achieve a standard 3.5mm clearance at Xii fret /E2 and 3.00mm for flamenco models. The principles and end goals are the same as with any guitar building, accommodating the behaviours (and foibles) of the standard materials but adapted and extended for the extra joint component."

Regarding Ken Hattersley's experience and training in guitar-making and his development of the EO guitar:
"I am an engineer (radio and communications) by profession and have keenly played guitar in classical ensembles / duos for many years. The travelling and living away from home in my job, problematically trying to keep a full size guitar with me to rehearse gave rise to considering how to miniaturise the guitar for better portability and the obvious concept of a nonacoustic body, folding neck came to me probably 20 years ago. Initially, as a spare time personal challenge to make a small but fully playable guitar with an articulated neck, I developed working instruments and got the patents in around 2007. Having a full time job limited the rate of progress a bit but I built small batches and supplied acquaintances. After 2014 I started selling thru the major London retail outlet which helped shape the merchantable package more or less as it appears today. The field population is more than 45 instrument-years in customers hands, the oldest dating back to before 2011 and currently I am finishing serial Nr 51."

EO Guitar Side View:
EO Guitar Side View.jpg

EO Guitar Side View Detail:
EO Guitar Side View Detail.jpg

EO Guitar Back (protective pink PVC tape covers metal hinge parts)
EO Guitar Back (protective pink PVC tape covers metal hinge parts).jpg

EO Guitar Folding Joint Detail Back:
EO Guitar Folding Joint Detail Back.jpg

EO Guitar Folded:
EO Guitar Folded.jpg
I hope that information is of some interest.

Best regards,
Jon
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Whiteagle
Posts: 549
Joined: Wed Oct 27, 2010 8:48 am
Location: Wollongong, Australia

Re: EO Folding Travel Classical Guitar

Post by Whiteagle » Sun Sep 03, 2017 8:18 am

Thanks Monteverde. This information is very enlightening. If you do buy one would love to hear how it goes.

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