We all love to travel, but sometimes we miss our home comforts. And most of us wouldn’t think to drag an instrument around! But for some guitar players, being without their trusted six string is unthinkable.
As any musician knows, carrying an acoustic guitar around is beset with problems. It’s not like we have a crew of roadies to carry our gear! Planes, trains, and automobiles present all kinds of barriers. While often, the size and weight of the case and instrument cause difficulties on the road.
So is there a compromise? As it happens, there is. You’re about to learn all about it in this Washburn RO10 Rover Steel String Acoustic Guitar Review…
The Wild Rover
Washburn is a familiar name to any budding strummer. With a rich history of producing quality instruments, this is a company we can trust. And the Rover is their solution for the nomadic player.
So, let’s begin with a look at some key features this guitar offers…
As with every travel guitar, size matters; we require something light and easily portable. Weighing in at just over two pounds, this lightweight instrument still packs a punch!
Many other contenders sacrifice scale length to reduce size. But that doesn’t happen here.
Why is that important?
Well, offering a 24 inch neck allows us to play across the entire fretboard, just as we would with any normal guitar. We can strum all our favorite tunes without losing any range of scale.
The diminutive body size means that it can be carried as hand luggage and will easily fit in any overhead storage bin. So, no more oversized luggage hassles!
Washburn, don’t compromise in this department! They offer a time-honored mahogany body, combined with a solid spruce top. It gives an awesome tone, despite having that pint-sized sound box.
The rosewood fretboard bound to the mahogany neck feels smooth and comfortable to play. And the string action is just right. It allows effortless movement up and down the neck so, there’s no fret buzz!
Staying in tune is easy. The machine heads turn smoothly. They hold the string tension nicely, and the metal heads look better and function better than the plastic alternatives.
Truss rod included…
Unlike some travel guitars, this features a truss rod. Constructed from hardy aluminum, it runs inside the neck of the guitar, sitting under the fretboard. It allows us to adjust the neck to our liking, in the case of bowing or warping.
Overall, as with all Washburn guitars, the construction quality is very good.
Given the limitations of the body size, the guitar is, understandably, lacking some of the rich, mid, and deeper tones of regular acoustic guitars. The upper bout and waist are very slim. Therefore, without the bigger body of traditional instruments, we have to expect some loss of tone.
But it’s not all bad! This slender construction leads to a pleasant, bright sound. Its jangly tone is sure to brighten up the day of any traveler!
Superb around the campfire…
Despite its small stature, it projects a greater volume than expected. Don’t worry, though; it’s not too loud! Perfect for the campsite, it won’t drown out the conversation or wake the neighbors.
So, what’s the catch?
This instrument is not for the novice. Due to the nature of the design, the guitar is neck heavy.
Why does this matter?
It takes a more experienced player to adapt to the balance. To get the best from this guitar, the strap is essential. This will help us compensate and counterbalance the weight. It can be awkward to play sitting down, and you need to adopt the classical style. Thankfully a strap is provided, which we recommend using at all times.
Once we fine tune our style, this becomes a fun little instrument to play. The neck is simple to navigate. There is no need for a cutaway here as it is easy to reach the higher frets.
Plenty of space…
Whether playing chords or fingerpicking, you can easily knock out your favorite hits. There is just enough room on the body, and there is space to rest our hand, making this a super comfortable guitar to play.
This is no old school acoustic. The shape of this guitar stands out from more traditional styles. This modern, slender shape not only curbs weight, but it also presents a sleek, stylish design.
At first glance, this may appear odd, but we grew to love those curves and lines. There are also some fantastic finishing touches on the headstock and bridge. Overall, we have an instrument that’s eye catching and unique.
There are also different color options! We can choose from three different hues. Although we have to say, we love the natural spruce look.
Room for all the little extras…
Included is a foam case with heaps of storage space. Both internally and externally, it has a variety of pockets to keep all your accessories in place. Plus, backpack style luggage straps allow you to easily carry the instrument when roaming.
So is this guitar only for use on the road?
Such a lightweight and compact instrument means that we can use this anywhere, anytime. Whether curled up on the couch or lounging in a hammock, this is a great mini guitar to whimsically waste away the hours.
This is such a fun instrument to play that we often found ourselves drawn to it. Whilst some smaller guitars can feel like children’s toys, don’t be fooled. We don’t consider this a novelty instrument in any way; this is for serious players.
Washburn RO10 Rover Steel String Acoustic Guitar Review Pros and Cons
- Great build quality.
- Easily portable.
- Standard scale length neck.
- Sturdy case.
- Impressive sound projection.
- Neck heavy, making it harder to play.
- Lacking deeper tones.
Looking for more superb Acoustic Options?
You may also be interested in some alternatives; if so, then take a look at our in-depth review s of the Traveler Guitar 6 String Escape Mark III and our Traveler Guitar 6 String Acoustic Electric Guitar Review.
Or if you think you would prefer a more traditional acoustic, check out our reviews of the Martin LX1 Little Martin, the Taylor GS Mini, the Epiphone EJ 200SCE, the Epiphone AJ 220S, the Taylor BBT Big Baby, and the excellent Epiphone Hummingbird Pro.
Washburn RO10 Rover Steel String Acoustic Guitar Review Conclusion
There is a lot to love about this baby six string. When living life on the road, having a trusted instrument by your side is a must.
Aimed at the more serious strummer, this guitar aims to tick all the boxes. But that is difficult to get it right! There will always be a balancing act between size, sound, and playability.
Have Washburn managed to strike the right balance?
Well, by not conceding on quality, we think they have!
Here we have a great solution. A small but punchy little travel guitar that allows you to wander the globe strumming away to your heart’s content. Time to pack up our troubles and hit the road.
Happy musical traveling.