Modular travel guitar packs down into a laptop case
We've seen a number of Kickstarters for folding or break-apart guitars over the years, including the Freccia, the Genesis, the Mercury, and even a TravelBass (though only the lattermost was successfully funded). France's Reveho is also taking the crowdfunding route to production for the Slite collapsible travel guitar, which can be packed down into a 18 x 11 x 4-inch (45.5 x 28 x 10-cm) travel case.
The first Slite prototypes were built for student science and innovation competitions by Alexandre Albisser, where he got to present his design on the international stage in Hong Kong. Five years later he launched Reveho with Lucas Charron and his brother Mickaël, and now the startup is preparing the instrument for a Kickstarter due to launch on September 9.
The guitar is made up of five main components – an aluminum middle core with a wood spine, plastic upper body, plastic lower body, and two maple neck parts. All the components slide together to form a futuristic-looking single-cut guitar, with assembly reckoned to take just 20 seconds. Alexandre Albisser told us that "once the instrument is assembled, connectors embedded in the junctions allow analog and digital signals to communicate between the different parts."
The strings run from the open headstock to a fully adjustable, odd-looking bridge and down into the middle core. A coiling system looks after the strings when the instrument is collapsed in the case, but a string tensioning system brings them to tune when assembled – though temperature and humidity variations might make small manual corrections necessary.
Reveho is promising a continuous grain on the 25.5-inch scale, 24-fret wood neck when the two parts are slotted together, with adjustable trussrods and steel reinforcement rods keeping things solid.
The Slite is modular, and can be had with a built-in pre-amp, onboard effects and built- in speakers (there's a headphone out for quiet noodling too). The battery should be good for up to six hours of play time between charges, though it can be played without power. A standard output jack allows you to cable up to an amplifier, and there's USB-C connectivity. Touch-enabled volume/tone controls are available on the lower wing.
There will be two Kickstarter flavors on offer next month, the base model and the amp model. The base features swappable pickups, a headphone amp and an empty top body component. The amp packs an amplifier and speaker system into the upper wing, and includes an auxiliary input for feeding in backing tracks from a source music device.
Pledges are expected to start at €1,549/US$1,779 for the base model and laptop-sized travel case package, and €1,819/$2,099 for the amp and case package. Add-ons like a second pickup set and effects module will also be up for grabs. The video below has more.
Update Sept. 10, 2020: The Kickstarter campaign is now live, with shipping estimated to start in March 2021 if all goes to plan.