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Extended trip to Moscow...

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ejwebb
(@ejwebb)
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Joined: 16 years ago
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All,

While I rarely post here, I regularly lurk and research and appreciate all the good info coming from the members of this forum. I am hoping you can help with my dilema...

There is a really good chance that I will be making an extended business trip to Moscow (3-6 months). While I will hate being away from my family for so long, it will be a good experience. However, I really have to determine what to do about a guitar as I certainly can't go that long - especially by myself - without playing regularly.

I could take my acoustic (Seagull Artist) but I am concerned about checking it, especially since it would count as one of my checked bags and I will likely need 2 bags of clothes, etc. for the long trip. I would also need to buy a flight case which is not cheap.

I could take one of my electrics (Squier Tele) as I could remove the neck (never done this before) - and include it in one of my checked bags - plus, I got a deal ($75) on it so would not be so concerned about it being damaged in the shipping process. However, I would also need an amp - my Honeytone would pack well but lacks tone - and my micro-cube takes up a bit more space but sounds great. I'll have my Macbook but would hate playing through headphones all the time...

I had considered getting a baby Martin (LXM) to take as a carry-on item, but with airlines cracking down on carry-on rules I am afraid it would end up checked anyway. I recently purchased a cheap uke on vacation and really enjoyed it - I considered getting a fluke or flea to take as carry-on and focus on really learning it while in Moscow - but it's not a guitar!

Of course, the best option might be to buy/rent something when I get there - and then sell/return it before I leave. But I have no idea what the guitar market is like in Moscow and am afraid the selection/prices are very limited.

Does anyone have any advice on travelling with a guitar by plane - or obtaining a guitar in Moscow?


   
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dogbite
(@dogbite)
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Moscow is a modern city. I bet you could find a guitar there. ask the desk clerk or a co worker there.
if you bring an electric then you will need an amp. those small battery amps are a riot.
breaking down an electric is easy.
I would be nervous about an acoustic on such a long journey.

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=644552
http://www.soundclick.com/couleerockinvaders


   
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ejwebb
(@ejwebb)
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Topic starter  

Thanks, Dogbite.

Yeah, i know it is a modern city and guitars are available. But I have read that some things are difficult to get - at reasonable prices, anyway. It is a city of 12 million people and relatively new to capitalism. I am wondering if anyone has personal experience with the number of guitar shops in the city and availability/pricing of new and used guitars.

I have pretty much ruled out taking an acoustic. Looks like the Tele and Honeytone amp. I played aroudn with the combo last night and can get a variety of sounds at low volume levels - which is all I really need.

As far as taking the neck off - is it really as simple as removing the strings and the 4 screws in the back? I'll have to give it a practice run before I go...


   
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Big Lar
(@big-lar)
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Joined: 16 years ago
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You are talking about hotel stays so you are definitely looking for a headphone amp right? Might be a good reason to pick up a Pocket Pod (or even its big brother) if you don't already have one.

Pocket Pod at Musician's Friend

I wish I had a good reason to drop the coin. I already have a small headphone amp. :(


   
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gnease
(@gnease)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5038
 

For air travel, I remove the necks from some my guitars just as you describe. Not necessary, but if you are willing to spend some time and money, two things will make this easier: Locking tuners and threaded inserts in the neck.

The locking tuners make it easy to string and restring. I've done this several times on the same set of strings with Grover locking tuners. The only "locking" tuners of which I know this will not work are the Wilkinson, which are good tuners, but lock the string in a way that does not make it any easier to remove and reinstall ... probably harder for reuse.

I bought 10-32 brass (screw-in) threaded inserts at Lowes and have drilled out several of my Fender-style necks to accept these in the four mounting screw holes. After also enlarging the body holes to fit 10-32 stainless steel, elliptical-head bolts (not screws anymore), I reassembled each guitar with its original screw plate. This makes it easy for me to assemble/disassemble the neck-body on these guitar. I've also done this with 8-32 insert and bolts.

I usually carry on one piece (e.g., neck in an art tube) and check the other. Caution: You should be somewhat "handy" with tools, wood and hardware to do this installation. Critical points: getting the hole sizes right for the inserts (only slightly smaller than outer threads), lubing the inserts with Chapstick or soap before insertion, using a bolt preloaded with a second insert as an installation tool -- screwing-in the inserts into maple with a flatblade screwdriver as designed is nearly impossible with breaking the inserts.

Another option: Look for a Hohner knock-off of the Steinberger headless electric on ebay or craig's. Probably $200 to $300 and indestructable.

-=tension & release=-


   
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ejwebb
(@ejwebb)
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Topic starter  

You are talking about hotel stays so you are definitely looking for a headphone amp right? Might be a good reason to pick up a Pocket Pod (or even its big brother) if you don't already have one.

Pocket Pod at Musician's Friend

I wish I had a good reason to drop the coin. I already have a small headphone amp. :(

If I end up going, I am not sure yet where I will be staying - hopefully a small apt rather than hotel room...

I do have a Mac with Garageband for headphone playing and effects. Pocketpod is a great suggestion and looks to be a better option not sure if I will spend the cash on it. I like my Honeytone which allows me to play without headphones - limited effects but some good sounds at low volume.

Thanks for the suggestions!


   
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ejwebb
(@ejwebb)
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Topic starter  

gnease - thanks for the advice - need to think about that one. I might consider the modifications if this was going to be a regular thing - but hopefully it is a one-time trip over and back. I'll be coming home for a few visits during the term but will leave the guitar until my permanent return.


   
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dogbite
(@dogbite)
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ejwebb
(@ejwebb)
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Topic starter  

apparently there is a forum for you.

http://www.expat.ru/forum/music_folder/40785-whwere-buy-musical-instruments-moscow.html

Thanks for the link - looks helpful!


   
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Ricochet
(@ricochet)
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I use a Honeytone for really traveling light. It's not that bad. And headphones work with it.

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


   
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Big Lar
(@big-lar)
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I'd never had the pleasure of seeing a Honeytone before. Now I want one!


   
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skunk
(@skunk)
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Disclaimer: I've never bought a guitar in Moscow, but have lived there, albeit some time ago. You'll have no trouble in today's Moscow, which is in very many respects a modern (sometimes pricey) European city, finding both new and used instruments, but I've no idea what prices are like at the moment. Probably whatever's the local version of craigslist is a better bet than retail shops.

I'd just add that a guitar, especially acoustic, is a wonderful thing to have there, and will greatly enhance your cultural experience. More likely than not any home or country house you get the chance to visit will have a guitar or guitars, and they'll often be brought out after a few drinks. Some of my fondest, albeit fuzzier, memories, are nights spent learning Russian folk/patriotic songs and teaching Dylan ones. Nothing breaks down cultural barriers faster than guitars and alcohol!


   
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