Wanted a travel guitar with a full scale (even if it's a short one 24.75") and not over-expensive (so I basically don't care much). There is not much choice in this area, and I think this product is adequate quality/price ratio-wise... Maybe a little overpriced, you can have better quality for less money when it is about regular guitars. The 1-picjup version has the correct price I would say, but I still wanted the 2-pickups version for versatility. But it comes with its gigbag which is nice (although not super quality, let's see how long it lasts..)
At arrival, relatively suprised in the good way: the guitar was perfectly set-up (a first for me with an instrument bought here), the slits of the head nut look quite ok, and frets are relatively even all along the neck. PIckups height was not really set-up properly ok. But the strings were a 10-46 to swap (to loose on this scale according to me and don't know what brand or their age but they didn't sound anyway), and a feeling very rough to the touch on the wood of the neck and the frets. Very strange, like it was not polished all the way?
When playing, well, as everybody says, huge neck dive... That is I think really annoying and could be a motivation to send it back. But I am not sure other brands of travel guitar have solved the problem anyway? Would need to try them beforehand... I solve it when playing standing by using a second strap going in between my belly and the guitar and over the opposite shoulder from my back. I use this technique to carry more evenly my heavy instruments, and it has the avantage to keep the neck perfectly set. But it doesn't solve entirely the problem: because the very small body and the position of the strap lock, the guitar still tilts forwards and the neck is facing the floor somehow... Strap lock should be on the side of the body not on the rear, there is not enough weigh to balance it properly... For playing sitting, then it is in between the legs like a classical position, and one gets use to maintain it with both legs and picking hand... Not too bad then. But I cannot play it at all on the right thigh it always dives it is really annoying...
After playing a little, the roughness of the neck seems to fade away? Maybe it is just kind of a layer of dust? Or maybe cleaning it with oil can help also, It doesn't bother me anymore anyway.
So today I tried to swap the strings for a 11-50, and I obviously had to set it up properly. So first of all I don't understand the tools furnished with the guitar. The trussroad Allen key is very short and impossible to use almost, not enough leverage, and there is a second small Allen key but everything else at the bridge are all different kind of screws. Bascially needs 3 different screwdrivers. Regarding the strings it is not super easy, there is nothing to keep them in track when tightening it from scratch and they can get stuck in the bridge or the pots very easily. Regarding the set-up of the bridge it is kind of a nightmare, it took me almost the entire day. My mistake was to remove the long screws holding the bridge for the set-up. I though it was just to maintain it. But it actually sets the overall scale!! So I had to restart from scratch when I understood that and I could not make the intonation correct before that. And then, because you have to untighten all strings before each move (intonation or action) and tighten them again after each move to check where it is... Very long and painful. But I finally did it.
Now I am quite happy with this gauge and the instrument correctly set-up. Soundwise, It is not the best pickups of course, but I think it is entirely satisfying for the purpose of this instrument.
So yes, the instrument has some issues, direct consequences of the design for compacity and light weight and there is not much to do about it I believe... But once one learned to tame the beast, I think this is quite OK and it serves it purpose well: travel or couch guitar...
I have moved the strap lock on the side front of the guitar. There is still the huge neckdive, but not the tilting forward anymore. And now I can use only one strap in reverse (opposite shoulder looping in the back and betweeen belly and guitar) and the guitar holds perfectly by itself when playing standing!! Have taped some rubby-foamy/rubber tape bands on the sides (even above the strap lock) and it is very helpful to help hold it when playing sitting. It is perfect now, I considered the Sonic L-22 as a compromise for replacement, but I would always choose the Shorty now it is a little customed, it is just perfect in combination with an amplug like the blackstar for versatility for example.
I used it to try and test a new electronics design with rotary switches instead of potentiometer, and I realized the potentiometers installed from factory are 250k. That could explain the sound a little dull as these are humbuckers, maybe change it to 500k would already better satisfy some...