Mini guitar options?

Discussion in 'V.C.'s Parlor' started by drneilmb, Sep 8, 2019.

  1. drneilmb

    drneilmb Squier-Meister

    Jun 8, 2019
    Iowa, USA
    I'm intrigued by the idea of a mini guitar to throw in the car while I'm driving kids around to events and I can do a little practicing while I wait. When I look online, I see lots of toys, brands I don't know, then the Squier Mini, Epiphone has the "vee wee", and then a bunch of expensive travel guitars.

    Has anyone ever used one of these? Are they "good enough" for getting in some fingerboard time? How far above toy level would you suggest?
    dbrian66 likes this.
  2. SubSailer671

    SubSailer671 Squier-Nut

    Jul 4, 2019
    Ohio, United States
    I don't have one, but I have been looking. Right now the leading candidate is a Hofner Shorty ($169 at Amazon) or just hit up CL/FBM/LetGo when I am travel.

    I have 2 or 3 multi-day trips being scheduled for work right now. At least one of those looks like it will turn into a 6 week project.
    so1om and dbrian66 like this.
  3. drewcp

    drewcp Squier-holic

    Dec 14, 2018
    Saint Paul, MN
    I currently have two mini Squiers. They’re perfectly fine instruments. One of them my nephew will start using soon to learn to play. They other is pending sale to another forum member. At one point I think there was a Squier version with a built in amp. Mine are both just the older style of mini Strat.

    Guitar Center has a 3/4 scale Michell that is a little bigger (fatter) neck than the Squier mini too, if that’s what you prefer
    dbrian66 likes this.
  4. NewsCam 603

    NewsCam 603 Squier-Meister

    Jul 31, 2019
    Manchester N.H.
    Rather than the "mini" thing, I'd suggest the Squire Bullet Strat 24" scale model {not the Mini Strat}. A bit smaller than normal, say 7/8 size, looks and feels great - had one, shoulda kept it! $150 on Ebay, also cheap on Reverb every now and then.
    dbrian66 likes this.
  5. BuddyLee

    BuddyLee Squier-Nut

    Aug 30, 2019
    Liberty SC
    I picked up a Squier Mini Hello Kitty from Goodwill and it is a decent little guitar platform. It does need a proper setup to level and dress the frets though. And the electronics leave much to be desired. But it is still a fun guitar at the moment for playing open chords and strumming along. I brought mine to the hospital with me when I was going through some GI tests last year and it was great to pass the time.
    dbrian66 and fattboyzz like this.
  6. fattboyzz

    fattboyzz Squier-holic

    Nov 29, 2017
    Newnan ,Ga.
    The mini Strats are good lil guitars and you can have a blast on one an practice your chops too.

    I was thinking of getting one to haul around an noodle on ,then I picked up an Epi lpjr for cheap on fbm and went that route ;)
    Rat cam 68 and dbrian66 like this.
  7. LonePhantom

    LonePhantom Squier-Meister

    Jul 17, 2019
    Canberra, Australia
    dbrian66 and cool gouhl like this.
  8. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Squier-Nut

    Jan 19, 2018
    GA USA
    I built my own using a GFS clearance body and a 70's Epiphone acoustic neck. The full size neck makes playing easier although upper fret access is limited.


    I usually take this guitar or a 70's Harmony H-801 to work with me to play at lunchtime.

    I've got a few other travel and short scale length guitars, including the Mitchel one. On guitars with scale lengths less than 24" I've found the intonation to be problematic. You might find a compromise adjustment that works OK for you but odds are it will annoy you at some point. Before I went the DIY route, I was strongly considering the Hofner Shorty that @SubSailer671 mentioned.
    dbrian66 likes this.
  9. kjmac

    kjmac Squier-holic

    Aug 14, 2017
    Omaha, NE
    I have a Hofner Shorty that I bought about 3 years ago. I wound up replacing the tuners, pickup and wrap around bridge. Plays and sounds great and comes with a pretty nice gig bag. I probably have a total of $200.00 in it. It played OK out of the box but is actually usable with the minor upgrades I added. I take it with me when we are staying in the 5th wheel.

    Shorty in camper.JPG
  10. dbrian66

    dbrian66 Squier-holic

    Jul 14, 2017
    Maryland, USA
    Another option is a Malibu from Samick. It’s a full scale guitar, but has a smaller body and a 3 x 3 headstock. Together those two things make it feel much more compact. And it’s a very well built guitar. Electronics are standard for an entry level guitar. I can find these around the $100 mark here in Maryland.

    Here are some comparison pics. Fist the Samick on a full size guitar, than a Mini on the Samick.




    Rat cam 68 and BlueSquirrel like this.
  11. fuelish

    fuelish Squier-Nut

    There's the BMG ( Brian May Guitars) Mini May......likely a nice lil guitar, but, with one pickup, it likely doesn't sound too unique.... $250-ish USD, I dunno…. [​IMG]
  12. so1om

    so1om Squier-Axpert

    Feb 10, 2010
    Chicago now Sarasota
    So while I love the Squier Mini Strat and certainly 24" scale guitars (and I've had the 93(?) Fender DuoSonic 22.7" scale since I bought it new.....)

    I'm going to go with the Hofner Shorty too and i'll tell you why. The size of the body. Sure the length of a guitar is important, but if you are not reducing the overall body width or length by much, your dollar value of buying a "travel" guitar is not going that far.

    The Shorty has been around for a long time, there are color options, it has a distinct character and.. the body it nice and small, sets nicely playing seated or standing, very compact and is a true travel guitar.
    dbrian66 likes this.
  13. pflug

    pflug Squier-Nut

    Oct 11, 2013
    Hmm- seems to be lots of used "junior" sized guitars available and inexpensive- could always start with a cheapie then trim the body away to "Shorty" style- if you did it slowly it seems you'd be able to fit the guitar to the player then trim away the excess
    dbrian66 likes this.
  14. dbrian66

    dbrian66 Squier-holic

    Jul 14, 2017
    Maryland, USA
    That made me think of these!

    drewcp likes this.
  15. drewcp

    drewcp Squier-holic

    Dec 14, 2018
    Saint Paul, MN
    dbrian66 likes this.
  16. radiotech

    radiotech Dr. Squier

    Apr 23, 2014
    Having tried a number, including a Washburn Rover, a Yamaha student, and even a no name mini... my Dad summed it up on the Rover: “You’re not bringing that banjo guitar are you?” That’s what it feels like pretty much no matter what.

    I came to the decision to just use a lighter weight guitar, that was pretty much indestructible, and I wouldn’t cry if it broke...
    Bullet Strat:
    jjudas, Rat cam 68, drneilmb and 2 others like this.
  17. Chubbles

    Chubbles Squier-Meister

    Mar 6, 2018
    Philadelphia PA
    You can get a used mini Squier from GC for under 100.00.
    dbrian66 and drewcp like this.
  18. drewcp

    drewcp Squier-holic

    Dec 14, 2018
    Saint Paul, MN
    Or in my area, $50 on LetGo/FB/OfferUp
    dbrian66 likes this.
  19. Bob123

    Bob123 Squier Talker

    Aug 13, 2019
    New Zealand
    Hi Folks,
    I posted my Squier Mini mod/upgrade on a another thread but thought I'd share it here :)

    Mine is/was an Indonesian Squier Mini, model "PR755" with built-in 1watt amp & speaker.
    I was thinking about doing it up for my son to go busking.
    I found it played best tuned G-G as E-E was too floppy. And at 1 watt it was barely audible. Definitely a kiddy guitar, not really good for much
    Not a good start for a youngster to remember to transpose standard chords so after some careful deliberation I did the following:

    Replaced the mini neck for a full-sized one.
    Swapped out the stock pup for a SD Distortion Humbucker.
    Threw away all the electronics, as surplus to requirements.
    I bought an Orange Micro Crush 3Watt busking amp.. gutted it and installed everything into this guitar.
    I managed to keep one of the existing Squier volume pot holes and fitted a push-pull Volume pot for Coil split.
    Connected the pickup output to Micro Crush input via 1/4" plug, and a separate output for external amp via 1/4" socket.

    It's like a Squier Mini on Mega steroids! It's very versatile.
    You can simply just plug into external amp and use the coil split pot control for single coil or humbucker.
    OR keeping it all-in-one, you can turn on the Micro Crush. You get 2 volume controls and one tone with that.. I have the volumes both at 5-ish and work the tone to suit. normally it's around the 2-5 mark.
    Overdrive is massive for such a tiny amp.
    Feedback can go off the scale and here I use the tone control to tame it - more like "squeal control". Mixing up the volume levels also helps.
    Full noise is just that... Noise if you want it.
    So you can go distortion mad or jazzy soft..

    Loving how it plays. No comparison to what it was when I got it.
    Highly recommend this type of mod to anyone considering it.
    Pictures below.
    Enjoy :)

    Attached Files:

    dbrian66, radiotech and drewcp like this.
  20. drneilmb

    drneilmb Squier-Meister

    Jun 8, 2019
    Iowa, USA
    I saw that on the other thread, very nice. I hadn't thought about the amp included models since they seem more toy-like, but if you can get it to intonate on a full-size neck and afford a nice amp for it, then Bob's your uncle!

    dbrian66 and drewcp like this.
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