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Genesis Nova fold-up guitar

fold-up guitar

Article from Making Music, May 1987


Don't laugh. This insect-like creature (dubbed Spiny Norman by Herr Bacon) is a Genesis Nova fold-up guitar, intended for use by the travelling musician who doesn't want to lug a full-size instrument about. When collapsed, it fits into a 24in-long padded shoulder bag, plenty small enough for airline luggage racks.

It's basically a finely polished and varnished mahogany plank, with a hinge between the 12th and 13th frets on its wide, flat fingerboard. The leggy things are there to approximate the shape of an acoustic body in the places where it touches you - your leg, where you balance your arm on it, and your chest.

This steel-strung version and the forthcoming electrics are all offspring of a fold-up gut string classical guitar. As any classically trained player will know, the actual fit of a guitar is important, hence the legs on the Genesis/Nova.

It arrived from distributors Ivor Mairants already folded up. To assemble: unfold the neck, insert the neck-retaining bolt into the heel, and tighten it up with the allen key provided. That same allen key locks the legs once you've wrestled them into a suitable position. Tune-up - it creaks a bit, but won't bite unless you haven't put the bolt in properly.

The piezo pickup in the bridge was added almost as an afterthought - since the guitar is intended for hotel bedrooms and headphone amps, its actual sound wasn't a high priority. Newer models of the Spiny Norm promise better pickups and an improved hinge (not that there was anything wrong with mine).


It's obviously a bit daft to describe this as a steel strung acoustic, but that's what it's meant to be like. So it has a fixed bridge, highish action, no controls, and heavy bronze strings. The amplified sound is muddy, but acceptable, and it sustains very well indeed. The arms and legs are surprisingly comfortable once you've got them in position, though they still look daft. If you use the gimmick, this is actually a good electro-acoustic guitar and useful travelling tool; if you don't, it's good electro-acoustic that costs £200 too much because someone's sawn it in half. Bizarre.

If you think this peculiar object is suited to your jet-setting lifestyle, then you can probably afford £425. If you can't, and you still want one, there's a Korean-made version for £250.


PRICE £425
BODY mahogany
NECK mahogany
PICKUP piezo
FINISH natural wood

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Publisher: Making Music - Track Record Publishing Ltd, Nexus Media Ltd.

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Making Music - May 1987

Gear in this article:

Guitar > Genesis > Nova

Gear Tags:

Electro-Acoustic Guitar

Review by Jon Lewin

Previous article in this issue:

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