Playing the guitar and traveling are two of life’s greatest pleasures. They’re just not always easy to do at the same time.
The very thought of bringing my favorite guitar on a plane gives me anxiety. Traveling by car or bus isn’t much better. Let’s face it, these instruments are bulky and cumbersome when you’re out on the road.
This is where the travel guitar comes in. In this Enya Nova Go review, I’ll go over one great option that I’ve recently discovered. The Enya Nova Go is a half-sized guitar with a zero fret design and some interesting build materials.
We’ll start by taking a look at four criteria; the design, quality, tone and overall value.
Enya Nova Go Guitar Review
- Less expensive carbon fiber acoustic guitar
- It's impervious to temperature and humidity change
- The body of Nova Go is 1/2 sized (35 in.)
- Zero Fret feature is added for smoother tuning
Transitioning from anticipation to hands-on experience, let’s delve into the Enya Nova Go‘s features, uncovering its performance, unique attributes, and how it fares against its competition.
1. Construction and Design
How much the wood type affects the tone of an electric guitar is a hotly debated topic. When it comes to acoustics, however, it’s a settled matter. The wood makes all the difference. What’s interesting in this case is that the model is a carbon fiber guitar with a polycarbonate neck.
I was concerned that this would lead to a lifeless sound, but thankfully, I was wrong. In fact, I was quite surprised by the sound this acoustic guitar produced.
Bracing and Body
This carbon fiber guitar has a single-cutaway design. Its shape is similar to a Les Paul guitar. The Enya Nova Go has a round edged body that’s comfortable against your torso, whether you’re standing or sitting.
The body has a one-piece construction. Even the saddle is molded in, as opposed to being its own separate piece. The overall length of the guitar is 35 inches with a scale length of 23.125 inches.
Being made of carbon fiber, this guitar doesn’t require the extensive bracing on the inside that you’d find in a wood acoustic. I suspect this will make the instrument durable, as there’s less that could go wrong, or come unglued, in the future.
There are three slim sound holes on the front, with another on the top of the instrument. While I’m certain it gives the guitar more projection, I’m not sure how I feel about the placement. By leaning the wrong way, you can inadvertently cover that top sound hole up.
Neck and Headstock
The polycarbonate material in the neck means stability. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone from my home to a gig, only to find that the neck shifted and I needed a quick truss-rod adjustment.
The change in climate while traveling can play havoc on a guitar. This is one advantage to a travel instrument being crafted from man-made materials instead of the traditional tone woods.
This instrument is also heat treated to resist temperature changes. It won’t easily warp from being left in a hot car. This is excellent for a travel instrument!
Enya used a zero-fret design, which is a bit unusual. This essentially makes the last fret also function as the nut. The round end frets on this guitar made it a pleasure to play.
There’s no chance of fret sprout here either, as the neck material won’t contract or expand due to humidity and temperature. The headstock has an attractive shape, and the tuning machines work flawlessly.
Saddle and Nut
The saddle on this guitar is made of bone, which is a nice surprise. That’s something you rarely find on an acoustic guitar at this price point.
I found the action to be a bit high on the model that I tried out, but adjusting this is easier than on many acoustic instruments. You don’t need to file down the saddle here, it can be lowered with the included hex wrench.
The saddle isn’t compensated, however, it didn’t seem to make a huge difference. The model I played had great intonation anyway.
The previously mentioned zero fret design made for a smooth tuning experience. There’s also no need to worry about cutting or maintaining the correct slot depths in the nut. The nut width measures in at 1.625 inches. I found this narrow, but still adequate while making open chords at the first four frets.
The Enya Nova Go carbon model is a pure acoustic instrument. There are no electronics here to cover. There is another model with Bluetooth and a system called AcousticPlus®, but we’ll talk about that a little bit later.
Personally, I was fine with this, seeing as this is an instrument designed for travel. I think a lot of players will prefer simplicity over volume.
2. Quality and Aesthetics
The fit and finish of this guitar was astounding. All of the components seemed to be of the highest quality, from the bone saddle to the fantastic tuning machines.
This guitar even comes from the factory with some premium strings from D’Addario strings. The round-edged body isn’t just for comfort. It makes the guitar look sleek and elegant as well.
One odd thing about the aesthetics is that the bridge will always be the same color as the body of the guitar. This is due to it all being molded from one piece of material. A little bit more color on the body would go a long way to making the instruments more attractive.
There are a wide variety of colors to choose from. There’s the classic white and black for a sophisticated look. Enya Music also makes this model in some fun pastel colors.
3. Sound and Tone
I found the tone of the Enya Nova Go carbon models to be surprisingly nice. There’s a lot of volume here too, which I didn’t expect from such a small-bodied acoustic guitar. Whatever magic Enya is doing has worked out fantastically here.
The body resonates in a pleasant way, and the tone has good mids with just the right touch of jangly highs. This may just be a practice guitar for vacations, but you’ll enjoy the sounds it makes.
I found myself wanting to pick it up frequently, even when I wasn’t just testing it out for this article.
Check this quick sound test of Enya Nova Go:
4. Cost and Value
This category is where the Enya Nova Go really shines. The manufacturer’s website currently has it listed at $199.99, as of the time of this article’s writing. I’ve also seen it go as low as $189.99 from other online retailers.
It’s hard to get any good acoustic guitars at this price point, much less a travel guitar. Let’s face it, companies don’t always give their best effort to this category of instruments.
One great thing about an inexpensive instrument is that you won’t worry too much about it getting lost or damaged. This makes it a pleasure to bring along on trips, instead of something to worry about. Overall, this guitar offers excellent value for your money.
Pros And Cons
- Impressive fit and finish
- Exceptional value for the price
- Versatile for various environments
- Suitable for younger players with smaller hands
- 5 color variants to choose from
- Neck slightly heavy, benefits from strap for comfort
- Neck profile may feel unconventional to traditional guitarists
- Less suited for intricate tonal nuances
Who Should Consider Enya Nova Go Carbon?
If you find yourself on the go quite often, then this is the carbon fiber travel guitar for you. I think its small size makes it well-suited for more than long business trips or family vacations.
It’s a great guitar to bring to the beach or to take camping too. You can even leave it in the hot car or camper with no worries about it warping.
If you already like smaller acoustics, such as parlor guitars, this may be worth checking out. You might find that you can get some interesting and unique tones out of it.
Due to its high quality and low cost, this could also make for an excellent first guitar for a young player. The shorter scale and narrow nut width make it well-suited for small hands.
The small body also makes it easier to play for children who may struggle with a large, dreadnought-sized acoustic guitar. If you’re an adult with smaller hands, it may work out well for you too.
Other Variants of the Enya Nova
- Made of carbon fiber composite material
- Equipped with the SP1 pickup system
- SP1 comes with USB On-The-Go connectivity
- Solid build and easy to play
- Comes with practical accessories
If you’ve been wondering what the Enya Nova Go carbon guitar would be like plugged into an amp, you’re in luck. Enya also makes the Nova Go SP1. It’s nearly identical to the model we’ve been discussing in every single way but with a few notable exceptions.
First off, there’s now an SP1 pickup to turn this guitar into an acoustic-electric. And it gets even better. There’s a built-in speaker so there’s no need to lug a heavy amp around on your trip. There isn’t even a need to find an outlet, making this an excellent choice for playing around the campfire.
This model can also plug into your smartphone or computer to record your music. The pickup system is rechargeable, so you don’t have to worry about expensive battery replacements.
There are even built-in effects like reverb. If you want to do some performing, and not just practicing, this is an excellent guitar to fill both roles.
Alternatives to the Enya Nova Go
Exploring alternatives to the Enya Nova Go opens up an intriguing realm of choices, particularly in the carbon fiber vs wood guitar debate.
While seeking an affordable carbon fiber travel guitar akin to the Nova Go might lead to some limitations, options like the Lava ME 2, KLOS Travel Guitar, or Journey Instruments OF660M beckon with their quality craftsmanship, albeit at a higher investment bracket ranging from moderate to substantial (between $500 and $1500).
For those inclined towards the warmth of wooden tones, the Martin Steel String Backpacker Travel Guitar, Washburn Rover 6-String Acoustic, and Fender Redondo Mini Acoustic stand as commendable alternatives, offering a more budget-friendly route within the sub-$300 range.
The choice ultimately hinges on whether the futuristic allure of carbon fiber or the timeless resonance of wood resonates with your musical journey.
The Final Verdict
If you’re stuck with me for this whole Enya Nova Go carbon fiber acoustic guitar review, you’ve probably figured out that I like this guitar. It’s an easy recommendation from me for anyone who needs an acoustic travel guitar.
It’s hard for me to even think of some negatives. The action was too high for my liking, right out of the box. This can easily be adjusted through the saddle and truss rod.
I strongly suspect that once you set the action, you’ll never need to adjust it again, like you would for an acoustic made with wood.
The guitar plays and sounds great. It’s an attractive and well-built instrument too. I wasn’t a fan of the sound-hole placement, but overall, this is a minor gripe. The smooth edges of the body and fret ends make it a joy to play.
Best of all, this guitar is very affordable. If you’re looking for a travel instrument or just another cheap knockabout guitar, pick one of these up. You won’t regret it.
About the Author
Gustavo is a music teacher and classical guitar player from Brazil, currently residing in Dublin, Ireland. He holds a graduate degree in Classical Guitar Performance from the Federal University of Pelotas. In 2020, Gustavo successfully completed a Master's degree in Sound Engineering from the Academy of Sound in Ireland.