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Showing posts from November 29, 2020

Travis Bean TB1000A Guitar

The Travis Bean guitar’s have become very collectible over the years. The idea was to have an all-aluminum path for string vibrations from nut to the bridge. This model is the upscaled “Artist” model with a carved top and block inlays. The aluminum neck prevents warping or shifting of the neck. Players reported that the TB guitars were “lively” and responsive. I’m not sure I’d want to play one on an outdoor gig in temps below 70 degrees, though. According to, only 755 of these were built. They are far from cheap, but they are a unique historical example of an innovative period in the instrument’s evolution.

Steinberger GL4TA Guitar

Here we have for your viewing pleasure is a 1990s relic: the GL4TA Steinberger guitar. The Steinberger was an attempt to bring the guitar down to something elemental. No body. No headstock. The body was made of graphite composites. The neck was comfortably chunky with a luxuriously smooth fingerboard. This model offered active electronics which allowed cutting or boosting treble and bass frequencies. The instrument also featured the astounding Trans-Trem, which allowed you to lock the tremolo into position, instantly transposing the guitar up or down in half-step increments. Instead of pickup selector switches, there was a push-button control center.  The downsides of the guitar were what also made it unique. The balance, lack of body and head took some getting used to. It required special strings to go into the odd nut/bridge combination. To me, it felt weird not having a place to rest my picking arm. It was lightweight, though, and if you traveled a lot, it was easy to take it on an

1970s Epiphone ET-280 Bass

This is the companion bass to the Epiphone ET-270. That particular guitar languished through the speed metal Eighties until Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain appeared playing one. All of a sudden, grunge music fans wanted them again. Unfortunately, the bass in that series didn’t enjoy the same resurgence in popularity. That’s a shame. The ET-280 is a unique-feeling short-scale bass. It has a fat, substantial neck with big frets on its rosewood fingerboard. The budget tuners do a good job of keeping things rock solid. The bridge is adjustable, but you have to watch the action height. Too low and the string will make contact with the long  screw! The finish is nothing to write home about. Most of the ones you find are red, but I have seen clones by other Japanese manufacturers that were sunburst.  The pickups is where the story is with this instrument. The pickups are almost microphonic in their chrome covers. The bridge or neck pickup alone are kind of bland, but when you put the selector in the mi