Travis Bean Designs TB500JG Solid Body Electric Guitar (2017)

Travis Bean Designs  TB500JG Solid Body Electric Guitar  (2017)
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Item # 12155
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Travis Bean Designs TB500JG Model Solid Body Electric Guitar (2017), made in Pensacola, Florida, serial # 81, White body, Imron neck finish, aluminum neck/centerpiece, rosewood fingerboard, mahogany body, molded plastic hard shell case.

This is a beautifully made limited edition modern iteration of one of the more sought storied 1970's Travis Bean creations, the personal instrument used by Jerry Garcia. About 16 years after the original company folded, Travis and Rita Bean planned to create authentic reissues featuring a full aluminum pan-back machined from the same billet. Sadly, the plans never came to fruition before Travis passed away. Rita was more recently approached by Kevin Burkett of Electrical Guitar Company and now they have succeeded in creating faithful reproductions of not only Bean's original models, but previously unrealized innovations and new models altogether. The "TB Design" instruments are built with techniques and specifications provided by original Bean designer Marc McElwee, when possible sourcing parts and components from the original company's stock and sources.

Travis Bean disciples can typically be split into three camps: Jerry Garcia fans, metalheads, and noise rockers. This guitar is squarely aimed at the deadhead camp. This is a squeaky clean example of a first generation Travis Bean Designs TB-500 JG, a very low-production recreation of the TB500 lovingly played for many years by the Dead's Jerry Garcia. The TB500 was Bean's take on a Strat, and this contemporary example retains some classic Travis Bean appointments including the T6061-T651 wrought aluminum neck, rosewood fingerboard, brass nut, and pearl dot inlays. Jerry's personal Bean featured three single coil pickups handmade in house by Travis Bean to his own specifications. This reissue features the same handmade pickups wound by Travis Bean Designs to the identical specs passed on by McElwee. Each pickup can be turned on and off with a mini switch, controlled by a master volume and two tone controls. This flexible circuit makes this guitar sonically unlike anything else the brand ever produced.

Perhaps the most unique part of Jerry's guitar replicated here was the onboard effects loop (OBEL). It sends signal out before the volume and back into the guitar to the volume pot, then out again on a second cable. One can easily blend effects into the signal BEFORE the master volume. This combines with Jerry's uniquely spec'd out pickups and the inimitable sound of through-body aluminum neck construction to give this guitar a wide palette of sonic possibilities simply not possible with the average electric. This is a really special modern Bean variant, a superb and unique instrument with a totally distinctive character.
 
Overall length is 39 in. (99.1 cm.), 14 1/4 in. (36.2 cm.) wide at lower bout. Scale length is 24 1/2 in. (622 mm.). Width of nut is 1 11/16 in. (43 mm.).

This guitar appears little played remaining in near mint condition, just a few years old with almost no significant signs of wear. The vintage white finish shines and shows essentially no signs of use, almost a shame considering the unusual and experimentation-oriented circuit of Jerry's design. It comes with its original large molded plastic hardshell case and everything you need to get the OBEL system working, courtesy of Rattlesnake cables. This is a special instrument but not a specialized one; it is superbly versatile sonically and an extremely fine instrument in every way. Near Mint Condition.