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  1. #1
    Les Paul Forum Member TM1's Avatar
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    Any Travis Bean Fans Here?

    About 1974 I ran into my friend Marc McElwee. He had partnered up with Travis and they started making guitars. In January of `75 I ended up getting the third guitar they built (an Artist model) and the very first one to bear a serial number (#11). About 3 years later I got a black Standard, #1455. It has a coil tap switch. Both are MIA. The black one went missing in the Fall of 1986 and was taken in Corpus Christi. The Artist I sold to Bill Kaman with the understanding that if he sold it, I was to be given the first right of refusal. Well, that never happened and nobody knows where it is.
    Anyway I ran into my friend Marc @ NAMM and they are, thru Kevin Burkett, building guitars again. Kevin's doing a limited run of 15 guitars exactly like the ones made in 1976. #1 was sold at NAMM so I bought #2. He does build Travis's "pan" style TBG's that Travis designed and built in 1997. Travis sadly passed away in 2011, but his vision lives on thru Kevin, Marc and Rita Bean, Travis's widow.
    Don't know if their are any fans here on the LP Forum, but thought I'd throw it out here..

  2. #2
    Les Paul Forum Member Pellman73's Avatar
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    Re: Any Travis Bean Fans Here?

    Quote Originally Posted by TM1 View Post
    About 1974 I ran into my friend Marc McElwee. He had partnered up with Travis and they started making guitars. In January of `75 I ended up getting the third guitar they built (an Artist model) and the very first one to bear a serial number (#11). About 3 years later I got a black Standard, #1455. It has a coil tap switch. Both are MIA. The black one went missing in the Fall of 1986 and was taken in Corpus Christi. The Artist I sold to Bill Kaman with the understanding that if he sold it, I was to be given the first right of refusal. Well, that never happened and nobody knows where it is.
    Anyway I ran into my friend Marc @ NAMM and they are, thru Kevin Burkett, building guitars again. Kevin's doing a limited run of 15 guitars exactly like the ones made in 1976. #1 was sold at NAMM so I bought #2. He does build Travis's "pan" style TBG's that Travis designed and built in 1997. Travis sadly passed away in 2011, but his vision lives on thru Kevin, Marc and Rita Bean, Travis's widow.
    Don't know if their are any fans here on the LP Forum, but thought I'd throw it out here..
    Id love to see some pics!

  3. #3
    Les Paul Froum Member duaneflowers's Avatar
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    Re: Any Travis Bean Fans Here?

    No TB but I've got a Kramer DMZ-1000 which was my main squeeze for 20 some odd years...
    Tone To The Bone!
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  4. #4
    Les Paul Forum Member AA00475Bassman's Avatar
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    Re: Any Travis Bean Fans Here?

    A friend owned one i played the guitar several times i liked the tone and how the guitar played . I will say i liked the Veleno better he traded away for the Bean .
    He was a sonic disaster, thinking hours of practice would make up for stock pickups, poorly carved top and The wrong glue !

  5. #5
    Les Paul Forum Member Elmore's Avatar
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    Re: Any Travis Bean Fans Here?

    Didn't tapping wizard Stanley Jordan play one?
    "What's it SOUND like, baby?" - Ray Charles

  6. #6
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Any Travis Bean Fans Here?

    Yes he did!

  7. #7
    Les Paul Forum Member Pellman73's Avatar
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    Re: Any Travis Bean Fans Here?

    are the necks usually metal on these?

  8. #8
    Les Paul Forum Member Dave P's Avatar
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    Re: Any Travis Bean Fans Here?

    They sure looked cool, but the necks felt so strange since they were always cold to the touch.
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  9. #9
    Les Paul Forum Member marshall1987's Avatar
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    Re: Any Travis Bean Fans Here?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pellman73 View Post
    are the necks usually metal on these?
    I think the T. Bean necks were one-piece aircraft grade aluminum.
    "Scan not a friend under a microscopic glass; you know his faults so let his foibles pass".

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  10. #10
    Les Paul Forum Member TM1's Avatar
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    Re: Any Travis Bean Fans Here?

    Quote Originally Posted by marshall1987 View Post
    I think the T. Bean necks were one-piece aircraft grade aluminum.
    Correct! They were machined Reynolds 6061-T6 aircraft aluminium. The inside of the neck was hollowed out in two section to reduce weight. The bridge & pickups were all mounted onto the neck.
    Gary Kramer ended up being a partner with Marc & Travis for a while. After he left Gary started building his own version without violating Travis' Patent. I think after Kramer Guitars switched to making all wood guitars is when Gary left and sold his part to the other guys. I know Gary's "nickname" at Travis Bean wasn't really a nice name.
    Velino's were cool. I've played a few but they were a different thing; bolt on neck, two piece body(a top & a back bolted together). Wood in the early to late `70's wasn't the same as what was used in the `50's & Sixties.. I think Velino wanted to make a guitar that was consistent in sound/tone & playability so he used machined aluminium.
    Anyway, I'm really thrilled that I have one being built and should be ready soon..

  11. #11
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Any Travis Bean Fans Here?

    My friend Ed was just about to start making TB style guitars when he passed away. I played one of the prototypes and it was killer. I have only ever played one original one and really liked it.

    http://www.edroman.com/featured/obscure.htm

  12. #12
    Les Paul Forum Member sonar's Avatar
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    Re: Any Travis Bean Fans Here?

    Travis Bean's were always a rare bird around Chicago. I've played a couple of bad copies over the years, but never a real TB.

    Electrical Guitar Company has been making TB style guitars for at least the past 10 years. I like these guitars for how well put together the product is, for the craftmanship needed to put an instrument like this together... basically for what they are, but the weight and skinny necks don't really work for me. I do like the fretboards and have a love/hate relationship with the brightness of the tone.

    http://www.electricalguitarcompany.com/

  13. #13
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Any Travis Bean Fans Here?

    It's funny you mention Chicago. The only other TB I had ever played was owned by a guy I knew from Chicago (Jimmy Ellison) who passed away about 20 years ago. He had a great guitar collection.

  14. #14
    Les Paul Forum Member sonar's Avatar
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    Re: Any Travis Bean Fans Here?

    Quote Originally Posted by Amp360 View Post
    It's funny you mention Chicago. The only other TB I had ever played was owned by a guy I knew from Chicago (Jimmy Ellison) who passed away about 20 years ago. He had a great guitar collection.
    A few local bands play/played TB's (Shellac, The Jesus Lizard) but I've never seen one in a store or collection.

  15. #15
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Any Travis Bean Fans Here?

    I'm a fan! My number one guitar for decades was a natural koa standard, ser. #1047, which I still own. A great sounding and playing guitar with that supernatural sustain they're known for.

  16. #16
    Les Paul Froum Member duaneflowers's Avatar
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    Re: Any Travis Bean Fans Here?

    Finally added one to the ol' harem... they are quite nice...

    Tone To The Bone!
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  17. #17
    Les Paul Forum Member Pellman73's Avatar
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    Re: Any Travis Bean Fans Here?

    Quote Originally Posted by duaneflowers View Post
    Finally added one to the ol' harem... they are quite nice...

    very stealthy post!

    what are these things like to play?

    I'm also guessing at outdoor gigs you don't want to stick your tongue on the neck like the kid in a Christmas Story

    I triple dog dare ya

    congrats!

  18. #18
    Les Paul Froum Member duaneflowers's Avatar
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    Re: Any Travis Bean Fans Here?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pellman73 View Post
    very stealthy post!

    what are these things like to play?

    I'm also guessing at outdoor gigs you don't want to stick your tongue on the neck like the kid in a Christmas Story

    I triple dog dare ya

    congrats!
    They are fast... the fretboard on the Travis is ebony and the Kramer has ebonol (a synthetic ebony). They are more stratlike than lesterly, but the acoustics are totally different. The Travis will sustain for days (maybe even weeks) while the Kramer is not far behind. Both have a healthy dose of cryogenics (Seymour Duncan Silver Zephyrs in the Kramer and Markley Blue Steel Strings on the Travis). The Travis Bean pups are in a class all their own and I've yet to find anything even remotely similar. Both are heavy and both are way cool!!! The Kramer has maple strips in the back of the neck... I believe its only purpose is to prevent tongue stickage for those who have been dared before I. Other than that you really have to try one in order to pass judgment...

    Tone To The Bone!
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  19. #19
    Les Paul Forum Member renderit's Avatar
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    Re: Any Travis Bean Fans Here?

    Always wanted one of them....
    Renderit, You have an interesting perspective and your posts aren't boring...
    Ren, all in all, I'm giving you a C- today's posts...
    Most of what you write with regards to my posts is cryptic nonsensical gibberish like this. I would prefer if you actually added something to the conversation but hey, I haven't walked in your shoes. So being as nice as possible: I look at your posts as if I was dealing with an eccentric cousin who comes to visit unannounced.

  20. #20
    Les Paul Froum Member duaneflowers's Avatar
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    Re: Any Travis Bean Fans Here?

    Quote Originally Posted by renderit View Post
    Always wanted one of them....
    Now's your chance...

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/332436370318?ul_noapp=true
    Tone To The Bone!
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  21. #21
    Les Paul Forum Member Pellman73's Avatar
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    Re: Any Travis Bean Fans Here?

    Quote Originally Posted by duaneflowers View Post
    They are fast... the fretboard on the Travis is ebony and the Kramer has ebonol (a synthetic ebony). They are more stratlike than lesterly, but the acoustics are totally different. The Travis will sustain for days (maybe even weeks) while the Kramer is not far behind. Both have a healthy dose of cryogenics (Seymour Duncan Silver Zephyrs in the Kramer and Markley Blue Steel Strings on the Travis). The Travis Bean pups are in a class all their own and I've yet to find anything even remotely similar. Both are heavy and both are way cool!!! The Kramer has maple strips in the back of the neck... I believe its only purpose is to prevent tongue stickage for those who have been dared before I. Other than that you really have to try one in order to pass judgment...

    so in other words what you are saying is that you can go and have a bite and you'll still be hearing that one?

  22. #22
    Les Paul Forum Member Pellman73's Avatar
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    Re: Any Travis Bean Fans Here?

    I feel like you also need a Dan Armstrong acrylic guitar to go with it too

    these occupy the same part of my brain under the sub heading "weird guitars I wish I had"

    I think I'd also add a Turner Model One to the list

    hmm what else

    I think this could be a good thread!

  23. #23
    Les Paul Froum Member duaneflowers's Avatar
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    Re: Any Travis Bean Fans Here?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pellman73 View Post
    so in other words what you are saying is that you can go and have a bite and you'll still be hearing that one?
    only if your amp goes to 11...
    Tone To The Bone!
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  24. #24
    Les Paul Froum Member duaneflowers's Avatar
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    Re: Any Travis Bean Fans Here?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pellman73 View Post
    I feel like you also need a Dan Armstrong acrylic guitar to go with it too

    these occupy the same part of my mind as "weird guitars I wish I had"
    at least an Alembic...
    Tone To The Bone!
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  25. #25

    Re: Any Travis Bean Fans Here?

    Quote Originally Posted by duaneflowers View Post
    Finally added one to the ol' harem... they are quite nice...

    I have the bass version of your Kramer DMZ4000, and more than once it's been picked as the best bass to record with over some nice vintage Fenders!!! Listen to how it sits with both my vintage J45, and my voice, in this little acoustic song....

    https://soundcloud.com/daniel-weldon...ts-turned-away

    This isn't my bass (I found the pic on the web), but it's the exact one i have, although my still has the two functional mini switches for EQ boosts (low/off/high), and single/humbucker...


  26. #26
    Les Paul Forum Member DrRobert's Avatar
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    Re: Any Travis Bean Fans Here?

    Worth mentioning that Electric Guitar Company has partnered with Rita and Marc to reissue the TB500 and TB1000. Also, there's no stock on their Reverb store or website, so I'm guessing that the manufacturing part is not going smoothly...

    http://www.travisbeandesigns.com

  27. #27
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Any Travis Bean Fans Here?

    I could not take to the aluminum neck. I didn't understand why anyone would build a guitar in that manner....and never will. YMMV.....
    "As soon as man does not take his existence for granted, but beholds it as something unfathomably mysterious, thought begins." Albert Schweitzer

  28. #28
    Les Paul Froum Member duaneflowers's Avatar
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    Re: Any Travis Bean Fans Here?

    Quote Originally Posted by rockabilly69 View Post
    I have the bass version of your Kramer DMZ4000, and more than once it's been picked as the best bass to record with over some nice vintage Fenders!!! Listen to how it sits with both my vintage J45, and my voice, in this little acoustic song....

    https://soundcloud.com/daniel-weldon...ts-turned-away

    This isn't my bass (I found the pic on the web), but it's the exact one i have, although my still has the two functional mini switches for EQ boosts (low/off/high), and single/humbucker...

    Definitely looks like the same tree... very nice!!!
    Tone To The Bone!
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  29. #29

    Re: Any Travis Bean Fans Here?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wally View Post
    I could not take to the aluminum neck. I didn't understand why anyone would build a guitar in that manner....and never will. YMMV.....
    Well I've always considered the neck to be the primary tone generator of a guitar, and that opinion came from when I used to swap bolt on Tele necks from body to body, and consistently, the tone followed the neck. With that in mind, I think the aluminum neck in these guitars rings like a bell, and works great along with the composite Ebanol fingerboards that have little to no dead spots. And my bass has wood inserts in back of the neck for an organic feel. The low end on my DMZ4000 bass is big, without being muddy, and I love it! As I've said before, it has totally walked some nice vintage basses when it was time to pick a bass to record with.

  30. #30
    Les Paul Forum Member Pellman73's Avatar
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    Re: Any Travis Bean Fans Here?

    Quote Originally Posted by rockabilly69 View Post
    Well I've always considered the neck to be the primary tone generator of a guitar, and that opinion came from when I used to swap bolt on Tele necks from body to body, and consistently, the tone followed the neck. With that in mind, I think the aluminum neck in these guitars rings like a bell, and works great along with the composite Ebanol fingerboards that have little to no dead spots. And my bass has wood inserts in back of the neck for an organic feel. The low end on my DMZ4000 bass is big, without being muddy, and I love it! As I've said before, it has totally walked some nice vintage basses when it was time to pick a bass to record with.
    Intersting post!

  31. #31
    Les Paul Froum Member duaneflowers's Avatar
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    Re: Any Travis Bean Fans Here?

    Quote Originally Posted by rockabilly69 View Post
    Well I've always considered the neck to be the primary tone generator of a guitar, and that opinion came from when I used to swap bolt on Tele necks from body to body, and consistently, the tone followed the neck. With that in mind, I think the aluminum neck in these guitars rings like a bell, and works great along with the composite Ebanol fingerboards that have little to no dead spots. And my bass has wood inserts in back of the neck for an organic feel. The low end on my DMZ4000 bass is big, without being muddy, and I love it! As I've said before, it has totally walked some nice vintage basses when it was time to pick a bass to record with.
    Comparing the Kramer to the Travis, I find that while the aluminum necks both do indeed ring like a bell, the Kramer is warmer compared to the chiminess of the Travis. All being equal, a maple body vs a koa one, seymour duncan silver zephyr pups vs those monster mag Travises, an ebonol board vs a Gaboon ebony one, zero fret vs copper nut, maple inlays vs pure aluminum in the neck, along with whatever secret sauce is applied under the control cavity cover they really are two very distinct machines. The neck on the Kramer is attached Fender style, while that on the Travis is a solid chunk of aircraft aluminum straight from the headstock to the bridge... which I think has the biggest effect on their unique tonal characters. Again, all being equal, they both rank as the 'fastest' guitars I have ever played... with the Travis having the slight edge (possibly due to the perfectly flat board) and while I still prefer the Les Pauls, they both certainly do give them a run for their money...
    Tone To The Bone!
    LP=[(CC*8)+(Sig*5)+(R9*2)+R8+R7+R6+(R4*2)+(50sT*2)+Stu D+LPX]+[(EpI*19)+(EsP/Ed*6)+(ToKi*3)+(Ba*3)+(Fe/Bu*2)+(ObG)+(CMS)]

  32. #32
    Les Paul Froum Member duaneflowers's Avatar
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    Re: Any Travis Bean Fans Here?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wally View Post
    I could not take to the aluminum neck. I didn't understand why anyone would build a guitar in that manner....and never will. YMMV.....
    They are definitely NOT everyone's cup of noodles...
    Tone To The Bone!
    LP=[(CC*8)+(Sig*5)+(R9*2)+R8+R7+R6+(R4*2)+(50sT*2)+Stu D+LPX]+[(EpI*19)+(EsP/Ed*6)+(ToKi*3)+(Ba*3)+(Fe/Bu*2)+(ObG)+(CMS)]

  33. #33
    Les Paul Froum Member duaneflowers's Avatar
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    Re: Any Travis Bean Fans Here?

    Quote Originally Posted by DrRobert View Post
    Worth mentioning that Electric Guitar Company has partnered with Rita and Marc to reissue the TB500 and TB1000. Also, there's no stock on their Reverb store or website, so I'm guessing that the manufacturing part is not going smoothly...

    http://www.travisbeandesigns.com
    Its actually Electrical Guitar Company and Travis Bean Designs is also worth a peek.

    You will probably want to stay away from http://www.travisbean.de/ which just seems to be a blatant rip-off of the Travis Bean design.
    Tone To The Bone!
    LP=[(CC*8)+(Sig*5)+(R9*2)+R8+R7+R6+(R4*2)+(50sT*2)+Stu D+LPX]+[(EpI*19)+(EsP/Ed*6)+(ToKi*3)+(Ba*3)+(Fe/Bu*2)+(ObG)+(CMS)]

  34. #34
    Les Paul Forum Member renderit's Avatar
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    Re: Any Travis Bean Fans Here?

    Quote Originally Posted by duaneflowers View Post
    Comparing the Kramer to the Travis, I find that while the aluminum necks both do indeed ring like a bell, the Kramer is warmer compared to the chiminess of the Travis. All being equal, a maple body vs a koa one, seymour duncan silver zephyr pups vs those monster mag Travises, an ebonol board vs a Gaboon ebony one, zero fret vs copper nut, maple inlays vs pure aluminum in the neck, along with whatever secret sauce is applied under the control cavity cover they really are two very distinct machines. The neck on the Kramer is attached Fender style, while that on the Travis is a solid chunk of aircraft aluminum straight from the headstock to the bridge... which I think has the biggest effect on their unique tonal characters. Again, all being equal, they both rank as the 'fastest' guitars I have ever played... with the Travis having the slight edge (possibly due to the perfectly flat board) and while I still prefer the Les Pauls, they both certainly do give them a run for their money...
    I WILL LABEL THEM "BURST KILLERS" THEN! Can you feed my fishes while I am gone?


    Renderit, You have an interesting perspective and your posts aren't boring...
    Ren, all in all, I'm giving you a C- today's posts...
    Most of what you write with regards to my posts is cryptic nonsensical gibberish like this. I would prefer if you actually added something to the conversation but hey, I haven't walked in your shoes. So being as nice as possible: I look at your posts as if I was dealing with an eccentric cousin who comes to visit unannounced.

  35. #35
    Les Paul Froum Member duaneflowers's Avatar
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    Re: Any Travis Bean Fans Here?

    Quote Originally Posted by renderit View Post
    I WILL LABEL THEM "BURST KILLERS" THEN! Can you feed my fishes while I am gone?


    Mighty fine looking family you got there...
    Tone To The Bone!
    LP=[(CC*8)+(Sig*5)+(R9*2)+R8+R7+R6+(R4*2)+(50sT*2)+Stu D+LPX]+[(EpI*19)+(EsP/Ed*6)+(ToKi*3)+(Ba*3)+(Fe/Bu*2)+(ObG)+(CMS)]

  36. #36

    Re: Any Travis Bean Fans Here?

    Played a few in the mid 70's, and also a few aluminum Kramers. About a year ago, I almost bought a Vintage Travis Beane locally...but I forgot how heavy these were. that thing felt like 13 pounds! Were they always that heavy??? ? For the record, I have a bad back, so i couldn't even "think" about it.

  37. #37
    Les Paul Froum Member duaneflowers's Avatar
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    Re: Any Travis Bean Fans Here?

    Quote Originally Posted by jtees4 View Post
    Played a few in the mid 70's, and also a few aluminum Kramers. About a year ago, I almost bought a Vintage Travis Beane locally...but I forgot how heavy these were. that thing felt like 13 pounds! Were they always that heavy??? ? For the record, I have a bad back, so i couldn't even "think" about it.
    My Travis weighs in at just a hair over 10 lbs while the Kramer is just a hair under. Both competing with several of my heavier Lesters...
    Tone To The Bone!
    LP=[(CC*8)+(Sig*5)+(R9*2)+R8+R7+R6+(R4*2)+(50sT*2)+Stu D+LPX]+[(EpI*19)+(EsP/Ed*6)+(ToKi*3)+(Ba*3)+(Fe/Bu*2)+(ObG)+(CMS)]

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