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Forum :: General Discussion

TB500 Story


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Obie

Joined:
12 Mar 2008
Posts: 76
PostPosted: 04/22/2008 at 10:40 PM    Post subject: TB500 Story link

Well guys, the more time I spend here, the more I learn and the more I understand what I'm looking at. Sometimes, going through my brother's stuff is like peeling an onion.

I looked at this guitar at least three times before it dawned on me what I was looking at and even then it was only because of some writing on a cardboard box. The first time I opened the case and saw this;
http://img245.imageshack......g245/1692/tb500188fo9.jpg

My first thought was "Damn, missing parts!". My second thought was "Cool, T-shirts!" I happened to look at it again because I had remembered there was a color body Bean and I wanted to see what kind. Again I thought "Damn, missing parts." Then, a week ago I found a big box and in there was a smaller box with writing on it, and I go "What? Wait! Huh?"

http://img291.imageshack......91/7743/tb500jgboxva2.jpg

The same day I found the box I found my brother's notebook. And then I'm going "Uhh, oh jeez!"

So, Sunday I went and got the guitar out of storage and had a good look and then did some more reading on here (the Kaman article) and things started making sense. When I first looked at this thing I thought it was disassembled. But then I realized that it had never been assembled in the first place. No screw holes in the body for the pickguard or the strap buttons. So then it's like WTF? In my brother's notebook he lists the first 9 TB500s, numbers 11 thru 19, immediately under #19 is a line across the page with the note "Dec 77 layoff". On the next line is #20 with the note "June 78 N-coated New Style Body - 2 P.U."

So, my theory on this is that my brother started to build this guitar for himself (his name is in the book against #18) but then came the layoff. Now maybe the guitar stayed in the shop or maybe he took it home, but at that time he lived in a tiny place with no shop space so he couldn't work on it. Then in June '78 he got recalled to the shop and with the new scheme of things they were focused on production and this guitar just got put to the side. And here it has sat, unfinished for 30 years.

A couple of other interesting things, It looks like the number "17" was stamped in two places in the pickup box area and then over stamped to obliterate it and then the number "18" stamped alongside. Also, it's clear that "17 was written in magic marker and then the "7" was overwritten by an "8". The word "OBE" is also written in there. The number "18" is clearly stamped on the headstock and is unaltered. Here are a few more pics.

http://img294.imageshack......mg294/907/tb500187ka2.jpg
http://img176.imageshack......g176/9334/tb500182sz9.jpg
http://img518.imageshack......g518/2706/tb500186mx9.jpg
http://img294.imageshack......g294/5356/tb500183kw6.jpg
http://img241.imageshack....../3214/tb500jgpartsoc4.jpg
http://img246.imageshack....../tb500jgpickguard2gv5.jpg

Neat stuff huh? Sometimes I feel like Indiana Jones. Wait, I was born in Indianapolis, I have a leather jacket, a felt hat, and a bullwhip (don't ask). OK, never mind, I'll go away now.

Cheers,
Kurt O.


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admin

Joined:
01 Jun 2001
Posts: 1266
PostPosted: 04/22/2008 at 11:48 PM    Post subject: RE:TB500 Story link

Kurt

That is some great stuff there. Thank you so much for sharing this.

Thanks!
admin

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rlrlrl

Joined:
24 Dec 2007
Posts: 260
PostPosted: 04/22/2008 at 11:50 PM    Post subject: RE:TB500 Story link

alls I can say is wow wow wow. Notice that the pickguard is cut for 3 pickups, just like Jerry's!

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charlie

Joined:
06 Jan 2008
Posts: 250
PostPosted: 04/23/2008 at 1:05 PM    Post subject: RE:TB500 Story link

I think that clear piece on top of the pickguard might be the routing template for the 3pu pickguard! How cool is that?!!

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Obie

Joined:
12 Mar 2008
Posts: 76
PostPosted: 04/23/2008 at 1:21 PM    Post subject: RE:TB500 Story link

That's what I thought too charlie. Also, someone pointed out to me that my brother wrote on the box that it had an ebony fretboard when in fact it looks like rosewood. My best guess is that his fretless bass has an ebony fretboard and he just got them mixed up when he wrote that.

Cheers,
Kurt O.

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1uncertain3

Joined:
02 Aug 2007
Posts: 77
PostPosted: 04/23/2008 at 6:38 PM    Post subject: RE:TB500 Story link

Hey Kurt, thanks for taking the time to share these amazing photos.

Cheers,

Jay

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