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Database TB500 #46

Model:   TB500
Type:   TB500 - Guitar
Body:   Magnolia
Neck:   Imron Coated
Serial:   #46
Date Purchased:   04/27/2017
Date Submitted:   N/A
Last Modified:   09/08/2018

First Name:   N/A
Last Name:   N/A
Country:   N/A

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Description:   This was the listing when I purchased this guitar in 2017:

Up for sale is a 1978 Travis Bean TB 500 Magnolia Electric Guitar. Magnolia body, Imron coated neck and P90 pickups. This is one of the best original condition TB 500 guitars I have seen in quite awhile. Information regarding serial numbers and build dates for these Travis Bean guitars can be hard to find, but this guitar comes with full provenance. The only record we have of this guitar from Travis Bean is a mention in Rick Oblinger's notes (neck technician for Travis Bean) that it was assembled August 1978 and he also mentions the name Toni. And in fact, this guitar was made for Toni Bergdoll, who was an employee of Travis Bean Guitars. Unfortunately, Toni recently passed away and this guitar was purchased from her husband, Jon Edwards, who was the National Sales Manager for Travis Bean Guitars. (Toni and Jon met while working together at Travis Bean.) This guitar is serial number #46 out of only 351 TB 500 ever made. Apparently the first 20 TB 500's were prototype guitars, so it is likely that this is only the 26th production TB 500 to come off the line!

If you are reading this listing, I imagine you are quite familiar with the history of the TB 500 guitar and why (other than the Wedge) it is the most rare and desirable of the Travis Bean guitars. I could go on and on about that, but to shorten this listing, I will focus instead on the condition of the guitar. I don't know for sure, but it is my gut feeling that Toni was not really a guitar player and that this guitar has not really seen much playing time. There is absolutely no fret wear, just very light pick guard strumming marks, and I believe the strings are in fact the originals. Compared to other TB 500 guitars that are currently for sale or have sold in the past, this one is in the best condition I have seen in awhile. There are some dings and gouges on this guitar, but it is my belief that they are more "accident" related than play wear. The guitar does come with the original Travis Bean hard shell locking case (with keys), but it is my guess that this guitar was out on display and got knocked over a few times. The most prominent mark is a 1 1/2" "fingernail" gouge on the front at the bottom to the right of the strap button. There are also some scuff marks on the left side of the pickguard (might be able to rub out) and a light gouge under the pickguard on the body of the guitar. Also, a ding on top of the treble side horn. Also, some very minor dings here and there. There is also a bit of paint loss on the back of the headstock on the top of the "T". Most of what I have described are not really that noticeable, and none broke the finish on the guitar, but I am just mentioning them for full disclosure. Most importantly, there are absolutely no stress cracks at the neck pocket (which is common with these guitars). I couldn't resist taking off the pick guard to view the inner workings of this guitar. Some people do not realize that the TB 500 (like all Travis Bean guitars) has a complete neck through aluminum neck, and that the pickups attach directly to the aluminum neck (the neck is just not exposed at the body like the other Travis Bean models). I also noticed the large "46" written inside the body cavity to match the neck serial number (these numbers did not always match as at some point the numbering system got thrown off). This guitar is all original right down to the strings and all electronics function as they should. It goes without saying, that this guitar plays incredibly well. Of course, you will want to put on new strings, but I left the old ones on to keep the guitar all original.

Also with this guitar, you will receive an original and rare Travis Bean sales brochure. It is not for this specific model (for the TB 1000 Artist) but it remarkably includes an original Price List and more importantly, identifies Jon Edwards and being the National Sales Manager for Travis Bean. I will also include some information on the sale were I bought this guitar so that you have complete provenance for this guitar.


Previous purchase date: 08/01/1978

Listing originally cataloged in Rick 'Oblinger' notes. Finish Unknown. Rick Oblinger was a neck technician at Travis Bean Guitars.

Assembled August 1978

Notes say "Orig. Neck Res. New-Toni"