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TB500 and TB2000 front loading basses

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16 Mar 2007
Posts: 147
PostPosted: 10/10/2009 at 7:49 PM    Post subject: TB500 and TB2000 front loading basses link

Hello all.

Towards the end of production, Travis Bean tried a new design with the bass models. It seems they tried this design with the regular six string guitars too earlier on. The only example of this Ive seen was sold on eBay a few months back. The design was a front loading instrument with the neck exposed on the front, instead of the rear of the guitar. The 2 bass models made like this were the TB500 and TB2000. The TB500 bass has a pickguard and a neck reciever much like a normal 500, but the TB2000 has a polished part of the neck exposed on the front of the guitar between the bridge and bridge pickup, as well as the between the bridge pickup and neck pickup. Think of the way a 2000 looks on the back, but now that cool polished part is on the front. To my knowledge only one TB500 bass was ever completed and none of the 2000s were ever completed. Its a very neat design but was supposedly stopped due to lack of strength at the main joint. It was stable to play, but not nearly as solid as the TB2000s regular neck. The TB500 and 2000 bass shared the same neck and bridge assembly with the exception of the polished section on the 2000s.

Long story short, I found 6 TB2000 and 2 TB500s, as far as I can tell there are at least 3 with as many as 4 TB500 bass bodies still out there. Years ago, 3 of them were sold through Norms Guitars out in CA. If you have any information, please let me know. You can email me at : electricalguitarcompany at yahoo dot com.

Anyone have any thoughts on these? I will say the 500 bass is one of the coolest looking Beans Ive ever seen, one pickup in the p bass position along with p bass electronics...very cool.

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01 Jun 2001
Posts: 37
PostPosted: 10/11/2009 at 1:09 AM    Post subject: RE:TB500 and TB2000 front loading basses link

I found some interesting posts from Jodi Shapiro's former site that shed some light on these two basses. Looks like one TB 500 guitar was even built with this new (third version) body style;

Re: Beans,Beans,and more Beans! "It's possible that a few 500 bass bodies might have made it out alive. I have the prototype we made for production but it never made it to the finish line to get its pickup because the company closed.There is only one that was made with the neck, there could have been a few more bodies around ready for production. Or they could have been made by TB after the fact. Wiggle is going to help me post my basses and guitars soon so once the 500 bass is up you can see if it looks like what you saw." (Atombassman 5/??/01)

''I got the collection for you. Way back when, I worked for Travis Bean Guitars, yes that's right all those bitchin finishes on your guitars and basses were mine. Oh! and not to mention all the black necks. That was my job I polished and hand rubbed the bodies of these fine instruments.While working there Travis and I became very good friends and I was instrumental in a couple of things, which brings us to my Bean collection. All my Basses were custom, I had the first 2 necks to be cut really small. Having small hands I had a bit of a time playing the older Basses. My first Bass started out with a 2000 body on it but I fell on stage and it broke so I swaped bodies from one of my other Basses which I helped design and there is only one, mine. It was a new body style with a long horn that we were going to offer but the company shut down before any more were made. The neck has square pearl inlays which Obe put in for me. All my Basses have only 3 knobs, 1 vol, 2 tones. I didn't want 2 vol. My 2n Bass is a 2000 with koa wood and a black neck (like the 500's).The 3rd Bass was the new body but I put that one on my favorite neck. 4th Bass was a fretless I think we only made 2, I know we made one for Bill Wyman. All those Basses were signed and dated for me by Travis. The 5th Bass never made the production line it's a TB500 Bass, it was designed after the 500 guitar with a drop in neck and a pick guard over the face, it was only 1 pickup and had my new body style. Only the prototype was made which I have." ( Atombassman 5/9/01 1:48 am)

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01 Jun 2001
Posts: 37
PostPosted: 10/11/2009 at 1:14 AM    Post subject: RE:TB500 and TB2000 front loading basses link

This one mentions the 500 guitar:

"I worked for Travis from around 76-77 until closing. It was I that put those bitchin finishes on the guitars and basses as well as the black necks. I worked with Pat (James) and Frank. I came out of there with some very custom basses and guitars. Pat, I don't know if you remember the body style I designed with the long horn and you painted silver, It's now red. Also the 500 bass that had the same body style with the drop in neck that never made it to production cuz we closed, I still have that as well." (StillJammmin)

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