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PostPosted: 01/23/2009 at 1:55 PM    Post subject: What is a metal neck?

SO, My subject was a little misleading, obviously I know what a metal guitar is.
I've played guitar for about a decade, and I 've been thinking about buying a metal neck, mostly because the guys in Public Image LTD. played them, and I want something I can assume is indestructable.
I was hoping someone could tell me what the difference in sound / playability is on a metal neck. I've heard the sound is diffferent, but how? Does anyone know of any good comparison videos, or even just metal neck test vids?
BTW, my main, and only, guitar is a Rickenbacker 620 (solid body)
Thanks, everyone.

PostPosted: 01/23/2009 at 2:29 PM    Post subject:

Hello BZL

Good question. Metal necks often have a very 'brilliant' or 'present' tone. Seems to have better tonal response.. which is contrary to 'warm' tone on a wood neck. I personally like the tone of metal neck guitars vs. appreciate their toughness. I would start looking at bands that play with those guitars to determine if that tone is right for you.

Jerry Garcia in the mid-70s played Travis Beans (TB1000A and TB500)

Rolling Stones used them in the mid-70s (TB1000S/TB1000A and TB2000). Wyman played Bean basses for years

Roger Fisher of Heart (Magic Man, etc) was a TB1000A guitar (TB by the way is Travis Bean)

PiL used Travis Beans (Wedges) and Velenos

Steve Albini of Shellac uses TB500 and the new EGCs

Stanley Jordan used Travis Beans in the late 80s

Lee Ranaldo of Sonic Youth uses a Travis Bean on various recordings.


PostPosted: 01/23/2009 at 2:36 PM    Post subject:

you sold me with garcia, but are their any vids of just some guy playing a metal neck?
It's hard to garner somethings sound with a full band backing.
I mean, I've listened to ALOT of grateful dead recordings
I got tickets to the 2009 DEAD tour
also, what kinds of costs can I expect?

PostPosted: 01/23/2009 at 4:01 PM    Post subject:

Hello BZL

It'll be hard to find straight up sound clips. I would take a look at EGC's myspace. There are some YouTube videos there.. but still.. full band environment.

Costs are all over the map. Most of the aluminum neck guitars are vintage instruments demanding vintage prices.

Travis Beans run from $4000 - $10000 now-a-days
Kramers are around $1000 - $2000
Velenos are super expensive

There are new alternatives .. Bergeron, Tactical Works, Bastin and EGC all make metal neck guitars today. They are much more affordable than the vintage models. Plus a few of the above manufacturers can do custom one-offs for you,etc.


Greg Bailey
PostPosted: 01/27/2009 at 08:11 AM    Post subject:


Well, you asked for it! Here's some videos on You Tube. You can search Shellac and find quite a few and of course Jerry Garcia. This is just a few videos, you may have to search to find something you want to hear, but 2 of these have a lot a lot Travis Bean clips on them.


Greg Bailey

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