NGD: S-type with 3x3 headstock, but not THAT ONE!

RaySachs

Senior Stratmaster
Gold Supporting Member
Jun 25, 2017
1,813
Philly area
No, I did not get a Silver Sky. I'm sure I'd love one, but I'm soooo damn pleased with my Robert Cray strat I'm really not looking for anything else in the full size department.

But I've been thinking about a travel guitar because we have some upcoming airline travel that will have us gone longer than I want to be without a guitar and I don't really want to try traveling with a full size, full value guitar. Not long ago I tried a Traveler Ultra-Light and frankly hated it. It has one bridge double blade humbucker but no volume or tone control and no where to really rest the guitar or your arm on the guitar when you play. It sounded awful even with my good amp, let alone the little Blackstar Fly I'd be using on the road. And it just sucked to play.

But over the past couple of weeks the Travelcaster caught my eye. It's basically the pick guard portion of a strat with everything else removed. But it has a normal sized area to rest on your leg and it's just thick and substantial enough to give my right forearm a fighting chance of finding a place to rest and brace itself. I was thinking about driving down to Guitar Center to try one to see if it was any more playable than the Ultralight when today I saw they'd knocked the price down from $300 to $230 on the green model. And every GC in the area has one or more in stock, so I guess they want to get rid of some of these.

So I drove down and tried it and thought I could make it work. Brought it home and plugged it in and damned if it doesn't sound like a strat. Not the best strat I've ever played, but decent. The neck's not bad, a little chunkier than a modern C and with my favored 9.5" fretboard radius. It's much more comfortable to play than the Ultra-light. The right arm is still a bit of an issue, but a lot less of one. And it rests really comfortably on my right leg.

I'm thinking of fashioning some sort of slight extension of the body that will clamp to the upper shoulder and maybe give me a half inch clearance above the strings so I don't have to think too hard to keep my forearm from muting the low E. I'm not a trem guy, but there's no way to block this one since the trem is floating free BEHIND the body, but I was able to wedge three quarters (coins taped together) between the body and the trem block and then tighten the springs within a millimeter of their lives and that baby is NOT moving! I could add a couple of springs, but I don't think I'm gonna have to.

And hey, I've always kind of wanted a Seafoam Green strat and now I kind of have one. Or part of one. Or something. I'll probably report back after I've done a couple of trips with it... I seriously doubt I'm gonna love this guitar, but I think I'm gonna be really glad to have it.

Pics:

untitled-1-12 by Ray, on Flickr

untitled-2-9 by Ray, on Flickr

-Ray
 
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RaySachs

Senior Stratmaster
Gold Supporting Member
Jun 25, 2017
1,813
Philly area
Buy a Squier Standard strat body for when your at home:thumb:
I already have a "normal" strat for when I'm at home. And a couple other guitars too. And I usually take one when we travel by car, but if we're flying, not so much. I'll see how this goes. It's gonna have to be carry on and hopefully will fit under the seat in front of me with just the neck sticking back some. Hopefully that won't run too far afoul of airline regs...

-Ray
 

RaySachs

Senior Stratmaster
Gold Supporting Member
Jun 25, 2017
1,813
Philly area
It looks like it has a floating bridge :cool: … Congratulations !
It's basically like any other Strat tremolo bridge except the cavity is basically endless, with nothing behind the block at all. So I can't block it, but I can deck it, which I've done. Seems to hold a tuning pretty well. I'd love it if there was something like this in a hardtail with the body extending back about another inch to handle the string-through. It could even be a tele....

-Ray
 

RaySachs

Senior Stratmaster
Gold Supporting Member
Jun 25, 2017
1,813
Philly area
I found it was really difficult to find a place to rest my forearm or wrist or anything on my picking hand where I wasn't inadvertently muting strings, usually the low E. So I just used sugru to attach a small block of wood to the back of the tremolo block, with holes drilled in it so I can still get to the intonation screws if needed. The top of this block rises about 3/4 of an inch above the bridge saddles and if I rest / brace my forearm on that while I play, it's actually pretty comfortable and I don't have to worry about accidentally muting strings. I mean, it's nowhere near as nice to play as my full sized guitars, but it's actually not bad at all with this little addition. I have the trem decked with a couple of quarters between the trem block and the body and the springs really nailed down so it's not moving. If I used the trem and didn't have it immobilized, I don't think this solution would work because the block would essentially be a tremolo bar and every time you put any pressure on it you'd be raising the pitch. But for me, a hardtail guy, it's a good solution...

unnamed by Ray, on Flickr

-Ray
 

Stratbats

Senior Stratmaster
Feb 16, 2018
3,709
WV
I'm sorry. It looks like a beautiful racehorse with its legs cut off. I'm sure it serves its purpose... (Your recent Ibanez acquisition was gorgeous.)
 

RaySachs

Senior Stratmaster
Gold Supporting Member
Jun 25, 2017
1,813
Philly area
I'm sorry. It looks like a beautiful racehorse with its legs cut off. I'm sure it serves its purpose... (Your recent Ibanez acquisition was gorgeous.)
Well, I didn't buy either of them for their looks, although the Ibanez has some. This one is pure function and very limited function at that. Hell, I'm actually surprised it doesn't look a good deal worse!

-Ray
 

RaySachs

Senior Stratmaster
Gold Supporting Member
Jun 25, 2017
1,813
Philly area
That Ibanez is a beautiful guitar and I can't stop looking at it!
Thanks, it is nice! But it replaced a PRS 594 that I had physical comfort problems with and that guitar had supermodel looks. Also not why I bought it, but I was really aware of it and considered it a real bonus of owning that guitar. So when I realized I was never gonna get comfortable playing it and decided to replace it with the Ibanez (which is as sublimely comfortable as the PRS was UNcomfortabke), I was happy that the Ibanez was also a sharp looking guitar. But it was such a secondary concern, I didn’t spend much time appreciating that aspect of it. Probably I’ll appreciate it more over time...

I’ve never seen a travel guitar that was anything to look at. This is actually probably nicer than most - at least it’s got part of the classic strat shape. And it’s the most playable travel sized guitar I’ve tried which, again, was all I really cared about...

-Ray
 

abnormaltoy

Mouth draggin' knuckle breather
Apr 28, 2013
23,027
Tucson
This is a different approach to blocking a trem! Enjoy the travel and the guitar.


I found it was really difficult to find a place to rest my forearm or wrist or anything on my picking hand where I wasn't inadvertently muting strings, usually the low E. So I just used sugru to attach a small block of wood to the back of the tremolo block, with holes drilled in it so I can still get to the intonation screws if needed. The top of this block rises about 3/4 of an inch above the bridge saddles and if I rest / brace my forearm on that while I play, it's actually pretty comfortable and I don't have to worry about accidentally muting strings. I mean, it's nowhere near as nice to play as my full sized guitars, but it's actually not bad at all with this little addition. I have the trem decked with a couple of quarters between the trem block and the body and the springs really nailed down so it's not moving. If I used the trem and didn't have it immobilized, I don't think this solution would work because the block would essentially be a tremolo bar and every time you put any pressure on it you'd be raising the pitch. But for me, a hardtail guy, it's a good solution...

unnamed by Ray, on Flickr

-Ray
 


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