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Seems to me there was a company called Travis Bean that played around with aluminum necks (on some nice-looking guitars) too, but I don't think they were around for long.
-Mikey
 

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Lester B. Flat said:
I've played one before. It's one of those guitars that you have to use so much distortion that it does'nt matter what your playing. I found it cold with no character. It played well, however. The "Vulcan salute" headstock would make a great slingshot!
hehe, good one.
 
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I've seen someone long ago perform with one of them. I recall the forked (or Vulcan salute) headstock. But it never occured to me that the whole neck was in aluminum (aside from the wood pieces forming the neck). I never heard of them. I remember when the first aluminum drum sticks came out, it was a fad. Musical instruments and wood go well together.:)
 

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Gary Kramer use to work for Travis Bean than branched out on his own and formed Kramer. The guitars look very similar and people will argue who do not know the difference the easiest way to tell is the Kramers have and open ended headstock and the Travis Beans have a closed headsotck which looks like a "T". Slash from GNR has a TB that he plays slide on the Use your Illision DVD. There are quite a few big name acts that use or collect these guitars.
 

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Here's the lowdown on aluminum necks...

The type of aluminum used in these necks is not the most dimensionally stable material out there. It expands and contracts quite a lot with temperature. As a result, tuning and intonation are a real bitch on these guitars. Also, some people really do not like their hands on cold metal.

Aluminum necked guitars like some of the Kramers and Travis Bean guitars do have a unique sound to them with wonderful sustain. If you are attracted to that, I’d suggest you look for a carbon fiber necked guitar like a Parker Nightfly or a Steinberger. Not quite the same as far as tone goes, but they do feel similar.
 

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Would this go for all aluminum necks or was there (is there) a particular era (80's possibly) or today that the grade is better or worse. The feel of the cold metal is a factor for sure. But in terms of the tuning and such, I wonder if there were any improvements..
 

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most metals react to temperature that's why they invented expansion joints, a lot of platics will do this also. Don't know if they have improved technology but I couldn't see having one. To cold, sterile, as compared to a nice piece of rosewood or maple.
 

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GuitarsCanada said:
Would this go for all aluminum necks or was there (is there) a particular era (80's possibly) or today that the grade is better or worse. The feel of the cold metal is a factor for sure. But in terms of the tuning and such, I wonder if there were any improvements..
There are many different types of metals and alloys out there today that offer low coefficients of thermal expansion, but the economics just aren't there to justify their use in guitar necks. I doubt many poeple would be willing to pay the huge premium for guitar with a neck made from cobalt-chromium-molybdenum and or a titanium alloy materials. You also have to consider the manufacturing process - these high grade metals and alloys are tough to work with. Most likely, a neck would have to be machined from a solid billet, further adding to the cost.
 
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