Traben Bass Company

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Traben Bass Company
IndustryLuthiery
FounderTracy Hoeft and Ben Chafin
Headquarters
United States
Area served
Worldwide
Key people
Tracy Hoeft and Ben Chafin
ProductsBass guitars
ParentHanser Music Group
Websitetrabenbass.com
Traben 5-string bass using Koa

Traben Bass Company is an electric bass manufacturer based in Clearwater, Florida. The company was started by Tracy Hoeft and Ben Chafin, and the name is a portmanteau of their first names (Tracy and Ben). The company is a subsidiary of Hanser Holdings International, and as such is affiliated with companies such as B.C. Rich and Michael Kelly Guitars.

Basses[edit]

Traben's basses are all very similar. They all have horns that curve downward (the bottom horn more so than the top one), and most are made of basswood with a quilted or flamed maple top. Nearly all have a rosewood fret board and have either a 35" or 34" scale, all with 24 frets, and headstocks always match the body. All have active electronics, and all have 5 piece necks. Most basses are also available in four and five string versions. The only major differences are in the colors each bass is available in and the types of pickups and pre-amps they have.

List of available basses[edit]

  • Array Collection: All of the basses within the Array Collection feature Traben's Tribal SonicArt bridge. Included in the Array Series are the following basses:
    • Limited has a 34" scale and spalted maple, zebrawood, or bird's eye maple top. Two truss rods. Comes with Traben SB combo pickups, double soapbar setup.
    • NT is identical to the standard version, except that it has neck-thru construction, optional spalted maple top, and a special "T" inlay at the 12th fret.
    • Attack Bolt-on construction, Royal Paulownia body, and is equipped with a Rockfield humbucker and a slanted Rockfield J pickup.
    • Obsession Neck-thru construction, Royal Paulownia body (with either a Flamed Maple or Striped Ebony top), and two Rockfield pickups.
  • Neo: No top, 34" scale, bolt on neck. Available in special "Limited" and "Custom" versions. SB Combo pickups, double soapbar setup, Traben T3 Active pre-amp.
    • Limited comes with a spalted maple, zebrawood, or bird's eye maple top.
    • Custom comes with flame maple top, two Seymour Duncan ASB4 bassline soapbar pickups, and a Seymour Duncan SCT3a active pre-amp.
  • Phoenix: Quilted maple top, 35" scale, special flame inlay along fret board, bolt on neck. Traben Custom Combo pickups and Traben T3 active pre-amp. Available in special "Custom" version.
    • Custom comes with a 34" scale, two Seymour Duncan ASB4 Bassline pickups, a Seymour Duncan SCT3a active pre-amp, and two truss rods.
  • Bootsy Star: This bass is modeled greatly on Bootsy Collins' "Space Bass." It features a set neck, five Rockfield J-style pickups, three Aguilar pre-amps, and a rosewood fretboard. It has a basswood body with no top, and has the same shooting star inlay as the Bootzilla bass. Since it is designed after the Space Bass, it does not have the down turned lower horn of other Trabens.

Discontinued Basses[edit]

  • Chaos: Quilted maple top, 35" scale, special "T" inlay at 12th fret, bolt on neck, Traben Custom Combo pickups, Traben T3 Active pre-amp. Available in fretless version.
  • Element: No top, 35" scale, special "T" inlay at 12th fret, bolt on neck, Traben Custom Combo pickups, Traben T3 Active pre-amp.
  • Torrent: Quilted maple top, 35" scale, special "T" inlay at 12th fret, bolt on neck, Traben Custom Combo pickups, Traben T3 Active pre-amp.
  • Kore: Quilted maple top, 35" scale, special "T" inlay at 12th fret, neck through body, Traben Custom Combo pickups, Traben T3 Active pre-amp.
  • Bootzilla: Bootsy Collins signature bass, 34" scale, bolt on neck, no top, special shooting star inlay along fingerboard, two Seymour Duncan j-style quarter pund pickups, Aguilar Amplification active pre-amp.
  • Era: No top, 34" scale, two truss rods, bolt on neck, Traben SB Combo pickups, double soapbar setup, and Traben T3 active pre-amp.
  • Havoc: John Moyer's signature bass. Now being manufactured by BC Rich Guitars.

Array collection[edit]

    • Array Premium comes with a flame maple top and special "T" inlay at 12th fret.
    • Array Special comes with SM Combo Soapbar/Humbucker setup and special "T" inlay at 12th fret.

SonicArt Bridge[edit]

Traben employs a series of bridges which are called "SonicArt" or "Bigger Bridge." These unique bridges are quite large, and are usually made into some artistic form, as their names imply. Nearly all of the SonicArt bridges have a small tail design similar to an M at the bottom. The SonicArt bridges are made of solid brass plated with chrome. Due to their size, it is believed by Traben that the many contact points needed and the added mass of the bridges improves sustain and tone, though this is debated.

Bootzilla Shooting Star[edit]

The Bootzilla bridge resembles five-pointed stars with tails. The stars and tails extend along the top and bottom of the bridge, but stop just before the horns of the bass begin. The tails become thinner further from the bridge, and do not extend between the pickups. The Bootzilla Shooting Star bridge comes on the "Bootzilla" Bootsy Collins Signature bass.

Bootzilla Star[edit]

The Bootzilla Star bridge is a stylized five-pointed star. The point towards the tail of the bass is narrower than the points towards the sides of the bass. The tail point also has a stylized "T" cut into it, similar to the "T" in the Traben logo. The points that go in the directions of the horns of the bass are almost non-existent. They follow a similar curve as their respective horns, but do not cover the entire horn, unlike the points that cover the tail and wings of the bass. The bridge encompasses the bridge pickup, the three body pickups, and half of the neck pickup. It also surrounds three of the control knobs of the bass. This bridge comes on the Bootsy Star bass.

Flame[edit]

The Flame bridge is the second smallest of all the SonicArt bridges. It cannot be classified as a "Bigger Bridge", because it is about the size of a regular bridge. The only features that identify it as a SonicArt bridge are the tail design and the small flames, similar to the flames of the Tribal Sun, coming out of the sides. The Flame bridge comes on the Torrent series of basses.

Inferno[edit]

The Inferno bridge is shaped similarly to the Bootzilla, but is designed to look like flames and not stars. The flames extend along the top and bottom of the bass and stop just before the horns of the bass begin. Like the tails of the Bootzilla, the flames of the Inferno get thinner further from the bridge, and do not go between the pickups. The Inferno bridge comes on Phoenix series, Chaos series, and Kore series basses.

Neo[edit]

The Neo bridge is shaped like an egg or oval placed at an angle on the bass. It encompasses the entire bridge pickup and most of the neck pickup. The Neo bridge comes on the Neo series of basses.

T[edit]

The T is the smallest of all SonicArt bridges. It is not a "Bigger Bridge", it is little more than a standard bridge with small flared protrusions at the top and a design coming from the tail. However, the tail design is different from all other SonicArt bridges, the outer chevrons of the "M" are more flared and the middle has Traben's T within it. The T bridge comes on the Element series of basses.

Traben Era Retro[edit]

The Traben Era bridge starts in the center of the bass as a right angle. It extends the tail and bottom edges of the bass and matches their contours. The bottom extension is not strait however, after it passes the pickup it continues at a curved angle. The bridge encompasses the bridge pickup. The Traben Era Retro bridge comes Era series basses.

Tribal Flame[edit]

The Tribal Flame bridge is a SonicArt bridge that is reminiscent of a tribal tattoo. This bridge comes on the Array series of basses.

Tribal Sun[edit]

The Tribal Sun bridge is circular with small flame designs along the circumference. The bridge encompasses the bridge pickup but not the neck pickup. The Tribal Sun bridge comes on the Tribal Sun series of basses. The Tribal sun also comes on the Michael Kelly Hourglass Tribal Sun archtop electric guitar.

Notable Users[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]