Since I only play 20.5" to 24.5" scale bass ukes/mini bass guitars, I always have my eye out for anything in that range. On the Talk Bass forum I saw a post of a Traveler Redlands Mini Bass acoustic bass, 23" scale, my sweet spot. I had just sold a Yamaha ATX Junior acoustic guitar that I had converted to a bass because I have a couple basses that color, and I didn't like the ultra sensitive disk pickup attached under the top at the bridge.

The Traveler looked good, but it had a spruce top and also didn't have a pickup, but in my impulsiveness, I decided to compromise the natural spruce top, I prefer darker more figured wood, and since I had a preamp and pickup, plus a set of Galli 23" flatwound strings, I bought it.

When I tried to fit the Galli strings, I found that the bridge string holes were too small. I tried to enlarge them with a drill by hand, but I chipped off a piece on the top of the bridge. Then I decided to cut open the bridge at each string hole, but that came out rough. Then I thought about having to install a preamp, output/battery compartment, the under saddle pickup, all which brought me to the conclusion that I should not have bought that bass. I put back the original bass strings, it plays fine, just has cosmetic defects, and decided to donate it to the musical therapy program at UCLA/Mattel Children's Hospital where my group donates ukes via The Ukulele Kids Club

The main way I keep GAS/BUS in check is limiting myself to how many will fit in the closet rack system I built, which is 28 (I know, I'm can be compulsive). With donating the Traveler, I have an empty spot on the rack, and my image file of all of my basses, so I got online looking for another acoustic. As it turns out, I saw another Yamaha ATX, but a more rare color, Tobacco burst.

It intrigued me enough that I contacted my luthier Eric's Guitar in Van Nuys, CA and asked if he could replace the disk pickup with an under saddle pickup that I have, he said yes, so I bought the Yamaha, and will bring it to him on Friday to do the conversion, which will include a set of antique bronze tuners and strap buttons, on/off switch and the Galli 23" flatwound strings.



This is the Traveler.