Chances are pretty good that if you've traveled with a six-string companion in the last 25 years that had an odd in-body tuning system and a short scale headless neck, that guitar was a Traveler. After dipping into Les Paul-like body shapes for last year's LTD EC-1, the company is now looking to please Fender fans with the Travelcaster – though this road-ready Strat has no body showing beyond the pickguard.
The Travelcaster's poplar body has been shaped like the famous Stratocaster pickguard, so the upper horn is missing, which is a cool look. Bolted to that 3-in (7.6 cm) thick body is a 22-fret maple neck topped by a maple or rosewood fingerboard. And unusually for a Traveler guitar, this new design sports a headstock with chrome hardware, though in a non-Strat, three up, three down configuration. Despite being just 33.75 in (85.7 cm) long, the 5.18 lb (2.35 kg) travel guitar is said to have the same nut-to-bridge distance as a standard Strat.
Elsewhere, the Fender fanboy-pleaser rocks a 2-point fulcrum tremolo (vibrato) system, three full-size single coil pickups and a 5-way switch for pickup selection. Like the instrument it's loosely based on, the Travelcaster also features one volume and two tone knobs, but the output jack is hidden away on the back of the body.
The Travelcaster will be available shortly for US$299.99, and comes in two color options, each supplied with a 35.25-in (89.5 cm) long gig bag. Traveler also sells a portable headphone amp with built-in rechargeable battery for routing electric tones through headphones.