Just ordered an Ibanez bass for the princely sum of $177

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Just ordered an Ibanez bass for the princely sum of $177

Postby spudmunkey » Fri Dec 15, 2017 7:39 pm

This first paragraph is actually the last paragraph that I am entering into this field. The entire rest of this post was created by using my phone's voice to text functionality. I think it did a really tremendous job of Fairly accurately translating my voice to text, but it's really interesting seeing what words it is choosing to capitalize. Anyway... The whole rest of this post is just a long ramble. I was sitting in my Car, waiting for my girlfriend to finish work so I can give her a ride home, and babbled the story into my phone. Really, the only sentence that matters is the subject, and the last sentence... Which is basically the same thing. :lol:

So, I've always had a want for an electric bass, for about the last decade. But because I'm not actually a bass player, I set a mental Hardline budget barrier at $200.

Now, up until recently, I never really found something that tickled my fancy. The only basses that I really seemed to want the same way that I do with many guitars, is the 5-string musicman stingray. There is a couple of issues with this. The first being that I don't really need or want a 5-string. But, music man has never made a four string Stingray that still had the body Edge Bevels that the 5-string does... And that's one of the design details that really draws Me To The Music Man Stingray. The second problem is, even if I could deal with the normal four String's body, is that the cheaper Sterling or Sub versions of this bass have only a bridge pickup.... But I want two (for some strange unjustified reason). The third problem being that they cost about 10 times my budget.

Now, to reiterate, I'm not a bassist. I am a guitarist, and I only really want a base to lay down a quick little Groove into my Looper pedal, for me to jam over with my guitar. So with that understanding, that is why I had such a hard line and low budget. There's no reason for me to really spend any more. So that's been the modus operandi for the past decade or so.

Fast forward to a week or two ago, and I stopped into a local music store that is going out of business. After taking a stroll through their depleted guitar section, I took a gander at their bass section, to waste some time. I came around the corner, and was face-to-face with a Fender Squier Affinity P bass. It was black, with a black pickguard... And for some reason, I was really drawn to it.

They had it marked down to $169. I left the bass hanging, but ran my fingers down the fretboard edges like I do before I pick up any guitar in any store, anytime. Surprisingly, this one past the cheesegrater test. So, I picked it up and fumbled through the few bass lines I knew, and surprisingly the action was low - ish, there was no fret buzz, no dead notes, intonation was decent, and I have to say it felt pretty darn decent for $169.

I did not leave the store with that base that day, but it did Spark a thought. If that one could be as non - crappy as it was for 169, what could other manufactures do for around the same price?

Here's the thing though... This thing is going to spend more time on a stand and on the wall then it ever will in my lap or hands. And unfortunately, I really just genuinely dislike the looks of the typical Ibanez and Yamaha bases. I have no doubt that they are absolutely better instruments for the money, at almost every price point they compete in, compared with most of the other builds from the big brands... But I just think they are ugly... And I just have to like the looks of what I buy! I'm not saying that I will take looks over playability, but if I'm walking past an instrument on a stand, if I like the looks of it, I'm more likely to be drawn in and pick it up and play.

So, after poking around online for a while each night for the past week and a half or so, I came to the conclusion that there really weren't many that I like the look of in this price range. So, I made a point of stopping in at any Guitar Center that I came within about a half hour of. So that means I stopped at four different ones in the past week.

In each store, I did stop in the used section first, because I am well aware that you can get more bang for your buck with something that has a few miles on it... But nothing really grabbed me. However, in each store I did try every bass that they had which was under $200. And one that seem to be slightly better than most in all of the stores, was the Ibanez Talman tmb100. Being at the price point that it is, consistency is not a Paramount concern, so some were worse than others. However, most were above-average.

I tried to replicate the black-on-black look of the Affinity P bass, but unfortunately that is only offered in the 5-string in this Ibanez model. In my head, the ideal bass tone for me and the type of music that I want to play is Justin Chancellor from Tool. And he can get away with using just a 4-string... So I have no business Needing or buying a 5-string.

So, I was ready to order a 4-string in black, with the red tortoise pickguard. While waiting in line at Guitar Center, for no real reason because I could have just as easily place the order from home, but I opened up my email on my phone, and saw a Guitar Center email advertising an 18% call-in discount. So when it came to be my turn at the counter, I asked if they would match that, and after checking with two or three people, they agreed.

So, in a few days, I should have a $177 (after tax) Ibanez tmb100 4-string electric Bass.


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Re: Just ordered an Ibanez bass for the princely sum of $177

Postby gumbynotpokey » Sat Dec 16, 2017 6:25 am

You will LOVE the sound of that split pu solo'd, if I was guessing - which I am.


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Re: Just ordered an Ibanez bass for the princely sum of $177

Postby spudmunkey » Thu Dec 21, 2017 1:39 pm

I had it shipped to the store for pick-up. When I got the UPS tracking number, I turned on the notifications. it actually delivered a day early, and I happened to be working just two buildings away. As soon as I got the notification, I was able to step out and pick it up. The UPS guy was still in the middle of finishing the delivery, and they hadn't even had it checked in yet. Ha!

Fit and finish:
The edges of the fretboard weren't as nice as 2 of the 3 other examples I tried, but didn't have any cheese-grater sprouted fret ends.

It wasn't technically in tune, but I barely had to breathe on the G tuner to get it in tune with itself. I'll take it.

Zero nicks, dents or scratches. The smoothness of the paint finish leaves some to be desired, but no worse than than other instrument in this price range (and better than some).

I've seen many-a-pickguard in this price range look like they were hand-cut with a sharpened spork (I even had a custom one made by pickguardian that wasn't cut cleanly/straight) but this one looks very very nicely cut, with the only unevenness showing up around the pickups. The neck pocket and perimeter looked fantastic.

The neck pocket isn't loose and doesn't have any big gaps, but it's not as crisp as the one on my Aries (well, duh).

The bolt-on screw counter-sink holes still have the white haze of dried polishing compound.

The thing buzzes all over the place, compared to a guitar. I don't know yet if it's considered bad for a bass...but it's more than on many other basses I've played.

The stacked control knobs must have gotten squeezed/pressed a bit, because the upper knobs were pressed down against the lower ones. If you tried to turn either, both would turn. This meant that trying to pay to the bridge pickup meant turning down the volume all the way, and turning up the bass also meant turning up the treble. 30 seconds with one of the included hex wrenches solved the issue.

The hole for the truss rod adjustment is a bit rough, but par for this price range. Some Yamaha basses i this price range have the adjustment wheel on the end of the fretboard, and I kinda wish this one had that same mechanism; no wrench to lose (you can use anything that will fit), and can't ever really get stripped out.

Instrument's actual design/quality:
It feels OK. Not great, but not crappy.

The stamped metal bridge is top-loading only, and is fairly thin. You can tell that the string tension does put some strain on it. Perhaps some day I'll find a solid cast bridge, or even just a thicker forged one...but not any time soon.

darn...this simple 2-knob (OK, two stacked knobs) preamp is darn effective. I wish the 9v battery compartment cover was not screwed down. I might have to replace those with neodymium magnets, and cut a finger hole in it.

I think the headstock works better as a 5-string, but I don't hate it as much as I did on non-black-painted models which still had black headstocks. It works better here.

Tuners seem relatively stable, but I haven't played on it too hard yet.

I genuinely dig the jack plate/pickguard layout/shape design, but the knobs do ride pretty high, both in overall height and just up off the body itself. It's like it's not only a 2-story house, but it's also up on 1/2 story stilts.

It is a *little* neck heavy, but I've played worse *cough*SGbass*cough*Thunderbird*cough*

I do wish it came with a black/white/black pickguard option. They only do those on the short scale and 5-string models, and the more expensive 4-string models up the cost chart. I'm awaiting information from Ibanez on if those would fit on mine.

Why does it need to come with a cord? Has any person in the history of the world ever used a cord that's come with a cheap instrument unless it was purchased as a kit? Ugh. I'd rather have had an Ibanez sticker, or something.

I wish it came with a gig-bag specifically sized for the model. It doesn't come with any sort of case, and slides around in all the cheap universal ones they had at GC.

I wish the string spacing were wider. The bass I've spent the most time with is my friends old Warwick that has the "Broadneck" ultra-wide neck option with 20mm string spacing, and that feels like "home" to me.

Tone report and photos will have to wait....

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