Anyone have tips for the Ibanez TMB100?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Brian Kelleher, Jul 21, 2020.

  1. Brian Kelleher

    Brian Kelleher

    Jul 21, 2020
    I've had this a while, and the setup with the two controls absolutely does my head in. Either it's too boomy or it's weak saus.

    Does anyone have pointers on getting this thing to sound good? It was amazing in store, and I thought it would be a perfect cheapo bass for a guitarist doing home recording, but I got it home and I just can't get it to sound good through my kemper.
  2. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    Looks like a passive bass, so when in doubt, leave both volume and tone maxed and use your preamp/modeler to adjust the EQ appropriately. If you're using the passive tone roll off, almost always there's a really small 'sweet spot' that you'll have to dial in to hear what you want.
    Brian Kelleher likes this.
  3. Brian Kelleher

    Brian Kelleher

    Jul 21, 2020
    It's actually active. Before I understood the controls I had to run it into a DI box to pad it into my old focusrite because the signal was way too much.

    Basically there's four controls - balancer, volume, and then a bass control where the middle is flat, and then one way is a boost and the other is a cut, and the same for treble.

    You can see the info here: TMB100 | Talman Bass | ELECTRIC BASSES | PRODUCTS | Ibanez guitars

    Honestly to me it's way overcomplicated for a $200ish bass (I got a shop dinged one for $140).
  4. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    Can you roll in passive? With cheap or bad sounding actives, sometimes its best to sidestep the situation. I also think you may find that the blend control might be where you should focus some attention to getting things not to be tubby or too bright. My initial instinct would be to start with the preamp set flat and dial in the best blend you can then use the EQ very minimally to make some minor adjustments.
    Brian Kelleher likes this.
  5. Wfrance3

    Wfrance3 Supporting Member

    May 29, 2014
    Tulsa, OK
    I’ve never been a fan of the Ibanez stock preamps in that price point. I had a similar-grade Ibanez fretless. I eventually swapped the pre for a John East u-retro, and the pickups became bartolini. I hope it doesn’t come to that for you, but that would definitely be one way to change things up...
    Brian Kelleher likes this.
  6. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    At 140$ a good preamp will be more than the cost of the bass. I'd be thinking carefully about doing that, but if the instrument is one you love, there are plenty of good 2-band preamps out there. I have a bass that had a very old Bartolini preamp that had since died and I used a Aguilar OBP-2 in it, and it was a great fit for a stacked knob setup without much real estate. The OBP-1 is a classic, but it's 'boost only' which can be a problem if you're a player who likes to cut treble.
    Wfrance3 likes this.
  7. Brian Kelleher

    Brian Kelleher

    Jul 21, 2020
    Honestly it's not a bass I love at all, if I can't get a decent sound out of it I'll likely just move it along, was kinda trying here as a last resort as there doesn't seem to be any manual available online anywhere.
  8. Nighttrain1127

    Nighttrain1127 Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2004
    Near Worcester MA
    Try Rolling off some of the neck pickup with the balance knob (on Ibanez that usually involves turning the balance pot Counter clockwise).
  9. Jaycat


    Sep 8, 2018
    I have one, and I sort of agree. I think the answer is, monkey around with the controls til you get a sound you can live with.
  10. JeezyMcNuggles

    JeezyMcNuggles Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2018
    Santa Maria, CA
    I suck, but nobody really notices
    Do exactly what I did. Well, you don't have to get crazy with the finish or nothing. And, your model doesn't have a passive switch that you can turn into a "Slap Button" or a kill switch, but rip out the electronics, and make a new hole for a J pot. Then, wire yourself up a passive talman. Its sooo much better bro. Unbelievably better. 20200418_115508.jpg 20200415_221527.jpg 20200409_193331.jpg 20200402_171225.jpg 20200401_191037.jpg 20200401_195317.jpg 20200401_203916.jpg 20200401_204142.jpg 20200401_205812.jpg 20200401_205817.jpg 20200401_211044.jpg 20200401_211039.jpg
    Paco Leon likes this.
  11. nFinnyD


    Oct 31, 2017
    I have a similar bass, the tmb310, so Lee that in mind. What I did was get the pickups an appropriate amount away from the strings (took some trial and error) and I don’t treat it as a boost/cut EQ. My bass knob rides around 8-10 o’clock, and my treble is usually 7(off)-9. This also helps with not feeding to much gain into the front end of my amp. Leave my amp flat, maybe boost the mids a hair.
  12. primussucks9126

    primussucks9126 Supporting Member

    Jan 1, 2008
    Bronx, NY
    I never had a problem getting a clear, defined tone from my TMB-100. I even took it on a national tour over my more expensive "better" basses.

    I would usually boost the bass a hair, and cut the treble a hair. When I say a hair, I mean it. I roll the knob as slowly as I could until I heard what I wanted.

    I used the P pickup exclusively. I'm a guy that hates active basses, but found this one to be fine for my tonal preferences.

    I eventually converted it to passive with an EMG GZR and removed the J pickup entirely. I love that configuration, but it was done out of boredom, not necessity. I also reshaped the body. One of the comfiest necks on a bass I've owned (for me).

    Have you tried bypassing any modeling and just seeing what the bass sounds like direct?

    You said it sounded amazing in the store. What did you play it through?
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2020

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