NBD...Ibanez Talman TMB30, thanks to Groupon

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Olde Axeman, Mar 31, 2017.

  1. I find Groupon to be insidious. They sent me a 20% off Groupon for a single-item purchase at Musician's Friend. First time I have ever seen such an animal.

    I have been curious about the relatively new Ibanez Talman TMB30 bass guitar, so I used the Groupon to snag one in Coral Red for right at $144, delivered. Coral Red was the only color in stock at the time I placed the order. It's OK but it has a faded red look to it, more so than the pictures on the web site indicate. Color is not important to me so no big deal.

    Right off the bat the shopping cart would not accept the Groupon in the special discount codes box so I had to call MF. A small hassle but it netted me the discount.

    The order was placed on a Friday and the bass was delivered on the following Tuesday. Not bad shipping, IMHO. MF double-boxed it, something not every on-line vendor does with budget axes, so it arrived via UPS in perfect condition (something that cannot always be said for UPS).

    I have now played this bass for about a week and will offer a few preliminary impressions. I am not yet certain whether I will keep it or move it on. It seems on first blush to be no better or worse than the Squier Jag SS that it is often compared to. I had one of those and eventually sold it, not because it was bad, but mostly because I didn't think the Jag was quite good enough to keep in the stable. The TMB30 may well be in the same category. Time will tell.

    The first thing I noticed was how bad the factory set-up on the TMB30 was. All fixable of course. String saddles were at max height and intonation on the E and A strings was way off after lowering. The D and G strings needed only a slight tweaking. The tuners functioned very well. The only reason to change them out might be to install some ultralight tuners to help with the slight neck dive. This particular bass weighed in at 7 lbs, 8 oz. I note that a few people have said that their TMB30's weighed in excess of 8 lbs. A heavier TMB30 might need nothing in the balance arena, I dunno.

    The nut width of 1.6 inches is not off-putting. In fact it feels a lot like the neck on a Gibson SG bass, which is probably my main player so no issues for me there. The back of the neck is unfinished, which a lot of people like (not everyone, of course). No adjustment of the truss rod was needed. Also, it has a 2+2 headstock which I much prefer to a 4-in-line style.

    It has detestable tiny little jazz bass styled knobs for the electronics that will soon get replaced with something better, but this is a personal preference issue and a cheap fix to boot so not a major complaint item. I think the pickups sound fine as-is and will not replace them. I'm not a modder.

    The bridge is of the simple-and-cheap bent sheet metal design. It works OK and allows intonation and a full range of string height; nothing more to say there.

    My biggest single complaint comes from the sheer amount of string clank that appears to be indigenous to this axe. I replaced the strings with a set of LaBella Deep Talkin' flats and that helped immensely but did not completely silence the clanking. I have to investigate this issue more thoroughly, as I have not run into this problem so profoundly on other axes I have.

    Finally, I was disappointed to find that Ibanez no longer packs Allen wrenches for the truss rod and saddle screws. That's a bit aggravating as I like to keep those wrenches in with the gig bag, just in case. It's also possible that those Allen wrenches were removed from the box prior to shipment I guess. Did those of you who bought a TMB30 receive Allen wrenches with your bass?

    This bass has been discussed before but most threads that I have read deal mostly with initial impressions, as does mine. Anybody got any longer-term ownership praise or lamentations?
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2017
    Trouztrouz likes this.
  2. charlie monroe

    charlie monroe Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2011
    Buffalo, NY
    I'm not sure how many Talman owners will find this thread.

    You may wish to consider including a reference in the thread title.
    Trouztrouz likes this.
  3. Trouztrouz


    Feb 6, 2013
    Seconded. It's actually quite an insightful and well written assessment of the TMB30, but its only going to be seen by the Groupon crowd.
  4. Thanks for the insight. I revised the header.
    Trouztrouz likes this.
  5. Kahrmine


    May 25, 2013
    I didn't know that the nut was 1.6, but that makes sense now. It really didn't suit my hands, which is why I sold mine. Otherwise, it was alright. The pickups are ok, it played decently for a budget bass. For the money it was alright. Nothing exciting, but useable, though the pickups would need to be swapped out to make it a legit gigging/band option.
  6. walldaja


    Apr 27, 2011
    Where is the required picture?
    fretter likes this.
  7. rallen


    Mar 16, 2013
    Somerset KY
    I modded mine with Seymour Duncan Quarter Pound pu's. Really has a nice sound to it now! Some Hipshot Lite Tuners dropped the weight down to just an ounce below 7lbs. No balance issues. Put some D'Addario chrome flatwounds on it..I gig with it all the time now. I have SEVERAL different brands and types of basses. I like the Talman for it's sound, playability, and light weight.
    Sub41 likes this.
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