NBD- Ibanez TMB30 - short in scale, big on sound...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Maxdusty, Aug 7, 2020.

  1. Maxdusty


    Mar 9, 2012
    Michigan USA
    Seriously, this is the ideal short scale bass if you're well, a Viking. This thing bites and bites hard.
    Just got this earlier, plugged it in, same volume setting on the amp as the Squier CV Mustang and the room was shaking. It has way more output than I anticipated, I've owned an Ibanez TMB100 previously, but that had a preamp - this bass being short scale and passive, I was expecting a volume drop but not really. I had to check the back to see if it had a battery cover.
    I'm still trying it out, out of the box it definitely needed a quick set up. Neck was straight but the intonation was off and string height was a little high for my taste, the bridge jazz pickup wasn't screwed on correctly, one side was raised too high touching the D and G string.

    I'm going to compare this to the Squier CV Mustang i recently sold, another 30" scale bass and hopefully provide a comparison for those who may be considering either of these short scale basses.

    Quality - while the TMB30 is pretty solid in quality from my early impression, it doesn't quite have the well, how to describe it, the refined quality of the CV Mustang. I'm talking about the neck, the fret ends, and overall feel. The TMB30 is about $200 cheaper so there's that to consider. It has a utilitarian quality to it, neck is satin and has that unfinished feel to it, the CV Mustang has that little bit finer attention to detail, it's a vintage reproduction after all, neck tint, glossy neck. Neck on the TMB30 is of course wider but I was expecting that having owned a TMB100 - it's still pretty comfortable.

    Sound- the CV Mustang has that thumpy, retro sound to it, sustain seemed a little lacking, but great for that vintage vibe - changing strings could probably improve it, I don't know. The string tension is noticeably less taut than that on a full scale bass.
    The TMB30, sounds pretty much like the TMB100, has the sustain, greater versatility due to the PJ pickups but here's one negative I noticed, will play around with it and see what's going on. Firstly, the tone knob has a greater range of adjustability for the treble tone but when it comes to adding more bass, it seems like the last 1/8th goes from a hint of treble to a booming low. Not at all a gradual adjustment on that low end. I've heard of others changing the pots for this reason. volume of the P and Jazz pickups work as they should. I will likely change the tone pot if I decide to keep the bass. String tension is actually not very different to that on a full scale bass, it's noticeably tighter than the CV Mustang.

    You can tell the CV Mustang is a short-scale when you're playing it and also how it sounds, a lighter touch is needed, the TMB30, I feel you can thump like Flea, it still feels like a full scale bass to me but more accessible and lighter.

    Will add more of my impressions but so far, other than having a few little things that are easily fixed( sky high string height, jazz pickup not screwed correctly, tone pot probably in need of changing ), I'm so far very satisfied with it.

    Size comparison with a US SUB Stingray.
  2. Oren Hudson

    Oren Hudson

    Dec 25, 2007
    Gastonia, NC
    I've one a while and really like it. Enjoy.
    Maxdusty likes this.
  3. Maxdusty


    Mar 9, 2012
    Michigan USA
    Really puzzled, I know the TMB30 is short scale, but why is the string tension pretty close to a full scale bass? I've tried a number of short scale basses at stores and there's a noticeable lower string tension on pretty much all of them. I have my string height pretty low so it's not that. Now I'm not complaining at all, I like it this way, but just wondering if it's the stock strings on the bass or something in the design.

    I'm loving the bass, it's like going short-scale without having to give up some of the qualities typically lost with a bass with a shorter neck. In terms of quality and if I had to liken it to the Squier pantheon of basses, it would be like what a VM bass would be in comparison to a similar CV version, the TMB does not have the same attention to quality as the CV Mustang I just owned prior to this, but keep in mind it's only half the cost. It wasn't playable out of the box because the bridge pickup wasn't screwed in correctly and was pressing right up against the strings, how can you miss that in Quality Control? If you're comfortable with doing set ups and maybe filing down the odd high fret, this should be no problem.
  4. I have a TMB30, too, and really like it.

    I like the sound of the P pickup but I'm not fond of the lack of output from the J. To me, the J is too soft in comparison to the P but perhaps that is normal given that the bass is passive. I'm not experienced enough to know. I mostly use it with a Fender Rumble 25. So, I bought a Fender Engager Booster (a pre-amp/DI). I guess, in a way, it turns the TMB30 into a TMB100!? Like you, I'm not fond of the tone control on the TMB30 as I don't think there is as much variation as I expected. But, again, I am too inexperienced to know what to expect.

    Overall, I do enjoy my "little" bass and it gets more use than my other two basses.
  5. gip111


    Nov 13, 2012
    Also have the TMB-30. Definitely has the growl of a bigger bass and the fat sound of a short scale, I think has a lot to do with the PJ pickups working together. Almost feels as if you were playing a full size bass without the stretch, big beefy wide neck and big headstock, which brings me to a couple of dislikes... neck dive and weight. Mine is slightly over 8lbs which in my opinion both take away from the purpose of a short scale. For me a short scale is mostly about comfort all around which I find this not to be the case but again, this is just my opinion. I would have loved the same bass with about half a pound removed from the neck and paddle like headstock.
    Peter Torning likes this.
  6. Singh99


    Mar 3, 2020
    The tone knob on a passive circuit is only filtering off highs, not adding lows. You need an active circuit to "add" anything.
    Peter Torning likes this.

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