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On the hunt for a fiver

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Oysterman, Oct 12, 2000.


  1. Oysterman

    Oysterman

    Mar 30, 2000
    Sweden
    I am about to buy myself a 5-string. I have to choose from: a brand new Tobias Toby Pro 5, a 1 year old Yamaha TRB5II w/hardshell case, or an older Yamaha TRB5 - all in the same price range. The Toby looks better, but the Yamaha's got 3-way EQ. I have heard bad words and good words about them, about noisy electronics (which I guess they both have), bad craftsmanship, low output etc etc... but now I'd wonder what they sound like. Can they give a good growl, defined tone with clear registers, and a mellow P-like tone? Which of them is the most playable? Flexible?

    Any replies are appreciated. But I only need a comparison of these particular Tobias and Yamaha basses, so don't come telling be "buy a Carvin" or something like that, thank you very much.
     
  2. i think the only advice i have to give is, take a look into ESP's. They are cheap and sound real good.
     
  3. Oysterman

    Oysterman

    Mar 30, 2000
    Sweden
    And that was EXACTLY the kind of reply I did not want! My gawd, is there a bot replying to these kind of posts or do you just don't read them? :p
     
  4. the reason i said it is because it is probably the same cost as the other two, only you might like it more
     
  5. Gard

    Gard Commercial User

    Mar 31, 2000
    Greensboro, NC, USA
    General Manager, Roscoe Guitars
    Oysterman -

    If the older Yamaha TRB is one of the original ones, with the neck thru body construction, it's a no brainer: get the older TRB, great bass.

    The newer TRB's (the series II) are just ok, it's a preference thing between those and the Tobias'. I would lean towards the Yamaha, because the string spacing is more comfortable for ME (wider...), some will prefer the Toby for it's narrower spacing.

    Tonally, I don't think any of these would be the right choice if you're going for a "classic P" tone, although they'll all get some great tones, including your requisite "mellow", and be very flexible. Good luck in your choice...

    ...oh, and I wouldn't worry about the ESP's, I've played them, I personally (just my opinion, MFC :) )wouldn't put them in the same class with the older Yamaha, and I'd still prefer the other two over it. Just didn't dig them, they didn't sound or play that good.
     
  6. Oysterman

    Oysterman

    Mar 30, 2000
    Sweden
    Thanks Gard,

    If I was looking for a P-tone alone, I would buy a P. I was just wondering how flexible these things are. And I got a J-bass now, I can get an okayish P-tone with that. I'm looking for a more "modern sounding" alternative, so that I can sound right in whatever style I might be playing, be it rock, metal, fusion... and the J has been nice for the "rock" part so far.

    Some follow-up questions, though:
    * What differences are there between the first and second generation of TRB's, anyway?
    * "Wider string spacing" = the same as on 4's, right?
     
  7. Gard

    Gard Commercial User

    Mar 31, 2000
    Greensboro, NC, USA
    General Manager, Roscoe Guitars
    Oysterman -

    There have been 3 different versions of TRB's that I'm familiar with, and there's now a 4th which I haven't seen. The very first TRB's were neck-thru basses, extremely well made, and sounded wonderful. The 2nd version was a bolt-on, but it was almost as good as the neck-thru ones. Third was the TRB II, which were just not all that great, IMO. I can't talk about the newest version, haven't found one to check out yet. Of them, my favorites were the neck-thru ones.

    As for the string spacing, ALL the TRB's I've played have relatively wide spacing on the 5's and 6's, they're 3/4" at the bridge I believe, which would be the same spacing as a Fender J or P at the bridge. Personally I find that more comfortable (even though I've got pretty small-ish hands), other players like John Turner prefer narrower spacing.

    Hope that helps...
     
  8. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    .. except for one small difference.

    In order of MY preference

    [*]Older TRB - great basses, wide spacing at the bridge, great tone, great construction, very good electronics.

    [*]TRBII - as Gard said, not as good as the older TRBs, but still a solid, well constructed bass with wide string spacing, decent tone and electronics. Yeah, I'd probably replace them eventually, but not as quick as I would the ones in the...

    [*]Toby Pro - Pretty solidly constructed, BEAUTIFUL BASS, OK tone, narrow string spacing, OK electronics, could live with them for a while. man, with Bart pickups and preamp, this bass would KILL.

    As for the ESP,:eek:, ummm.. I gotta confess, I don't like the feel, the looks, or the tone.

    But HEY - it's your decision, right? Not mine - Play as many as you can, and let your ears and hands make the decision.
     
  9. well when it comes to me and the ESP, i play that now, but it's cause it's cheap and sounds not that bad, but i am in the process of creating specs with Bill Conklin for a custom Conklin with the Lightwave system. the only i have to do now is try a 7 string, if i like it, i will get a 7 string lightwave conklin, otherwise 5 or 6 string, probably 6 at that rate. I just say that in defense of what i play at the moment.
     
  10. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    I undertand that we all like to defend what we play(HEY! I'll defend my Ibanez 506 or my Peavey Foundation anyday!), I am just stating my opinion.
     
  11. oh i understand completely. I wasn't trying to be like, "oh embellisher, darn you!" I was just sayin you know, i don't think it sound that bad and that i had to go cheap if i am to get a lightwave.
     
  12. Oysterman

    Oysterman

    Mar 30, 2000
    Sweden
    Thanks for your words on this.

    I know, it is my decision, but the thing is that I can't play them before I buy them. Not these particular basses. If I could, I wouldn't ask of you to help me out, because I could decide on my own which bass suited me best. Now I don't, I have to buy... eh... "the pig in the sack" (don't know if that idiom exists outside Sweden).

    Can't help it, but I wonder why Yamaha developed another range of TRB basses if the old ones were so good? And they've done it three times now - if the series isn't improving, why bother? Well, of course this has been known to appear in a lot of places, no matter what the product is - basses, cars, TV shows... but still.
     
  13. Tsal

    Tsal

    Jan 28, 2000
    Finland, EU
    Well, only TRBs that are bit of a miss are IIs. The new models are neckthru/exoticwood/piezo-combinations and
    quite expensive.