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Tacoma electronics options?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bickele, Jul 1, 2004.


  1. bickele

    bickele

    Dec 29, 2003
    Bergen, Norway
    Hi!

    I'm looking into buying a Tacoma 5 strings fretless.
    I see from Tacoma website that there are 4 options for electronics: E2- Tacoma Tone Bar System; E3- L.R. Baggs; E4- Prefix Plus EQ with Matrix pickup by Fishman; E7- EMF pickup by B-Band with Core 99 preamp.

    I know there are several Tacoma owners here on TB, do you have any words of wisdom about these 4 electronics options? Unfortunately there are no Tacoma dealers around here, so I won't be able to check them out myself...

    The E4 option seems to be the most interesting on paper but how does it compare with the other three?

    Thanks!

    b.
     
  2. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    Ive tried the Baggs and Fishman.

    The Baggs sounded a little nicer but was harder to control feedback with and had less versatility.

    The Fishman had good tone, was more versitile and had better feedback rejection (which is a huge issues with these basses). Tone was pretty good, but not great.
     
  3. bickele

    bickele

    Dec 29, 2003
    Bergen, Norway
    Thanks Nick.

    Big feedback problems? Very interesting piece of info!
    Is there a condenser mic inside or is the whole body resonating?

    How bad is the problem, can you actually use the bass in a loud band on stage situation? Since I'm after a fretless instrument I'll need reasonably loud monitoring on stage to control the pitch, especially when playng with a drummer...

    If the sound is actually better with the Baggs, do you think a Boss grafic EQ pedal could fix the feedback and versatility issues?

    Davide
     
  4. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    I own an E4 and I've played a Tacoma with the Baggs. Feedback is virtually uncontrollable in a gig situation with the Baggs. You better have perfect muting technique or you'll be feeding back all over the place. I wouldn't even consider it. On my Prefix Plus equipped Tacoma feedback is very easily controlled.

    I can't comment on comparative sound quality because the Baggs equipped Tacoma was using someone else's rig.

    I think my E4 sounds wonderful both plugged in and acoustic/miced. It has never left me wanting.

    I absolutely love my Tacoma more than any other bass I've ever owned. I love it more every time I pick it up. It is one of the most exceptional basses I've ever experienced, and it gets better and better every year. Every time I pick it up I love it more. The best bass investment I've ever made. I bought it just a few weeks after it came out, the day after I first saw it in a store and played it. It was so new there wasn't a case available, I had to wait 3 months just to order a case.

    I highly recommend LaBella Deep Talkin' Bass tapewound strings, www.carvin.com sells them for extremely cheap.
     
  5. bickele

    bickele

    Dec 29, 2003
    Bergen, Norway
    Guys, this is priceless info!!!

    Thanks a bunch! I never would've thought of this.

    I'm planning on using the bass mostly plugged in straight in the PA via DI as I do with my MTD 535, Tobias Classic and Aria SWB5 custom EUB, so a feedback issue is a big priority for me.

    I'll definitely go for an E4, Prefix Plus EQ with Matrix pickup by Fishman.

    What's the cheapest e-store that carries these instruments?
    I've been looking in the second hand market for a while but I can't find a fretless 5 strings, I'll probably have to give in and buy new. Does anybody know of a good place to buy from in Europe? I live in Norway, nothing here... (that I know of, anyway)

    Thanks

    b.
     
  6. I've got a fretless 5 with the basic Baggs preamp. It's a great sounding bass but feedback is a very major issue.

    I have an LR Baggs Feedback Buster belt clip unit with 2 notch filters that helps a lot, but I would still hesitate to play it on a loud electric stage.

    [​IMG]

    Aloha,

    Jonathan
     
  7. bickele

    bickele

    Dec 29, 2003
    Bergen, Norway
    I got a tip for an instrument from a fellow TBer (thanks!!), the ad goes:

    ...the pickup system is the Fishman "piezo-electric film" bridge type and it is run through an upgraded Fishman Prefix Plus Active preamp that offers maximum tone control...

    Do you guys think this is what Tacoma calls the E4 option or is it a cheaper pick-up with upgraded preamp? Description of the E4 from the Tacoma website goes:

    Tacoma E4 Preamp: This Prefix Plus EQ with Matrix pickup by Fishman offers an exceptional range of control and allows the player to find his sound in any live situation while still delivering one of the best studio signals ever for an onboard EQ. The Prefix Plus EQ system features boost/cut style Bass, Treble, Contour, Brilliance, and Frequency controls, and a sweepable Notch filter, Volume and Phase controls


    Thanks

    b.
     
  8. That's the E-4 system.
     
  9. bickele

    bickele

    Dec 29, 2003
    Bergen, Norway
    Great!

    I'll go for it then :hyper:

    Thanks

    b.
     
  10. Good luck. They are great basses.

    Both of mine (fretless & fretted 5ers) needed neck shimming to get the action right after tweaking the relief with the truss rod.

    Aloha,

    Jonathan
     
  11. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    Mine could use a shim as well, but I dont want it to play like a normal electric. I like the thumpy kinda sound the higher action helps me get.

    If I can make a recomendation, try da'adario XL nickel electric bass strings and a felt pick. It takes away that excess zing and give the bass a nice unique flavor.
     
  12. bickele

    bickele

    Dec 29, 2003
    Bergen, Norway
    Hi, trigger pulled, bass will be shipped on monday!! :)

    Pardon my ignorance: what does "neck shimming" mean?

    Is it something I should ask the guys at Bass NW to do for me before shipping?

    Nick man, do you use D'Addario XL nickel electric bass strings on a fretless Tacoma?

    I've also been recommended TI Jazz flats. What other strings go together well with this bass?

    Thanks

    b.
     
  13. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    I use them on my fretted 5 but I imagine the tone being great on the fretless.
     
  14. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    For thumpy sound, LaBella Deep Talkin' Bass Tapewound are fantastic. www.carvin.com sells them for real chaeap, too. That's what I'm currently playing, as per many recommendations here at Talkbass.

    If you like phosphor bronze style strings Elixers sound great.

    Mine came with D'addario's, they were nice, too. I am not picky about strings.
     
  15. I think the stock D'Addario Bronze strings sound great on the fretless and make a lot of sound unplugged. They are a bit tough on my fingers and I suspect some of the cool sound comes from them chewing into the fretboard.

    Chad at BassNW taught me how to shim necks. Always set the relief first.

    You use several pieces of very light card stock under the neck that are the width & shape of the neck and progressively longer than the shim below it. The first shim should be about 3/4 of an inch long and each shim about a quarter of an inch longer. The more shims, the lower the action.

    Both of my Tacomas (one new & one used) already had shims in the neck pocket when I got them. This also works with electric basses when the bridge saddles are all the way down and the action still too high and the neck relief is properly set.

    Maui is definitely different from mainland conditions, and it's rare that a mainland setup bass will be playable after a few weeks here without adjustment.

    My Tacomas are more sensitive than most basses, and I keep a big pack of silica gel in the case when I'm not using the bass to reduce the humidity.

    Aloha,

    Jonathan