Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Tacoma or Taylor ABG decision

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by tusitala, Jan 18, 2006.


  1. tusitala

    tusitala

    Nov 15, 2004
    hi everybody, i read every thread about this on the forum using the search tool, but still i did not come to a final conclusion, so i wanted to ask another suggestion...also the reason i need to rely on you is that i don't have the chance to actually play a lot of instruments because no shop near or far from my town has them...

    my question is:
    i have a Warwick Alien abg from a year and it's a good bass, not great but good...i'm not completely satisfied with it so i decided to sell it and buy a better abg (...i have to use my abg a lot because i play in several contexts that require it)...the choice in my opinion is between Tacoma and Taylor...i read about everything about both on this forum but i wanted another suggestion...everybody speak about tacoma's volume compared to other basses but what i wanted to know is about its TONE...how would you describe it? how would you compare the two basses?


    i found a used Taylor AB-1 which costs about twice as the tacoma, but as i said, i use and abg almost as a primary instrument, so i'm disposed to invest a lot of moneys (within reason...) in that...

    so my decision should be between it and a new Tacoma CB10C with Fishman Prefix Plus (which i have on the alien and found very useful, especially for its notch control)...
    i'm not only looking for a bass that is only loud, i want a beautiful tone also! plugged and unplugged ...i play mostly jazz, from old new orleans swing to modern open contemprary music...


    what do you think about the Taylor AB-1? i had tried the AB-2 once and, despite of its prohibitive price, it did not impress me at all...so i wanted to know in what it can differ from the AB-1 model...


    i hope you can help me...thanks
    -tusitala
     
  2. BassFelt

    BassFelt

    Mar 26, 2002
    I too use ABG primarely lately. I have gotten great results approaching an upright sound with my Takamine B10's with LaBella Nylon tape flatwounds. The B10 is fretless, but Takamine is currently making a fretted one for me as well. Acoustically a Taylor sounds better to me, but like you say, what matters is how it sounds amplified. I haven't been in a position to AB the B10 with the Taylor amplified. Until I get my fretted B10 I also use a cheapish Crafter 5 string shallow body ABG, which work really well and has a great action. The best acoustic sound I found so far is a nylon string Ricardo Sanchis ABG I just got (I posted about it this week), but I don't have a PU in it yet. I suspect that it will be too sensitive to feedback for the practical world.
     
  3. fretlessrock

    fretlessrock Supporting Member

    Aug 8, 2002
    Corrupticut
    I have been playing a Tacoma CB10F for a few years and I chose it over the Taylor based on price, availability, and acoustic tone. I still think it is one of the best musical instrument purchases I have ever made. The acoustic tone is rich, and you can dial it in by choosing the right strings. I've been using TI Jazz Flats on mine for a while and they are the best solution for what I am trying to do. You can hear a few clips here:

    http://petebrunelli.com/mp3/tacoma/

    There are 2 clips of the acoustic sound, and 2 clips of the bass through my amp. No-fair making fun of my playing :D The pickup is a K&K Pure Bass/Tenor, direct into an AI Focus and Epifani T210. The recording was done with a Studio Projects C4 pair into a MAudio MicroTrack, 16/44.1, with a little touchup for gain in post processing. The AI has a built in notch, but the bass was recorded with no filtering. There is no onboard or outboard preamp. Just a cable from the pickups to the Focus.

    I had the Fishman Prefix Plus system as OEM on this bass, but I never really liked the sound so I pulled the undersaddle pickup and preamp and installed the K&K. It is a 2-puck transducer and mounted to the underside of the bridgeplate.

    I don't think that you could go wrong with either bass. The Taylor might even be the winner for its plugged-in sound as it comes from the factory. I really like the Tacoma construction, and the neck is a dream to play.

    I hope that helps.

    Pete
     
  4. tusitala

    tusitala

    Nov 15, 2004
    thanks, i found your answers very useful...
    a question for fretlessrock: i wonder how much of that beautiful sound that i heard on the clips comes from the bass itself or from the changed pickup...what is your opinion?

    and also did you ever get the chance to play a Taylor? as i said i played it once but it did not blow me away at all (even if i must say that it had horrible and old strings on it)

    on my actual abg i tried almost every kind of strings, roundwounds, halfrounds, flats, nylon, and at the end i finally decided to use the same roundwounds that i use on my fretless jazzbas, DR Sunbeams or Lowriders...i just found that flats strings do not let the instrument sound as it should...did you have any experience on experimenting different strings on your abg?


    thanks again for you help, i really appreciate it.
    -tusitala
     
  5. lamarjones

    lamarjones Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    I have played some magical Taylor ABGs, and some not so magical.

    As for the Tacoma, almost all of them have the same vibe, at least the ones I have tried.

    So MAKE SURE you try it if it is a Taylor. And personally, I did not see anything glaring in the Taylor that the Tacoma did not have, tonewise. Now, if something in your personal preference gravitates one way or another, that is one thing. Other than that, the Tacoma is an EXCELLENT instrument.
     
  6. Juneau

    Juneau

    Jul 15, 2004
    Dallas, TX.
    Not having much experience with ABG's at all, I recently heard Pete Skjold's new Laravie 5-string fretless ABG, and that thing has insane tone. I dont know how it compares to the others mentioned, by tone, price, or volume, but of the few Ive heard, it was my favorite. You might check into them as a 3rd alternative.
     
  7. lamarjones

    lamarjones Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    Larrivee does make a great ABG, if they still do.
     
  8. Juneau

    Juneau

    Jul 15, 2004
    Dallas, TX.
  9. lamarjones

    lamarjones Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    For some reason, I thought the did stop making them.

    Yeah, if you can score one of those of the bay, its almost garunteed to be a good one. I think, played two and it was right beside both choices being discussed.

    Hell, Manring still uses one, right?
     
  10. Juneau

    Juneau

    Jul 15, 2004
    Dallas, TX.
    I believe so...
     
  11. fretlessrock

    fretlessrock Supporting Member

    Aug 8, 2002
    Corrupticut
    The pickup gave me a closer approximation of the acoustic sound of the bass. The clips that say tacoma-ac... are the bass with no amp. The mics are about 18" from the bass. The ones that say tacoma-amp... are through my rig and the mics are still about 18" from the amp. The undersaddle pickup always left me feeling that it was the weak link. The K&K does a much better job, to my ears, of reproducing the acoustic sound of the bass. With the nicely aged TI Flats on it now it meets my "mini-URB" desire.

    Yes, and I though it was a very good feeling bass but I liked the woodier sound of the Tacoma more. I also liked the fact that I could get a new Tacoam for under a grand, which was my budget.

    When I bought mone the factory was shipping them with Elixirs, and they actually sounded very good. They were the polyweb, not the newer nanoweb version, and they actually sounded the best at the time. I have used a few different sets of electric bass strings on it, TI Acousticores, and a set of LaBella steels that I got for free.. and the TI Jazz Flats were what I kept coming back to. It really depends on what kind of tone you want. I like the rounder sound of the TI JFs, and they still have enough mids to avoid sounding too muddy.

    Good luck with your search,
    Pete
     
  12. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    I can't comment on the Taylor, but I can say that my Tacoma is one of my favorite instruments that I've ever put my hands on at any price point. I bought it the day after I saw and played it for the first time.
     
  13. tusitala,
    I looked for "the one" ABG for 10 years, and played everything I could get my hands on, including both the Tacoma and Taylor. I'd give the edge for playability to the Taylor -- they are extremely well made -- but every one I tried could barely be heard by itself, let alone in an ensemble. Plugged in, the fingerstyle tone was mushy, and while pickstyle sounded much better, I also sounded just like Brian Ritchie, and what fun is that?
    The Tacoma sounds like a million bucks acoustically, but IME the mahogany-bodied models are very fragile and prone to cracking. If you can find a maple-bodied bass, I think you'd do very well.
    Much as I hate to sound like a broken record, if you're that serious about the ABG, track down a healthy Earthwood Bass...there is simply no comparison to any other bass. My personal second choice would be the Guild B-30, which would be well worth checking out if you can deal with a short-scale instrument.
     
  14. lamarjones

    lamarjones Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    I've heard fabled stories about those Earthwoods. Much louder unamplified?
     
  15. The thing's a cannon, no exaggeration...you can feel air rushing out of the soundhole.
     
  16. tusitala

    tusitala

    Nov 15, 2004
    does anyone of you "Tacoma User" have actually had problems with the bass' fragility? did any damage occur to your bass? ...or it's just something that a good use and the proper carefulness will defeat?
     
  17. UtBDan

    UtBDan Supporting Member

    Oct 29, 2004
    Connecticut
    I've heard of its fragility, but I've never had experiences with it getting damaged myself.

    I have a video of me playing a chief on my site somewhere, it requires Quicktime, I'll post it if you would liek to see the 'chief in its unrivaled loudness and also would like to hear the tone of it.
     
  18. tusitala

    tusitala

    Nov 15, 2004

    i know there may be a lot of other options, but you should understand that here where i live unfortunately i have basically no chance to try ANY instrument because nobody has them and no shop can hold them...

    but i had the chance to try a tacoma and a taylor once...


    i also wanted to add that i'm a fretless player and that i would turn into fretless any bass that i'll buy...do your abgs are fretless?
     
  19. tusitala

    tusitala

    Nov 15, 2004


    SURE!!! i'd really love to see that! thanks!
     
  20. tusitala

    tusitala

    Nov 15, 2004
    and also, did you ever get the chance to play the other Tacoma model, the CB28C??? i never heard of anybody playing it and i was wandering how that bass could be...

    any information about that???


    thanks
    -tusitala