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Takamine B10

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by pontz, Jun 7, 2004.


  1. pontz

    pontz

    Oct 31, 2003
    CT
    Hey there,

    First-time poster here at TB. I'm not sure if this should be here or in the BG area, but here goes.

    I recently discovered the Takamine B10, sort of a BG/UB hybrid, and I love it. But I can't find one to play. So I was wondering if anyone had played one and could offer some thoughts.

    Cheers,

    pontz
     
  2. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    I thought I'd respond to this before someone grumpier -- perhaps someone crustier -- jumps all over it.

    That thing is a guitar, pontz, not a bass violin. Absolutely no doubt about it.

    I haven't played that particular model of bass guitar, but I'd be surprised if it was much different than all the other acoustic bass guitars I've played. Very low acoustic volume and a very thin, boxey acoustic sound that's all string and no wood.

    I've learned over the years that there's all kinds of ways for me to be wrong, so I'd reserve judgement 'till I actually played one. But, like I said, based on experience I'd be surprised....

    Once you plug those things in to an amp you might as well be playing any old slab, IMO.

    I think an archtop instrument with a longer scale might sound better, but if you go too far down that road you wind up designing a bass violin.
     
  3. pontz

    pontz

    Oct 31, 2003
    CT
    Damon,

    I guess that's what I expected to hear. But it is a beautiful thing, whatever it is. Except of course for the preamp. One of my pet peeves with accoustic guitars today is that the manufacturers make georgeous instruments, and then cut holes in them for plastic preamp/eq units. Why can't they hide that stuff better?

    Cheers,

    Pontz
     
  4. BassFelt

    BassFelt

    Mar 26, 2002
    I beg to differ completely!
    In my opinion the Takamine deserves a lot more credit. It is by far the best acoustic bass guitar I've tried. Acoustically they can't hold up to an upright of course. Any acoustic bass guitar needs to be amplified.

    I play a B10 in a jazz group behind a great singer (www.deborahjcarter.com if you're interested). We operate in a scene where uprights dominate. I get (besides interested looks) very favourable comments about its sound. Personally I don't think it sound exactly like an upright, but I get many comment to that effect. Sound engineers love it. It is a lot easier to amplify.

    It's also a lot easier to transport than an upright - it fits in a cello case, which I use when I'm flying.

    I play it in upright position, as it tends to influence the way I play towards a more "uprighty" style. It sound way more acoustic than flattop western style acoustic bass guitars.

    It just so happens that I bought a second one (used) as a spare, since I'm always worrying for the instrument to come out of a plane in one piece, and the sound has become a big part of what we do. I'm working on the fingerboard right now, to get the set up I want.

    I'd advice anyone looking for a uprightish sound in an acoustic bass guitar to check out the Takamine B10 before buying anything. Too bad they are hard too find and yes they are not as cheap as many flattops.

    No I'm not affiliated with Takamine.

    If you go to www.deborahjcarter.com you and listen to the audio clips of the two most recent cd's, you'll hear the instrument.
     
  5. Christopher

    Christopher

    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    Looks pretty cool IMO. What's the street price for one?

    [Yikes - just checked. > $2000. I thought it might be a good deal cheaper than that.]
     
  6. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    You sound great on that thing, BF. I meant no disrespect -- it's just been my experience that ABGs disappoint....

    What do you use for strings and amp to get your sound?
     
  7. BassFelt

    BassFelt

    Mar 26, 2002
    Thanks Damon. I didn't read disrespect in your post!
    I think most disappointment from acoustic bass guitars comes from the lack of volume. One has to just accept they need amps.

    I'm using a long discontinued Dynacord amp, that is probably unknown in the US. The sound you hear on the cd's comes from the instrument direct though. Dynacord make hi quality PA stuff mainly (some of their products are marketed in the US under the ElectroVoice brand)

    I use LaBella black nylon tapewound strings.
     
  8. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Damon, please take no offense, I mean no disrespect, but you are not contributing to this thread. Offering "I've never played it but every ABG I've ever played has been like...." you may as well say nothing. pontz, don't pay attention to Damon's posts here, they are not really relevant.

    I've played the B10, and I've played many ABGs (I own a Tacoma Thunderchief which is the best guitar style ABG I've ever tried as far as acoustic volume).

    The B10 is a completely different animal than every other ABG I've ever experienced. It is much more comparable to an electric upright bass than any ABG. It has a huge fat upright style neck, the body and bridge are built more like a violin than a guitar, the strings are splayed over a huge angle to allow for arco playing, there's a foot in the box for upright. It's 34" scale I think.

    As a bass guitar player I found the B10 to be nothing more than a very pretty looking curiosity. Very difficult to play in "guitar" position, it was obviously built to be an acoustic souding electric upright. Also, it's -very- quiet unamplified like most ABGs.

    It is a very strange beast, completely unlike any other bass instrument I've ever laid my hands on, though with my little fiddling with upright acoustics I've done over the years I can say it's -much- closer to that than any electric or guitar-style ABG.

    So I guess my recommendation pontz is, if you want a 34" scale electric upright with a more acoustic type tone than many electric uprights offer, the B10 may be the bass for you. If you are after an ABG, go to your local Tacoma dealer and don't look back.
     
  9. pontz

    pontz

    Oct 31, 2003
    CT
    Wow, thanks for all the great feedback. Anyone know where I might be able to play a B10 in the new England Area. I emailed Takamine and they said it would be impossible to say who has one in stock. Geez, and they're right here in CT. I expected them to say sure, come by the home bass and we'll show you one.

    Cheers,

    Pontz
     
  10. pontz

    pontz

    Oct 31, 2003
    CT
    BF,

    Yeah you do sound great on the B10. Did you play DB or BG before you got the B10? The answer is likely both. I play BG, switched from 6 string guitar about 2 years ago and never looked back. I like the idea of picking up the DB, but my practice time is limited. And I know that switching to DB is going to be more demanding than switching from 6SG to BG. I thought the B10 would be a cool thing to try out.

    Any thoughts?
     
  11. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    PHILBIKER, before you disinvited me to the party, you may not have realized that this thread showed up in the DB forum first, which is where I hang my hat.

    Put yourself in my shoes. A guy shows up in my double bass bar with a picture of a guitar and says "can this sound kinda like a double bass" what am I supposed to say? I told him what I know, which is based on 30 years experience and having played at least a dozen ABG in real playing contexts. In my experience, every one that I have played sucks. Believe me, I wanted them to sound good but they just didn't. This one sounds nice in this guys hands, though -- almost as good as a DB. I attribute the good sound to the flat wound LaBellas, his amp, and the guy's obvious musicianship.

    BTW, I don't mean any disrespect either, but maybe you could hang on a bit before you write off someone's post as worthless.

    Now that this thread has been moved to the EBG forum, it's in the right place and you're not likely to hear from me again.
     
  12. BassFelt

    BassFelt

    Mar 26, 2002
    Thanks!

    I've always played Fenders - I have an original '59 P, an L-series P, and a '94 deluxe 5. I'd have a Fender 6 string if they made (real) one.

    Since I hooked up with Deborah Carter (married her!!) I have been looking for an acoustic to fit her style. I had an Epiphone 5 string for a while which was ok-ish, but sounded like what it is - an flattop AB. I tried a bunch of EUB's which all sucked. I've dabbled with upright, but I found it too heavey to play and cumbersome, and hurt my back practicing too hard too soon.

    I found my first B10 when on holiday Paris (We're in Amsterdam). It was love at first play! I just had to do some work on it to get the action where I wanted it.
     
  13. BassFelt

    BassFelt

    Mar 26, 2002
    I'm glad someone shares my opinion on the B10.
    I don't think it's actually arcable, but I heven't tried.
    Yes it's 34" .
     
  14. BassFelt

    BassFelt

    Mar 26, 2002
    The LaBellas help but even with its original roundwounds it wasn't far off.

    Like I said, you hear the bass DI-ed, not the amp.

    Thanks for the compliment about "the guy's" musicianship, I do try to approach it like an DB, but I insist that it's very much the sound of the B10.
     
  15. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Wow, I was unaware that the thread started on the upright bass board. The problem with this particular bass is that it is so unique it's not an upright, and it's most definitely not a guitar style bass either. It's some wierd conglomeration of the two. Which forum does it belong to? Who knows.
     
  16. Steve York

    Steve York Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2003
    Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
    Fodera, Lakland artist.
    I realize I'm a few years late on this thread!I just bought a used TB10. I can't locate the serial number. I need it for insurance. it's not on the inside label. Can anyone help? Thanks!
     
  17. MD

    MD

    Nov 7, 2000
    Marin Co. CA.
    SN# is located on the inside surface of the lower bout rib, preamp side.

    M.
     
  18. Steve York

    Steve York Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2003
    Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
    Fodera, Lakland artist.
    Thanks for the help! On mine it's on the lower bout rib on the other side away from the preamp. I would still be looking without your clue!
     
  19. I played one of these at Atlanta Bass Gallery and was very impressed with the sound although it was not that loud, and I have to agree with the assessment quoted above. The sound and even the way it plays are more similar to an upright than to other acoustic bass guitars. It's a bit pricey and the nut slots needed to be taken down a bit to get better playability, but I'm betting you could pull that end-pin out, stand it up between your knees, and take a bow to it. Ever try that, BassFelt? It has a very nicely arched high bridge and fingerboard and it is the first ABG that I've seen that caught my interest at all. If I get a gig where travel is involved I just might take the plunge on one of these over something that involves disassembly and other complications. The sound really is the meat and potatoes of an upright sound, with a little fretless electric sauce mixed in there. In fact I have heard some uprights that when amped actually sounded more electric and nasally than the B-10. It's hard to put it in the general ABG classification, particularly with regard to the sound.

    Understand I have no affiliation with Takamine whatsoever and I own none of their products, but I have played many of their acoustic guitars that friends own over many years. In all honesty, they make some of the best sounding acoustic instruments I have ever heard and the B10 is definitely worthy of their marque.