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TBC JT400 Jazz bass: Initial Review *Photos Added!*

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by ElBajista, Dec 15, 2006.


  1. ElBajista

    ElBajista

    Dec 13, 2005
    Sebring, FL
    I recently came into the posession of a TBC JT400 thanks to TBer Moro. I've had it for a few days, and I think that's enough time to get reasonably suited to this individual bass. Let's get down to it:

    Weight: At around less than 8 pounds, my JT400 JJ bass feels like strapping on air. I believe the fantastic light weight is due to the small chambering of the body. :D It balances extremely well, too.

    Finish:
    I love the finish! It's durable and almost scratch-free while still retaining the feel and characteristics of the wood. French Rub, I believe. I love it!

    FretBoard wood (Pau Ferro): I find it a bit brighter in tone than RW, but not quite like Maple. The feel reminds me a lot of maple in it's hardness, but retains the warmth of rosewood.

    Fretwork: About the frets, what can I say? I'm speechless! They're truly flawless. There was initially a slight buzz on the G string, but a quick Truss Rod tweak and a bit of adjustment on the bridge had this bass smoking! Not a single high fret to be heard! The frets aren't super huge, either, which is a huge plus. The fretwork reminds me of the Laklands I've had and played, and you all know that's saying something!!

    Electronics: I find that the preamp is the only real "weakspot" with the bass, and it's not even that bad. The main things I noticed:

    • Bass EQ: A little too touchy on the boost and cut, as in a little turn goes a very very long way. I find the Freq. setting on the bass to be quite useable in that it isn't set at a super-low frequency, and therefore retains a lot of meat and bass without getting boomy.

    • Mid EQ: Seems to be a bit higher frequency than I prefer for a mid control. I find I prefer a mid frequency of about 500hz to have adequate mix-cutting punch while still being meaty.

    • Treble EQ: This is the least-likeable thing about the preamp IMO. The treble Freq. point is somewhere in the stratosphere, and it's really isn't that great sounding to me. It seems to simply add finger noise and "clank" without being very musical. Even when rolling off the treble all the way to "minimum," There still is a lot of treble in the tone. I couldn't really find a good "thump" tone in the preamp. Of course, technique has a lot to do with this.

    I'd really like to find out the Q points for the preamp. I emailed Darrell at TBC, but have yet to hear anything back.

    Pickups: I can't really say anything about the pickups since I haven't heard the bass in passive mode. I'll sometime get around to installing an active/passive switch, and then I'll have an opinion on the pickups. Eventually I'd like to install a Series/Parallel switch, too. :D

    Hardware: I really, really love the feel of the hardware. The tuners stay in tune for days and the bridge seems to be of extremely high quality. I love the finish, too. It's not exactly chrome, but not exactly black. More of a Gunmetal Grey.


    One other thing I noticed about the Blend Control is that there is still a noticeable tone and volume loss when having both pickups on full. I had hoped it would be an active blend knob designed to keep the tone unaffected when having both on full. It's not a big deal, more of a personal opinion.

    Now for the Photos!!

    IMG_1860.

    IMG_1858.

    IMG_1861.

    IMG_1862.

    IMG_1868.

    IMG_1863.


    The bass also came with an extremely high-quality gig bag. I can't believe they sold these bags for $25. It's really a nice, sturdy bag.

    IMG_1874.

    IMG_1876.

    That said, I love the bass! I can't believe a bass of this quality is available for under $800! It really feels like stealing. :D
     
  2. guitarkim79

    guitarkim79

    May 8, 2002
    Chicago
    +1 on your review! I just received my JT-400 two days ago, and I'm am very happy it.
     
  3. PDubs

    PDubs

    Aug 22, 2006
    NYC
    I've only played a TBC bass briefly, but my experience was nothing but positive.

    These basses are a steal.
     
  4. moro

    moro Geek

    Sep 5, 2006
    Bay Area, CA
    It was 7lbs 11oz on my kitchen scale, FYI. :) It weighs less than some guitars I own.
     
  5. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I got that AP-500M from Moro and I have been satisfied way beyond anything I could have imagined. At rehearsal today, the bass absolutely sang through the church's PA. I never imagined that a bass that cost me less than $250 could sound this good. I have spent $1,200 on basses that came nowhere to sounding like my TBC.:hyper:
     
  6. lowtide

    lowtide Commercial User

    Oct 14, 2006
    Bradenton, Florida
    Owner: Buzzard's Bass Shop
    What's a TBC JT400 ?
    Got any pics?
     
  7. [​IMG]
     
  8. oh by the way...that bass is the sex
    the black pickguard looks better IMO but they both melt my face off.

    (yeah, yeah, it know...it's midnight blue)
    8a52_1.
     
  9. ElBajista

    ElBajista

    Dec 13, 2005
    Sebring, FL
    Thanks for the correction! Like I said, this bass feels like strapping on a pillow. :D
     
  10. ElBajista

    ElBajista

    Dec 13, 2005
    Sebring, FL
    Coming soon!
     
  11. ElBajista

    ElBajista

    Dec 13, 2005
    Sebring, FL
    With a maple fretboard I prefer the black pickguard, but with the Pau Ferro fretboard I very much prefer the dark red pickguard.

    This bass is so damn classy!!
     
  12. nun lover

    nun lover Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2005
    Overland Park, KS
    i totally agree about the treble control, it seems like too high of a frequency maybe? i dunno..i just leave it flat for now.

    the bass control seems very powerful though and i'm pleased with that.
     
  13. giglawyer

    giglawyer Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2003
    Toledo, OH
    I have one, and it is a joy to play. I have also had several people comment on how great it looks and sounds.
     
  14. ElBajista

    ElBajista

    Dec 13, 2005
    Sebring, FL
    Yeah. It's set at pretty much a stellar frequency. I emailed TBC's tech help about their preamp frequency settingsa few weeks ago, but never heard back. :meh:

    It is extremely powerful, and seems to be a bit higher than most bass boosts, to my ear. It's not so deep as to be muddy, but still deep enough to provide enough pant-shake to satisfy my ears. :D
     
  15. ElBajista

    ElBajista

    Dec 13, 2005
    Sebring, FL
    I played this bass in Church last Sunday, and I can't believe how good it sounded! I had quite a few compliments on the tone and the looks of the bass from the other musicians I play with.

    Photos to come! :D
     
  16. Snarf

    Snarf

    Jan 23, 2005
    Glen Cove, NY
    Does anyone here have any experience with the JT-500SS (fiver with soapbars)? I'd be really interested in checking one out, especially if the B string is good.
     
  17. ElBajista

    ElBajista

    Dec 13, 2005
    Sebring, FL
    You'd probably have better luck getting an answer by either searching the forums or creating a thread of your own. Not many people will see this question in a thread dedicated to a different model. ;)
     
  18. I had one and I can tell you that the B-string is as good as anything I've played with a 34" scale. If you want more details, send a PM to "Billy Low" -- he has one and he loves it!
     
  19. Billy Low

    Billy Low

    Apr 14, 2003
    Chicago
    Sandberg Guitars
    Like my man said, the B string on this puppy is as good as it gets on a 34" scale! I really love this bass. :hyper: I won't tell you that it is the best bass for the money, but I will say that it is the ONLY bass for the money! I am looking toward modding it w/a new preamp, possibly an Audere. I would like just a tad more booty.:D
     
  20. ElBajista

    ElBajista

    Dec 13, 2005
    Sebring, FL
    Now for the Photos!!

    IMG_1860.

    IMG_1858.

    IMG_1861.

    IMG_1862.

    IMG_1868.

    IMG_1863.

    The bass also came with an extremely high-quality gig bag. I can't believe they sold these bags for $25. It's really a nice, sturdy bag.

    IMG_1874.

    IMG_1876.
     

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