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TBC JT500SS or Yamaha BB615

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Robear22, Jan 26, 2006.

Which one is better

Poll closed Feb 5, 2006.
  1. Keep the TBC. Don't give up on it yet.

  2. Get the Yamaha, you won't regret it.

  1. Robear22

    Robear22 Supporting Member

    Sep 28, 2004
    Beach Park, Ill
    I have a bit of a problem and I need you guys help. I recently purchased a "The Bass Company" 5 string soapbar and I really like it. The only thing that bothers me is I kinda settled for the model they had which is the one with a Pau Ferro fingerboard. I wanted maple but besides that I like the bass. Well I came across the Yamaha at my local music store and it really caught my eye. Every time I would go there I would pick it up and mess with it but would never plug it in. Well I finally did last night and I loved it. The bass player review was pretty accurate. Excellent build quality and pretty verstaile tone wise. So here is my predicament, I cannot afford to buy the Yamaha and keep the TBC. Also I do not want to get rid of a quality bass such as the TBC. Which bass is worth having in the arsenal? I play contemporary and gospel Praise & Worship and some jazz and funk. I have also included a poll. What do I do?

    Here are pics of both of them
  2. PasdaBeer


    Nov 2, 2002
    Santa Rosa California
    SandStorm Designs
    keep the TBC.

    <3 slap some brighter strings on it, and you will be able to make it untill you can afford a maple board'ed bass.

    or you can sell it to me dirt cheap : P
  3. You've answered your own question. Keep the TBC. If you like it and don't want to get rid of it , don't. The Yammys are great basses, and if you want one it'd be a good choice, but not at the expense of a bass you already have and like. I'm constantly fighting against gas, but I can't afford to buy anything so my problem is sorted. The three basses in my signature do it for me, you could buy all three of them for under 1000 bucks, but they're mine, and I love them.

    Keep the TBC.
  4. pointbass

    pointbass Jersey to Georgia Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Endorsing Artist: FBB Bass Works
    I have no practical experience with The Bass Company basses, but from what I've read through here at TB they are well regarded. I do have experience with the Yamaha's and they are, for my tastes, a very solid bass.

    So it seems the choice becomes highly personalized for you .... the usual "which one feels better", "which one sounds better" arguments would apply. But there would be a practical loss of some value in a re-sale of the TBC that might influence your decision.

    I'd give the TBC some time to prove itself, and if it doesn't, there are always plenty of Yamaha's around .....

    BTW, how do you like that bass? Does it feel as hefty and well build as the Yamaha's? Same body size, or a little bit smaller?
  5. Robear22

    Robear22 Supporting Member

    Sep 28, 2004
    Beach Park, Ill
    I really like the bass. I really have not been exposed to high end basses but I think this one is rather good for the money. What I mean is that the quality is above what I paid for it. I really cannot compare it though to higher end basses because of limited exposure. The body size is smaller and lighter than the Yammy and is rather unique looking. The frets are smaller and the neck is wider. It is something about the Yamaha with that vintage look that is drawing me though. The TBC is more hi-fi while the Yamaha seems to have more of a vintage sound while being able to cop some modern sounds with the 3 band eq.
  6. Robear -

    My love for Yamaha basses is pretty well documented here on Talkbass. That said, you have to do what makes sense for yourself financially.

    Based on what you've said, the TBC bass is working well for you, therefore you don't "need" the Yammie to fulfill your musical mission. It would be different if you were iffy about the TBC or just plain didn't like it. Since that's not the case, don't fix what ain't broken.

    If, on the other hand, you are simply GAS-ing for the Yamaha, she's definitely worthy of your lust. I have a 415 and from a tone perspective, I look at the bass as a 5-string P/J. That's especially significant because finding a p-bass vibe in a 5 string is very hard to do at a reasonable price-point. The 615 will give you even more flexibility because of the preamp.

    At the end of the day, you have to choose -- although if it were me, I'd keep the TBC and save up to buy the Yamaha down the line.

    There's plenty of them around and there will always be one available when you're ready to buy.
  7. Do you have any other comments about the SS that you'd be willing to share? How's the B string? What do you think of the soapbar pickups?

    - Rob
  8. pointbass

    pointbass Jersey to Georgia Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Endorsing Artist: FBB Bass Works
    Yeah, that's the thing I've always liked about the Yamaha's, just kind of remind me of a good old fashioned Fender-esque feel. Thanks for the info about the TBC too .... they seem kind of interesting and I've been thinking about getting one, but the last thing I need right now is another bass! They do look cool, though ..... :cool:
  9. Actually -

    I look at them a little differently. I consider them "old-school" but decidedly NOT Fender. A different twist (A Japanese flavor?) on an old-school vibe.

    Does that make sense?
  10. Robear22

    Robear22 Supporting Member

    Sep 28, 2004
    Beach Park, Ill
    Iotanet- your posts in the Yamaha appreciation thread are what have been making me think about doing it.:D

    Robbiecanuck- the SS has a very good tone to it. The high end is really clear and refined. It has a lower class MTD clarity to it. That is the only bass that I have played that sounded similiar in the high end but I am not saying it is just like a MTD. One guy on here stated that it reminds him of his Pedulla. I just want to make sure I am not getting rid of something that is gonna be a hot commodity in the future. I have gotten rid of a Conklin GT-7 and a Cort/Elrick JPS5 over the years and I don't want to make another mistake.

    I also added pics of both basses in my first post.
  11. Rule #1...never sell a bass that you like...you'll sell it and then regret it...keep the TBC...as that sound in your head changes "and believe me, it will"...and as your playing changes, that bass will step up one day and say "I'm what you need".

    If you like the BB615 (what's not to like?)...then save up for it...but definitely get one in the next year or so...I prefer the 415, but the new BB's are KILLER basses...
  12. pointbass

    pointbass Jersey to Georgia Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Endorsing Artist: FBB Bass Works
    Definitely ..... I guess I'm more thinking about the chunkier body and heftier feel .... for sure, I'm a fan of the Yamaha's and this 615 seems pretty nice :D
  13. ElBajista


    Dec 13, 2005
    Sebring, FL
    Aesthetically, Definitely the TBC bass. TBC basses are some great looking basses.

    But, as I haven't had the chance to play either bass, I'm of no real help, except to say keep the bass if you like it, and simply save up for the Yamaha. Why choose between them when you can have both?:D
  14. Robear22

    Robear22 Supporting Member

    Sep 28, 2004
    Beach Park, Ill
    Everytime I see that Yamaha it just calls my name. Like Chris Rock's character from New Jack City.

    [Chris Rock voice on]
    It just keeps calling me, calling me
    [Chris Rock voice off]

    Thank you for your input guys. I like the TBC but I don't love it. I will make my choice tonight. I think that money is going to be the ruling factor here though and my wife. :D
  15. McHack


    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!
    Why do you believe having a Pau Ferro fingerboard is a bad thing? Tonally, pau ferro is pretty close to maple sounding as you can get. Sounds like you have a grudge against your TBC bass, for not being able to get a maple neck at the time.... But, does that yammy have a maple neck? Nope, looks like rosewood to me.

    Honestly, I think those huge chrome brackets around the ups on the yammy are fugly.
  16. Robear22

    Robear22 Supporting Member

    Sep 28, 2004
    Beach Park, Ill
    For the TBC I think the maple version stands out more. I think the Pau Ferro gives me a pretty nice tone. This is my first bass with a Pau Ferro fingerboard and I am impressed. I know the Yamaha has a rosewood board but there is something about it that is drawing me and I don't know what it is. Every bass is not for everybody. Some like basses with clear finishes, some like theirs with solid colors because they don't like to see the grain. Some want simplicity and some want complexity. I am gonna play the Yamaha through my rig tonight at the store and see how it sounds. I will probably just save up for it and get it later but if it blows me out of the water I may just walk out with it.
  17. Robear22

    Robear22 Supporting Member

    Sep 28, 2004
    Beach Park, Ill
    Well I tried the Yamaha through my rig at the store and I loved it. This bass is pretty versatile and flexible. I will pick it up next week. Then I tried the 4 string active model and the passive 4 string. These are some nice basses and the passive model is a tone machine. For those guys that want vintage tone with an overseas price get one. The store by me is selling them for $360.
  18. Robear-

    What ended up happening? Did you go w/ the 615 or keep your TBC? I'm somewhat of the same situation and I'm trying to decide between the two. I really like the tone and finish of the 615 in the yellow natural; but like the uniqueness of the TBC.