1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

TUNE TWB-53 MIK @ $250 how good are these?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Bass V, May 10, 2018.

  1. Bass V

    Bass V

    Dec 11, 2008
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    after finally checking out a local new (by a year) discount store today I now want to move in and live there... they have a big wall full of guitars / basses with some amps / FX etc. from dorky and cheap to rare and exotic, some at better than normal prices and everything in decent seeming shape. I was too busy filling 2 pages of research items to get somebody to unlock them so I could check it out further and was skeptical of the Korean knockoffs anyway. this is probably their lowest quality 5er, the black / chrome no frills one in good cond., yet it seems they may be ok, and I am reading the TUNE Club thread but there's a bunch and most posts tend to be about the MIJs.
    since posts on the MIKs are old maybe I can get some updated input regarding the pros vs cons on what might turn into a fairly great deal on a possibly great bass. I understand these may have a 'modern' sound which doesn't thrill me but string choice could mitigate that issue if these are as versatile as some say and can also do old school thump and grind from Motown to Mountain. what say ye TB community?
    Warhawk likes this.
  2. Maxdusty


    Mar 9, 2012
    Michigan USA
    I have one of these but the 4 string version. It does sound modern - best way I can describe it is perhaps a little like an Ibanez SR500 but has that versatility. Tonally, it's capable of some truly crisp sounds. One thing I do have to mention and it took me a while to realize there are trim pots inside in the electronics cavity. When I first got the bass, I thought the output was a little thin and not enough thump , but after adjusting it - I was able to get it just the way I like it. The necks are thin - by this, I mean the profile - I find it very comfortable but I can see how some would find it a little on the thin side. Yes, it's not the MIJ Tune but still a very capable bass and worth a try imo.
    Warhawk and Bass V like this.
  3. Bass V

    Bass V

    Dec 11, 2008
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    thanx for that, Max, you were one of those I was gonna pm after searching / reading but figured I'd just toss it out for general consumption. it's those trim pots which did it for me, any bass that has hidden tone secrets like that has my interest! that's why I was hoping if these are inherently modern then maybe it can be dialed into other sonic aspects, but that might be asking too much. this would be my first 5 string venture and the B gets some dbl. thumbs up from users so that's a big plus, it'll have to really impress me tho after getting my Peavey Zodiac, that sucker covers lots of ground and does all the old school all day and nite even with zingy strings still on it. yet, I haven't heard a bad word about the ripoff TUNEs and @ only $250 it's getting harder by the second not throwing that money down. I'm going back to the candy store today and checking it all out again, they've got an EDEN Time Traveler I can plug into... heh heh heh
    Warhawk and Maxdusty like this.
  4. Maxdusty


    Mar 9, 2012
    Michigan USA
    Adjusting the trim pots made a world of difference- before then, I was contemplating which of two basses to keep, the Tune or an Ibanez SR700 - I was in the process of paring down my collection. Initially I was leaning on selling the Tune and keeping the Ibanez, but after finding out it had pots you could adjust , and adjusting it to my preference...that sales ad for the SR700 went up the following day. It sounds really good.
    Pretty powerful bass with it's two 9V batteries, I was just playing it a while back when I read this post. For $250 - dang, that's a good price.
    gebass6 and Bass V like this.
  5. I own 2 production Tunes from Japan and a TWB- 4 from Korea. All 3 great basses. I confused by the "ripoff term, Tune Guitar Tech in Korea (note they use the original Japanese name) have been making and selling Tune basses worldwide for over 20 years. Before taking over full production they supplied Tune Japan with necks,bodies,pickups and preamps. The present Tune Guitar Maniac in Japan are a custom shop who'll make anything you want.

    "Ask Tune Japan to build you this and they will no problem.
    Ask Tune Korea the same question and they will ignore you.

    The pictured guitar was built by Tune Japan under their sideline name Psychedelic.
    Bass V likes this.
  6. Bass V

    Bass V

    Dec 11, 2008
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    you're not helping! / oh yes you are! LOL
    unless this gets snagged by someone else I may have to buy it just to find out if it suits me or can be modded to.
    but how even similar basses manage to differ so drastically in intrinsic values from vintage to modern is baffling...

    it was merely an easy catch-all phrase which seems accurate as I believe the Japan faction feels ripped off.
    personally, I'm all for the fact that it happened despite caring for any moral / legal aspects, but the world didn't end and we have cheap versions of an interesting bass concept which I can afford. and any time I don't have to cough up another $100+ in shipping I'm happy, ya gotta make the best of an imperfect world!

    I'll get another look at it today and try out some of the others like a few nice looking PI Bacchus', a sweet Schecter J, a Navigator J, etc,. but them and some others on the racks are typically gigantic in size, with the occasional exceptions I've moved on to more diminutive basses and the TUNE 5er still fits that billing.
  7. I doubt the Japanese feel much aggreaved or they wouldn't be buying their pickups from Tune Guitar Tech. Look at the name on the pickups and note the ringed "R". Those pickups are made by Roswell, Roswell are owned by WSC Music.

    WSC Music also own Tune Guitar Technology.

    TUNE Official Web Site
  8. Maxdusty


    Mar 9, 2012
    Michigan USA
    Ooh....another good bass.
    Bass V likes this.
  9. Bass V

    Bass V

    Dec 11, 2008
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    just back from the candy store where the one easily accessible Bacchus J I tried was well worn and not happening, but I'll get to the other two they had soon enuf, they're newish and a bit pricier. the best so far was a meager fake Fender P/J with a Schecter neck plate, didn't plug anything in today but it felt and resonated just right, I was instantly at home with it and @ $250 wanted that one right away. the TUNE was pretty nice, not top cond. by far but I can see some of why these might be cool. I'm just not destined for 5 strings it seems and the B was quite floppy, I was a total mess on it. I could just leave that off or go with a high C, so I'm still considering it, but the fake Fender kept calling me back. they had a few additions from yesterday so stuff comes in regularly and they don't seem to move'm fast, they may be discounting some pieces to make room. I gotta have reserve cash and be ready to jump at opportunities, but incredibly this hidden place is still a secret gold mine, gotta love that! too bad the wild Burns Flyte they have is kinda toast, it's also 2K, but fun to see in person. LOL now I'm tempted to get a job there!
  10. taosword


    Dec 9, 2016
    What is the main differences between the Korean Tune TWB-43 and the Japanese TWB-4? Seems like the older ones have the same bridges and the same electronics and some of the same woods and are the same size.
  11. With the older ones there's really no difference apart from Japan having a smaller workforce. Both use the same jigs and CNC templates with Japan buying their pickups,preamps and hardware from the Koreans.

    The Japanese are known for high standards,the Koreans have been building Tune basses for nearly 30 years. There's no reason why the Koreans don't also have high standards. Truth is the average wage is higher in Incheon than it is in Osaka,with transport/housing and leisure costs running roughly 50% cheaper for Incheon workers they also have a better standard of living. Higher wages and better living conditions generally means a more productive workforce.

    Now the notion of cheap labour has been dealt with what about the bass :) I've owned my Korean TWB-4Z for a number of years now and quite simply it's an outstanding bass. Without a shim the action is 1.25mm on G and 1.5mm on E,both taken at 17th fret. The hardware is 1st class and the bass plays/sounds wonderful.

    I'd expect the same from the Japanese version. I wouldn't however pay twice the price just so I could own a Japanese Tune:thumbsup:
  12. taosword


    Dec 9, 2016
    Thanks, that's kinda what I thought. I see all these bass posts about the superiority of the Japanese Tunes and was wondering what the deal is.
  13. Madjon1973


    Apr 14, 2017
    I have a Japanese 94 Tune Tbc-4 which had been my mainstay for many years, fabulous instrument, recently had frets dressed and it's superb again.

    However I decided to purchase a Korean Twb-4 in flame maple in 2014 to give the old girl a rest. Quality of the Korean bass was very good straight out of the box, looks stunning, great fretwork but a very different animal to the tbc.

    The top "horn" on the twb only reaches the 14th fret which makes it feel a bit "left" shifted when compared to the tbc which is more akin to a fender set up (albeit much lighter and slimmer) but it is well balanced

    The bridge on the twb is my main gripe, it's solid enough but the saddles can "click" in their groove, not really obvious when playing but I think the Japanese models may have a better bridge

    The internal trim pots turned my twb from an "I want to love you but" into a "that's what I'm talking about" bass, really extended the flexibility and got that tone. Love playing it now

    The Japanese tbc 4 is still superb despite its age and is slightly better for rock given the pj config. But it's hard to tell, love both basses.

    I'm trying now to make a decision on a Korean tbj 52 or twb 5 as the next acquisition...Korean is the way to go, very hard to justify the extra expense for a small possibly negligable gain in performance

    If you have the opportunity to try before you buy go do it

    I bought direct from tune imported to UK, very helpful guys n girls
    kodiakblair likes this.
  14. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Dec 3, 2020

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.