Turner Renaissance/Rob Allen Mb-2: Your thoughts, please...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by b15fliptop, Apr 13, 2004.

  1. b15fliptop

    b15fliptop Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    I'm in the market for a URB'ish fretless, without having to actually resort to a URB. Anyone out there tried both of these? I'd really like to hear comparisons, but if you have experience with either that would be appreciated too. Thanks!
  2. here i go again!

    ROB ALLEN for that killer FEATHER WITH BALLS (from a review) sound!!!

    nice thing about the MB2, is you can find used ones with flamed maple tops for a reasonable price.

    someone here had a kick butt macassar board MB2 for $1500.

    i almost considered trading one of my Sadowskys for it.


    so, in conclusion, THE MB2!!!!

    the Turner has a completely different sound, not really URBish in my opinion.

  3. JPJ


    Apr 21, 2001
    Chicago, IL
    I've played both and agree with the statements above...while they're similar in design and intent, they really have two very different tones. The Allen is much more akin to an upright tone (especially with tapewounds) whereas the Turner (with Thomastic strings) is more modern sounding. They'll both get the job done, but your choice will probably depend on whether you prefer a modern fretless sound with some woody-ness added in or whether you prefer the tone of and old "dog house" with the playability of an electric bass.
  4. rusty


    Mar 29, 2004
    Yeah, I'd go with the MB2 as well. I have a deep suspicion that I'll be GASsing for one when I'm ready for a fretless 5 :)
    It's supposed to be as close as you get to a DB sound - and if you wanna go the whole hog, you might as well get a <a href="http://www.roballenguitars.com/pages/DeepFiveCustom.html">deep 5 custom</a> :eek: though that'll set you back a good $5000ish or so.... :D
    But as fhodshon said, a good second hand MB2 can be had for a very reasonable price of around $1200-$1500, depending on the specs of the bass.

    Or, you could always go latex and get an ashbory... :D
  5. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Perhaps I'm alone here...I actually did a side-by-side not that long ago. I thought the Rob Allen's attack was very trebly and harsh, where the Turner's attack was far more round and natural sounding. Both did an excellent job with the fundamental, though.

    I love both basses, so don't get me wrong, but to me, a Turner is far closer to that of an URB than a Rob Allen.
  6. wow, i couldn't disagree more.

    when i first got my Rob Allen, i noticed the clackiness too. made me adjust my technique.

    was the first bass where i really learned the benefits of a light touch.

    that with adjust my plucking position, (AND learning the floating thumb technique) i got INCREDIBLE upright tone!!!

    i suppose i'm partial because the only Turner's i've played had the bronze strings.

    not fair really.

  7. I would have to agree. Because a simple change to flatwounds on the turner will yield an amazing upright like tone. The MB2 only has a volume knob and yes, I also thouht it was a bit noisy (trebly)..... The Turner has a very good pickupwith usually two knobs and an adjustable gain on the inside of the bass.

    The beautiful turner I owned, had different tones with different strings. Since most people in stores play turners with thomastiks (fast attack, blooming sound BUT STEEL strings) and MB2's with tapewounds (thumpy black flats) then most people will claim that the MB2 is more uprightish.

    On the Turner I tried the Thomastiks and it had TONS of mwah almost so much that you couldn't tame it. Then La Bella steel flats gave it a very good upright tone with some uprightish mwah when I dug in a little. Then when I tried nickel wound rotosounds it sounded like a fretted bass with a very controllable mwah when I dug in a bit.

    The lightweight design, more options, no neck dive (with dingus), pure vibration through the body, and coming from the man who revolutionized bass (ie Alembic), Rick Turner's stuff wins for me hands down. In fact, Rob Allen was taught by Rick Turner.
  8. not a secret by any stretch.

    kottke was taught by fahey.

  9. b15fliptop

    b15fliptop Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    Hmmm. Well thanks for the replies guys. I guess I'll have to lay my hands on one of each. The clip on Rob's site sounds amazing - exactly what I'm looking for, but I can't find any clips of a Turner to compare it to. I don't know if any of you have seen a very talented lady by the name of Lauren Ellis gigging in and around Nashville, but I saw her bassist play a Turner at a NAMM and it sounded nothing like what I expected. It was basically just a huge fundamental, without much definition. I don't know if it was truly representative of the instruments capabilities, though. The search goes on...