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What is THE Tacoma 4 string to have??

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by soulbrother, Aug 31, 2002.

  1. Hi,

    For a while I am looking for a nice ABG. A lot of you guys recommend Tacoma as being the loudest played unplugged etc. On the Tacoma site I saw several types of 4 strings. Now I really want to know: what is THE Tacoma 4 string of the Tacoma 4 strings (for the money, of course).

    Thanks, Werner.
  2. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    Whatever one you can get your hand on! ;)

    I have a plain old CB10, which is the pure acoustic model. I'm in the process of adding a K&K Ultra Pure soundboard transducer/preamp rig, which I suspect I'll prefer over any of Tacoma's undersaddle pickup options. (I hate quack in an ABG!) I think the Tacoma equivalent to this type of system is their "E7".

    So far as I know, the main difference between the different Thunderchief models is cosmetic. My CB10 is rather plain, without body binding and with a matte finish. The CB20 series is much the same with more ornate cosmetics, rosewood back and sides and a gloss finish. (See link) The CB105 and CB205 are five strings, and I think the CB10FC is a fretless four.

    The CB28 is spruce and maple - see this Elderly link for pictures.

    I suspect the CB28 is the brightest one of the bunch, with the mahogany CB10 the darkest. I bet the CB20 is in between the two. Since it's a bass ;) , I think I'd prefer my CB10. I'd rather not listen to either of the others to avoid a G.A.S. attack!

    Volume tip: try playing with a felt pick when you want to bury an acoustic guitar unplugged!
  3. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    I bought my CB10 when they first came out. There were three options, an acoustic, an alectric/acoustic, and the top of the line model the electric/acoustic with Fishman Prefix Plus preamp. I have not kept up with what's available now.

    I have the CB10E with the Prefix Plus preamp.

    I've played the one with the Baggs preamp and it's no equal to mine. On the Prefix Plus there's a "Notch" knob that is like a magic feedback eraser when plugged in. I recently played a borrowed CB10 with the Baggs preamp and it had feedback troubles in the hall I was in. It works let me tell you. Also, the Prefix Plus has a semi parametric EQ which really hels out on the low mids where these things live. I would hold out for the better preamp. Mine cost me about $900, then I had to wait about 4 months for the availability of the hard case (yeah, they were that new then) which was an additional $120. Worth every penny.

    What a wonderful intrument.
  4. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
  5. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Actually, I'd expect the CB20 to be the "deepest" sounding, since rosewood usually gives more bottom end than mahogany in acoustic guitars. For the tops, the spuce does give more highs while cedar is a little warmer, but mahogany isn't really known for its booming lows in acoustic instruments.

  6. Thankx guys for posting your replies. I can't really try one out because Tacoma is not represented in the Netherlands. The only way for me to check one out is to go to Germany.

    Best regards, Werner.
  7. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    I stand corrected - I was working from memory. I was thinking rosewood was for sparkle...
  8. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    I'd love to have a chance to try the CB20 out and confirm the theory about the tone! All I have to go by is the 6-string acoustics I've played.

  9. I love my Ovation...

    Thank you, I'll be leaving now;) .
  10. I bought one of the Tacoma/Olympia ABGs a few weeks back ($499 with case +S&H). I thought I was going to get the famous Tacoma sound for a lot less.

    The bass arrived, I took it out of the case with a lot of anticipation. Man, was I disappointed.

    First the case was not a very good case. The latches barely closed with any security and with just a little bouncing around in the back seat of my car on the way to a jam, two of them came loose. Plus one was broken, wouldn't stay latched, period.

    The neck was nice. I'd have to say that it was probably the equivalent of the US models. It was also a glued on, set neck, not the bolt on of the US models.

    The body looked nice, but it is laminated, sides, back, and top. The sides and back were darkly stained and the top was light, like most spruce tops.

    The electronics, a Fishman Classic 4, was OK. The output jack turned out to be a nightmare. After plugging and unplugging it a couple of times, it started popping and cracking everytime I would move. I thought maybe it was the cord, but it did it with all of my cords, which all worked fine with my other basses and guitars.

    End result, I sent it back; NOT for a replacement Olympia. I did get a replacement however, I got a US made CB10E4 (Fishman Prefix Plus). I just got it this past Saturday so I really haven't had a chance to thoroughly check it out. It's real nice looking, a little lighter in weight than the Olympia, and a lot lighter in color.

    Time will tell if I made a good decision in buying the Tacoma. In fact, time will tell if I made a good decision in buying an ABG in the first place.

    I'll post later after I've had a chance to play it at home, practices, and at a few jams and gigs.

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