Tune Guitar Technology TWB53
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TWB53, 5+ string bass guitar from Tune Guitar Technology.

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content in English
Audiofanzine FR 15/12/2008

Tune Guitar Technology TWB53 : Recensione di Audiofanzine FR (content in English)

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(Originally written by D_lex/translated from Audiofanzine FR)
Bass: made in Korea, designed in Japan (when Tune Japan went broke all patents and rights must have been bought by a Korean company).

Mahogany body with bubinga top (exotic wood).

Same design as the Casiopea (inspired by the Tune model played by Casiopea's bassist).

5-piece alder bolt-on neck with 24-fret rosewood fingerboard.

Die-cast deluxe-type bridge, metallic nut.

2 soap bar active pickups, volume control, blend control (pickups balance) and 3-band EQ with the following frequencies: (I don't know the Q value):

Treble: +17/-17 dB at 8 kHz

Middle: +12/-12 dB at 350 Hz

Bass: +15/-15 dB at 90 Hz

The circuit board offers two gain settings for the pickups and a notch filter setting (-20 dB at 850 Hz).

Operation with two 9-volt batteries.

Perfect finish.

I would really love if the access to the batteries was easier and I didn't have to unscrew the rear plate.

It's a modern bass guitar.

UTILIZATION

Handling:

If you already know Tune you'll feel comfortable with this bass.

The neck is very pleasant, neither too slim nor too thick. It's a bit narrower than a 5-string Jazz Bass neck.

It's conceived for fast playing.

The neck's rear is varnished so the hand slides smoothly.

The neck heel is conceived to give a lot of freedom to your hand.

The weight is acceptable for a 5-string bass. You can play a whole gig without the need of a therapist. :D

When you play sitting the head tends to be a bit too heavy but it's not a problem compared to a Rickenbacker for example.

The lower horn has its advantages but... Its shape doesn't allow you to move the bass when sitting and it can become quite uncomfortable and even painful after a while.

The bass is very pleasant when you play standing and it looks great.

The sound is very clean.

SOUNDS

This bass guitar's main quality is its tone, if you like modern sounds.

I play guitar in a cold wave band but I also record bass parts for this band.

I also play in a space rock / progressive rock band where I can either play guitar, keyboards, bass guitar or sing. The sound palette I need is very large.

I like playing every music style, from dub to metal, funk, salsa, post rock, doom, etc.

I use different amps.

Hartke, Ampeg, MarkBass... Live I connect directly to the mixer or via my Sansamp Bass Driver DI.

This bass guitar doesn't like every amp. For example, I don't like how it sounds with Hartke amps. But it's a real delight with an Ampeg.

It's great because it sounds good no matter how you play it (although I prefer the Tune BassManiac for slapping because it has more brilliance).

The sound varies from crystal-clear to fat, from smooth to percussive. The low-end is round and soft (which Hartke amps cannot reproduce).

Don't expect a Fender sound. If you want the Fender sound go buy a Fender! It's the same with Rickenbacker.

I compared it to several bass guitars (2 x Jazz Bass, Precision, Musicman Sabre, Epiphone Signature Jack Cassadi and '76 Rickenbacker 4001) using an Ampeg B2R. The sound of the Musicman was the closest to the Tune. (but still clearly different since the Musicman has a very characteristic growl).

The most notable difference with a Fender are the highs. It's almost as if Fender bass guitars had a low pass filter. The Tune and Musicman provide much more content in the high end.

The controls are excellent and accurate.

(the Ampeg amp reproduces more faithfully the sound character of each pickup than a Hartke).

Every note is well-defined and precise, the sustain is wonderful and extremely long...

I like every sound this bass makes. Thanks to its versatility, this bass guitar is perfect for recording sessions, but it's also a great choice for live gigs.

PS: The output volume is quite high and you have to control it when playing or else you'll have distortion in the amp or DI.

OVERALL OPINION

I've been using it for 2 weeks (it's not long but I have tested several setups and applications until my fingers started burning).

I love everything about this bass.

I've already had other bass guitars before:

- Yamaha rbx 270 (first bass). Good instrument for beginners but no sound character.

- Ibanez TR series (I loved its sound but it was pretty heavy and not conceived for playing slap).

- Rickenbaker. Excellent but not versatile enough.

- Fender Precision. I didn't feel comfortable with this bass.

- Fender JazzBass. Same thing. I love the sound but I hate the neck.

- Musicman Sabre (as soon as I have enough money... Although I'd buy a Thunderbird first)

- Epiphone Jack Cassady. (Not bad but it doesn't fit my taste. And you just can't play slap)

This bass is a Swiss army knife for live applications. And an excellent studio instrument.

If you like modern, accurate and hard sounds, buy it. Otherwise forget about it.

Excellent value for money. For this price, it's almost a gift!

Would I buy it again? What a question! Of course!

I don't give it a 10 because perfection doesn't exist.