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ThirteenDevils

Birthday upcoming - which 5 string do i get?

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Posted (edited)

Simple really this....https://www.bassdirect.co.uk/bass_guitar_specialists/Cort_A5_PLus_SC.html

or that....https://www.bassdirect.co.uk/bass_guitar_specialists/TRB1005J.html

same price, but different, i have a Fender Jazz (American Vintage 60s) a P (Nate Mendel) and a PJ (Tony Franklin fretless) all 4 strings at the moment. Never had a 5 but thought i’d dip my wick!

Thoughts?

 

Edited by ThirteenDevils

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Corts have always offered massive bang for buck and a singlecut would be different. However, when have Yamaha ever made a less than excellent instrument at any price point? Although, I’d have to go for the trans black rather than the fingerprint magnet, but that’s just me. Interesting choice, I doubt you’ll be disappointed either way and if it were me, it’d probably come down to aesthetics and weight.

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Neither. I owned a TRB1006J and the neck was overly thick, and the tone rather dull and uninspiring. For that kind of money Bass Direct has a used Ibanez SR1605 with the very nice Nordstrand Big Singles, and it’s very light in weight to boot - used, but you always get more bang for your buck used. 

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Difficult choice.

TheCort has a neckthrough and is a single cut with real Hipshot Ultralite tuners (no neck diving) with Bartolini MkI pickups and preamp.

The Yamaha has a bolt-on neck, Gotoh tuners with Yamaha pickups and preamp.

Weight is the same, just as the price, except if you opt for the fingermarks magnet gloss black finish.

Soundwise, the Cort is a bit fatter when the Yamaha will be a bit more precise.

Necks are different too, a bit more round on the Cort and a bit faster on the Yamaha.

It's only a question of personal taste.

Can't you try them, it would be easier ?

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20 minutes ago, FDC484950 said:

Neither. I owned a TRB1006J and the neck was overly thick, and the tone rather dull and uninspiring. For that kind of money Bass Direct has a used Ibanez SR1605 with the very nice Nordstrand Big Singles, and it’s very light in weight to boot - used, but you always get more bang for your buck used. 

I had one of those, the Big Singles are lurvley. I’m a largish guy (6 foot, 85kg) and I eventually found it a bit small for me. Beautifully put together and light as a light thing.

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Can you get to Bass Direct? Or, in fact, any large/reputable bass retailer?

If at all possible, I'd go and try everything within my budget with 5 strings on it, irrespective of whether I'd heard of the brand, liked the colour etc.

It's worked well for me in the past. And sometimes even saved me money!

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I always love these threads. They follow the same path.

”Should I choose A or B?”

”Neither. I didn’t like A or B and you should choose C.”

”Actually, you shouldn’t buy A, B or C without playing them so go to the shop (even though this isn’t possible).”

”Buy a jazz bass.”

”Buy a Precision.”

”Vintage basses are over priced”.

 

 

  • Haha 3

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Posted (edited)
On 11/05/2020 at 09:53, FDC484950 said:

For that kind of money Bass Direct has a used Ibanez SR1605 with the very nice Nordstrand Big Singles, and it’s very light in weight to boot - used, but you always get more bang for your buck used. 

Agreed - it is widely acknowledged* the SR1605 is actually the best bass ever made :D

 

* by me.

Edited by Woodinblack

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Posted (edited)

Yamahas have great build quality so TRB will play like butter.  The Cort will be probably be good but not as good.

However, Yamaha seem to deliberately downgrade the electronics of their cheaper basses and this has the same preamp and pickups as the Japanese made TRB5ii.  I own both a TRB5ii and a TRB5pii and the electronics are noticeably better in the TRB5pii.  The sound of the TRB5pii is excellent and bright and the EQ works brilliantly but the TRB5ii sounds a bit dull and the EQ is less effective.  The TRB5ii (and TRB1005) is also no louder than a loud passive bass whereas the TRB5pii is very loud, as you'd expect from an active bass.   The TRB5ii also has a very weak detent on the blend, treble, mid and bass controls, which annoyed me at first but I put stickers on the knobs and I don't mind so much any more. The TRB5pii doesn't have any problem with the centre detents. Unfortunately, you will only get electronics like the TRB5pii in a BBEast or John Patitucci TRB, which around £2000. 

The electronics are not easy to upgrade in the TRB line because all of the electronics are housed on a single circuit board so you cannot upgrade one bit at a time.  The dummy coil on the pickups will only work with the TRB preamp unless you're willing to reverse-engineer the circuitry.   If you do replace the electronics, you'll also need to chisel some of the wood in the cavity because the panel is very thick and only accommodates the TRB preamp. 

The blend control is active on the TRB1005 which gives an incredibly smooth transition from one pickup to the other but unfortunately means that you can't simply add a passive switch without bypassing blend.

I've attached a picture of the impenetrable circuit board preamp just in case you're interested.

I'm certain that the TRB has better build quality and will feel absolutely fantastic under your fingers but the sound is probably better on the Cort.

In my opinion, Yamaha should just bite the bullet and put their good electronics in 1005, 1004 etc. and just charge another £150 and they'd have such a killer bass for the price.  It's such a shame.

Regards

IMG_20200512_112931695.jpg

Edited by ltownbass

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Nice and complete reply, but there's no such thing as a dummy coil on Yamaha basses. The pickups are just humbuckers.

That said your idea of putting the high end preamp in all basses would simply mean the end of the high end segment of Yamaha basses.

And you're completely right upgrading the preamp on a TRB means playing with a router. 😉

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3 hours ago, ltownbass said:

The sound of the TRB5pii is excellent and bright and the EQ works brilliantly but the TRB5ii sounds a bit dull and the EQ is less effective.  The TRB5ii (and TRB1005) is also no louder than a loud passive bass whereas the TRB5pii is very loud, as you'd expect from an active bass.  

You sure it isn't the pickups being not the same? there is no reason to downgrade a preamp as they cost pennies at the manufacturing level to make, and an poor quality one is no cheaper than a good one.

And no, I wouldn't expect an active bass to be any louder than a passive bass unless it had a fault or you had a low impedance amplifier.

 

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Yes yes, this is a sidetrack:

The preamp has pretty basic opamps and components except those (too) special pots.

As it was said earlier, it is very hard to suggest any bass to another person. The best way to find a suitable instrument is to try several different. It is a bit like doing many test bike rides and then make a personal choice.

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Posted (edited)
49 minutes ago, Woodinblack said:

You sure it isn't the pickups being not the same?

 

I'm not sure if the pickups are the same but the combination of both pickups and preamp is not the same.  The circuit is available for both preamps and they are definitely different circuits (one takes a piezo pickup input) but there is no indication that one should be higher quality than the other from the circuit diagrams:  That's just from my experience.  The centre detents are more pronounced on the TRB5pii and the pot shafts are grey, not black.  It doesn't prove anything but indicates that they are different. 

Another point is that the preamp on TRB5ii stops working when the battery is at about 6.5v but the TRB5pii keeps going until about 4.5v.  Again, this just indicates that they are different and all that I have said about better sound quality is just from experience.

49 minutes ago, Woodinblack said:

there is no reason to downgrade a preamp as they cost pennies at the manufacturing level to make, and an poor quality one is no cheaper than a good one.

I agree, but I believe they do it to increase the appeal of their more expensive basses or to decrease the appeal of their cheaper one.

49 minutes ago, Woodinblack said:

And no, I wouldn't expect an active bass to be any louder than a passive bass unless it had a fault or you had a low impedance amplifier.

My EBS effects pedals have a switch from active to passive and it seems to increase the input gain.  It may well be changing the impedance rather than input gain but I'm afraid I don't know for sure.  I own both and the TRB5pii is louder.

3 hours ago, Hellzero said:

there's no such thing as a dummy coil on Yamaha basses. The pickups are just humbuckers.

Please see the attached specs from the Yamaha website.  The phrase humcanceled single coil doesn't prove my point but I think that they would say humbuckers if they genuinely are "just humbuckers".

Screenshot_20200512_135310.png

Sorry to the original poster because I didn't want to distract from the point of the thread. 

Just to summarise:  I would only recommend the TRB if you can be bothered to upgrade the electronics because they are likely to leave you wanting.  You won't get the high end snap that people like for slap.

If you are willing to upgrade everything then try saving some money by buying a second hand one.  Woodwork and fret work on Yamahas is exceptional so you'll get a bass that feels great.  If you're concerned about the tuners or bridge on the Yamaha, don't be because they are excellent.

Edited by ltownbass

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I had dozens of TRB's and BB's and the pickups are built this way, so two split coils side by side (or up and down according to the way you see it) :

 

J_Soapbars_Series_CoilsStrings.png.d1b045192b1259f3e0e5b86f6b33fcb0.png

It can also be a stacked humbucker, the lower coil being a kind of dummy coil, but not the way a real dummy coil circuit is designed.

You can check this using an EMG (or another brand) magnetic paper. Yamaha simply call it another way, exactly like Noguera does. A dummy coil will imply a specific circuit to cancel the hum and 3 identical coils for perfect hum-cancelling, the way Alembic or Leduc are doing it and the dummy coil is often visible in between the pickups.

Never trust marketing wording...

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8 hours ago, Burns-bass said:

I always love these threads. They follow the same path.

”Should I choose A or B?”

”Neither. I didn’t like A or B and you should choose C.”

”Actually, you shouldn’t buy A, B or C without playing them so go to the shop (even though this isn’t possible).”

”Buy a jazz bass.”

”Buy a Precision.”

”Vintage basses are over priced”.

 

 

You didn’t factor the pre amp debate :) 

  • Haha 1

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Good choice, but you should have gone for 6 strings at least! 

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He went with the advice I didn't give! Those Cort basses as exceptionally good things! 

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