Ibanez TMB100 Review – 2020 Overview

Vlad
| Last Updated: January 21, 2021

Along with Soundgear and Gio series, Ibanez has also introduced in 2015 another very affordable line of solid body electric bass models called Talman Bass series. 

Where are Ibanez TMB100 Guitars Made?

Those bass guitars are made in Indonesia as part of the standard line.

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Uses 2 single-coil pickups in this guitar
  • Is equipped with a Maple fretboard
  • Comes with a compact lightweight body
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Ibanez TMB100 Talman Bass Guitar (Mustard Yellow, Maple Fingerboard)

PROS

  • Cheap but good
  • Loud and clear sound
  • Vintage look and design
  • JP pickup system installed

CONS

  • Only 20 Frets
  • Possible pot control issues

Ibanez TMB100 Specs 

  • Type of Guitar: Electric bass guitar

  • Body Size and Type: Asymmetric double cutaway solid body 

  • Number of Strings: Four strings, also available in five strings model (TMB105)

  • Tonewood: Poplar solid wood body with 3-ply pickguard

  • Orientation: Available in right and left hand model (GSRM20L)

  • Neck Profile: 1-piece Maple TMB4 neck shape with 41mm nut width

  • Fretboard: Jatoba fretboard with 20 medium frets

  • Scale Length: 34 inches

  • Color: Black (BK), Ivory (IV), Mint Green (MGR), Tri Fade Burst (TFB)

  • Pickup Type: Ibanez Dynamix DXP and DXJ passive pickup configuration

  • Weight: 8.8 lbs

Pros 

Loud and Clear Sound

Ibanez is well-known for delivering quite a decent output even at their entry-level range and TMB100 is not an exception. And it’s not just about loudness, the output seems to be extremely noise-free as well so you can combine it with effect pedals easily.

JP Pickup System Installed

For those who can’t decide if they prefer J-Bass or P-Bass sound, the JP pickup solution seems to be the best solution as such systems offer a bit of both worlds. Thankfully, navigating between one or another pickup is quite easy on TMB100 as it’s all about dialing a single knob.

Such a pickup system also appears to be the most versatile regarding tone options as you can get both the thump of the P-Bass sound and that bright slap sound which made J-Bass legendary. 

Vintage Look and Design

Unlike typical Ibanez, Talman TMB100 offers you with a vintage look which includes the 3-ply pickguard in different colors than the body finish and asymmetrical cutaway. Actually it may resemble you a lot to the Fender Jaguar Bass series, except for being much lighter. With such a look you will be able to blend in all kinds of bands playing out there.

This vintage look extends further to the neck size as well. Ibanez wanted to fill the gap in line production for those who would like to get the affordable bass guitar but prefer P-Bass size over J-Bass. 

Ibanez TMB100 Meters - Mustard Yellow Flat

Cheap But Good

With such a low price, this instrument is an ideal pick for all kinds of players. Combined with all the tone variety you’re able to pull off with JP pickups, it’s definitely an instrument that you’ll buy and keep indefinitely as you will get much more from the sound options you’re getting than a price you would get for the used model.

Cons

Possible Pot Control Issues  

We’re uncertain how this pot system works on the long run. This is a budget model and the same goes for the pots used. Because of the pot system, you’ll wear it twice faster than on a single knob layout so we believe this could be solved much better.

Only 20 Frets

Indeed, beginners aren’t skilled and they probably won’t go above 12 frets so often, but, it’s still a pity to have only 20 frets on a 34-inch large fretboard. We find that it should come with at least 22.

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers were mostly beginners aware they are buying an entry-level instrument and based on their comments, it seems that this instrument didn’t fail to meet their expectations. As a matter of fact, some are even very satisfied with it. This probably leads to the conclusion that the factory setup may vary a bit so you’ll have to tune it up upon arrival which is quite normal at this price range.

They confirm that its pickup system is quite versatile and that it can provide you a lot of tone variety and they appreciate the 2-band EQ control as many other models in this tier don't provide such an option. Also, a switch between the bridge and neck magnet could be a bit smoother.

The only let down are the cheap-looking tuning machines and it seems to be that due to the 20 fret size, the gap between lower notes might be too large for some players to play. Also, stock strings are a bit mediocre so they recommend installing a proper set of strings as this will significantly improve the overall playing experience, especially if you go and pick a flat wound set.

What Are The Components of the Ibanez TMB100? 

The Ibanez TMB100 has an asymmetric double-cutaway Poplar solid wood body with a 3-ply pickguard. Neck is a 1-piece Maple TMB4 model and it has a Jatoba fretboard with 20 medium frets on it on a 34-inch scale length with white dot inlay.

The neck width is a bit larger than a typical Ibanez and it’s a 41mm on the nut position and it goes up to 62mm at the 20th fret with thickness ranging from 21.5mm on 1st fret up to 24.5mm on the 12th. The bridge is another Accu-cast B10 model that comes with standard 19mm string spacing and tunings are standard entry-level Ibanez chrome stock models. 

What Pickups Does An Ibanez TMB100 Use?

The Ibanez TMB100 is equipped with Ibanez Dynamix DXP split single-coil passive pickup on the neck and Ibanez Dynamix DXJ passive pickup on the bridge. The pickup level is controlled by the outer ring on the volume pot while the bass and treble are controlled in the same manner on the second pot. 

What Strings Does Ibanez Put On Ibanez TMB100?

Ibanez provides you with an unbranded set of strings. Based on the look, it seems they are made by Elixir, but there’s no official info about it.

What Types of Music is the Ibanez TMB100 Best For?

Ibanez TM100 has a PJ pickup system that allows you to use this instrument in all genres. J pickup will provide you that tight and punchy mid-range sound, so genres such as funk or jazz will sound pretty good.

For those who are more into rock music, the P pickup placed on the bridge is designed to get you the necessary roar and thump.

And the best of all is that you can balance those two pickups so you can go anywhere between - this feature will cover all kinds of pop music and blues as well.

What Ages and Skill Levels is the Ibanez TMB100 Suitable For?

The Ibanez TM100 is a very affordable instrument so it definitely aims at players with low-level skills. Despite the fact it’s not a heavy model, it has a standard scale length so it will probably be too big for kids and younger teens.

The neck is wide and about the size of the P-Bass neck so it will definitely be more suitable to bass players who are used to a standard size neck.

Professional players may consider it as a spare instrument they can carry around for a quick jam session, but otherwise, it won’t be their first choice for studio recording.

What Makes the Ibanez TMB100 Stand Out From the Competition?

This bass guitar has a decent PJ pickup system which allows you a huge tone variety at a very affordable price range. It’s one of those instruments you should definitely consider if you’re looking to buy your first bass guitar. Those who are looking for a spare P-bass alternative should go really cheap with Ibanez TMB100 definitely as they will definitely know how to use all the knob features this bass guitar comes with.

Comparison Overview 

Let’s compare Ibanez TMB100 with alternatives in about the same price range and also let’s see what will you get if you go a step up:

Ibanez Talman TMB100 vs. Squier Precision Bass

At this price range, it seems that both Ibanez and Squire offer you about the same quality product so you can’t go wrong with any of those two models. 

Perhaps the only upvote for a TMB100 seems to be the PJ pickup system as it gives you a bit more tonal options than a Squire model which seems to have an edge regarding build quality. Also, the preamp is a bit hotter than Squire without compromising the overall vintage character. 

On the other hand, Squire models have a bit more vintage appearance and as the sound quality isn’t so different, it could be the thing that will rule one model out.

Ibanez Mikro GSRM20 vs. Ibanez Talman TMB100

Those two bass guitars are about the same price and share the same pickup system except for the fact that GSRM20 comes with the reverse P layout for the Dynamix DXP bridge pickup.

However, the most important difference lays in scale length. GSRM20 is the shortest scale instrument on the market coming even 5.6 inches shorter and about ¾ of TMB100 size so it may be more suitable for players with small hands or even kids.

Ibanez GSR200 vs. Ibanez Talman TMB100

Another Ibanez model at the same price range, so no doubt you may wonder what’s so different about GSR200. Well, while the pickup setup is the same, the neck profile is completely different. While TMB100 may resemble the Fender Precision profile, GSR200 has a thinner profile, typical for Ibanez design. 

Also, the pot controls are a bit different as GSR200 comes with knobs for neck and bridge pickup, tone balance, and a unique Phat-EQ dial that boosts the low and treble while cutting down the mids.

Ibanez TMB30 vs. Ibanez Talman TMB100

It’s safe to say that TMB30 is simply a TMB100 model with a 30-inch short scale length design. The rest is pretty much the same except the fact that it comes with dedicated pots for pickup volume instead of tone balance and no EQ control onboard.

TMB30 may also be a very interesting model for a guitar player who hasn't played bass guitar before as its size may be closer to the electric guitar than electric bass.

Conclusion 

It has never been easier to buy an affordable bass guitar model. Ibanez has done a terrific job applying PJ pickups and handy tone controls on such instruments so you can leave your premium guitars at home and go out and jam anywhere without worrying.

People Also Ask

So, TMB100 facts are all covered up - let us answer some of the most frequent technical questions about this model such as playing difficulty, maintenance, specific dimensions, and also lets specify more differences between TMB100 and its “younger brother” TMB30.

Is the Ibanez TMB100 Hard to Play?

Ibanez comes with regular scale length so it won’t be any different to play than any other bass guitar instrument. That being said it might be too large for some players as it shares the P-Bass neck width design.

If that’s the case, Ibanez has models at the same tier which may provide you different neck widths.

How to Care For an Ibanez TMB100 Guitar

All you need for basic maintenance of your TMB100 is a plain cloth for the finish and a contact cleaner with a needle applicator so you can place the lubricant on the electronics much easier. Regardings screws, it’s worth mentioning that they could be secured by hand.

What Do The Knobs Do on an Ibanez TMB100?

There are two knobs on the Ibanez TMB100 and both are made of inner on the top and outer ring on the bottom. First knob controls the volume level using the inner ring and pickup balance by dialing the bottom ring, while the other knob simply controls the treble and bass EQ.

How Thick is an Ibanez TMB100 Neck?

The Ibanez TMB100 Neck starts with 21.5mm on the first fret and goes all over 24.5mm on the 12th fret. It’s one of the thickest bass neck profiles Ibanez has made so far.

What is the Difference Between an Ibanez TMB30 And TMB100?

Ibanez TMB30 is a short scale bass guitar instrument that comes about the ¾ size of the regular bass guitar. It has about the same design and it aims at the same tier of players, but it might be much suitable for kids and people with smaller hands.

Vlad

I'm a 35-year-old rock-oriented professional musician from Belgrade, Serbia with 20 years of field experience in various areas of the music industry. After graduating from elementary music school I joined my first band Alogia in 2001 which had incredible initial success with the debut album and became one of the greatest Balkan heavy metal acts ever. We have recorded several studio and live albums and played as an opening act for Whitesnake, Apocalyptica, and Paul Di’Anno. Meanwhile, I got a chance to collaborate with Roland Planet shop and get familiar with various music equipment for more than a decade. For the last eight years, I have done live audio mixing for numerous bands and other live and studio events, including some TV audio mixing for national television broadcast as well. Currently, I’m playing keyboards for one of the most authentic Serbian music rock legends - Dr. Nele Karajlić, also known for his work with Zabranjeno Pušenje and No Smoking Orchestra.