TB75 Review

manufacturer: Laguna Ocean date: 02/27/2009 category: Bass Guitars
Laguna Ocean: TB75
The Laguna Ocean TB75 is a high-end electric bass that any bass player can afford. Seductive, flowing lines and neck-thru construction are just a few of the TB70's high-end appointments.
 Sound: 8.5
 Overall Impression: 9
 Reliability & Durability: 9
 Action, Fit & Finish: 9.5
 Features: 9
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (2) pictures (5) 13 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9.4
TB75 Reviewed by: BlindSilence917, on september 10, 2008
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 650

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Features: I just recently picked up the Ocean TB75 bass. That's the 5 string model; the 4 string is the TB70. Both are made by Laguna. I don't have too much info as to when and where it came from, but it is beastly. It has a neck-thru construction, with a maple body and 5 piece neck, rosewood fingerboard, 24 large frets, Bartolini MK1-5/F neck & MK1-5/R bridge pickups, and Bartolini MK-1 EQ, pickup blend, and passive/active Switch. It's got Hipshot licensed tuners and PT Platinum hardware. It's all excellently assembled to form a high quality, bang-for-your-buck (in my opinion) electric bass. // 9

Sound: Before I bought it, I tried it with the Mark Bass 4x10 setup that I'm hoping to get soon. And it sounded heavenly. I just recently started playing bass, so I don't have my own amp, but my friend is letting me borrow his Garner bass amp. I believe it has 1 12" speaker. The tubes are old, and probably need replacing, so I know I'm not getting the sound I could out of this bass. This bass offers a ton of variety. Using a decent amp like the 4x10 setup I chose, I think this bass could be used for just about any style. It has amazing tone, and I didn't notice any noise. It's extremely easy to go from a very bright sound to a more boomy, bassy sound. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: I haven't changed anything on this bass since I got it, and I don't think I will anytime soon. It was set up near perfect at the factory (I know that part was quite a bit subjective). Very nice action, good pickups; I played it every time I visited Guitar Center and since then, I haven't noticed any flaws in quality of assembly, or sound. Very nice natural wood finish. There's also another sort of dark teal/charcoal finish, still with visible natural wood grain. Both are very nice. // 10

Reliability & Durability: An extremely solid construction make this bass seems like it could take a serious beating, and still play phenomenally. I would take this bass on a state-wide tour with no backup without thinking twice. It feels a little delicate when wearing it with a strap, but this is only because it is balanced exceptionally well. It feels lighter then, than when you pick it up from the case, or rack, or wherever you'd keep it. This also makes it very comfortable; it almost doesn't matter what strap you have. Also, this puts even stress on the strap buttons, so they will last. // 10

Overall Impression: This bass was hands down the best bass I played while looking for a new bass. And I tried a lot. I tried Ernie Ball Musicman basses, the Fender Precision Jazz, the Schecter Stiletto, Ibanez, Warwick, and tons more. The Laguna Ocean TB75 was by far my favorite. I generally play metal and hard rock, but I've dabbled in a little jazz, punk, ska, and a couple other genres. This bass works great for all of them. Awesome tone, good action, solid construction, and great balance. Plus it's pretty. It was like finding a gold nugget in a giant pile of rocks. // 9

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overall: 8.6
TB75 Reviewed by: UG Team, on february 27, 2009
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Features: The Ocean TB-75 is a culmination of boutique style, workmanship and electronics at a workingman's price point. The first notable feature of this bass comes from a stylistic aspect in the form of the body constructed of hard rock maple. The maple is highlighted in sharp contrast to the rosewood fret board. However, from a stylistic view point, my favorite feature of this bass lies in the 5 piece maple thru-neck with wenge stringers. I was even impressed with the stylistic choice behind the nut and bridge. For the nut they chose a Satin-Silver Anolized Brass piece, and found a 5 saddle fully adjustable bridge to match. Both of these things bring in a stark, modern look to an otherwise natural, earthy looking piece. Moving past a stylistic angle, this bass is equally equipped with high end electronics. It sports two active Bartolini MK-1 soapbar pickups with a three band EQ. On flipping the bass over I was disappointed to find hipshot licensed tuners. While hipshot is a popular brand, I find their tuners to be rather unstable, and this bass was no exception to the rule. I found that in between uses that the tuning would drop as much as a quarter-step. // 9

Sound: The TB-75 is capable of producing many unique sounds, although not all of them are easily attainable. Straight out of the box the TB-75 produces a biting, clear tone often found in metal. With minimal work it swings to the other extreme of boomy, muddy, bass, with very little high tone to speak of. It takes a lot of work to find the middle ground of tone that is clear but punchy, rich but distinct. It is in dialing in tone that the bass's biggest inadequacy shows through. This lies in the high end control of the 3 band EQ. It adjusts only the high, cutting range of the high end, giving the bass brightness but not necessarily more warmth or presence. This lack of a solid high end control is accentuated by a volume increase on the D and G strings. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: This has been the first bass that I have played where the action has been to low. When first taking the bass out of the box I had some real problems with buzz when playing high registers on the D and G strings, however, this problem is easily remedied. As far as overall playability, this bass plays smoother and sports easier access to the high registers than basses twice it's price. // 9

Reliability & Durability: Because of the thru-neck design and maple body, this bass is solid as a rock. The immediate concerns of durability lie with the tuners and the control knobs. The control knobs are made of plastic (which is fine) with rubber ringed accents. I've had the bass for a little over a month and already these rubber pieces are starting to crack and fall off. While this doesn't effect the playability of the bass in the least, I'm wondering how it will effect the look and feel of the knobs once they have completely falling off. But, this is a small concern relative to the instability of the tuners. If one was to swap out the factory tuners, this bass would once again be able to compete with basses twice it's price in realms of durability. // 8

Overall Impression: What the Ocean lacks in sound control on the high end, it more than compensates for with excellent playability and style. A unique phenomenon that I have witnessed since them time this bass arrived, is that of people coming up to me after shows and asking me if they can touch or look at my bass. This thing is really just that gorgeous. Of course what better to go along with a smooth looking bass than equally smooth playing? This bass makes playing all over the neck not only possible but smooth and fluent. The ability to play at the 24th fret with ones thumb still on the back of the bass is unprecedented. Overall this solid beauty is a great value for the price, a must for working musicians. // 9

- Nicholas Cole-Klaes (c) 2009

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