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7/13/2011 12:00:00 AM
The Tacoma CB10E4 Acoustic Bass
The Tacoma CB10E4 Acoustic Bass.

It's safe to say that most bassists who dabble in acoustic-based music have long been frustrated with the lack of acoustic volume in most acoustic bass guitars (ABG's). While we realise that this is mostly due to physics--the difficulty of reproducing low frequencies--we have long lusted after something that could at least compete acoustically with one or two guitars.

Enter the Tacoma CB10E4. The design for this ABG is based on Tacoma's interesting Chief guitar, with an offset sound hole and a very light top bracing pattern.  By moving the sound hole to the side (and/or changing its shape), it allows a larger portion of the top to vibrate in a uniform pattern.


  • 4 string fretted
  • Solid Spruce top
  • Solid Mahogany Back
  • Satin finish
  • 34" scale
  • One piece Mahogany neck with branded logo
  • Rosewood fingerboard
  • "Tone Shaped" bridge
  • Fishman Prefix Plus electronics, Active preamp with volume, notch, bass, treble, brilliance, contour, and phase controls with piezo film pickup


    The Tacoma Guitars Offset A style "VS" bracing is a radical new approach to shaping tone on an acoustic bass guitar. The acoustic bass has to move huge amounts of air efficiently, and crisply in order to produce the incredibly low notes in its range. The top must be flexible enough to move, yet still hold firmly against the tension of the extra large strings. We accomplished this using our unique Voiced support technology, and by bracing the top firmly in the center, while leaving the edges free to flex.

    The CB10's tone is balanced, and in the lower registers stays clean. Tacoma Guitars braces are triangular in shape because they have equal strength to a rounded brace with less mass. Lower mass allows the top to vibrate more freely, and increases the guitars response.


    The "Tone Shaped" bridge is wide and flat on the bass side, and narrow and peaked on the treble side. A Luthier's rule of thumb is that low, wide braces are best for bass frequencies, and tall, thin braces are best for treble frequencies. This thinking is applied to the bridge and it seems to work.

    The solid Maple bridge plate is asymmetrical, and placed diagonally to enhance the dispersion patterns of our bridge design. Our matched bridge and bridge plate configuration balances the bass and treble well, and produces sustain that compares well to any other system.


    If you are an acoustic bass lover, you may find this model a little idiosyncratic to begin with. The action is slightly hard on the fingers and the bass itself is moderate in flexibility. Having said all that, it does produce a wonderfully rich acoustic tone, both at low and high note frequencies. I gave this bass the nod because of its richness of sound rather than design innovation.
    GAZZBASS.COM RATING: 7.3  out of 10
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