After being founded in 1986, Sandberg quickly made a name for themselves in creating 5 and 6 string bass guitars using only the highest grade of rare and exotic woods. Now, more than 30 years later, they may have branched out into other areas but their best instruments are still (arguably) their 5 and 6 string bass guitars, with the Sandberg California TM5 being one of their crowning achievements.
These awesome, hand-crafted examples of low-end perfection look familiar, but are more than unique enough to stand out in a crowd - that's even when they're not being played!
Familiar, but different...
The general body shape of the California T series is instantly familiar to most bass players, bearing a striking resemblance to one of the most popular bass guitars in history - the Jazz Bass.
That is where the similarities end however, with Sandberg's own incredibly constructed black hardware adorning the bridge and headstock, a Single Coil & Humbucker pickup combination, a preamp which allows you to switch between active and passive modes, and (in this case) 5 strings worth of tonal bliss at your fingertips.
The J series neck single coil is a classic reconstruction of the vintage Jazz Bass pickups from the 1960's and 1970's, and grants you a nice blend of woody low-mid growls and warm articulate midrange as well as that trademark funky "twang" that the pickups became famous for.
Then there's the awesome M series bridge humbucker, which is based heavily around those pickups generally found in Stingray basses, and features extra-wide pole-pieces which feature an increased string sensing area to pick up as much tonal colour as possible.
This gives you fat and grinding tone when in humbucker mode, but at the flick of a switch can be converted into a bright and clear sounding single-coil instead.
With a warm bass and low-mid response, and extra voice on the mids and bright percussive top end, this pickup is as versatile as you could want or need it to be.
Not only is he humbucker on a coil-split circuit, but there's also the Sandberg 2-band preamp, which gives you the option of switching between Passive and Active in addition to the exquisite tone control - the versatility of this bass knows no bounds!
Made to be Played
With the ergonomic and solidly constructed chassis, this guitar is most certainly one that you could grace a stage with. The curvature of this relatively lightweight body rests comfortably against you as you play, making even the longest of shows and studio sessions pass by that bit quicker. Add that to the perfect sounding tonal spectrum supplied by the solid wood body and awesome electronics system, and you will fast be running out of reasons NOT to buy it.
Having been lucky enough to have played Sandberg basses in the past, I can honestly say that you will be pushed to find anything better within the same price range. In fact, in my experience I'd put the California TM5 up there as my all-time favourite, and I'm still trying to convince my significant other to let me buy one. They're comfortable to play, produce incredible tones, and feel every inch the professional instrument.
Still not convinced? Then feel free to call into your local PMT store and speak to the in-store Bass expert to request a Sandberg demonstration, you really won't be disappointed.
Contact our sales team directly if you have any questions regarding our range of finance and delivery options available.
- Neck: 6 bolted Canadian Hardrock Maple
- Fretboard: Maple, 22 Frets, Black Block inlays
- Finish: Matt Natural
- Body: European Ash
- Hardware: Sandberg, Nickel
- Pickups: 1 x Delano T-Style single coil, 1 x Delano M-Style Humbucker (coil tapped)
- Preamp: Sandberg 2-band, active / passive, passive tone control
|Series||California T Series|
|Neck Wood||maple neck|
|Pickup Config||1 x humbucker 1 x single coil|
|Number Of Strings||5 string|
|Body Material||ash body|
|Body Size||full size|
|Right / Left-Handed||right handed|
|Guitar Style||jazz style|
October 10, 2018Read Article
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