Quick Hit: Spector Timbre Review

An acoustic bass guitar from Spector that marries sophisticated looks with a build designed for responsiveness.

When revered bass designer Stuart Spector went to work conceiving a new acoustic bass guitar, strength and responsiveness were at the front of his mind. In turn, the jumbo-sized Timbre is constructed with laminated mahogany for the back and sides, and Spector went with an offset-soundhole design and ladder bracing—rather than X-bracing—for the solid Sitka top. Outside of some minor scratches on and around our tester’s neck-joint bolts, the build quality was tight and clean from top to bottom.

Unplugged, the Timbre produced a clean, dry tone across the rosewood fretboard. It’s one of the louder acoustic bass guitars I’ve had my hands on in recent memory, and the sound projected well across my not-huge living room, but I was also on my own. As with other instruments in this category, you’ll be plugging in if you’re playing with others and want to be heard.

The Fishman Presys+ preamp is capable of wide-ranging tone shaping through its 3-band EQ and brilliance dial. Rich, earthy tones came forth with the Timbre plugged in, and I especially liked what I heard with the mids dialed down and the bass, treble, and brilliance set around 1 o’clock. The clean, woody sound had plenty of thump for walking bass lines along the Timbre’s comfy neck. If you’re after acoustic low-end tones without the heft and hassle of an upright and you like the idea of an acoustic bass guitar with an aesthetic different than most others, a Timbre tryout could be time well spent.

Test gear: Gallien-Krueger 800RB, Orange OBC212, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4

Recorded direct with Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 interface into GarageBand.
Clip 1 - Preamp settings: bass 2 o’clock, middle 11 o’clock, treble 2 o’clock, brilliance noon, phase off, notch at noon.

Ratings

Pros:
Good build. Top-notch electronics. Nice tones. Visually striking.

Cons:
A touch pricey compared to others in its class.

Street:
$699

Spector Timbre
spectorbass.com

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