Skip to content

Sandberg California TM-5 5-String Bass, Marley Blue, Birdseye Maple Fretboard, Matching Headstock


Player's Perspective

Music Store Live is proud to be an official Sandberg dealer! Made in Europe, with the finest German engineering, this bass will slap a smile on your face that you just can't shake. This one, in particular, is one of the coolest looking TM-5's we've seen in a long time. The birdseye maple fretboard is heavily figured and stunningly beautiful. It also comes with a spare white pickguard as well in case you prefer that aesthetic. 

As well as being effortless to play, this Sandberg TM-5 comes loaded with some powerful and thoroughly kickass electronics. The first thing you're likely to notice are the huge pole pieces on the Delano JMVC J-style pickup. This is a brilliant adaptation of a tried and true design. The resulting tone is one that will sit perfectly in a mix, no matter how many other instruments are playing along with you, and will never be muddy or indistinct. It's got a bit more mid-range punch to it than traditional vintage single coils as well as being hum-canceling. Right behind that is a Music Man style humbucker (also made by Delano) that allows you to get a growly and thick tone or you can split it to turn the bass into a more traditional J bass vibe. The low end grunt is exactly what you want for an articulate, modern bass tone that can stand out in a mix without stepping on anybody else's toes.

The two pickups combine for a huge array of tonal versatility. Along with tightening up the bass response and providing fuller treble response, the giant pole pieces on the pickups help produce a powerful tone that is rich with harmonics and responds well to dynamics in your playing syle. Add to that, the zero fret, and you truly have a bass with even tonal and playing response across all strings and on fretted as well as open strings. We wish more basses had the zero fret as a standard option to eliminate that (to us) noticeable difference in tones between a fretted note and an open string on instruments without them. Rest assured, you can still achieve some very passable traditional J bass tones with this as well. In passive mode, this bass achieves more some more vintage sounds while still maintaining that characteristic of a slightly more prevalent and punchy mid-range.

A simple 2-band boost/cut EQ allows you to tweak your sound on the fly without ever having to turn around and fiddle with your amp knobs. The mini-toggle switch puts the bridge pickup in either single-coil or humbucking mode. From round and thumpy, to bright and poppy, there really aren't too many tones that you can't achieve with this combination of pickups. In passive mode, the treble EQ knob serves as a passive tone knob where the center detent is the equivalent of having the tone knob 100% open and you can cut from there. This is one of our favorite "hidden" features of this bass as it really does make for an instrument that offers just as much usefulness in active mode as it does in passive.

This pretty package is finished with the expert craftsmanship that all Sandberg basses share. The hardest thing for you is likely just going to be putting it down, and at only 8.4 lbs for this 5-string, you won't need to. You'll be able to jam out in comfort all night long while looking and sounding great.

Special Features

Sandberg Guitars was founded back in 1986 by Holger Stonjek and Gerd Gorzelke. Since then, they have been producing hand-made instruments at the highest quality. This bass features Sandberg's California body shape. The body is made out of alder and the neck is Canadian hard rock maple. Delano pickups and a custom wound Glockenklang 2-band preamp, made just for Sandberg, round out the electronics.



  • Model: California II TM-5
  • Color: High Gloss Marley Blue
  • Body: Alder
  • Pickguard: Black (white spare pickguard also included)


  • Fretboard: Birdseye Maple
  • Radius: 14"
  • Frets: 22 + Zero Fret
  • Fretboard Inlays: Mother of Pearl Blocks
  • Neck Wood: Canadian Hard Rock Maple
  • Finish: Satin
  • Neck Profile: Thin C-Shape
  • Nut: 1.77" (45mm) Graphite
  • Neck Depth @ 1st Fret: 0.83" (21mm)
  • Scale: 34"


  • Pickups: Delano JMVC5FE (neck) and MC5FE (bridge)
  • Preamp: Custom 9v 2-Band EQ (designed by Glockenklang)
  • Controls: Volume (push/pull for active/passive), Blend, Bass, Treble (acts as tone knob when in passive mode)
  • Mini-Toggle: Coil-Split Bridge


  • Bridge: Sandberg Custom 18mm - 19.5mm Adjustable String Spacing
  • Tuners: Sandberg Ultra Light
  • Hardware Finish: Black


  • Case: Sandberg Gig Bag
  • Made In Germany
  • Serial #: 34797
  • Instrument Weight: 8.4 lbs.

Overall Condition

Music Store Live is proud to be an authorized dealer for Sandberg. This TM-5 is 100% brand new and is being sold with a full manufacturer's warranty. Photos are of the exact bass you'll receive.

Our in-house guitar tech will inspect, test, set up, and clean all of our instruments on site prior to shipping. All of our instruments are guaranteed to be fully functional upon arrival.

Along with our amazing inventory, we can custom order any Sandberg bass or guitar you'd like.