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Woodinblack

NBD: My Ibanez EHB range starts!

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So, snoozing in bed as you do when you work from home, you don't start until 8:30 and it is quarter past 7, I was a little surprised that the door bell went off. In fact, I was a little surprised to just be, but then that is normal at that time.

Rushed downstairs trying to work out how to put a tshirt on, while not being able to see, I opened the door to full sunlight and a man dropping off a large box. I put it downstairs, thought about going back to bed but didn't. I thought I would leave it until i could see.

Strangely, come 8, I still couldn't see, eyes are itchy and I can't focus, no idea why, but couldn't leave it longer so I opened the box.. Initial thoughts were they sent me a guitar accidently, the box was so small and so light (in the massive bax box). Opening up was a guitar gig bag, and a bag of parts (didn't know what, alen key and some black things, still couldn't see).

Got the bass out. Its beautiful colour (I think) although it was a little dusty, I think it was made in december last year (serial number starts 191204). it weighs nothing, like nothing at all. comfortable to hold, action is a bit high for me out of the packet, b string not that lively but it has string wrapped round it that I couldn't get off with my current eyesight. Plays very well though. Don't even notice that it has crazy wide string spacing (ie, not the 16.5mm that god ordained). Neck basically the same as my 2605 wood wise, but with a stumpy thing at the top. Knobs a bit stiff, haven't plugged it in yet, there are people still sleeping, so that wouldn't go well.

First impressions very good.

IMG_0512.thumb.jpg.a49bb9806bd61b30f6a6f9c92dfb89b4.jpgIMG_0514.thumb.jpg.05448e7fc0a63766a5649de12e5361fc.jpgIMG_0515.thumb.jpg.3efd59b4e6a1985908e802be64d8859d.jpg

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Haven't had a chance yet, I am still working. PLuged it a little at lunchtime, but tonight is when I am going to get to try it!

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Right, had a chance to have the first play.

Overall view, I love it, its great. Its light and it sounds good. I say that because the observations sound negative, mostly they are not.

I really don't like the locking jack. i have never got the point of locking jacks, I have never liked one, and this one is fairly stiff. I can't take the jack socket out with one hand, which means I need to lay the bass over, giving the chance to bash the head. Luckily there is no headstock! What are they thinking there! I think at some point it will annoy me enough to get rid of the locking mechanism.

The tuners, they are fantastic. They are so smooth and responsive, nothing like the ones on the hohner b2s I have had. Gearing is quite low, so you can get them pretty spot on. 

Neck. Its really big for me, seems bigger than it is, in all it is 7mm wider where it joins the body than the SRs. The neck seems deeper too, but it doesn't actually measure different. Either way pretty big.

Plays very well - although it still has high action at the moment from the factory, will use one of the many keys it was sent with to adjust that later, when I can work out how. The bridge is quite complicated looking. I will need to work out how to move it sideways a bit - the strings are miles apart, not like an SR.

Sounds. Sounds excelent as you would expect with the nords, although seems deeper than the 2605 (which is the one nearest to me to check against) although not a huge amount difference. The preamp is very different from the recent preamps with the mid control, so much more like the older preamps that they had. The mid control is strong enough to do a really strong wah effect. The treble control is the only one that works with passive mode, although that is for others reference, its not something that matters to me. Notably though, the tone goes down more in passive than active. In active the treble up is good and not as scratchy as the SR2605 can be, so I am guessing its a different frequency. Also I noticed, that sitting in the same place with both basses, the 2605 picked up some electrical noise with the treble full up, where the 1505 didn't. Bass goes from no bass to where did my speaker go. Extremes that are beyond use really!

As I have seen someone mention, the back strap position is near the top, so if you are standing with it and you wear the bass high (which you kind of need to, its not a low bass) it pulls it out, due to the cutaway on the top. It would be better if it was a bit lower.

Fit and finish is good, none of the problems from the horror stories on the net about these, it looks as well put together as you would expect from a £1k+ bass.

A wierd one. In the plastic bag that comes with it is a ramp. I have never really used a ramp so I tried it out on the bass. First, although it is made of wood, it isn't blue and stained, which seemed a bit wrong, it is black, it has stickers on the bottom to stick it on. However, it isn't totally parallel to the pickups on both sides, and it is quite low. And it is a bit of a 'where is this supposed to go' sort of shape. Not sure I will be using it much!

Now my dinner is ready so I will play it some more tonight!

IMG_0516.thumb.jpeg.35facd8274de9af91219464b26ae29b2.jpeg

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Continued:

I go to adjust the bridge. Turns out noone of the 5 allen keys they give you fit the adjustment for the string height. Also, it comes with a book, which has its model on the front. It is in 10 languages or so, but doesn't cover this type of bridge or really even mention basses. Thats a bit poor isn't it?

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Pickups are Big Splits in these I think? Other than construction differences that may account for a different sound to the 2605, perhaps.

I’m not a big fan of the Ibanez bridge theory - monorails may prevent crosstalk but the fixed hole for the ball end always risked me twisting a string when fitting and on the SR’s I owned the bridge adjustment seemed unnecessarily fiddly. Never had this issue with a regular bridge. The other issue I’ve found out to my cost when trying (and failing to replace the preamp) and pickups on my BTB-676 is that they’ve constructed the bridge with an individual grounding wire for each unit - together with grounding wires for each pickup, this means EIGHT additional wires to solder to ground. The new Bart preamp and harness is so tight there’s not enough room to fit it all in the control cavity 😡

Maybe the lack of tool/instructions is a new product teething issue (but how hard can it be to get the right info into an owner’s manual?)

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, ClassicVibes said:

Always been intrigued by fan frets. Is it a gimmick or do they genuinely help with your playing?

They are pretty good. In terms of how it plays, it only takes a few minutes to get used to. The main idea is maintaining consistent string tension for all the strings. Basically stops the low B string being all floppy.

A bit unnecessary on a 4 string (unless you're playing with downtuned strings), but I don't think I'd ever buy another 5 string without a multi scaled neck now!

Edited by x20xt6

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Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, FDC484950 said:

 

Maybe the lack of tool/instructions is a new product teething issue (but how hard can it be to get the right info into an owner’s manual?)

`tools maybe, the manual is the same manual that comes with everything. The thing is, it has a genuinely different bridge, how hard would it be to make a manual for it?

Anyway, now I did the truss rod up a little and put the string hight down (way down) and it plays fantastically.

And I also discovered it does actually hold in a hecules wall hanger, but I don't think I will be putting it in one!

Edited by Woodinblack

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Posted (edited)

What’s the B string like? The 1605 I had for some reason didn’t have a very good B, and I tried both tapered and non-tapered strings  but the BTB has an excellent tone (35” scale like your EHB) with a non-tapered DR HiBeam B. I’m very interested in the EHB For the ergonomics, and a more even tension - the C on the BTB sounds too thin and stringy, which I put down to the 35” scale.

Edited by FDC484950

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Hmm.. my 1605 has an excelent B string, I would say it is as good if not better to the EHB. 

I never really bought into the idea that there was an appreciable difference between a 34 and 35" scale bass when it came to strings, If there was that difference would dissapear at the first fret.

Its hard to compare the necks. The neck on the EHB feels more solid somehow, probably because of the lack of headstock, or the fact it is physically bigger than the SR.

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Posted (edited)
On 13/05/2020 at 21:14, FDC484950 said:

Pickups are Big Splits in these I think? Other than construction differences that may account for a different sound to the 2605, perhaps.

Ah, I had missed that as they look exactly like the big singles. Probably explains the lack of noise pickup then, as that is litterally the purpose! And I assume it would have to make a slightly different sound as they are different. Certainly sounds good.

I couldn't have gone for the barts.

Quote

Maybe the lack of tool/instructions is a new product teething issue (but how hard can it be to get the right info into an owner’s manual?)

I think it is the ibanez way really, I have a few ibanez manuals around and none of them contain any real information, same manual for guitar and bass, so obviously they aren't going to do the model.

Its a bit of a shame really, as making a manual isn't hard, especially when you have a range, like the SR range manual, the EHB range manual. Also, according to all the reviews, I could reduce the string spacing.  Great, I would like to do that. So how does that work then?

Oh, now I look I guess it is that screw at the top next to the string height that moves the string guide over.

IMG_0523.thumb.jpg.e8adf4cc4b612850c2eecf74054c147b.jpg

 

 

Edited by Woodinblack
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On 13/05/2020 at 21:22, x20xt6 said:

 

A bit unnecessary on a 4 string (unless you're playing with downtuned strings),

I would have to disagree with you there as I own two four string Dingwalls & am very happy with my punchy/tight sounding 36.25" E strings.

It's nice to have even tension across all four strings & all to have a very similar timbre.

😁

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1 hour ago, artisan said:

I would have to disagree with you there as I own two four string Dingwalls & am very happy with my punchy/tight sounding 36.25" E strings.

It's nice to have even tension across all four strings & all to have a very similar timbre.

😁

Yeah, fair!

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Such a common comment :).  Multiscale is not just for the low B, there are benefits across the whole neck, and not just string tension.  Move your hand up and down a neck and look at the angle your hand moves at and how your wrist rotates.  It moves in the direction of a fan, so you'll find yourself having to stretch less in places to get to the next fret.  I picked up a new multiscale 4 string this week and played a track I have been playing on a regular 4 and noticed that there was a fret position I couldn't manage very cleanly on the regular bass that I could with this one, and looking at it it was due to the fret position as a result of the fan.  :)

Implore anyone to try one out, they really do work well.  I do, however, think it is a bit gimmicky if the fan is small, as a string being 0.25 longer or shorter than the one next to it or similar really isn't going to make much difference, you need a good 0.75inch or so different from string to string.  I think these new Ibby's have a wider fan than the previous models?

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Man alive that’s a small bass! I had a 1605 which was pretty lithe, but this new beast makes the 1605 look like a great big chubby thing; no wonder it’s so light. Not having the correct tools or an accurate manual is pretty shabby though.

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It is - but fairly typical. TBH, not so much bothered about the tools, can get those anywhere, but the manual would be handy. And if you are going to provide tools, say what they are for!

 

It is small and very light.

Today I was doing some practicing and my wife joined me for some singing, and she commented that the bass sounded a lot more "substantial" than the others.

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When you get a mo, can you weigh it?

I'm very curious about these - especially lightweight 5 strings.

 

As it happens I have an incoming Mezzo 5 (Medium scale) and from what I gather from the specs the neck profile is the same even with the same 18mm bridge spacing, just the scale is different.

If I like the Mezzo5, and the EHB is light enough I can foresee a purchase!

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18 minutes ago, fretmeister said:

When you get a mo, can you weigh it?

Can indeed as it was sitting right behind me.

It is 7.0 of your english Lbs, on my bathroom scales. Hmm.. guess that is why it feels light, the 2605 is 8.2.

18 minutes ago, fretmeister said:

As it happens I have an incoming Mezzo 5 (Medium scale) and from what I gather from the specs the neck profile is the same even with the same 18mm bridge spacing, just the scale is different.

The neck is noticably wider than the SRs, obviously because the strings are all socially distanced. It was a bit too wide for me to start but now I have the spacing at 17.25, its not so bad.

And, I know it is my new bass, so obviously I am going to want to play it more, but at the moment, if I want to play something it is the one I go for. If the others were there, I probably wouldn't notice.

Bit of a pain to hang though :D

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1 hour ago, Woodinblack said:

Can indeed as it was sitting right behind me.

It is 7.0 of your english Lbs, on my bathroom scales. Hmm.. guess that is why it feels light, the 2605 is 8.2.

The neck is noticably wider than the SRs, obviously because the strings are all socially distanced. It was a bit too wide for me to start but now I have the spacing at 17.25, its not so bad.

And, I know it is my new bass, so obviously I am going to want to play it more, but at the moment, if I want to play something it is the one I go for. If the others were there, I probably wouldn't notice.

Bit of a pain to hang though :D

My word!

The Mezzo 5 is supposed to be about 7.5 lb! So the EHB is lighter again.

 

I think the nut widths are all the same at 45mm, but of course with 18mm spacing rather than 16.5mm it's going to splay out faster.

My current 5 is a Stingray and the bridge spacing is 17.5mm and I find that a tiny bit cramped so I'm hoping for good things.

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17 minutes ago, fretmeister said:

I think the nut widths are all the same at 45mm, but of course with 18mm spacing rather than 16.5mm it's going to splay out faster.

My current 5 is a Stingray and the bridge spacing is 17.5mm and I find that a tiny bit cramped so I'm hoping for good things.

Depends what you mean about nut width. The neck width at the average height is 45mm for sure, but as the nut is at at 30 degrees, it is actually closer to 50.

You can adjust the string spacing either way.

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That's gorgeous. I'm sort of gutted that they didn't use the SR bodyshape but it does look slightly more ergonomic from a distance. It's also interesting to see that they went for a wider string spacing - guessing that's a limitation of headless basses?

 

Looks fab' though. :) 

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Posted (edited)
13 minutes ago, Woodinblack said:

Depends what you mean about nut width. The neck width at the average height is 45mm for sure, but as the nut is at at 30 degrees, it is actually closer to 50.

You can adjust the string spacing either way.

Doesn't really matter how long the nut is though, the strings are still spaced out over 45mm at the nut, so it will have the same spacing as a 45mm nut.

Edited by Kev
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10 minutes ago, Kev said:

Doesn't really matter how long the nut is though, the strings are still spaced out over 45mm at the nut, so it will have the same spacing as a 45mm nut.

Definitely. It's always the shortest bit across the wood ignoring the angle.

 

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