NBD Ibanez AGB 205

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by RED J, Jan 16, 2014.


  1. RED J

    RED J Play what you want how you want & quit arggerin ! Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2000
    Location:
    Tennessee
    Want to share my findings on this unusual beast in case anyone was intrigued by it.
    Hollow body, 30.3" scale, 5 string, I stumbled across it while looking for a decent affordable hollow body. It was everything I was looking for in one instrument.
    The official video on YouTube looked and sounded promising.
    I found a thread on TB where someone got it and sent it right back. There was an issue of evenness across the strings just like they described. I was let down. I have learned, though to give basses I am not thrilled with a chance and get to know them on their own terms. I'm glad I did.
    It took me a while to twiddle around with EQ to find the basic sound I was looking for, thick and fat but with good definition. I did after a lot of experimentation. I found it is really sensitive to pick up height adjustment. Lower seems to be better.
    Yes, the B string...it is a short scale so it is not going to be what a long or extra long scale is, but it is pretty decent, and surprisingly good when I discovered : Best results come on the middle pickup setting, and raising the bridge pickup quite high on the B side really brings out the punch and clarity, and, technique and plucking position is key. It's really pretty natural when it becomes second nature.
    I don't want to give the impression it is all work. It is a breeze to play, excellent tone, and when you get to know it, you learn how to bring out it's best. It challenges your skills as a player. It rewards your efforts. If you have thought about a short scale fiver and like hollow bodies, give it a shot.Very affordable well thought out and constructed offering from Ibanez. :D
     
  2. bassist4dalord

    bassist4dalord

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2007
    Location:
    Woodstock, Illinois
    PICS!! What strings are you using? I know La Bella makes short scale 5-string Deep Talkin' flatwounds. Congrats on the NBD!
     
  3. RED J

    RED J Play what you want how you want & quit arggerin ! Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2000
    Location:
    Tennessee
    [​IMG]

    Stock photo, It's beautiful. It came with D'addario nickel wounds, that's it so far. B is huge, .145. I knew because it is such a well made and thought out design it just needed some tweeking and and time to get to know it.
     
  4. mexibass

    mexibass

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2012
    Location:
    Cozumel, México
    LOL, I just read and posted on the same thread you're talking about and I was also let down by it, but as I said on my post, the bass was already ordered and here in Mexico it's a pain in the ass to try to return things when u buy online.

    Anyhoo, now that I read your post, I feel more confident about my purchase since there's also a positive opinion about the bass.

    I'm planning on string it E-C btw, to use it for chords and soloing mainly. U think this is doable whiteout a visit to the luthier? Also, u think it'd be easier to find and install replacement pickups if needed? Bartolinis or EMGs?

    Cheers!
     
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  6. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2010
    Location:
    The Great Midwest
    I just realized it's a "short scale" five string man is that unique I bet you could a nice Bart that would fit it.
     
  7. RED J

    RED J Play what you want how you want & quit arggerin ! Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2000
    Location:
    Tennessee
    There is a Bart that would fit with minor routing. I forget the model, but the dimensions are +- 1 1/2 x 4 and would require basically squaring out the slot where the pickup adjustment bracket and screw go. I will in time go with them.
    Having had the bass a while now, The pickups really are the weak point. The bass is so outstanding otherwise, and perfect for me ergonomically, I made the call to keep it. The pickups are a unique size, basically the same size as a P-90 guitar pickup. There is no drop in replacement to be found. A 4 string blade Jazz neck pickup will fit in because of the narrow width and the cuts in the rout for the adjusters on the originals. 250 K pots helped too.
    Surrounds can be made from a J bass pickguard to fit the original outside dimension and screw holes to be reversible. but would have a "slabby" look like a Rick neck pickup surround, could be worse.
    You can install it and adjust it without blemishing the bass because the screws are down in the pickup rout. When I did this it made a world of difference in the evenness balance and punch of the tone. The B string stays even in any pickup setting. I am going to go with the Barts when I save up some coin for them.
    This may seem like a lot of work but for me, the bass is just so well made and such a good fit otherwise I decided to experiment, and the J pickup experiment was totally reversible. I just showed me what I had hoped, that the pickups, not the instrument were lacking.
    I have read of pickup issues on other Ibanez hollow bodies. It's a shame they can't bring the electronics up to par or at least use a standard sized pickup so they can be easily changed.
     
  8. mexibass

    mexibass

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2012
    Location:
    Cozumel, México
    Well, yeah, I'm sure there might be a good reason for that. Maybe marketing, who knows. Anyway, thanks for the heads up man, I'm gonna give the original ones a try for some gigs and I'll go from there, but I'm going to start saving for the Barts ur talking about. So, where's the control plate/cavity on this thing? How you do the soldering to change the pickups?
     
  9. mexibass

    mexibass

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2012
    Location:
    Cozumel, México
    That's basically an EMG 40 shape, so you can install several different types of EMG's with that housing or four different types of barts. I'm talking to my local technician right now! :bassist:
     
  10. RED J

    RED J Play what you want how you want & quit arggerin ! Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2000
    Location:
    Tennessee
    http://www.bartolini.net/

    Go over to their site and look around under bass soapbars. There are actually quite a few options you might go with depending on what width you want. I so far lean toward the M4 because it will look the cleanest and fill up the original route space, just having to chisel out the corners with a really sharp chisel.
    They do have double and single coil width, The 1 1/2 width is pretty critical in my view because that's the width of the long side of the route if I went with a wide version. I wont rule out a single coil width with a surround, but I have always liked the sound of the wide aperture soapbars.
    I was able to fish out the pots through the F hole, and put protective covering over the bass and re-soldered new quality 250 k's to replace the dime size 500's. I'm pretty sure I'm going to replace the toggle with a blend pot. I don't really care for toggles on a bass.
    I have a good bit of background in wiring and set up, so none of this intimidates me. YMMV as they say. It's really a try as you go approach. My experience with hollow bodies is that the tone is very influenced by the body itself. You will see improvements, but they tend to have a very middy "barky" character.
     

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