Acoustic Bass... Ibanez AEB5E... Anyone have experience with it?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Bassman Ski, Mar 22, 2014.

  1. Bassman Ski

    Bassman Ski

    Apr 15, 2010
    Looking for a good cheap acoustic bass and I saw the Ibanez AEB5E for $200.00.

    Now I saw an Ovation for $300.00

    What do you guys think? Pay the extra for the Ovation or is the Ibanez good.

    I am not looking for anything high end. Just maybe some open mic nights with my singer at small coffee shop type venues.

    The Ibanez:

    Ovation Applause:
  2. I just sold my AEB5 because I bought a Gold Tone MicroBass. The AEB5 served a purpose, but I never really liked its size. Before I bought it, I had a Sky acoustic bass that I thought sounded better, but it had a neck like a roller-coaster. The Ibanez is medium scale (32"), if that makes a difference to you. I have no experience with the Ovation.

    If you get the Ibanez, keep it adequately humidified. The top on mine started to collapse due drying out.
  3. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
  4. FloridaTim


    May 29, 2013
    Kissimmee, FL
    I got the ABE10E and have been very happy with it. Used at GC for a fraction of new. Paid more for the case than the guitar.
  5. Tbone76


    Aug 24, 2013
    I had an AEB10 when I first started playing, and it was a solid bass with a decent preamp and good acoustic sound. I also bought an Applause by Ovation 4 string and returned it within 2 days. The acoustic sound was non-existent, and the bowl shaped back was uncomfortable to play standing. When seated the body shape would make the bass shift away from my body. These may not be issues or you, but definitely get your hands on one if possible before you buy. Good luck!
  6. Mackanbass


    Mar 17, 2006
    I borrowed a Ibanez from a friend, I think it was a similar model, and really liked it. Played it through an ampd mostly. I thaught the acoustic volume was a little to weak for my taste. Very dynamic and good sounding.

    I ended upp buying a boulder creek last summer and absolutely love it. Very loud acoustic tone. Played with a pick it can hold on its own playing with my bluegrass band but I also got an 8" Ampeg combo witch is not too much to carry around.

  7. I have an AEB5E with D'Addario nylon tapewounds and I am happy with it. Be sure to have it set up, though, because that was an issue for me until recently (when I finally set it up).
  8. After several years with the AEB10, I feel it was well worth it.

    I've had ZERO quality issues with it and for sure there isn't any collapsing of the top from poor construction, so I think someone put really heavy strings on theirs and caused the damage for themselves.

    I stick to the OE-type bronze wounds, as they produce a nice twang and/or thump with different muting or plucking styles.

    One thing - the glossy black finish is a butt-nasty thing to keep neat and un-smudged or un-fingerprinted. Perhaps I shouldda gotten the natural finish.

    The preamp works well, the tuner is right on (I've heard of some brands on other AEBs that have built in tuners that were several clicks off pitch, but this one is great).

    One last point --- if you use an amplifier, invest in a sound hole plug.

    Oh yeah - make sure the top nut is correctly set up - mine was too high and the playability was a problem until I recut the string notches and dropped the strings by half the original setting.

    The neck is rock-solid, no twists or sags, and it is as flat as you can ask for. . . always was and still is.

    Humidifiers are not a necessary evil for this bass I feel, as mine always hangs on the wall, travels in a case and between Southern California with single digit humidity and 120F temps to Montana sub zero and somewhat more moisture, there hasn't ever been a problem with warpage of either the neck or the box et al.

    The Ibanez factory case is a tad cheaper than the TKL I got even though the factory case is BUILT be TKL. Go figger.
  9. Sav'nBass


    Jan 18, 2009
    Virginia Beach
    I would get an AB10 over either of the choices above.. It falls between the two basses if you go to Musician's Friend... The Ovation looks nice but it has no balls unplugged but if you are willing to drop a bit more for an ABG I would check The Perfect Bass and see if they still have any of those Breedloves left. They sell new at Gc for $899 but you can get one from TPB for $475 after applying the TB discount.. a bit more than you wanted to spend but it is the absolute best ABg you will find at that price at the moment.. If they have any left that is.
  10. jallenbass

    jallenbass Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 17, 2005
    Bend, Oregon
    I have the AEB5. Good bass for $199. I'm very happy with it.
  11. Amara

    Amara Fumble-Fingered Beginner

    Jan 13, 2014
    Conversely, if you're looking in the $200 range, I'd go "down" to the Dean EAB (~$150), which sounds really fantastic unplugged. It has a bigger body than the Ibanez, and gives a much nicer tone at a bigger volume. I've never played the Ibanez plugged in, so I can't comment on how the pickups compare.
  12. ragc


    Oct 26, 2013
    Atlanta, GA
    Just got an AEB5. Took the phosphor bronze roundwounds off immediately and strung Galli Nylon Tape Wound 055/115s for acoustic bass. The sound volume does not go down much, but the thump is there, the buzz gone! Amplified it sounds great, and the built-in-tuner is ok. It is a great deal for the price.
  13. funny, I've got an AEB5 and haven't used it much, but I'm thinking of doing just what you said and using it for acoustic gigs.
  14. iFilary


    Aug 16, 2016
    I have the Ibanez and I love it. Not plugged in, it's a little quiet, but nothing too bad. I bought mine factory direct type thing and had to replace the strings just because of how they sounded. Only cons I can think of. I have no experience with the Ovation, but the Ibanez is killer
  15. walldaja


    Apr 27, 2011
    I just sold my AEB5, body was too big. Found a single-cut with smaller body plus it was a fiver.
  16. davec

    davec Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 4, 2006
    Fort Wayne Indiana
    Owner; Cody Electric Basses ( Now Closed) sales @ Sweetwater
    Has anyone found a case that works for this Bass?
  17. Yup. TCL makes one .... in fact they make the cases for Ibanez anyway but with an Ibanez logo on them.

    The Ibanez case (by TCL) is more expensive than the plain ol' TCL logo'd version.
  18. lordraptor1


    Dec 8, 2014
    ok here are my thoughts, i have the fretless version of the aeb5 ( the aeb5FE) which is more rare than the standard aeb5 with that said it is a great bass with the right strings, so far i can say that the following bass strings suck on the aeb5fe 8 stock ibanez, d'addario, and fender strings are hit or miss i hae had good luck with the ernie ball earthwoods personally but most people i know hate the earthwood strings of coourse to be fair those people are all using elixr strings which i honestly hate with a passion due to coating coming off after very little use.

    the if i had any complaints about the aeb5/aeb5fe it would be the saddle and nut but those could be changed. the electronics are excellent i have picked up several workign in a music store and i only ever had one come in for the electronics not working and it turned out to be fault of a single little electrolytic capacitor on an otherwise surface mount unit but otherwise never had one in my hands that had electrical issues.

    i value a fretted aeb5 in the 150-200 range these days while the rarer frettless version i would put a value of 250-300 however you could get other brands in this price range i personally would go with the ibanex based on my personal experiences with the model and having less problems with the ibanez over other brands like fender, ovation,etc. but in the end it is your choice but i recommend you pick up and try before you buy and buy it from your local shop if they have it, instead of using your local store for demo then buying online because this hurts the brick and mortar. we have lost 1 music store in my town already out of 2 and just had another open in the last month but we may be losing the second of the 2 original ones we had because people are just using his store to try out gear tehn proceed to go buy the item online instead of buying it from his store. I.E. SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL STORE.
  19. All well-n-good but it's not just buying from Amazon or others because people like to screw the stores --- there's another greatly mitigating thing --- Covid --- and some people are afraid to go into a small crowd like a music store for fear of contamination.
  20. Eli_Kyiv


    Apr 7, 2020
    Kyiv, Ukraine
    Ovation definitely looks better.