Ibanez EHB1005MS - Defective Truss Rod?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by entisgood, Jul 27, 2020.

  1. entisgood


    Mar 14, 2010
    Hi all,

    Two weeks ago, I got the EHB1005MS I had on preorder and I think the truss rod is defective? I reached out to the dealer where I bought it, and they told me there have been more issues with this model than you'd expect from Ibanez, I'm wondering if anyone has the same issues I'm having. I'm also going to share some thoughts about why I like the bass, some issues I would change.

    Out of the box, the action was very low and even, but there was too much buzzing around the nut for my liking. The bass came with a generic user manual that didn't have any info on adjusting the bridge or truss rod for this model.

    The truss rod was completely maxed out when i tried to turn the wrench from the B towards the G string. Ultimately, I turned the truss rod the opposite direction, and it had the effect I wanted. Why would a new instrument have a truss rod that is adjustable in one direction? This is a major deal breaker for me, this bass is under warranty, but I don't like the idea of a brand new bass that requires truss rod surgery, so it's getting returned. (I bought it from Music Store Live and so far they have been amazing to deal with).

    Other than the major truss rod defect, I generally really like this bass. It plays well, sounds good, is very light, and fits into a guitar gigbag. The sweepable mid range really gives the bass a lot of tonal options, I am able to dial in decent jazz bass, p bass, and stringray sounds. I was surprised that I like the sound of the bartolinis when the bass is running passive. Really nice and highly figured fretboard. As far as I've found, there are no comparable multi-scale basses at this price range with so many "premium" features - multiscale, roasted maple neck, lumilays, headless, etc.

    There are a few design flaws that I've noticed.
    1) The bass does not lay well when you play standing up with a strap and you can't really move the strap button to a better location because of the body carve to access the headless tuners makes the body very thin at the ideal strap button location, and just next to that, the input jack is in the way.
    2) When you are sitting the face dots are completely covered by the B string. they might as well not be there.
    3) Personally, I prefer a fatter/rounder neck.
    4) the ramp that comes with this bass does not fit snug between the pickups so some of the finish underneath shows. Also, I don't think it's possible to get the action on this bass low enough for the ramp to be effective for your right hand. the ramp is made from a piece of wood that is very thin. the top of the pickups are higher than the ramp, but still far from the strings.
    taconeko and johnnylighton like this.
  2. taconeko


    Mar 13, 2020
    Tokyo, Japan
    Hi @entisgood

    I had a very similar experience with the truss rod on an Ibanez EHB1505MS that I had purchased as soon as it went on sale.

    Out of the box, the truss rod was completely maxed out and would not move. That was disappointing because like you, I was experiencing some buzzing and was not able to attain my preferred string height.

    I brought it back to the dealer and rather than return it, I opted to have them communicate with Ibanez. Ibanez let us know that a neck swap would be the only solution.

    After waiting about 4 or 5 months (likely as a result of COVID-19) the replacement neck arrived and was installed.

    While I was happy with the replacement, I could not shake the uncertainty I had with the bass overall. Given that it is about $1700, in the end, I sold the bass and purchased a domestic brand here for peace of mind.

    To a few of the other points you had made, I agree particularly with 2. 4 was not so bad since I had fairly thick double sided tape that brought the ramp height up to my liking.

    For what it is worth, I otherwise did like the EHB1505MS. The weight on my model was great and the tone was to my liking. The quality control though ultimately led me to go another route.
    entisgood likes this.
  3. entisgood


    Mar 14, 2010

    thanks for the reply. sorry you had a similar issue. I agree, I like this bass, but now I feel uneasy about keeping it and getting it set up in the future. a brand new bass needing a replacement neck, or truss rod surgery out of the box, doesn't look so good for Ibanez or the factory in Indonesia.
  4. laklandplayer

    laklandplayer Supporting Member

    Jul 10, 2001
    USA - Memphis, TN
    I just got a brand new 1005SMS medium scale, I love it!
    The bad news.. the truss rod is very hard to turn AND one of the neck screws was stripped!
    I took it to my guy to lower the nut slots, smooth the sharp nut edges and do a routine going over.
    When he was checking the neck screws, the last one turned around and around.
    He backed it out and found that it was stripped, he stuck a toothpick in the screw hole and that fixed it.
    I called Ibanez directly and they said they don't check for that neck screw type of thing and he had no suggestions for the truss rod.
    I asked about maybe some type of lubrication on it and he said they can't recommend anything.
    Ibanez said to keep an eye on the neck and they could do a replacement if needed.
    Sweetwater, where I bought it has been great, they've offered to replace it when they get more of them in and offered to reimburse me for my expense getting it "repaired".
    Right now the neck is perfect and stable, I was able to get the truss rod screw to move back and forth somewhat but it still takes a lot of effort and I'm afraid it will break off with too much force.
    I literally own 7 Ibanez electrics and their upright too, I've never seen quality control this bad.
    It's discouraging especially at this higher price point, the overall quality of my $350.00 Mezzo 5 is better.
    I really like this 1005SMS and I'm on the fence, it sounds and plays great and has zero dead spots on it.
    What if I exchange it and the next one just sucks?
  5. laklandplayer

    laklandplayer Supporting Member

    Jul 10, 2001
    USA - Memphis, TN
    Sweetwater did an exchange for me and the new bass is just fine.
    The truss rod is smooth and easy to turn, no stripped screws in the neck pocket and the matte finish seems a bit more smooth to the touch than the old bass.
    I can't say enough good things about James Masterson, my sales rep and the tech support people at Sweetwater. They were totally on it, very cooperative and, easy to work with.

    I played the high end 1505MS version the other day and I must say that I prefer the 1005SMS in terms of feel and overall sound. Nothing is lost in the 32-30" scale and the B string sounds as good as any that I've ever played regrdless of scale length.

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