Ibanez / Luthite

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Matthew Bryson, Mar 6, 2003.

  1. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001
    I was talking to a friend last night about basses, specifically the “Luthite” Ergodynes. He knows that I own one and that I’m not very satisfied with it. He was telling me about the bass player that his band recently let go - He said that this guy was playing a Luthite Ibanez that was made to look like wood - a fake wood grain bass! He went on to tell me how the guy dropped it during a rehearsal and the bass shattered into pieces when it hit the concrete floor! I do own a Luthite Ibanez.(EDB605), it was my first bass which I bought used from my brother. (I did not know anything about anything at the time) When I started coming to TB.com I was shocked to learn that the only wood on my bass is the fret board, but started to believe that the redeeming quality of this experimental material is that it is strong - it doesn't sound like that’s the case. Is anybody a fan of Luthite basses? Can anybody tell me what is good about this material? Does anybody know which Ibanez model has the fake wood grain - I’ve got to take a look at one of those (just out of morbid curiosity).
  2. 5stringDNA


    Oct 10, 2002
    Englewood, CO
    Hmmm I've played a luthite cort curbow, and a luthite yamaha (not sure what model), and I've come to the conclusion that luthite tends to have a very "stiff" and sterile sound with little warmth or charachter and some other odd qualities I can't really describe-it tends to lack that full, rich tone you get outof quality woods. The only plus to luthite I can think of is that it would cut through rather well due to very heavy midrange tones that stem from the material. The best application I can think of at themoment would be for a hardcore or punk group IMO-no bass is ever limited to a specific genre of course. If you like the sound, then that's all that matters. Your friend who shattered his bass was probably in a rather cold enviroment-many synthetic materials tend to get very brittle around the 30-40 range and below. I thought that luthite was more like graphite composites inthat it dents or cracks on severe impact, but doesn't shatter, but apparently I'm wrong there.
  3. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001
    I couldn't have said it better myself - that is why I'm not happy with mine.
  4. im pretty happy with mine but then again im not a total tone freak but i get the punchy mid range that i like so im happy with it
  5. Hey there, Creepy. Actually if you have an EDB605, the neck is maple, and the fingerboard is rosewood. Just the body is luthite. http://www.ibanez.com/guitars/guitar.asp?model=EDB605

    The same is true for the other basses in the Ergodyne series, except for the bass I just bought, which is a fretless EDA905(F). On my bass the neck is maple (the only wood on the bass) while the fretless board is made out of some type of plastic material called ebinol. It's supposed to look and sound like ebony. The body is luthite.

    As to how tough it is - I don't know. I hope I don't find out the hard way.

    Do I like luthite? Yes.

    The reason? It's because it is so light and easy to hold while playing for long periods, and as I've said here before, this is the MOST COMFORTABLE bass I've ever played. I'm not saying there are no other basses as comfortable out there, but, if there are this guy will give them a run for their money. Aside from looking futuristic, Ibanez must have really taken their time with every curve they put into the body, because sitting or standing it just feels so right against your body. And with the small headstock - NO NECK DIVE!.

    As for the sterile sound: I can only speak for the EDA905F, but, it can sound both sterile and very warm (no kidding) depending on how you set the piezos. With the piezos soloed, and full piezo treble, this bass will hurt anyone's ears - very brittle, glassy and harsh. Forget slapping; you'd die instantly! :D

    The magnetic pickup is a little on the dark side, but, with the piezos set at about half volume, you can get a tone that's both deep and articulate. Turn the piezos off, and you can get a nice Reggae-type tone.

    My bass is fretless, and I have a light touch, combine this with the EQ set to a not-too-bright setting, and I can get very warm WOODY tones from this thing. You just have to take the time and really explore the EQ settings and pickup blends.

    I wasn't particularly looking for this bass, I just wanted a fretless with an unlined neck in the $700 dollar range. I am very happy with it.

    This is a very versatile bass.

    Again, I can't really speak for the other Ergodyne models, as I've only played them for a few minutes each.

    Here's The EDA905: http://www.ibanez.com/guitars/guitar.asp?model=EDA905

    IMHO, luthite has a valid place as a body material.

    I would definitely consider getting the fretted model.

  6. ColdYinTiger


    Jul 15, 2000
    Columbus, OH
    I have an EDB400 myself and I love it's playability. I cant really get a good dub tone out of it but it excels in bridge pup fingerstyle. Nice and punchy with a good amount of growl to cut through.

    I play mainly fingerstyle with harmonics and tapping in prog/metal/jazz type of music so it fits for what I like to do, it doesn't cut quite that well with slaping, though I think that is more to my bass tone choice then anything.(Bass and highs boosted a tad on the amp and the mids cranked and Para set to about 10 O'clock.)

    I've gotten alot of nice comments about my tone when I've played with it through other amps as well.(Extreamly punchy, unique) It's more for a midrange kinda person I guess. It doesn't match the sound of wood but it's good for something different.
  7. I'm a decent "beginner" bassist (almost 2 yrs now), and the Ibanez EDA 900 (4 sting,fretted) was my first bass(yeah, i was paying my dad back for a year), but there's just a really nice feel to it. I'm not a tone freak, but I really like the sounds I can get out of this thing. Now I'm using some worn-in Rotosound Swing 66 Nickels, through a baragin Peavey Combo 115, and lemme tell ya, this thing rocks! I just keep all the controls on the bass flat(center, whatever you wanna call it) and adjust the EQ on the amp. I can use it with this bi-amp set up that i have to get a lotta treble punch (Geddy Lee-esque)or keep the treble down and boost the bass to get some cool jazzy sounds (John Paul Jones-esque). It has it's own unique sound and if you don't like it, then I guess luthite isn't for you. I was trying out basses for my first time in this guitar store, and as soon as i picked up this one i just loved it! mainly because it was an easy player for me, but also because it sounded pretty good. I'm not into that emo/thrash-funk/one-note garbage/"new rock"/crap that's out now, and I never will be. Right now I'm into Rush, Yes, Zeppelin....all old stuff and this bass works great for it. I was just extremely bored so I wrote this review.

  8. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Do they still have that smell everybody used to talk about?
  9. Yeah, they have a smell that resembles paint thinner, but it's oonly if you smell it reeeeeaaallllly closely, or if you open up one of the covers on the back.

    P.S.- I re-wired mine for 2 batteries, so I just have to flip a discreet switch if a battery dies instead of unscrewing the cover during the middle of a song.......which is kinda inconvenient. Just another fact because i'm still bored...
  10. This is the EDB you asked about:[​IMG]
  11. Yes. If you get a brand new one, as soon as you open the box, you get a moderately strong odor of benzene, or as peaveybassamp88 said, paint thinner. It smells for about 2 days, getting weaker by the hour. If you check one out in a store, I doubt that you'd smell anything.

  12. Now that I saw the picture of the EDB I know what you were saying about the fake wood grain....WEIRD! The EDA 900 that I have is just plain silver (and YES, some people have said that the finish is un-scratchable/indestructible but I found out for a fact that it isn't). The EDA is the freaky brother of the EDB, it looks more futuristic I guess (extended horns, unusual body feel, etc.) but it's not just for looks,it's a great player. I didn't lay down almost $500 because it looked kinda cool, I just loved how it played. The horns add extra balance and the body is awesomely light and comfortable. Check one out if you ever get a chance. My only real problem with it was the neck. The action was set so high and even this 35+ years experience bass tech guy at a local music store said he couldn't get it any lower without possibly breaking the truss rod! I finally got pissed one night and took the strings off, bent the neck into a back-bow, then put them back on. It worked and it's still doing good, but what a pain! OK, time to go do something else now before I get bored enough to start writing a 3rd chapter of my epic story, ME AND MY EDA 900. Happy um...Bassing!

  13. i got the EDB 500 best thing that happend to me. i love it. super low action. lots of midrange punch and it cuts through like no other bass i played. i love it. oyea no smell!
  14. I played an EDA(the weird looking one, I think it was EDA)anyways. I played one at guitar center, granted I didn't plug it in, but I played it none the less, and damn! it was comfortable, wicked light puny tiny small neck(which I like) and tight string spacing, I liked playing it, it was so comfortable. Thought the bottom horn kind dug into my crotch(yeah I said it, so what) but if it was a little bit shorter it would have been the most comfortable bass I have ever played.