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Ibanez Portamento Club

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by vmabus, May 14, 2014.

  1. coyote1


    Mar 23, 2012
    Just found that the edit function disappears after awhile or I would have edited the previous post. I don’t want to clutter this thread with me me me, but one more observation: in order to correctly reach the low B string and E string an octave up, where it really sounds like an upright, it turns out the way to hold the instrument is in a similar position to where an upright would be if you were playing one! The headstock is not down by waist or belly or chest, but up by my head. It’s making me think about finding some way to modify a strap button to better facilitate that, without distorting the strap hole. Perhaps I can learn something from the way the Chapman Stick and Warr Guitar are held/strapped.
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2019
  2. Aidil


    Dec 4, 2014
    Jkt, IDN
    IME, I'd play my Portamento strapped as usual but positioned my right plucking hand on top of the neck, about what would be the 18th~22nd frets, when I'm after the upright-ish sound.
  3. srayb


    Oct 27, 2010
    That is how Alain Caron plays fretless. I’ve seen him use some kind of multipoint strap.
    View attachment 3567790
  4. String alert!

    I just put a set of Ernie Ball Cobalt flats on my Portomento, and the results are very good!

    The gauge is 45 - 100.

    I'll give a detailed review after I'm familiar with them, but first impressions are:
    1.) Less thump than the D'Addarios that came with the bass using the magnetic pickups.
    2.) Less thump with the magnetics translates into a better tone with the piezos. Hard to descibe right now, as I only have a half an hour playing them, but I am very glad I put them on my bass.

  5. cchorney

    cchorney Supporting Member

    Oct 21, 2010
    Meriden, CT
    Like early Bill Wyman:
  6. konfyouzd


    Jan 3, 2009
    I had a 706. Love these basses. Should have never sold it.
  7. Another update on the Ernie Ball Cobalt Flats I put on my Portamento last Thursday.
    I gave the strings a few days to settle in and stop slipping, and here's what I found.
    They have less thump, but more sustain and overtones with the magnetic pickups. They also have a little finger noise, which I never noticed with the stock D'Addario flats. They also have that Cobalt stikiness, which takes a little time to get used to, but once you do, I feel it gives you a bit more control over your sliding.
    Now, where they really shine: When using Cobalts with the piezos on a Portamento, the Cobalts give A LOT more of a percussive tone!
    Think of a drop of water falling into a pot followed by the note you play.
    Then, the mwah is much more pronounced when you slide!
    These strings are delicious!
    Another report when I have more to report.
    For having played them about an hour and a half, I highly recommend these strings for a Portamento.

    Mike ;)
    sonojono, BritFunk and kirkdickinson like this.
  8. HangryBassMan


    Aug 20, 2019
    Think I will have to give these a go.

    I have tried a few different sets of strings on my porto... here's what I found:

    TI Flats - I found these strings to be great, but ultimately flawed on the portamento. They were really easy to play when you get used to them, and I found to be really responsive in tone and dynamics depending on how hard you dig in and where you pluck. The Low B was great! Unfortunately they are too low tension for the neck, the A string in particular. I had to give the neck some serious adjustment with the truss rod (over a good period of time) but it was still no good. The open A was really weak and underwhelming... it was better moving p the fretboard. The string was hitting the heel of the fretboard when striking open A or in 1st position. For me this made it out of balance, and could only be rectified if I raised the saddle for the A string ridiculously high. The porto needs high tension strings because of the length of the fretboard. So off they came.

    La Bella 1/4 round - These are now out of production. I threw an old set on and they sounded great. They had more zing, good thump and more growl/mwah. Rougher on the fingers than flatwounds but played really well. I bought the last new set available. BUT, the low B string is really underwhelming and unbalanced. Just too quiet, and it reminded me why I stopped using them. If I ever aquire a 4 stringed bass I will be sure to put the old set on and keep the new set for spares.

    GHS Pressurewounds - I put on the Low B and again found it really underwhelming in output, so off it came. Didn't even bother trying the other 4 strings.

    Chromes - These came with this bass for a reason. The high tension works. The strings are well balanced. It thumps, it has a bit of string clack like an upright. These are back on my bass. Maybe i'll try out a fresh set soon, maybe I won't.

    If you want to try different sets of strings just make sure they have are high tensions. I'm sure flats, roundwounds and hybrids will all sound great. Personally I am not into tapewounds at all i think the sound and feel terrible.
    Michael Jewels likes this.
  9. Very good review, HangryBassMan! :thumbsup:

    The more information we share with each other, the better off we all are as far as making informed decisions about our gear, and not wasting money.

    I'll have more about the Cobalts after I've played them a little longer.

    In a nutshell: These are strings which are very different from anything I've tried before. I'm not new to Cobalts; I've had them on another bass of mine for over a year, and just had a set put on my Stingray, and love them.

    But, after I put a set on my Portamento, I couldn't believe how full, warm and percussive they sound with piezos.

    Almost as good as soup on a cold day! ;)

  10. golfnsubie


    Jan 17, 2011
    Anyone here finding you HAVE to use a hpf in order to use the piezo pickup? Like I cant use that pickup without one...I play though Mike Arnopol (B28 and 1,8) cabs and without a hpf pedal the speaker jumps everwhere and cannot play at any reasonable volume....currently using quilter bb800 but would love to have Berg forte hp so I would have variable hpf built in....
  11. kirkdickinson

    kirkdickinson Supporting Member

    Interesting. I have a SRF706 and I replaced the factory strings with LaBella Gold Whites. I like them ok and can get a lot of different sounds from them. They look really sharp on the bass too. Lately I am been yearning for a little more. Do they make the Ernie Ball Cobalts in 6 string sets?
  12. HangryBassMan


    Aug 20, 2019
    Would you say the cobalts make the piezo sound more like an upright than the chromes?
  13. Yes. I don't know what makes the Cobalts yield so much, mwah, but I'm guessing it's their roundwound~like sustain coupled with the fact that they are flats, and then there's that slightly sticky feel they have, which I think gives you more control on slides. I like them on my other two basses, but never thought they would sound so good on a fretless with piezos.

  14. Kirk, I don't think so.
    I went to Juststrings.com, and they stopped at the 5 string set.
  15. kirkdickinson

    kirkdickinson Supporting Member

    Looks like Ernie Ball sells some singles.
    Cobalt Wound Electric Bass Single Strings | Ernie Ball

    I guess I could buy the 5 string set and add a 32

  16. I tried these when I first got my Stingray - I think they were a new product. They were very sticky, so much so that I took them off and wire-woolled them to try and make them smoother. That worked ok, but I couldn’t stop them plucking the hairs off my right wrist, so I binned them. Never tried them on my Port, possibly I should have. Or started shaving my wrists, I suppose.
  17. Yes, Cobalts are sticky when new.
    I put them on my Ibanez Musician about a year ago, my first experience with them, and I noticed the stickiness.
    It took about 3 months to go away completely, but a year later, the Cobalts are still not as smooth to the touch as other flats I have used.
    I like it; it gives me a little more control.
  18. sonojono

    sonojono Supporting Member

    +1 on the Cobalt Flats just be careful with your right/left arm hairs get snagged as you play.

    As for stickiness, it goes away after a little over 2 months for me. I still have em set on my Warmoth Bass for 5 years counting and still taking the abuse (especially with my arm hairs).
    Idle Plucker and Michael Jewels like this.
  19. web824


    Nov 1, 2016
    Where do set your knobs??
  20. sonojono

    sonojono Supporting Member

    So I basically came out like a bandit!


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