Ibanez Portamento Club

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

  1. Well crud..my brand new Portamento is still down. Had it looked at and they believe the circuit board is damaged along with loose solders. The tech was able to get the pickups to come to life, but didn't want to mess with it more being he wasn't an authorized Ibanez repair shop. He didn't want to void warranty. So now I am waiting on original music shop to get back with me on my options. Ibanez customer support is horrid and I haven't been able to contact them at all. Might just be the last Ibanez they get out of me. I understand things happen, but to not be able to contact support is pitiful. I have sent emails and tried to call numerous times.
  2. Aidil


    Dec 4, 2014
    Jkt, IDN
    I might be wrong, but isn't the preamp board inside the Portamentos a single piece for the Bartolini magnetics and also the piezo to went thru to the output jack, thus if the circuit board failed there would be no sound from the piezo too?
    Lebowitz likes this.
  3. Yep, It's weird that the piezo is working but not the others. I would figure it would be the other way around. I am really wanting to dig into it myself, but I would hate to void the warranty also. I guess I will see what my dealer says. The really bad news is I'm not finding anymore in stock right now from most places. So if I do just return it, might not be able to get it for a while.
    Aidil likes this.
  4. A Jazzy Doom

    A Jazzy Doom

    Aug 5, 2016
    Damn, that is a frustrating situation, I’m sorry to hear that it turned out this way. Even though my two best instruments are currently from Ibanez, I’m feeling pretty disappointed by their QC at the moment. While my SRF806 was very good other than a few buzzy spots on the fingerboard, the EHB1506MS I just ordered has a whole raft of small issues that I just don’t think should show up on an $1,800 instrument. And I feel like I got lucky - the EHB owner’s thread I has too many reports of rough woodwork, malfunctioning electronics, and cracked necks.

    For what it’s worth, when I contacted Ibanez support by email in April/May of 2020, they did get back to me consistently, but as I recall it would always take 5-7 days.

    In any event, good luck resolving your situation. I think the Portamento is a really special instrument, and should be worth the effort required to get this resolved, but that’s probably not much consolation to you right now!
  5. To add to it, the tech in question was from a big name center that sells guitars..so the quick diagnosis could be suspect..like he told me, he didn't want to void warranty either. If I have to return it, I think I would just rather replace preamp board and have electonics done by a local luthier and eat the cost. It is sounding like I am probably either going to have to return or fix it myself.
  6. Thanks! And what is crazy is just 4 months ago I bought the SR 1346 and it was almost perfect out of the box! Really happy with that bass!
  7. Bassbonde


    Mar 10, 2020
    Sorry for your bad experience.
    If you are going to change board yourself I think this is the preamp board you need: Ibanez Electric Bass Preamp Module 3EMP21LDP
    Looks like the newer srfs use this board (but I could be wrong...)

    However, with the piezos working and the magnetics working after some soldering I wouldn't think your board is damaged beyond repair. If you are interested I can post the schematics I made from reverse engineering my 3emp21ldp preamp before doing some modifications to my 706 (bought it used, no warranty)

    That said, I don't think I would have done anything that could void warranty. Just my 2p.

    Anyway, I wish you good luck!
    Lebowitz likes this.
  8. DanTheQuaker

    DanTheQuaker Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2015
    Seattle, WA
    I gotta say... I upgraded the bridge pickup on my SRF700 from Bartolini Mk1 to Mk4 and it was a big disappointment. The Mk1 pickup sounded so much fuller and warmer.

    Anyone want to buy a barely used USA Bart Mk4?
    Aidil and Lebowitz like this.
  9. Thanks @Bassbonde! Im still in talks with my guitar shop about getting it repaired. Hopefully I can get everything worked out. I'm really wanting to keep the bass and not return.
  10. Aidil


    Dec 4, 2014
    Jkt, IDN
    Exactly what I had experienced. I swapped the MK1 for a pair of MK5CBC but could not gel with the sound, even after 3 years or so... then I asked a tech guy to put the MK1 back, now my SRF705 sounds great, just the way it is meant to.
    DanTheQuaker likes this.
  11. I've been playing mostly fretted for a while, but took the Portamento off the wall to noodle around a bit.
    The neck is just absolutely divine. So comfortable.

    I keep being tempted to throw in some Nordstrands (maybe a Zen Blade or a big split) but this thread is making me question that.
    Michael Jewels likes this.
  12. I love the Norstrands on my SR 1346, Now you got me thinking.
  13. Quite possibly a silly question, but since I am unsure..Do you guys run your Portamento's through the active or passive side on your amps? The Bart's are passive, but the piezo's are active. Help?
  14. Good question.

    I have a Rumble 40, which only has one input, but if you have a choice, I would go with the passive input, since you can control the piezos with their volume control.

    When I first got my Portamento, I would blend the neck pickup with the piezos, but now I use either/or.
    I also use Ernie Ball Cobalt Flats on mine, and they were made to go with the piezos.

    Good luck.
    Lebowitz likes this.
  15. Thank you Mike!
  16. Aidil


    Dec 4, 2014
    Jkt, IDN
    Despite passive, the Bartolini's went thru an active preamp before going to the output jack, so it makes the whole bass active.

    I usually plug in all of my basses on the active side of inputs, cause I no longer have a passive bass (most have passive pickups but went thru an on board preamp). But, I don't make a big deal if there's no input separation nor a switch marked something like -15dB to tame the input signal, as long as my bass signal isn't distorted when my bass vol knob set to max.
    Michael Jewels and Lebowitz like this.
  17. Thanks @Aidil Currently my Port is getting fixed (hopefully) at Ibanez. While I had it, I ran it through both sides to try. Neither distorted the sound, so I was unsure. Appreciate the info!
    Aidil likes this.
  18. Aidil


    Dec 4, 2014
    Jkt, IDN
    Hope you get yours fixed soon, @Lebowitz.
    Michael Jewels and Lebowitz like this.
  19. DanTheQuaker

    DanTheQuaker Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2015
    Seattle, WA
    I need to issue a partial retraction... I took the bass to a different guitar tech, and it turned out that the first guy had wired the pickup wrong, so it was out of phase. Now it sounds much better and fuller. I'm not sure if it's noticeably different or superior from the original Mk1, but it sounds good.
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2021
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