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Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by DigitalGnome, Nov 3, 2003.

  1. DigitalGnome


    Oct 30, 2003
    I've seen a couple of mid-priced Ibanez basses (EDA and EDC series) made of a non-wood material called luthite. Does anyone have any experience with it? I'm pretty sure it's lighter than most woods, but how does the tone sound?
  2. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Sounds like crap - just like all Ibanezes.

    J/K!!!! :)

    Luthite sounds a lot like wood. I don't like the sound of Ibanez basses personally no matter what they're made of, but the Cort Curbows made of "Luthite" that I've played sound fantastic.
  3. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Luthite smells (solvent?), make sure you can tolerate it.
  4. Sabertooth


    Oct 16, 2003
    Kiev, Ukraine
    Yeah, it really smells, that's one of the reasons I think about selling my EDB600. It's also not too light, many wooden basses are lighter. As for the sound, I'd say Ergodynes sound better than most SRs, even more expensive ones - the midrange and attack are good.

    BTW one of the alternatives I'm considering is Warwick Corvette Rockbass - it costs the same ~$500 (!!!) but has a very characterstic sound...
  5. My experience with luthite:

    1) It's light. The model I have is the EDA905F http://www.ibanez.com/guitars/guitar.asp?model=EDA905

    2) It's extemely comfortable to play standing or sitting. The most comfortable bass I've ever played. No balogna.

    3) It's a bright sounding bass naturally, but I don't think any brighter than say maple. If someone were to play this bass behind a curtain with all the tone controls flat, I don't think anyone could accurately say, "That's luthite." I know I couldn't.

    4) Yes, they smell, but read on. If you buy a brand new one in a sealed box, they have a moderately strong odor of benzene, but only if you're within a few feet of the instrument, and this odor goes away within a couple of days.

    That's if you leave it on a stand. If you constantly keep it in its case, the odor comes back whenever you open it, but only for a few moments, and not very strong. I can only smell it if I put my nose within a few inches of the body.
    10 minutes later I can't smell anything.

    So, there are the good and bad points of luthite.

    I do not come to bury luthite, nor to praise it. :rolleyes:
    It's simply another material out of which to make a bass or guitar.

    I didn't buy this bass because it was made of luthite, I bought it because it was comfortable, sounded good (open to interpretation ;) ) and it had an unlined fretless board.

    Would I buy another bass made of luthite? - Yes.
    Would I prefer wood over luthite? - Yes.

    Luthite's O.K., but it's nothing to write home about.

    Mike ;)
  6. xJasonSmithx

    xJasonSmithx Supporting Member

    Jun 25, 2003
    Denver, CO
    my ergodyne was pretty light, super comfortable, fast playing low action. it was just electronics that i really wasn't into, i still wonder what it would have sounded like w/ different pu's and a nice pre in it. anyone switched them out in an ergodyne?

    Jason Smith
  7. Sabertooth


    Oct 16, 2003
    Kiev, Ukraine
    I think the reason why you don't smell luthite after a couple of minutes of playing the bass (having gotten it out of my gigbag) is that you just get used to the smell. But when I leave the room I've been playing in and then enter it again in several minutes, I notice the smell again. And even if you can smell it when you lean to the body, it's not that pleasant because you expect your beloved axe to smell something sweet :) And it is the body material that smells, not finish, because if you open the battery compartment and smell, you can get high.

    Not that I'm bashing Ergodynes overall, but it's really a drawback.

    And yes, the playability is great.
  8. I've played an EDA905 and EDA905F. They're awesome instruments and I recommend them. Light as a feather and comfy! I would own one now except the scale is 34".

    Luthite is good.:) :) :) :)
  9. xJasonSmithx

    xJasonSmithx Supporting Member

    Jun 25, 2003
    Denver, CO
    all the time i had my bass i thought it was the case that it had that smelled bad :D just because right when i opened the case i would smell it and after taking it out i didn't smell it anymore, i think thats pretty funny that i never realized that. all in all i didn't think it was a bad smell persay maybe some are worse than others.

    Jason Smith

  10. Finger Blister

    Finger Blister

    Jul 8, 2003
    Luthite: (n)

    An M&M.
    A shell of paint around a center of soft yet dense material.

    Can put your thumbnail through the shell.
    (Sorry G.C.!)

    Petrochemicals will melt the substance.

    The polar opposite of wood.

    Bass Player's are the only know musician's gullable enough to buy Luthite Instruments.

    Not found in Gu*tars.
  11. Jason, I'm entertaining the idea of swapping a Bart or EMG soapbar for the stock Ibanez pup, but the bass sounds good the way it is to me. The Ibanez pup is pretty dark sounding, but then again, the EDA905 has that strange EQ system for the magnetic pup. For those of you that aren't familiar with it, it's a 2 band EQ with one control knob. :confused:

    That's right, it boosts or cuts bass and trebele at the same time. I never have any of my other basses set this way. I usually add a little bass, and either leave the treble flat or cut it.
    So I don't know if just adding a different pickup would help that much. I honestly like the way this bass sounds as is. The tone control for the piezo pups has a much greater effect on this bass' tone than the magnetic pup, IMHO.

    As for luthite's sound, I think the only accurate way to compare it, would be to make an identical bass with a wooden body, and then A/B them.

    Everyone seems to agree that they play good and are comfortable though. :)


    Wasn't one of Superman's arch-enemies called Lex Luthite? :p
  12. Danham

    Danham Guest

    Feb 11, 2003
    Shreveport LA
    I own an EDA905 and right now it is my only bass. It's a unique bass to say the least. I bought it on a closeout sale from AMS. If I had played it in a store I would have thrown it down in disgust. It just takes a good while to get used to it's strange EQ. Then you can find out how versatile it really is. I offer this piece of advice: if you get the EDA put pressurewound strings on it. I hated this bass for a long time when it had roundowunds on it, way way way too bright and twangy no matter how you fiddled with the eq. When I put pressurewound strings on it I fell in love with the bass. I will keep it for the rest of my life.:bassist:
  13. OH MAN! You just made my morning, Danham!

    That is exactly the way I feel about this bass. I guess when you take into account the luthite body, piezo pups, and strange EQ (though not a bad EQ) it does take some time to get used to this bass, but after you explore all its sonic potentials, you're rewarded with great tone.

    I've found that the setting I like the best is:

    1) Magnetic pup on full
    2) Piezos at 6 or 7
    3) Magnetic EQ at 7
    4) Piezo EQ flat (5)

    Then, I keep all the tone controls on my amp flat, except for the bass, which I put at 7.

    Man it sounds great!

    I also found that for best piezo sound, leave the master piezo control on the back of the bass at 100%, then adjust the volume control on the front of the bass to taste. If you lower the master control on the back, it reduces the growl by a lot. Of course this is just my opinion.

    I haven't tried pressure wounds on it yet; I'm very happy with the Elixirs that came with it. Keep in mind that my bass is a fretless model.

    I first played an EDA905 about two years ago, and the one thing I remember was that it sounded different from any other bass I'd heard. Its sound was very hard to describe, but it was very appealing. Then, when I was looking for a fretless with an unlined board for $1000 or less, I saw an EDA905F at Musiciansfriend, and I am so glad I bought it.

    Which strings are you using on your bass?

    Good talking to another satisfied EDA905 owner. ;)


    People, this bass is a sleeper.
  14. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    Wasnt that Lex Luther? or something like that, i wasnt too keen on comics, especially not on superman
  15. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    I dont think it is negatively charasteristic: i have a Corvette Standard 6 made of bubinge with ovangkol neck and wenge board, and i think its quite versatile - so the Rockbass, which is made out of more "common" materials, but has the same electronics, should be as versatile, too, with a more "traditional" sound
  16. Sabertooth


    Oct 16, 2003
    Kiev, Ukraine
    Oh no, I didn't mean it was a negative characteristic, quite the contrary. I just didn't expect budget instruments to have a characteristic sound, but that Warwick growl is exactly what I'd like to get. In fact, I don't care much about ultimate versatility and "getting P-bass tone" ;) So, with this specific Rockbass, I was very pleasantly surprised that I can easily afford that growl. Even the passive version of German-made Corvette Standard didn't have that much growl. So I wonder what contributes to that growl if that Rockbass is made of different woods. And as far as I compared it to my Ergodyne, I was trying to say that the Ergodyne provides a nice, OK tone, but if I can afford such special tone at the same price, I would no doubt choose the second option. Now my only doubt is whether to start saving up for an FNA Jazzman, or grab that Rockbass right away :)

    Sorry for a little offtopic.
  17. So true. At first I was put off by the ugly looks (the body looks like the MusicYo logo), but once I played it, its looks suddenly didn't matter.

    It spoiled me...wood basses seem so heavy now....

    Ibanez discontinued the fretless models, those were very awesome too.
  18. Tsal


    Jan 28, 2000
    Finland, EU
    Right. So you should buy a bass based on what a guitarist says? :spit:

    I've noticed that bassists are somewhat more open to new things. You don't see much active electronics on a geetar, or a 10-band graphic EQ on geetar amps. Most guitarists wouldn't get near non-traditional axes, fer gods sake!

  19. [​IMG]
  20. Wes Whitmore

    Wes Whitmore

    Mar 10, 2003
    Columbus, OH
    Whast brand and size strings are you guys using? I was thinking the stock Elixers were 45-100s (4 strings). When I replaced them, I put the same size Ernie Ball Slinky Hybrids on it, and hated the tone. Then I went up to the 50-105s from blue steel. They are better, but still not the tone I want, and are thicker than I want them to be. I swear this thing used to sound good.
    Maybe I should grab another set of Elixers, but I keep changing strings just to try to get my tone back with no success. I spend all my practice time tweaking on things trying to get it to sound like it used to.
    The sound is a "processed" low E, especially. It almost wavers up and down, and isn't thick at all. Just a low twang sound. I have never adjusted any of the pot levels on the back of the amp. My string action might be set a little high too. I also can't get good slap tone out of it at all, not that I slap much though. The MM at the store sounds great, even with me slapping. It doesn't get much better with boosting the knobs on the GK R1001, the sansamp DI, or the EQ that I am about to take back.