NBD - EHB1000s - Escape from New York

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Standalone, Jul 27, 2022.

  1. Standalone


    Jan 17, 2005
    New Haven
    I’ve got some tight space gigs coming up and have had my eye on this short scale Ibanez for a while.

    I took the train in and met the seller in the East 90’s. He was delayed at work and had to delay our meeting time, but I miss living in New York so much that I was completely content to drink my Starbucks and do the crossword puzzle. The guy’s musical story was one of having been given the bass and a Rumble 800 combo to learn on but he didn’t get around to it. It happens.

    I don’t have a photo of the bass itself because I spent the rest of the day and evening walking around the city and enjoying every moment of it. By the time I stopped in to a tiny Queens dive bar with horse racing on the TV, bottles only and all cash — my kind of place — I’d walked 6 miles down Second Avenue, across the Queensboro Bridge, and through Long Island City where I stopped for lunch with my sea foam green beauty, pictured in the case. The day was sunny and seasonable.

    Everybody at the place bought me beers and I bought everybody pizza and we talked about music and the Grateful Dead and watched Mets-Yankees who were playing just across the neighborhood. I took the train home and it’s far too late to plug in and test out the Barts but the neck felt great in Starbucks, one of the better I’ve played on recent Indonesian manufactured Ibanezes.

    My Mets won, a good time was had by all, and I’ve added a bass to the collection that really expands my travel range, and one that will make more comfortable cramped gigs like ones I’ve got coming up on a boat.
  2. Flaked Beans

    Flaked Beans

    Sep 9, 2005
    Don't do it again. Trust me.
  3. Standalone


    Jan 17, 2005
    New Haven
    Haha, no definitely going to — pub culture is talking with people, real characters. That neighborhood was my home for five years. Those years were full of good times and good fortune.
    JRA and RSBBass like this.
  4. Standalone


    Jan 17, 2005
    New Haven
    In the front room woodshed.
  5. Standalone


    Jan 17, 2005
    New Haven
    Playing report —

    Fretwork — The fretwork is outstanding. Some non-MIJ Ibanezes I’ve picked up in stores have had a bit of fret sprout. I have the feeling this is due to wood coming from a humid part of the world and experiencing shrinkage. I doubt they left the factory that way. This is not the case with the roasted maple neck and fingerboard of the EHB10xx

    - Neck: I have large hands and a looser heavier technique and tend to notice and dislike noticeably bendy necks. This one is rock solid and well proportioned. It is fuller than some of the skinnier SR necks I’ve played — the string spacing along the first few frets felt even a little wide to me but that is probably an artifact of the shorter scale length impacting my perception. It’s a proportional thing. But my feel for ghost notes and various percussive pull offs and hammer ons etc felt good and sounded musical and lively. Some basses have a dullness of response that sort of obscures my energetic (of bass lesson unapproved) playing style.

    - Scale: 30” on a cheap bass like the Squier I owned briefly is not a pleasure to play. I get the sense that quality is maybe more important a factor at this scale. I can, in general, happily pluck away at a cheap 34” scale bass and take them out on gigs. But the difference between that Squier and this seems greater at this scale length. My small sampling group should be noted. But I’ve played a real classic Hofner and loved it. (I may copy this part into a separate post.)

    - Pickups: Bartolini seems to get panned on TB; they don’t have the snap of Nordstrand big singles etc. I am a fan of a more classic sound, and tend to prefer Aguilars or Barts in modern Ibanez basses. The same is true here. The passive sound is full and dynamically responsive. And the varimid three band with a passive switch and a treble knob that turns into a passive tone control adds what I want — a more modern clarity to the tone. You can hear the difference eleven set flat, think camera soft focus vs. higher contrast grain on film. When I use Nordstrand equipped basses, the active EQ adds too much that the Nordies already naturally have. I’m sure players who play with a cleaner more controlled technique and different tone goals are more likely to have a different preference. A warmer pickup is what I prefer.

    - Finish: I love Ibanez basses in white. This one however is Seafoam Green and I really like it. It’s striking but still mellow. I like the outline of a bass to show well on stage, I think visibility helps the audience feel more engaged and it’s a better look on the inevitable gig pictures that become promotional material on social media etc. This color works for that. The finish is matte, which I’m not used to - most of my basses are gloss eighties basses, neck included. Gloss necks are what I’m used to and I prefer them; my hand feels anchored when I want it to. Other players feel “stuck” on gloss necks. The natural finish on this neck feels good to me, however. I don’t think I’d change it.

    - Construction: You know Ibanez. Fit and finish is hard to fault at any of their price points.

    - Design and ergonomics: I think these don’t look so great hanging in the local shops. But on a stand at home or in my hands, I really like it. The upper horn is very BTB, the lower is of a basically SR shape, but left wide and flat — I’d guess intentionally to provide a comfortable wider surface for resting on a seated thigh. I am 6’3” (193 cm?) and the bass works well for me standing with a strap or sitting. This will not replace my usual basses on stage; the plan is to choose it for particularly tight duo gigs, travel, or brief sit-in invitations.

    - Headless: something is different about headless. It may be in my head, or it may be something in the way a headstock adds weight and changes how the neck vibrates and resonates. I still feel a better connection with traditional basses than any headless bass. They breathe a little differently. Could I tell blindfolded? That would be interesting to try! But it’s a very minor compromise and I see this bass as a specific tool for a specific set of uses.

    - Overall: I recommend this to everyone who seeks a travel or small stage bass. And to the short scale aficionadi — y’all probably know these basses better than I do, but if you’re playing a basic model and want to upgrade… try this for sure.
  6. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Gold Supporting Member

    wow, @Standalone, that's one, colorful, but in-depth review! :D :thumbsup:

    i'm as entertained and supportive of your experience visiting some old familiar turf as i am of your NBD! :laugh: :thumbsup: cool stuff!

    re: the ax: it looks cool enough, but it sounds like the boxes you needed 'ticked' are all there --- in spades --- congratulations on your productive trip into the city and on your new instrument! :thumbsup:
    Standalone and Riff Ranger like this.
  7. Standalone


    Jan 17, 2005
    New Haven
    Yes, I moved to the city when I was 21 in the late 90's and it's getting to the point where that is now seeming quite some time ago. It was nice to go back in this particular context. Walking forty blocks of Manhattan and across the bridge on a beautiful day with my new bass on my back was really a joy.

    And capping it off with an old fashioned good time at a little dive bar? Just like the old days.
    JRA likes this.
  8. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Gold Supporting Member

    perfect! :thumbsup:
    Standalone likes this.