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NBD ESP Ltd B-1005

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Bobster, Oct 14, 2013.

  1. Bobster


    Mar 27, 2006
    Austin, TX
    Friday afternoon I received a b-stock Ltd B-1005 from Sweetwater. There was a very minor discoloration in two small spots on the back of the lower horn. To me, the spots aren't noticable and I'm really happy I picked this instrument. Bass weighs 9lbs even. It's my first neckthrough instrument, and my 2nd Ltd bass. It's also my second instrument with EMG pickups.

    That previous bass was a 2004 ESP Ltd J-1005 with EMG 40-J (B) / 40-P5 (N) and a EMG BTS 2-band active EQ. While it was well built I could never find tones that were really usable or that I really liked. This is a different situation altogether.

    The B-1005 is Korean-made with a mahogany body, flame maple top, and two walnut stringers. The neck is 5-piece maple and walnut with an ebony fretboard. The bass weighs 9 lbs even.

    It's electronics are EMG 40-TW (B) / 40P-5 (N) and the EMG B64 3-Band Active EQ. This on the other hand gives a whole lot of options.

    It does a good P/J with the TW in single-coil mode. Yes the J output is lower, but that's how P/J basses are and it doesn't hum. It does a good P, a reasonable H model SR5 with the TW soloed, and good enough jazz. It can also do a pretty good HS SR5 sound by blending the neck P in.

    It is basically a very good jack-of-all-trades bass and is great for covering multiple genres of music.

    In terms of hardware, it's like a name-brand parts store. It has Hipshot Ultralight tuners and an A-Bridge with 17mm spacing. It's got the EMG pickups and preamp as described. I'm guessing if purchased separately, the bridge, tuners, pickups and preamp would be $600 retail.

    The B-1005 has ESP's "Extra Thin U Neck Contour" and is 47mm (1.85") at it's graphite nut. Make no mistake, this is a wide flat, fairly thin neck. It measures approximately 18.3mm (.72") thick at the 12th fret. But it is very playable and with the 17mm spacing is surprisingly very comfortable for me.

    Out of the box, the setup was pretty good. I lowered the strings slightly, adjusted the B String intonation a bit, adjusted pickup height and opened the G string nut slot a very small amount, because the note was slightly choked. This resolved it. The B String is definitely tight enough and doesn't have much flop at all with the stock ESP "Cleartone" coated strings. Guages are: 130/105/85/65/45. (Add) Yesterday afternoon, I rolled the fretboard edges. It's starting to feel like an old friend. Now I'm done...

    So I see the bass as amazing value with high quality materials used throughout and a wide sound palette. I realize many folks who frequent this board won't normally give an Ltd instrument a second look, but I think you owe it to yourselves to check their line, especially the higher-end instruments for sure.

    All the best,


    Attached Files:

  2. Staccato

    Staccato Low End Advocate

    Aug 14, 2009
    Beautiful bass, thanks for the review!
  3. I tried and liked an esp 5 string recently. One thing I could not get over though was the look/style. It looked like a coffee table. Esp is known for rock and metal guitars. Add the 5th string to the bass and the manufacturers seem to want to roll out the furniture.
    No offense to the OP of course. Just not my taste. I bet it sounds and feels great though.
  4. purfektstranger


    Apr 10, 2003
    The fit and finish look top notch. Congrats on a great looking bass.
  5. Bobster


    Mar 27, 2006
    Austin, TX
    Thanks for the kind words. I'm very happy, in fact, surprisingly happy with this bass!

  6. Congrats man! They are beautiful basses.

    I had 2 LTD B155 basses, and sold both - I just couldn't get use to the thick "D" profile necks, and one of them had a terrible short. I strayed from my Ibby SR's, but quickly returned.

    Great review - I wish more reviews were this complete.

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