New Eshenbaugh Bass arrived today!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by JRBrown, May 8, 2003.

  1. JRBrown


    Jun 21, 2000
    North Carolina
    Just the facts:

    - Kent Armstrong single coil pickups
    Walnut top and back, Alder core
    Maple neck
    Madagascar Rosewood fretboard
    Black accents
    Weighs only 9 pounds

    - I traded for this bass a month ago. Discovered that the custom preamp was broken so I sent it to Mark Eshenbaugh for free repair.

    - He installed an Aguilar OBP-3:
    -- Vol - Vol - Passive tone
    -- Active/passive - Mid freq select switches
    -- Treble - Midrange - Bass

    - Plugged it in and WOW!
    -- Plays like budda
    -- Best fingerstyle sound I've ever heard
    -- Slap sound only outdone by my [sold] Lakland 55-94
    -- Most focused "B" string to date--and very powerful!
    -- First bass, besides a P-Bass, that I've ever liked the passive mode--sweet!
    -- Every sound combination, active, passive, front pup, rear pup, etc is very musical. Each note is a song in itself.

  2. JRBrown


    Jun 21, 2000
    North Carolina
    The Headstock:

    Per the local P-Bass pro, "There's enough wood in that headstock to make another bass." :D

  3. temp5897

    temp5897 Guest

    Looks pretty cool and well made...I kinda like the headstock myself. :)
  4. xush


    Jul 4, 2001
    mobile AL
    That's what I was wondering is it?
    I do like the can-opener look though. I thought about something like that on my FBB.

    Looks good JR!
  5. awe

    that is a nice looking bass.

    im happy to hear you like it!

    ehhggg....hardonnnnn:( :eek: :D
  6. By-Tor


    Apr 13, 2000
    Sacramento, CA
    NIce, I really like it.

    Congrats JRBrown.
  7. adrian garcia

    adrian garcia

    Apr 9, 2001
    las vegas. nevada
    Endorsing Artist: Nordy Basses, Schroeder Cabs, Gallien Krueger Amps
    "each note is a song in itself"
    i love that JR !! what a great ad!!
    man, i guess after we talked the proof was in plugging it in -
    since you say it sounds so good- give me a call when you go to sell it!! :D
    ( don't cha love it when you hear that??!!)
  8. JRBrown


    Jun 21, 2000
    North Carolina
    - Last night was my first time plugging it into a head and cab (I shipped it off within 24 hours after the trade). Intial testing was done through Raven Labs PHA-1 and Senn HD-580 headphones.

    - Neck Dive? Never thought about it until now...:meh:...not thinking about it anymore. The bass is surprisingly lighter than it looks.

    - Adrian, If you ever want to do a week-long swap with something.;) (Now I want to check out a Sadowsky, F-Bass, and PJ Fodera even more...if it gets better than this, I'm buying it.)

    - Original owner's Talkbass comments: "This is truly the best bass I've ever owned, and was very much worth the wait. Hopefully his basses will be in the next shoot out in BP...This thing is AMAZING!"

  9. Nice catch, JR!

  10. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    I like it JR!... real nice!
  11. frederic b. hodshon

    frederic b. hodshon Supporting Member

    May 10, 2000
    Lake Forest, CA
    i like the accent lines.

    nicely done!

  12. Jon Burnet

    Jon Burnet

    Jan 21, 2001
    Memphis, TN
    how does it fare against the smith?
  13. JRBrown


    Jun 21, 2000
    North Carolina
    I didn't notice until tonight, but it also has a very nice matching binding along the edges of the neck.
    Definitely adds to the smooth feeling and great playability.

  14. Hi all, Hey, JR.

    When Rob Geisler and I started talking about doing a "J-series" model, we had some specific goals in mind. Rob has always been a huge Jazz Bass fan and wanted a 5-string version of a Jazz that achieved 5 functions. It had to have that classic J tone on the E thru G strings, a B string that sounds like it belongs on that bass, weigh out so the neck doesnt plunge, not hum all over the place, and should sit on the body in basically the same position as if you had a Fender either strapped on or were sitting down.
    When I started to actually design the model, I wanted to surpass his high expectations and make the classic J tone killer, a B string that makes people go "Oh my god, that sounds good!!" and fit and balance perfectly without sacrificing too much of the classic feel.
    Rob now has a Maccassar Ebony version of the same bass with a high gloss poly finish, and couldnt be happier than if he had discovered one of Jaco's old 60's in his dad's attic.
    Well, anyways, JB, I'm glad you are happy, and that everything came out to your satisfaction. EXCELLENT pictures, by the way, I should have you do all my catalogues!

    Peace for now, Gentlemen

    Mark Eshenbaugh
  15. Jon Burnet

    Jon Burnet

    Jan 21, 2001
    Memphis, TN
    i guess i should re- state my question.... how does it sound compared to your smith? similar at all?
  16. JRBrown


    Jun 21, 2000
    North Carolina

    - The Smith has plenty of mids at flat but I can dial in the nice fat tone that I like. The Eshenbaugh has the nice fat tone at flat and I can make if even fatter or dial in some mids.

    - The Eshenbaugh's sound is heavy and open. The Smith's sound is tight and focused. This Eshenbaugh would probably sound best in Jazz, R&B, solo, or small ensemble type settings. The Smith, you can take anywhere.

    - The Eshenbaugh pickups are hot. So for finger style, I go passive. I haven't heard anything, except a Lakland USA Bob Glaub P-bass, that can match its tone and power, in passive mode. As intended, the sound is Fendery, all the way.

    - The Smith, at flat, is also great for fingerstyle. The Smith gives me more tones to choose from. I can dial in almost any other tone that I want.

    - The Eshenbaugh weighs 9.0 lbs. The Smith weighs 9.5 lbs.

    -The larger body size [yet lighter weight] of the Eshenbaugh results in excellent acoustical properties.

    - B-strings are about the same. The Eshenbaugh has a wider string spacing.

    - The Smith has a higher radius (flater) fretboard.

    - The Smith has a harder punch. The Eshenbaugh has a sweeter tone. (Ebony vs. Rosewood and Maple vs. Alder)

    - The Eshenbaugh gives me goosebumps. The Smith gives my wife goosebumps.:eek:,:D

    - The only reason I'm selling my Smith-5 is because I have a Smith-4. There's no way I'm going to be Smithless.
  17. JRBrown


    Jun 21, 2000
    North Carolina
    Eshenbaugh update. Finally got a chance to A/B the Eshenbaugh against a pair of Fender Jazz basses. The objective was NOT to see which bass sounded better, but to see just how close the sound of the Eshenbaugh was to a Fender Jazz. The results:

    - Initially, I had DR Hi-beams 40-120 on the Eshenbaugh. The sound was more open, clearer, and deeper than the Fenders. However, the Fenders had more punch and thickness.

    - I changed the strings to Ken Smith Rock Masters 45-125. Nailed the Fender tones. In passive mode, it sounded like the USA Fender J-4 standard. In active mode it sounded just like the Fender J-5 deluxe. Still, the Eshenbaugh had many more tonal possibilities and a deeper low end.

    - Two die-hard Fender Jazz bass players gave the Eshenbaugh a go.
    -- Player #1: "This is the first exotic/boutique bass I have ever liked"
    -- Player #2: "It's like you have two basses in one [J4 and J5-dlx]. Plays like budda. Effortless. With a Fender, I have to work harder for my sound, but not with this. I don't play 5-string, but this is easy."

    - I wonder if it was the string brand, guage, or both that made the sound punchier and thicker. :meh: