Ibanez EDA 905 F Reviews 5

New, $540 from Guitar Center [Albany NY]. This model has the fretless piezo + magnetic pickup. I saw it hanging there, and was already aware of Ibanez EDA basses offering both piezo and magnetic PUs combined, and I noticed it had black fingerboard with no frets, looking fairly wide, so I checked the string spacing and found it has the wider string spacing required by me, the Bass Klutz Extriordinaire. So I played it with the roundwounds [yuk] that happened to be on it [why?!*!?] and found that this ugly mis-shapen excuse for a bass is really a multivoiced tone monster, plus is comfortable and easy.

Front-side controls are very basic, as in 2 gain knobs + 2 tone knobs. [All the fussy stuff is on the back side via holes in the control cavity covers.] On the front each PU has just gain and tone, but because the two PUs are very different front each other, the simple front controls allow mega-enormous tone shaping with no muss, fuss, or rinse. You can play hard-snapping funk tone with no hammering or string yanking at all, just low-effort finger-style does it. Fairly credible upright-ish [OK, EUB, not doghouse] tone is easy to dial, as are deep drumming or thundering bass and everything between. It responds to all sorts of variation in attack [have TI nickel flats on now] like a dance partner [ballroom, swing, horizontal mambo or whatever....] The fingerboard is phenolic, I love the sound of synthetic fingerboards, plus they are wear-resistant. The body also is synthetic, and two of my other best sounding axen are 100% free of wooden parts. I guess I just like the sound of plastic [and nylon covered strings]. I like the color being a dark grey so that the ugly styling is less visible [the color IS a feature, ALL the 905F's are the same color]. It's rather light weight with very long top horn so it's well balanced, and the body contouring is excellent. Neck is very comfy, and I'm very sensitive to neck shape because my thumb is hurting big-time these days but this ax really minimizes my thumb-ache.

The crowded narrow headstock is totally dumbass. If you ignore Ibanez style of stringing and string for best tone, two tuners [B,E] wind up working in reverse [mine is a 5 string, maybe the 4 is OK?] Styling is pretty grotesque, sort of a mutant from the toxic plastic swamp. It's not offered with sissy lines. I'm not proud -- I like lined fingerboards. Above are minor gripes. Here's a real one [for some players]: Although this ax is wonderfully responsive to changes in attack, it's very limited as to your picking location [lengthwise]. I love to pick fingerstyle near the neck and often well onto the neck. If you don't play pretty much right over the PU, you just get a lot of noisy sloppy tone.

As mentioned it's almost wholly synthetic material. Neck joint is 5-bolt and very unobtrusive. Scale is 34", 24 positions, and string spacing is rather wide but not quite P-Bass in feel although it's a full 3 inches at the saddles. Tuners are typical sealed gotoh-type. Bridge is top-loading monorail setup. PUs are single soapbar in the sweet spot, plus Fishman piezo system in the bridge. Construction and finish seem fine. It's new, so I really don't know if the finish can take a lot of knocks, or if the neck is stable. I don't see any laminations to the neck, but in changing from the RW strings to the low tension of the TI FWs, relief and action remained constant, no need to tweek the truss rod. Maybe that speaks well of the stability of the neck. The electronics are quiet, and you need a screw driver to change the battery. On the rear of the body are holes to access mini-pots for the Fishman piezo system: 5 individual gain pots [1 per string] for your string-to-string balance. 1 pot for bass boost level [piezo only]. 1 pot for over-all piezo gain.

It's ugly. It's a tone monster, and a tonal chameleon. It's Rainbow Bass-zilla and it's goona eat your town for lunch. It's way too easy to make fun of this ax, but it's a versatile serious music machine and it takes no prisoners [except Ms Diva, she's in bass-love, again ....]. BTW, did I mention it can go REAL LOUD ? Since the only real gripe I have relates to my peculiar playing quirks, and since this review is for you, not me, it's a 5.

Golem rated this unit 5 on 2004-07-09.

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