Sunday, November 12, 2017

Ibanez LR10 Lee Ritenour Model Revisited

Way back in 2015, I was given the opportunity to photograph local guitar legend Bani's 1980 Ibanez LR10. I did not have the chance to take a look inside, however. Well, as luck would have it, Bani recently sent me the LR10 for hardware/electronics servicing, fingerboard cleanup, a string change, setup, lots of TLC and "whatever you think needs to be done." So now I've got a whole lotta pics for your viewing pleasure.

In my humble opinion, the wiring and electronics are stock, and no one has ever taken a soldering iron to this baby since it left the factory. I'm impressed by the lengths Ibanez went to in order to shield and insulate electronic components inside the LR10. However, I'm a tad disappointed to discover that the much-touted "LR Special" humbuckers are actually Super 58s stamped with a "Z" on the bottom plate. Well, it could be that Ibanez simply repurposed ready stock of Super 58 bottom plates for the LR Specials, and stamped the "Z" so they could tell them apart. Who knows?

2004 American Deluxe Precision Bass V

Work done on this bass included replacing the battery snap assembly, hardware and electronics servicing, string change and setup. Since I had to open her up anyway, I did not waste the opportunity to take a closer look at the innards. Here are the specs as observed, and double checked against Fender Support documents.

Origin:  Corona Fender Plant, 2004
Finish:  3-color sunburst, mint green pickguard
Neck: maple/maple cap (fingerboard), 22 frets, abalone dot inlays
Nut: bone
Tuners:  Fender open gear, 4+1
Bridge:  Bass Deluxe V (through body/top load)
Truss Rod Access:  neck heel
Pickups:  P-J configuration, P-Bass V, Lawrence P-Bass bridge humbucker
Electronics:  active
Power Supply:  18V (9V battery x 2)
Controls:  master volume, pickup pan pot, concentric treble/bass boost/cut, mid boost/cut
Output Jack:  closed stereo


Saturday, November 11, 2017

Ashdown Rootmaster RM-220H Bass Amp Head

The RM-220 is a "fabrique en chine" solid state bass amp head that puts out a healthy 220W at 4ohms. Ashdown describes it as being compact, reliable, and "loaded with tone-shaping power and flexible features." Having used this head (paired with an Ashdown RM-MAG-115 cab) with Kuantan River Blues onstage for over a year, I wholeheartedly agree. Now, let's take a closer look at some of the RM-220's features and specs.

Front Panel
Input Jack:  single low noise/high impedance, adequate headroom for active basses
Input Control:  sets the signal level through the preamp section in conjunction with the Input Level VU Meter  
Shape Button:  when activated, provides +8bd boost at 50hz and +10db boost at 10khz
EQ Button:  defeats/activates the Bass, 240Hz, Middle, 1K5Hz and Treble controls
Compression Button: defeats/activates compression
Compression Control:  adjusts the degree of compression
Drive Button:  defeats/activates the amp's "tube-emulated overdrive" feature
Drive Control:  adjusts the gain from "warm overdrive through to distorted filth"  
Sub Control:  footswitch activated, adds a sub-octave to the "notes being played"
Output Control:  controls the overall level of the amplifier
Line Mix Control:    adjusts the signal from a connected external sound source
Bass EQ Control:  +/- 15db @ 100hz
240Hz EQ Control:  +/- 15db @ 340hz
Middle EQ Control:  +/- 15db @ 660hz
1K5Hz EQ Control:  +/- 15db @ 1.6Khz
Treble EQ Control:  +/- 15db @ 7khz (shelving)

Back Panel Sockets
FS-2 Out:  optional footswitch for activating/deactivating drive and sub harmonics
FX Send/Return:  post-EQ serial effects loop
Line In:  input from CD/mp3 player/drum machine/external sound source
Speaker Out:  combined jack/Speakon socket (minimum 4ohm load)
DI Out:  XLR, post effects/EQ

RM-220 Legacy Head - Ashdown Engineering
Ashdown Engineering User Manual
Ashdown MAG Rootmaster RM-220 Bass Amplifier Review

YouTube Videos
Premier Guitar
GAK Vision


2000 Epiphone Les Paul Custom

Built at the Samick Plant in Korea in June 2000
Ebony (EB) finish
Gold hardware
Modern "clipped ear" headstock
Five-ply binding on headstock and body
Vintage-style tuners
Tune-O-Matic bridge and stopbar tailpiece
Mahogany set neck
Bound rosewood fingerboard
22 medium-jumbo frets
Mother-of-pearl block inlays
Epiphone 57CH neck humbucker
Epiphone HOTCH(G) bridge humbucker

Non-stock Features
Gavitt black/white wire
Full-sized Alpha A500K pots

Work Done
Replaced toggle switch, output jack and bridge tone pot
Fret dressing
String change, action/intonation

Les Paul Custom - The Unofficial Epiphone Wiki
The Guitar Dater Project