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ESP LTD B-206SM 6-String Bass 

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A spalted maple top and ash body combine for beauty and tone on the striking ESP B-206 6 string bass. ESP pickups at the neck and bridge with volume ...Click To Read More About This Product

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OVERVIEW

Get your kicks on a 6.

A spalted maple top and ash body combine for beauty and tone on the striking ESP B-206 6 string bass. ESP pickups at the neck and bridge with volume and balance controls are complemented by active 3-band EQ for maximum tone tweakability. 24 XJ frets and abalone dot inlays on a rosewood fingerboard. Maple-walnut neck has a 35" scale.

Case sold separately.

FEATURES
  • Ash body with spalted maple top
  • Bolt-on maple-walnut neck
  • 35" scale
  • Rosewood fingerboard
  • Standard 54mm nut
  • 24 XJ frets
  • Abalone dot inlays
  • Black nickel hardware
  • ESP-LTD tuners
  • ESP DB-6 bridge
  • ESP SB-6 pickup set
  • Volume and balance controls
  • ESP ABQ3 3-band active EQ
  • Case sold separately
Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
ESPLTD B-206SM 6-String Bass
 
4.7

(based on 29 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (23)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (1)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Fun to play (7)
  • Good feel (7)
  • Good tone (7)
  • Solid electronics (7)
  • Good pick up (4)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Jamming (6)
  • Practicing (5)
  • Small venues (4)
  • School bands (3)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (5), Professional musician (4)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Great Bass

This is the first 6 string bass I have ever individually owned and I have to say, compared to my passive Fender P-Bass, this thing plays like an angel.

Pros- The...Read complete review

This is the first 6 string bass I have ever individually owned and I have to say, compared to my passive Fender P-Bass, this thing plays like an angel.

Pros- The string spacing is fantastic. The problem I had with some of the Ibanez sixers I played is the crazy large amount of space between the strings and the thickness of the fretboard. That problem isn't there with this ESP. The fretboard, while still enormous, isn't so big that it's impossible to play. I can reach the B string with no problem. Another pro is the epic tone and 3-Band EQ. I play in a metal band and the active pickups allow me to output that crazy dark tone with a necessary amount of twang that's just perfect. I also love the finish, but the description is a bit misleading. The top is not spalted maple, it's regular maple that's painted and stained to look spalted. I don't have an issue with that but some people might.

Cons- This bass is by no means perfect. The stock action is extremely low, and as a result, there is lots of fret buzz. This problem can be pretty easily fixed with a few twists to the dual truss rods. In some spots, the maple wood doesn't feel like it was sanded at all. Several spots on the back of the body feel very rough. Even though this doesn't affect playing, it bothers me a bit. Last but certainly not least, the thing that makes this a recording bass in my book is how unbelievably heavy it is. It weighs well over 10 pounds. If you're going to play this live, strap locks are basically required because the weight of this thing will cause it to fall out of the strap for sure.

Overall, this bass has a fantastic sound. I would not recommend using it in live shows on big stages since you'll most likely be moving around a lot and it will be tiring and you risk it falling out of the strap. If it is to be used live, I would say try and limit it to smaller venues. For a recording bass, or if you're looking for sound and size and weight is no issue, I say this is easily the best 6 string available for the price.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Okay but not fantastic.

I had this bass for about a year.
First things first, I didn't hate the bass but there were a few things I didn't like once I got perspective from my fender Jazz...Read complete review

I had this bass for about a year.
First things first, I didn't hate the bass but there were a few things I didn't like once I got perspective from my fender Jazz bass.

1. This thing is heavy! After playing a set of songs with my church band, my shoulder would start to hurt
2. There is not much in the way of tone. Granted this thing has plenty of low end and all, and there is eq adjustabliity. But I think the ESP pickups sound quite sterile as if there is no distinct sound to this guitar, just... does what is needs to do and thats it.

I will say that the spalted maple is abosolutely gorgeous and I still love it even though I have sold it now.
The Bass does have TWO truss rods and it was deliverey properly set up.
The pickups don't have a huge dynamic range which is something I have spotted in cheap basses where if you are playing soft it is really quiet and if you pluck slightly harder then the volume shoots through the roof. This bass doesnt do that, its pretty consistent and thus easier to be part of a band and not this annoying thing that makes loud noises sometimes.

All in all a good solid bass but don't expect any real nice tone out of it unless you are willing to look at upgrading your pickups (good luck) and even then you still dont know.
I would suggest saving a few more hundrend clams and getting perhaps and ibanez with bartolinis.

Reviewed by 29 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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5.0

Got my bass today, it played very well, i had too set it up,

By geedog

from Sc

About Me Professional Musician

Pros

  • Fun To Play
  • Good Feel
  • Good Pick Up
  • Good Tone
  • Solid Electronics

Cons

    Best Uses

      Comments about ESP LTD B-206SM 6-String Bass:

      Got my new bass today, had too set up, but played very well great tone, and plays very well now, this is a very good bass too some that are looking too gig with but very heavy, not a lot of money for a very nice bass,

       
      4.0

      good bass

      By pastor larry

      from Illionos

      About Me Experienced

      Comments about ESP LTD B-206SM 6-String Bass:

      I have one similar to this - EMGs and thru neck. The output jack is in about the worst placement possible you cannot set it down on the floor up against a wall, even in a stand the cable end will hit. I have to go into the back often and squeeze the jack to stop it from shorting out. I have not read this in other reviews so maybe others don't have this problem. Over all really good sounding bass.

      (6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Finest 6 string for under a grand

      By Jamison

      from Minnesota

      About Me Professional Musician

      Pros

      • Balanced
      • Fun To Play
      • Good Feel
      • Good Pick Up
      • Good Tone
      • Great sustain
      • Nice Spalted Finish
      • Solid Electronics

      Cons

      • Can Get Heavy After 4 Set

      Best Uses

        Comments about ESP LTD B-206SM 6-String Bass:

        I've had one for about a year and a half and I can't say enough about this beautiful beast. I got it because I wanted to have one bass flexible enough to provide any tone I'd need for 4 hours of rock/blues/country covers. With some 6 string basses, the output and tone can be terribly inconsistent from string to string, particularly if you have a run that uses all 6 of them. This one, however, has an extremely focused and consistent tone and level no matter where you are on the neck. Playing power chords on the 3 treble-side strings sounds clean and almost guitar-like.

        I'm a tech and a luthier, so naturally when I buy a bass, I go over it with a fine-toothed comb, adjusting and looking for inconsistencies. The setup was already near-perfect and the cavities are tidy and well-shielded and grounded. Yes, it's heavy. It's a serious bass that uses its weight well. strap balance is great, and i got used to the weight and enjoyed the sustain and resonance that solid weight can bring.

        There are basses with higher end preamps, more sensitive pickups, more exotic woods, but you will not find a better one than this for twice the money.

        Exceptional finish, build, balance, broad palette of tones, sustain, and playability. Not to mention the wow factor every time someone new sees it.

        The price has gone up since I bought it, so pick one up before ESP wises up and charges what it's worth.

        (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

         
        3.0

        Okay but not fantastic.

        By Ultra_Samurai

        from Australia

        About Me Experienced

        See all my reviews

        Pros

        • Even String Volume
        • Fun To Play
        • Good Feel
        • Solid Electronics

        Cons

        • Flat Sound

        Best Uses

        • Jamming
        • Practicing
        • School Bands
        • Small Venues

        Comments about ESP LTD B-206SM 6-String Bass:

        I had this bass for about a year.
        First things first, I didn't hate the bass but there were a few things I didn't like once I got perspective from my fender Jazz bass.

        1. This thing is heavy! After playing a set of songs with my church band, my shoulder would start to hurt
        2. There is not much in the way of tone. Granted this thing has plenty of low end and all, and there is eq adjustabliity. But I think the ESP pickups sound quite sterile as if there is no distinct sound to this guitar, just... does what is needs to do and thats it.

        I will say that the spalted maple is abosolutely gorgeous and I still love it even though I have sold it now.
        The Bass does have TWO truss rods and it was deliverey properly set up.
        The pickups don't have a huge dynamic range which is something I have spotted in cheap basses where if you are playing soft it is really quiet and if you pluck slightly harder then the volume shoots through the roof. This bass doesnt do that, its pretty consistent and thus easier to be part of a band and not this annoying thing that makes loud noises sometimes.

        All in all a good solid bass but don't expect any real nice tone out of it unless you are willing to look at upgrading your pickups (good luck) and even then you still dont know.
        I would suggest saving a few more hundrend clams and getting perhaps and ibanez with bartolinis.

        (8 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

         
        4.0

        Great Bass

        By Bassoon401

        from Rhode Island

        About Me Experienced

        See all my reviews

        Ask me a question

        Pros

        • Cool Looking Finish
        • Fun To Play
        • Good Feel
        • Good Tone

        Cons

        • Cheap Feeling Wood
        • Extremely Heavy
        • Fret Buzz

        Best Uses

        • Jamming
        • Practicing
        • Recording
        • School Bands
        • Small Venues

        Comments about ESP LTD B-206SM 6-String Bass:

        This is the first 6 string bass I have ever individually owned and I have to say, compared to my passive Fender P-Bass, this thing plays like an angel.

        Pros- The string spacing is fantastic. The problem I had with some of the Ibanez sixers I played is the crazy large amount of space between the strings and the thickness of the fretboard. That problem isn't there with this ESP. The fretboard, while still enormous, isn't so big that it's impossible to play. I can reach the B string with no problem. Another pro is the epic tone and 3-Band EQ. I play in a metal band and the active pickups allow me to output that crazy dark tone with a necessary amount of twang that's just perfect. I also love the finish, but the description is a bit misleading. The top is not spalted maple, it's regular maple that's painted and stained to look spalted. I don't have an issue with that but some people might.

        Cons- This bass is by no means perfect. The stock action is extremely low, and as a result, there is lots of fret buzz. This problem can be pretty easily fixed with a few twists to the dual truss rods. In some spots, the maple wood doesn't feel like it was sanded at all. Several spots on the back of the body feel very rough. Even though this doesn't affect playing, it bothers me a bit. Last but certainly not least, the thing that makes this a recording bass in my book is how unbelievably heavy it is. It weighs well over 10 pounds. If you're going to play this live, strap locks are basically required because the weight of this thing will cause it to fall out of the strap for sure.

        Overall, this bass has a fantastic sound. I would not recommend using it in live shows on big stages since you'll most likely be moving around a lot and it will be tiring and you risk it falling out of the strap. If it is to be used live, I would say try and limit it to smaller venues. For a recording bass, or if you're looking for sound and size and weight is no issue, I say this is easily the best 6 string available for the price.

        (6 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Nice instrument for the money.

        By goldfinger777777

        from Chicago, IL

        About Me Experienced

        See all my reviews

        Ask me a question

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Awesome Price
        • Fun To Play
        • Good quality
        • Good Tone
        • Solid Electronics

        Cons

        • Frett-end Edges Rough
        • Seriously Heavy

        Best Uses

        • Jamming
        • Practicing

        Comments about ESP LTD B-206SM 6-String Bass:

        This bass is solid and heavy. You could use it to demo a brick wall and it probably wouldn't even go out of tune. This can be a negative due to its extreme weight. This instrument is very heavy even by bass standards.

        The tone is warm with excellent sustain.

        The electronics are responsive and offer a wide range of tonal characteristics.

        Be prepared to do an exetnsive setup; string heights, intonation, pick-up height (min). I found that the fret-ends along the lower edge of the neck are very high and tend to grab my hand as I slide up-and-down the neck. After re-shaping the frett ends a bit this bass plays awesome.

        (2 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Outstanding Bass

        By Millo-Salsa

        from Honolulu, HI

        About Me Experienced

        Pros

        • Fun To Play
        • Good Feel
        • Good Pick Up
        • Good Tone
        • Solid Electronics

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Jamming
          • Practicing
          • Small Venues

          Comments about ESP LTD B-206SM 6-String Bass:

          this bass is very well made, the details on the construction are nice. There are not flat frets or anything like that. In general an excellent bass for anyone looking to upgrade to six strings.

          (1 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          For the money its well worth it

          By Stratman1956

          from Elizabethton TN

          About Me Professional Musician

          See all my reviews

          Ask me a question

          Pros

          • Fun To Play
          • Good Feel
          • Good Pick Up
          • Good Tone
          • Solid Electronics

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Jamming

            Comments about ESP LTD B-206SM 6-String Bass:

            Wow is all I can say ,I would sell all my fenders before selling this baby. Nice action.

            (6 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Really nice for the price...

            By Bones

            from Santa Cruz, CA

            About Me Professional Musician

            See all my reviews

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Good Feel
            • Good Tone
            • Solid Electronics

            Cons

            • Fret Buzz

            Best Uses

            • Jamming
            • Practicing
            • Recording
            • Rock Concerts
            • School Bands
            • Small Venues

            Comments about ESP LTD B-206SM 6-String Bass:

            I wanted to get a 6 string since I've only had 4 and 5 string basses and wanted to try a 6 string out but didn't want to spend a lot. I looked at all the others in this price range and this is the best of them. It has a nice active 3 band electronics (as opposed to 2 band or just a Fat boost), nice EMG style pups and a great spalted maple top and solid tuners and bridge. I got one used in good condition and it only had a minor ding in the end of the head-stock - which i was able to smooth over with some fine sandpaper and then rub with a little wax to make it shiny. You can barely see it now. Also, it buzzed on the high C and high G at the first fret but i loosened the truss rods (yes, it has DUAL truss rods!) a quarter turn and the tiny bit of extra relief made the buzzing go away. The electronics are good - not a huge amount of change but enough boost to get more phat and more pop. The price is so low you can easily upgrade the pups and preamp if you want and still be out only about 1K$. This is a really nice looking and sounding 6 string for the price with better than average value.

            (6 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            BEAST!

            By tanbo15

            from El Centro, CA

            See all my reviews

            Comments about ESP LTD B-206SM 6-String Bass:

            i gave it a nine overall because in order for you to really hear the sound you have to have a decent rig or you might just not like the sound :S, the second reason is that ive gone through a lot of strings on this bass, and about 4 out of 5 times its been the D string.....idk if thats just my bad luck or the bass, but in my opinion this is the best bass in this price range and better that some other pricier basses
            this bass has the features you expect but executed in a great way, the 3 band eq is excelent and allows you to get any sound you might want or need. the tuners are good, bridge is good, and the pick ups are good as well
            very well made for this price range, ive played other basses at locall music stores that are six strings and way more expensive and this bass holds up
            cost effective bass, with a sound of a much more expensive one

            Displaying reviews 1-10

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