BTB305FM Review

manufacturer: Ibanez date: 05/12/2009 category: Bass Guitars
Ibanez: BTB305FM
The Ibanez BTB305FM is by far one of the best deals a bassist of any playing style or level is likely to find.
 Sound: 10
 Overall Impression: 10
 Reliability & Durability: 9
 Action, Fit & Finish: 10
 Features: 10
 Overall rating:
 9 
 Reviewer rating:
 9.8 
 Users rating:
 8.1 
 Votes:
 17 
review (1) pictures (2) 7 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9.8
BTB305FM Reviewed by: tmedlin18, on may 12, 2009
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 549.99

Purchased from: MusiciansFriend.com

Features: The Ibanez BTB305FM is by far one of the best deals a bassist of any playing style or level is likely to find. This bass will deliver a tone so beautiful and pliable that you'll have a wonderful time just getting familiar with the tone-controls let alone actually playing with it. The red transparent burst finish is particularly aesthetically pleasing to nearly everyone who sees it. The mahogany body puts out beautiful sustain and the flamed maple on top gives the finish a striped look, while the 3-piece walnut/maple neck creates a smooth, surprisingly thin playing surface. The deep cutaway gives unrivaled access to the highest frets of which there are of course twenty-four (medium sized). One of the nicest things on this bass is the Mono-Rail II bridge, designed to keep strings aligned strictly along the neck it minimizes the workload in changing strings and adjusting action and intonation; which will help a great deal for those of us musicians that take our equipment on the road. The active 3-band electronics coupled with Bartolini pickups give the tone heard most often in hardcore punk and metal with a very bright, metallic kind of sound. Besides the volume knob 4 other controls allow the player to change which pickups are used and at what level and give treble, mid, and bass controls. The 305FM also comes with two allen wrenches to set the action and the truss rod and a spare cable which can always be put to use somewhere. // 10

Sound: Personally I play multiple styles from punk and funk-derived slap/pop and blues/jazz scales. I find this bass' tone adds a considerable amount to my particular tastes and technique, especially when used through my 15-inch Peavey Black Widow modified JBL cabinet and Gallien-Krueger Backline 600 Bass Head. There is absolutely no buzz or noise of any kind to be heard from this bass so far. As far as I can tell this bass can make approximately 30+ different tones, some not so different than others but different all the same, from pure bass to twanging trebles. The trained ear would definitely appreciate the variablility this bass has has to offer. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The action was slightly low when mine arrived but since it was shipped 650 miles it's to be expected that it may not be as perfect as it was when it came out of the factory, and it only took about 5 minutes to fix if that. The intonation was perfect and the tuning needed only mild adjustments. The pickups were fine and E string saddle on the bridge had shifted to the left a little but it only took a tap in the right direction to set it back (get it, right direction?). There were absolutely no flaws other than the slight misalignments that were caused in the shipping process so I was very pleasently surprised there weren't more problems. // 10

Reliability & Durability: This guitar will play fine for as long as the battery pack lasts, as is the case with any active electronic bass so keep a 9-volt with you when you play it and be sure to unplug the input jack in the bass when you finish or have a break between sets. Thus far the hardware hasn't even begun to worry me and I expect it will be a good while before anything goes wrong, but any bass needs maintenance and care. The strap buttons havn't moved an inch since I got it and the finish looks as good as when it came out of the box. It's very dependable as long as the battery dosn't die so as I said keep an eye on it. // 9

Overall Impression: Personally I play anything from Metal, Punk, Hardcore, and Jam-Rock to Space-Rock, a little Country, and light Jazz and I think that this bass' tone suit's them all very well since it can be appropiately switched to suit the genre. Since I've been playing music my entire life trust me when I say that this bass will not disappoint it's reliable and user friendly with occasional upkeep for simplicity's sake. I can honestly say that were it lost or stolen I would buy this bass all over again (I'm telling you the red finish is gorgeous) or at least stay in the BTB series. Ibanez will always have my buisness I can tell ou that. I don't dislike anything about it so far and my favorite feature is the smooth neck, I find my fretting speed has doubled since I started using it and I definitely enjoy playing faster. The only thing I would change about it is the 3-band EQ, it sounds amazing, but If I could I would change it to 5-band like the stepped up version the 455QM, which I have also played and enjoyed. However, the 3-band is definitely enough to enjoy the full glory of the bass guitar. // 10

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