RD500 Review

manufacturer: Ibanez date: 10/15/2007 category: Bass Guitars
Ibanez: RD500
If you just can't decide between getting a traditional bass and a modern bass, why not get both? With the new Soundgear ProActive you can get both in just one bass. The SRP bass brilliantly combines the best features of old and new in one powerful, playable package.
 Sound: 10
 Overall Impression: 9
 Reliability & Durability: 8.5
 Action, Fit & Finish: 9.5
 Features: 9.5
 Overall rating:
 8.9 
 Reviewer rating:
 9.3 
 Users rating:
 8.5 
 Votes:
 24 
reviews (2) user comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9.2
RD500 Reviewed by: Marcel Veltman, on october 15, 2007
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Features: I don't have to say anything about the specs. Bahizta-fclef already did that in his review on this page. I'll limit myself to what I can add from my own experience. After having played it for one and a half year, I think I can make a well balanced judgement. // 9

Sound: This guitar scores 10 out of 10 here. There is a good setting for any kind of music and any kind of playing style. It might take a while to sort it out though for the 6 way pick-up selector is not at all straightforward and the response to playing technique quite nervous, but it's all there with a twist of the right knob or a slight shift of playing style. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: Again 10 out of 10. I did have to change the action, but that's more due to my sloppy technique than a fault of this guitar. Fret placing is flawless. No sharp edges and precisely intonated all the way up the neck. Fits and finish stand up to microscopic scrutiny and surpasses guitars twice as expensive. // 10

Reliability & Durability: Not entirely perfect. A screw holding the tuner sprocket turned out to be missing while packing up after a major gig. Luckily the sprocket didn't come off. One time during practice a wire came loose from the output socket cutting off all sound. The finish still looks flawless after one and a half year intensive use. // 8

Overall Impression: I purchased this bass first of all because of its stunning beauty. It's deep wine red transparent finish with the tiger stripe maple veneer showing through, it's deep dark rosewood fret board and it's delicate matching coloured headstock with four massive cast butterflies protruding to one side made it love at first sight. The finish is immaculate and up to the highest standards. Not the slightest sloppiness can be seen. Just perfect. Strong point is its versatile active electronics, incorporating a single coil Duncan replica neck pick-up and a Duncan rep humbucker at the bridge, two tone knobs that actually do something and a six way pick up selector. This gives lots of tonal possibilities from the mellowest of jazz to the hardest rock and anything in between. Another strong point its fine hardware like the cast bad ass style bridge and the beautifully cast open gear tuners. Then I would like to mention the extremely fine feeling and comfortable D-shaped neck, accessible all the way up to the 24th fret. Very well thought out I think is the Machine Head. It seems like a straight head a la Fender, but a closer look reveals it is offset a bit and protruding well beneath the plane of the fingerboard. Together with the string tree over all four strings this ensures a strong and equal tension of the strings on the nut. It's something that Fender has failed to sort out for over half a century now. But there are weak spots too. Small flaws that could easily be corrected, such as the rather edgy original Elixir strings that I replaced for more mellow tone Rotosounds. A minor problem might be the fairly complicated pickup switch. There must be some logic, but I haven't found it yet. Luckily I only use two of the six possible settings. The biggest problem I have with the body shape. In fact I found all the major drawbacks of this guitar to be due to several aspects of the body that are not well thought out. First the horn holding the strap lock button is too short, making the headstock droop and impairing playing comfort. I solved this by having a saddle maker make me a specially designed strap that doesn't slide over my shoulder. Then the battery cavity proved to be too small, making it very hard to change the battery. I've put a ribbon underneath now with which I can pull out the pill without using tools, but it is still not easy. Another thing is the sloping edge that slopes in a place where I don't reach over to get to the strings. Where a traditional Jazz bass has it's slope, I have to rest my wrist against a sharp edge. Finally there is the output socket that is on the lower edge of the body exactly where it must be supported by a guitar stand. That definitely doesn't work. After several broken jacks and ripped out cords and many times not finding a decent place to safely put my guitar I finally decided enough was enough and drilled a new hole for the socket. That ruined the finish(though not on a clearly visible place) but also marks the moment that I decided that this guitar is definitely mine and that I'm not going to sell it. I don't have a lot of playing styles, but I do play a lot of styles of music, and this bass has the versatility to cope with that. It plays well and it sounds excellent. Maybe I'd move on if this one got lost or damaged beyond repair, but otherwise I wouldn't bother to change. And I'm still in love with the looks. // 9

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overall: 9.4
RD500 Reviewed by: bahizta-fclef, on november 04, 2005
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Features: I apologize if my review is quite bad, this is my first time to make one. I think my bass is brand new. Just got it around a week ago. It's made in Korea. It has a 24-fret (medium) 32 or 33" scale (I'm not really sure). Has a basswood body and a maple neck. Has an Accu-cast B200 bridge that allows 2 ways of stringing. Has active electronics, it runs on 1 9-volt battery. There are 4 control knobs. Volume, pickup selector/balancer, bass boost/cut and treble boost/cut. This bass is armed with Duncan Ibanez pickups. The tuners are non-locking, they seem like standard tuners, similar to a Fender's. It has Elixir strings installed. It came with 2 allen(hex) wrenches, 1 for the bridge and the other for the truss rod. It came with a not-so-sturdy cable which I now use for home practice. I bought a separate case, a Gator lightweight. - 1pc RD4 neck - Quilted maple top/basswood body - Medium frets - Accu-Cast B200 bridge (19mm string spacing) - Duncan Ibanez neck pickup - Duncan Ibanez bridge pickup - EQB-IIDI 2-band EQ - Elixir equipped. // 10

Sound: This bass suits me a lot, fits me like a glove. I play rock, funk, slap, reggae, almost anything I find nice. I have a 15-watt Samick bass amp but I use a 100-watt Trace Elliot or a 100-watt Carvin in my school. My Samick kinda makes a fuzzy noise when I turn up the bass setting. I guess it's not powerful enough. I tried turning the bass up in an orchestra rehearsal and it rumbled the whole room! It has a very good punch when playing slap and a very good growl when the bass boost is turned up. The in between tones are also great. The Elixir strings sound really great on the bass. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The factory setting is great. I don't have to adjust it because it already fits me. The pickups are well-installed. It seems almost perfect except for a minor flaw on the frets, it's either not fully covered, or it got scratched because of previous testing. The neck is sanded down pretty well and feels really smooth. Feels great on the hands and aids a lot in sliding. I simply love the well-polished sunburst finish. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I think this guitar will definitely withstand live playing. It seems sturdy, but I'm taking extra care of it as if it were my last material possession on earth. I don't want the finish to be ruined. I think the hardware will last, the worst that could probably happen is wear and tear due to frequent usage. The strap buttons are tough, I don't think the strap would come off even if I jumped or backflipped onstage. This bass seems dependable, but be sure to have spare batteries if it is exposed to long hours of playing. The electronics are turned on when the cable is inserted. I don't think I'll need a backup. I think the finish will last, I'm taking good care of it so it'll be a long time until the finish would wear off. // 9

Overall Impression: Again, I play rock, reggae, hip-hop and some others. I love to play slap and it definitely suits me. I've been playing for almost 2 and-a-half years already. My first bass guitar is a 5-string Rocker bass (I think it's made only in the Philippines, I'm not so sure). If I lost this bass, I'm definitely getting another Ibanez Roadgear, I just love this bass. Well, I'm also looking at the possibility of getting a Warwick Thumb or Corvette or an Ernie Ball Musicman if I had more money. I love everything about this bass. I especially love the pickups, they sound really great! Well, probably I just wouldn't like it being stained easily. Well, I just wished it had a small led light that lights up when the jack is inserted and if possible an indicator wheter the battery is still good or dead. // 9

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