Price paid: $ 700
Features: First of all, this is a review for an Ibanez SR600 and NOT and SR500. I'm surprised that UG doesn't have that model listed in their directory. Regardless, I got mine around a year ago and it was made in 2011 at the Fujigen factory in Japan. I consider myself lucky as many people happen to get their guitars from Indonesia.
Moving on, the guitar has 24 frets which is just peachy for solos and believe me, you will want to solo on this bad boy. My one was made from soft ash which gave it a mellow tone. Should the sound happen to be too mellow for your tastes then BAM! You have a three band EQ which has plenty of travel through the entire frequency response. The EQ is also tuned very nicely. A nice little addition is the inclusion of a midrange frequency select switch. The switch is tuned to rather usable midrange frequencies and the sounds are very distinct from one another. The bridge that comes with this bass is one of the shitty pot metal bridges that Ibanez has used over and over again but thankfully the saddles are machined from steel which is really good to know. A cool little thing about the bridge is that the saddles are guided by rails which keeps the saddles nice and aligned when the strings are off.
The bridge is outfitted with Bartolini MK-4 PASSIVE pickups which channel through to an ACTIVE EQ circuit. I personally prefer Active EQ's as they have a fuller range compared to their passive counterparts and the lower impedance output to the amp is less susceptible to tone loss over long cable runs. I refuse to acknowledge the battery as a place to whine about. It really pisses me off when people list this as a con. If you knowingly own an active instrument, you must have an extra 9V in your gig bag. It should be part of your regular equipment. A good sign is that the Batteries last a LONG time in the bass so replacements should be far and between. Remember that the bass will simply not function without a battery.
By the way, the pickups are of Soap-bar variety and the sounds that I get out of them are quite decent and I haven't felt that I'm missing out on high quality sounds. The controls consist of a Volume knob, a blend pot (that's right, no individual volume controls per pickup), Bass knob, Mid Knob, Treble Knob, Mid frequency Switch. // 9
Sound: I don't know about you pros or you mad tone gurus but there hasn't been one sound that I couldn't produce with this bass. When I say "Sound" I don't mean reckless clatter that you often get with inferior products. The soft sounding ash wood along with the bartolini pickups and their EQ system has covered whatever style I ever wanted to play. Want a jass bass sound? Just pull down the treble and boost a little of the mids, Like the heavy metal slap bass tones? Just boost the treble. You name it, the bass did it.
Ease Of Use
The bass is also one of lightest basses I have ever had the pleasure of handling. Couple that with high quality construction, a balanced profile when hung with a strap, low action and above average electronics and you are looking at a bass that is ridiculously light which instantly responds to light fingerstyle plucking all the way to heavy duty tapping. As I said before, the bass basically played itself. // 8
Action, Fit & Finish: Considering the fact that this is my first real bass I was worried that I may be spending a bit too much on a first instrument... WRONG! This has been the best value I I have gotten in quite a long time as I can easily get the sounds of professional artists and have my own signature tone within seconds of picking it up. This bass is an amazing value and I think that every beginner should steer clear of any other products. Save 'up some money junior if you're really interested in playing cos this bass is gonna Drive ya nuts. If you're cheaping out on your first instrument. You will probably lose interest in playing halfway through your bass dream. The wow factor Just picture an Ibanez S with a few extra millimeters of girth and add the beautiful flowing lines of the nude ash wood right under your fingers. One look at this bad boy and I knew that I had to have it. The finish is simply... natural. If you don't like it, go spend your money elsewhere but if you are looking for a touch of class and mature music. Stop right here and grab this. It sucked me in and it'll probably suck you in too. If you're anything like me and simply a guy that wants to buy an instrument that will give you resonant piano like sounds as well as throaty Warwick growl. Do your ears and eyes a favor and buy this bass. You wont regret it, I didn't. Oh and did I mention how exquisite the matte hardware looks on the natural body? Lets just say that online pictures don't do it justice. All you need to do to fall in love is to simply TOUCH! (I mean it in every sense of the word). // 9
Reliability & Durability: Here's where I feel that I am beginning to get my money's worth. Everything fits perfectly and all the lines meet up with less than a millimeter of clearance from each other. The wood feels completely amazing under my hands as I rub the body and the neck down and I really feel the bass resonating through my body as I play. Its a rather amazing feeling and the sound coming out of it is just as impressive. There was one problem though, the tuning key nuts were a little loose as were the knobs itself. This was a bother at first when The bass began to rattle in my hands but one quick tightening session and its been wonderful ever since. // 10
Overall Impression: From the moment I purchased this bass I feel like a new dimension of music has opened right in front of me. As an amateur guitar collector This is my second Ibanez instrument and I couldn't have been happier. I am running this through a solid state power amplifier that is connected to traditional full range speakers but the sound I get is nothing short of amazing. Everything about this bass screams high quality and the bass seems to play itself. No dead notes, seriously low action, impressive EQ system along with the mid frequency switch, very usable pan knobs, the list goes on and on. As a newbie into the bass territory I am thoroughly impressed and I would recommend this instrument to anyone.
A word of advice though. Run the Bass through a Full range speaker. A lone Subwoofer wont do it justice, seriously. // 9