Price paid: A$ 480
Purchased from: Private
Sound — 8
It pretty much suits my style, (Funk, Slap, Rock, Blues, you name it. I play various styles depending on what style of gig I'm playing at the time. I've been at it for around 40 years now. I am still running a 350 Harke head through a 400 watt 4/10 bin and I would like to up it to a LH 1000 Hydrive as I am staunch Hartke user. The bass in question is very nice for dialing in tones and is very basic, but with nice warmth to suit my style. It can be agressively bright if the user is not careful to set bass and amp tone selection to a minimal setting especially in the highs! As stated in other reviews this bass does implement the MusicMan and Fender Jazz tonal qualities, but however it is very subtle in this respect. I prefer to not use effects, but when I do it tends to create the famous 'Hiss' especially in the 'Limiter Department'. With good EQ setting on the head it should create sufficient cut through for any gig situation.
Overall Impression — 7
I play practically any style and have been playing since the age of 9. There are a lot of good instruments out there in Guitar Heaven, but preference is personal thing for me as I have owned and played the 'True and tried' from the Uncle Leo's to the MM. I have been playing awhile now and I personally have owned a few amps and Pa's through to guitars and drums, and I have a passion for electronics etc. I have always likes the ATK for its robust look and feel and also the sound which with a little time can produce the sound I need. If this girl were stolen or lost I would probably veer off to the Yamaha planet.
Reliability & Durability — 8
Yes I can depend on this axe for all of my gigs, although I usually take a 2nd bass along for back-up or for tonal reasons etc. The finish is very durable and maintains a nice look to it and apart from the hardware (circuitry) it is a good bass for the working musician, but as I said, I tend to lean toward upgrading componentry etc because I enjoy it when money allows.
Action, Fit & Finish — 6
Factory set up? I would not know as the previous owner may have performed a complete set up. When I bought it I needed to lower the action, set the intonation etc after I replaced the old strings with a set of Dean Markleys, (medium Light) which gives me good clarity for Funk/slap and also for heavier tones especially in the reggae and blues department. This bass had a flaw in the Active circuitry which I had to order from Japan. (IN my opinion, Ibanez has a shocking customer service regime, well I refer to Australia. After replacing the guts of this bass it still had a bad crackle in the volume pot, and after doing all the standard cleaning/anti static procedures etc, I still had problems. These basses have a reputation for having crappy Jack Barrels, so that was replaced but not with an original Ibanez, so I ordered another complete circuit replacement, but this time for the current ATK model which is more simplistic and much kinder on the cavity due to its smaller componentry. I enjoy and prefer to perform my own repair work and setting up as I know what I need and want, and a lot of mass instruments are designed with low cost material. the ATK is a 'Workhorse' and is built for that purpose. If anyone has complaints about this bass, try owning an SGR 1205, The cavity is just one big mess, and the circuit board sits on top of this jungle of mess, and it chills me just to think about redesigning the cavity set up to give this thing breathing space, but it handles just as good as the best on the market and I have been using this bass also for 13 years.
Features — 8
I bought this privately through Gumtree (Brisbane Australia). It was made probably around 1997 as it was made in Korea. I remember this because I bought my Soundgear 1205 around the same time, in Auckland New Zealand (Rock Shop). Everything on this axe is stock standard as described on the Ibanez Website. It is a typical Sunburst finish and in very good condition for a 2nd hand guitar...I also got a TKL case in excellent condition with it.