BTB555 Review

manufacturer: Ibanez date: 02/06/2008 category: Bass Guitars
Ibanez: BTB555
The Ibanez BTB555 5-string bass guitar is ace gear and certainly not short on deluxe features: 5-piece maple and walnut neck, maple/mahogany/maple body, 18-volt active Vari-Mid preamp, Bartolini pickups, and a Mono-Rail II bridge. It's killer in an understated way.
 Sound: 7
 Overall Impression: 9
 Reliability & Durability: 8
 Action, Fit & Finish: 6
 Features: 10
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
review (1) 12 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 8
BTB555 Reviewed by: filthylittleboy, on february 06, 2008
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Features: The Ibanez BTB555 is an absolute dream to play. There are so many features! Five strings of complete clarity. It has a treble boost/cut, bass boost/cut, a neat trick with the mid boost/cut, the knob for that is stacked on top of the mid frequency knob and the frequency is also controlled by the mid boost/cut. It also has a pick up selector knob, and volume. The bridge is unique to the BTB series where it bolts each individual string to the body of the bass without having them connecting with each other maximizing the vibrations from the strings to the wood. It has a really sweet 24 fret fretboard with regular sized frets. The G and D strings have 24 frets and the A E and B strings all have 23, which is really awesome looking and fine because the missing frets aren't exactly necessary. Baritolini MK-1 pickups. brushed steel hardware. The tuners are where I get the most compliments but I don't know the brand, they never goes out of tune and they're really smooth(alot of tuners aren't). Two trussrods. Active electronics, with a 9v. The neck is a bolt on, but without the traditional metal plate at the back. The bolts are just through the wood adding to the overall sustain and tone. The patchchord connection has it's own lock called a high-tech Neutrik locking jack. Also the neck is curved specially to accomidate the 5 strings, letting the low B string be reached more easily. All of these things look really great on my natural/stained color bass! // 10

Sound: It sounds absolutely great! I play it straight too a SWR workingman's 15 combo, and I have amazing flexibility from that. I play a lot of heavy metal (Slayer and Gamma ray) but I love funk and slap (RHCP) and play that alot. there is a problem with the hardware and it cuts out sometimes, into like a half volume sound, I don't fully understand that yet. // 7

Action, Fit & Finish: the action is perfect, the scale length gives it a really comfortable string tension, and I set up the truss-rods myself and the bridge for my own personal preferance and comfort. I get perfect tone when it's played unplugged with no fret buzz and I've really set the action low. The only real issue with the guitar is what I said about the sound kindof losing it's power everynow and then, and the mid knob/dial make a really crackly noise when they're moved, and that the strap buttons needed to be glued into the wood because they were slipping. I had to reset the height of the pick ups because they were too low and once I raised them as much as I could the pickups sounded much better. The body and neck have a natural finish with a stain on the middle section of wood, giving it a really unique tu-tone look, but without having a firm paint on the body, the wood gets scratched very easily. another thing, when I opened up the panel on the back where the electronics are I noticed a crack in it and the section for one of the screws is cracked. // 6

Reliability & Durability: I've played with this bass Live once and it was really great, and I got compliments from everyone about it, unfortunately I don't even have a backup bass so I guess I'll have to make due with this one but I would always take one if I had the ability to, no matter how reliable the guitar is. All of the hardware seems really solid except for the Mid knob and the strap buttons were already brought up, but the finish is really great aside from the soft properties of it, it won't exactly flake off. // 8

Overall Impression: This is the most versatile instrument I've ever even heard before, so no matter what I even want to experiment with I can always find a suitable tone to enjoy and get inspired by.I have been playing bass for a year and a half know but I really take it seriously. I wish I had asked the guitar tech to show me how to make proper truss rod adjustments, and other small stuff, like about patch chord qualities and so on. My favorite feature of this bass is my ability to get anything I want out of it, and the unique bridge. If this bass got stolen from me I would probably get a nice LTD 405 or something, then upgrade myself back to the Ibanez prestige BTB 1305E, or maybe the BTB1306E model for a high C string. I looked into Fender, and Gibson and all of these other brands, and even ernie ball's and no one could give as good quality of a 5 string bass as this.I only wish that I had more effects to get differnt sounds than what the average bass is limited to, even distortion/overdrive would be nice. // 9

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