BTB556MP Review

manufacturer: Ibanez date: 06/11/2007 category: Bass Guitars
Ibanez: BTB556MP
Its unique off-center line neck shape, which follows the natural path of the thumb as it moves up the neck, makes upper fretwork as easy as playing the lower frets.
 Sound: 10
 Overall Impression: 10
 Reliability & Durability: 10
 Action, Fit & Finish: 10
 Features: 10
 Overall rating:
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reviews (2) pictures (1) 13 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 10
BTB556MP Reviewed by: Ranxston, on may 25, 2007
1 of 3 people found this review helpful

Features: All the top shelf materials, commanding tones and great feel of an extremely expensive boutique bass-without the extremely expensive part. The BTB takes the traditional formula of powerful tones produced by a massive body and substantial neck and then adds an even longer 35 scale neck, the right mix of select woods and high-tech appointments. The BTB's unique off-center line neck shape, which follows the natural path of the thumb as it moves up the neck, makes upper fretwork as easy as playing the lower frets. // 10

Sound: This bass sounds amazing and also very versatile. You can almost instantly Switch from a warm jazz sound to a very hard rock, metal or punk sound. There is really no way to explain with text how amazing this bass sounds. You really need to experience it yourself to see its greatness. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: I don't think there is any flaw with the bass itself, if there is, I haven't found it. Though I have adjusted the bass for my own taste, it did have some small touches to fix. A nut on one of the tuners was a bit loose, so the slightest movement and it would rattle. Also the B string's action was set too low and the E string was out of intonation. These were easy fix, nothing much. Probably from people trying it in the store. // 10

Reliability & Durability: Very reliable bass. The knobs have yet to even start getting loose. The strap buttons look and feel very sturdy and also haven't loosened. Gigging without any backup isn't any problem at all, unless of course you're someone with horrible bad luck. This bass also has a Neutrik jack which locks your cable into the bass. So no worries about it popping out. So it can and will withstand Live playing without any problem. // 10

Overall Impression: I have tried many different basses and this one really suits my taste. At first I wanted to get the Ibanez SR506, which one of my friends owns the 4 string version and I loved its sound, so when I got to the store to order it, the clerk showed me the BTB556MP they had in stock and I instantly fell in love with it. Pictures don't really stand up to what it really looks like in person. I really love the way it looks. For some reason I never really liked painted basses, I love the look of natural wood with a matte finish, which makes this bass perfect for me. Since I went from 4 to 6 strings, it took a moment to adjust to the spacing, but nothing major. The thin neck makes it very comfortable and great for people with smaller hands. Overall this bass is great. I would recommend it to anyone Who wants a sexy yet very comfortable, versatile and durable bass. I've been playing it for over two months now and I'm glad the store had it in stock that day. I wouldn't trade it for anything else. // 10

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overall: 10
BTB556MP Reviewed by: Pompuswazak, on june 11, 2007
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Features: The Ibanez BTB556MP is beautiful bass. It's body is comprised of a slab of mahogany sandwiched between 2 pieces of maple. The neck is a 5 piece maple/walnut mix which is chunky but surprisingly easy to handle bearing in mind that it supports 6 Elixir Long Life strings. The wood is left completely unpainted and unvarnished, it is mearly treated to show of the natural beauty of the wood. There are 6 controls; Volume, Balance, Mid high, Mid Low, Bass, and Treble which are all hooked up to the 18 volt active electronics. The control knobs are matt silver in colour and are very solid and smooth to use (excellent quality). It has two huge plain black Bartolini MK1 humbucker pick-ups which pick up what ever combination of controls you give them perfectly. The bridge is comprised of 6 "Mono-Rail II's" which make each string completely independant. The tuning heads are in 3 on top, 3 on bottom formation. There are 23 frets on the B, E, A, and D strings and 24 on the G and C strings. // 10

Sound: As of yet I have only used it on a friends 35w Laheny amp and my own Ibanez SW20 amp. Sounds excellent through the Laheny, sounds better through the Ibanez. I have used a variaty of effects through an effects processor with no problems. Very good with WAH. I can't specifically comment of the sound because the BTB556MP provides a variaty of tones whether you want it to sound like a guitar for bass solo parts or a full on warm bass. Regarding Live playing, if that noisy guitarist is getting on your nerves... whack up the bass and both mids and you'll probably give him/her vibration sickness ha ha! It is a very powerful bass and if you play around with it's controls you can increase power on the top 3 strings or bottom strings, whatever you want. I personally play progressive and experimental material which is often very technical and quick and it suits that perfectly. But you can easily play whatever style you want if you spend some time on experimenting with the EQ. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: Overall, it's a solid axe. I didn't need to make any adjustments when I first got it. Last week I did actually have a problem with the balance knob, It can either be in a central position where it clicks into a groove or you can rotate it either way until it can't go any futher but instead it went all loose and could rotate all the way around. I don't know much about the insides of a bass but I fixed it within 2 minutes when I opened up the back panel. The pick-ups are beautiful. Well machined. The only thing you might not like is the Elixer long life strings that come with it. I like them but everyone has their own preferances when it comes to strings. The strings are easily adjusted and replaced and all of the Alan keys you need for the job come with the bass. If you are questioning it's quality from this review, buy one and check out the cool hand-signed quality assurance sticker on the back. // 10

Reliability & Durability: Haven't restrung it since I got it over a year ago which is suprising when you consider my playing style but that is because of the Elixer long lifes. The long life coating is only just coming off. The hardware all feels very solid, as I said there was only that one problem but even I could sort that out. The matt finish doesn't wear off, it just shines up a bit with play but it isn't noticable until you get really close up. I wouldn't personally take a backup to a gig but I would take some batteries just incase it decides to die, but that wouldn't be the basses fault. // 10

Overall Impression: I looked at a lot of other 6 string basses on internet sites. This was the best looking (in my opinion) and insanely cheap compared to most other 6-strings. The other basses I was considering were; John Myung's signature model Yamaha and a variaty of others around the 600-800 price. I chose this because of looks, reviews and make (not because of it's price). I admit, I was slightly worried at why it was this cheap (399) and I still don't know why. It makes people's jaws drop. If this bass was lost or stolen I would definately buy it again. I will also be buying more of this model in the future for customising etc. I never want a different bass. Buy this bass and you will never stop looking at it. // 10

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