Price paid: $ 674.99
Purchased from: Guitar Center
Sound — 10
I play hard rock and metal primarily with a Gallien-Kreuger 700RB-II Bass Head and a Gallien-Kreuger 410GLX 400W Speaker Cabinet on stage, and a Rogue RB120 15" 120W Bass Combo for practice, rarely with any effects (which would be an Ibanez PD7 Phat-Hed Overdrive Pedal and Washburn Chorus Pedal). The sound on the Ibanez BTB575FM is completely amazing. I was not very impressed when I had tried out the Ibanez 455QM, so I had not expected much out of this bass, but let me tell you, the sound itself is worth the price tag. The Bartolini's definitely Shine through and make this bass sing. And with the Bartolini MK2 3-Band EQ, you can get this bass to make just about any sound you could wish for. This bass can easily cut through a guitar mix, and sounds great fingerstyle and with a pick. Also, they equipped this bass guitar with Elixir strings at the factory, so you are getting top notch strings with it as well.
Overall Impression — 10
This bass can fit any style you want it to, considering everything that can be adjusted on it. I currently play in hard rock, punk, death metal, and thrash metal bands and it fits into all of them perfectly. I started playing contrabass (upright bass) almost 10 years ago, and have been playing bass guitar for the past 4 years. I have owned the Rogue SX100B, Rogue LX205B, and Ibanez SR405, plus the many Fenders, Yamahas, Warwicks, Peaveys, and other models that I tried out that my friends owned. This bass definitely stands above every single bass I have ever come into contact with, even the models I normally see at Guitar Center. This bass is flawless, and I would most definitely buy another Ibanez BTB575FM should this one go missing or get broken. In fact, I would probably buy another one just to have as my backup. The sound is definitely my favorite part about this bass, it is simply amazing, and hard to describe. I also really love the finish. This bass is probably the only neck-thru instrument I ever liked the look of, Ibanez did an amazing job on it. I also really like the input-lock device on it. When I was buying this bass, I was comparing it to the Ibanez SR505, Schecter Stileyto Custom, Deluxe, Elite, and Studio models, Ibanez BTB455QM, and the Warwick Corvette Standard. This bass was by far better looking and better sounding than the other basses, which is why I chose it over the others. I just only wish it came with strap locks because I don't want to drop it, but this bass is definitely worth spending the extra $20 to buy some for it. Amazing bass, definitely worth the money.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I have played this bass at shows, and it does an amazing job. It also plays really loud and cuts through well. Everything on it is fit very well and seems to be very sturdy. I have yet to be able to chip the finish or wear it off. The only reason you would need a backup with this bass is because it uses battery-powered active electronics, unless you have the time to change them out during the show or you know you have good batteries in it before the show. The bass is definitely very reliable and durable.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
For standard tuning, the action was perfect. It worked better for me than the custom modifications I had done with my other basses. The only problem is that with the factory set-up, this bass doesn't handle heavy downtuning very well. Of course, if you take the time to modify it for the new tuning, then it works amazingly. You can change the settings through the bridge for length and height, or you can adjust the truss rod for the neck (I would suggest getting a professional to adjust the truss rod, because this bass is too beautiful and valuable to screw up the truss rod on). It even comes with the adjustment hex wrenches and screws. Everything was perfect, since I got it straight out of the box, rather than as a display model. It would seem a lot of time had been put into this bass. Everything is securely attached to the bass, and delicately crafted for it. The controls are all sturdy, the tuning pegs are stiff, and the entire body is smooth.
Features — 10
The Ibanez BTB575FM is a 2008 Model made in Indonesia. It has 23 frets for the B, E, and A strings and 24 frets for the D and G strings, all are medium frets. It has a Maple/Bubinga neck-thru 35" scale neck with a Rosewood fingerboard and Abalone dot inlays. It has a Mahogany body with a Figured Maple top and comes in Blue Moon and Transparent Gray finishes (I bought the TG finish). It has a Mono-Rail II bridge, Active electronics, and Bartolini MK2-5 Neck and Bridge pickups. It also has a Bartolini MK2 3-Band EQ with a volume control, pickup control, and treble, mid, and bass controls (5 total). It comes with an input-lock device, which helps prevent cables being pulled out of the bass when the cable is stepped on.