Price paid: $ 997
Purchased from: Kley-Zemer Israel
Sound — 9
The sound is great, and when I say great, I don't just mean "yeah, it sounds ok" - The EQ allows you to extract a very wide range of sound out of this baby. You play Metal, and you want some growling base - just boost the bass and cut the high-end, play with the mid frequency as you like, and you get a sound not very far from a Warwick Corvette. A jazz/blues/funk player - just do the opposite, and you will have a great poppy sound, perfect for slapping. No matter whether you use a pick, or your fingers - it will suit almost any type of music. I, personally, play heavier music, and I love the rich, warm, a bit crunchy sound of the low-end, especially tuned down to D standard. But the most important of all - even when you boost the bass all the way to the maximum, and the walls are shaking, you can still clearly hear each note, without melting the whole melody together. I use it on my Behringer BX600 (60W), and it fills the place all over only on 7-10% volume. Makes a good noise. Also tried it with my NYC Big Muff Pi - sounds great, but believe me - much better without it.
Overall Impression — 9
I play mostly metal of it's heavier forms (death, symphoblack etc.) and it gives me the perfect sound for it. It lacks the fifth string, but here in Israel we've got a problem with 5stringed basses. I've been playing for about 5 years, and owned only a Affinity Squire P-Bass, on which I've installed a Seymour Duncan pickup, but also had been playing other basses such as a Fender J-Bass, and some old Peavey model. Actually, when I came to the store to pick the instrument, My choice was between this one, and an American Fender J-Bass, (which was about 250$ more expensive), and after playing them both for about 30 minutes, I've made my decision. Not that it is better than the eternal JB, but I like the sound of this baby a bit more, as also it is versatile, as I've explained before.
Reliability & Durability — 7
Didn't tried it yet, but it looks pretty much built for live playing - it is lite, very comfortable for playing it in standing position, and feels good on the body. The strap buttons are rock solid, it took me a while to attach the strap - they are pretty big and mushroom-like looking, so they hold the strap pretty good. The hardware looks very good, all black and solid, looks very convincing. The only problem is the neck-thru construction - you can't go very wild with it on the stage, because at the end of all you will end up braking it somehow. The neck and the top wing of the body looks very fragile - the thinness of them and the light weight of the whole instrument just support the look.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The setup is actually perfect - the action is great, at least I can't see it being any better on this one, the pickups set well (although, there is not much to adjust, they are just seating on top), and the bridge is set fine, at least for the original 40-105 strings. I'm going to change the set to 65-135, so I guess some adjustments should be made. The tuning is holding very well. I've tuned it down to D standard, and after the first time I've adjusted it only once.
Features — 7
A brand new 2010 model - this particular one made in Indonesia, features: 22 (+2 only on the 1 and 2 string) medium frets, 35'' scale, 20-22 mm maple-bubinga neck-thru. As body, with a charming transparent black finish., with the Ibanez special wing-design. MR-2 bridge (19mm spacing), active EMG 40DC pickups (neck and bridge). Volume and balancer controls, Vari-Mid III 3-band eq - treble, bass and mid boost/cut, and a mid frequency control. And the usual BTB feature - wire-lock.