Price paid: $ 300
Sound — 5
Sound-wise the bass is a little hit or miss. I practice all different styles of music, so I understand that sometimes a bass can't cover everything (although my Cort Artisan comes close). I will say that it has pretty good sustain, and the intonation seems pretty on out of the box. The pickups are good for 3/4 of stuff, but overall I am not that impressed with them. The Ibanez ACHB-2's are described as a warm passive pickup. While they are a little warm, their range seems limited in comparison to other passive soapbars I have encountered (TV Jones...love 'em, in fact I am saving to put a pair in this bass). This could be the pickups themselves, or may just be a pot issue (not high enough range of resistance). Either way they can go from typical bright, to a 3/10 warm low (rather than a full 0/10). This is a little disappointing b/c I like to play rolling legato stuff with super warm lows. I play this bass on an Ampeg BA-115T (tube preamp), as well as a nice Roland keyboard amp in my bed room.
Overall Impression — 7
Overall I think this is a pretty cool bass for the price. It has the kind of look that you either love or hate. I dig the 70s styling, and have always been fond of the jaguar'ish body. I will probably replace the pickguard, b/c I don't like white, but that's just a personal preference. $300 definitely didn't totally break the bank. I think anyone Who is a beginner to intermediate bass player will find that this bass will completely suit their purpose, and with some upgrades down the line could probably find themselves hanging onto it for a while. More advanced players, especially those who have top notch equipment, might find some flaws here and there, but it still is a nice purchase. The action is decent (of course this can vary from instrument to instrument no matter what brand), and the craftsmanship is on point. Ibanez generally makes pretty decent stuff, and at all different price levels. As mentioned above, I will probably replace the pickups/pots with something a little nicer, but what it came with are a good start. Just to close things up, I do/have own/ed and Aria Pro II Bass, Gretsch Junior Jet (shortscale), Fender 5 string J Bass, Cort Artisan B4, Fender Telecaster, Roland JP8000, Korg Electribe SX, Moog Rogue, several small amps (20-60 watts), Ampeg BA-115T, blah blah blah.
Reliability & Durability — 9
The bass is pretty rock solid. Definitely not the lightest bass I own/have owned, but considering it appears to be a decent slab of mahogany, I can deal with that. It holds its tuning very well, i.e. I usually do not have to retune for about a week or so (depending on how much I play, and how much the temperature in the drafty house I live in fluctuates). I definitely would play out with it with out worrying about much (passive bass...not much to go wrong). I have definitely bumped into stuff with it, and the finish hasn't scratched or anything yet.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
Out of the box-wise, I think they did a decent job. The action is almost where I like it to be; Enough that I wont be adjusting it until it would readjusted anyways. Everything seems fairly solid. The sunburst finish on the bass is quite nice, and really compliments its jaguar'ish shape. My only complaint is that where the neck meets the body it is noticeably raised. I haven't had a chance to mess with the pickups a lot, but I will probably adjust them some before I replace them to see if I can improve their slight flatness. The only other thing I would like to point out is that Ibanez basses often have slim fast necks, and that is not the case with this bass. The neck isn't huge (and I have fairly small hands), but is definitely an extra medium on the spectrum.
Features — 7
It is a 2008, made in China. This bass has a typical 34" scale, 4 string, with passive soapbar pickups, two volume and one tone knobs. Pretty simple overall. It is a solid body bass, made of mahogany, with a maple neck, and rosewood fingerboard. For those Who are reading this, you either like its retro-esque style (split pickguard, fairly large chrome bridge) or not. Overall it is a nice looking, simple passive bass.