Sound — 9
Although this bass looks like it's meant to be in a rock or metal band, the tonality and controls are set up for many more musical styles. It obviously doesn't have the depth and resonance of a Warwick or other natural wood, Bartolini-loaded basses, but for the purposes of practise, rocking in rehearsal or playing gigs on the local circuit, you really couldn't ask for more! Ibanez basses are always punchy and the pickups don't disappoint on this model. The EQ controls give it a very wide range of tones.
Overall Impression — 10
I'm predominantly a rock and metal player, although I'm dabbling in some pop, funk and soul. I've played guitar for 20 years and owned a few basses over that time, but this is the best so far, hands down! Everything about this bass is lovely and it suits my playing style perfectly. My girlfriend has even taken a Shine to it and started learning a few bass lines on it! The Ibanez SoundGear range of basses have always been a solid and dependable brand, so I had no issues with buying one of these instruments and knw I was getting value for money, quality and an awesome set up, not to mention a powerful sound. So far, I am 100% pleased with this bass and would recommend it to anyone Who is a rock and metal player, and also for other styles.
Reliability & Durability — 9
I've not used this bass Live yet, but hope to in the future. I can't afford a Warwick, so this style/price of guitar is just what I need. I don't have another bass yet, so it'll be my main machine, but I always liked having a spare guitar when gigging, so I may well get another bass sometime... just for safety's sake! I've heard that the strap buttons can become a bit loose, but I think it's a good idea to get a set of Schaller-style straplocks for large instruments like this anyway. You don't want it flying off your strap mid bass-riff...!
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The set up from the box was great. Almost (dare I say it) perfect! The sculpting of the body is amazing and it's got some great curved! Even little touches like the bridge being sunk into the body slightly are great features for such a reasonably cheap bass. It came fitted with D'Addario XL strings and there was no fret buzz or funny noises. Everything seemed very well adjusted and solid.
Features — 10
***The bass I've purchased is not the DX model - it's the current SR305 model with the active EQ and 'Style Sweeper' control. The DX was the only choice on the list!*** Straight out of the box this was an awesome bass! Even before plugging it in it felt comfortable, natuaral and well balanced. The body is heavily sculpted, making it light and comfortable (although it can be a bit slippy when playing sitting down!). The neck is slim (almost obscenely so for a bass!), the hardware is solid and the pickups are top notch for a 'budget' bass. The finish I have is 'Iron Pewter' (which is basically gloss black with some sparkly bits in it!) and it looks as good as it sounds. It has two powerful Ibanez humbucker pickups, wired through a single volume, pickup blend, Bass/Treble split pot (with active EQ) and a 'Style Sweeper' control, that lets you adjust the bite and tone for finger or slap styles (also useful for getting a good tone with a pick).