Price paid: $ 250
Purchased from: eBay
Sound — 7
After a very long hiatus away from the bass guitar (over a decade away, after only playing for 2 years), I was looking for a bass guitar that was very versatile and within my budget. Initially I just wanted a bass to play and see if I was interested enough to invest more money in a better bass guitar down the road. I chose the SR370 because of the active electronics, the EQ-ing options built into the guitar, and the weight (as well as my trust in Ibanez guitars in general). One of my goals immediately out of the gate was to try to re-teach myself bass guitar to be the most well-rounded player I could possibly be, and therefore I play a very eclectic mix on bass. This includes funk, soul, classic rock, grunge and several types of metal. I've found myself mostly gravitating towards funk and classic rock. So far, I've used the bass amp models with my TonePort UX2 and a Fender Bronco 40 for amplification. I've ran through just a few effects a DigiTech Synth Wah pedal (essentially an envelope filter) and a Dunlop Original Crybaby Wah. Mostly, the effects I used were those available through the Fender Bronco 40 and the Fuse software, and the guitar effects included in the TonePort UX2 software. I've gotten to the point where I'm using the Fender Bronco 40 almost exclusively. Honestly, whether it be the Ibanez SR370, the Bronco 40 or both, I've been able to get just about any tone I aim for. I know a large part of it is the awesome bass, mid and treble cut/boost controls on the SR370.
Overall Impression — 8
I play a wide range of things on bass, as I've said earlier mainly, at this point, focusing on trying to become a very well rounded player. I play finger-style, pick and slap and this goes across several genres of music. For my needs this bass is really ideal for a starter instrument. I've probably got about 2 3 years of bass playing experience at this point and 5 years of experience playing guitar. This is the only bass I currently own, but I own a lot of guitar gear, amplifiers and effects. My main guitar is a Carvin DC145M I had built for myself earlier this year, and my main amp for jamming is a solidstate Peavey Transtube 212 EFX (currently saving up for a Carvin V3M combo). As far as the bass goes, I'm very happy with the Ibanez at this point, but I do plan to get an Epiphone Thunderbird IV Pro down the road, but I will keep the Ibanez for slap bass. If this bass were lost or stolen, I would try to replace it with another of the same, or at least another of the Ibanez SoundGear models. They definitely have a certain level of quality and diversity that you don't really find much at this price point. I don't really dislike anything about this bass, but in an ideal world I would rather have a Precision/Jazz fusion type instrument with active electronics, but unfortunately I don't think Ibanez makes one of those or at least not in my price range. There isn't really anything missing from this instrument unless you count a D-Tuna that is a welcome feature on any stringed instrument.
Reliability & Durability — 8
This bass really seems like it was made to be a workhorse, with great tone-shaping tools built in, comfortable body contour with the rounded sides and very well balanced overall. The SR370 I would definitely trust for gigging. Currently, I'm not using the SR370 for any gigging, but I have been using it for two recording projects I am filling in on for guitar and bass, as well as working on my solo stuff at home. It has adapted to these 3 very unique styles of music wonderfully (hip hop, blues and alt. Metal). For live playing, I would probably put some strap locks on it due to the existing strap buttons are fine for home play or the occasional jam session, but I'm not sure I would trust them for weekly abuse in a high energy environment. The hardware is all solid and I don't foresee any problems in the future with that, and the finish may eventually wear thin in areas over a period of time but I believe it would just make the SR370 look "relic'd" instead of taking anything away, aesthetically.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
When I received the Ibanez SR370 I didn't really have to do much to get it in playing condition I lowered the action only very slightly, but I ended up raising it back up to where it was initially. I've set up guitars before, but this was the first bass I tried to mess with. The intonation was spot on, with the 45 105 strings that came with it in standard tuning. The fretwire was properly crowned, the pickups were adjusted perfectly. The finish was immaculate and the bass looks really classy with the burst finish. The neck is very fast for a bass while this is the first bass I've owned in a long time, I did go to a local music shop and played a Schecter Stiletto and a newer Squier P Bass. I've also played an older Squier P Bass and an OLP Stingray copy that belong to a friend of mine. The Ibanez definitely has the best neck of those I tried out, made for Precision and speed.
Features — 8
The Ibanez SoundGear SR370 is a bolt on bass guitar with a 34" scale. It includes a maple body and a 5 piece maple neck with a rosewood fretboard and 24 medium frets. The neck is an "SR4" style neck, which is essentially the bass version of the Wizard Ibanez guitar necks, it is very slender and easy to play. The pickups are dual active humbuckers, specifically Ibanez EXF-N2s which are powered from a single 9 volt battery. The controls include a volume, pickup blend, mid cut/boost, bass cut/boost and treble cut/boost. The sides of the bass are rounded, which makes it comfortable to play both standing and sitting, and it is fairly lightweight. The bridge is an "Accu-cast B120", which basically means the tuning is very stable from that end, and the tuning keys seem to just be standard Ibanez bass tuners which do their job well. The neck radius is 305 millimeters. The finish is a rather natural looking tobacco burst.