Buying a 5stringer
Hi Guys and Gals
I'm in the market for my first bass - after having played others' for a few years and a guitar for even more.
I'd like it to be a 5 stringer and I've played a few at my local dealer.
What I've played is:
the Squier Deluxe J Bass V
SR205, SR305, SR505 and SR605 Ibby
And I'm completely in love with the Ibby's! Especially the 505 I've fallen for...though the price tag is not my favourite.
I have, however, found a bloke at a local ebay'ish who has an old SR885 up for grabs at a reasonable price (the 505 is about 850$ and the 885 is marketed at 620$, whereas the 305 is available from the retailer at 500$)
Is the 505 worth the additional 230$ over the used 885 (if the 885 is near-mint) - I certainly think it's worth the extra 350 over the SR305!
What other brands could I check out when liking the feel and sound of the SR's?
I like Ibanez in general, and specifically the Soundgear design; I also like Fender Jazz & Precision-based basses, so maybe you would too. I have regretted buying the nicest(read * most expensive*)bass I could afford, and so-called *budget* instruments are SOOO nice these days that I'd suggest thinking *used* or at least * entry- level* for a first ax.
BTW, where are you located? Those prices seem high
Located in Denmark, Europe.
I might get it slightly cheaper buying from Germany - if it's from outside the EU there's a 25% GST I have to add (and an additional import tax of 1.3% but that's almost nothing).
Whatever you decide to buy, be patient and look for a nice, used example of it. If you shop with some patience and some smarts, you can buy and try anything you want. If you don't like it, then you can sell it for what you paid for it and then try something else.
If you can't sell it for what you paid for it, then you didn't do a good enough job shopping for it in the first place.
Well you might be right Stu...but bear in mind that it's waay easiest for me to buy from a fellow dane (because of all the tax'es and expensive inter-european shipping)
...and the total amount of danes in all Denmark sums up to not much more people than Chicago - which means it might take a lot of time to find a decent axe :bassist::bawl:
there was a point where i would only play ibanez basses. i loved my sr and my btb. i found that i didn't like the batteries dying on me while i was playing. it gets expensive and inconvenient to keep buying batteries, so i got a bass that sounds good passive. keep that in mind as all the basses you are looking at are active and will require batteries to work. have you played the used bass?
As an owner of a SR500 I can attest that they are awesome and well worth the money, got mine new for $560 USD. I'd say hold out a little for a used one if you can. At used prices Ibby's are often an amazing value. If finding used gear in your area is a challenge though I wouldn't blame you for going new.
Personally, I'd wait 1 month to find a used one, then go new.
If you don't dig Squier Active Deluxe V (because of its neck you're lookin' for Ibby)
Look for Ibby SR885
If everything's ok, it's still a very good bass... It came in both ash or basswood body depending on which exact series (all equipped with Ibanez sought after VariMid electronics)
Every other option is not that good really IMHO
I'd go witht he MIJ SR-885. I own several SR800's/885's and IMO, the quality of the classic MIJ IBanIbanez SR's can't be beat!
I bought my first fiver last year and I went for the SR505. It was a floor model at the local Guitar Center and it had been there a while. I was shopping for a five. I knew I loved the Ibanez SR neck feel and weight. The 505 was perfect, really. And when I told the guy I wanted to buy one I asked him to order me a new one instead of the one on the floor. He said he'd go "in the back" to see if they had another one. He came back within about a minute and offered me $100 off the one in my hands. Sold.
It's gorgeous, it's feather-light, it plays like a dream with a very comfortable and fast neck. And I like the Bartolini pickups that come in it. I find myself running the bass entirely flat, though, because if I mess with it the input on my compressor is suddenly way off.
I'd buy used if I could. And if you can't, hey: I think it's a great value for money even at the retail price.
What he said..
The SR505 with the bartolini soapbars sound very unique for a few different reasons. Honestly, they are quite the bass to be reckoned with...they have a very aggressive, cutting tone that is just freakin awesome. I am GASing for an SR500 right now, but if I were in the market for a 5'er it would DEFINITELY be an SR505 or SR605.
I have both the 505F (fretless) and an 705 wish you were here in the States, looking to sell both. The Ibanez is a great 5 string, best ergonomics for an off the shelf bass. Probably the best value for their price points.
SR305's are crap. The pickups arent that great and it has the weakest low B I've ever heard/played. You get what you pay for.
That being said, Ibanez gets pretty solid starting with their 500 series and up. Anything from there should be pretty good...especially as your first 5er.
As you can see from my profile I own a couple of Ibby's. Since you like them I would suggest possibly adding the ATK to your list. I absolutely love mine, very versatile. Also, you can't go wrong with the Squier Deluxe J Bass V they can be had used in the US for ~$200. Basically a Fender made by Cort in Indonesia. Same factory I think that makes the VM's as well. So you can't go wrong there either. There have been a couple of threads with some killer mods done to these here on TB. Check them out.
Yamaha RBX765A. The predecessor to the TBX775 you played and a world better. Nice finishes and hardware,decent active J/J and a great neck, feel.
I've got the 4 string version and it's really very, very nice, even among much higher priced basses I own.
SR885 used... much better than a used or new SR505 by a LONG shot. The quality is much better due to its Japanese origin; the electronics are quieter.
Also, check out a used SR645 if you can find one. I have one and they are just a cheaper version of the SR885. They don't have features like the recessed jack, curve top body, deep neck pocket, or 3 band electronics. But IME, they often sell for much less and can be a blessing if you are on a budget.
The 505 is nice, but like I said, the quality just isn't the same as a Japanese made Ibby (serial number will start with F on Japanese models). Also, the mahogany in an SR505 is LOADS heavier than the basswood bodies of the SR645 and SR885.
Also, I've played a new SR505, SR645, and an Ibanez almost identical to an SR885 as well as other Ibby lines (BTB for example)
@Basslayer: No - I haven't played the used one yet...but I have arranged to do so during this weekend :)
[and looking forward to do so]
@VinKreepo: Could you give me a few more words about the electronics and the quality at the MIJ versus the new ones (Indonesian?) I haven't been able to find any info on the ADX5 pup's - are they still in use? Will they do anything as 'passive' or are they in need of power to even get a sound?
Take a SR71 you'll get faster ..... oh sorry probably yet done this one hu.... :D
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