Ibanez 6 string basses: SR or BTB series?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Matthew_84, Apr 7, 2014.


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Ibanez 6 string basses - which series?

  1. SR

    57 vote(s)
    46.3%
  2. BTB

    66 vote(s)
    53.7%
  1. Matthew_84

    Matthew_84

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2010
    Location:
    Toronto, ON, Canada
    So which series do you prefer in the 6 string models - SR or BTB series, and why?
  2. decentbassbreh

    decentbassbreh

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2013
    BTB is more boutique and has a better neck for 6 strings and also better construction, SR 6's necks are not very good at all honestly
  3. Hamlet7768

    Hamlet7768 Here to chew gum and rock. Still have gum. Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2011
    BTB by a mile and a half. Worst 6er I ever played was an SR, my current bass is a BTB.
  4. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2010
    Location:
    Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
    BTB, not even a second of thought needed. I returned my SR506 for a BTB676. The SR506 had dark, poorly defined pickups and the fretwork was garbage. I hear they use new electronics now, but I don't touch any more 506s. You couldn't set the bass up well, I tried as did two totally different, unconnected professionals. The SR series also has a defect with the bridge as you may have noticed.

    I played my BTB for years and loved it. It was insanely heavy though, not a good "evening with" bass. The fret wire was also cheap, although this seems to be a common problem with Ibanez from what I have noticed. The frets in my BTB676 were cracking or cracked, they showed tons of use. My Fender Standard was bought years earlier, played much harder, and still shows less use than the Ibanez did when I sold it.
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  6. IntrepidCellist

    IntrepidCellist Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2009
    Location:
    Manhattan
    Love the SR necks, string spacing, and lightness. I'd go for one of the Nordy-equipped Premium models, though...
  7. jojoslap

    jojoslap

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2014
    I agree about the lower end SR six strings, didn't really do it for me, but when I played the 1206e I bought it that day. I have never played a BTB so really can't compare, there is a chance I would like them better. I do love my 1206, awesome neck, plays great, wonderful slap tone. With my experience with the SRs anything below the 1206 is in a different league, they share the same shape and name but really are very different animals, I think the Nordstrands are a big part of that. I hear lots of good things about the BTB, I will have to try one out next chance I have.
  8. Hapa

    Hapa

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2011
    Location:
    Fort Collins, CO
    Disclosures:
    Bass Industry guy, currently a free agent
    Nordstrand Big Singles now come in the BTB series as well. I would change the preamp though, and I would also suggest Nordstrand.

    BTB if only for the spacing. But the balance of the bass is good on the body, My only gripe is the less round edges of the bass.

    SR If you can play and slap that tight spacing.
  9. Apolicious

    Apolicious

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2014
    It's a little tricky because there are a lot of cheap SR's, but I love the neck profile. I love the BTB's body - fantastic balance and reach, but I HATED the BTB's neck. They sound amazing, look amazing, but I hate the feel. Tragic, really.
  10. Wallace320

    Wallace320

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2012
    Location:
    Milan, Italy
    And I was testin' a secondhand Sr3006 Prestige in the same days.

    I'm a european metalhead so, back in the day, I was fond of Stratovarius' Jari Kainulainen playin', that's why I tested a 6er Sr Prestige I wasn't able to afford for new.

    But I placed an order to the italo/french Ibanez local dealer for the TerraFirma (single cut Btb 6er) the very moment I was talked about.

    I already have a 2013 limited edition Btb7 I tuned like this:
    A, D, G, C, F, A, D
    TerraFirma is tuned:
    A, D, G, C, F, A so that I keep by 3rd interval like on guitar.

    Fullstep downtunin' is due to our (Nowhere) need for power

    Infact I also keep neck Bartolini close to the strings, while bridge Bartolini is a bit far away

    Btb for me every night and day

    Cheers,
    Wallace
  11. chubfarm2001

    chubfarm2001 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2010
    Location:
    St. Marys, Ohio
    BTB, as in the one in my pic. The only thing that I find troublesome is it is the older body style. I like the newer, deeper cuts alot, but this thing plays like a dream. It has been my main bass for 5 years now.
  12. Matthew_84

    Matthew_84

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2010
    Location:
    Toronto, ON, Canada
    Thanks guys for your input so far.

    Anybody A/B the two and find one had a better low B than the other?

    The B string, on paper, is a bit of a toss up because the BTB is 35" scale and is "technically better", but the SR is a bolt on, which some people would argue make it "technically better" as well, because the traditonal argument is that a bolt on will be a little more punchy and less of a chance of being muddy.
  13. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2010
    Location:
    Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
    SR B strings are sloppy, not well defined, and get bad overtones.

    BTB B strings are much tighter, with decent definition.

    The BTB B is not amazing but is definitely above average. And scale only affects fretting the string up the neck. My Carvin LB676 is 34" and the B string smokes the BTB.
  14. chubfarm2001

    chubfarm2001 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2010
    Location:
    St. Marys, Ohio
    I A/B'd with a sr706 I got on a whim. I no longer have it.
  15. woody357

    woody357

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2005
    I agree with the statement about the B on the SR basses I have a SR 1206E. I love it but I do wish the B was more like the B on my EBMM Bongo. I have found that if I use a non tapered B it's a little better. I'm going to tr a larger B to see if it gets even better.
  16. Solarmist

    Solarmist Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Location:
    15 miles from Mt. Rainier
    Guess I'm the odd one here - I'd much rather have the SR because of the thinner 34" scale neck, slightly tighter spacing (I play with a pick), and the smaller lighter body. I tried out an SR706, and SR506, but I just don't need the extra high string ... my SR705 is perfect for me.
  17. metalinthenight

    metalinthenight

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    I play a BTB676 that I swapped the electronics out for a Nordstrand Pre amp and Dual Coils. Sounds fantastic. My next bass will probably be either an SR Premium or prestige six which will be more for my solo/tapping stuff that I do and as a back up for my indie-rock band (which I use the BTB for).

    I would say that the only real comparison that can be made between the two lines is with the premium or prestige SR lines compared to the standard neck-through BTBs or the prestige/premium versions. The lower end (price wise) models of both series aren't really worth mentioning, but they are great starter bases.

    The SR lines are great basses for getting used to playing on a six string if you have never played on one before because of the tight string spacing. The BTB series generally has a better low B across the board, especially if you are down tuning.

    Forgot to mention that I LOVE the playability of the SR line. If they made a Premium SR with a 35" scale, I would own one, no questions asked.
  18. Bass_Thumper

    Bass_Thumper

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2009
    Albums:
    1
    Location:
    El Dorado Hills, CA
    I voted SR because I have an SR1206e and I love it. The neck very playable and the electronics package yields lots of very usable tones. I haven't played any of the lower numbered versions so I can't really comments on those but the Premium/Prestige line are flat out awesome.
  19. kbr

    kbr Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2006
    Location:
    Oviedo, Fl
    I voted SR because, for me, they play better. The models also sound quite similar with the same pickups too so; If you like 35" scales and wider string spacing, get the BTB. I've owned and played many of both and almost all the premium and prestige series sound great.
  20. Matthew_84

    Matthew_84

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2010
    Location:
    Toronto, ON, Canada
    Well guys, I'm stuck...

    I went to my local shop that had a used BTB406 and a new SR1206 in stock. I sat down on a stool and switched back and forth between the two for about an hour or so. I didn't plug them in, because I didn't want the better electronics of the SR1206 to influence my decision... I wanted to decide on feel alone.

    To get it out of the way though, I really don't like the finish/look of the SR1206 at all - the wood combo on the SR1206 looks like old teak wood furniture and I hate the look of teak. I actually much prefer the look of the SR506, but I'd want the monorail bridge (separate bridge for each string) of the 1206 on it.

    So with that said, I'd likely be looking at getting a BTB676 or either a SR506 and upgrading the bridge, or a SR1206 and painting or dying the body.

    The feel of the neck on the SR1206 felt a bit better to me than the BTB406 - and I'm just talking about fretboard width and spacing... However I did prefer the flatter radius of the BTB. But that used BTB406 had a pretty glossy neck, where the SR1206 had a nice satin one which I always prefer, so I don't know if that may have influenced my decision at all. Also, I'm not sure if the current BTB676 bass neck will have less gloss on it than that BTB406 did... But I can always sand the gloss off a bit.

    The BTB406 was noticeably heavier than the SR1206, but I also read on here by one poster somewhere that the BTB676 was lighter than the BTB406, so I'm not sure how much heavier the BTB676 would be than the SR1206... I do have some jams where I stand and play for 4-6 hours at a time. But I do have a wide, good strap, and I can always get ultralight tuners if weight becomes an huge issue.

    I preferred the body style and look on the BTB series a lot more (and the BTB676 looks amazing!) The SR bodies look too small and smooth to me. I actually like bass bodies that have flatter fronts/backs than totally curved bodies.

    There are a lot more pros to me for the BTB, but the two the SR have (more comfortable neck and lighter weight) are pretty much my most influential factors.. Again though, I can decrease the weight of the BTB a bit, and I'm thinking that the bigger body of the BTB may make it less prone to neck-diving, which I could see the SR's doing like crazy.

    I have a bit more research to do, but if anyone has A/B'ed the BTB406 to the BTB676, I'd love to hear which one was lighter, and if the BT676 neck was less glossy than the BTB406.

    In the meantime I won't be back in my office until Thursday, but when I go back I'm bringing my strap with me so I can get a better idea of what I'd be dealing with in my normal playing situation.

    Thanks again everyone so far for your input and keep it coming! :bassist:
  21. jojoslap

    jojoslap

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2014
    I can tell you there are no neck dive issues with the 1206, before the SR I had Warwick thumb 5 bolt on and the neck drive was horrible and it was very heavy too. I often stand for hours on end when playing with my band and my 1206'is very comfy. I also prefer the shorter scale, the neck on my Warwick felt like it was a mile long. I do agree with the shorter scale you probably pay a penalty on the sound of the b string, but the shorter reach and zero neck dive more than make up for it for me.

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