Any opinions on Ibanez SRF700 fretless?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by rmayer, Dec 24, 2015.


  1. rmayer

    rmayer Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2008
    Boynton Beach, FL
    I've been thinking about picking up a fretless again. I have owned Fender Amer Deluxe and a Rob Allen in the past. I'm looking to go a bit lower budget on this one. The Ibanez SRF700 Portamento fretless looks and sounds very interesting. Anyone out there own one? I currently play Sadowskys and G&Ls with a Fodera thrown in the mix, and my heaviest bass is under 8 1/2 lbs. Any thoughts on the Ibanez would be appreciated.
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2015
  2. rmayer

    rmayer Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2008
    Boynton Beach, FL
    Actually any thoughts on how the Ibanez sounds and plays and also would compare would be appreciated. Thanks.
     
  3. I got major GAS when I first tried it in a store. It played perfectly out of the box, felt light and comfortable. Pretty versatile thanks to the piezo. The second time I played it at the same place, I thought it could use a mid control. Also (maybe a string height issue), this instrument was extremely unforgiving with regard to technique.
     
  4. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    It's a very nice modern sounding fretless sold at a good price point. But I'll echo the earlier comment about it being fairly unforgiving when it comes to your technique. A good professional setup is also a must with this bass. If you can't do it yourself, definitely get it done by somebody.

    FWIW I don't care for the piezo subsystem in it. But I generally don't care for the sound of most piezos anyway - so take that for what it's worth.

    You might want to consider shopping for a used one. There's lots of people who get a fretless, play what they bought for a month or two (or try to anyway), and then decide to bail and recoup what they can. Their loss is your gain. And the savings can be substantial.

    Note: it's Portamento - not Portofino. ;)
     
  5. rmayer

    rmayer Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2008
    Boynton Beach, FL
    Thanks for the info, and for the correction on the Portamento. Helpful comment about being unforgiving concerning technique, since both of my previous fretless basses had fretlines on the boards. I am looking at a couple of used ones.
     
  6. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    You might also look at a Spector SpectorCore fretless. They can be had for <$900 new or around $500-$600 used. Really nice bass. If I were buying today, I'd opt for one of these over the Ibanez.
     
  7. Stellvia

    Stellvia

    Jul 18, 2015
    Perth, Aus
    I love mine and it's my first fretless! I've only been playing bass seriously for about a year (but am an experienced keyboard player and composer) but have very good intonation so haven't found the fretless to be too difficult. Definitely requires practice though. The sidelines on the Portamento are very helpful but need to be mindful of optical parallax for the low and higher notes. Sounded pretty good out of the box. Comes with Chromes, which I quite liked, also put on a set of D'Addario Black Tapes which I liked more than the Chromes. I recently put on a set of GHS Pressurewounds and the bass really sings now!

    I may have gone a bit overboard with my Portamento as I decided I wanted to upgrade from the stock "Bartolini" pickups and had some custom pickups made by MJS Custom Pickups in Canada. Love how this bass plays, feels and sounds now! The piezo system is also pretty usable depending on your setup. Really happy with this instrument, but haven't had the opportunity to try many other fretless basses.
     
  8. tercesyrev

    tercesyrev

    Oct 12, 2006
    Chicago, IL
    I've had my SRF705 for a few months now ... very nice. Really easy to play, smooth as silk. Played great out of the box but I eventually took it to a luthier who has a piece of equipment to measure intonation he designed and built. Most accurate tuner I've ever seen. Definitely made a difference and ... the bass seems a tad more forgiving. Really cool looking and alot of Mmwwahh. Nicely built bass that sounds really good especially being considered "mid tier" level. Another plus is it's very light. For the price you can't go wrong.
     
  9. Toptube

    Toptube

    Feb 9, 2009
    Its feature rich, for sure. However, I think you can do better, overall, in the $800 - $1100 new, price range.

    The big thing which keeps me from liking it more, is that I don't trust Ibanez' generic bridges. They oxidize quickly, can then start pitting. And the saddles are prone to vibrating and buzzing, when set low.
     
  10. tercesyrev

    tercesyrev

    Oct 12, 2006
    Chicago, IL
    I believe the saddles are custom made for the AeroSilk piezos. I couldn't agree more about the generic stuff Ibanez (or any other mfr) uses on their low level stuff. But the saddles and bridge assembly seems to be of a higher quality, at least in the short time I've had it. No vibrating or buzzing.

    It would have been really cool if they used mono rail bridges similar to those on their Premium and Prestige models.
     
  11. CORBS

    CORBS

    Dec 28, 2010
    I've had 6 Ibanez basses, and 2 bad (unturnable) truss rods, but never a problem with the bridges.
     
  12. froghat

    froghat Supporting Member

    Jun 14, 2009
    Rhinebeck, NY
    I have one and I love the mwah it gets. I'm using the original flats on it and for melodic lines it really sings. No complaints about the bridge, and I haven't tried to touch the truss rod. I like the piezo pickup (pretty much use it exclusively, with the other 2 pickups turned off). I agree with the advice to buy it used. For whatever reason, Ibanez basses don't command much resale value and I bought this one (4-string) for $700 including the hard case.
     
  13. rmayer

    rmayer Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2008
    Boynton Beach, FL
    Thanks to everyone for your opinions and comments. I bought a used Ibanez Portamento and can't wait to get it. It's only a few months old and I got a great price, you were right on the money froghat, no pun intended. This one's from a Music Store and I even have a three day return window. From what I've heard on Youtube and previous experience with SR series necks (and for the under $700 price tag), and especially the weight, I think this will be a keeper.
     
  14. Ken J

    Ken J Hartford Hot Several Brass Band

    Aug 19, 2011
    Middlefield, CT
    I have been watching for a good deal on a used one. Had a SR500 and like it a lot but moved onto fretless. Past up a good deal on a SRF500 a year ago but liked the 700 wood better. Not a priority but on the list.
     
  15. rmayer

    rmayer Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2008
    Boynton Beach, FL
    There's a nice used one on TB now for $650 shipped. Check out the Bass Classifieds. I believe it's Telefunkinu-47.
     
    Ken J likes this.
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