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Anybody have experience with an Ibby SRAS 7 ?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by SpazzTheBassist, Sep 9, 2018.

  1. SpazzTheBassist


    Jun 20, 2006
    I'm seriously debating on treating myself to one after RN school.......Anybody have experience with these? I can find a lot of uses for this in the show/function bandwork I do...but I utilize a lot of low notes on a 5-string in those situations, which this doesnt have......I do use "faux fretless" technique as needed currently but there is nothing like the sound of real "mwah".....

  2. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    central NY state
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    You could always restring (and re-nut) the 4 string part as BEAD, couldn't you? Wouldn't lose any range overall if you're planning on using the fretless for the high notes.
    SpazzTheBassist likes this.
  3. SpazzTheBassist


    Jun 20, 2006
    I play a lot of slap bass parts in classic funk stuff where I need the "G" string
    bholder likes this.
  4. Aidil


    Dec 4, 2014
    Jkt, IDN
    My SRAS7 is literally the only bass with E to G tuning that I have right now.

    I've always been with low-B string ever since I had my first 5 string bass roughly 26 years ago and I'm lost without one. It was psychologically challenging when I had to play rented bass and the available one was only standard tuning 4 string bass.

    But with the SRAS7 is different. I didn't feel such problem with it, despite next to the E string isn't the low-B.
    SpazzTheBassist likes this.
  5. dustbunnies


    Nov 5, 2018
    Hong Kong
    I've had one of these little beasts for a few weeks now, so perhaps you'd be interested in some initial impressions...?

    First of all, I love the fretless side. I mean, I really love it. So much so, that after a few days I seriously considered whether I should take the SRAS7 back and just go for a standard fretless, like the SRF700 or SRF705. I finally decided not to do that, but the SRF has now subsequently made it onto my GAS list.

    Next, I've been attempting to play this as a single integrated instrument, rather than as having two basses available slung around my shoulder (like a doubleneck). That has been a bit challenging for me. There's a difference in the fretboard heights for the two sides, with which I have a love/hate relationship. On one hand it helps to orient you vertically as to which set of strings you're fingering, but on the other it is a bit jarring to have this "step" chunked right down the middle of the fretboard, especially when you're trying to play lines spanning both sides.

    My other challenges have been mostly mental. Getting used to having a high 'G' directly above your low 'E' is a bit of a paradigm switch, and I still need time to get used to moving vertically upwards and suddenly jumping higher by a +octave in pitch. I know that this arrangement may offer some very interesting fingering possibilities though, so I want to stick with it. Since reading this thread, I may consider switching the fretted half to 'BEAD', since I'm wondering if the interaction between a low 'B' and high 'G' may lend itself to more happy accidents than with the standard low 'E'.

    Relatedly, orienting my fingers to play both fretted and fretless notes simultaneously takes a bit of extra work too. Of course, to keep a note in tune on the fretless side, one has to place the fingertip exactly where the fret would be. For a fretted neck though, you finger right behind the actual fret. Combining both those into a single fingering gets a bit messy and I can get all sloppy with the pitch very easily, especially when I'm trying to hold a low pedal-tone up and down the 'E' or 'B' string and then play melodies on the fretless neck over the top of that. It's going to take more time for me to get used to that, it seems.

    Finally, as much as I love the fretless' feel and sound, I'm still struggling with pulling the best tone from the fretted side. I am really NOT a big fan of that "new string" piano-wire sound (aside from when its used for slapping and popping, which I don't do a lot of, so definitely YMMV). In fact, I'm pretty certain that if I'd seen that video above before laying hands-on this bass, I never would have even picked it up in the store. Luckily, both fretted and fretless sides sound much more full than you can hear in that video. The fretted side still sounds too clanky for my tastes, so I'm working that out at the moment. The good news is that I can hear good things buried in there, so the right stuff is present. But I'd much rather pull the sound from it by changing out string types or similar measures, rather than always having to rely on outboard to get a good tone.

    Anyway, sorry to go on a bit, but hope that helps.

    Last edited: Nov 7, 2018

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