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Buying a 5stringer

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by PharmaPlys, Jan 3, 2013.

What should I do?

Poll closed Jan 13, 2013.
  1. Go for a brand new SR505 - it's well worth the money

    17 vote(s)
  2. As a newbie stay at the SR305...You'll probably learn to love it.

    8 vote(s)
  3. Get the SR885 - it's a good bass at a good price!

    16 vote(s)
  4. Wait for the perfect, used SR505...or find something else

    24 vote(s)
  1. PharmaPlys


    Jan 3, 2013
    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
    Yamaha RBX375

    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?
  2. 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
  3. PharmaPlys


    Jan 3, 2013
    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).
  4. StuartV

    StuartV Finally figuring out what I really like Supporting Member

    Jul 27, 2006
    Manassas, VA
    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.
  5. PharmaPlys


    Jan 3, 2013
    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:
  6. basslayer


    Jan 3, 2008
    Tyler, TX
    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?
  7. Technotitclan

    Technotitclan Lurking TB from work

    Mar 1, 2012
    Rochester, NY
    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.
  8. Wallace320

    Wallace320 Commercial User

    Mar 19, 2012
    Milan, Italy
    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

  9. stiles72


    Mar 20, 2009
    Albany IL
    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!

  10. scottfeldstein

    scottfeldstein Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    West Bend, Wisconsin
    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.
  11. BluesOnBass

    BluesOnBass Supporting Member

    Dec 17, 2010
    Holland, Michigan
  12. Plucky The Bassist

    Plucky The Bassist ZOMG! I'm back from the dead! Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2010
    Houston, TX
    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.
  13. Uncorked


    Feb 16, 2012
    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.
  14. Epitaph04

    Epitaph04 Always puts some stank on it Supporting Member

    Jul 5, 2010
    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.
  15. Andy_D


    Nov 28, 2009
    Corpus Christi, TX
    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.
  16. 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.
  17. VinKreepo


    Nov 13, 2009
    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)
  18. PharmaPlys


    Jan 3, 2013
    @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?
  19. rimbaud

    rimbaud Banned

    Nov 17, 2011
    Take a SR71 you'll get faster ..... oh sorry probably yet done this one hu.... :D
  20. scottfeldstein

    scottfeldstein Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    West Bend, Wisconsin
    How much heavier, exactly? The 505 barely weighs anything at all.