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Ibanez ATK Questions

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by SabreChris, Mar 19, 2009.

  1. SabreChris


    Mar 19, 2009
    I am a guitar player of 20 years and I just ordered an Ibanez ATK 750qm from MF, sight unseen.

    I needed a bass for recording and writing basslines although Im not a great bass player. I previsouly owned a mid 90s Japanese SR400 or 800. It was a fast "playable" bass. Almost like a cross between a guitar and a bass. I later has a cheap asian P-bass that had a more substantial feel that I liked but the electronics, fit/finish, and tone (*** is agathis?) were a nightmare.

    So I went to GC to check out the new Soundgear basses, and they are now made in indonesia, and seem to be using a less dense wood than my mahogany Ibanez sabres. I would never pay $700 for an indonesia guitar with such light wood. Also, IMO, a bass guitar should feel at least twice as substantial/solid as a guitar.

    There was a $500 scracth n' dent special on the 750qm antique sunburst which I should get in a few days. Everything Ive read says its a big heavy bass with lots of attitude and tonally versatile. And it looks great.

    I'm going to need to decide if I should keep it. Obvisouly if there is a major problem it goes right back. I try to buy used/cheap so that if I need to sell I dont lose too much.


    I just found that they were closing these out for $350 a week ago! Was that only the KOA finish ones or an older model year? The new Antique Burst ones are retailing for $700. Are the resale value of these really bad? If this guitar is in good shape, how much is it worth resale?

    Are the 750s going to hold more value than the 700s or 300s? Are they all made in Korea or did they change the manufacturing location somewhere along the way?

    Is the neck pickup worth it? I read some reviews of the older AT 700 and they loved it but wished it had a neck pickup. Then I read reviews of guys with the 750 who say the neck pickup is kinda useless. If this thing needs to go back, I could get a used 700 or buy a new 300 from MF.

    Are there any fit/finish/setup issues I should be aware of with this guitar? (Neck problems or other common to this line?)

    Thanks. I am really excited about this, I havent bought a "new" guitar from a store since 1997.
  2. vicvon


    Dec 13, 2008
    You said you are a guitar player not a bass player? I hope you have fairly large hands cause the neck is fat in comparison to the soundgear basses. I find it more difficult to play than my squier P or Schecter 004 because of it. The fit and finish on my ATK 700 was very good so at least give it a chance. Who knows, you may like the fatter neck.
  3. SabreChris


    Mar 19, 2009
    THe neck is fatter than a P-bass? I was thinking it would be the same, didn't expect ibanez to go even fatter than the benchmark traditional design.
  4. ThunderV

    ThunderV Is getting yelled at by his cat!! Supporting Member

    Mar 26, 2007
    Brunswick, OH
    I picked up an ATK about a week ago. I think it is fantastic. The neck is fat, the body is awkward, and it is one heavy mofo. In all seriousness it sounds and plays so much better than I ever expected it to. I did not get the model with the neck pickup, but the bridge pickup is capable of a "p-bassesque" sound as well as a "stingrayesque" sound. I don't think that you will be disappointed.
    kkaarrll likes this.
  5. The neck isn't bigger than a P-bass, but it is bigger than most Ibanez bass necks. The bodies generally aren't too heavy in the grand scheme of basses either.

    My main experience is with my ATK400. This is an older ATK, which also has the J style neck pickup.

    It has a good mix of sounds and an excellent pre amp. My only peeve with the neck pickup is that it seems to have a bit of a higher output than the bridge pickup settings. You can get a good range of sounds from Jazz (ish, very "ish) sounds, to a pretty good P sound, and a pretty good Stingray sound (though lacking the finer details and high end of the sound).

    The ATKs I've played have always been great basses and fun to play. I REALLY want one of those 750s with the Koa top, but you can't get them anywhere in the UK.

    Though my experience is mostly with the 400, I'm pretty sure the 750 will be in the same ball park.

    Hope that's some help
  6. SabreChris


    Mar 19, 2009

    Thanks! That helps alot. I wanted something with the thickness and heft of a P-bass, the fit/finish/playability of an Ibanez, and with lots of versatility for recording.

    I think all the ATKs I've seen look great too, but what do I know about bass fashion. . Im a guitarist.
  7. vicvon


    Dec 13, 2008
    The neck is fatter than a P bass.
    P Bass neck = 41.3 mm
    ATK neck = 42.5 mm

    1.2 mm is not much but it is noticeable.
  8. dinghy


    May 27, 2007
    Saratoga, CA
    That's true but it's also much shallower. Everybody says it has a chunky neck but it doesn't feel that chunky because it's not very deep front to back.
  9. vicvon


    Dec 13, 2008
    Actually, if I am not mistaken, the P bass has about a 19.5 mm thickness at first fret and the ATK has a 21 mm thickness at first fret. So it is thicker both ways.
  10. WoodyG3


    May 6, 2003
    Colorado, USA
    IMO the density of the wood isn't something to be concerned with in and of itself. There are plenty of very nice sounding basses out there with light weight bodies.
  11. I don't believe the sunburst finish was part of the close-out. Even if it was...the price on these on the used market has hit the toilet recently (thanks to the close-out pricing), so if you want a cheap deal, they can be had.

    I have a 700. I like it. I don't miss the neck pickup, but that's more of a preference thing. I think the Korean manufacturing is only for the 700/750.

  12. SabreChris


    Mar 19, 2009
    I have been buying and playing Ibanez guitars from the past 15 years and I can tell you that for sure, with the Mahogony Sabres, they have gotten worse in tone as the wood gets lighter.

    My best sounding ones are from the early 90s, the mid 90s ones are ok, the "prestige" ones from 2000+ I wont own. They have been cheaping out on wood quality over the years (at tleast the mahogony has been getting less dense) and I would have thought this is even more important for a bass. Thus I decided to skip the soundgear and get an ATK which should be ash.

    This is all just my observation from the guitars and personal opinion. Some people say less dense wood has its own tonality not necessarily inferior. I can say for sure that some slabs of wood just sound better all around.
  13. htharp


    Feb 4, 2007
    Dallas, Tx
    SabreChris - PM sent to you
  14. The neck certainly isn't fatter front to back, I've not played alot of Ps, but the ones I have played this seems to be true, perhaps that's cos I've played alot of older ones.

    Anyway, regardless of the necks measurements the factory setup is very forgiving, personally I've raised the hell outta mine cos I play quite hard and it gives the strings more then enough breathing space to sound nice and open while doing so.

    The ATK is ash too yes, would be interested to know what kinda ash cos it is kinda heavy (which I haven't got a problem with) but seems heavier then any ash Fender I've come across.

    One piece of advice I'll give is that if your not happy with how deep it''s coming across get it strung through the body, you'll be surprised how bigger difference it makes, I was getting pretty fed up with mine until I tried that.
  15. I love my ATK 700 natural, and it's neck is about on a par with my MIJ P-bass. However, I was disappointed at how quickly these were devalued by MF's blowout clearance prices. Say what you will about Fender, but it might be one of the few investments you can count on increasing in value in today's economy.
  16. SabreChris


    Mar 19, 2009
    The one I got was $500 shipped, SND from MF. On the bay, the lowest I saw for the newer ATK700s was around $500 with shipping.

    Did they move production of the 300s to indonesia?
  17. Don't know exact measurements, but playing side by side, the P-neck always feels much thicker (depth) than the ATK. I'll agree that width-wise they are about the same.
  18. paganjack


    Dec 25, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    I really enjoy the necks on my ATKs. My '95 ATK305 neck is way shallower than my newer ATK750ka neck. But they are both comfortable to play. They can get a real beefy tone- that sounds like it's the kind of bass sound you want.

    IMO the 2nd, 3rd and 4th coil positions (neck+bridge [J-style], bridge solo, humbucker) are the best. The 2nd and 4th are more useable in a band setting, the 3rd I like for solo stuff with harmonics.

    It's a versatile bass. It can definitely do a good approximation of the J, P and Stingray sounds. The preamp is OK, I feel that the bridge pickup is better than the neck pickup. It's not useless per se, but I don't find myself soloing the neck pickup ever. I love the 2nd position for slap...it's so funky.

    As with anything, buying new you won't exactly make money on the resale. Just play it and enjoy it- it sounds like a good fit for your goals.
    kkaarrll likes this.
  19. MF had them on clearance at $229 for the natural--formerly $699.
  20. SabreChris


    Mar 19, 2009

    Holy wow!

    Can't look back, just gotta hope the SND comes to me clean. The antique burst is the best finish I have seen, IMO. Second would be the natural. Beyond that they are about the same to me. The only one I do not like is the KOA.

    Even though they were that inexpensive. I havent seen them showing up on the bay for anything close to that. Hopefully in time the price cuts will be absorbed and the used market will return to normal.

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