Ibanez Bass Quality...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by PanteraFan, Apr 4, 2001.

  1. OK, I want your opinions on Ibanez basses, and I want specific reasons for your opinion. Why you think they sound weak, etc... Whatever. Just no 'Ibanez sucks' with no reasons, please.
  2. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Have you tried to perform a "search" on this topic? It's been done, probably hundreds of times...
  3. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    They do seem to have a very high incidence of problems being reported on the web. I've never owned one, but the ones I played, (SR's), turned me off. I thought the electronics were just plain weak - miserable low end, good mids, thin and lifeless highs (maybe it was the factory strings).

    Plus the strings/action was way too flexible, (read, "floppy"), for me. When you played them without amplification it sounded like some dog was getting into the trashcans.

    I imagine their higher end ED's are pretty good. Gary Willis' basses have been so modded, they're barely Ibanez.
  4. I like Ibanez for a few reasons.

    1) The thin necks. They claim to have the thinnest
    5 string necks in the industry. I don't know if they do, but judging the ones I played, they are so comfortable. I've tried an EDB 605 GP, an Ergodyne,
    What a bass! The sound was great, and I almost didn't realize I was playing a 5. Overall very nice. In fact when I took it off the wall, I didn't know what bass it was; I was checking out a flanger, and grabbed the first bass that was there. I also played
    an SR 885. Also very good. I also played a few of the low end models(forgot the numbers) no complaints.

    2) They are an excellent bass for the money. If you
    look at them objectively, they have very good features; Good looks, good sound, a wide model/price range. They fill a spot somewhere between the traditional Fender type basses, and the high end stuff a lot of us can't afford.

    3) I own a 21yr old Musician. If 20 years of owning
    a bass doesn't prove it stands the test of time, I don't know what to tell you. Everything still works fine, and it's got active electronics.

    I know alot of guys out there have no time for Ibanez, but, unless you got a lemon, I don't understand why. Any Company can put out a bad bass here and there; look at all the complaints about MIM and other Fenders. I'm not trying to compare them to Alembics, Zons, Smiths or other high end French toast, but, they are good basses
    at a good price.

    Just my pair o'pennies

    Mike J.
  5. if you can spend around $500-$600 U.S., then i really suggest trying out the lower end Ibanez BTB series basses. Those are GREAT for the price. some of the soundgears i dont like too much. if you replace the electronics on the SR you got yourself a good bass.
  6. Flea24


    Apr 7, 2000
    i dont know why you guys are saying they suck they are good i have a sdgr300 and its good the sound isnt weak maybe your amp is weak they have fast necks and the electronics work fine i have never had any problems
  7. Ibanez is a great brand...i think anything above a GSR is good...Soundgears, BTBs, EDCs, and EDBs...they're all great...they aren't "the best," but you can do ANYTHING with an Ibanez...play almost anything with an Ibanez...Ibanez's look soooo pretty...BOTTOM LINE: IBANEZ IS GOOOOOD!!!
  8. alx564


    Jul 31, 2000
    Emmaus, PA
    I have likes and dislikes about Ibanez as I'm sure many others do.

    Likes: The price is great. Very good for the beginner basses. The neck is very slim and fast. They are light which I like in a bass. This really doesn't effect my decisions on buying a bass but they do look good which is a plus. I think the bass itself sounds pretty darn good.

    Dislikes: The B on some of there basses are pretty loose. There is a lot of fret buzzing. The factory standard electronics are rather bland. It is difficult to get the sound you have been searching for. If you replace the preamp though it sounds very nice.

    So when you go with Ibanez you are going to have to be willing to make some sacrifices. Overall though I believe they are worth what you pay for and I don't like all those people out there who play $1,000 basses then complain about a $400 Ibanez, its just not fair.
  9. oo0o00o0oo


    Apr 30, 2000
    I have a SDGR810 that the friendly folks at GC suckered me into buying. It's not terrible, but it doesn't make me happy to play it. Its just plain eh, and my I have huge hands, and the lil toothpick neck makes my hands hurt sometimes. Why do I still have it you may ask? The resale value. Resale value you may ask, what resale value? None!
  10. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    <font color=red>Reasons a lot of people don't like Ibanez.</font>

    I like my Soundgear 6 string. Has a fast neck, and great unplugged tone. But the preamp in it is junk. I am considering either replacing the preamp or selling the bass and getting a better 6.

    All 5 of my other basses sound much better than the Ibanez. That's to be expected of Pedulla and Zon, but what about Fender, Electra-Westone and a cheap Peavey?

    :oops:Sorry that this is so long!:D
  11. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    No Ibanez sucks, huh? OK, Ibanez blows. Just trying to help. That's all.
  12. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    My Soundgear 6 string sounds weak through every amp that I have played it through. 130 watt Peavey, 125 watt SWR and a 200 watt Eden, all combo amps. My other 5 basses do not sound weak through these amps. That tells me that it must be the electronics in the Ibanez. Not that hard to figure out.

    It sure is a pretty bass though. Here's a pic.:D

  13. AssMan


    Dec 2, 2000
    Minnesota, USA
    With the SR's replacing the pre-amp is the key to unlocking a good bass. The BTB's are great basses and look bitchin'. I don't have much experience with the ED(egrodine)line, but they're made in the same place and with similar materials as the cort curbow, so they can't be that bad. The SR 5-strings have the narrowest string spacing I've ever seen, which is great for picking and finger style but, it sucks for slapping. Though it's good for slapping training(I learned to slap on my SR305DX, and now I can slap way better and ALOT cleaner than I could before, especially when I use wider spacing.) I have big hands so the 4 string SR's feel like toys, but the 5 is real comfy. I'd still like a fatter neck and wider spacing though. Also the SR's are good basses for the $ when you replace the pre-amp, but there are quite a few better basses for $ out there. Oh yeah almost forgogt about the B string. SR's have good B's as long as the string isn't around 2/3 dead. After it's 2/3s dead, it gets real clunky. The strings aren't floppy either, you must have played one with light gage strings. Heavy gages improve SR's B and sound quite a bit.
  14. alx564


    Jul 31, 2000
    Emmaus, PA
    I think almost all Ibanezs are made at Cor-Tek and not just the ED line. That is what I heard.
  15. NJXT


    Jan 9, 2001
    Lyon, FRANCE
    I had two Ibanez, a SR800 which was really excellent for the money (what a neck !) and a SR405 (my first 5 strings) which was ... fine, that's all.
    I had the 800 for almost 10 years and never had one problem with it.
    I do think they're worth the money but it's true that changing the preamp can greatly improve the sound.
    I understand that some people don't like the famous SR thin necks but they're not bad bass at all.
  16. The main reason I asked this question is because all the music stores in my area(Manchester, England) only stock the GSR, SR and a couple of EDC's. And that's all 9 stores in my area.
    I considered buying a GSR200 as my first bass, but I played one and the frets seemed improperly filed, cutting my hand. I then played an SR300DX and it was nice, but lacked the tonal variety I would want. I haven't played any other SR's yet, but I played two 4-string EDC700's the other day. Apart from having action so low that an open E had a little buzz, the basses were great. I would have gone to work with an Allen key and some fat DR's to get the woomph, but the bass felt comfortable to play.

    As for thin/fat necks, I suppose I'm lucky because my hands are 'medium'. I can adapt my hands to thin necks, or I can quite comfortably get my hands round a 6. Problem is I don't like to, as I play them and its easy to do once mastered, but I concentrate too much on hand posture. I feel that you should spend your time worrying about fretting rather than avoiding carpal tunnel syndrome.

    Anyway, can anyone tell me which of the lower priced Ibanez is the 'threshold' for quality? I like the looks of these things, and it seems that the quality is low as you proceed up the range, then you hit the SR500's etc. and the things turn into good basses. Ditto ED and BTB.
  17. sams


    Mar 20, 2001
    East Orange, NJ
    I own a SR405 5string and I am content with it. I just replaced the strings with some DR Hibeams and my slapping sounds alot better. I see that alot of people said the downside is mostly with the preamp. I am looking into replacing mine as well but overall I love my baby!
  18. Well, it seems as though we have a lot more yays than nays.(personally I think horses should keep their opinions to themselves.)

    I guess I'm a little prejudiced because I bought mine
    such a long time ago during what I've heard described as Ibanez' "Golden Age." I'll post some pix
    when I figure out how to do it.

    This was a good thread with a lot of helpful info.
    Does anyone know of a Co. that makes a drop in pre-amp replacements for Ibanez? I'm really considering one of their 5 strings, possibly an Ergodyne or an SR885. Speaking of Ergodyne, I recently received the 2001 Ibanez catalog, and there's a new, WILD looking Ergodyne(model # escapes me now) that has one magnetic and piezo pickups in the bridge.
    You can see it at: www.musiciansfriend.com

    Panterafan, I can understand your frustration. I've talked with more than a few people from outside the U.S. and I realize how different the "Guitar Buying Scene" is. As far as where the quality starts, I'd just say try a bunch of different models. I'm sure there's good ones and not such good ones in every level, kind of like the MIM Fenders.

    Mike J.
  19. AssMan


    Dec 2, 2000
    Minnesota, USA
    A carvin pre-amp should fit right in a SR405, though you might need to detach the pots from the curcitboard and hook them up with wire(Getting the pots off of there is hard unless you have a good soldering gun). You'd only have to detach them if the spaces between the holes is different but, the curcuitboard will bend a bit and you can bore out the holes a little if you have to. The funky new ED is the EDA, it has a sigal pick-up and monorail saddels wiht piezos in them. It looks sweet, I wonder if they'll make a dual pick-up version with out the piezos?
  20. silvermaneZ


    Oct 10, 2000
    Houston, TX
    2 cents worth.....

    My second bass ever was a 1991 SR 800. I loved that instrument, and only sold it because I discovered Pattitucci and bought a 6 string. The 6 I bought was a Soundgear 1306, which was great for a while. I thought the sound was a little weak and thin, especially in the low register, but I did not gig much with the bass so that was fine. A few months ago I took out the pick ups and electronics from that bass and replaced them with all Bartolini stuff, and it made a world of difference in the tone production.

    Now, with my modern country band, I am playng a EDB 605, one of the ergodyne basses. For what I paid for it, it works fine. Again, the low end is somewhat lacking, especially the low B stuff, but I deal with it.

    Ibanez basses have always been good to me, especially the small necks and string spacing. True, it is almost impossible to slap on one of those things, but you cope. If I had the couple of grand sitting around then I would go out and get myself a good 5 string that had the low end to knock down walls, but for the price and the feel of the bass, I think Ibanez works fine. But with anything, and within reason, the more you pay for something, the better quality and sound you are going to get.