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Ibanez Premium Advice

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by JackPR, Nov 21, 2020.

  1. JackPR

    JackPR Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2020
    I am looking into a Premium Ibanez SR Bass and can get the Aguilar pickup model for the same price as the Nordstrand model I like, and the basses seem basically identical aside from the pickups. I am unclear on something and because I live in Puerto Rico, the only high end basses stores really carry are Fender and the ocasional Yamaha. I more or less understand the difference in the noise as one has single coils and the other has hum buckers, but I am unclear on 2 things.

    1) Is EQ bypass switch the same as an active/passive switch? Can I use them with no battery?

    2) Do the single coils hum? I have tried high end pickups and custom shop pickups that have a violent hum simply because they are single coil (Might have had to do with mediocre active electronics job), but I've also tried Fender Jazz Basses where unless the outlet is problematic there is 0 hum when singling out either pickup, so I am unclear on what is making such drastic differences in the hum and don't know how the active eq would affect that.

    If anyone has experience with the single coils constantly humming I will probably go Aguilar but in terms of sound the single coils do seem a little better, since I have been recording a lot straight into my interface I can't stand limiting myself to 1 pickup blend setting simply to avoid hum.

    For reference, these are the models I am comparing:

    Ibanez Premium SR2405W Bass Guitar - Caribbean Green Low Gloss

    Ibanez Premium SR1605B Bass Guitar - Caribbean Shoreline Flat

    If there are any other significant differences between these models that you think I should consider feel free to mention it as I won't make the purchase until I sell some of the basses I currently have.
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2020
  2. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    The EQ bypass switch removes the EQ from the circuit. It does not disable the buffer.
  3. JackPR

    JackPR Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2020
    Does this mean it doesn't work without a battery? I am new to electronics and new to recording, I used to just buy the basses I liked stock and not even process what pickups they had but this is probably the most I've spent on a bass so I want to be absolutely clear on my decision
  4. The SR Premium is really using an active/passive switch & will function w/o a battery.
    I'm not sure why they incorrectly changed the nomenclature last year!

    2 - yes, but they're still the quietest single-coil pickups I've used

    stop using SW's ad-copy to compare, look directly at Ibanez's site, I've spotted too many errors on SW's site
    The Aguilars are full-length humbuckers!

    IMHO the Aguilars just sound like any other bass pickups, but the Big-Singles are something special.

    FWIW, SW also thinks the Zen-Blades in the Strandberg are single-coils.
  5. JackPR

    JackPR Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2020
    Thanks for clearing everything up! and yeah I even tried calling Sweetwater but they use their own website to check the info even though in the picture I can tell they aren't single coil, so I could tell they were only going to confuse me more. I have seen mostly good things about the Nordstrand so I am honestly considering going for it regardless if the sound really is that different. I have no idea how hum buckers would sound passive, but at this point I see no reason to consider it given the extra price for a seemingly less impressive sound. I already have a passive bass that leans more towards the passive vintage side so an aggresive tone like that sounds perfect. I'll double check the Ibanez website anyways for any other possible minor changes.
    Killed_by_Death likes this.
  6. Aidil


    Dec 4, 2014
    Jkt, IDN
    1. It depends on the manufacturer, but yes, on those two particular basses and also Ibanez basses from more recent years. As far as 2016 built, I can use my Ibanez basses with an EQ on/off switch with a dead battery/no battery installed by flicking the switch to off (passive) position;
    2. Also depends. Basically no hum when the pickup balance knob is at center. But yes, on some places without good electricity grounding, based on experience with my BTB Premium equipped with the Big Singles, they can still produce hum despite the balance knob is at center. Some say it's because the Big Singles are basically jazz single coil on steroids. Each has more windings on the coil, which would emphasize hum in some places with "dirty" electricity.
    Other significant difference of the two models asked is the wide 18 mm string spacing at bridge on the SR2405W vs. 16.5 mm on the SR1605B, which is more desirable for some, but might be a no go for others.
    JackPR likes this.
  7. Standalone


    Jan 17, 2005
    New Haven
    KBD and I have a running friendly disagreement on this.

    I owned a Nordstrand equipped 1200e and it got sold off. Never was happy with it. Thin, baked in tone.

    I played the Aguilar equipped 2400 (four string version of what you are considering) and was in heaven. Best pickups I’ve played in a mass produced bass.

    It depends on your tone goals.
    sonojono, Zooberwerx and JackPR like this.
  8. Shoreline is dope.

    They both look good. Just depends on if you want singles or buckers. I'd pick the singles. But, that's just me.
    JackPR likes this.
  9. JackPR

    JackPR Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2020
    My main bass is a Reverend Mercalli 5 that, while it is passive, has a very large sound, but still has a vintage feel like a reverse p with a jazz (the thick brick sounds more like a beefy jazz than a music man). Because of that, I'm leaning towards whatever sounds a little modern. I know hum buckers generally have a good sound but I have tried the Barts on my BTB 676M and always lover them, but I think single coil pickups, especially ones that are apparently "on steroids", sounds more like what I am looking for out of a bass. I am a little concerned about the tight string spacing compared to what I've been using recently, but I honestly don't think it will be a big deal since the BTB was my go-to for a while and 17mm was very comfortable. Only reason I even stopped using it was cause 35" scale got uncomfortable for practicing every day, hence the switch to vintage feeling basses and soundgears. Given the similarities in everything else, it also makes sense to pick the slightly cheaper one up new, since the 2405 would be priced similarly for a used model or 100 more for a new one, and me being from PR makes the Caribbean look feel more personal in a way. Worst case scenario, I could probably swap the Nord model for the Aguilar with the guy who was making a deal and he wouldn't bat an eye, but I have a feeling I am going to prefer the tight string spacing and the Nordstrand pups. If I ever need a beefier tone, I always have the Mercalli that shines at exactly that, I just want something that cuts through a mix differently. Thank you all for the advice!
  10. Rob112


    Sep 9, 2015
    I have the 2405 and yea can play with no battery and it is a quiet bass. I love the thing.
    steelbed45 and Standalone like this.
  11. alaskaleftybass

    alaskaleftybass Will Hanbury, Jr. Supporting Member

    Mar 21, 2012
    Sitka, Alaska
    I found the Aguilars too "vintage" for my taste. Not enough midrange punch and sizzle. Some nice crispness but very vintage. I own the SR1200L with Nordstrands and they are very quiet even under lights. Very punchy, expressive, bright, crisp, and punchy thumpy tone. I'm converting my other Ibanez basses to Nordy's and will leave them passive. Go for the Nordstrands.
    sonojono likes this.
  12. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    I bought a second-hand 1405 and the seller had replaced the Big Singles with the Big Splits Humbuckers...didn't ask why but I'm sure he had his reasons. Active volume = bypassed volume but, overall, the bass is a little quieter than my other 5 strings. If purchasing new, I'd aim for the Aggies just to have something different plus I lean more towards the "vintage" vibe as @alaskaleftybass described.

    Oh, yeah...ol' bright boy here has been using-up a stockpile of Dunlop SuperBright SS & nickel strings. I need to move into something with an attenuated top-end.

  13. aproud1

    aproud1 Don't surround yourself with yourself. Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2007
    Cincy, OH
    The SR2405W has wider string spacing at the bridge that many prefer. My 2405 sounded great in all setting including passive and really was the first Ibanez I owned where I actually liked the preamp. If someone asked me to recommend an Ibanez 5 string it would be the G105, ANB205 or SR2405W.

    Never played a 1605. But that whole series seems to be similar shades of good. Just with 16.5 mm bridge string spacing.
  14. fast slapper

    fast slapper

    Dec 11, 2001
    Fresno, CA
    Either pickup will be good. I would go for Aguilar for extra insurance against noise.

    I changed out the Singles for Q-tuners and disconnected the tone cap. Really opened up the tone.
  15. nilorius

    nilorius Inactive Suspended

    Oct 27, 2016
    Riga - Latvia
    In Your active electrionics there can be a switch that just enables and disables eq, and there can be a volume push pull pot, that enables/disables active electronics, mostly brand modes got that push pull complete electronics control. And yes, if You are in passive mode, you have some db lower sound, but still in game without a battery. Single coil pickups hum and hum just a little, model selection and active/passive electronics. If You have some vintage type single coils with passive electronics You will get a pretty big hum on high volumes.
  16. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

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