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Ibanez RD505

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Dr. Cheese, Mar 16, 2006.

  1. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I know Ibanez does not get much love here, but you guys do not want to sleep on the RD505. I got one last week as a backup to my 55-02 and the more I play it, the more I'm impressed. The build quality is very solid, as are most mid priced ($450) basses out of Korea these days. The body is basswood with a maple veneer and sunburst finish. The bass in the picture is from the website, but mine is nearly identical. The tuners are solid, the bass stays in tune after being put in the gig bag and being transported. The bridge is pretty large and seems solid also. The scale is 34" and the B string is nice and tight with clear notes and good definition. Ibanez seems to be improving here because the first RD505 I ever played was weak in terms of its b string.

    The electronics of this bass are sweet. The volume can be pulled up for a coil tap that allows this bass to have a configuration similar to a Jazz bass, much like the 55-02 (my main bass.) The preamp is two band, which is fine with me. I can get a fair amount of tone oout of this bass. For my taste, the treble is way to powerful, if turned all the way up, the sound is pretty glassy and brittle. The slap is also weak with max treble, however, turn the treble down to half, and this bass really comes to life. The sound is much more organic, with a bit of a vintage vibe. I was playing this bass through my Yorkville XM200 2x10 and really filled up the church sanctuary.

    I also have to mention the pickups. They are Seymour Duncan designed, and they give this bass a powerful personality. The MM style humbucker sounds really bright and agressive when soloed, but it does not quite capture the Stingray sound (which is fine with me.) Usability of the bridge humbucker totally solo is an area where this bass shines in relation to several other SC/H basses that I have owned or played such as Bart equipped 55-02/55-94, USA Peavey Millennium V, or the SC/H Bongo. On those basses, the back humbucker sounds more like a fat Jazz bridge pup instead of a powerful humbucker, I suppose the difference with the Ibanez is partially the Duncan deisgn pup, and the pickup may be closer to the Stingray postion (I may have to measure.)
    Either way, I really like the way the humbucker on the RD505 sounds great soloed.

    The bottom line is that the RD505 is a great sounding bass, and since it is $200 cheaper than a Tribute or Skyline 55-01, it is in my opinion, the cheapest really good bass on the market that I know of. It is no wonder that Rufus Philpot gave his Ken Smith a rest and picked up a RD505, it's that good.
    Big Ginger Bass and Root 5 like this.
  2. Nice Review, Doc.

    This one is officially on my "Must play for a while" list. :bassist:
  3. It's seems like a fair amount of online dealers are not carry this model :(
    Does anyone know an online dealer who is carry this one?

    Does anyone know the string spaceing at the bridge, and the nut width?
  4. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I have not measured the string spacing, but I would guess that it is close to 19mm. My Lakland is 19mm and I really don't notice a change when I go from the 55-02 to the RD505 like I did when I had a Lakland and a Stingray 5, for instance.
  5. Eilif

    Eilif Holding it down in K-Town. Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2001
    Definately a nice bass. I played a rd900 a while back and was impressed, but my 55-01 is better looking and better playing. Though it must be said that the 505 should be serieously considered by anyone who is in the $400-450 range.

    It was only a matter of time before someone decided to take a serious shot at making a quality affordable copy of a Lakland. This incarnation of the RD series has lasted a couple of years, so it must have been reasonably successfull
  6. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    Better looking and better playing are subjective evaluations. I have owned a 55-01 and I would consider the RD505 on par with it in terms of playability. As for looks, the 55-01 is made of more expensive materials and it shows. Still, I say that at $450, the RD505 has got to be one of the least expensive good basses available.
  7. oorun


    Jan 13, 2006
    Hi there! this is my first post. Today, I bought one of this bass from Istanbul. My first ideas about this bass are, easy to play, wide tone selection and such a heavy guitar. It cost me about 550$. This is cash price. I tried the seller to make some discount but he didn't.
  8. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I didn't remeber mine being heavy, but I thought it sounded fine. Good luck with yours!:bassist:
  9. I own an RD600 which is very similar to the current RD900. Funny like a lot of guys I bought this as a back up and now I find myself taking it to gigs as the preferred bass. Nice action, very solid sounds, looks good (so many poeple comment on this honey-burst maple capping!). Doesn't balance well in your lap - but I guess that's down to Ibanez going for a style like the Lakland shape - but not much worse than a Jazz for that. At the price you can get the RD900 it's a great buy. Don't expect to see these around for long though as they don't seem to be too fashionable. If you already have a great/expensive bass - these are a great backup. If you have a cheap bass, these are a brilliant step up - I use mine out on gigs and lessons all the time over my Mex Jazz.
  10. Played one today, trying out an amp (nemesis nc115, which I then went and bought online used for half the price :ninja: ). Very nice bass indeed. Quite similar to my ATK's. I have to say, I know they are somewhat Lakland-inspired, but the ATK 400 series had the bridge humbucker/neck jazz/chunky bridge (albeit a LOT chunkier than even the RD bridge) thang going on years ago, so I don't think the RD's are just Lakland knockoffs - to some degree they're revivals of the ole' ATK, which can only be a good thing!

  11. Yep - I agree they seem to slot into a big hole that the ATK's left. I wouldn't like to place them in the 'knock-off' catagory though as there's a whole lot of people making basses with that single cut look. As we don't normally hook a thumb over the top it's surprising that the double cut really took on - I suppose it was Fender styling the Jazz on an offset 'strat' shape that started it. If you wanted to be real radical you could have a body that morphed into the neck for a long way up but the balance on a bass is always the problem. That's why the BTB balances better the the RD - body shape, small tuners, small headstock - so the balance point is between the two bouts and sits very nicely on your lap. Surprised that Fender have stayed with the big tuners made from steel and not gone to titanium for lightness and better balance.
  12. martyonbass


    Dec 16, 2009
    I played one of these in a Pawn Shop. It has shown some signs of wear, but I am intrigued with the layout. It's definitely a very good J/MM bass. Never thought to pull up on the ratio nob. I'm thinking on it now, but it was REALLY inexpensive in the store. So I'm on the fence.
  13. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    If it's cheap, buy it.
  14. These were always underated. i played my RD600 at a rock school week and every bass player wanted to know what it was and where they could they buy one. I should have nbeen on a deal for how many sold! These are just like an inexpensive MusicMan bass from Ibanez. Ibanez made them for a year or two and then baled on the idea. But they play great, sound great, and have lots of sounds. They play justlike any $500 bass you can find s/h - so if its less than $500 buy it - you won't be dissappointed.
  15. The RD 600 and RD 900 are a match for any bass in the $750 area secondhand. The RD600, like mine, had the Seymour Duncan pickups installed as original equipment, the next year of production they switched to an Ibanez version made by SD. I feel I have a MM that I paid $450 for! This is my goto bass - which started out as a spare for my Fender Jazz bass - but it was easier to play, sounded better, was an active bass, so more range than the jazz, and it was just better balanced when standing up. Done deal.
  16. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis

    That is probably the best review I ever wrote on TB. It blows my mind that I went through a 55-02 and a RD505, and I totally forgot I ever owned a Yorkville XM-200 combo!

    That is all the more reason that I will not sell my Cirrus or fretless Jazz. Letting go of good basses just leads to waste.
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2014
  17. Yes I agree DR - turning over basses is way too easy and just costs money. Most guys really just need a pair of basses - one as a spare. the RD 600 and 900 make great back up basses or budget number one basses. After that you just need something like a Precision, a Jazz, or a Melody Maker. If you are going to do pro work you need a great, classic first bass, and then something you take for insurance if anything goes wrong (not string breaks and minor stuff because you'll have some spares of those as well). As a pro you have to make the books balance and actually make real money to live on - so buying several basses and experimenting with buying and selling stuff is just not the pros way. 2 basses, 2 amps, 1 pre amp/ DI / processor box. Job done.
    joekuo0309 and Dr. Cheese like this.
  18. martyonbass


    Dec 16, 2009
    I do enjoy trying out new basses, but I could see that if something like the RD 505 did basically all the sounds that I like: HH Modern brutal Slap, JJ Classic Slap, single J Jaco and solo, JJ finger style, MM Sadē, and a more blunt P sound from a MM/J mix, them I could see not having as many basses. Maybe the 505 would do that, but maybe not. it would be nice having all of those sounds under one roof ( at a price that allows you to have a home mortgage too).

    Another bass turnover theory that I have used is if you think of every bass but your main bass is really a rental. if you used a 500$ bass for 3 years and slowly tired of the sound, when you sell it for say 250$, that's the same as renting the bass for like 85$ a year. That's really a great deal for the 3 years you had and enjoyed it. Now give somebody else a shot at it. Set it free
  19. martyonbass


    Dec 16, 2009
    Not gonna believe it. I grabbed the RB505 for $129, threw some rounds on it, and played it all night at the gig. This is gonna be fun. Gotta work with the pickup heights and figuring out that pull coil. But it felt very solid without being heavy, And output was precise. All pan positions put out plenty of full sound, so I can pan at will without having to do much eq-ing.
  20. pc131


    Nov 20, 2012
    I just grabbed RD505SB for ~200$. Like mint condition. Before this one I had OLP MM2. This one has much more sonic options. But is also heavier. Here are the pics:









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