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Ibanez SR4000e Prestige vs. Ibanez SR5000e Prestige ?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by mb94952, Oct 10, 2013.

  1. mb94952

    mb94952 Endorsing Artist : SFARZO STRINGS Supporting Member

    Hey TB family and fellow Prestige owners :

    I own an Ibanez SR4000e Prestige and I LOVE it. Well, actually it is technically an SR20th4 but it is identical to the 4000e. It does everything I want it to. The darkness of the mohagony body combined with brightness of the wenge / bubinga neck makes for a full flavored tone.

    I am dying to try the SR5000e though. Do you think the SR5000e would sound brighter and lose some of the nice, warm lows the 4000e gets due to the amount of wenge on the top and bottom ? Or are they two different basses altogether ? In other words, are the similarities in tone close enough that the only real difference is the appearance ?
  2. Thomas Kievit

    Thomas Kievit Guest

    May 19, 2012
    Well.. Although the CONCEPT of the SR4000e is based on the SR20th4 bass, it still a bit different than the SR20th4 due to it's electronics and bridge..

    I would recommend to try the SR5000e for sure. The sound will be a lot brighter and ''snappier'' than the SR4000e cause of the Wenge body top & back plus the Wenge fretboard. I'm pretty sure it's better than having 2 basses that are almost identical IMO ;)
  3. Wallace320

    Wallace320 Commercial User

    Mar 19, 2012
    Milan, Italy
    I'm also convinced SR5000 to be snappier and brighter than SR4000, and a much overall better bass

    If OP can afford it, SR5000 is by far ahead of many bouitique basses out there:)

    coo68ley likes this.
  4. Warmuth


    Aug 6, 2012
    Snappy and bright are not two adjectives I would ever have applied to my 5000e. Dark and woody maybe. It is a fantastic bass but I sold it mainly due to the fact that the tone wasn't great to my ears. If it had been "snappier and brighter" I would have kept it instead of the sr1400.

    Perhaps it may be a brighter bass than your current one but if the electronics are the same don't let those two wenge veneers be fooling you. There would likely be much more difference between the mahogany the body is made from. It's cosmetic imo but it does indeed look great.
  5. mb94952

    mb94952 Endorsing Artist : SFARZO STRINGS Supporting Member

    Well I did upgrade the electronics in my SR20th4 to Nordstrand DC4's, coil taps for each pup, and a Bartolini NTMB 4.6 preamp. It sounds way better now, is dead silent compared to the good sounding yet noisy Bart pups and is probably more versatile than the SR5000e is now. You can see it on my avatar.

    The only real difference between the SR20th 4 is what you said ; the crappy bridge compared to the more refined version on the SR4000/5000, and the vari mid preamp compared to the Power Curve III eq. I am pretty sure the pickups are the same in both, as is the wood.
  6. Thomas Kievit

    Thomas Kievit Guest

    May 19, 2012
    Nice to meet you again, Wallace ;)

  7. Thomas Kievit

    Thomas Kievit Guest

    May 19, 2012
    If you can afford it, go for the SR5000e :)

  8. tercesyrev

    tercesyrev Supporting Member

    Oct 12, 2006
    Chicago, IL
    I purchased the 5006e prestige & the 1206e premium on the GC 30 day trial period. Having to return one of them was very, very difficult but I ended up keeping the 1206 premium and returning the prestige. For my purpose which is mostly live events, I preferred the premium's sound with the nordy's. The premium has a little more punch, sounds a little more aggressive and is tad louder. All which I attribute to the single coils. Actually it sounds a lot like an Ibby BTB Prestige.

    The 5006e prestige was smooth as silk and had very refined sound. Flawless appearance and playability. Stunning really. If I did primarily studio work I would have chosen the prestige. It's dead quiet. One of the most unique, coolest looking basses I've seen. However I thought the pre-amp was weak and just didn't do the rest of the bass justice. (you'll see that complaint in other threads). If I can find a used one I'll probably buy it and gut the electronics because it is an awesome bass.

    It was such a difficult choice to decide but in the end the $900 difference made me go with the 1206 premium. Not really saying the prestige is over priced, especially since it easily ran with or exceeded all the $2000+ fenders, squires, lakelands, etc that I compared it to. I received the same feedback from individuals at the music store.

    I actually think the the 12xx premiums could be under priced for what they are. Incredible value, top of line craftsmanship, playability, feel etc. I'll put it up against any $2K + bass and it will do just fine if not pull ahead.
  9. Hi i got to try a Prestige 5000E just after they arrived in Australia at the offices of the distrubutors thru the then new Promethian bass set up and it was one of the deadest undynamic souning SDGRs ive ever played.. and ive played a lot of them and own 4 of em' in different models from 1987 up til 2008
    Gorgeous looking bass tho'..i played another one too as well and that had a bent shaft on one of the eq knobs..same result sound wise tho'..if you want a lively sounding SDGR id look at a Ash body SR600 series

  10. Warmuth


    Aug 6, 2012
    That is my exact experience. The premiums are really amazing. I've never come across another bass I prefer and have ended up selling some very nice basses including the 5000E because they could not compete with the 1400.
  11. mb94952

    mb94952 Endorsing Artist : SFARZO STRINGS Supporting Member

    Wow, OK you guys really got me on the edge of my seat now.

    Warmuth - I was going to buy your SR5000e , too ! I was so upset when I saw that it sold, but now I wonder.

    So to all of you guys who find the SR1400 Premium so great - What is it about it that you like so much ? Why not the SR1200 ? I went to GC and played both and did find the maple top to have a wonderful tone compared to the ovangkol, so I am assuming your experience is the same. I have a Cirrus with a tiger eye top and I found the SR1400 to have the same vibe ; very lively tone.

    Is it the Nordstrand pups over the Bartolini's, too ? I ditched my Barts and got Nordy DC4's for my Prestige and I love it. But, as you guys know, GAS never goes away, so I am now wanting to add a Premium to the stable.

    For you guys who have owned both Prestige and Premium, how do you find MIJ compared to MII ? That is the million dollar question to me.

    I look forward to your responses !
  12. Thomas Kievit

    Thomas Kievit Guest

    May 19, 2012
    Yep, the difference is the top wood for the 1400 and 1200. The ovangkol will give the sound a bit more ''darkness'' while the maple top is good for more brightness.
  13. mb94952

    mb94952 Endorsing Artist : SFARZO STRINGS Supporting Member

    OK, I understand that part but I really want to know how a made in Indonesia bass wins over a made in Japan bass. Your advice to me (in black and white above) is to get the SR5000e, while 2 TB'er say the opposite. Am I just stuck on the MIJ mystique and overlooking something ?
    This is what intrigues me and where I need more insight.
    If it's simply a matter of electronics, then that's an easy fix.
    Is it the overall "mojo" of the Premium ?
  14. Thomas Kievit

    Thomas Kievit Guest

    May 19, 2012
    I think the ''Mojo'' :p :p I've heared it several times before about the MII being better than the MIJ. but you have to experience for yourself..
  15. Warmuth


    Aug 6, 2012
    The two biggest factors that led me to keep the 1400 over the 5000 were sound and weight. The 1400 blows the 5000 away sonically. Everyone notices the difference in both bands I play in, I get comments all the time on it from other musicians in the crowd as well. It sounds that good. The 5000 was almost a one trick pony for me and I didn't like the trick all that much. The 1400 covers so much more ground tonally and punches like Mike Tyson.

    The weight factor comes in way below in importance but it is there and for whatever reason the 1400 is just more comfortable to play. Granted it's the only premium I've ever owned so it may be "the one" but switching between the two was noticeable in playing effort.

    Had the electronics been reversed between the two I'd have kept the prestige all the way but I would still admit the premium was the better player. Every bass has its nuance though so that may not be true when comparing other basses.

    As for why I chose the 14 and not the 1200, I like the maple look better. Not really a fan of the 1200 looks wise, nor do I like the 1600 diseased poplar but that's just personal preference. I'd prefer some color in the higher end Ibanez's, I wish they had options for it.

    As an aside, if not for the premium I'd have kept and played the prestige over all other basses Ive owned. You've very likely got a killer bass with that prestige that you put the nord's in. You're sort of in the same situation I used to be in, lusting over that sexy wenge top. It's a lot of money to pay for a bass you may end up gutting, unless the barts are your cup of tea.
  16. mb94952

    mb94952 Endorsing Artist : SFARZO STRINGS Supporting Member

    Thanks Warmuth !!!!! That's EXACTLY the answer I was hoping for. You described the differences and similarities and you went into my head KNOWING that I was fantasizing about owning that wenge top !! I do like the diseased (LOL) look of the poplar and the other tops as well on the SR Premiums.

    You are also right that I think my Prestige has been "Premiumed" with the upgrade. So even if (when) I add a Premium to the stable, the pickups and preamp will be different than what I have now, so there will still be diversity in my basses. Thanks again !!!!!
    So here is my Prestige now - My band mates think this is the best sounding bass I own. Those Nordy's are amazing !!

  17. tercesyrev

    tercesyrev Supporting Member

    Oct 12, 2006
    Chicago, IL
    I wonder if those the same Nordy's that are in the premiums. Ibanez and Nordy both state the pick ups were "custom designed" for the SR Premium series. At least from the pic they look identical.

    I agree with Wormuth that if the electronics were reversed I would have kept the Prestige.
  18. mb94952

    mb94952 Endorsing Artist : SFARZO STRINGS Supporting Member

    No, they are different pickups. The stock SR Premiums use Nordstrand "Big Singles" which are called single coils on steroids.
    These are Nordstrand humbuckers called DC4's which is Dual Coils. Those two switches you see are coil taps so I can go Series, Parallel, or Single Coil on both pickups in any configuration. It is SWEET ! The preamp is a Bartolini NTMB 4.6 with Volume Pull for passive, and Mids with Pull for variable mid sweep.
    This bass sounds awesome and can do any sound from old school Motown to modern Stanley Clarke sound.

    I do want to try a Premium with a nice top wood, though.
  19. I did really like the Premiums, although I feel like a lesser SR with some nordys slapped in it would be just as nice. IMO of course and I haven't actually tried it yet so I can't say for sure.

    That said even more than the SR Premiums I'm really liking the ATK premium. Being an Premium line Ibanez bass it's got the same level of craftsmanship, but I love the tone, and it seems very versatile.
  20. Bassworship1

    Bassworship1 Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2013
    I have been desiring a Prestige 5005 because of the looks since I bought my first Ibanez BTB 1405 with the Nordy's. However I recently bought the new Ibanez SR 1805 and i have to say that its the best sounding and playing bass I've ever seen. I owned a 1605 and while it was good it wasn't close to this 1805. It's strange that a bass with the exact same electronics and pickups can be so different. Big , big difference in the sound and everyone I've been around says it's the best sonding bass they've heard. I'm now doubting that the 5005 can be as good as this bass. I still ove my BTB 1405 but its not quite as good as the 1805.
    Ibanez 1805.JPG
    Bliff Curton likes this.

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