Ibanez SR505T - GC exclusive neck through version

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bkrodgers, Jul 12, 2013.

  1. bkrodgers


    Jul 10, 2013
    Hi everyone, I'm a new member here and about to add a bass to my collection after 19 years with guitar. I've been all over the map but am now leaning towards an Ibanez Soundgear. The 505 of course is a popular choice, and I can see why.

    Guitar Center (and related sites MF and M123) has a version of the SR505 called the SR505T. It's a flat transparent black. At first, I thought it was identical, except the finish, and they want $100 more for it. So while I liked the finish, I thought no thanks...not paying $100 for a different color finish. But then I looked at it more closely, and was surprised to notice that it is a neck-through (or neck thru, if you prefer), not a bolt on. This seemed odd...not even the higher end 805 is a neck through. It also seemed odd that it's basically the same model number with such a significant difference.

    Though I also know many dispute the significance. I have bolt, set, and thru in my guitar collection, and don't have a strong opinion based on neck alone. And I've read some of the various threads here and know the basic differences. But here's a case where two guitars are nearly identical beyond the neck type. I played both, and honestly, I couldn't tell if there was a difference in sound. For one thing, the regular 505 they had out was beat to hell (missing a knob, dirty pots, and finish damage), while the black one looked to have much less play time and no abuse. I thought the black one might have sounded a bit more lively, but the play time on the strings of the regular 505 might have been the cause of that. And being a new bass player, my technique and my ear for bass may not be developed enough to know. Still, I think if there's a difference, it's small.

    Anyone have any thoughts? Does the idea of a neck through 505 intrigue you enough to consider paying an extra $100 for it? The new finish is cool, but I doubt I'd pay for it alone. I'm considering it for that combined with the neck through construction though. I also don't know if the black finish will be any more durable. Every regular 500 series I've seen at GCs (probably about 6 between the 4, 5, and 6 string versions at two locations) has places where the finish is gone. I realize they get a lot of abuse there, but that worries me. What I really want is the 505 with a hard lacquer finish. Anyway, I thought the NT model was interesting and wanted to at least point it out, if not get some advice.


    GC exclusive:

  2. Outlaws


    Jul 4, 2013
    I saw one today and was thinking the same thing. it was a brown stain wood color. I love the wood look. scratches are just history and add character IMO. but ya, satin all around. no lacquer. I like options. no need to drastically change the model number if it spread it around and start offering it on others.
  3. bkrodgers


    Jul 10, 2013
    Yeah, you must have been looking at the SR500T, the 4 string GC exclusive version, also with neck through. It's a dark brown, a little different from the regular 500, but not by much. The 5 string gc exclusive is a very different color from the regular. Not sure why they didn't change the 4 string as much.


    I don't believe there is a neck thru 6 string though.
  4. chuck norriss

    chuck norriss Inactive

    Jan 20, 2011
    They make a black lacquer 506 I imagine it comes in 5 string too if you want black lacquer bolt on. Keep looking. Great playing basses.
  5. bkrodgers


    Jul 10, 2013
    I don't see a 50# in black on Ibanez's site, but then again, these GC exclusives aren't either. The finish isn't the end of the world, as Outlaws says, scratches just add character. I've just seen most of the ones at GC have big chips in them, and it worried me a bit. My favorite finish from Ibanez SRs I've seen is the 405QM, but I did hear a significant difference in sound. I'll take sound over style, though I like to have both.

    But in any event, I just mentioned the finish concern as an aside...I'm curious to hear what people think of the idea of paying $100 more for a 505 that has a neck-through build over (beyond color) a nearly identical bolt on.
  6. chuck norriss

    chuck norriss Inactive

    Jan 20, 2011
    I think they were discontinued I didn't see it ether but wheni played them side by side the mahogany finish felt sounded played better for whatever reason. Both bolt ons.
    I'd save the money if the difference in sound and performance is negligible/ immaterial, unless money isn't an issue & you prefer the elegance of neck through.
    I like the btb 775pb neckthru. Very nice but a little too flashy.
    Good luck.
  7. IngerAlb


    May 11, 2007
    If it's a GC exclusive, you won't see it on the Ibby page - that's for current mass produced models only.

    I'm not a fan of the NT because you're in deep trouble if something is wrong with the nexk; BO necks can easily be replaced.

    Now Ibbys (SR) have overall great sustain. I don't see why the NT would be the better choice. I do however think it will sound a bit different from the regular SR - that jatoba/bubinga center block will prolly make an audible difference. But at the same time, I doubt that it doesn't sound like a regular SR :)

    I would pick it up solely on the colour/finish choice. I'd fed up with the default "poop brown" :) And maybe for being able to brag about having a "limited edition" Ibby. Tbh, all GC exclusive models that I've seen in the past years had a very nice & different finish so each one is worth getting & collecting. But on the other hand, you're not gonna get a much better sounding SR - just a better looking one :)
  8. bkrodgers


    Jul 10, 2013
    Yeah, part of me likes the natural wood look. Another part of me isn't big on the "poop brown," as you call it. :) The flat black finish is a cool look, though paying $100 extra for a finish that isn't substantially more different or labor intensive to produce (it's just a black stain instead of brown) seems excessive. That's why I'm trying to decide if neck through is valuable...to "allocate" some of that extra $100 in value there. :) I do agree about the advantage of bolt on as far as replacing it if needed, though I've never needed to do that. My sense was that sound and sustain wasn't substantially better with the NT version.

    I like the finish of the 805 pretty well too. I haven't seen the 705 in person, but it looks nice in pictures. Not as into the 605. There are also still some 505SMs around, from last year I guess, with that burst finish. But I think the 505 and 505T are the only ones with all mahogany, the others have tops. Not a bad thing, just different. I probably can't go wrong with anything at the 505 level or above, right?

    I wish the 405QM finish was available at the 505 level or above. I do realize I could upgrade the electronics on a 405, though I don't know if that's the only reason it doesn't sound quite as good as the 505.
  9. IngerAlb


    May 11, 2007

    Right :) Well there's something special about the SR505... I don't know exactly what, but it does sound a bit different from any other SR. I have a 605 & 705 and yet the 505 has the best overall tone...go figure :)
  10. archer drums

    archer drums

    Nov 6, 2013
    kind of resurrecting a old thread, but i have one of these sr500t's and it sounds amazing. it has a lot of bite to the tone.