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Is the Ibanez SR500 a good buy?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Grant Bokmiller, Oct 24, 2016.

  1. Grant Bokmiller

    Grant Bokmiller

    Oct 24, 2016
    So I've been playing bass for a while now and I've been rolling with my Ibanez Gio 4 string active PJ bass. Recently I've been looking at upgrading to a better Ibanez 4 string. My budget is $600-$700. I've asked professional musicians for their advice on the Ibanez SR500 and I've gotten mixed reviews ranging from, "That's an excellent bass! Go for it!" to "If you want to get an Ibanez, make sure you get something better than the soundgear series. They're ok basses... they're just cheap." I know that Ibanez makes a wide variety of basses under the label "soundgear", so I'm not sure if this bass is worth looking at or if I need to be looking elsewhere. Thanks for the help and advice! The link to the basses I've been looking at are below.

    Ibanez SR500 Soundgear 4-String Bass

    Roberto Nunez likes this.
  2. DigitalMan

    DigitalMan Wikipedia often mistakes my opinions for fact Supporting Member

    Nov 30, 2011
    Ibanez is a very good "get what you pay for" brand. Nothing wrong with either of those basses.

    Maybe look into sweetwater.com where you can get actual pics of the exact bass if they have it in stock (or pick from the various ones they have if they have more than one).

    Ibanez SR500 - Brown Mahogany
    Ibanez SR650NTF - Natural Flat

  3. wolfkeller

    wolfkeller Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2013
    I started on an Ibanez sr300. I have Thunderbirds, Spector, P basses, customs and I still think my ibanez is a good bass. I put dimarzio pups initially then emgs. I don't know about their electronics, but otherwise they are awsome for the money! I'd suggest finding an old, used SR800 or 400, those are cheap and awsome!
    BurnOut likes this.
  4. Yes, I love my sr 600 perty close to the 500. I've had my share of what I call mid level basses over the years. Mostly fenders a peavey & Gibson here and there. I'll never let my sr 600 go. It's just feels to good. I'm no professional so take my opinion as just that .
  5. Grant Bokmiller

    Grant Bokmiller

    Oct 24, 2016
    Thanks for all of the support! I'll definitely take it all into consideration when I'm looking for my new axe.
    Roger Ammons likes this.
  6. twinjet

    twinjet What does God need with a starship? Supporting Member

    Sep 23, 2008
    I owned an SR305F for seven years. Out of the box, it had fuzzy pots. Otherwise it was an OK bass. Did the job it was intended for.

    If you want a high quality Ibanez, I hear the BTB and Prestige series are good. You might try them.
  7. pcake

    pcake Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2011
    Los Angeleez
    love my SR500 - and i got it used, such a deal ;)
    zontar and Roger Ammons like this.
  8. BurnOut

    BurnOut It's The Billy Baloney Show Supporting Member

    Feb 1, 2015
    The Natti
    I rock a SRM300M, had it gone over, I love it, The BTBs are pretty sweet too, used is definitely the way to go, better bang for your buck, tons of nice ones out there, just give it a good going over before you pull the trigger
    anotherhomeysan and Roger Ammons like this.
  9. Antisyzygy


    Dec 8, 2014
    Yep. That's a great bass. Ibanez have some of the best value basses out there.

    SRs are going to have pretty thin necks. If that's something you're OK with then I'd say go for it.

    I second (third?, whatever) all recommendations for Sweetwater.

    Shopping used is a good option too. You will stretch your dollars a bit that way. You could buy a used SR700 for the same price as the new SR500 likely. Or buy one used SR500 and another bass, or amp or something.
  10. bordinco90

    bordinco90 Supporting Member

    Dec 7, 2011
    SW Louisiana
    I have owned a couple of Ibanez basses (SR405, BTB675 and SR500). I really enjoyed playing the SR series basses. They are some of the best playing most comfortable basses I have ever played. Having said that, I just did not like the sound/tone of the Ibanez basses. That's just me though, I like a P bass passive sound. The Ibanez SR basses I have owned did play better than my MIA Fender P bass as well. Oh yeah and definitely buy from Sweetwater!
  11. BurnOut

    BurnOut It's The Billy Baloney Show Supporting Member

    Feb 1, 2015
    The Natti
    Aren't the Sr400's a PJ, seems like the ones I've looked at were
  12. ProDigit


    Apr 12, 2005
    Miami USA
    I played with the SR505 for quite a few years, until a friend bought it from me. He still uses it today (almost 10 years later).

    The good I found on this bass:
    - Light in weight,
    - Thin in design,
    - Thin neck,
    - Virtually noiseless pickups (good for studio as live for intermediate player)
    - Good for pop, rock, softies
    - Beautifully crafted neck
    - Good tuners

    The bad I found:
    - String spacing is different from other basses. It's easier to play, but harder to switch to a real bass with wider spacing.
    - Both front, or rear pickup by themselves don't sound very good.
    - The instrument is good for one type of sound.
    - Harder to slap on.

    But it's a workhorse, and will last you long time; but also I found their tone to be rather 'neutral', or 'without character', or the character of the bass didn't really speak to me.

    Instead I bought a Squier Vintage modified PJ bass (or their Jaguar basses), and am pleasantly surprised with the versatility I get out of this bass; which I can make sound like a '70's P-bass a la Bootsy Collins, a Marcus Miller slap monster (by 100/80 volume setting on both pickups), or a Jaco smacko (Jacko Pastorius) sound on the rear pickup; and all 3 settings sound great!
    If you're looking for a 4 string, try getting the short scale jaguar bass. Doesn't look as nice, but sounds like a bass 4x it's price!
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2016
  13. Yahboy


    May 21, 2008
    SR500 is great stuff and great value of money.
    I own SR705 previously, and SRFF805 currently.

    The only 1 complaint i wanna say is D and G sound thinner (Not Weak!!) with the MK pickups. (adjust pickup height dint make help...) Either you can try some .045/.065/.080/.100 string gauge and i highly recommand DR-Lo-rider 45~100 which thicker Mid and Lo-mid present
    DR NICKEL LO-RIDER Nickel Plated Steel Bass Strings - 4-String Set

    , or swap to US MK4CBC pups.

    Just my2cents.
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2016
  14. RedVee


    Dec 24, 2014
    I've mucked around on a SR300 and thought it was really nice. I started looking at the SR500/600 (but then I fell for Thunderbirds.)
  15. bordinco90

    bordinco90 Supporting Member

    Dec 7, 2011
    SW Louisiana
    I agree with you there. I thought the overall sound of my SRs was way too thin. Even with the EQ.
    Roberto Nunez likes this.
  16. Yahboy


    May 21, 2008
    Although SR come with on board preamp, but the output just equal/like fender MIM jazz's pup. The Pbass 10.6K still louder than SR MK1 pup.

    I forgot to mention that SR500 tone is warmer /rounder/smoother/ less aggressive than SR700/600 which come with same pup. The body wood matter!. ~~ Mahogany!
  17. ProDigit


    Apr 12, 2005
    Miami USA

    I remember adjusting the string height to as low as they go without fret buzz, and then slightly tilting the pickups closer to the low E string.
    It kind of helped, but I always set my bass and treble to 2 o'clock on the bass eq setting
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2016
  18. sequel91


    Jan 7, 2013
    Rochester, NY
    The only issue I have with the SR500, specifically, is that the finish is soft and wears easily. I agree with all the comments on the sound, though--I really love the sound of the MK-1 pickups.
  19. vbchaos


    Sep 5, 2011
    Groningen, The Netherlands
    Uncompensated endorsing user: fEARful
    The mid and high SR basses are excellent! A SR605 was my main axe for 4 years.
    For either SR bass I suggest a preamp-upgrade, though. I put a Passinwind 3way preamp in it, and that makes it really really awesome!
    PawleeP likes this.
  20. Ken J

    Ken J Hartford Hot Several Brass Band

    Aug 19, 2011
    Middlefield, CT
    My second bass was a SR500
    Picked it up on CL for $200
    It's was a good experience
    Only Con was I thought the neck was too thin
    I could easily bend it out of tune with my left hand
    Moved on to Fender after that
    osv and Immigrant like this.

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