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Looking for input

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Brent Davenport, Feb 27, 2018.

  1. Brent Davenport

    Brent Davenport

    Feb 20, 2018
    Some of you know that I'm getting back into playing after a 10 year absence. I have narrowed it down to a few (mostly used). It's be interested in your input. Here's what I'm looking at.
    Ibanez SRX 2EX2 4 string
    Ibanez SR400
    Ibanez BTB404QM
    SUB 5 string
    Ibanez BTB405QM
    They are in order of cheapest to most expensive. The 2EX2 comes with a nice case also. Please only respond to basses that you have at least some experience with.
  2. Skybone


    Jun 20, 2016
    If they are in a music shop, then I would highly recommend that you take yourself off for a few hours & try them all out. Pick the one that plays and sounds best to you.
    interp likes this.
  3. Brent Davenport

    Brent Davenport

    Feb 20, 2018
    Unfortunately, only 1 is local.
  4. Skybone


    Jun 20, 2016
    Is there anywhere locally where you can try out these or very similar basses?

    Buying online or from classified ad's is all well and good, but when it comes to buying something as tactile as an instrument, the best thing to do, is to go to a store and try things out.

    If you know exactly what you're after, then by all means, buy online or from classified ad's. If you're unsure, a trip to a bricks'n'mortar store to try things out is the best option IMO.

    If you can't get to a local store, then plan a trip to somewhere that has. Take your time in choosing, if you don't, you'll regret your purchase quickly, and your playing will suffer because of it. The only person pressuring you to buy a specific instrument is you. Try before you buy is a very important mantra.
  5. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    Stores lie. A bass that’s on a rack for a month with a horrible setup can sound and feel far worse than another with a great setup fresh out of the box, while in reality being a much better sounding and more comfortable playing bass. Most stores won’t allow you to set instruments up to your liking, so ya got that, too.

    I played a Mustang in a store about a year ago and put it down in about a minute flat. It did less than nothing for me. Causght one on sale online, bought it, and now that’s all I’ve played since getting it.

    As mentioned in a similar thread recently, I’ve seen and played Warwicks that had been hanging for a while in Guitar Centers that felt and sounded horrible compared to Squiers that were fresh out of the box.

    My opinion only, but I think people get hung up on the idea of having to see what a bass feels like, and for understandable reasons. It’s a big investment for many. With return policies these days I think though that it’s much wiser to research instruments online (here, YouTube, and manufacturers websites), and then buy what we think we’d like most. We can then set it up to our liking and get to REALLY test it out. We also get to hear it in a band situation, where it really matters. If we don’t like it, we have at least 30 days at most stores to return or exchange it.

    Oh yeah... offing online also makes it much easier to get the color we want.
    wintremute and SmokinJoe992 like this.
  6. Bass Man Dan

    Bass Man Dan Endorsing Artist: Ned Flanders' Bass-a-Reeno

    Oct 20, 2017
    I had an Ibanez SR405. Got it off craigslist for $75. Nice playing bass. Good action, nice looking rosewood fretboard. I liked the narrow string spacing, which made the adjustment from 4 to 5 string easier. Had a distinct tone, which wasn't really for me. Sold it for over double what I bought it for.
    Artman likes this.
  7. Maxdusty


    Mar 9, 2012
    Michigan USA
    First things first, welcome back from your hiatus. Until about five years ago, I had also taken a similar absence from actively playing gigs, needed a break, career path, children - if anything I noticed I had become a better player the second time around, perhaps a fresh start, maturity, I don't know but there were songs I couldn't play then that seemingly made more sense. Go figure. That being said, the instrument you choose is critical- do you want something similar to what you used to play or want a fresh start? Do you want a four string or go the five string route?
    Assuming all basses are all in good working condition and setup correctly, I would probably recommend going with the first SR400 with the SRX second.

    Ibanez SRX 2EX2 - I had 2 of them - the white and black. SRX are pretty good basses high output (Ibanez used to advertise the SRX series as their "muscle" basses), it has a two band EQ that to me doesn't cover a wider range of tones than other basses, sound is a little less crisp but does sound nice. Slim neck, good weight.

    Ibanez SR400 - I'm assuming you're referring to the newer models and not the older ones with the PJ pickups? I had both and actually prefer the older one. Slim necks on either, 3 band EQ and pretty versatile. Light weight and a good bass for a beginner or someone getting back into playing the bass. If you can get an SR500 or above if that's an option, the necks on those are fantastic- jatoba/bubinga whereas the SR400 and below are maple.

    SUB 5 string - great for that Ray-type feel and sound, not as versatile tonally, high output - not really capable of subtlety. Newer Made in China SUB models (older ones are Indonesian) fixed problems with the preamp that caused it to have too high of an output, I had 4 of the older ones, including the SUB 5. Chunkier neck, lighter weight than the regular Rays. Five string so I don't know if I would go that route at first and to me, this is a bass you would buy to complement your other basses, not ideal as a one and only primary bass due to it's lack of overall versatility.

    I've never owned the below but have tried them - realized they weren't my cup of tea due to their wider necks.
    Ibanez BTB404/405 - heavier basses, wider necks than the Ibanez SR models, pretty good tones though.
    Hope this helps somewhat. Ideally, you should try these basses for yourself or go to a music store and try out a few similar basses, If no SR400, try an SR300 - it should give you an idea of what to expect - try that slim SR neck and see if it will work for you as some consider it too thin, some prefer it. I would imagine the have a SUB model to try too.
  8. Brent Davenport

    Brent Davenport

    Feb 20, 2018
    I appreciate the responses guys. I've owned both a BTB and an OLP (SUB) 5 string, so I know how they (can) play. I will have the opportunity to try the SR400 and SRX2EX2. Honestly, as far as playability, I enjoyed the OLP the most out of all of the bases that I have owned, although the BTB had a better tone and MUCH better hardware. I've had several Ibanez basses and haven't had a complaint about any of them.
    I'm so torn. lol
    The SRX2EX2 is BY FAR the best deal. It's in almost flawless shape, comes with an Ibanez hardshell case. I can pick it up for $200 cash.
  9. Brent Davenport

    Brent Davenport

    Feb 20, 2018
    Thanks for the input Maxdusty. My local Guitar Center has the new SUB 5 and a used SR400. I agree that the SUB 5 (OLP 5) was a little limited, as others said earlier about factory setup, they are one of the ones that seem to be set up well from the factory, so they play well. The SRX2EX2 is being sold privately (local), so I'll have the ability to try it out. Unfortunately, to get back into playing, budget is a factor. I just had to spend $35k on my house after Harvey, so money is everything right now. If I need to wait to be able to spend a substantial amount more money, then that's what I'll do.
    My reasoning for getting back into playing is that I've been asked to join our church band (rock band) as a cup bassist. We have multiple musicians for each instrument so that no single person has to be available to play every time the band does.
  10. Brent Davenport

    Brent Davenport

    Feb 20, 2018
    That was supplied to say "as a backup bassist".....
  11. Maxdusty


    Mar 9, 2012
    Michigan USA
    Don't forget to check out the used GC site. I'll link it here. That way, you're not just limited to whatever used instruments your local GC has, but have available to you those from all the Guitar Center stores in the country. Shipping to your door only adds around $20 (plus tax of course). The bass in my user pic is the most recent one I bought from that site, shipping from Los Angeles to Michigan came out to $19. Normally, the bass sells for over $500 new (about $350 used everywhere else) but the GC in LA had one for $199. So there's quite a number of good deals here even with the added shipping cost, I've ordered quite a number of basses this way as I live in a smaller town, the nearest GC store doesn't have a lot of used basses.
    The good thing about ordering through here is you get the 45 day return policy and if you don't like the bass or if there's something wrong with it, you don't have to ship it back but can return it to your local Guitar Center.
    I sorted this in price order.
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2018
  12. Brent Davenport

    Brent Davenport

    Feb 20, 2018
    That's actually where I've found all of the BTBs. My local GC only has a used Schecter and the SR400. The BTB price ranges from $250 for a 404 to around $400 or so for a 405. They also have a 1405 for $300. I'm not sure what the difference is between the 405 and the 1405 though. I'm also watching the condition. A lot of the more reasonable prices are for "fair" condition basses. I know that cosmetics won't impact anything, but I hate a beat up instrument.
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2018
  13. Maxdusty


    Mar 9, 2012
    Michigan USA
    Ah. that's good, you've already been checking that site out. I believe that particular BTB1405 is mislabeled, if it's the one I'm looking at- it's probably a BTB405. The BTB1405 is a neck thru and is a prestige level bass - in most cases, with Ibanez basses, the higher the model #, the higher the quality (and price). yes, definitely look at the listed condition of the bass, but each store has a different set of definitions for them. The one in my user pic was listed as "fair" but in actuality is very good to great. Their reasoning was a small pinhead size ding on the front - there were no scratches otherwise back or front. Then you have the stores that list them as great but are in average to slightly poor in condition. There's no set standard, so what I usually do is call the store and have them give me an assessment of the bass while they're looking at it so in that way, there's no surprises.
  14. Brent Davenport

    Brent Davenport

    Feb 20, 2018
    Great idea. Thanks! I actually talked to someone at the store that has the 405 that I was looking at for $300. She said she'd send me a quote yesterday for the total price. That never happened.
  15. Pirate Captain

    Pirate Captain Elitist Jazz Snob ********

    Dec 22, 2016
    Upstate, NY USA
    here it is

    mikewalker likes this.
  16. Sixgunn


    Jun 6, 2012
    Colorado Springs
    I don't wait 30 minutes after eating, to go swimming.
    You can go wrong with the Ibby 5er.
  17. Brent Davenport

    Brent Davenport

    Feb 20, 2018
    I guess I'm lucky.... I kind of see what you did there, but the top of the pic was cut off, so the circle isn't complete. Fail! lol
  18. Waytootrue


    Jan 19, 2018
    I have the SUB 5s. I can't recommend it enough. It's very heavy if that's a deal breaker.
  19. Brent Davenport

    Brent Davenport

    Feb 20, 2018
    I used to have an OLP5 way back. I loved that bass. The only reason that I got rid of it was peer pressure. The guys I played with kept giving me crap about playing a "knock off". It didn't have quite the range and flexibility of other basss
    with 2 pickups, but it had a bit output and worked well for rock and metal. Yes, the hardware was cheap, but I could make it sound good through my amp at the time.
  20. Maxdusty


    Mar 9, 2012
    Michigan USA
    What I usually do is call the local store, ask to be transferred to the bass department, ask the associate to grab the bass from the wall and have him/her give me their assessment over the phone on the condition ie. scratches and the neck. Some even take pictures of particular areas of concern or if you want to take a closer at the bridge for example. You can also just buy it over the phone instead of online. If it comes with a bag or case according to the posting, make sure they include that when they ship it out. They forgot a case for a bass I ordered one time but they sent it separately at their expense. That sucks the sales associate never got back to you, doesn't usually happen in my experience with them.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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