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Multi Scale - Fanned Fret basses / Schecter vs Ibanez

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Clark W, Nov 21, 2018.

  1. Ibanez Bass Workshop SRMS800

    11 vote(s)
  2. Schecter Stiletto Studio-4 FF

    4 vote(s)
  1. Clark W

    Clark W Supporting Member

    Aug 26, 2018
    Looking at multi scale - fanned fret basses as my next instrument purchase. Dingwall is not even on the list, too rich for my blood.

    What I'am looking at are these two

    Ibanez Bass Workshop SRMS800
    selling for $949 new

    Schecter Stiletto Studio-4 FF
    selling for $899 new

    So right off the bat, there's not enough price difference to matter.
    I already own an Ibanez SR400EQM, my first Ibanez bass, bought it new, and absolutely love it. I've owned Carvin and Cort basses, always bought used, until I bought the Ibanez.
    +1 for Ibanez.

    The Ibanez comes with Bartolini BH2 Humbuckers
    The Schecter comes with EMG 35HZ humbuckers
    +1 for Schecter

    The Ibanez has a bolt on neck. Scale length 33.5" - 34.5" multi scale, 24 medium frets
    The Schecter is thru the body. Scale length 34" - 35" multi scale, 24 jumbo frets
    +1 for Schecter

    And here is the biggie for me, neck / headstock design. The Ibanez actually has the nut down into the first fret, not flush with the end of the headstock like the Schecter. It actually leaves a dead space of unusable neck. Now I know it's because of the fanned frets, but if Schecter could pull it off, why not Ibanez? I know it's probably fine, but it just looks weird.
    +1 for Schecter

    So tallying up the score, Schecter 3 / Ibanez 1
    I have never owned or played a Schecter Bass before. Don't know enough about them to compare to Ibanez. My late cousin played Schecter 7 string guitars and raved about the quality and build of them.

    The flip side, I've been really happy with my Ibanez, could get over the "look" of where the neck meets the headstock. But a lot of people here have not been kind when it comes to talking about the Bartolini BH2 pups. And that has me concerned.

    So what are your thoughts and opinions?
  2. Bozendoka


    Mar 13, 2011
    Well, I own an SRFF805 and I've played an SRMS805 and I liked the sound and finish of the MS a lot better. I've played exactly one Schecter (years ago and no idea what model) briefly and it seemed like a fine bass but nothing that made me want to buy one. I've also got the ESP fanned fret bass, which other than being heavy I feel is superior to the Ibanez SRFF, just to muddy the waters a bit for you. If I were to spend another ~1000 on a bass I'd probably buy the Brice fanned fret and upgrade the electronics, but that's just me.
    Clark Word likes this.
  3. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    One extra inch beyond standard scale isn't enough to bother with.
    Wait until you've saved up an extra $500 and get a used Dingwall.
  4. 48thStreetCustom


    Nov 30, 2005
    I'm going to guess that it's because the Schecter has a volute and the Ibanez doesn't. Some people don't like volutes, so you might want to consider that. Also, looks like you need a battery to change the battery on the Schecter. Probably not a big deal but IMO antiquated.
  5. Clark W

    Clark W Supporting Member

    Aug 26, 2018
    Funny you should say that. After posting this last night I ended up looking at some Dingwalls on Reverb. And that's when it hit me. I currently have two basses. Have no real need for another other than I've got this itch to keep buying more basses. And I really want a fanned fret. So why not wait a couple of months longer and get a Dingwall? There's plenty out there hovering around the 2 grand mark.
  6. That is best.
    The fit, finish and playability is way above the Ibanez that it is well worth the extra money.

    I tried the Ibanez and that nut is huge, gets rubbed on by my palm when using the first frets and it is squared off sharp. Sound is ok.
    Can not speak of the other but that small of a scale difference seams more of a marketing (We got one too) thing than any real benefit.

    I got a Dingwall and the necks are some of the best, period. Nothing sharp anywhere, smooth and very easy to play. The sounds are fantastic, it is so comfortable that it is all that I play.

    My opinion buy once cry once.
    DiscoRiceJ and DeltaPhoenix like this.
  7. A number of people here love their Ibby FF based on what I've read in the Soundgear & Ibanez threads. Personally I'd go with the SR because it has the BH2 pickups, and the mid freq switch which comes in handy when playing through pedal effects..

    You could order one from Sweetwater, and see if you like it, and if not - send it back and get the other ... they have both.
    Clark Word likes this.
  8. RickyT


    May 29, 2015
    Dee Why
    I don't see the point? Why do you need a FF for only 4 strings? 34 or 35" is more than enough for a standard tuned bass.
  9. Clark W

    Clark W Supporting Member

    Aug 26, 2018
    More than enough for a standard tuned bass? Like all 4 stringers are played in standard tuning all the time. The only time I get to play in standard is at home alone, and only if I'm practicing something that needs it. I don't even write music in standard tuning. Every gig I play, every week, I have to use drop tunings because every vocalist I know is trying to save from straining their voice. Now my current "4 string" Ibanez has no problem dropping down to C. Haven't tried B because I've had no need to.

    The advantages for fanned frets for ANY instrument are:
    • a) a more natural playing position for the human hand, the ergonomics are much better.
    • b) tonal enhancements not only for the lower notes, but the higher ones as well. The increased tension across the strings allows for more even playing. It improves the intonation across the entire set of strings. It also increases sustain. It even allows for higher tunings as well as lower, if someone actually wanted to tune higher. And it accomplishes this by NOT using the same scale length for every string on the instrument.
  10. Get a 5 string and you will never need to adjust your tuning for those keys just your hand positions, and the notes on the frets stay the same, no forgetting that the 3rd fret is now something different. Also your string tension will always be the same. Nice and tight.
    Dingwall of course. ;)
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2018
    RickyT and Clark Word like this.
  11. Clark W

    Clark W Supporting Member

    Aug 26, 2018
    Not sure I really want to make the leap to a fiver. We'll see, not like I'm going to run out tomorrow and buy a new bass. If I go with a Dingwall it will be February, maybe January before I get one.
    GlassToMouth and S-Bigbottom like this.
  12. gebass6

    gebass6 We're not all trying to play the same music.

    May 3, 2009
    N.E Illinois
  13. From someone who is purely a 4 string player, a multiscale 4 string still has it's advantages. I own a Kiesel Vanquish multiscale 4 string bass, and it just feels right. The even tension on the strings is marvelous. And I only ever play in standard tuning. The comfort of multiscale is perfect for me. Also, light 5 strings aren't as easy to find as light 4's.

    I'm with you on the Schecter over the Ibanez. Both seem like wonderful instruments, but that headstock on the Ibanez does bother me visually. I'm also an EMG fanboy and it's what I have in my Kiesel. This post has me GASing for one of those Schecter fanned fret basses. No matter what you decide, I think you'll love the benefits of multiscale.
    Clark Word likes this.
  14. Clark W

    Clark W Supporting Member

    Aug 26, 2018
    gebass6 likes this.
  15. Wow. That looks like an uncomfortably aggressive fan on the Brice. But for that little dough, might be worth a shot. Still just a 34" E string though. Might not be the best for OP's drop tuning.
  16. gebass6

    gebass6 We're not all trying to play the same music.

    May 3, 2009
    N.E Illinois
    Clark Word likes this.
  17. panzerfaust


    May 24, 2018
    does anyone knows what type of strings for srms800 ? d'addario long scale or super long scale ?
  18. dabbler


    Aug 17, 2007
    Bowie, MD
  19. Keith Guitars

    Keith Guitars Supporting Member Commercial User

    Aug 25, 2004
    Woodstock, NY
    Builder: Martin Keith Guitars, Veillette Guitars
    I'm going to both agree and disagree here - 1" can make a very noticeable difference in response, feel, and tone.
    The difference between 34" and 35" is significant on all those points. Actually, even the step up to 34.5" is meaningful.
    That having been said, I'm a big fan (ha!) of Dingwall basses and those should certainly be on OP's radar in this case.

    This is not quite right. Doing the nut end like Schecter has done requires more complex geometry, since it becomes a compound angled headstock (i.e. the headstock angles in two directions rather than one). That's the only way to avoid those little "dead zones" after the nut on multiscale instruments. I agree that it looks cleaner, and I've done it that way on all the multiscale instruments I've built. However, there's nothing fundamentally wrong with how Ibanez has done it, and it should not be a big driver in the decision.
    There are enough really meaningful differences between the two basses (scale length spreads, neck joints, pickups etc.), and those should really drive the decision for OP.
    If it were my choice, I'd take the Ibanez. (Unless we include unwritten option C which is Dingwall, in which case I would absolutely go Dingwall.)
    I like the Ibanez build quality these days, and personally prefer the sound of bolt-ons.

    BurningSkies likes this.
  20. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    When I was looking to get into mountain biking a few decades ago, a good friend told me to get spendy...not that you can't do it cheaply but when it comes to bikes, sometimes the extra money buys you a much more enjoyable experience.

    Same here.

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