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NBD: Ibanez SR705 - may have to go back!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Cyborg, Feb 18, 2013.

  1. Cyborg


    Jul 7, 2007
    Lowcountry, SC
    I received my SR705 about 3 hours ago. I bought it from Music123 as an open box and with their Valentine's Day discount I got a pretty good deal.

    I have a SR505 that I love but the body finish leaves something be desired. I baby my basses and the finish is starting to get worn more than I think it should. I thought about refinishing the bass, etc. but figured I'd be better off getting something like an SR705.

    The good:

    - Being open box I expected more user wear. I was wrong! It's not MINT but it's only got a few very minor scratches. It's a lot less than something you'd usually pull off the wall at a guitar ship.
    - The maple flaming was better in person than I thought.
    - It looks 10x better than the plain Mahogany varnish of SR505.

    The bad:

    - Heavier than my SR505 but I was expecting that and hoping for the best.
    - It's redder than I thought it would be. I prepared myself for this as well but they really shouldn't name this color "Charcoal Brown".
    - The neck wood seems different than my 2010 SR505. The SR505's neck is smoother, darker looking and to me a more finished neck.
    -In picture 4, the neck sits lower in the pocket as you move in the direction of the headstock. IS THIS A SERIOUS PROBLEM??? I've never had a bass with the neck sitting in the pocket like this. Is this a manufacturing defect?
    - In picture 5, you might now be able to make it out but the neck has the dark gray/black marks towards the G-string. If you look at the flash on the neck look at the 4 o'clock direction to see it. It's around the 12th fret and you can feel it when your hand is in that area of the neck. I think I can sand it and smooth it out.

    Hmm, this doesn't sound too promising. Any ideas or input on the neck pocket question? This is what will make or break my decision on the bass. I don't want to send it back but I will if the neck isn't set correctly.

    The first two pics were from Music123. The last three were taken by me with my smartphone.






  2. TheAnalogKid

    TheAnalogKid Yer Doin' GREAT!!!!

    Dec 7, 2011
    Tacoma, WA
    I'm no luthier, but picture #4 tells me that a shim may have been placed in the neck pocket-near the 24th fret, thereby giving it that rise from the 19th fret on up. Could have been a factory fix to help rough in the action; was this an "unused" open box, perchance?

    Otherwise, it looks to be a fine bass. The SR700s on up are amongst my fave Ibanez's.
  3. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011
    How's the intonation?
  4. IngerAlb


    May 11, 2007
    Since it didn't arrive factory sealed, you can't know for sure if any problem the bass might have has slipped QC or whether it was damaged by the retailer.

    The neck allignment looks like a shimming issue; I don't know if it's an easy fix or not, but messing with it might void the warranty, so ask them before making any modification. Btw, have you checked the bolts? Are all well screwed in? Maybe the lower ones are a bit loose...

    The gooey stuff on the neck however is an easy fix. I always use very fine steel wool to clean the neck whenever I buy a new Ibby. It makes it smooth, removes all the dirt (that can't be cleaned with normal guitar cleaning products), etc. Make sure not to apply to much force while doing it - you need to clean & buff it up, not shave it.

    As for the finish, it's a known fact their basses look different from the promo photos. The finish colour varies quite a bit and also the figuring. Sometimes you might get a bass with a top left piece that doesn't match the pattern on the right top piece. Yours looks very nice, I'd keep it. When I've bought mine I had to choose between 2 705s and although the other bass was a newer model, mine had a stunning top pattern, while the other had almost no figuring at all.
  5. Toptube

    Toptube Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2009
    Your SR505 probably has a wenge/bubinga neck. Your newer SR705 has a Jatoba/Bubinga neck.
  6. Wallace320

    Wallace320 Commercial User

    Mar 19, 2012
    Milan, Italy
    Honestly, while Sr500(m) seemed flawless (turned out to have a neck nearly impossible to properly setup) Sr700 seemed odd (turned out to be the best out of the box I happened to own)

    Check IngerAlb for everything's Soundgear, btw

  7. Cyborg


    Jul 7, 2007
    Lowcountry, SC
    Yes, someone in the Luthier's Corner said it was probably shimmed. It was a "used" open box. It wasn't used a lot but it wasn't a new bass with a box that got beat up.

    I haven't checked it, since I didn't have much time to spend with it last night. I spent too long looking it over after finding a couple of things off (mostly cosmetic).

    A couple of the bolts on the SR705 are not set as deep as my SR505. Now is that because the bolts are loose, or because the neck pocket is thicker, etc. I'll check this out tonight.

    I wasn't too concerned about the gooey-looking stuff. It's actually pretty hard. I couldn't budge it with my fingernails. Since the neck isn't as smooth as my SR505, I would light sand and buff it, if I keep it.

    The color isn't a big deal. I saw a picture of it but was hoping it would be browner in person. Still, I don't get it being called "charcoal brown". I like the figuring pretty well and it was one of the reasons I went with it, since I was able to see it first. I had the chance to buy a 2010 SR705 in natural that was absolutely gorgeous. I kick myself for not going through with it.

    I thought about that one too! I don't know when Ibanez switched from Wenge to Bubinga. I thought in 2010 Ibanez was using Jatoba/Bubinga on the SR5xx + series though. If that's the case, I'm definitely in love with Wenge! I'm going to let the neck settle and acclimate a little first before making the decision.

    Yes, you definitely can't base everything on cosmetics!
  8. IngerAlb


    May 11, 2007
    AFAIK only the basses made during or before 2007 have wenge necks; after that they switched to jatoba. Btw a wenge neck feels dry all the time; jatoba feels a bit oily (like it's waxed), while the colour may vary.
  9. Cyborg


    Jul 7, 2007
    Lowcountry, SC
    The SR505 is a 2010. The back of the neck looks beautiful, feels great and has an almost waxed feel to it. The SR705 is drier, lighter in color and feels a tad rougher.
  10. IngerAlb


    May 11, 2007
    Then both SRs have jatoba/bubinga necks. Thing is jatoba's colour varies a lot: sometimes it's darker, sometimes it matches the colour of the bubinga and the neck looks like a 1 piece, and other times it has a very light colour (similar to unpainted mahogany). I don't know if it depends on the tree or the quality of the wood.
  11. flyguy909


    Mar 3, 2011
    Coventry, CT
    I have a SR705 that I purchased new last year and just took a look at the neck pocket. It looks exactly like your picture.

    I really don't think it's shim issue because if you look at the end of the neck past the last fret where the neck is radiused down to the guitar body, on mine the neck and the body meet perfectly level with each other. And on the back side of the guitar there is no gap where the neck leaves the body.
  12. stingray69

    stingray69 Talkbass Legit Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2004
    St Louis Area
    I have a brand new (2 months old) SR-705 that I just looked at. Looks exactly like the OP's pictures too. Perhaps Ibanez builds the neck pocket this way for a reason. All I know is that the bass plays effortlessly with very low action - perhaps this is part of the reason why.