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Need opinions on Ibanez basses

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by DVJENS, Mar 17, 2014.



    Feb 3, 2014
    Hi all. A couple months ago you all helped me with my old Peavey Fury Bass. Short version of the story is that I needed to look at other options after 25 years of owning this fine instrument. So, started auditioning basses and ended up with a used SR300 bass. Long story short...this is the coolest bass I have ever owned. When I bought the original Fury back in 1990, I remember I picked it because it just felt right in my hands. I have smallish hands and the neck profile is so awesome for me. I auditioned bass after bass after bass. I am pretty good at Ebay and managed to cycle through 10 basses or so in the past 2 months. All of them were great, but there was something just not right. Then I happened upon the SR300 and knew that this was it.

    But....I love this thing so much that I am thinking about moving up to something better. So what are the advantages of moving up to the SR500? I know they have the Barts for pickups. I am not experienced enough to know what that means for sure. Is the neck profile the same. Is it worth the money to upgrade? Basically, I need a very versatile instrument...I am a hobbyist....playing metal at home and goofing around in a church band (a very bad one by the way:) on the side. I need something that handles pretty much everything. I have only had the SR300 for a week, but it seems like I can dial in pretty much any tone I want with it (it is my first bass with active pickups and finding them really cool!).

    In short, what will I experience by moving up to the SR500? I am willing to spend the money, but as a beginning intermediate player (that wants to get better), will the SR500 work for me? Is there a reason not to change? I don't want to mess with a good thing, so are there any downsides in changing at this point. Gosh, I simply cannot believe the quality of instrument you can get nowadays for 300! I remember that Peavey Bass cost me over $500 twenty-five years ago. What a great day we live in.

    Thanks for the help. This is just an awesome forum.

  2. Reddog01


    Nov 3, 2013
    Georgetown, TX
    I went through the same thing. I moved up from an SR300 to an SR700. Basically, the SR500, SR600, and SR700 are the same bass only look differently. I noticed right a way some differences. Like you said, the SR 500 will have the Barts, which are better electronics. Also, the SR500 will have a midrange boost switch, which I keep on all the time. Besides that, the neck feels the same. I was looking at the SR500, but found a really great deal on the SR700, so I bought it (they were priced within a few dollars of each other). I did spend the $45.00 to have a setup done on the bass. That's the best $45.00 I have ever spent. It made a huge difference in the intonation and playability of the bass. I played a lot of basses, and always came back to the Ibanez because of the way it felt to me. I see you have had the same experience. If you are asking me, I would say that you would be pleased in spending the extra money for anything from the SR500 to the SR800.
  3. On paper its a "better" or "higher end" instrument. I like the sound better in the higher end models-I'm a fan of Barts, have been forever-but you're just gonna have to try it to find out. Every instrument is a law unto itself, so you gotta find the one that clicks with you. For some of us, one bass is enough. For others, its gonna take at least a few to cover the basses. I still need at least two, as a matter of fact...

    You're right about what's happened to prices in terms of what you get for the money. I got back into playing bass after a 15 year hiatus with a GSR 200. Really a good instrument for the $79 I paid for it, even though it's all kinds of noisy. Its gonna be my test bed for learning how to do stuff.
  4. Toptube

    Toptube Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2009
    If you like that particular bass you already have a lot and it doesn't have any issues like vibrating bridge saddles, etc; I would just upgrade the pickups. Try stuff until you find something that speaks to you. There's a few options besides barts, that will fit in bart sized routes.
  5. I've got an SR400 (same electronics as the SR300), and an SR600 (same electronics as the SR500). The only difference soundwise is that the Bart system is a bit more powerful, and a tad clearer - they basically sound close to the same. Some people like the EXF pickups better, but there's not a lot of sound difference between the two. Both have bright highs, and deep lows ..... like an Ibanez SR.

    You might check out the SR600 instead - it costs $50 more than the SR500 at online stores like Sweetwater, and it has a much nicer finish than that dreary brown color.

    Here's mine:

  6. I know what you mean. I got hooked on the SRX series. I have a 400, 500, and a 690ex. All very nice basses but I'm over it and back to a passive p bass now which I shall remain. I am still impressed with the Ibanez quality, tone, and playability.
  7. zontar


    Feb 19, 2014
    300 and up are all nice.
    500, 600 & 700 have different woods--and thus the different looks.
    There are higher ones with the different bridge/tailpiece(s) and electronics.

    But if you just got the SR300, use it, enjoy it and if a good deal on a 500 comes along consider it.

    But ultimately if you like the 300--use it.

    This is from the owner of an SR500F.
    I love it--and upgrading would be nice, but not a necessity.
  8. Makatak


    Apr 13, 2002
    New Zealand
    I pulled my 1990 sr1100e out for a gig yesterday, factory di marzio pickups, open pore swamp ash body,ebanol fingerboard, ive had it since new, it reminded me why id never sell her, even tho im a jazz bass stalwart these days. I don't like them all though, ive also owned a 1200 custom, a 300, 500 and a 1000, all sounded a bit benign compared to my grandaddy 1100.
    They are about the worlds easiest basses to play imo though.


    Feb 3, 2014
    Not so sold on the looks of the SR500. I've seen it and the finish just looks too rough. But love that 600! Is it just the looks that are the distinguishing differences between 600 and 500? How about the 700 and 800? Just better asthetics/wood?

    After I sell out my inventory of basses laying around should have enough money to buy up the SR800. Just an incremental increase in cost with each series jump, but wondering what it is I get for the extra money. Not sure how far I want to go up the ladder in the SR series. Is it just ashthetics and better wood or something as you go up the series. Absolutely loving the looks of that 600 series in the picture, Solarmist! I might stop at that. Hopefully I will find it plays the same as the 300, just sounds better.

    I used to laugh at people that said their bass practically plays itself. But this cheapo SR300 I picked up literally does that! Incredible. Having so much fun playing bass right now! Amazing what happens when you find an instrument that just fits you!
  10. ^ You can get real spoiled playing on an Ibby SR. ;)

    The 500 through the 800 all have the same Bart system; the only real differences are woods, finishes, and hardware colors - otherwise they're all the same bass.
  11. MoreBeer


    Jan 5, 2014
    Well, I have an SR505 and an SR700. These are GREAT basses. The 700 has an insanely thin neck which I love although you can get the 500 for considerably less which is the same bass with a lower-end finish. Although I like that matte mahogany on my 505.

    I bought the 505 since I wanted a fiver with a neck that fits my hands which aren't huge.
  12. zontar


    Feb 19, 2014
    I love it, but I love the look on most of the SR series 500 + above--I love the look of wood grain on a guitar (Not to say there aren't some colours I like on the 300 + below models and the GSRs)
  13. sm49341


    May 12, 2013
    I have used an SR300 for about 4 years. I have played out frequently for years. Wedding, parties, bars etc. Over that time it did the job but thats it. Soundman confessed to me last fall that he cant get a good sound out of it. I've come to realize its a bass with mediocre pickups, and they put in an active EQ to try to magnify a whimpy pickup sound into something bigger. Hate active EQ, it changes your volume, not what I want. I moved on to a good bass w passive pups. Best money I ever spent. I can type here till I'm blue in the face, but wont.
    What really made the light come on for me, is when i took my SR300 to a guitar store and tried it against a good quality bass, such as an american std p-bass. Try that against many basses, and see what you think. Everyones experience is different, but for me it was night and day.
  14. ^ All Ibanez SRs have passive PUs, and all the newer ones have active 3-band EQ's which have far more tonal range than a Pbass, but to each his own, and Ibanez QC is top notch. There have been a fair amount of negative threads here on Fender QC in recent years.
  15. zontar


    Feb 19, 2014
    Hey, if we all liked the same stuff, life would be boring.

    And for the record--when I bought my SR500F last month, the MIM fretless Fender Jazz Bass was the same price, and what did I buy.

    I love them both, & I'd be happy with either one, but there's something about the Ibanez I like that much better.
  16. Toptube

    Toptube Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2009
    I say new pre-amp or new pickups like Aguilar or something, before buying higher number SR standard.
  17. sm49341


    May 12, 2013
    More tonal range because of the eq. Exactly on my new pbass the tone is all raw pickup. Played side by side, I'm sorry it was night and day. My first to gigs the only two with the pbass so far I have had people comeuppance to me and comment on my sound. In 20 years that never happened to me. My ibAnez stacked tone pot crapped out 2 years ago. So did the jack. About twice a year the saddles need reset, they loosen up. Had some nice qualities too. Great finish, good stable neck versatile sounds . Just not a good sound with my bands pa I guess. Lookin back I made over $10,000 with that $300 bass. I did the job. At this point good riddance tho. I have found new life with a whole new sound and now my bass cuts thru the mix. Who wouldn't want that ? I trying to encourage people to look around and when your in a live situation determine if your sound is mush or cutting thru but still growling. Are people hearing everything you are doing? Do you want them to?
  18. Boom762

    Boom762 I AM the one who Booms! Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2013
    Lubbock, TX
    If your looking for a shape that not EVERYONE else owns as well as a fast neck, look into the Ibanez ICEMAN ICB series. I had an ICB200 and loved it. There is a japanese model in white that has an even smaller neck like a fender and has active pickups.
  19. basschanges

    basschanges Unconditionally Loving Member

    Jun 20, 2012
    Brooklyn, NY
    quality basses, great sound, versatile, economical, extremely fast playing, feel like toys in my hands though.
  20. Boom762

    Boom762 I AM the one who Booms! Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2013
    Lubbock, TX
    This was the active Iceman I was talking about. Found on online for about 600.

    Ibanez Iceman ICB300EX