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Prestige SR5005 or Premium SR 2605E Ibanez Bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by CherylTheSinger, Nov 25, 2018.

  1. I didn't think that when I decided to upgrade from my inexpensive first 4-string bass, an Ibanez SDGR, to a 5-string that I would be considering another Ibanez.
    Well, I am! I love the way they feel and play. I love to be comfortable with my small hands and body. I love the light weight. To heck with the other things out there. I wanna be comfy!
    I played what I believe was some premium model last spring, but not sure what it was. I loved it! The high school student said he planned to play it through college, cool. It felt awesome and sounded great.
    I am guessing what I tried was an SR. They look like the shape and light weight I love.
    I am trying to figure out how to measure what I have, as I cannot seem to find specs on it. I suspect it's 23mm at thick at the 12th fret, but do they measure at the bar, the dot, from under the fret board?
    The new premium models have one different in the neck from the prestige. The premiums are 21.5mm thick at the 12th fret, and the prestige are 23mm thick at the 12th fret. I am counting on that making a difference.
    I pretty much don't like the way my current bass sounds out in the real world. It sort of does the job, but so plain, doesn't stand out. I don't think that is entirely my fault, but of course some of it is.
    I see the pick ups are different. Hard to tell sound difference from a computer speaker.
    I can't find a store that has any of these in stock. I could go with a massive retail place and order it with a discount, but I plan on going with a small, local place who has folks that I trust to order it from. What I will save in repairs and aggravation should make up for a few hundred dollars.
    They both have the bridge that I think would be cool.
    I saw one review that someone hated the finish on a different premium SR, no reviews on the one I am looking at.
    The premium looks like a beautiful Easter egg in a good way to me. I love, pretty, pretty.
    The prestige looks like an old man's lodge with tacky old man car gold fixtures.
    If it's that much better, and the size isn't a problem, then it can look like a turd.. well it kind of does, and I won't care, I think.
  2. 20180929_082220. The prestige necks are thinner on the table side than the bass. It does make a difference, for the better. I was afraid of the same thing... If you're patient you can find a lighter one that's the only catch. Mine is 9lb., the others 6-7 I've played are about 10lb. They are only basses like more than other nice sdgr's and they sound absolutely incredible. I upgraded the tuning machines. All that wenge is not at all tacky in person up close according to anyone's opinion so far.
    On the other hand "tacky old man lodge" is my go to decor.
    Basehead likes this.
  3. Wild_Cat


    Feb 14, 2009
    Montréal, QC
    I own both a Prestige (SR4005e, 5-string -- the cheaper, all-mahogany version of the 5005 that they had a few years ago) and a Premium (SR1206, 6-string), so I may be able to offer some insight.

    In terms of playability, both instruments are equivalent (and incredibly lightweight). The fretwork is better on the 4005, and it plays better than the 1206 but that has a lot to do with the fact that it has one less string. That said, the 4005 is the best-playing instrument I've ever owned. Period. Nothing comes close.

    The 1206 plays fantastically well, that said. It's the best-playing 6-string I've touched.

    The finish on the 4005 looks like it's aging better than the 1206, too. It's more than twice the age and it shows no signs of wear, while on the 1206 you can see where my right wrist has rested and sweated.

    *However*, electronics is where things start to look bad for the Prestige. When I got the 4005, some genius at Ibanez had decided it'd be a great idea to put 3-volt active electronics in their flagship basses. It ran on 2 AA batteries, with all the, erm, power that this implies. 1 year in, I replaced the preamp with a 9V Audere 3ZB. Thankfully, Ibanez have since then fixed that mistake.

    What they haven't fixed, however, is the incredibly lackluster Bartolini Custom pickups. They're not bad, they're just... Incredibly uninspiring. While absolutely noiseless, they sound bland, sterile, are very easy to lose in a mix, and aren't even a standard shape. If you have a really good amp that won't be an issue (I've seen videos showing a Mesa Carbine makes them sound great), but I'm primarily a home studio guy and I need my basses to sound good when plugged into a straight DI. So almost 10 years after initially getting that bass, I finally took the plunge and had the pickups replaced (with custom humbucking stacked singles by MJS Pickups, which I will once again wholeheartedly recommend to anyone in Canada). That took routing the bass for EMG 40 shape, but at least now it's done.

    The Premium, on the other hand, comes with a perfectly serviceable 9V 3-band EQ with switchable mids and an active/passive switch, and Nordstrand Big Singles. They're bright, they're powerful, they're some of the best-sounding "Jazz Bass on steroids" pickups on the market. I'd prefer Big Splits or Fat Stacks because of the hum-canceling, but in the meantime, with the blend pot dead center, they're god-tier.

    So... As things stand now, my Prestige is by far the superior instrument (and it sounds like a better Jazz Bass than any Jazz Bass I've tried). But parts + labor, it cost me about a thousand dollars in various customizations on top of the 1500 euros the instrument initially cost. Out of the box, the Premium beats it. Hard.

    As for why I didn't sell the Prestige long ago? Simple: I cannot understate how well that bass plays. With its updated electronics, it's my number one, my crown jewel. The one bass I know I will never sell.

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