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Review of Ibanez ATK 750 Koa

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Toastfuzz, Mar 15, 2009.

  1. Toastfuzz


    Jul 20, 2007
    Pittsburgh, PA
    After owning this bass for awhile now (I picked it up when Musicians Friend had that awesome $350 closeout deal) I thought I'd post a review with pro's AND con's regarding this instrument.

    No need for an overview, tons of info about them already and you can search if you don't know the basic functions.


    + Good tones: out of the 5 way switch, only 2 are really practical, 2nd position gives a full Jazz-like sound while 4th gives a Stingray-esque sound

    + Chunky neck: Fills my big hands (I'm 6'5") and I can run up and down quickly and smoothly.

    + Balanced: even with a slippery strap it stays wherever I hang it, better than my Ibanez 6-string

    + Slaps like a pro. Main reason I bought it was to slap on it, sounds mean.


    - Truss rod adjustment is extremely tight. Bent a steel allen wrench adjusting it to where I wanted it, would not want to tighten it any further than where I have it now for fear of damaging something

    - Pickup screws stripped from factory, found this out when I went to add a spacer to the bottom pickup to raise it, completely ruined 2 screws getting them out, but offset the good screws to put it back in so its fine now

    - 3 of the 5 pickup selections are fairly useless, at least for me. 1st position (single jazz pup) sounds like a cheap beginners bass, 3rd and 5th positions sound weak and empty low end.

    Overall I love it. I am GAS-free, as this fulfills all my 4 string dreams and the 6 takes over the rest. Heres a pic, since I know no pics = didnt happen.

  2. I still really want one of these :(


    I wonder if the pickups on the newer ATKs are different, I know it's subjective and all, but I found all 5 settings on my 400 to be pretty useful. In regards to that bass, the only problem is the neck pickup is significantly louder!
  3. DAMN YOU TOASTFUZZ!!You made me have flashbacks and a backache looking at that anvil-of-an-amp you got in the pic.Those things are tanks.Gotta lovem'.

    BTW,I want one in a 5er.
  4. Wow. Thats a cool looking bass. I always wanted one of these.
  5. mru2


    Jan 17, 2009
    Los Angeles Area
    Thanks TOASTFUZZ for the review, I also bought one and am really liking it overall. As for the 5 pos switch, I thought something was wrong with mine and was ready to take it in for repair, but I see that is not the case.
    Has anyone had any ideas on maybe a rewiring job making the other 3 positions more usable? Just a thought....:D
  6. paganjack


    Dec 25, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    i have also been using mine as a slap machine, which it does beautifully. it has a very crisp sound, which is great for slap. I like the middle position [only bridge single coil] at times too, since it gets piercing harmonics on that setting. How are the frets on yours? Mine definitely has some problem spots- at some point I would like to get a nice fret dress done on it. Playing with a really light touch helps some, but I would like to have the action super low to make it even funkier.
  7. Bongolation


    Nov 9, 2001
    No Bogus Endorsements
    You really need to learn how to adjust a neck. So do most people here.

    It's not hard. I've explained the drill here many times before [do a search].

    I doubt there's anything wrong with your neck. Nothing was wrong with either of my new ATKs, but I would have had the same result as you did if I hadn't known what I was doing.
  8. Toastfuzz


    Jul 20, 2007
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I'd love to find this and a DETAILED guide to do it (as I'm an electronics novice.) Maybe if I could make the bottom position do both pickups full on but passive mode, and add a tone knob? All I could think of to improve the bass is something to make it sound less hi-fi when you want a dub machine or Beatles covers.

    I have no issues with the frets on mine, haven't snagged my fingers at all on slides or whatnot, and I tend to have a heavy touch when I'm playing. However I only play mid-range basses, so I dont really know what to compare to, some may hate it, but I see no problem.

    Bongolation, what is there to adjust other than string height, intonation and truss rod? Excuse my ignorance, I searched and couldnt find anything more on the topic other than that. If you have any other suggestions for loosening the truss rod please let us know, not to be condescending but it'd be more helpful if you provided information and not just told us we're doing it wrong.
  9. Bongolation


    Nov 9, 2001
    No Bogus Endorsements

    Etc... A quick search finds at least seven of my posts describing the process, including some in threads in which you participated.
  10. Toastfuzz


    Jul 20, 2007
    Pittsburgh, PA
    A quick search finds you gloating about your 40+ years experience and talking about how your basses would have been ruined in "less experienced hands", but no real useful information. Unfortunately not all of us have been at this for 40+ years and come on forums like these for information, and far too many people are bullied around and told to learn to use the search bar.

    After extensively searching this website AND Google, I can't find any detailed information on backloading the neck. Is this just loosening it until there is no tension on the truss rod? I did find something about loosening the truss rod and removing it, oiling it with 3-in-1 or WD40 and putting it back in, if I need to adjust my ATK again I'll probably do that.
  11. htharp


    Feb 4, 2007
    Dallas, Tx
    Toastfuzz - I've done all the things you mentioned to my ATK's truss rod nut, and it still takes considerable force to adjust the truss rod - even when "backloading" the neck (if that's what someone wants to call it). I'm an old geezer, and I've adjusted my share of truss rods. This one is a lot tighter than many, and I hate to put that much pressure on the nut, but it got the job done in the end and that's what matters.
  12. Toastfuzz


    Jul 20, 2007
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Same with mine. Right now I have it set fairly well, even though it took a decent amount of pressure to get it there. More than I'm used to at least. Where its at now, I wouldnt tighten it any more; if any more adjustment was needed I'd have to dig deeper. I will say that its so tight, that I wouldnt trust it to a local shop to repair, in the event an inexperienced tech just went nuts on it and snapped it.
  13. Bongolation


    Nov 9, 2001
    No Bogus Endorsements
    I would not do that as it doesn't address the real problem, which is that the ATK has a very thick, multi-laminated neck that doesn't want to accommodate easy adjustment.

    Backloading is SAFELY AND JUDICIOUSLY supporting the neck at both ends of the fingerboard by some plain or fancy method and SAFELY AND JUDICIOUSLY exerting an upward pressure in the center of the neck, thereby bowing the neck in the same direction that the trussrod does. This releases the pressure on the trussrod which can then be easily loosened or tightened without damaging the trussrod assembly.

    You have to have and use some common sense or you'll hurt yourself or the instrument, but if done properly, this is by far the best way to adjust a neck and can clear up a lot of secondary faults caused by poor trussrod installation or later adjustment.

    I adjusted necks this way for years before encountering anyone else who did so, the average self-ordained "guitar tech" employing the bigger-hammer-and-cheater-bar approach that has damaged so many necks.

    Corresponding with Dan Erlewine some years ago reassured me that this was indeed the right way to adjust necks, and what I had figured out by myself through simple logic was how the handful of real guitar service gurus have done it all along; Dan has designed and built a special jig to do this on his bench. I use a more compact method as I don't have the room.

    The point is that the trussrod is at a severe mechanical disadvantage in adjusting neck tension, and by carefully "helping" it you can do a much more precise and safe adjustment of your neck as well as keeping the mechanism centered and straight within the neck. I have seen cases where overtorquing trussrods and causing them to bind and twist within the neck has produced overall neck twists that I have completely corrected by backing off the trussrod, backloading the neck and carefully readjusting the trussrod to make proper internal alignment.
  14. oldrookie


    May 15, 2007
    Avon, IN
    Check Youtube for Dan Erlewine's video on how to adjust a neck.
  15. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    Please Don't Do That!

    Never put a liquid lubricant, grease, or soap in the trussrod hole or on the trussrod nut. It can soak into the wood and cause problems.

    I've backed off the rod to "break it free" and backloaded/preloaded necks since the early '70s. I find it'snot necessary for me to loosen the strings to adjust the trussrod with the neck preloaded.

    To preload the neck I secure the the body on the bench (usually I just hold it for Fender style rods), letting the neck extend over the edge of the bench and hang a pound can or two or a few books in a bag with handles looped over the headstock. It bends the neck back a bit and makes tightening the rod much easier and safer. In a pinch I can preload the neck on my lap the same way (don't need no jig). I then remove the preload (bag of weight), check the relief and repeat as necessary.

    For adjusting the trussrod at the headstock I usually just hold the bass so it rests against my left knee and is wedged up against my right foot and I pull the headstock back some and adjust.
  16. Bongolation


    Nov 9, 2001
    No Bogus Endorsements
    I wonder if this has ever "soaked into" those who are constantly slathering their fingerboards with overpriced, repackaged "fingerboard oil."

    I generally don't have to resort to the bench either, but I am reluctant to describe my usual method because some gristlehead will surely try it, do it wrong, wreck his instrument and go to the emergency room, then blame me. :rollno:

    The point is -- however one achieves the end -- to carefully relieve the load on the trussrod during adjustment.

    It's a much gentler and more accurate way of doing a neck without stripping bolts/screws and jamming up a lot of undesired secondary stresses inside the neck.
  17. 1) An allen wrench... for an ATK's truss rod adjuster? Why not use the 'tool' that came with the bass? Surely you didn't use the allen wrench that came with the bass for saddle height adjustments.
    2) How much relief does your neck have at this point?
  18. Toastfuzz


    Jul 20, 2007
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Thanks for the very informative information. Maybe I wasnt using the right search terms, but I could find alot of people recommending backloading but no one describing the process until now. Thanks again, I hope this thread was useful to more people than just myself.
  19. duke2004


    Mar 29, 2004
    Cambridge, Mass.
    I just got one from the 'bay, eseentially brand new. Nice neck and fretwork, pretty solid tones, and pur-dee!
  20. Agreed!
    That is how it should be done!
    Taking the pressure off the rod will avoid stripping nuts or breaking them off buy putting too much pressure on a very small nut or end of a truss rod and never move it too much at one time let a day or two go by and recheck it.

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