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What is the difference between an Ibanez SR 406 and 506?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Slater, Sep 5, 2000.


  1. Slater

    Slater Bye Millen! Hello?

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Great Lakes State
    I've been considering picking up a 6-string. I've played an Ibanez SR406 and thought it was OK. I haven't got my hands on the (discontinued) SR506. It seems that the 506 is regarded as a higher quality bass over the 406 (it is 100 higher :).) Can any of you Ibanez fans out there inform me (and anyone else that's interested) what the differences between these two models are? Thanks.
     
  2. Luis Fabara

    Luis Fabara

    Aug 13, 2000
    Ecuador (South America)
    Audio Pro - Ecuador
    Ibanez is always replacing theyre product lines.
    Yes the 500 series was better than the 400 series WHEN the 400 Series was the first line.. in the lower end arena.
    There are now the 300 Series.. so the 400 got a raise in Quality.
    The 406 is just the same as the 506 WITHOUT Active Pickups.
    The 406 has Active Electronics , Vari Mid to be precise...
    Some 506 did not have the Vari Mid.
    406 = DX6 Pickups
    506 = ADX6 Pickups.

    Althought you can get the SR406 without having to worry about it. I have played both.

    Woods? The same. Fretwork? The same.
    Differences? Pickups , Finishes, and HArdware.
    The SR506 had transparent finishes and Glod hardware.
    The 406 only has Natural or Black with Black Hardware.

     
  3. cassanova

    cassanova

    Sep 4, 2000
    Florida
    The big difference in the 400 and 500 series is that the 500 series has a 2 band eq

    the 400 series used to have master volume, pickup selector and tone controls

    the new 400 series offer volume, p/up selector, bass, mid and treble control

    the 500 series has slightly better electronics and pickups. it also has a 2 band eq. technically speaking the 406 they make now is better than the old 506, (better equalization on the newer 400 series. Id like to know where ya found a 506? I thought they stopped making those a few years ago.
     
  4. cassanova

    cassanova

    Sep 4, 2000
    Florida
    im also pretty sure that none of the 400 or 500 series offer the vari-mid eq. I believe the vari-mid eq is only available on the sr800 series and higher.
     
  5. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    The first 2 years production run of the 506 had a wenge fretboard, and they had a maple body throughout their production run. This and the active pickups are the main differences between the 406 and 506. I have one with the wnege fingerboard, and this, in combination with the maple body, makes for a much tighter B (IME) than the 406.
     
  6. Luis Fabara

    Luis Fabara

    Aug 13, 2000
    Ecuador (South America)
    Audio Pro - Ecuador
    Well, I just happen to have seen those 2 basses.
    SR506 = 2 Flavors
    1) 2 Band EQ ADX6 Pickups
    2) Vari-Mid Version (Later one) AXD6 Pickups

    SR406 = The only Six String SR Bass being produced (SR3006 is Prestige)
    1) Vari-Mid EQ and DX6 Pickups.

    For you all. The SR400 series is no longer the crap they used to be. The new crap is the SR300 so the 400 Got Really Upgraded.

    So.. What do you think?? A SR600 better than a new 500? NO
    its exactly the oposite.
    :)

    My 2 cents.
    You can confirm this at http://www.ibanez.com.

    About the Wenge Fingerboard in the 506... Sorry to tell but those where the FIRST 506 that were available.. the rest have Rosewood fingerboards.
    Also.. Every Low line SR has a maple body.
    the SR800 has a Basswood Body. Even the 1200 is Maple
    The 1300 is Padauk/Mahogany. etc etc..
     
  7. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    My 506 has the wenge fretboard, I was under the impression that the first 2 production years did, but obviously I was mistaken.

    One thing I am not mistaken about is the taughtness of the B string. I have A/B'd mine with a 406, and the B on mine is quite a bit tighter, I don't know if it is just the wenge fretboard, or if something else in the construction has changed. It DOES surprise me to find that the 406 has a maple body.
     
  8. Slater

    Slater Bye Millen! Hello?

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Great Lakes State
    Did Ibanez make improvements to the 400 series, or is it just the same, but better compared to the new 300 series? :confused:
     
  9. Slater

    Slater Bye Millen! Hello?

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Great Lakes State
    I see them on eBay all the time. There are two on eBay right now.

    I haven't played a 506, that's one of the reasons I started this thread.
     
  10. Gard

    Gard Commercial User

    Mar 31, 2000
    Greensboro, NC, USA
    General Manager, Roscoe Guitars
    I owned an SR506 for several years, so I can chip in on this one. It was an ok bass, the neck and body were actually pretty good, well made (double truss rod, big +, if you ask me), felt good, sounded good acoustically (another big + to me, if it sounds good acoustically, then it's just a matter of getting the right electronics in it to get the sound "out").

    The hardware was "adequate", no more. The tuners were fairly ok, but the bridge was pretty awful, IMO (I could slide a business card under the back of the bridge after a few years, it was bending :rolleyes: ). If I were to have kept it, it would have gotten a new bridge (Kahler preferably, my favorite, sadly out of production :( ), and possibly new tuners as well. In addition to not being all that good, it was gold, and I really don't care for that.

    The electronics were the weakest link in the chain. Made the bass sound like it was vacuum packed in a plastic container, nothing like the acoustic tone of the bass, no matter how much I worked with it. Along the way I replaced the OEM p/u's and electronics with a set of EMG P/J's and the BEQ (2 band) electronics, made a WORLD of difference, opened the tone right up, sounded like it did acoustically. Well worth the effort and cost (they were used, got a great deal on it). Sold the bass to a friend before I left SoFlo (south FL), it's still rockin' along for him, it just wasn't up to the par of my custom basses, but of course it cost about 1/3rd what they did.

    Hope this shed some light on the SR506 for ya, Slater.
     
  11. Jazzbassman23

    Jazzbassman23

    Apr 20, 2000
    Maryland
    I owned a 506 for about three months and then sold it. While it was a nicely made bass, (I picked it up used) the electronics were the weak link. The EQ had little effect and really wasn't worth the effort. I picked mine up for $325 and had to put about $50 into it to get it playable and nice looking. But it just had a very weak sound. Not that I'm a slapper, but even w/D'Addario Prisms, it really did not handle the high frequencies well. And even the bottom wasn't big. I've got to believe you can find a better six out there. I'd look at the Deans. I owned a Dean Edge 5 for a year (yeah, I'm one of those guys. Never happy.) and liked it a lot. I just decided to upgrade my five a little. Other than that I liked it just fine. Hope this helps. Forgot to ask; what's the 506 going for?
     
  12. Slater

    Slater Bye Millen! Hello?

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Great Lakes State
    Here are the item #'s for the SR506's on eBay for those who are interested--

    424935917 & 424939026
     
  13. cassanova

    cassanova

    Sep 4, 2000
    Florida
    I dont know about all of you guys/girls that own an Ibanez Sr series bass. But I used to own one of the original Sr400's that were made of maple b4 they did the electronics upgrade and I now own a Sr805 and In my opinion I think the maple bodies are much better than the basswood of the 800 series. They were a little bit heaver giving it a slightlier beefier tone and a bit more sustain. What do yall think?
     
  14. Luis Fabara

    Luis Fabara

    Aug 13, 2000
    Ecuador (South America)
    Audio Pro - Ecuador
    Positive. The Maple body in the SR series sounds a lot better than the Basswood body.
    Basswood tends to absorb more sound.Maple is brighter and punchier.

     
  15. cassanova

    cassanova

    Sep 4, 2000
    Florida
    I totally agree with you there..I think basswoods way to light to make a bass out of. Im old school i think a bass should have some meat and potatos to it.but enough of that cos i dont wanna get off the topic in here...lol
     
  16. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    I am not a fan of 35 lb basses, but I do like maple as a body wood. I have an aforementioned 506, made of soft maple(lighter than eastern or hardrock maple), and the acoustic tone of the bass is far superior to any Ibanez basswood model I've played.

    If the bass had better electronics, it would rank up there with 6's costing a lot more.

    My main bass, a Pedulla Rapture J2 5 string, also has a soft maple body, weighs 8 1/2 lbs and has a bigger booty and more authoritative B string than basses I've played that had a 35" scale(Rapture is a 34) and basses that weighed 3 - 5 lbs more.

    I also believe that the maple body is responsible for a lot of the things that owners of American Spectors like about their basses. I know the EMG pickups and high quality construction have a lot to do with it, but I believe that the maple body contributes a lot to that classic Spector vibe and tone as well.