What's with Ibby?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by DC7, Aug 1, 2020.

  1. DC7


    Aug 1, 2020
    - This is a kinda generic topic (no trolls plz) - but
    I am a beginner/intermediate player (4 years of bass studies, long time ago) and I have begun playing the bass again during quarantine.

    I've just exchanged a very good lookin and sounding fender jazz mex (2008) with an Ibanez sr1300.

    I don't want to disappoint all the Fender adherents here but these are instruments at different levels.
    Even though the Jazz sounds great, it is just that, and that's it. Ok, long life to simplicity but once I came across this Ibanez (fine wooded, NS pickupped, multidimensionally equalised, agile and good looking). I thougth: 'how it is possible that people do not even take into consideration this bass, if not for live performance, at least for studio recs or experimentation?'.

    'Ibanez sounds poopie' is the most common thing I hear from people in general who probably are not used to different and more articulated sounds. - Have u ever played a high-end ibanez?

    I can partly say the same thing for Yamaha,
    Is it because they r Japanese and not American?
    Has it something to do with tradition and visual customs? Powerful branding and marketing?
    Is it because most of bass playing and sounding has been very standard since the beginning of rock-blues and the bass is still forced within these limits?

    Ok, these questions are provocative but what are your thoughts about Ibanez' ostracising?
    murphy, 2pods, Mcr Red and 15 others like this.
  2. Tari


    Feb 2, 2016
    Hamburg, Germany
    I know there are a lot of Ibanez lovers on this forum and I don't have the feeling that the brand (or Japanese basses in general) is ostracised here, but maybe I just read the wrong threads... at least I can say that my Ibanez, which is not even a high-end model but a 82 Blazer that was customized for me, is my favourite of my 3 basses.
  3. DC7


    Aug 1, 2020

    Yeah, I did not mean literally here.
    But anecdotally or for direct experience.
  4. Koshchei


    Mar 17, 2019
    Peterborough, ON
    I love Ibanez basses. They're very well-made and punch well above their weight features-wise. The Gary Willis is absolutely insane as far as fretless basses go - definitely one of the best instruments out there.
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2020
  5. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Welcome to TalkBass!

    I have played a zillion gigs with both Fender (and clones) and Ibanez basses.

    They are two different tools for two different sound to my ears. Yes, they CAN be interchanged. But, to my sensitive ears with 35 years of playing experience, they are two different versions of good.

    Short version: There are plenty of situations when an Ibanez is right at home. There are plenty of situations when a Fender (or clone) is right at home. There are a few situations where (in my opinion) a P bass simply shines and no other tool will do the job.
  6. SleepyShark


    Feb 28, 2018
    The Low End
    I don't think anyone has a problem with Ibanez here at all. I just think that an overwhelming majority of players on this forum are right in Fender's target demographic. Most players I know under 40 years old play a variety of brands, and Japanese instruments have a great reputation.

    With absolutely no negativity intended, many players on here are 40+ and play in local bands at bars and breweries - that Fender sound and look absolutely crush that segment of the market.
    viper4000, TrustRod, MarkJC8 and 14 others like this.
  7. i am ibanez player and love its neck,...some people found it inconvenient to play in slim neck,....that's why they choose fender rather than ibanez i think
    leftybass54, MarkJC8, xbud and 3 others like this.
  8. Alex J

    Alex J

    Jul 5, 2011
    I know many people here in the UK who play Ibanez basses in all kinds of bands; no stigma here.

    I just prefer chunky necks, single coils and vintage aesthetics, that's all.
  9. I still have an ibby 505 that was an amazing player and I toured with it. With the split coil Bart’s under the soap bar covers, it had a great warm tone I used playing country. I also played a Spector five as well. I do have an American standard fiver jazz, but didn’t tour with it much.

    I’ve never played a four string ibby, all my experience was with five string basses.
    alaskaleftybass and jdh3000 like this.
  10. HearNoStevil

    HearNoStevil Inactive

    Jul 17, 2020
    Ibanez doesn't actually build any of their own instruments except those in the US custom shop (Tak Hosino) and Japan, which are very rare nowadays. Most are built by Cort. The same factory that makes Indonesian Squiers makes alot of those nice Ibanezes.

    That being said, when I pick up any Ibanez in a store, from the cheapest to the most expensive, one thing I can always count on is that they all seem to play well, are set up well, have flawless finishes, and are built to a very high standard. From the bottom line to the top line. Although I prefer Rickenbackers, Spectors, Fenders, Squiers, and Peavey T-40s, I also own 5 Ibanez basses. They hold their own, quality and tone-wise. I'm frequently astonished at their finishes and woodwork.

    Their tone and style isn't for everybody, and those of us who grew up in the 80's usually remember basses like the SR as the first bass the guy in the sucky hair metal band down the street bought when he learned how to play.

    They were everywhere, and ubiquitous with Crate amps and Series 10 guitars. But, that doesn't make them bad. Quite the contrary.

    They were (and are) very good instruments for beginners and pros alike. But, for better or for worse, they can have a stigma attached to them (in the same way Peavey is unfairly judged). If Charvels and Jacksons hadn't 90% disappeared from the collective mindset in decades past, they would also still have that "80's metal band stigma" attached to them as well. But, they produced fine instruments as well.

    Ibanez always seems to try something new, and they succeed. But they are not, and never will be, a "classic" instrument, nor do they have one single identifiable tone all their own (ala Rickenbacker, Fender P, Spector, etc) that is easily identifiable and desirable to a flock of people. No one ever says, "Ooooh listen to that Ibanez growl on that track!" like they would one of the basses I just listed.

    And, remember, groupthink is very, very strong. Besides the admittedly great tone, there is a very distinct reason why "Sunburst tort P with flats" is the current flavor of the decade. It's not all due to just the sound.

    Rock your Ibanez. Or Peavey. Or Yamaha. Or anything that you like. Who gives a flying *&#$ what anyone else thinks.

    For instance, I would frequently start a set with a nice Rick, Spector, or vintage Fender, then switch to either a puke green or hot pink Dean Zone (which is a great sounding well-made bass in it's own right when set up). People usually think it's a joke, but they think nothing less of me for it. However, if I had started the set with that Dean, they would think less of me for it.

    People judge unfairly with their eyes and preconceptions rather than their ears.

    Like I said, you do you and whatever makes you happy.
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2020
  11. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    all of the above, and then some! ;)
  12. Nuage420

    Nuage420 Supporting Member

    Dec 7, 2014
    I've been through a few fender/squires. They didn't stay in my line up. I will be getting a Fender P for the one single tone it does better than all else. But for me I can get the jazz bass tone from my ibanez basses with less weight and a more comfortable body.
  13. LeFunk Machine

    LeFunk Machine Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2014
    IMOHO, I think LOOKS is the number one reason. No matter how well built an Ibanez is or how awesome it sounds, there are people who will not like it because of the way it looks to them. People like that are not wrong and no one should be bashed for liking something based on looks. I think looks are everything; the same reason why we buy certain clothes, shoes, cars, bikes, or most things that you can think of.

    Second, most people are into certain things someone they admire was into as well. For example, there are people who are into jazz bass and fretless jazz bass because of Jaco Pastorius. Others are into slap bass because of Flea or Marcus Miller. Its the same reason why companies pay celebrities and athletes to endorse certain product in order to generate sales and fanbase.

    Well for me, I'm into Fender P bass because James Jamerson.
  14. RabidMusic


    Jan 29, 2012
    Back in the early 80's I was a drummer/keyboardist who wanted to try guitar. Found a white Ibanez that looked (gasp) just like a Gibson Les Paul but was half the price. I bought it. Stupid thing would NOT stay in tune for the length of a song. Everything bad you can think of in a cheap clone, it was. That Ibanez was a total junk knock off.

    A few years ago I came here asking for help choosing a bass with a thin neck. I got two recommendations. Fender Jazz and Ibanez. The Ibanez crowd here might be a bit quiet, but they do support their brand when questioned. I ended up buying one of each, a MIM Fender Jazz and an Ibanez SR1400. Was happy with both. The Fender had that Fender sound. The Ibanez with active electronics sounded really good and flexible. Now I have two Fender Jazz and 3 Ibanez SR's, 1400, 1405 and 1406. Ibanez has come a long ways since the 80's junk they put out, but some people still remember that history.
  15. DC7


    Aug 1, 2020

    This is a satisfying answer ahah, u got my point
  16. HearNoStevil

    HearNoStevil Inactive

    Jul 17, 2020
    What's interesting about that is that some of the basslines (no one knows how many for sure) attributed to James Jamerson were actually played by Carol Kaye, and she has absolutely no problem rocking an Ibanez.

    Last edited: Aug 1, 2020
  17. LeFunk Machine

    LeFunk Machine Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2014
  18. HearNoStevil

    HearNoStevil Inactive

    Jul 17, 2020
  19. Nuage420

    Nuage420 Supporting Member

    Dec 7, 2014
    Don't ask her now, she ended her relationship with Ibanez she says because they started selling crappy quality instruments again and didn't want to endorse junk. I don't think she'd say the same if she gave them another look but she could make a shovel with fishing line sound good so...
  20. HearNoStevil

    HearNoStevil Inactive

    Jul 17, 2020
    I.E., they didn't want to pay her what she thought she was worth for her endorsement.
    Texican, Loring, Woofer and 2 others like this.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Jul 29, 2021

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