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Whats wrong with Ibanez

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by alx564, Oct 20, 2000.


  1. alx564

    alx564

    Jul 31, 2000
    Emmaus, PA
    Hey,
    I was just wondering what everyone has against Ibanez basses. After reading the forums for a while I constently see people bashing Ibanez. Personally being a bassist how is young and doesn't have $3,000 dollars to spend on a bass I think Ibanez is a pretty good company for my price range. I don't know maybe I am just parinoind, but it seems that I am constently seeing people bashing in Ibanez.
     
  2. Steve S

    Steve S

    Jul 26, 2000
    I don't know. I played one for almost 20 years and it worked very well. Some people have told me that it was just a special one....
     
  3. RAM

    RAM

    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    I will be the first person to admit I'm not a fan of Ibanez products. And, I have one of those guitars that cost well over $3,000. So, why do I bash Ibanez?

    Let me approach it a little differently. I think that when people discuss Ibanez products, relative to other products IN A SIMILAR PRICE RANGE, there are other bass guitars that some people prefer. Other people prefer Ibanez, such as yourself.

    This is a forum that leaves topics open for discussion. Ibanez happens to be a very successful company, in that they've been making bass guitars for many, many years. If they were truly lousy products, do you think Ibanez would still be in business?

    There are a number of factors, however, that lead people, such as myself, to view Ibanez negatively. Please don't let that influence YOU! You are the one who plays the instrument, and therefore you are the one who has to be happy with it! Remember that!

    The bottom line is, who's opinion are you more concerned with? Mine or yours? If you're more concerned with my opinion, then start saving and go buy a Spector. You may end up bashing Spector as much as I bash Ibanez!
     
  4. rickreyn

    rickreyn

    Jun 16, 2000
    Lutz, Florida
    I understand this problem. If you hear too many negatives, you get gun shy. I think Ibanez basses are great. I used two cheap Ibanez basses in the 70's and early 80's with great results. Recently I bought an Ibanez costing four times more than my first ones. They make quality stuff and not so quality stuff. If you can be your own man, you can play just about anything. If you are looking for a little bit of status, you might have to look to a Fender for example. I don't think either way is bad. From reading threads on TalkBass, most players are very proud of their basses, or looking to get one that they are proud of. Sometimes I think sound and playability may be secondary for some. But in most cases, bassists are in constant search of "the sound." This leads them in pursuit of the ultimate bass.
     
  5. I've been a bassplayer for many years, and have owned several Ibanez's. It is my opinion they are not as good as they used to be, a fact borne out by the opinions of many players I come in contact with (I work in a music instrument shop). The old Roadstar and Musician series were solid with lots of bottom and grunt. The newer Soundgear series, ( I have owned 3) are lightweights in the sound dept. Sure they have slim necks and beautifuly shaped bodies, but they do not compare soundwise when used in a rock, blues or country genre. Maybe for jazz and fusion they are fine. Yes I know Fieldy uses one, but he also has roadies to hump and set up his huge amp rig, and of course, a massive PA system! My verdict? If ya want an Ibanez, get a Roadstar or Musician.
     
  6. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    Like rickeyrn, I too feel your pain.

    I've played Ibanez for 3 years, and I've played Peavey's for 15 years. People slam them worse than Ibanez.

    Bottom line, play what YOU like, who gives a damn what other people think?

    Just my $.02
     
  7. Erich Zann

    Erich Zann

    Aug 14, 2000
    After that last post I just had to put in my 2 cents as well. I use an Ibanez bass and a Peavey Amp, and despite peoples opinions of them, I've always gotten complements on my tone. Weird, huh?
     
  8. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I think this is the whole point - it is totally meaningless to talk about a whole brand as if every bass made under that name is the same - there ought to be a law against it!

    If you confine yourself to particular examples as Marty has done, you can actually impart some meaningful information and have a relevant opinion. I agree that the Musician was a great bass - in some magazine's all-time top ten! But you can't talk about a whole brand and write it off - that's just over-simplification, to the point where, as I said, it becomes meaningless.

    It's the same with any "brand" - in the UK you can buy a Spector bass for £300 and one for £3,000 - how can you compare?
     
  9. chance6245

    chance6245

    Sep 25, 2000
    Eevryone here would be suprised how many people play a PEAVEY product but they take the name off. Wierd huh? I'm sure the same thing applies to Ibanez.

    CHANCE
     
  10. RAM

    RAM

    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    I think this is the whole point - it is totally meaningless to talk about a whole brand as if every bass made under that name is the same - there ought to be a law against it!

    If you confine yourself to particular examples as Marty has done, you can actually impart some meaningful information and have a relevant opinion. I agree that the Musician was a great bass - in some magazine's all-time top ten! But you can't talk about a whole brand and write it off - that's just over-simplification, to the point where, as I said, it becomes meaningless.

    It's the same with any "brand" - in the UK you can buy a Spector bass for £300 and one for £3,000 - how can you compare? [/B][/QUOTE]

    Bruce, I wish I could say I agree with you, but I can't. It's all marketing. Spector came out with fine, handcrafted basses in the 1970's, right? Well, being known as a high-end bass, Stuart Spector is able to capitalize on that image of high-quality products for use in marketing his cheaper models. And, the entire brand name suffers if the cheap Spectors end up sucking!

    Some companies have gone so far as to actually give different brand names to products to avoid this image problem. In the automotive industry, for example, General Motors makes Chevrolet, Pontiac, Buick, GMC, Oldsmobile, and Cadillac. Obviously when talking about Cadillacs, you tend to think of "luxury" and really well-built automobiles. Chevrolet may be on the cheap end. But, they're all General Motors cars, right? Why do you think they do this?

    This is also done by some companies in the music business. Look at Gibson and Epiphone, for example. Epiphones ARE Gibsons, are they not? Just made in a different factory with different parts?

    If Ibanez wanted to separate their image issue, they may consider such a marketing strategy. Otherwise, they put themselves at the fate of poor marketing and negative brand recognition.
     
  11. It's funny--on their website, Ibanez says, "when the Soundgear series was introduced in 1987, a highly compressed sound was popular. Now, bassists want an instrument with more dynamic range," or something to that effect. Interestingly enough, every Soundgear I've ever played--from a cheapo GSR205 to an SR405 to a beautiful SR3005--has this same problem. The tone is, quite frankly, boring, and would not be particularly useful in a rock context. The necks are fast but can be broken with your bare hands. The string spacing on the 5- and 6-string models is just too close for thumbstyle playing, which it seems that the Ibanezes are built for. I doubt that Ibanez has updated their pickups or their preamps since 1987, either, since I can get nothing but an L.A. tone out of them, which isn't going to cut it in a rock band.

    I think young players are seduced by Ibanez because of bands like Korn, the Offspring, Staind, System of a Down, etc. However, the guitarists and bassists in those bands have custom instruments which are vastly nicer than what you'll pull off the rack at your local Sam Ash, even on the high end. For the $400+ tax & case a new SR400 costs, I could get a Dean Edge Custom with better electronics, better woods, and a neck that's just as fast but much more stable; I don't have to pay for Fieldy's or Joe Satriani's endorsement fee with the Dean. For the $1300 a new SR3005 costs, I could get a Spector NS5CRFM or a used Modulus Quantum 5--gee, I wonder which will hold resale value better...

    I can see hints of why Gary Willis plays an Ibanez--the Japanese-made instruments are awfully well-built and very easy to play, and if you swap in some decent pickups and a preamp that doesn't suck, you'll have a good axe. However, by the time you've done all that to, say, a stock SR800, you could have just bought a Spector NS4CRFM that'd sound a whole hell of a lot better to start with.

    It does come down to whatever you like best, but even in the beginner realm it makes more sense to look to companies like Schecter, Dean, Cort, etc. than Ibanez. Hell, Cort produces the SR400-series and below anyway, but charges less for the instruments branded Cort than Ibanezes...
     
  12. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Bruce, I wish I could say I agree with you, but I can't. It's all marketing. Spector came out with fine, handcrafted basses in the 1970's, right? Well, being known as a high-end bass, Stuart Spector is able to capitalize on that image of high-quality products for use in marketing his cheaper models. And, the entire brand name suffers if the cheap Spectors end up sucking!

    Some companies have gone so far as to actually give different brand names to products to avoid this image problem. In the automotive industry, for example, General Motors makes Chevrolet, Pontiac, Buick, GMC, Oldsmobile, and Cadillac. Obviously when talking about Cadillacs, you tend to think of "luxury" and really well-built automobiles. Chevrolet may be on the cheap end. But, they're all General Motors cars, right? Why do you think they do this?

    This is also done by some companies in the music business. Look at Gibson and Epiphone, for example. Epiphones ARE Gibsons, are they not? Just made in a different factory with different parts?

    If Ibanez wanted to separate their image issue, they may consider such a marketing strategy. Otherwise, they put themselves at the fate of poor marketing and negative brand recognition. [/B][/QUOTE]

    I don't see how you are disagreeing with me - with what in particular? :confused:
     
  13. RAM

    RAM

    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Bruce, I understood from your comment that it's not fair that entire brands suffer from the image of a single line.

    In that context, I was taking the stance that it's totally fair, that the image within a brand name is the company's responsibility. If they produce good instruments that people have negative attitudes about, they can change that, if they want.

    I know it's kind of beating a dead horse, but I think Peavey falls into a similar category: because of their products from 17 years ago, I won't even consider adding another one to my collection! But, that's something for another thread.

    Anyway, if I missed your point, I apologize. :)
     
  14. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    What I meant was that in discussions like this, it is meaningless to ask about a whole brand, like Ibanez and expect an opinion. You have to talk about specific basses - like the Ibanez Musician, rather than the brand as a whole - I do agree that the Marketing people will use the brand name to attract people to buy sub-standard basses based on the association with the name.

    BUT - we don't have to be fooled by Marketing and I see the value of forums like this that we can cut through the advertising and Marketing BS and call a spade a spade, where Magazines like Bass Player have to worry about potential ad revenue. So we needn't be fooled that a low-price Spector is going to be anything like the original high-end models.

    Similarly, just because Ibanez are currently producing truckloads of cheap basses with quality problems, doesn't mean that the Ibanez Musician wasn't a good bass.
     
  15. rickreyn

    rickreyn

    Jun 16, 2000
    Lutz, Florida
    Just an observation. Compare Ibanez basses for sale on Ebay to other brands, except Fender due to their popularity. You'll see quite a number listed compared to a handful of other brands at any given time. I don't have an answer to this. Just an observation.
     
  16. RAM

    RAM

    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Bruce, I do tend to agree with you on this. Brand image is a problem that people do fall prey to, perhaps more than we'd all like to admit!

    I am not familiar with the Musician series basses. So, if it were a good bass, then I'll trust you on that. But, from my knowledge of Ibanez, a good bass from that company is more of an exception rather than a rule. At least lately.

    I, for one, don't like having to go through 60 different instruments in an entire brand to find the 1 good one. And, frankly, I've had the same problems with Fender! Don't get me wrong...Fender makes some really nice basses. But, I've also seen pure crap from that company. It makes me a little jittery to spend my money on something that can be so inconsistent.
     
  17. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    That's just due to the vast numbers of both Ibanez and Fender basses produced - I would guess that the numbers or rather percentage of brands on ebay corresponds proportionately to the numbers produced.
     
  18. RAM

    RAM

    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    That could be an interesting study, huh?

    Viewing Fenders or Ibanez for sale on Ebay is extremely time-consuming, though.
     
  19. Deynn

    Deynn Moderator Emeritus

    Aug 9, 2000
    Iowa
    Could it be...that people buy Fender and Ibanez basses, because of name recognition...
    then at some point later...they go and actually try out other basses and find that they like one BETTER than their Fender, or Ibanez....and subsequently...sell them on Ebay?...:)
     
  20. RAM

    RAM

    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Yes, I think that's partially it!

    There are two kinds of Fender players out there...those who don't know better, and those who don't know anything...okay, just kidding...:D:D:D:D

    But, Fender has long been associated with bass guitars, almost to the point of being a generic name for bass guitar. So, by reputation alone, some people play them. Others play them because of some "purist" viewpoint. Yet others play them because they learn from what they see, so when they're new to the world of bass, that's what they have to have.

    The difference with Ibanez is that those who voluntarily buy Ibanez just simply don't know any better! :D:D:D