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Would an Ibanez SRMS805 Fanned Fret Bass Change My Life?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Christcr, May 29, 2018.

  1. tpaul

    tpaul Supporting Member

    Mar 19, 2011
    Change your life? Depends. What were you planning to do with it?
    fcleff likes this.
  2. singlemalt

    singlemalt Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2007
    White Salmon, WA
    Look for a used Dingwall. Or look into a NG-2. If you don't want the long scale five string there are four strings in the long scale and super series.

    FWIW the reach to the nut on my 35" Cirrus feels longer than the reach to the nut on the long scale Dingwall. Many Dingwalls also incorporate a second strap lock recessed button on the back to further reduce reach.

    From what I've seen Ibanez just slapped a fan fret neck on a standard bass, and didn't do much to optimize the scale lengths. The fan and scale length on the Ibanez is closer to the Dingwall Super series.

    The Dingwalls are designed from the ground up to work with the fanned fret, but there is a whole lot more good stuff going on than just the fanned frets. Electronics, fit and finish, hardware are all top notch. Ergonomics and weight play a part as well.

    If you mean "change your life" like you bought a Dingwall and sold all your straight basses to buy another Dingwall...that could happen.
  3. wintremute

    wintremute mediocrity at its finest

    Oct 16, 2014
    Endorsing Artist: Langstrom Carrot Farms
    I'm an Ibanez fanboi, so keep that in mind. I've played the SRFF805 a few times, and always enjoyed it. Never had an issue adjusting.

    My original thought was that the scale on the B wasn't very much larger than a regular 34" scale, and I was going into it thinking that a longer scale was needed for a better B sound. I no longer subscribe to that theory. I now believe that the right strings on the right bass with the right pickups will determine how good your B (and other strings) sound. On some of the 805s I played the B sounded great, and on others it sounded just ok.

    If you're able to play one before you purchase, I highly recommend it. Otherwise, buy a used one from Guitar Center and take advantage of their generous return policy if you're not happy with it.
    AstralBirth and Whippet like this.
  4. B-Lo

    B-Lo One day I'll figure out how to play this thing... Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2017
    Northern Alabama
    As far as FFs go, I believe the Ibanez may be your best bet given what you mentioned about your hand size unless you opt for the Dingwalls that don't have the 37" B string. I had the SRMS's predecessor, the SRFF805 and the fret angles were not as pronounced as the Dingwalls.

    I eventually got an LTD B-1005SE and it's a 37" scale. IMO, it's a monster compared to the SRFF805. There's definitely more of a stretch for the first 3-4 frets compared to the Ibanez.

    I wish I knew someone with Dingwall because I would love to hear an in person side by side comparison of the LTD B-1005SE and a Dingwall.
  5. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    I played an Ibanez SRFF805 awhile back. After maybe 10 minutes I had to look at it to make sure it wasn't the SR655 that had been hanging up next to it thinking the salesman had handed me the right bass.
    Takes absolutely no getting used to…it's so natural feeling!
  6. inanimate_carb


    Aug 11, 2016
    Just complete the arch and go Dingwall.
    NicJimBass likes this.
  7. Christcr

    Christcr Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2015
    I aspire to play Smoke on the Water with it... and then hit the local GC. :wideyed:

    (humor, of course)

    No, mostly what I will be doing with it is recording. I don't have much use for 5-strings live right now. Of course, I may end up using it there as well--I just typically prefer 4-strings.

    Thanks for all the posts everyone. A lot to think about. I may go "higher end" with it--like the Dingwall. Then again, since it won't (presumably) be my main bass, I may keep it more in the semi-budget range--like the Ibanez. What I play mostly live is a Fender Custom Shop J-bass or a Fender Flea J-bass. I just got a Zon Sonus... and that certainly could become my main bass (I've had several Zons over the years--always killer sounding and playing). So the five string at most for live performance--at least this is the thought at this point--would be a "stand bass" on-stage backup.
    wintremute likes this.
  8. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    "Would an Ibanez SRMS805 Fanned Fret Bass Change My Life?"

    Maybe not. But the divorce would change mine.
    Christcr likes this.
  9. I'll mostly echo what others have said based on my short experience with one in a store.

    No, it will not take long to adjust. I could play it right away.

    No, switching back and forth with straight-fret basses is not an issue.

    No, it will not change your life IMHO. It's not a bad bass by any stretch. The multiscale layout feels nice ergonomically, the bass has a good B string and sounds ok. But honestly I think a USA Peavey Cirrus beats it on all those counts. Nicer neck profile and a better B string despite being "only" 35 inch scale. My experience/opinion, of course.

    Like someone else mentioned, string choice is very important for a low B. I've never had trouble getting a solid low B on my Fenders with the appropriate string. The difference between 35 and 35 1/2 should be negligible. If you like the bass buy it, but I wouldn't let the fanned frets be the sole deciding factor. Dingwall might be a different story but I very sadly have no experience with them.
  10. Whippet


    Aug 30, 2014
    the way the bass is designed, makes it easy to play. You won't notice the 37 inch all that much. I have the Prima and Z6, and a SJ5. They all play well. But as much as I like the SJ5 for a more conservative FF, I love the Ibanez G105. If you can find a good used one, you should look into that.

    That bass is really well designed.
  11. I love mine. I've been a Fender player for a long time.
    I'm now selling my Fenders.
  12. Jon Muir

    Jon Muir

    Jun 13, 2018
    Cincinnati, OH
    I am an Ibanez Soundgear guy, keep that in mind.

    I've been looking into the SRMS too as well as dingwalls. I'm not going to be using a lot of drop tunings, just occasionally switching that B to an A. I use moderately heavy strings, 50-70-85-105-135

    Because I like the body shape, should I get the Ibanez, or is it worth it to wait a bit longer saving up, wait the 11 months, and get a Dingwall?
  13. Whippet


    Aug 30, 2014
    they sound different. get the tone you like.
  14. Aidil


    Dec 4, 2014
    Jkt, IDN
    Wait and get the Dingwall, since you seems to have preference towards the Dingwall as the better choice. Thus if you've gotten the SRMS, the GAS of getting a Dingwall would never go away. Moreover, seems that you don't have budget limitation to get a Dingwall... so definitely Dingwall is you answer. Cause if it were me, I could never spend on a Dingwall, even on their cheapest model, or my wife would... :facepalm:
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2018
  15. Razman


    Feb 10, 2005
    Orange Park, FL
    OP, I jumped into a Dingwall Voodoo fiver sight unseen - it was a stellar bass, and I miss it. The increased tension made the strings tight so it was harder to play by feel; Kalium strings are 'looser' feeling so that would be what I would use if I acquired another one. Also, I have big hands, and I had to get used to stretching for notes near the headstock on the B string. Worth it though.

    As for the Ibby, the small difference in fanning may or may not make much difference to you. I'd say go with a bass that has the sound and feel you are looking for, like that 36" one you tried. I've played stellar basses that didn't have the feel or tone I was after and had to pass on them. If it feels good and sounds good, it is good, whether it came from Korea, Saskatoon, USA, or China.

    Case in point, my son is using the Douglas six string I have now (see link in my sig) but it is one of the best playing basses I've ever had - and you wouldn't think that by sighting the neck given some irregular fretwork (although the neck is straight). It has low action with no buzzing.

    It even plays better than my custom fiver, but my five string has more prominent lower and upper mids, which equates to harmonic vibrations in the strings in different areas than the sixer - dropping the action too much causes the strings to buzz as a result. However, it has the tone I desire and plenty of sustain, so it's #1 right now and my baseline for judging all others.

    If it wasn't for desiring another seven string I'd probably be gassing for a Dingwall badly. Hope you find what works best for you.

    AstralBirth likes this.
  16. NicJimBass

    NicJimBass Flossin'? I thought your name was Munson! Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Lancaster, OH
    64 Audio · DR Strings · Source Audio · Hipshot
    I had the newest version of the Ibanez recently... the SRMS805. Literally played it live for one song, and decided to return it. Felt too much like a toy to me, for lack of better description. Despite the scale, it felt small. Strings sounded a bit uneven as well, but that could've been the stock strings... didn't want to spend any money on it knowing I might return it.. The fact that they made a fanned fret bass with a 35.5" B makes no sense. That extra half inch, compared to my other basses, didn't make any difference. If you're going to do it at all, go all out, like Dingwall.
    Yahboy likes this.
  17. bumperbass

    bumperbass Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2012
    It makes sense to me, since the SR's are all 34" scale, if I'm correct? I am looking at this bass, too. I hadn't considered an SR because I think 35" scale B's sound better (as a rule....exceptions).
    This gives those of us who want a 35", but like the looks and feel of an SR, an option to check out.
    wintremute likes this.
  18. Aidil


    Dec 4, 2014
    Jkt, IDN
    +1 on @bumperbass

    A 35.5" is a 35.5". It's not the same as 35" and it's an inch and a half more than a 34", which is the scale of most SR basses. With the SRMS, those who prefer SR basses can now enjoy longer scale low-B than their usual 34".

    Even Dingwall makes multi scales of 35" to 32" on the Super J and Super P.
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2018
  19. bumperbass

    bumperbass Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2012
    While I really think the SRMS805 and the SRFF805 are great looking basses and the mild fanned fret concept is pretty cool, there are 2 things that put me off.
    One is the angle of the pickups where I sometimes rest my thumb. The other is the sheer length of the pickups. I don't understand why they'd have to be that long.
    The angle of the pickups to the strings I like very much, though.
  20. Aidil


    Dec 4, 2014
    Jkt, IDN
    Actually... compared to the BH1 pickups on the SRFF805, the new BH2 pickups on the SRMS805 are slightly reduced in length.


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