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Ibanez SR

Ibanez SR886

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User reviews on Ibanez SR products

A real rocket bass! (Ibanez - SR800LE)

By linn134, 03/06/2018
So far, i only have little hindsight on this beast of a bass but that’s far from being the first I’ve owned, far from that. By the way, I’ve even owned several Ibanez in the past: EDB605, SRX595, Musician, RB500.

When talking about bass players, the stereotype which generally comes to minds is that of a beanpole with huge hands: as far as I’m concerned, I’m rather tall indeed but I have small hands – you can think I’m strangely made, but since my shoe size is not monstrous either I can live with it.

So, a bass player is supposed to be a guy who can use a pickaxe handle to go dum-dum. But in the 80s, when your average rocker was rather a thin guy wearing jeans and a fluo outfit, Ibanez had the brilliant idea to make very thin instruments: the Sabre and RG series for guitarists, and the SoundGear models for bassists – they’re most often referred to as the "SR", or "SDGR".

Endowed with a thin, narrow and ultra-fast neck, these basses are real jewels in finesse and ergonomics. These are “technical”, “modern”, “fusion” instruments – which for those not fluent in marketing speak means they were “designed with a great care for ergonomics”, “equipped with active electronics” and “able to respond to both a classic finger play than to slap”.

The SR-800 LE was made in Japan, here are its specs:

- Massive Tilia wood body
- Painted (back and head) maple neck with a 24-fret rosewood fingerboard
- Two Regulated Lo-Z pickups
- Omni-Adjust bridge
- Self-lubricated tuners
- Controls: Volume / Balance / EQ boost-cut for the Lows / EQ boost-cut for the Highs

A few words on workmanship

Some will regret that the body is made of tilia: I consider they’re wrong.
Indeed, many a high-end instrument is made of tilia, including the great MusicMan guitars for instance. There are several reasons for choosing tilia. Soundwise, it does is part as we have a “modern-sounding” instrument with nice mids, and tilia has a part in it. But ergonomical questions make it even more appreciated, as it is easier to work on than ash and lighter than mahogany, allowing to make refined shape guitars like this SR.

The neck is a real masterpiece, even compared to two basses which can be considered high-end instruments: a Japanese Fender JB Marcus Miller (almost industrially produced) and a Neuser Crusade Signature (handmade by a luthier). These two beautiful instruments have reference necks both in terms of comfort and stability, and now I’m considering this SR800LE up to par with them in that regard due to its neck which is thin, narrow and stands up very straight.
The wood is a beautiful solid maple with a quality rosewood fingerboard.

Back to the body now: with tilia being a rather soft wood, it shows marks from a few bumps it has taken over time. On the pictures, you can see what looks like a “bite” on the upper body. This to me is the main cons of using this type of wood, though it is very efficient sonically.

Hardware and electronics

When it comes to Made in Japan instruments, Ibanez is very careful. No soft alloys and speckled iron, it’s all massive and sturdy.
The tuners look like Gotoh (though they’re not), the bridge is perfect and so is the fretwork, so in the end a great MIJ Ibanez, as all bass lovers know and like it.

I’m less enthusiastic as to the electronics.
The Regulated Lo-Z pickups are quite peculiar, their output level is not awful and the 2-band preamp allows to glue the sound smoothly.
Let’s start with the best part – the (inverted) P-pickup. It delivers all that you’d expect from a modern P-Style model, and it alone nearly suffices for all playing techniques.

With the balance at half (P+J), the result is also very good. Big sound for slap, for instance.

Using the Jazz pickup alone is, in my opinion, useless. Not much mojo, too sensitive to hits to play very close to the bridge, plus the sound lacks roundness.

The P alone and P+J combination are really what makes this bass shine – and overall it really does.

It works well in every styles, but really gives it all with percussive playing techniques [Slap/Pop].

Where do we plug it?

So far, I’ve tried two combinations. First, into a Hiwatt B60 and its 12” cab: the result is nice, but you can’t say this is the most modern-sounding amp around and you’re far from a 90s Hartke with its aluminium cones. Adding a more vintage grain to this bass is pleasant and tends to moderate its “modern-fusion” spirit.

I’ve also tried it using amp simulations (Amplitube 3/Fender/SVX), and it’s really fine within the range of expectations you can have from such pieces of software. If you aim for a “studio” mix, it’s very coherent.

I expect to try it with two other amps in the near future: a Trace Elliot GP12SMX and a Hartke Kickback 15, both made within the same period of time as the SR800LE. I’m not too fond of the Markbass sound so I’ll avoid trying this, however I expect to try a Gallien-Krueger stack soon.

In the end...

Clearly, this is a good bass. The workmanship and ergonomics are perfect, and the sound is rather versatile with a typical Ibanez touch.
It’s all the opposite from a lumberjack’s bass and far from the standards of fat-sounding rock – closer in mind to the spirit of rather expensive “technical” basses.
A great occasion to taste of a dream neck for a guy with small hands like me. This bass is very easy to play and sounds immediately good, which is nice with me.

The one I own is in a Candy Apple Red finish – a nice metal red, well nice provided you like red of course. I’ve always wanted a bass in that color and I was happy as this was given to me by a friend who no longer used it – needless to say value-for-money can only be exceptional.
What’s even more curious, I had been several times on the verge of buying one in the past years and finally delayed the purchase.

This bass is clearly as good as comparable new models, it’s up to par with the high-end Tune. When holding it, you can feel that it’s not just another low-end Asian-made bass, but a real fine and racy Japanese instrument.

near the perfetion (Ibanez - SR3005E)

By franfranky, 28/11/2014
Low japanese, aajou body, sleeve screwed wenge / bubinga 5-ply, wenge fretboard, 24 medium frets.
two soapbar bartolini US, electronica Ibanez Vari-mid (3-band parametric with medium).
round rather late, unvarnished.
short, a rather low 'modern'.
Finishing copy quality matéiaux derisory weight for a 5 string (3.8 kg).


first point ergonomics. true to say I've never played on a bass too comfortable! very light, super easy handle that plays the closed eyes, well designed body and all rounded nickel balance.
we can do better!


both pickups are distinct characters. The preamp is a real massacre: settings react like clockwork, the parametric medium allows sulpter sound impressively, the dynamic is excellent. next to her on my preamp stingray is anemic ...

tampering with a bit we get to go out any sound of this bass, although large round coffee at slap singing through the big bass EQ cut metal with a V ... by against that demand for knowledge master hello preamp if the damage (sensitive and powerful settings).


used for a year, it's a crazy instrument I bought after testing a SR505 had me rather impressed (weight, ergonomics ...).
it is thought to play an instrument, both simple in design (shape rather "classic" sober finish) but very effective (preamp, microphone, ergonomics, weight, handle). a Swiss Army knife.
good it has flaws: Finishing rather fragile.

some find that the sound of the SR lack of personality, for me it is all the opposite, I find it rather they offer a rich and versatile sound palette for addressing all styles without any worries.

the coast of the SR is often very low (€ 500-700) which makes it super deal!

Super price / quality ratio (Ibanez - SR300)

By Tom6446, 26/03/2014
2 active pickups Ibanez
tone knobs, volume boost, ...


Mache very comfortable, low light enough that does not break the back after 2 hours of rehearsal., Easy to use and to find a good sound.


Great for rock and metal through active pickups. I play to resume the metalcore metal and Neo granted in drop C on a Marshall MB30 amplifier which allows for much modern sounds.


A very good bass for this price range, ideal for beginners and enthusiasts not wanting to spend too much and still do Plaiz

Super quality / price (Ibanez - SR1205)

By pascaph, 04/01/2014
Table Ovankol
Mahogany body
Wenge and bubinga handle
Wenge key
24 frets
2 pickups Nordstrand Big Single
EQ switch on / off
Switch middle freq 250Hz/600Hz
Made in Indonesia
I put a score of 8 because the features are great but the finish could be better, as qalité sanding the body for example (not embarrassing to play but do less "chic" that Warwick for example.


I judge the ergonomics of a low according to the following criteria, taking into account for those who want to use me, I have small hands (which is important when it is a 5 string):
* Weight: Ibanez is really the champion of low light, not sacrificing anything for all the sound. It is for me an important criterion for the lower play standing for several hours (or repet concert) and therefore comfort depends much on the weight
* Balance: perfect
* Size of the handle: I just selected the Ibanez SR series for my May 1st string because the handle is really late compared to a Musicman, Warwick or Fender, and therefore the strings are fairly close. It can be a slap inconvenient especially if you do not master this technique. But for playing comfort with a finger or mediator (99% of the use of a bass), this is a real plus.
* Access handle: the handle is shorter than a warwick and without access to the top of the handle is less tiring. The access to the bottom of the handle is nickel. The underside of the handle has a very successful I find an ergonomic point of view for placement inch flat portion. I find it much more comfortable than the sleeve C (way Fender)


This bass boxing in the "hitters" category, Musicman Stingray way or Warwick Corvette Double humbucker, unlike consensual bass Fender (Jazz Bass) style, or Ibanez and Cort microwave Bartolini. For sound, I make a difference between a low test at home or in a store vs. group play (repet or concerts). Because it can be very misleading. Bass Musicman, Warwick or Ibanez SR1205 have the character and can sound cold hair was tested. But in the mix of a group that is far from being a fault because you hear better without having to turn up the volume. This is fundamental to me. The SR1205 is less typical than the Stingray and therefore can be more versatile. She raproche actually the character of Warwick although its micro Nordstrand are different CME. This is an original sound, with one side "fit in" while remaining warm and musical a delight!
The electron is, in turn, very powerful: any rotation of a potentiometer radically changes the sound that allows you to concoct a sound measure.


I bass for 7 years, and I play in a cover band pop / rock. I had other low before the SR1205 (MM Stingray, Warwick Corvette, Fender JB U.S. Cort custom shop) and it was my first 5 string.
For me the great strength of this bass is its unbeatable price / performance ratio (I paid € 1140 new lai), the quality of materials (wenge, bubinga, ovangkol) found only on more expensive models (Warwick) ergonomics, and sound.
The finish could be improved manufacturing (sanding, ..) but no impact on Thurs
I have 2 months and I referrer this choice without hesitation. Really a good plan.

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