Ibanez SR405
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MGR/Travers Clark 08/05/2003

Ibanez SR405 : MGR/Travers Clark's user review

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I recieved the bass as a gift for my birthday, because I wanted a 5 string for extra range, to my knowlege it cost $799NZ.

The active controls are great for shaping a room filling sound that depending on your tastes can either blend in with a band or stand out in it's own sonic spectrum. The extra range is OK but I don't play anything lower than the low D because it doesn't really blend in with the other instruments, I have found the best sound and range out of this instrument is acheived by stringing it with D'addario flat wounds and tuning it in fifths from low to high 5=D 4=A 3=E 2=B 1=F# which gives you a range of 5 octaves and 4 semitones compared to the 4 octaves and 8 semitones of a standard tuned five and 4 octaves and 3 semitones of a four (all excluding harmonics), the low D is the equivalent of Drop D while the high F# is the equivalent of the 14th fret on the high E of a guitar.The input jack is solid as a rock and the battery seem to last for ages I've just changed my battery for the first time since march it is now august!

I didn't like the brightness of the instrument, it's good for popular music styles but doesn't have the depth required for jazz, blues, latin or reggae even with the bass control turned right up and the mids and treble rolled off. Also the tight string spacing makes slapping a lot harder, I don't have huge hands or anything like that even though standard slap pop techniques are easy enogh to pull off, I found whe you get into the serious slap stuff like double thumbing(like Victor Wooten) or double plucking (like Ray Reindeau) these advanced techniques require far too much concentration to do on this bass. A warwick thumb with wide spacing option is a billion time better than this bass for such playing.

The maple body is a touch on the heavy side for me but I put that down to me usually playing 4strings even though it is well balanced on the lap and on the strap.
When I opened the electronic cavity for the first time yesterday I was pleasantly surprised to find a fully sheilded compartment with foil and conductive paint, threaded screw inserts neatly placed electronics and a solid battery mount.
the three piece maple neck is quite comfortable even for small hands and shouldn't intimidate anyone, tuners are quite accurate and hold their pithch well.
The nut on my bass was properly cut and the action low with no string buzzes, whenever I get a new instrument I ussually set them up myself but on this bass there was no need I haven't even adjusted the neck. Just a well built bass.

If you are wanting to delve into 5 string land and are looking for a bass which is easy on the hands then this is probably a good bet. It has a good preamp but does't have all the sounds in there which is fine if you don't want to play jazz or latin. This bass is probably perfect for what I am doing with that is playing in a 4 piece rock band with two guitars to cut through also responds well to effects such as electroharmonix bassball, crybabby wah and boss turbo overdrive, alll in all a good bass at a good price but final thoughts a set of flatwound really makes this bass sound great and does add considerable depth I recommend D'addarios 45-130 chromes.

This review was originally published on http://www.musicgearreview.com