Ibanez SR500E Electric Bass Guitar (Brown Mahogany)
First and foremost, with this review I would like to point out the excellent customer service I received from Charles D. at Pineville Music when ordering this bass – After searching to find this particular bass for weeks I found it online at Pineville Music, emailed an inquiry to confirm inventory on Saturday evening after 9pm, received confirmation the same night (less than 10 minutes later!), so I placed the order that evening (close to midnight). I received the bass, well packaged and secure, just 3 days after ordering it on a weekend! Outstanding. The Unboxing: the base came with D’Addario EXL 165 bass strings, but they were not taunt / the bass was un-tuned - I prefer this as it does not place tension on new strings for prolonged periods of time under various temperature and humidity conditions while in storage or during the jostling of shipping – so I was confident that the strings were like-new-fresh. Right from the box, I tuned the bass but noticed a bit of fret buzz, so I ran through the set up (checked and adjusted the bridge and string height to my preference first, then checked / adjusted intonation, and finally checked and adjusted the trust) – this alleviated the buzz and allowed me to hear the true sound of the strings and electronics. I then too time to become familiar with the electronics. This bass has a well-equipped arsenal of tone control via 5 knobs and 2 switches (bass/Mid/Treble tone controls, active/passive modes, pickup balancing, volume, and overall tone control for passive mode). After dialing it in and running through a few of my favorite rifts, I will say that I absolutely love the bass! – (1) aesthetically, it is very pleasing to look at, (2) comfort wise, it is not overly heavy (like my Peavey T40) and is comfortable when strapped on, and (3) sound and tone wise, it sounds awesome! I will add that I honestly believe that you get a heck of a lot more with the SR500E (versatility, tone, and workmanship) than what you would commonly expect for the price. Musically: Personally, I like playing music by Marcus Miller, so with this bass I can back off just shy of full bass, back off just shy of full treble, cut the Mid-range completely, and place it in active mode – this delivers that very punchy and scooped out sound that Marcus is known for – This is what I was looking for. However, while in active mode, I can mid the treble and Mid-range, top off just shy of full bass and route 75% through the neck pickup and perform more soulful compositions such as Kiss of Life and Smooth Operator by Sade. It is a very versatile instrument. About the strings: as mentioned, the bass came with D’Addario EXL 165 strings – these are nickel wound (nickel plated, round wound, long scale strings) – I never played with them before and was prepared to swap them out with my usual standard - Elixir Nanoweb Long Scale, Light/Medium strings (14677). However, after playing a bit with the D’Addarios, I actually liked them and found them to render a similar bright but robust sound as the Elixirs (sound I prefer for slap bass and find necessary Clarke, Miller, or Johnson compositions). Regarding Satisfaction: I can honestly say that after playing it for the first 10 minutes (and I went to town – so to speak), I was completely satisfied with the instrument (sound, quality, cost/value ratio, and look). I am still exploring with the diversity of the bass; however, I can see and hear the great potential for it being able to fill a wide verity of genres and styles of playing (from Funk to Smooth Jazz). I am very satisfied with the purchase.