Ibanez Sr800 Bass Review
This instrument purchase came about as I was on a quest to purchase
a small bodied and lightweight bass that I could comfortably
play standing/sitting due to a recent back injury.
Normally at home on a Jazz bass I choose the Ibanez as it has
a neck profile similar to that of a Jazz, was well priced,
lightweight and also versatile with its active electronics.
The SR800 comes equipped with a rosewood fingerboard and 24
medium frets. This joins a five piece composite Jatoba &
Bubinga neck which, is unfinished to avoid the stickyness
some players tend to dislike with varnished necks. The body
is made of mahogany and has a popular burled top with a matt
finish called “Aged Whiskey”.
In the electronics department active Bartolini pickups are used
and these are controlled by a 3-band EQ. The “Accu-cast” bridge
provides good contact and sustain from its mass and all hardware
is finished in gold.
Fit and Finish.
To be honest I was a bit apprehensive about spending a considerable
amount of money on an Indonesian made mid-range bass. I
was originally considering a 5-string to have the extra flexibility,
but the extra weight and also the “floppy B string” syndrome
encountered during a store test made me lean towards the purchase
of the 4-string version.
Out of the box I was pleasantly surprised. The bass is well
made with no noticeable flaws. The matt aged whiskey top looks
superb and the neck feels very smooth. The bass feels very
light and comfortable and has a good balance.
The only “issue” I have so far is, that the space from the end
of the extended neck to the first pickup is quite small, making
it a bit difficult to snap the higher strings (especially
as the strings are quite low), but one can get used to this.
The SR800 has a very punchy tone, bright and clear yet with
a lot of low end. The active controls can add or remove a
great deal of EQ within each frequency range and this makes
the bass very versatile and tonally adjustable in many ways.
I have tried it so far with my studio based 50 watt Ampeg practice
combo on which it seems to be very happy for practice and
recording. The bass seems at home with many styles of music
whether one is slapping away to a funky number or just holding
down the low-end for a three chord country tune.
I have also played it live at a wedding function, as I play
bass on some numbers and both I and my bass player both had
good things to say about the SR800, which was plugged into
a beefy EBS Reidmar Amp/Cab System.
A good value for money & versatile bass.
By Ernest H Slade
NOTE, March 2017 Update:
After a few months and very little use the electronics in
the bass stopped working completely. The instrument went back
to Ibanez via the online supplier and after six weeks it came
back with a huge gouge in the upper horn. Ibanez denied the
damage. Luckily the supplier (Gear4music) stepped up and refunded
the value of the bass. Needless to say not very impressed
with Ibanez either in the workmanship or customer services