We’ve been suitably impressed by various basses from the Ibanez camp over the years – and the sumptuous finishes keep on coming. This SR five-stringer exhibits a rather fetching low-gloss topcoat, somewhere between a high-gloss finish and the smoothness of a satin surface.
The hardware looks top-notch, and the electronics package should in theory give the player all the tonal options they could need. But does this SR model cover familiar ground? Read on to find out...
The Brown Topaz finish really stands out alongside the figured maple top (Caribbean Green is also available), and while some players might not be keen on woody, organic-feeling basses, this SR model looks great, feels fabulous and sits comfortably against the player.
The familiar shallow Ibanez body depth works well with the upper and lower horn rounded contours, despite the lack of rear contouring for the player’s body. Flipping the body over, the mahogany core looks resplendent in its naturally rich, red colouring. This bass certainly scores in the looks department.
The neck length feels longer than it is, although we can assure you that it’s certainly a 34” scale. The panga panga and purpleheart five-piece laminate neck feels rigid, while the neck pocket looks very solid and tightly attached. The neck does feel heavy, and there is some noticeable headstock bias on and off the strap, but it isn’t uncomfortable to play.
Neck rigidity is further enhanced by titanium rods, which should keep the timbers in order, even burdened with the extra mass required of a five-string neck. The neck profile is slinky with a nut width of 45mm, but the neck depth is slim enough to offset the broadness of the fingerboard. Hardware and finishing are of a high level throughout.
With the active Aguilar Super Double single-coils offer a wide range of tones, the SR2405W-BTL caters for all styles.
The fit and finish is quality. There are hand-crimped frets and abalone inlays on this panga panga fretboard – it looks and feels great.
The SR2405W-BTL has a slim body that is all curves.
Up top you've got a set of gold Gotoh tuners helps keep tuning solid. They're reassuringly lightweight, too.
The abalone oval front-facing position markers are an example of this, with white dots sitting along the side edge, as is the recessed jack socket along the lower body edge. The gold Ibanez monorail bridge units and Gotoh machine heads work well and the bridge units allow three-way adjustments to be made.
The control set looks a little fussy, but it isn’t in pratice. Volume and pickup pan controls are backed up by a three-band EQ, a three-band mid-frequency selector switch and an active/passive switch. The treble control acts as a passive tone control in passive mode.
Sounds and playability
Ibanez basses are well known for having a fair degree of snap to their tone, and this bass has that as well as a standout low-mid bias which offers a woody rasp. Hooked up to an Aguilar Tone Hammer, the bass has a naturally organic tone, but the Ibanez EQ has equal amounts of power and finesse across all the frequencies.
Power and depth in the bottom end are supplemented with a punchy mid‑range across all three mid-EQ bands – 250Hz, 450Hz and 700Hz. The treble response is equally impressive. It isn’t excessive in any way, but it does give the player plenty of glassy sparkle.
The passive performance is also impressive, and although it doesn’t quite have the sonic punch that the active EQ offers, the natural response works in its favour. The woody bark courtesy of the timbers, alongside the Aguilar Super Double pickups and passive tone control, provide some rich passive tones.
Pick players will find plenty of useful tones to play with, while fingerstyle and slap-and-tap fiends will not be left wanting – this SR model caters for all musical styles and techniques.
The 18mm string spacing can be adjusted at the bridge should you choose to change it, but overall this is a bass which was designed with playability in mind: this latest iteration of the SR design ticks all of the boxes in that respect. Comfort comes courtesy of the sleekly-designed neck, and as five-string basses go, this is a mighty fine example.
We’re pleased to say that this Ibanez is an impressive instrument: a fine addition to the range. It will catch the eye of newcomers and seasoned veterans alike.
- Price: £1,149 / $1,599.99
- Made In: Indonesia
- Colour: Brown Topaz Burst (reviewed), Caribbean Green
- Body: African mahogany core, panga panga and figured maple top
- Neck: Panga panga and purpleheart five-piece laminate, 34” scale, satin finish
- Neck Joint: Bolt-on, four-bolt attachment
- Nut Width: 45mm
- Fingerboard: Bound panga panga
- Frets: 24
- Pickups: Aguilar Super Double Single-Coils x 2
- Electronics: Active Ibanez custom 3-band EQ, 9-volt
- Controls: Volume, pickup pan, bass, middle, treble/passive tone control, three-way mid-frequency switch (250Hz, 450Hz, 700Hz), active/passive selector switch
- Hardware: Gold hardware, IbanezMR5S Mono-rail bridge, Gotoh machine heads
- Weight: 4.2 kg / 9.25 lbs
- Case/gig bag included: Gig bag
- Left-hand option available: Yes
- Contact: Ibanez