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Thread: Bass advice - Ibanez SR505 vs Fender J

  1. #1
    Ultimate Tone Slacker Metalman_666's Avatar
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    Default Bass advice - Ibanez SR505 vs Fender J

    Hey guys, I am primarily a guitar player and have only messed around on a bass maybe ten times in my life. I mean, I did play bass at a metal gig in high school. But I am realising that having a decent bass around is a good change of pace, a lesson in not overplaying, and could be fun.

    I've got a few bass-playing friends who use different gear, and the bassist in my band swore by his 5-string American Jazz for years and years. In the last 5 years or so he's gravitated toward heavier "active" bass tones, in particular EBMM Stingrays. He lent me a 4-string parts J-bass and I am really digging it! My girlfriend is recording a few tracks and I laid down some bass on one with the J-bass, had a lot more fun than I thought I would.

    Another bassist I've played with has an older Ibanez SR505 he might part with for a great friend price, and I'm just looking for some guidance from others out there. It's got the Bartolini MK1 pickups, and I know it has a 12" radius, 34" scale which might be loose on the low B.

    I've heard the Aerodyne Jazz might be a good choice too, but any Fender-style Jazz is versatile and ubiquitous.

    Aside from personal preference on the play test, are there any general tidbits about the feel, tone, or quality of these two contenders? Since I'm a guitarist first, both are mid-level toys for me to play around with and do some recording, possibly some very occasional gigging.

    Thanks in advance,
    Last edited by Metalman_666; 05-31-2020 at 04:22 PM.
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    A Ficus ehdwuld's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bass advice - Ibanez SR505 vs Fender J

    my buddy played a Jazz bass professionally for 20 years
    when I went to get a bass
    I ended up with an SR500

    my buddy was so impressed with it
    he paid retail for a 505, something he has never done
    when comparing them
    the 4 string and 5 string have the same size nut
    meaning the strings are closer together on the 5 string as opposed to the 4
    which does take some getting used to

    the Ibanez neck is closer to a guitar neck in size and shape
    it is a bit longer in scale

    but coming from a guitar to bass
    you will like the Ibanez much better
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    Chris JB_From_Hell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bass advice - Ibanez SR505 vs Fender J

    If you want to really play bass, and not like a guitar player playing bass, a Jazz or Precision certainly wouldn’t be the worst place to start.
    "Patience is key. Hard work is obligatory. And it’s the decisions you make right now, not the habits of the past, that will shape your success in the future." - Janek Gwizdala

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    Ultimate Tone Slacker Metalman_666's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bass advice - Ibanez SR505 vs Fender J

    One vote for each - interesting that the Ibanez will feel more like a guitar neck, that is very intriguing!

    Thanks for the input guys, I'll check out my buddy's SR505 and see how that compares
    • EBMM JPX BFR (Crunch Lab/Liquifire)
    • Schecter C-1 Classic (Custom8/Jazz)
    • Mayones Duvell 7 Standard (Instrumental SFTY-3/Decomp)
    • G&L Tribute Comanche
    • Godin Stadium 59 (Custom Cajun/'59)
    • Horizon Precision Drive --> Fulltone FB3/FD 2 --> Crybaby From Hell (Fasel) --> Boss BF-2 --> CH-1 --> TC Flashback X4
    • Mesa/Boogie Mark IV-B (SED =C= 6L6) + EarCandy BuzzBomb 2x12 (V30/C90)

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    Senior Member Explorer84's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bass advice - Ibanez SR505 vs Fender J

    I just bought a Fender Professional Jazz a couple of days ago for home recording and it's a fantastic guitar. Guitar Center did have the Elite Jazz on clearance for $100 less than the price of a Professional. Which is a great deal! Two reasons I didn't choose the Elite. One, was that it had active electronics. I've never been a fan of active electronics. The Elite also offers passive circuitry. Second, I wanted to help my local music store.

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    Ultimate Tone Slacker DavidRavenMoon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bass advice - Ibanez SR505 vs Fender J

    I have a 1987 SR-885LE. It was my first 5 string. It’s still my main bass, even though I have been playing my drummer’s Mexican Jazz Bass (she used to play bass before switching to drums) because we play tuned down to C#.

    To me the Ibanez is a much nicer bass. It was also more expensive (about $800 in ‘87), but it’s got a much nicer neck. That’s why I bought it. It looks cooler too.

    Plus everyone and their mother plays a Jazz Bass. It’s like a uniform.

    I like playing something different, which is I also play a Parker guitar.




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    Ultimate Tone Slacker DavidRavenMoon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bass advice - Ibanez SR505 vs Fender J

    Quote Originally Posted by JB_From_Hell View Post
    If you want to really play bass, and not like a guitar player playing bass, a Jazz or Precision certainly wouldn’t be the worst place to start.
    I’ve played bass for 50 years. I mainly played a ‘73 Rickenbacker 4001. I also had a ‘74 P bass. There’s nothing wrong with playing on a fast/slim neck. And look how skinny a Jazz neck is at the nut. That’s why I never liked them.

    Look at the basses virtuoso players use. Not too many Fenders.


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    Default Re: Bass advice - Ibanez SR505 vs Fender J

    I have a Jazz 5 string, I tried an SR505, but I much prefer my Yamaha TRBX505. I also have an LTD Surveyor 5 that is a joy to play, which is a modern P/MM.
    The B string felt flobby on the Ibanez compared to my other 34" scale 5 string basses.

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    Ultimate Tone Slacker DavidRavenMoon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bass advice - Ibanez SR505 vs Fender J

    Quote Originally Posted by donaldr View Post
    The B string felt flobby on the Ibanez compared to my other 34" scale 5 string basses.
    That’s all a matter of the brand strings you use. It has nothing to do with the bass. 34” is 34”.


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    Ultimate Tone Member BeKindRewind's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bass advice - Ibanez SR505 vs Fender J

    I love my SR505! It's been a long time since I played a J-bass, but from what I remember the strings on the J bass were so close together I really didn't like it. That's about the only comparison I can make but that alone makes the choice pretty easy , for me

    I'm a guitarist that doesn't play much bass , but I do pick with my fingers. the 505 works great for me and every time I pick it up and play it, it puts a smile on my face. Also I don't think I could really gel with a 4 string, that's just a personal thing for me though cause I'm playing a lot of songs written for keyboard, that would require drop D or a lower tuning, but I don't need to since i have the B string there
    Last edited by BeKindRewind; 06-16-2020 at 01:20 PM.

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    Ultimate Tone Slacker DavidRavenMoon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bass advice - Ibanez SR505 vs Fender J

    Quote Originally Posted by BeKindRewind View Post
    It's been a long time since I played a J-bass, but from what I remember the strings on the J bass were so close together I really didn't like it.
    That’s always been my problem with Jazz necks. Way too narrow at the nut.

    I'm a guitarist that doesn't play much bass , but I do pick with my fingers. the 505 works great for me and every time I pick it up and play it, it puts a smile on my face. Also I don't think I could really gel with a 4 string, that's just a personal thing for me though cause I'm playing a lot of songs written for keyboard, that would require drop D or a lower tuning, but I don't need to since i have the B string there
    I also play guitar in a band, although I’ve mostly been a bassist in bands growing up. I play both with a pick, but sometimes I play bass with my fingers. Depends on the song.

    I’ve played 5 strings exclusively since about 1988. So here I am playing a 4 string Jazz bass in one of my bands. Kinda funny. Took me a bit to get oriented on the bass, plus it’s tuned down to C#.


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    Something Cool uOpt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bass advice - Ibanez SR505 vs Fender J

    One advantage of the Jazz bass is that you get more choices of aftermarket parts, namely pickups.

    If it's your only bass that would be a factor for me.

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    Ultimate Tone Member Erlend_G's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bass advice - Ibanez SR505 vs Fender J

    I've always thought Ibanez' necks were too thin.

    And you couldn't really "go wrong" with a Jazz Bass
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    Ultimate Tone Member Erlend_G's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bass advice - Ibanez SR505 vs Fender J

    actually; for a guitarist wanting a bass that sounds great and is easy to play;

    Try the very cheap, and short scale- Epiphone EB-0. All mahogany, thin and easy-to play neck, and humbucker close to the neck. (sunshine of your love type sound)

    I had one as my main bass, loved it to shreds, but lost it :/

    I will buy one again in an instant, if I find one used.
    If somethings important- send a PM. I might be offline for long periods. Rock on!!!

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    Default Re: Bass advice - Ibanez SR505 vs Fender J

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidRavenMoon View Post
    That’s all a matter of the brand strings you use. It has nothing to do with the bass. 34” is 34”.

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    Blame it on Ibanez then. I tried many of them brand new in stores...
    But 34" is 34" is not totally true. You have the angle of the B string at the nut and the neck construction that makes or breaks a 34" scale 5-string bass. Good example is old Fender 5-string.

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    mild old man perv Aceman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bass advice - Ibanez SR505 vs Fender J

    Been having the 4 vs 5 string discussion with bass players. I really think there isn't much need for the 5 string. It's a nice to have.

    One thing they pointed out was that the "low notes" are not the biggest best reason for them. It's playing busy lines in 5th position.

    I don't play "busy lines" or deep Jazz/Pop so I'll likely stick to 4 strings in the future. I do have a 5 though. But mostly I just rest my thumb on the 5th string.

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    Default Re: Bass advice - Ibanez SR505 vs Fender J

    I absolutely love playing with a 5 string player.
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