Ibanez Sr800 Bass Review
07/12/2016

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.

Specifications

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.

Sounds.

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.

Summary

A good value for money & versatile bass.

By Ernest H Slade