Ibanez BTB405QM 5-String

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BrendonM
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Ibanez BTB405QM 5-String

Post by BrendonM » Fri Jan 05, 2007 5:01 pm

Hi,

like faol30 I am losing my reviewers virginity here so be gentle :)

Description:
Like all Ibanez instruments, the BTB is made with the bass player in mind. With a thick, full sound and clear tone, the BTB Series lets your real bass sound be heard. Played by some of today's top bass players, when you hear one, you'll know why.

The BTB Series comes with a fuller body and neck, with more passive pickups for better quality tone and sustain. Also, BTB basses feature Neutrik locking jacks and Monorail II bridges so the strings are independent, and do not interfere with each other as they vibrate. If it is subtlety you're going for, the studio-quiet Vari-Mid 3B EQ allows you to modify and color your tones as much or as little as you want. And don't forget about the 18 volt circuitry that provides much greater headroom than found on standard active EQs.

Specifications:
Body Material: Basswood with Quilted Maple top
Bridge: Mono-Rail II
Hardware: Color Silver Nickel
Neck Pickup: Ibanez Dynamix Full Range Pickup
Bridge Pickup: Ibanez Dynamix Full Range Pickup
Scale: 35" neck scale provides superior articulation. Perfect for 5-strings.
Active EQ: Vari-Mid 3B, 18-volt circuitry provides much greater headroom than found on standard active EQ's.
Neck Material: 5-Piece Maple/Walnut
Neck Type: BTB5
Number of Frets: 24
Fret Type: Large
Fingerboad: Rosewood
Inlay: Pearl Dot

Image

My Review:
Feature:
The active EQ is awesome and works very well with the passive pickups, and makes for an immense variety of tones without any noise.. I absolutely love the Mono-Rail II bridge, It makes the bass easier to tune and stays in tune much better than many basses, plus changing strings is very simple.

Quality:
The product quality is unparalleled in anything I have seen or played previously for the same price, this bass cost me $895 new from the store - granted I got it a day before Christmas Eve so it was giftweek... lol. I have no doubt I will be playing this bass years from now and beyond. I don't buy or look at basses for beauty, but this is lovely. One thing I find very curious however, is the finish. I own the transparent purple model and with the quilt underneath it looks awesome, my next bass will be a Fender Jazz Delux and I was going for a uilted top but have changed my mind and will be ordering the sunburst as I have all the sexy quilted top I need for now. It's a beauty. I love the cable locking mechanism, very handy as I tend to move around a fair bit with I play and am mindful of my cable...

Value:
The retail was $1700 or so, I bought it for $895 from Weirs in Hamilton and it performs better than many basses I have paid more for. Originally this was a fill in purchase until I could afford the Fender Jazz Delux however I will NOT sell this, it's a keeper! Definately boom for buck. Just over the 2 weeks I have had it, it has almost paid for itself twice...

Desirability:
Extremely sexy, particularly being purple - I brought it home from the shop and my wife had no idea I was buying a bass. She looked at it, smiled and said 'Oooh thats nice'. I was kind of expecting castration (but then why should she suffer... lol). I think if I had have come home with $895 of anything else for myself she would've returned it on my behalf.

Sound:
This is without a doubt one of the best basses i've played in this dollar range. The sound is amazing. The tones you can produce are endless. The overall quality of this bass is impressive. I play most styles with this bass being in covers and originals gigs and this has a tone for every occassion. The sound quality has placed the focus on improving my playing which is a good thing, now I have to get better and not suck as much...

Ease of Use:
I love the 35 inch scale, my old Epiphone EBM-5 has a 34 inch scale but in addition the string spacing is way too close for tapping. The 35 inch scale on this ensures a tight string set which eliminates that floppy string syndrome. A very playable instrument, some may find it harder being bigger but I have big hands. The E.Q. will take some getting used to, but I have found some great settings which work for me.

Support:
I have owned many Ibanez basses and have never required support, they are very reliable.

Overall:
It's a keeper. If you are building a library of basses I recommend adding one, perhaps get the model with the Bartolini's as I have heard they sound better but this provides excellent bass for buck. They also do a Prestige series and if you have the money for it then do it, you won't regret it. This is good enough for what I need, I am a weekend warrior and this is a great axe. I am sure BTB must stand for 'Back to Bassics' because they seem to have gone for all those good things like great craftsmanship, good woods, excellent electronics which make a decent instrument.
cheers
BrendonM

Fender Jazz Deluxe 5 String, Ibanez, Takamine & Westone Basses.
Fender / Peavey Amplification with Ashdown cabinets, Zoom effects.
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Post by beagle » Fri Jan 05, 2007 7:09 pm

awesome review dude. I just had a play on a similar ibanez 5 string model today @ mainline musicworks takapuna and was really impressed with the feel. :)

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Post by foal30 » Sat Jan 06, 2007 11:06 am

35" scale.

I don't know if it makes the B string "tighter" but it sure clarifies the notes you play down low. I was unable to locate a 34" scale 5 string that spoke (to my ears) in tune all the way down to the open B. I suspect the bridge is helping here too, looks like a similar design to the 2Tek, which I only heard good things about. As far as "bigger hands" I think it is more a practise thing, you do need to familiarise yourself with the new instrument.

Upgrade/replacement with Bartolini's. I have done so with two of my instruments , seriously dig the lows and lower mids. I have found they bring major guts to the instruments sound.I use 9J#4's in my 5string and it was a really good upgrade. EMG's I think have "more top" but I liked the mids less and Seymour Duncan's I tried were a bit cloudy in the bottom registar.
Obvioulsey check the houseing specs first! If you fork out then need routing it could end up a bit more $ fairly quickly.

nice one Brendon.

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Re: Ibanez BTB405QM 5-String

Post by raynor » Sat Sep 01, 2007 1:00 pm

hi
have you tried or heard of the EDB600 Ibanez 4 string. Man I have been playing bass for near 50 years and I have been through a heap of bass guitars.I kept my Fender Precision 1968 model and I played that guitar for donkey years. About two years ago I purchased the EDB600.
The Fender sound is uniqe but the guitar is bulky and a neck that is too thick.
I have and will always be a Fender fan, but I must admit that I have now put the Fender to rest
and play on the Ibanez. It is active and far superior to any bass guitar that I have ever owned. I have had: Vox;Gibson;Futurerama;Epiphone;Framus; etc during my 50 year experience.For sheer speed of the neck,nothing compares in all of my experience.
I will never get rid of my Fender though.I also owned a Fender 6 string during the famous 60's.

Regards
Ray

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Re: Ibanez BTB405QM 5-String

Post by goatboy » Thu Oct 18, 2007 8:17 am

I fell in love with the Ergodyne range during the time I was the Ibanez importer's in-house guitar tech. These things are fantastic. Their only drawback is the nature of the luthite used for the body. If you get so much as a hairline crack in it, the stability of the structure is weakened something chronic. We even had one guy drop a bass head on his EDB, the thing turned to dust.

My favourites were the EDC range....

Image

Kind like something I'd expect Batman to own.

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Re: Ibanez BTB405QM 5-String

Post by foal30 » Thu Oct 18, 2007 8:46 am

I think that is the model Timi traded his Rickenbacker in for.

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Re: Ibanez BTB405QM 5-String

Post by John50 » Sun Mar 02, 2008 4:09 pm

Great review mate.
A couple of years ago I felt it was time to upgrade from my horrible starter bass I learnt on to something..... much better!
I have an Ibanez BTB 555 which has very similar specs to your BTB405QM. Was about the same RRP of $1700 then. Only difference I can see is the 555 has Bartolini pickups. Also (I'm guessing) the body maybe a little bigger? The BTB 555 is certainly a heavy beast!

I'd throughly agree on the following (re the BTB 555) with your review of your similar bass:
Stays in tune; Amazing. Very reliable even after many months.
Mono bridges; Brilliant
Tone range; I tried 4 other basses in a similar price range. These Ibanez with3 band eq plus the mid range freq. cut adjustment control left all other basses I tried for dead in terms of the huge variation of sounds possible. Thats what sold me on it as I do from rock music to pop to musical theatre shows, some of which is actually double bass scores. You are correct, that there "is a tone for every occasion"
Playability; Extremely playable. Nice wide string spacing means it is a lot easier to play than my cheapie starter 5 string where the B string tended to roll off the edge of the fret bd. if you were not careful!
But may be a challenge if you have small hands / fingers (I don't)
Active circuit; The 18 volt electronics are a definite plus. Plenty of head room. But does require 2 x 9volt batts. They do last a long time, but don't forget to pull the jack out when you have finished playing!
Overall Impression; I tried out a good number of basses, and quickly came to the conclusion that this price range of Ibanez basses gives incredible bang for the buck. They really are extremely good value for money.
Looks FYI My BTB 555 is a natural wood model. On how sexy it looks, it rates a 10!! Shes a beauty!
Cheers
John

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Re: Ibanez BTB405QM 5-String

Post by beagle » Tue Mar 04, 2008 5:27 pm

Good additions there John50...
I'd have no hesitations recommending one of these although i've only ever played one in a shop... felt, looked and sounded really good.
First decent bass I had was an old SDGR... loved it to bits
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Re: Ibanez BTB405QM 5-String

Post by irvinz » Thu Mar 06, 2008 10:35 am

i used to play an ibanez btb400QM. the four string version which are pretty awesome!
ex- Music Planet Queen Street Resident Bass expert wannabe

now residing at vinzmusic.com

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