The 4 Best Ibanez Bass Guitars – Reviews 2023

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If you were to ask us what is the best company that makes bass guitars, we’d have to ask you your genre of preference.  But if you weren’t too specific and narrow in your options and wanted a fairly versatile bass that is capable of covering a decent chunk of musical ground, we’d say Ibanez.

Founded in Japan way back in 1957, the manufacturer crafted a distinctive niche and audio approach, appealing to a variety of players ranging from light pop realm all the way to hard hitting death metal.  So, we decided to search through today’s market and bring you our candidates for the title of the best Ibanez bass for the money.

What you’re looking at below are the best options across three price options, ranging from budget friendly to high-end. Let’s see what we got here!

Ibanez SR505BM

We’ll fire our big guns right from the start! Meet the Ibanez SR505BM, a super versatile 5-string bass guitar that will satisfy all of your needs with ease, all while keeping a fair and affordable price.  For a reasonable price, this fine instrument (see full specs) can be yours, featuring a mahogany solid body, and a slim, highly playable jatoba and bubinga neck.

It’s an active bass with a standard three-band EQ that is surprisingly easy to use. You don’t need too much skill to get a solid sound out of this puppy, and if you’re a seasoned player, you’re probably just a few tweaks away from pure sonic magic at the tip of your fingers.

Genres that work the best with this bass are rock, jazz, metal, and blues rock, but you can also make it sound quite mellow by toning town the middles, and delve straight into smooth jazz and light pop realm.  Additional features include a classic rosewood fretboard with abalone inlays and 24 frets, as well as Bartolome MK-1 pickups.

Ibanez SR505 5-String Electric Bass Guitar

Ibanez GSR200BK

Now if your question is “What’s the best cheap Ibanez bass,” the answer would certainly have to be the GSR200BK model.  And you shouldn’t consider “cheap” as a bad thing here. Truth be told, this bass offers probably the best value for money on the entire list and will deliver a sound worthy of not just beginners but intermediate players as well.

When combined with a proper amp, this instrument can be used for serious gigs, and when connected to a standard practice amp, it will deliver a solid sound that will drive you to continue your musical journey and further pursue your rockstar dreams.

Now, some actual specs – we’re looking at a resonant agathas body, a chunky one-piece maple neck with a rosewood fingerboard, and some classic chrome tuners.  In the electronic department, this active bass features a split-coil and single-coil pickup combination driven by a three-band EQ with PHAT-II Bass Boost technology.

If you’re on a budget, this just might be the best Ibanez bass on the market.

Ibanez SRFF805

Up next, the high-end option:  the mighty Ibanez SRFF805! The instrument’s fanned-fret concept might strike you as a tad odd, but have no worries, as this new technology will make those fast-paced neck runs a true breeze.

So, at first glance, this thing is gorgeous! The design is amazing, and each of the components matches the handsome looks.

The sound is incredibly warm, fuzzy, and strong enough to shoot straight for the heart. We are talking about a chunky bass section that makes the earth tremble, a punchy middles segment to secure the groove, and a light, bright and tight treble department to round up the sonic image.

The bass is incredibly versatile thanks to a three-band EQ control, as well as two extra switches – the EQ bypass switch and a mid-frequency switch.

Of course, this instrument was an experiment for Ibanez, a highly successful one if we might add. The price is very fair for the sound quality you’ll get, and extra features such as a high-quality ash body only serve as an icing on the cake.  If you’re looking to make an investment and get the best Ibanez bass period, this just might be your pick.

Atlas Novus - Scale the Summit Bass Cover

Ibanez GSR205SMCNB 5-String Electric Bass

You don’t have to spend too much to get a solid 5-string bass from Ibanez. This model gives you the extended range of a 5-string bass for a reasonable price—not the cheapest option, true, but still an incredible value for such a versatile instrument.

Some makers of high-end instruments neglect the craftsmanship of the more affordable options in their product list. This isn’t the case with Ibanez. This bass passes the same quality inspections and uses the same high level of craftsmanship as the more expensive basses on this list. The tonewoods are of equally high quality, featuring their GSR5 maple neck and a body of maple and mahogany.

It scores equally high marks when it comes to the feel and sound. The B15 bridge is easy to tune and stays in tune perfectly. It has a well-balanced action—low enough it can play fast, but not so low that it produces a buzz. The proprietary passive Dynamix H pickups round out the sound, giving you a tone that’s deep and rounded across the range.

Ibanez GSR205 5 Strings Bass by Keng Bassist

What Makes Ibanez Basses the Best?

While we are great fans of Ibanez bass guitars, we cannot say they are by all means the best.  However, there is a string of objective factors that makes them stand out and become worthy of your attention.

First and foremost, the versatility. Usually packed with active electronics, these instruments provide you with a lot of room to make adjustments and a lot of sonic paths to take.  But what makes Ibanez really rock is the fact that regardless of the path you choose, you will always have a good sound. There is no better option here, there are only equally solid options, and a liberty to choose any of them based on your personal preferences.

So, look inside yourself and find the perfect path. Then, get to work, ’cause there’s a long way ahead of you. Treat yourself with the best Ibanez bass today and then stick to the good ole routine – practice, practice, practice.  Good luck!

Written and Reviewed By

  • Micah Johnson started playing music in high school, when he taught himself the bass to join his friend’s band. He added guitar and drums during his twenties playing in local clubs, and along the way, he picked up unique, hands-on experience from hand drums to studio mixers. On Song Simian, he aims to share this knowledge from 20+ years playing and recording music. When not in gearhead mode, he enjoys photography and travel.

  • Marko is the senior editor and writer on Ultimate Guitar, the No. 1 guitar spot on the web, since early 2013. His work was also featured on a variety of other notable gear spots such as Guitar Fella, Consordini, and, of course, Song Simian. His musical journey began at a very young age, and he finally opted to pick up an instrument in his early teenage years. A fan of King Crimson. A travel enthusiast.

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