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History of the Ibanez Bass
Beginning first as a guitar manufacturer, Ibanez became so proficient at crafting guitars that they easily transitioned to crafting basses. Much like their guitars, Ibanez bass guitars are known for their playability. They create fast, adaptable instruments, which also have great sound. Initially engaged in the business of selling sheet music and known as Hoshino, the young enterprise began distributing a Spanish guitar called Ibanez. They eventually bought the rights to the Ibanez name and created additional instruments for sale in the burgeoning guitar market.
Manufacturing mostly low-quality instruments throughout their early days, by the '70s, Ibanez was replicating some of the most famous guitar and bass models available, creating quality options at a lower price. Needless to say, many of the already-established name brands did not take kindly to this and eventually Ibanez was sued. Nonetheless, Ibanez had already begun their own design innovations and were on their way to becoming the successful brand they are today.
Through innovation and quality craftsmanship, Ibanez has created some standout basses. Pairing unrivaled playability with sweet aesthetics for the experts and non-conformists alike, Ibanez gives the discerning musician plenty of options to find a bass that suits them. Here's a list of some of the most popular Ibanez bass guitars:
SR Series: One of Ibanez's most popular bass guitar lines, the SR comes in a wide array of designs and sub-series. Having been around for a few decades, Ibanez makes an SR at every price point, for every style of player. Various finishes, pickup configurations, and neck styles give these basses unique qualities, though all have a body sporting at least one cutaway.
BTB Series: The BTB line is meant to showcase a boutique design process with high-grade materials, neck-thru construction, and excellent appointments, all for a reasonable price. Outside of a few unique models in their Workshop Series, the BTB line sports a double cutaway, with an oval-shaped lower bout. The bridge isolates each individual string for maximum vibrational transfer.
Talman Series: With a slightly more familiar design aesthetic, the Talman basses have a vintage vibe and features suitable for more traditional playing styles. These basses have a single-coil bridge pickup and split single-coil middle pickup.
Ibanez series or models are then divided into sub-series, which affect the overall design quality, finish options, and of course, price. Here's how Ibanez divvies it up for basses:
Bass Workshop: The pinnacle of Ibanez basses, the Bass Workshop Series takes things to another level. Ibanez Bass Workshop models are non-conventional production instruments which feature amazing innovations. Many of these basses are suited to a specific taste or playing style.
Prestige: Made to perform at the highest level, the Prestige basses offer a combination of traditional Japanese craftsmanship with new technology. This high-end line is meant to appease expert bassists from many different musical genres.
Premium: A step down in price from the Prestige line, Ibanez Premium basses are still all-around excellent. They feature great specs, sound, and playability, all at an affordable price point, by making savvy choices in material usage and production techniques. Make no mistake, these bass guitars are incredible and will satisfy professional needs.
Standard: Modern design with classic Ibanez craftsmanship at heart, the Ibanez Standard Series bass guitars cover all bases. Made to be played and sound great, the Standard Series places Ibanez quality in everyone's hands.
GIO: Crafted with the beginner in mind, the GIO Series enables first-time players to jump the line and get ahead of entry-level competitors with awesome looks and sound. Every GIO, despite being very affordable, gets the same inspection as the other more high-end Ibanez models.
Ibanez Artists and Their Basses
Fieldy K5: Korn pioneered Nu-Metal with their unique, heavy sound. Fieldy slapping down on a 5-string bass was a huge part of that. His signature model reflects that moody darkness that you can only hear from Korn.
Stephen 'Thundercat' Bruner TCB1006: The vintage, 6-string design almost tricks you into thinking this bass is a guitar. But it's in fact the signature model of Thunder Cat Bruner, who's played with Suicidal Tendencies and Erykah Badu.
Gary Willis GWB1005: As a solo artist, Gary's sweet jazz melodies are filled with energy and innovation. His signature bass is a thing of handcrafted beauty, which delivers the lovely tones he needs to make his playing into art.
With all the unbelievable bass options crossing into different styles of craftsmanship, musical genres, and price ranges, Ibanez no doubt has something for everyone. Whether you're into heavy slap bass, fast strumming, or smooth jazz, there's an Ibanez bass that's made for you.
Expert Advice and The Guaranteed Lowest Price!
Need help finding the Ibanez bass that's perfect for you? With over 90 years of serving musicians, Sam Ash is proud to be part of your musical journey! If you have any questions about the products we sell, our staff of professional musicians have the answers. Just give them a call at 800-472-6274 and they will be glad to help you select the right piece of gear to suit your needs and budget. Speaking of budgets, be sure to ask about our special financing and leasing options.