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Silvia Bluejay

Bluejay's NBD, and it's not a Warwick.

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After I ended up hijacking the Bass Weight thread in General Discussion by revealing my GAS for a 5-string Ibanez SR30-something, and being kindly pointed to a couple of models by @Woodinblack, I had decided to wait for something better, mostly because I didn't like the look of the bass.

This was Woody's suggested purchase. While I'm averse to 'burst' colours, I did like everything else about the bass (very similar specs to my beloved Warwick RB Fortress 5, and a bit lighter). So I waited, erm, about a couple of days, and then stumbled upon the same model and colour but way cheaper. So I said, to hell with it, and bought it.

So thank you for steering me towards it, @Woodinblack! It's a very nice bass. :)

I've only played a few minutes, as it came, and my impression so far is the following.

Likes:
- The angled input socket on the front that doesn't jam bass stands.
- The reduced weight compared to Fortress/Corvette 5s.
- The wider variety of sounds and combinations of sounds I can get.
- The lack of neck dive.

Dislikes:
- The colour! Oh, well, I'm used to this issue. My NS NXT 5 is a reddish/brownish/orangeish burst too, as it was the only lefty available when I bought it. (I wanted a black one.)
- The strings it came with. Very nice D'Addario XL somethings, but roundwound, which I hate.
- The setup. While intonation is fine, string height is all over the place and the E string rattles. Not a problem, as I am replacing the rounds with flats and will have to start from scratch.

Mega-dislike:
The non-adjustable nut! Have Warwick registered ALL adjustable nut designs? Why can't other manufacturers offer their versions of a-nut-with-screws-that-lift-or-lower-it?? Grr.

More to follow, pics-wise too, when I've made the new arrival truly mine. 😉😎

Ibanez SR375 lefty.jpg

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Oops, sorry, I really am costing your family a lot of money at the moment aren't I?! 😯

Glad you are liking it. I am slightly partial to an SR myself it has to be said!

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Nothing to apologise for! :) I don't need to succumb to expensive GAS myself, considering I only play at home. This is a very nice bass for very little money, and I'm happy I've been able to widen my horizon for once. The SR range seems to be excellent value for money indeed.

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Incidentally, @Woodinblack, the bass did arrive with the explanatory plate on the controls. Quite handy too. :)

This is a discontinued model, presumably because it uses rosewood (quite a lot of it). The new (righty) models replace it with walnut, and offer different colours.

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Found something else I like: the battery compartment is completely separate from the preamp/knobs cavity. Very neat.

Judging by the serial number, my bass was manufactured in May 2017. For a lefty, staying 'new' in the shop, in a box for 3 years is not that bad.

PMT has only one left at that price! Any other lefties interested? :)

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Don't forget the flipping truss-rod cover ...

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4 minutes ago, Happy Jack said:

Don't forget the flipping truss-rod cover ...

... which is meant literally, not as a swear-filter-friendly euphemism. 😉

I haven't tried it yet, so I'll wait until I've used it, to see whether it's a good idea or not. :)

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3 hours ago, JottoSW1 said:

£299 seems a bargain. 

Agree .... for something that looks that good (but has been made the wrong way round, were they reading the plans from the back side of the page?)

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HAHA! I see that the last lefty model like the one I just bought has gone from PMT's website. Come on, own up, was it any of you guys on here? :)😉😎

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14 hours ago, Silvia Bluejay said:

HAHA! I see that the last lefty model like the one I just bought has gone from PMT's website. Come on, own up, was it any of you guys on here? :)😉😎

Wasn't me. Impecunious after my 5th (lefty) Bass last weekend.

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A few proper photos! :)

I took these just after the bass arrived, so it's still got D'Addario XL roundwounds on.

 

Ibanez_whole (2) Ibanez_whole (1) Ibanez_body (2) Ibanez_body (1) Ibanez_headstock (1) Ibanez_headstock (2)

Very clever flipping truss rod cover - no screws to take out, no risk of losing unsecured press-down caps or similar. (It's still necessary to loosen the A string to use the hex key properly, however.)

Ibanez_truss rod cover (2)

The following is to refer to a conversation we had on one of @tvickey's NBD threads some time ago. This is, indeed, how D'Addario - and possibly also Warwick - new string sets come installed. No longer do we have the familiar purple ball end on the low B. The end of the world is here. :(

Ibanez_bridge (1)

Having said that, I replaced the rounds with Labella Low Tension Flats, and now my OCD is no longer screaming at the wrong colours or indeed at the weird assortment of angles the ball ends lie at in their sockets!! :D

Ibanez_bridge (4)

The new strings, a slight truss rod tweak, and proper intonation have made this bass even more awesome than it was on arrival. I'm happy. :)

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On 15/03/2020 at 17:47, Silvia Bluejay said:

Very clever flipping truss rod cover - no screws to take out, no risk of losing unsecured press-down caps or similar. (It's still necessary to loosen the A string to use the hex key properly, however.):)

Ibanez_truss rod cover (2)

It's usually recommended to loosen tension on all the strings when adjusting the truss rod anyway 🙂

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That looks like a lovely bass Silvia, enjoy!

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I owned one of these basses from new and the maple body was much denser(and heavier) than the mahogany bodied SR300L 4-string I also owned. The pickups had been installed back to front from new eg the bridge pickup in the front pickup position and vice versa.  Once swapped around it sounded much better. The one thing I never got to grips with was the setup from new. The nut was cut way low and the B string flapped mercilessly on the first 3 or 4 frets making an unpleasant clicking sound. I tried different string gauges using lighter and standard settings but couldn't get the odd clicking to go away. Raising the action helped but to a point where it was less comfortable to play in a gig situation. I've owned a couple of four string lefty SR's and they have always been brilliant and had an awesome punchy tone ( an SR300L and an SR500L) but the five string was a mixed bag. I guess I could have taken the bass to a luthier for a more professional setup but I expected much better from Ibanez out of the box. It was a gorgeous bass, the whisky burst finish was very impressive. If it had played as good as it looked I would have kept it. I set it up best I could and sold it on to another lefty who was much happier with it that I was.  I hope yours is better than mine was!

Gears.jpg

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Mine definitely needed a truss rod tweak to start with, and the non-adjustable nut is the stupidest thing I've ever seen in my life, after owning so many excellent Warwicks. Warwick 1, Ibanez nil.

I've installed a new set of Labella Low Tension flats, lowered or raised the saddles individually to my taste (higher on the low B to avoid that clank, pretty low on the G because it's easier to play, and everything in between), lowered the pickups and made sure they are nearly flush with the body on the treble side, and protrude a bit on the bass side.

I have noticed a big difference between the sound when I play plugged into the PJB briefcase and when I use the PJB Bass Buddy with its headphones. The bass sounds majestic on the briefcase no matter how I tweak the knobs or the pickups, but the vast majority of my bass playing is along my MP3s with the headphones, so I have optimised it to sound good in that situation. The pickups output has been deliberately weakened by lowering them to avoid clipping, then I've rolled off almost all the lows on the appropriate knob, and tweaked the highs and mids so they sound good when I'm playing along music.

I haven't noticed any clank or other string noises that I couldn't get rid of - however, I don't slap. This bass would probably need a ramp added if I did. The pickups seem wired correctly, and all the switches and knobs seem to do what they say on the tin. Yes it's as heavy as my Fortress 5, but so were most of the other 5-string basses I ever picked up at NAMM or the LBGS. The Mike Lulls of this world are exceptions, not the rule. The neck is an absolute dream, fast, smooth, thin and the perfect shape for my small hands.

Unlike all the Warwicks I've ever owned, with old or new style bridge, the intonation of the low B was 1. achievable 2. a doddle 3. did not require getting rid of the saddle spring. In other words, the designers have had no trouble allowing for enough low B string length despite the body being small and cute and the scale being 34 inch.

So it's Warwick 1, Ibanez 1 at full time, and I'm loving both and I don't have to choose one over the other.

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Incidentally, there's another thing my OCD really isn't happy about on that bass. Purely cosmetic, and thankfully I only notice it when I'm not playing, but...

916592750_Misalignments(2).thumb.jpg.3c5867a2b773a8e3b9a354e4d9280bc4.jpg

 

The dots appear to be centred on the fingerboard (in the case of the single ones) or at equal distance from the sides (in the case of the doubles), but the strings are, of course, of different thickness, so they're not perfectly centred, with the resulting "Aaargh!! feeling.

I'm not sure if this is common, because this is the only 5-string bass guitar I have that has dots on the fretboard (totally pointless thing IMO). My NS NXT5 upright has dots, of course, but they're perfectly positioned, and in its case they're not pointless but essential!

PS the marks on the fingerboard are just that, marks, not scratches or grooves.

Aanyway, on we go... 😉😎

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All of mine are premiers or premiums, so they don't have the plain dots, they either have one big round oval and two small dots, right under the strings, or dots on one side, which means they are aligned between the lowest two strings

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I imagine that means someone must have noticed how horrid it looks otherwise, and taken action. :)

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2 hours ago, Silvia Bluejay said:

I imagine that means someone must have noticed how horrid it looks otherwise, and taken action. :)

No, just that they don't do plain dots on the more expensive models!

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You pays your money and you gets better looking fingerboards with no ugly dots. Makes sense to me. :) 👍

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