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fretmeister

NBD: Ibanez SRMD205 Mezzo 5 string. Medium scale

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100049476_10158023742848726_820293102328

 

I've had 30 mins with it so far.
First impressions - it's remarkable, and not just for the money.

The Low B is full and fat and not twangy. It's genuinely up there with my Stingray - and it has the same D'addario strings.

I haven't set the action up to my usual as yet but out of the box it plays very well. Will only need a tweak or 2. The neck profile is lovely. 18mm bridge spacing (I find the Ray at 17.5mm a touch tight. Amazing what another 0.5mm can do!) and a nice C shape on the profile.

The Flat tone is very balanced and nicely away from the over-bright trend that seems to afflict many modern basses. The EQ is ok. Bit noisy with the treble boosted to max, but 1) it's a cheap bass, and 2) that's not my sort of sound anyway. I would say that the bass is good enough for an EQ upgrade in future if I feel like it. However I tend to set my sound up on the Amp and then only tweak on the bass for the room if needed - and most of the time that will be to cut rather than boost.
 
 
P pickup alone is very much like a P except I think the pickup is a little bit closer to the neck (difficult to assess on a different scale) so it's quite deep.
 
Similarly the J seems further from the bridge so it's doesn't quite bark as much as a J on my other basses but it's a good sound, if not quite full Jaco.
 
So far I've tried it with my Helix using a "straight into the desk" sort of DI sound with compression, then into Yamaha HS7 studio monitors. I'll try my real amps and other amp patches later.
 
 
And for those of us afflicted with age and injury... it is 6.9lb - that's nearly 2lb lighter than my PJ-Ray 5.
 
I have a youtube playlist of the tunes my Jazz band plays so I'll be cranking it after work for a proper run as close to being in the mix as I can.
 
I am now seriously considering getting the other colour as well!!!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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3 minutes ago, therealting said:

@fretmeister Great. I didn’t need to know this!!

Ok... I'll help.

 

Negatives.

1) No bag or case

2) Only 2 colour choices

3) Err..... I'm running out here! :D 

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Great little basses, especially at the price, and nice to see some medium scale basses too.

Bit too wide a string spacing for me, but a good starter bass for people who don't mind falling through the gaps!

 

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9 minutes ago, fretmeister said:

You and your child sized 16.5mm! :D 

We are not all build like aquaman here!

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What’s the neck like? I normally find Soundgear necks too skinny, so hoping this has a little more meat to it. 

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I don't think I've ever tried a 5 string Soundgear so I can't help with that.

It's a tiny bit wider than my 2005 Stingray 5, and a little thinner front to back.

I like a medium ish neck and sometimes my Ray is a bit big and hard work depending on the tunes. The Ibby seems more comfy - but some of that might be the smaller stretches with the shorter scale.

 

I should probably mention that I've managed to do zero work this afternoon as I've just been playing the damn thing. And I've gone into the pedal trunk to see what I can off load to get the other colour! :D 

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I’m looking for a 5 string short scale. In a perfect world I’d get a Fodera Mini MG but no way to justify that much. Ideally around the £1000 mark but I wonder if I should try one of these and maybe upgrade pickups as options seem limited at best. 

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WHAT!!!! Perceived wisdom is that we need a 'B' string scale of at least 36"!! Cool - looks fun.

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, fretmeister said:

The pickups seem fine. I think you'd be better off upgrading the preamp instead.

I agree. I have the 4 string Mezzo. Love it, but really wish it supported passive in addition to the active electronics. I have a set of medium scale GHS Bass Boomers, but am liking the stock strings, so have left them on. I think I paid $300 for it. Schweeeeeeeeeeet. Here's the one I bought from Sweetwater.

BktSu8a.jpg

 

EDIT: Can anyone recommend any flat- or tapewound medium scale strings? I'd like to try a set and see what they sound like through that lovely P pup.

Edited by TheMaartian
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36 minutes ago, TheMaartian said:

EDIT: Can anyone recommend any flat- or tapewound medium scale strings? I'd like to try a set and see what they sound like through that lovely P pup.

I have the Thomastik Infeld Jazz Flats that came on my medium scale MIJ Squier Precision that I bought from @Rumple. They sound plummy, not bright at all but beautifully smooth and warm.

The La Bella white nylon range is really quite superb, ranging from the warm copper, to the regular white, to the brighter gold. 

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It looks like only regular white set is available in short and medium scales, in addition to long. The copper and gold sets offer long only. You saved me a bunch of searching. Thanks.

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50 minutes ago, TheMaartian said:

It looks like only regular white set is available in short and medium scales, in addition to long. The copper and gold sets offer long only. You saved me a bunch of searching. Thanks.

I have the gold on my Warwick Alien acoustic 6, and the coppers on my Sadowsky NYC P/J. More similar than different really, like subtle shades of the same colour. 

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A slight annoyance... the medium scale D’addario B string. Can’t seem to find them for sale anywhere. Not on the d’addario website either.

 

The specs say it’s a set of nickel 170M being the medium 4 string set with an extra 0.130. It’s definitely a medium scale B as the speaking length gets just over the nut. So cannot be a long scale.

 

Ive emailed D’addario and Ibanez and I’ll update if I get a reply. They sound great on the bass.

 

Warwick do a low B medium steel and so do Dunlop, but I’d prefer to stick with the D’addarios nickels.

 

Dunlop also do what I think is the only 5 string set of medium scale flats.

 

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I had a 5 string 30" bass for a while and found it almost impossible to find 5 string 30" scale strings B-G. Thats when I started using newtones, and they were good. Obviously no use if you want to use d'adarios thought.

At a brief look it seems they don't do them, maybe the 130 is not a d'adario and is something else?

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Posted (edited)

It’s possible they were a custom order for Ibanez from D’Addario, and aren’t being stocked by many places yet. 

Edited by therealting

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Posted (edited)
27 minutes ago, therealting said:

It’s possible they were a custom order for Ibanez from D’Addario, and aren’t being stocked by many places yet. 

Could be - the 5 string is a very new model.

Probably take a while for me to get an answer from D'addario and Ibanez with the current lockdown situation.

 

 

39 minutes ago, Woodinblack said:

I had a 5 string 30" bass for a while and found it almost impossible to find 5 string 30" scale strings B-G. Thats when I started using newtones, and they were good. Obviously no use if you want to use d'adarios thought.

At a brief look it seems they don't do them, maybe the 130 is not a d'adario and is something else?

The B feels and sounds identical to the others so I would be surprised.

I've used D'addario for at least 20 years so I'm hoping I would be able to spot a difference!

 

Edited by fretmeister

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This is very cool, I love smaller basses and the string spacing on this is exactly what I want. 

 

@Mikey D I have also been looking for a 30" 5 string, there is now a budget option as ibanez ha e released a talman short scale 5, it's only available in one colour but I have had one in my basket for weeks, just haven't managed to click buy yet. 

https://www.gak.co.uk/en/ibanez-tmb35-bass-mint-green/932730?gclsrc=aw.ds&&gclid=CjwKCAjw8J32BRBCEiwApQEKgb69TsW0gv9Utq6A4pZMc_RwW4AJ898DI58U1uVnMnyVOJ7nYO5l8BoCe2UQAvD_BwE

Matt 

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2 minutes ago, Matt P said:

@Mikey D I have also been looking for a 30" 5 string, there is now a budget option as ibanez ha e released a talman short scale 5, it's only available in one colour but I have had one in my basket for weeks, just haven't managed to click buy yet. 

Love GAKs description " The bolt-on neck promises comfortable playability with its 30"" short scale, perfect for beginners and even electric guitar players" (my bolding there!)

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11 hours ago, therealting said:

I have the Thomastik Infeld Jazz Flats that came on my medium scale MIJ Squier Precision that I bought from @Rumple. They sound plummy, not bright at all but beautifully smooth and warm.

The La Bella white nylon range is really quite superb, ranging from the warm copper, to the regular white, to the brighter gold. 

I had forgotten about the white nylons. I had a set on my old Marleaux for a while, and even put some on a Zon Hyperbass.

 

Very good strings. Quite round sounding but with very low finger noise.

If I can’t get the D’addario for a while I might get the white nylons. Got to have some spares in the house!

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The black is a Matt / Flat and is nice.

I do really like the sea foam as well though. 
I think I’m going to end up with both. And maybe a 4 as well! 

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The Sea Foam Green Pearl is even better looking in person than in the photos. And the photos are gorgeous.

Also, the body contouring makes it very pleasant to play, standing or sitting.

The 5er wasn't available when I bought mine.

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