Ibanez states on their website that, with the ATK bass line, they, “Took the traditional concept of the bass and turned it up to “11””. I couldn’t agree more. It is now the attack of the ATK! I remember seeing the ATK basses over the years, and have always been amazed by their simplicity and eye-catching beauty, not to mention the cool looking chrome bridge. It wasn’t until recently that I actually played one, and I really regret not picking up one before.
As bass players, a lot of us go through a lot of basses over the years, however, this is a gem to hang on to. From the beauty of the grain of the ash body and ash pickguard, to the fullness and classic feel of the maple neck and fingerboard, this is a bass that feels like one of the classics as we know them, with a touch of modern electronics.
Just like the classic car I had as one of my first automobiles that I made into a hotrod, this is what Ibanez has done, and done very well, with the ATK basses. This bass has a wide array of achievable tones. During one of the gigs I used it on, I was approached by the live, sound tech about the bass, which really doesn’t happen very often. I have to admit, he was very pleased with the bass tone. (Click for sound samples).
The Ibanez ATK815E is constructed of an ash body and pickguard with a bolt on 3-piece maple neck and fingerboard. The fingerboard is 22 frets with black dot inlays. Adjustments to the neck are easily made right in front of the neck pickup in a way you don’t see very often. Instead of the traditional way that most of us are used to adjusting the neck, the truss rod adjustment for the ATK815E is done with a circular attachment to the truss rod, using an allen wrench to adjust it. This saves from cutting further into the body to create a cavity in order to insert the allen wrench for adjustment in the traditional way that most of us are accustomed to, not to mention sometimes struggling to get the allen wrench into the truss rod to make adjustments. The method of adjusting the neck is much better and simpler than the traditional method.
All the hardware is chrome, with hipshot tuners and the ATK5 bridge having 18mm string spacing. The electronics are made of a 3 band active EQ powered by a 9-volt battery with controls for volume, balance, bass, mid, and treble with very wide frequency response for all EQ controls. The 9-volt battery compartment is easily accessible. Both pickups are passive with CAP Sonic Arch5 for the neck pickup and the CAP Double Humbucker for the bridge side of things. There is a 3-way toggle switch for the CAP Double Humbucker letting you choose from neck or bridge position, or being able to choose both.
Check out the Ibanez ATK815E Premium 5-String Bass as well as the other ATK Premium bass models at an Ibanez retailer near you!