Ibanez Promethean P5115K Combo Review by Jake Wolf
Bass Gear Review: Ibanez Promethean P5115K combo
- 500W Combo
- 15″ Speaker
- “Kickback” style Cabinet
- Dome tweeter with passive crossover
- 6 band graphic EQ
- Bass and Treble shelving tone control
- Detachable head
- High Quality peak limiting circuit
- “Vibe” Control (from vintage to modern sound)
- Mute switch
- Aux input, Headphone out,
- Balanced XLR output with ground lift, 20db pad, and pre/post switch
Along with their Grooveline basses, Ibanez sent one of their new amps, a lightweight 15” combo powered by their popular Promethean head; Ibanez’ entry to the recent class D “light and small” amp frenzy. Light and small it is indeed (at 6.4lbs), but lacking features it is not. With rotary bass and treble shelving controls as well as a defeatable 6 band graphic EQ, and a rotary “vibe” control (which offers variable control to transform the tone from “vintage” to “modern”), the Promethean offers a lot in the way of tone shaping. I like that the graphic EQ and “vibe” control are able to be bypassed completely, allowing the amp to operate as a simple no frills device, or a more complex tone shaping tool. Additionally it has an aux input and a headphone output jack (both 1/8”) on the front panel. The Promethean feels well designed and sturdily constructed, but I found its metallic looking plastic front plate and matching knobs to lack the confidence inspiring heft of metal construction. It certainly doesn’t feel or look cheap, but I prefer the ruggedness and road worthy feel of metal components. A peek at the back panel shows that this amp is fully featured, with speakon outputs, and a full-featured XLR DI out, complete with ground lift, 20db pad, and pre/post switch. The Promethean puts out 500 watts into 4 ohms.
The cabinet for the 15” combo comes in a familiar “kickback” style format, where it can be placed facing forward, or leaning back like a monitor, aiming the sound upwards towards your ears. The cabinet is very compact and light, the driver itself taking up almost all of the front panel’s real estate. I struggled with an uncommon handle configuration; it has two luggage style straps on top of the cab, on either side of where the exposed Promethean head bolts on. It seemed like a good idea, but I found it awkward to carry, and almost impossible to do so with one hand without feeling as if the plastic handle was about to rip out from its anchor (its size and weight would otherwise make it a no brainer for a one handed schlep). The Promethean head bolts to the cab through its own chassis with 4 heavy thumbscrews, eliminating the need for tools, cool!
I was impressed with the amount of volume emanating from such a small and lightweight rig. Set flat, it sounded fairly mid-centric, but with the help of the Prometheans great EQ section, I was more than able to dial up a variety of great bass tones with relative ease. Don’t expect huge bottom end from this 15” speaker cab, but as is the case with almost every bass cab, there exists a trade off between cab size and low frequency handling. That said, it cranked out the lows pretty nicely considering its diminutive stature.
The Promethean 15” combo is a great little rig, clearly designed with the needs of working pro’s in mind. In addition to the 15” combo, Ibanez also offers a 1×10 and 2×10 combo, as well as 4×10 and 1×15 cabinets. For more information, visit www.ibanez.com