The SR1806E arrived at my doorstep in excellent condition – which is probably no surprise since it was packaged in a gig bag and then double boxed. The attention to detail did not stop at the packaging. Once the bass was completely unwrapped, the craftsmanship and attention to detail was immediately evident.
The body has a natural flat finish and is constructed of rosewood and flamed maple on the top followed by a layer of walnut and then capped off with mahogany on the back. The 34 inch scale neck sports a rosewood fretboard with 24 frets and abalone oval inlays. The back of the neck is a five piece laminate construction of Wenge and Bubinga. The Gotoh brand tuners and the Mono-rail bridge are gold in color. The control knobs are matte black.
This bass is manufactured at the Ibanez Premium facility in Indonesia and is outfitted with a pair of Nordstrand “Big Single” single coil soapbar pickups. Equalization is handled by the EQB-IIISC, which is a customized 3-band EQ with a dedicated preamp for the Nordstrand pickups. The preamp system is also equipped with an EQ bypass and a mid-frequency switch that can be set at either 250Hz or 600Hz. The Mono-Rail IV bridge utilizes an individual saddle for each string that is locked down to the body – this design reportedly allows for maximum transfer of vibration without interference to the other strings. Each saddle is also independently adjustable for height and length. The neck sports titanium truss rods and the fret ends have been rounded for improved comfort. The width of the neck measures 45 mm at the nut and 68mm at the last fret with a 15.75 radius and has a string spacing of 16.5 mm. The instrument jack is recessed into the front of the body, which adds an artistic flair to visual design of the bass. Peeking underneath the back control panel reveals a well ordered layout that is neatly soldered. The panel screws are anchored into threaded brass inserts and the back panel is shielded. The listed weight is 4.2 Kg.
Right out of the box, the bass is properly setup and intonated with great action and very smooth fret ends The string spacing is probably about as close as I would want them to be without being too close for slapping. The contour on the neck reminds me of a widened classical guitar neck contour – which allows easy access to all the notes in a given position if my fretting hand thumb is in the middle back of the neck. The Nordstrand pickups and 3-band eq provide a wide range of tonal variation. There is also a mid frequency select switch which allows adjustment around either 250 Hz or 600Hz and a bypass mode switch to use the pickups in passive mode only. Additionally, there is a knob to adjust the balance between the front and back pickups. With all the controls in the center positions I find the bass to have a nice, tight centered tone. This is an extremely versatile bass that met all my needs for slapping and popping, finger funk, walking, and quarter note pounding but I think it really shines when playing chords and for those more adventurous melodic runs that can span multiple octaves. A real “must see” for anyone looking for a new six string.
For more information, go to: Ibanez