Ibanez SRF705 Review WiredGuitarist June 29, 2016 Articles, Ibanez Guitar Reviews, Reviews, Uncategorized Ibanez SR basses have been a favorite among bass players for 25 years for their playability and versatility. Over time, Ibanez has created many different models to branch out to different kinds of musicians. One of these creations is the SRF705, a fretless version of the 705 that takes a completely new perspective on the fretless bass. The SR705 has a lot of potential given its specs, so let’s see how the finished product turned out! Features: Ibanez SRF705 Specifications: Mahogany Body Brown Burst Flat Finish 5 piece Maple/Bubinga Neck Neck-Thru Design Unlined Rosewood Fretless Fingerboard 34” Scale Length 30 Frets White Side Dots & Fret Lines Custom String-Thru Bridge for AeroSilk Piezo System Bartolini MK-1 Pickups (Passive) Bridge & Neck Volume Knobs Treble & Bass Boost/Cut Piezo Tone and Volume Controls It’s worth noting that there is a 4 string version identical in specs to the SRF705 (besides the string difference) called the SRF700. This bass has a lot of features at a good pricepoint, so it’s awesome that there’s a guitar for both 4 & 5 string players. I’ve played both and the extra string really is the only difference. This bass not only allows the musician more options when playing, but also provides the same range as an upright bass with the extended 30-fret fingerboard. This gives the instrument a two and a half octave range. The flatwound strings that come stock help to prevent the rosewood fingerboard from damage, meaning the instrument can last longer without needing a fingerboard refinish. (Please don’t put roundwound strings on this) Not having fretboard lines may make playing it a little bit more difficult for those who are new to fretless, but side dots and fret lines on the side of the fingerboard make it much easier to figure out where you are if you get lost. Tone: The rosewood fingerboard combined with the flatwound strings presents a warm tone with lots of “mwah.” The Piezo affords a lot of tonal options, and the blend positions are particularly fun. The SRF705 has both bass and treble boost/cut knobs, which gives the player even more control over the sound of this bass. The Bartolini pickups are able to capture the low B string very clearly on the Ibanez SRF705, and thus provide a very clean tone from both the low range of the instrument and the upper register. Bartolinis are an industry standard, and on top of being fantastic pickups, they’re a very general interest sound, leaving the SRF705 accessible to almost any player. Build Quality: The builders at Ibanez took great care in putting this bass together, making it easy to play and comfortable to hold. The fingerboard extends up to the 30th fret, where it meets the neck pickup. I originally thought it would be a little bit difficult to play this high up on the neck, but I was pleasantly surprised. It wasn’t too hard to play in that position, and it was nice being able to reach notes that other basses aren’t able to play. This extended fingerboard also makes it easier to change right hand positions on the bass, moving closer to the neck for a warmer tone and closer to the bridge for a brighter tone. Rather than having to pick my thumb up to shift, I could leave it on the pickup or side of the fingerboard and simply slide it to where I needed to go. I couldn’t help myself, and I had to try slapping on it. My only complaint about the bass is that my thumb would often hit the fingerboard after I slapped a string, which was a bit uncomfortable. It didn’t make slapping any more difficult, it just felt different than what I was used to. There’s always been a bit of controversy over the quality of Indonesian Ibanez instruments, but not only have they really got it together lately (Check out our RGA review), but the basses in particular have historically been great for the prices. The SRF705 is no exception, and there aren’t any major flaws on the instrument that affect tone or playability. 99% of even the most discerning players will enjoy this with no complaints. Final Verdict: The Ibanez SRF705 is well made and offers a wide variety of tone options to suit just about everyone’s preferences. The extended fingerboard allows musicians to reach notes that many other basses cannot, setting this bass apart from any others on the market. The Bartolini MK-1 pickups combined with the Piezo allow many different tone options for any bass player, making this bass able to capture a variety of different sounds for different styles of music while allowing the musician to quickly and easily make these changes. This bass is designed to handle any situation a bass player might be in, and would be especially well suited to session players that need an “everything bass.” Thanks for reading! We upload new articles daily on gear, tone, songwriting, theory, and more! Make sure to check those out here! This article written by community contributor Beth McPherson.