When we think of Ibanez basses, we typically tend to think of the SR (such as the SR500) or BTB series rather than a jazz bass. However, in 2015 Ibanez reissued the 2609B “Black Eagle” jazz bass. Originally made in the 1970’s, the limited edition run marks the 40th anniversary of this model that certainly isn’t your typical jazz bass!


– Mahogany Body

– Maple Fretboard

– Maple Bolt-on Neck

– 20 Medium Frets

– 34” Scale

– Custom Inlays (that look really cool)

– Alnico Super J Pickups

– Standard Ibanez Fixed Bridge

– Chrome Hardware

– Volume Control for Bridge and Neck Pickups/Master Tone Control

The appearance of this instrument alone sets this bass apart from any other jazz-style bass. The headstock features an f-hole style cut, and the inlays are modeled after that of a banjo. It also boasts an engraved pickguard with an eagle on it, whose wings and feathers are abalone. In addition to this, both the upper and lower horns feature more drastic cuts than many other jazz basses, giving the body a more unique shape.

The Alnico Super J pickups bring a solid jazz bass tone from this instrument. The maple fretboard provides a bright and distinct tone, as well. The mahogany body allows notes to resonate well, giving it a solid sustain.

The only noticeable difference between the original Black Eagle from the 1970’s and the newer reissued Black Eagle basses, is that the original basses had a bridge cover, while the reissues do not.


This bass brings a very deep, but also quite bright tone. The maple fretboard allows notes to sound distinct and clear. The mahogany body also allows thickness and warmth, but not so much as to muddy the sound.

Mahogany makes for a great tonewood for adding a ton of low end and warmth to a bass. To learn more about tonewoods, check out the Wired Guitarist Guide to Tonewoods!

The bass comes with two volume controls; one for the bridge pickup and one for the neck pickup. It also has a master tone control, allowing bass players to choose how warm or bright the bass sounds. This presents musicians with an opportunity to quickly and easily adjust the sound of this bass for any style necessary, whenever necessary. The knobs are easy to use, and the simplicity of it keeps using this bass from becoming too complicated or difficult to use.

Build Quality:

The smooth maple neck makes shifting across the fretboard easy with this bass. The shape of it makes it very easy to hold, and provides a comfortable grip. The headstock, painted black, has a unique f-hole style cut that is sure to turn heads.

The mahogany body is cut to comfortably rest against anyone holding the instrument. With both a belly cut and a forearm cut, this bass is comfortable to play and allows for efficient use of the right hand. I originally thought the lower horn might make it difficult to play in the upper register, but the inward curve didn’t get in the way at all. The aesthetic qualities of this bass do not sacrifice playability in any way.

Final Verdict:

The aesthetic qualities of this bass alone make it stand out among other jazz basses on the market. The unique banjo-style inlays stand out on the maple fretboard, and the f-hole style cut in the headstock is unlike any other bass I’ve seen. The upper and lower horns have distinct inward curves that catch the eye as well.

The design of this instrument makes it very comfortable to play and hold. The volume and tone controls are simple and easy to use, but provide a wide variety of different tone options. The Alnico Super J pickups combined with the maple fretboard give this bass a bright and clear tone.

All-In-All, Ibanez Black Eagle has a solid and reliable sound and an appearance that really turns heads. There are a lot of different jazz basses on the market today, and the Ibanez Black Eagle is different from any others that I’ve seen!


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This article written by community contributor Beth McPherson.

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