Ibanez’s SR series has always provided bass players with a modern alternative to the standard bass. As the company continues to modify and improve the instrument, they also change the world of bass and music. Ibanez recently announced the release of the SR5SMLTD Premium, a limited edition bass that has already proven itself to be unique in its appearance, as well as outstanding in its performance. This bass delivers the bottom end like nothing else with its slick neck, lightweight body, and perfectly matched electronics. Let’s take a closer look!


– Mahogany Body with a Spalted Maple/Bubinga Top

– Natural Flat Finish

– 305mm Neck Radius

– 45mm GraphTech BlackTusq XL Nut 

– Atlas 5 5-piece Bolt-On Wenge/Bubinga Neck with KTS Titanium Rods

– 34” Scale 

– 24 Medium Frets with Premium Fret Edge Treatment

– Birdseye Maple Fretboard

– Abalone Oval Inlays

– Mono-Rail V Bridge

– 16.5mm String Spacing

– Nordstrand “Big Single” 5 Neck and Bridge Pickups (passive)

– Ibanez Custom Electronics 3-band EQ with EQ bypass switch (passive tone control on treble pot) and Mid frequency switch

– Black Matte Hardware

– The bass is available only in 5 string models.

The Premium Fret Edge Treatment allows for smoother playing and a comfortable grip of the neck. Body lamination gives this bass a premium look and feel, as well as helps to preserve the wood. The Spalted Maple/Bubinga top gives this bass an incredibly beautiful look that is sure to catch the eye of anyone who comes across it.

The Birdseye Maple fretboard also lends an impressive appearance to this bass. In addition to the fretboard, the pickup covers are also made of Birdseye maple, which really allow the pickups to stand out against the slightly darker body of the bass.


This bass has a very bright and clean sound thanks to the Maple fingerboard and the Nordstrand pickups. Every note comes out loud and clear, and the Mahogany body helps to sustain notes for a long time. The passive pickups create a solid tone that can be adjusted to the bass player’s preference depending on their style and the genre of music they are playing.

The SR5SMLTD offers many different tonal options. The many different controls allow musicians to precisely and accurately get the exact tone they want. The 3-band EQ offers control over boosting or cutting the treble, mid, and bass. It also has a bypass switch, which allows you to turn the EQ on or off. In addition to this, it has another switch for a 3-way mid frequency selector. It also comes loaded with a balancer knob, which allows you to control the tone and how it is applied to the instrument, and of course, a master volume. All this gives you the option to create just about any sound you could possibly want out of a bass, all on one instrument.

It would definitely be at home with any musician.

Build Quality:

The bass stays in tune very well partially thanks to the KTS Titanium rods and the Mono-rail V bridge, as well as the tuning machines. As with all SRs (or at least the ones I’ve played), the body provides a comfortable fit that allows for maximum playability. A solid mahogany body with the Spalted Maple/Bubinga top lets notes sustain well. The bass does not have a forearm or belly cut, however, which could serve as a disadvantage to some; others may not mind it so much.

The bolt-on 5-piece Wenge/Bubinga neck with a Birdseye Maple fingerboard is very comfortable to hold, and makes shifting positions a breeze. Furthermore, the Premium fret edge treatment provides a very comfortable grip of the neck, which aides in minimizing hand pain and injuries. It’s tough to find a bass that’s this comfortable to play and hold, and playing just about anything on this bass is made quite easy due to the excellent build quality.

Final Verdict:

The SR5SMLTD Premium is different from any other SR I’ve played. It’s appearance stands out from any SR I’ve seen, and its tone and playability are outstanding. The Birdseye maple fingerboard combined with the Nordstrand Big Single pickups capture and amplify each sound precisely. The Mahogany body allows the notes to sustain for a significant amount of time as well. There are many different tone controls on the bass, which will allow you to accurately find the exact sound you want without having to go out of your way to adjust for it. However, if you choose not to use all the tone controls, that option is available, too.

Ibanez craftsmen are precise and focus on quality, and this bass shows it. The Maple neck with the Premium Fret Edge Treatment gives a comfortable grip and minimizes hand pain and injuries by making it much easier to hold than on some other basses. The body’s smooth shape and comfortable fit also makes this bass much easier to play.

The playability and sound of this bass will surely seal the deal after you try it for yourself. If you’re looking for a reliable bass that’s unique, sounds great, and is easy and comfortable to play, look no further than the Ibanez SR5SMLTD Premium. But if you’re going to get one, you’d better act fast; these are limited edition basses, and will be much more difficult to find the longer you wait.


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This article written by community contributor Beth McPherson.

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