Ibanez SR300 Vs SR500 – An Extensive Comparison

We have another comparison review for you and this time we are also discussing bass guitars as well. Today, it’s a contest of the Ibanez SR300 vs SR500. Trust us when we say it’s going to be a really exhaustive and interesting review.

On two occasions already, we have pitched the SR500 with two other guitars and it has done wonderfully. This time around, the contest with the SR500 is going to be vs the Ibanez SR300.

Now, something really interesting about this review is that the SR300 comes in a lot of models and with a lot of upgrades. And, of course, you can depend on us to give you a full rundown of each of these guitars.

So, trust us when we say there’s going to be a lot to check out between these two guitars. But don’t slow your roll. Look alive because we’re about to dive head first into the comparison review of the Ibanez SR300 vs SR500. You’re going to leave here so enlightened!

Table of Contents

Ibanez SR300 Vs SR500 – Comparison Overview

In the next few paragraphs, we will be giving a quick rundown of everything you should be expecting in our today’s review on the Ibanez SR300 vs SR500. Also, it’s a pretty long read, so, if you can’t spare the time right now, the summary of the gist is right here.

Rating Of Features In General Of The Ibanez SR300 Vs SR500

Both guitars are great in our honest opinion, although they each have their strengths.

For instance, in tone, we would more readily go for the SR500 than the SR300. This is because the SR500 comes with a mahogany body which gives a bolder, darker tone suited to dark metal and hard rock than agathis.

Agathis, on the other hand, is like a mahogany wannabe. It almost sounds like mahogany but more like a poorer version of it. However, on the plus side, it is lighter than mahogany which makes agathis guitars quite lightweight.

But even at that, it’s still a moot point because both guitars are lightweight and pretty ergonomic. The agathis body doesn’t seem to have contributed much in making the SR300 significantly lighter than the SR500.

Now, as for pickups, hmmm, it was a real contest of the Ibanez SR300 vs SR500. The pickups and electronics of the SR500 are great and are supposed to be the upgrade to the SR300 electronics. However, there doesn’t seem to be a very wide gap between both electronics in real life performance.

For one, the PowerSpan dual coil electronics really impressed us, perhaps even more than the Bartolini MK-1s. Unlike the MK-1s that come as just humbuckers, the PowerSpan dual coils have three modes which allow you switch from single coil, to humbucker, to single coil with a boost.

Plus, the CAP NFX-2 doesn’t sound so different than the MK-1s.

So, really, overall, besides the agathis body, the SR300 isn’t half that bad at all. In fact, it competes really favorably with the SR500. Not to also forget that the SR300E actually comes with a mahogany body as well.  

Are Ibanez SR series guitars overpriced?

We definitely think all of the guitars in the SR lineup are value purchases, and that should come as no surprise. Ibanez is one of the leaders in the industry for such productions. Their guitars are known to be affordable and yet so high-performing, their price feels like a giveaway.

None of the guitars in the SR series cost up to $700 which is saying a lot, considering how they perform. Many guitars that perform this well are upwards of $100, at least. But amazingly, there are even some SR300s that sell for less than $500.

And you’ve got to admit that for a bass guitar, it hardly gets cheaper than that.

So, if you were worried about whether or not to invest in either of these guitars, don’t dawdle. You won’t regret this purchase. It’s hard to find customers who were totally dissatisfied after making a purchase from Ibanez. And you don’t have to take our word for it, you can ask around.

So price/value ratio for the Ibanez SR300 vs SR500? Excellente!

Ibanez SR300 Vs SR500 – Comparison Table Of Major Specs And Features

Ibanez SR300

Ibanez SR500

Double cutaway body construction Double cutaway body construction
Agathis body Mahogany body
5-piece maple bolt-on neck 5-piece Jatoba/Bubinga bolt-on neck
Rosewood fingerboard (maple fretboard for 300M) Rosewood fingerboard
34 inch scale 34 inch scale
24 medium frets 24 medium frets
Accu-Cast B100 Bridge Accu-Cast B20 Bridge
CAP EXF-N2 Humbucking Neck Pickup Bartolini MK-1-4 neck pickup
CAP EXF-N2 Humbucking Bridge Pickup Bartolini pickups MK-1-4 bridge pickup
12 inch fingerboard radius 12 inch fingerboard radius
1.50 inch nut width 1.50 inch nut width
4 strings (5- and 6-string models also available) 4 strings (5- and 6-string models also available)
11.02 pounds 11.02 pounds
Click here to get the Ibanez SR300 Click here to get the Ibanez SR500
Prices pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

Ibanez SR300 Vs SR500 – What Situation Is Each Best For?

Alright, the first question we will be answering on today’s episode of the Ibanez SR300 vs SR500 is what each of these guitars is best for. Keep in mind that both guitars are mostly entry-level to intermediate level guitars. However, let’s check this table for more detail.

Ibanez SR30


Ibanez SR500

The Ibanez SR300 is a beginner guitar and a great place to start if you’re new to the world of bass guitars.  

It has all the features of a typical Ibanez guitar which means that it is high quality as Ibanez is known to make. And even more so, this guitar is super affordable as well which is great news for the budget guitarist.

Because of how high quality it is, it can work for the intermediate player and could even work for the pro player on a budget.  

Now, you might want to keep in mind that Ibanez guitars are commonly known within metal music circles. This is because of some telling features like a slim neck profile, a flat fretboard, plus their electronics as well.  

We have no doubt that the SR300 is really going to impress you, especially since you won’t be spending so much.  

Of course vs the SR500, it does have its limitations. For instance, its Agathis body doesn’t have the full, low-end growl of mahogany. Also, the electronics are not as good as on the SR500. Nonetheless, the differences are really nearly negligible and the average player would enjoy owning this guitar.  

Some people are of the opinion that an agathis body won’t help your guitar cut through a mix. Now while we won’t say agathis is the best thing after sliced bread, the truth is that that’s why you have your EQ. if you can find a sweet spot, the EQ will help you get a sound from your guitar that cuts through any mix.  

The Ibanez SR500 is a higher end guitar when compared vs the Ibanez SR300 although both are in the same category. That is, they are both entry-level to intermediate level guitars.  

This guitar can work for the same situations and guitarists as the SR300. However, there are people who might prefer the sound of the SR500 being a mahogany bodied-guitar and all. And truthfully, mahogany does have a better tonal quality than agathis. Agathis does tend to sound like basswood in a way.  

Nevertheless, both guitars are equally inexpensive with a professional level of sound, tone, and playability.  

In a contest between the Ibanez SR300 vs SR500, we can see how many players would prefer the SR500 though. It is an upgrade to the SR300 after all.  

However, speaking generally, these two guitars work in the same situations and what applies for one mostly applies for the other. Of course with the exception of tone and electronics where the SR500 trumps the SR300, although not completely.

What Features Do The Ibanez SR300 And SR500 Have In Common?

Both of these guitar series are designed with a double cutaway body construction.

All of the guitars in these series are made with rosewood for their fingerboards.

They all come with bolt-on necks.

They all have a 34-inch scale length with 24 medium frets and a 12-inch fretboard radius.

If you want, you can get either of these guitars in a 5-string model.

Double Cutaway Body Construction

This construction style not only makes these guitars lightweight, it also makes them much easier and more comfortable to hold. This is even more important for the SR500 which comes with a solid mahogany body known for its hardness and heavy weight.

A double cutaway means that guitar makers use less wood, which in turn, reduces the weight of your guitar.

And like we said, the contours create a comfortable groove for your hands to rest when playing your guitar. As you know, the more ergonomic your guitar, the longer you’d be able to play it without tiring.

Rosewood Fingerboards

Next up in this section of our review of the Ibanez SR300 vs SR500, both guitars have a rosewood fingerboard. Rosewood is one of the most commonly used materials for guitar fingerboards for its many qualities.

For one, it’s fairly dense and somewhat solid too. So, it’s a material that will last no matter what. Considering how often you’ll be interacting with your fretboard, this is one box you always need to check when looking for a guitar. You need something that will last and rosewood is a good choice.

Also, rosewood has a much mellower, warmer, and darker tonewood when compared to maple, another common choice for fingerboards. So, paired with a bright sounding body tonewood, rosewood darkens and mellows the sound a little bit.

Furthermore, rosewood is naturally oily, so, it does not require any form of finishing. You only need to regularly condition the wood to keep it in the best of conditions.

Finally, rosewood is a great choice usable with all kinds of music genres including shred and jazz. This is because of their deeper and fuller notes as compared to maple.

Bolt-on Necks

Bolt-on necks are another feature these two guitars have in common. Now, there are many reasons bolt-on necks are great.

Number, one, they give your guitar a reasonable level of stability. Bolt-on necks are installed by screwing (rather than using bolts as the name might suggest) the neck of the guitar onto its body.

Hence, usually, guitars with bolt-on necks are usually super stable and last really long without damaging. However, in the eventuality that there’s an unforeseen damage to your guitar neck, it’s really easy to do a replacement since you only need to unscrew the old one and screw in the new.

Another thing about bolt-on necks is that they are known for their attack – always sharp and brilliant. It still has quite a few things to learn from Through Necks in enhancing your guitar’s tone, sure, but they do well all the same.

Lastly, bolt-on necks are inexpensive to install which, of course, impacts on the price of guitars with bolt-on necks. A cheaper cost of production would, naturally, translate to a lower price tag which is the case with these two guitars.

34 Inch Scale Length – Long Scale

Most guitars you find around are 34-inch scales. So, this isn’t something the average bassist isn’t used to. In fact, even if you’ve never played the bass guitar before, you’re still going to have to start out on the 34-inch scale which is pretty much the standard these days.

Now, this is true except the person starting out on the bass is a small child. If you’re looking for a bass guitar for your child, then you want to search for something with a shorter scale. Most kids haven’t attained to the proper body size to effectively handle a long scale guitar. Hence, a shorter scale is always advised.

Get a shorter scale if your child is a small 12-year-old or under.

24 Medium Frets

Another win for the Ibanez SR300 vs SR500. With 24 frets, you get more notes which improves your guitar experience. This is because the more frets you have, the more notes available to you on each of your guitar strings.

If you play a lot of solos, especially, you’re going to find this a really appealing feature. Truthfully, you might not even need all the notes between the 18th and 24th fret but it’s good to know all the same that your fingers have enough space to dawdle in there.

12 Inch Fretboard Radii

Both guitars come with a 12-inch fretboard radius which means that the fretboard is somewhat flattish. This is why these guitars are much easier to play especially if you’re into lead or heavy metal music.

A flatter fretboard reduces the string height of your guitar which makes it easier to depress the strings. In practice, this shorter string height means that it is now easier to play a solo with your bass guitar or achieve larger bends.

On the other hand, a rounder fretboard (that is, one with a smaller fretboard radius) would be harder to play with while playing leads and bends. However, they make it much easier playing barre chords.

5-String Models

Both the SR300 and the SR500 come with 5-string models options. 5-string bass guitars are exciting options for the skilled bass player who is looking to expand their playing range. The 4-string models are commonplace and great but a 5-string bass gives you that chest-thumping low B.

On a 4-string guitar, it might be otherwise nearly impossible to achieve such low-end notes. Well, maybe except you use an effect pedal or you alter the tuning. However, with a 5-string guitar, you won’t have to do all that, the extra string gives you that for free.

You’ll be able to get underneath the keyboardist who loves to play heavy in the mid to low range. And it’s great because you don’t feel like the keyboardist is constantly trampling on your notes.

Understandably, a 5-string guitar might be somewhat difficult for the beginner to navigate because of the extra string. However, anyone that has perfected playing on a 4-string guitar and wishes to have more options should try out the 5-string model.

Fortunately, both the Ibanez SR300 and SR500 are available in the 5-string model option. Both guitars share the same features with their 4-string counterparts.

Ibanez SR300

Ibanez SR500

Click here or here to get the Ibanez SR305 now!  

Click here to get the Ibanez SR305E here!  

Click here to get the Ibanez SR305E here!  

Or you could also cash in on this deal. Click here to get the SR305E with a gig bag and all right now!  

If you want the 5-string model, that is, the SR305EB, get that here!  

Or go for the 5-string model, the SR305DX. You can grab that here.
Or you could also go for the Ibanez SR505 with 5 strings. Click here to get the Ibanez SR505 now!

Ibanez SR300 Vs SR500 – What’s Unique To Each Guitar?

Features Unique To The Ibanez SR300

The guitars in this series are made with Agathis as their tonewood

They all come with a maple neck.

For their electronics, these guitars use a CAP EFX-N2 Pickups with 3-Band Style Sweeper EQ systems.

What guitars are available in the Ibanez SR300 Series?

  • IBanez SR300M
  • Ibanez SR300DX
  • Ibanez SR300E

Agathis Body

Not many people like agathis if we’re being completely honest. In fact, many people liken agathis to basswood which we feel is a little extreme. Well, agathis is not totally that bad even though you can’t really compare it with say mahogany or alder.

However, if we were to compare the sound and tone of agathis, you’d discover that agathis sounds pretty close to mahogany. But in comparison to mahogany, agathis is much more affordable and usually found on budget-priced, lower-end guitars.

But then again, there are higher-end species of agathis which you find on higher-end guitars.  Nonetheless, agathis is mostly known among budget guitars and the Ibanez SR300 is one of such budget guitars.

Like we said, agathis has sound and tonal properties close to what mahogany has. However, it does not have the grains that basswood has.

Many people worry that an agathis body would not give your guitar a sound that cuts through a mix. However, that’s why you have your EQ. If you set your EQ properly, you should be able to get a sound that cuts through nicely.

Plus, remember that in a band setting, you’re not looking for your bass guitar to stand out, rather you’re looking for it to blend in.

That said, we will admit that agathis body or not, many customers love their Ibanez SR300. They were really impressed with the sound. So, it seems like, as usual, Ibanez has done an excellent job delivering on a professional-sounding guitar.

Maple Neck

Maple is a pretty heavy and dense wood typically found on guitar necks because of its heavy weight. Now, this weight and denseness are two features (though undesirable) that contribute to the tone and sound of a guitar. These two features give your guitar a level of brightness, a good bite, as well as an impressive sustain.

Maple does a good job pronouncing the high frequencies as well as the upper mids as well. However, that does not mean that bass frequencies are lost as maple also clearly articulates them as well.

Again, maple does a fantastic job separating the individual notes in a chord which gives your guitar’s sound a crystalline and clear quality to it. Plus, paired with the right pickup, maple shines really nicely which is why it is often considered for guitar necks.

Furthermore, maple necks are beneficial because they are solid and hard. Hence you can be sure that your guitar will last pretty long. Plus, coupled with a bolt-on neck there is even a higher assurance that your guitar neck would last.

CAP EFX-N2 Pickups

In the comparison of the Ibanez SR300 vs SR500, we find another unique feature of the SR300. This time, we look at the electronics which are CAP EFX-N2 pickups.

Just like the MK-1s, the CAP EFX-N2 pickups are humbuckers although the MK-1s are definitely an upgrade to the CAP EFX-N2 pickups.

Being humbuckers, they help with the hum that single-coil pickups are known to bring. They are actually two single coils wired together into one unit which is the reason for the cancellation of the hum.

Now, with this hum cancellation, humbucker pickups make a great choice for metal and hard rock music genres.

The CAP EFX-N2 pickups give you that thick, heavy sound that you’d want from your guitar. And, in fact, there are some who say that the pickups compete favorably with the MK-1s. So, it’s that good.

Furthermore, just like Ibanez does on a norm, the pickups are two-in-one. That is, there is one for the neck and the other for the bridge. Both work together to give your guitar a pleasant tone and an impeccable sound. We’ll get to the controls in the next section.

3-Band Style Sweeper EQ

The 3-band style sweeper EQ are active electronics which help you shape your tone beautifully. It scoops your mids clearly too which makes it great for slapping styles while giving you that powerful, low-end rumble.

Combined with the humbucking pickups, the electronics on the SR300 will give you some serious power on your low-end notes.

Again, thanks to its Style Sweeper EQ system, you can simply select from all the wonderful tones. These tones come already equalized which means that you can easily make your choice from the contoured tones available.

The result? You’re able to switch between a modern or a classic sound, depending on what you want, without fiddling so much.

Alright, to performance and function. The EQ comes with one rear tone knob which you use as a multi-tone knob. Yeah, so the multi-knob is essentially two knobs built into one knob. It might seem a little challenging to use, but once you get it right, you’d be able to easily move from one style to another using the knob.

So, long and short, once you pair your bass with the right amp, you get to enjoy a wider variety of sounds than most guitars. Plus, the Ibanez SR300 is so versatile, it works with all kinds of music styles besides metal, like funk and rock.

Several Models Of The Ibanez SR300 Available

Still on the review of the Ibanez SR300 vs SR500, here is another aspect of the unique features of the Ibanez SR300 to note. There are several models of the Ibanez SR300 currently available in the market. Here they are:

Ibanez SR300M

The Ibanez SR300 has another variant called the Ibanez SR300M. The only difference between the SR300 and the SR300M is that the SR300M has a maple fingerboard. Every other feature is exactly the same between these two guitars.

So, what can you expect from a maple fingerboard? Well, it is harder than rosewood. So, it produces a brighter and punchier sound. It also has a large degree of clarity to its sound as well.

Now, there are some people who do not agree with the fact that maple sounds different than a rosewood fingerboard. But this video hopefully helps to make things very clear.

Ibanez SR300DX

The Ibanez SR300Dx is one of the models of the Ibanez SR300 available. The “Dx” suffix stands for “Deluxe”. However, don’t let that fool you. The Ibanez SR300Dx isn’t exactly the upgrade to the SR300. In fact, it is the slightly older version of the SR300.

The Ibanez SR300DX shares a lot in common with the Ibanez SR300. However, it also has a few areas where it differs from the Ibanez SR300.

What areas are they similar? Well, the SR300Dx and SR300 both have an agathis body, as well as a maple neck, with 24 medium rets. But pretty much every other thing differs.

For instance, the SR300Dx comes with a rosewood neck. This rosewood neck is lighter than maple and also has a warmer and mellower tone. Maple, on the other hand, has a much brighter tone.

Also, rosewood occurs as an oily wood which means that it only needs regular conditioning. You won’t need finishing and you’ll love how the fingerboard feels under your fingers.

As for the neck, instead of a 5-piece like Ibanez went for with the SR300, the company chose to go for a 3-piece guitar neck. However, to the main difference between these two guitars which we will be discussing a little more extensively… the electronics.

But just before we go, we should inform you here that the Ibanez SR300Dx is also available in the 5-string model. However, it does not offer the 6-string model. The Ibanez SR305DX (the 5-stringed model) shares the same features as the Ibanez SR300 except that it has 5 strings.

Split and Single-Coil Dynamix Pickups (IBZ DXP Neck, and IBZ DXJ Bridge)

So, what’s the deal with these pickups? Well, from our research and customer feedback, these pickups work and work good. Plus the electronics system is actually active which is also good. Overall, the sound is more than impressive, especially with a 2-band EQ system.

The pickups give your guitar a very versatile sound that makes the guitar as great for mellow songs as they are for metal and rock. You simply use the knob to adjust your sound to your tastes at the moment. Some people have said it takes a bit of getting used to. So, you might want to keep that in mind.

Now, like we mentioned earlier, the electronics here are an active circuitry called “Phat”. It actually does give you a fatter tone by bringing the right balance between low frequencies and high frequencies.

The Phat control brings this low B that’s so heavy, it practically causes your chest to rumble.

So, yeah, thanks to the pickup and electronics, the sound from this guitar is sick, perfectly distorted and without the need for any pedal. Excellently balanced between the bass and the treble too.

Ibanez SR300E

We’re still on our contest between the Ibanez SR300 vs SR500 and we’re pretty sure you’re learning a lot. We’ve been checking out the other models that the Ibanez SR300 comes in.

In the last section, we looked at the Ibanez SR300Dx which was an older version of the SR300. However, there’s also the SR300E which is the upgrade to the SR300.

What’s the difference between the S300 and the SR300E? Well, this one has better electronics as well as a better body (mahogany).

However, just like the SR300, it comes with a maple neck and a rosewood fingerboard. The fretboard markers are also medium-sized and 24 in number as well. And let’s not forget the double cutaway construction as well.

Alright, that said. Let’s explain the import of some of the upgrades. First, we begin with the mahogany body. Mahogany is pretty dense and hard. So, in the first place it is kinda heavy. Thankfully, Ibanez knows how to make their guitars lightweight.

Also, mahogany is known for its growl, bite, percussiveness,
impressive sustain as well. Plus, needless to say, mahogany is way better than agathis tonally. It covers all the ends from the high to the low frequencies and its tone packs quite a punch too.

Before we leave here, this guitar comes also has a 5-string model available. Click here to get the Ibanez SR305E now!

It also comes with a 6-string variety as well. Click here to get the Ibanez SR306E right now

PowerSpan Dual Coil

The PowerSpan are dual-coil pickups which means they are humbuckers. Of course, as you can expect, with humbuckers, you get none of the hum and all of the power. This is especially so with the PowerSpan dual-coil pickups.

How? Well, in the first place, they feature stainless steel poles which help you improve the output of the pickups in terms of clarity and fullness. In other words, booming low ends with a full, encompassing sound.

Now, two things about these pickups. First is that they come in two types – that is, one for the neck and the other for the bridge. Also, these pickups come in two pickup modes which is quite interesting. Even though the pickups are humbuckers, they actually also have a single-coil mode too.

So, for the controls, you get what Ibanez calls the Power Tap switch. Toggling this helps you to switch between the three modes the pickup comes with.

There’s the “Normal Tap” which gives you the single-coil mode, the “Series Tap” which gives the humbucking mode, and the “Power Tap” which gives you the Normal Tap but with a boosted lower end.

And if you want to tweak your tine even further, these pickups come with a 3-band Equalizer system. Now, unlike the DPX, these ones are passive which makes them more versatile. Plus, they don’t require a battery to work.

Why do you need Single Coil mode?

Well, single-coil pickups are known for their clarity and high-frequency response. They sound crisper, and brighter as compared to humbuckers’ thicker sound. They also have a better attack and bite than humbuckers. They are the country guitarists’ favorite. So, if you want that twang for country music, the single-coil mode is your best bet.

Humbuckers have a much thicker and heavier output which are better suited to heavy metal and hard rock.

In essence, the PowerSpan Dual Coils make your guitar super versatile and with a single tap you can switch between several music genres.

Ibanez SR300EB

There isn’t much of a difference between the Ibanez SR300E and the SR300EB. All features are the same except for two things.

One, the ”B” behind the “E” stands for “Black”. This “Black” is because the Ibanez SR300EB comes with black hardware while the SR300E comes with chrome hardware.

The other difference is that the SR300E only has the 4-string and 5-string models. The SR300EB, on the other hand, has the 4-string: Click here to get the SR300EB now!

5-string:  Click here to get the SR305EB now!

And the 6-string model: Grab your own copy of the Ibanez SR306EB here!

Features Unique To The Ibanez SR500

All the guitars in the SR500 series are made with Mahogany as their tonewood.

The guitars are made with a Jatoba/Bubinga neck.

For electronics, these guitars are equipped with Bartolini MK-1 Pickups.

If you want, you can get this get in 4, 5, and 6-string variants.

Mahogany Body

A mahogany body is very different from agathis on many counts. Of course, mahogany is better than agathis. That goes without saying, right? However, there are more specific areas where mahogany excels over agathis.

For one, mahogany is much heavier than agathis. It’s also denser and more solid. These qualities translate to a number of consequences.

In the first place, it makes your guitar somewhat heavy, naturally. Fortunately, Ibanez has combatted that through their construction methods. The guitar isn’t heavy at all, and is, in fact, quite lightweight.

Also, because it is quite heavy, mahogany packs quite a punch in its sound. Its tone is bold especially around the lower ends. Plus, its sustain is also really impressive as well.

Mahogany is especially great if you’re into hard metal or rock.

Jatoba/Bubinga Neck

Again on the Ibanez SR300 vs SR500, we find another point of difference between these two guitars. This time, we find this difference in the necks. Unlike the SR300 which comes with a maple neck, the SR300 comes with a Jatoba/Bubinga neck.

Jatoba and Bubinga are solid woods just like maple. They are also pretty heavy and they are popular with mid-range guitars. The SR500, as you know, is more expensive than the SR300. So, it follows that it comes with the Jatoba and Bubinga.

Being hard and dense, Jatoba and Bubinga make very reliable guitar necks which, in turn, makes the guitar in question quite durable. Also, although heavy, Ibanez has made the right construction choices. So, the SR500 isn’t heavy at all.

Plus, Jatoba and Bubinga both respond rather nicely to finishing and polishing.

Bartolini MK-1 Pickups

The Ibanez SR500 comes with Bartolini Mk-1 pickups. Vs the Ibanez SR300, the electronics of the SR500 are said to be much better. But, truthfully, not many people seem to agree with that, though.

The Bartolini MK-1s are humbuckers and they come in two types. There’s the neck pickup and the bridge pickup as usual just like on all Ibanez guitars.

Humbuckers essentially exist as two single-coil pickups in one unit. Wiring these two pickups together cancels the hum. Plus, it also gives your guitar a thicker, fuller, and darker sound than single-coil pickups. This is the reason humbuckers are great for metal or rock music.

Now might be a good time to add that the Bartolini pickups on this guitar are not exactly made by Bartolini themselves. They are actually Korean pickups except made by a Korean company licensed to use the Bartolini name on their pickups.

However, these pickups still perform really well. Customers have commended the pickups for its tone and sound. It’s punchy, it’s clear, and it’s really clean.

3-Band Equalizer Passive Electronics

The electronics of the SR500 is a passive one unlike the ones on most of the SR300 models which have active electronics. Passive electronics don’t work with batteries which makes them quite flexible. They can work on both active and passive electronics. Plus, they are also quite affordable.

Furthermore, the EQ system on this guitar is pretty great as well. It cleans up your sound and allows you choose your tone with all the controls on the available.

Speaking of controls, this pickup comes with a mid-switch. With the mid-switch, you get the power to control your midrange peak. So, you can switch from 250 Hz to 450 Hz to 750 Hz. This mid-switch also means that you choose where your growl and attack comes from.

At the 250 Hz to 450 Hz, especially the 450 Hz, you get enough bass that thumps in your chest. The 450 Hz also packs enough presence and punch around the low mids. However, it does not neglect the high mids either. So, whatever the setting, your sound remains clear and easy to hear.

As for the 750 Hz, the pickups will give your guitar a more trebly attack. You’ll really enjoy this benefit when you need to be heard through a mix as it will really emphasize the higher frequencies. Be careful though because if you crank it up real high, your sound might come out a little shrill.

6-String Model Available

Again on the Ibanez SR300 vs SR500, we get to another unique feature of the Ibanez SR500 which is the fact that it comes in the 6-string model. Well, the Ibanez SR300EB is the only variant of the SR300 that comes with 6 strings. However, besides that this is a feature unique to the SR500.

Are 6-string basses good?

6-string guitars are great because they are really interesting to play since you can play them like the regular acoustic guitar. After all, they are tuned like the regular acoustic guitar (EADGBE).

Also, 6-string guitars are not as difficult to play as you might think. In fact, with the extra two strings, you get to hit those higher notes without necessarily moving so far down the fretboard.

The only challenge with the 6-stringed model is that it comes with a pretty slim neck profile. This slim neck profile means that the strings will be closely packed together. In the end, it also makes the guitar a little more challenging to play.

Understandably, this would make it a little tougher for the beginner to adapt to. Otherwise, the 6-stringed guitar is a great choice for any guitarist looking to keep things interesting.

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15.75 Fretboard Radius

Unlike the other guitars we’ve seen so far in the review of the Ibanez SR300 vs SR500, the Ibanez SR506 comes with a 15.75-inch fretboard radius. Of course this translates to a flatter fretboard for the guitar than the other guitars. But how does this affect your playing?

Well, there isn’t much of a difference between a 12-inch fretboard radius and a15.75 inch fretboard radius. So, the 6-stringed guitar is also easy to play with for bends and solos.

Ibanez SR300 Vs SR500 – Unique Pros

Ibanez SR300

  • Available in various models with different upgrades as well which gives the guitarist more options.

Ibanez SR500

  • Available in the 4-, 5-, and 6-string model.
  • Its mahogany body gives a better tone and sound than the agathis body of the SR300. Sustain is also much better.

Ibanez SR300 Vs SR500 – Unique Cons

Ibanez SR300

  • Agathis isn’t the best tonewood available. Although vs the SR500, the agathis body of the Ibanez SR300 sounds similar to mahogany, it’s more like the lower end option.
  • 6-string model unavailable.

Ibanez SR500

  • No unique con.

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Ibanez SR300 Vs SR500 – Pros Common To Both Guitars

After checking out the unique pros and cons of these guitars, the next section of the Ibanez SR300 vs SR500 review, we will check out common pros to both guitars.

Ibanez SR300

Ibanez SR500

This guitar is very decently priced for the value you’ll be getting. A lot of people have commended the guitar for its tone and its sound. So, in our opinion, making this investment is a wise step. This also applies for the SR500 as well, perhaps even more so. This guitar sells at the price of an entry-level guitar but performs within the category of a Fender or a Gibson.
Double cutaway construction and a light weight make this guitar really ergonomic and comfortable for users to play with. But then again, agathis is generally lightweight. Nonetheless, the double cutaway construction is still beneficial for the ergonomics. This also applies for the SR500. In fact, it’s doubly impressive for the SR500 because of the mahogany body. As you know, mahogany is pretty heavy and if not properly constructed, a mahogany bodied guitar could be really cumbersome for its player. Thankfully, that’s not the case here
Pickups are really good, even with the 2-band EQ of the CAP EXF-N2. There are some that even think that this pickup doesn’t sound significantly different than the Bartolini MK-1s which are supposed to be the upgrade. And, of course, that’s saying a lot.  

The PowerSpan dual coils, of course, take the cake with the Power Tap and three modes – single-coil, humbucking, and single-coil with a boosted end.  The Ibanez SR300E has a truly impressive tone with the PowerSpan pickup and that’s pretty much obvious.
The SR500 comes with Bartolini pickups which are truly impressive even though they aren’t real Bartolinis.  

The pickups sound really great, come with versatile passive electronics, and a 3-band EQ. the Bartolini MK-1s really give your bass guitar a lot of bass and thickness, tonally especially since they are two in number – one at the neck and the other at the bridge.
5-string variety available for all models. 6-string model is also available for SR300Eb Comes in 4-, 5-, and 6-string models.
Neck profile is really slim. So, it’s super fast. This is especially great news for people who are new to the bass guitar Same also applies for the SR500
Comes with 24 frets which means more room for your fingers along the 18th to 24th fret. Also applies here.

Ibanez SR300 Vs SR500 – Cons Common To Both Guitars

Ibanez SR300

Ibanez SR500

This isn’t exactly a real con per se. However, the fact that these guitars come with a slim neck might be a little “different” for some players who might have been used to wider guitar necks.

It doesn’t necessarily make the guitar more difficult to play though and is even advantageous for the learner.
The same applies for the SR500, especially when it comes to the 6-stringed model, the SR506.  

The 6-stringed model still features the slim neck. So, this ultimately means that the strings would be pretty close to one another on the neck. This could make the guitar a little more challenging to play than if the neck were a bit wider.  

It’s not the same with the 4-stringed model though as the neck is still wide enough for the strings to be adequately spaced.

Ibanez SR300 Vs SR500 – General Feeling Customers

Ibanez SR300 Ibanez SR500
Many comments, many observations, many reviews, and most of them positive. There’s no question as to whether the market loved the SR300 or not. It’s so obvious that the audience is in love with the SR300.  

Price, of course, was a contributing factor. It’s not every day you get a guitar that’s inexpensive and still blows mind. We all know that much.  

Much to our amazement, even the CAP NFX-2s got a glowing commendation from customers. What actually surprised us was that some customers were of the opinion that it performs just as well as the Bartolini MK-1s.  

Now, one small downer, the agathis body wasn’t a huge hit with everybody. The house seemed to be divided on the matter. For the most part though, many, even though they loved the guitar, hated its agathis body. There were several complaints about agathis sounding pretty much like basswood. So, vs the SR500, the Ibanez SR300 kinda scored lower on that point.  

On the other hand though, there were those who were of the opinion that the agathis body wasn’t that bad. Plus, for many of them, the EQ was able to balance out the sound and make it good. So, there were those who didn’t find any issues with the body.  

So, if you’re one of those that don’t see wood, then maybe the agathis body won’t bother you much. It’s even lighter than mahogany.
It’s hardly a contest of the Ibanez SR300 vs SR500 when it comes to this section. Both guitars are winners in the marketplace, and that’s easy to see. Many of the features customers appreciate in one guitar, they also commend in the other.  

This is an ergonomic, lightweight instrument that gives the player the freedom to perform any kind of movement without hampering their style. This comes as no surprise as Ibanez is known for its lightweight guitars.  

Of course, we won’t forget to mention the neck of the guitars because they were huge hit with many customers. The fastness especially was something that customers couldn’t get over.

Ibanez SR300 Vs SR500 – Here’s The Final Word

We told you the Ibanez SR300 vs SR500 was going to be a pretty long read but you stayed till the end. That’s amazing! So, what’s our final word on this contest? The Ibanez SR300 vs SR500 contest was a pretty tough one but our trophy would have to go to the SR500 for obvious reasons.

That said, all of these models have 5-string models and the SR300EB series also has a 6-string guitar as well.

Ibanez SR300 Vs SR500 – Frequently Asked Questions

How good are Ibanez bass guitars?

Ibanez is one of the most respected guitar brands in the world and it’s no surprise that they make excellent guitars. Ibanez guitars are designed to be fast playing, with really thin necks as well as excellent in-house hardware. Ibanez guitars are generally regarded as innovative, flexible, and modern. So in short, Ibanez bass guitars are some of the best bass guitars in the world.

Which Ibanez bass is the best?

Ibanez is one of the leading makers of bass guitars in the world. They have produced a range of truly remarkable bass guitars over the years. Some of their most respected guitars come from the Ibanez RG and Ibanez S series. Selecting which Ibanez bass guitar is the best is a difficult and highly subjective task. But if we have to make a choice, we’ll go with the Ibanez SR800. This is one of  Ibanez’s flagship guitars and it truly lives up to that title. It is unique and exotic and works well as a general-purpose guitar. 

Are Schecter basses any good?

Schecter basses are some of the best bass guitars in the world. These guitars are excellent and rank as some of the best basses for metal and hard rock. Schecter makes guitars fitted with EMG pickups, active EQs, and maple tops while keeping the cost of the guitars relatively low. You can expect top-quality sounds from Schecter basses for both stage and studio performances. Any rock fan will find it hard to pass up a Schecter.

Where are Schecter basses made?

Most Schecter mid-range guitars are made in South Korea. Although, Schecter also makes use of several other factories around the world with their custom ranges made in the USA. These custom ranges are typically more expensive. Schecter basses are very well made pieces with top quality finishing and unique designs. 

Are Ibanez Artwood guitars good?

The Ibanez Artwood guitar series is a top of the line acoustic guitar series from Ibanez. The Artwood guitar series is designed to combine the traditional and modern elements of a guitar into one guitar. Ibanez Artwood guitars are exquisitely made and are some of the best acoustic guitars you can lay your hands on. They produce the exquisite sound and tone that has been associated with the Ibanez brand over the years. They are also delightful to play.

Is Schecter a good brand?

Schecter is an excellent guitar brand, definitely ranked amongst the best guitar brands in the world today. Schecter was founded in 1976 by David Schecter as a manufacturing company for guitar replacement parts. Schecter has since grown into a well-respected guitar brand over time. Schecter guitars are made with top quality finishing and excellent features, yet, it comes at a great price. Schecter guitars are an excellent choice for any bass guitarist, whether you are a stage or studio performer.

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