Ibanez SR500 Vs Fender Jazz Bass – Which Bass Is Better For You?

Do you want to learn how to play the electric bass guitar? Or perhaps you’ve been playing for a while and you just want to change gear? Well, whatever it is, we’re here for you. Today is the battle of the basses, it’s Ibanez SR500 Vs Fender Jazz Bass.

Before we proceed, it is important you know that none of these guitars is a bad guitar, neither is another perfect. However, what we’re trying to do is bring you all the features of the two products, analyze them and draw out their strengths and weaknesses.

At the end of the day, we’re not trying to make you buy either of the products. Rather, what we’re trying to do is to give you as much information as you would need to make the right decision on the bass to get for yourself.

Without further ado, let’s look at Ibanez SR500 Vs Fender Jazz Bass.

Table of Contents

Ibanez SR500 Vs Fender Jazz Bass – Comparison Overview

This is a pretty lengthy article. If you have the time, read through to the end to get the detailed information concerning Ibanez SR500 Vs Fender Jazz Bass. However, if you do not have the time, let’s quickly give you an overview.

Because these two guitars are made by different brands, they have very few similar features. In fact, they have only two major similar features.

The first is that both of these guitars have 4 strings “E A D G”, from left to right. This is the standard for bass guitars, although, you can find guitars with 5,6, 7, or even 8 strings. To find out what to do before picking the number of strings guitar you need, check out the video below in the “4 string section”.

The second similar feature is that both of these guitars have a rosewood fretboard. However, with the Fender Jazz Bass, it is an option between a rosewood fretboard, and a maple fretboard.

As for the differences, the Ibanez SR500 comes with a Mahogany body, while the Fender Jazz Bass comes with an Alder body. What we see straight away is that Ibanez was trying to make it as affordable as possible, while Fender was simply, doing the best.

The electronics are also different. The fender comes with fender bass pickup, while the Ibanez comes with Bartolini pickups. Because the fender guitar and pickups are made by the same company, it’s better integrated, therefore, sounds better.

Ibanez SR500 Vs Fender Jazz Bass – Brand Comparison

Well, Fender is really a giant in the guitar making industry. However, Ibanez has begun to gain ground in recent times, bringing in the quality of professional guitars with affordable price tags.

For now, Fender remains the bigger brand but Ibanez might be catching up on that popularity pretty soon, if they keep delivering quality at ridiculous prices.

Read through the whole review to find the full information you need, this is just an overview. Goodluck.

Ibanez SR500 Vs Fender Jazz Bass – Comparison Table/ Spec Sheet

Ibanez SR500

Fender Jazz Bass

Mahogany body Alder body
Rosewood fretboard Maple/rosewood fretboard
Medium-sized frets Narrow Tall
Bartolini Pickups Fender Bass Pickups
1x Volume, 3-Band Active Pre-Amp (bass, mid, treble) with a Mid-Peak Switch (250, 450 and 750) and a Pickup Balance Knob in place of a switch. Volume 1. (Middle Pickup), Volume 2. (Bridge Pickup), Master Tone. No switch.
12 inches neck Radius 9.5 inches fingerboard radius
4 strings 4 strings

Ibanez SR500 Vs Fender Jazz Bass – What Situation Is Best For What Guitar?

Ibanez SR500

Fender Jazz Bass

The Ibanez Sr500 is a great guitar, especially for its price. If you’re an intermediate that doesn’t have all the money to splash on gear yet but you’re hoping to go pro soon and want something affordable yet quality, this is what you want.  

For the specs, one would’ve thought that this guitar would be more expensive than this. However, we know that Ibanez aims at providing quality at the most affordable rates. We’ve seen the same with its products from past.  

This is one guitar that you can buy as an intermediate and keep even when you go pro for the first few months. It’s something that you won’t be ashamed to play at a gig.
First of all, the Fender Jazz Bass costs quite a lot more than the Ibanez Sr500. Fender often prefers to make high-quality guitars, no matter where the price eventually falls at, than creating something that’s more cost-effective, but slacks a little in quality.  

If you want to get this guitar for yourself, we think you’re already a pro who is getting money from playing in gigs.  

To be honest, if you’ve not started earning yet, we suggest that you go for something that would be lighter on your pocket.  

However, if you have the cash to spare, this provides great value for money.

What Features Do The Ibanez SR500 And The Fender Jazz Bass Have In Common?

They both have 4 strings

They both use a Rosewood fretboard.

4 Strings

The 4-stringed bass is the most popular kind of bass guitar. It is also the most basic and the most traditional form of the bass guitar. However, there are other numbers of strings ranging from 4 to 8. Although 7 and 8 stringed bass guitars are not very common in today’s market, they exist.

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In fact, any luthier can create a bass guitar with something ridiculous like 12 strings, or one with two necks, and so on. However, for commercial purposes, the most prevalent are 4, 5 and 6 stringed bass guitars.

What are the benefits of a 4-String Bass?

The first benefit of the 4-string bass is that it generally costs less. The more the strings, the more expensive the bass guitar would be.

Another benefit of the 4-string bass is that it’s a lot more comfortable to play because of its slimmer neck. As a beginner, this is definitely something you want.

So, if you are a beginner, or even an intermediate level player, the 4 stringed bass is something for you. The strings are lettered “E A D G” from left to right.

However, because we’re here to give you the best value, here’s a video that you can watch when considering how many strings you want on your guitar:

Rosewood Fretboard

When it comes to fretboards, otherwise known as fingerboards, for electric bass guitars, there are two options that are often used. The first option is rosewood, the second option is maple. Both these guitars come with a rosewood fretboard.

Although, the Fender Jazz Bass gives you the option of picking one with a maple board instead. Rosewood is great because it has a natural feel. Something most guitarists want when they’re playing.

Unlike maple, rosewood doesn’t use a finish. So, when you’re sliding across the fretboard, what youre feeling is the natural wood. However, this comes at a slight cost of you conditioning it from time to time.

Ibanez SR500 Vs Fender Jazz Bass – What’s Unique To Each Product?

Features Unique To The Ibanez Sr500

It comes with Bartolini Pickups

It’s made with Mahogany tonewood

It has a 12-inch Radius Neck


The Ibanez Sr500 comes with a Bartolini pickup.

The Bartolini pickup is a passive pickup. Now, there are two types of instruments with respect to their electronics. There are passive instruments, and there are active instruments.

Active instruments require a battery to generate extra power to the output. An active instrument can have either active or passive pickups. On the other hand, passive instruments do not need any battery. It always has a passive pickup as well as passive controls.

The power the instrument produces is generated in the pickup coil. The controls reduce the power gotten from the pickup, while the pickups themselves are affected by external electronics.

Bartolini pickups are usually passive, and this one is no different. Bartolini claims that they are so for two reasons, the first being flexibility. You can use passive pickups on both a passive and an active guitar.

On the other hand, you cannot use an active pickup on a passive guitar. Secondly, passive pickups have their own voice.

In terms of the sound gotten from the Bartolini pickup, a lot of people who have used it describe it to be a warm tone. The sound produces is clear, solid, and warm. It also packs quite a punch.

Mahogany Body

The first thing we can see with this body is that Ibanez was trying to make something that was affordable. Compared to other woods, Mahogany is the more affordable one that doesn’t drop the quality so much.

Mahogany creates tone coloration, which in turn creates nice harmonies and melodies. The sound gotten from the Mahogany is more “woody” than “metallic”. If you prefer a more natural-sounding guitar, something warm and mellow, Mahogany will get that for you.

Apart from the sound, we cannot overlook the looks of the Mahogany. The dark-drown color of the mahogany on this guitar is simply beautiful. You can even say it’s sleek, *wink*.

12-Inch Radius Neck

The Ibanez Sr500 has a neck radius of 12 inches which is a bit wider than the Fender Jazz Bass which has a 9.5-inch radius. This means that if you have short fingers, it’ll be more difficult to get to the E string than it will be with the Fender.

However, more width around the neck means more space between the strings. This means that you won’t need to be extra careful playing your fingers on each fret, especially if you have fat fingers. Also, this bass has medium-sized frets.

Before we look at the Fender Jazz Bass, do you want to hear what the Ibanez Sr500 sounds like? Check out this quick video review of the bass guitar below:

Features Unique To The Fender Jazz Bass

It’s made with Alder as its tonewood.

It has a maple fretboard.

It comes with Fender pickups.

It has a 9.5 inch radius neck.

Alder Body

Fender is one of the few companies to adopt using alder wood for the bodies of their guitars. This trend began as early as the middle of 1956.

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At the time, alder was more available and also more affordable than Fender’s preferred “ash”. Alder has since remained as the wood for the body of majority of Fender’s guitars.

Alder is pretty lightweight, which is pretty good considering how heavy some bass guitars come. It is a closed-pore wood. It produces a resonant and balanced tone.

The tone produced by the Alder is brighter than the tones produced by other hardwoods. This is because it places more emphasis on the upper mid-range tones than the other hardwoods.

Alder also produces excellent sustain and a bright and sharp attack. It’s also very good with multiple finishes. However, it’s better with solid colors than transparent finishes.

Maple Fretboard

Just like we said when we were talking about the similar features between this guitar and the Ibanez, the fender jazz bass has the option to let you choose your fretboard. The option is between rosewood (which we’ve talked about earlier), and maple, which we’re going to talk about now.

Maple is a hard tonewood that produces snappy and bright tones. When we talk about bright notes in relation to guitars, we mean articulate and precise notes that have a tight low-end and a good bite.

Maple is harder than rosewood in both sound, and texture. The feel of maple is a lot harder and slightly coarser than the feel of rosewood. Unlike rosewood that produces a warm, mellow sound, maple produces a sharper, sometimes harsh, sound.

At the end of the day, picking between rosewood or maple comes down to preference. Both woods are of the same quality and it only comes down to which sound and feel you prefer. Also, the style of music you intend to play with your bass should influence the type of fretboard you get. If you want something warm, get the rosewood, if you want something sharp and bright, get the maple.

The upper hand you have with choosing the Fender in this aspect is that you have the option of both. With the Ibanez, you are limited to choosing the rosewood. However, with the fender, rosewood and maple are made available to you, with all the other features remaining exactly the same.

The Electronics

The Fender Jazz Bass comes with Fender electronics. Not only does Fender make the guitars, it also makes the pick up that goes with each guitar.

The pickup being used here is the Fender bass pickup. There are two single-coil pickups that produce clear and at the same time, articulate tones.

Now, because both the pickup and the bass are made by the same company, you can tell that there would be better integration and better integration will obviously create better sounds.

There are two volume buttons that control the two pickups. The first volume button controls the middle pick up, the second volume button controls the bridge pick up, while the last volume button is for the master tone.

This mix of volume buttons gives you full control over how loud each pickup will sound. However, it is to be said that there is no switch.

The Neck Is 9.5 Inches

The neck of the Fender Jazz Bass is slightly slimmer than that of the Ibanez. This might be a good thing for you, it might also be a bad thing. Let’s see why:

If you have short fingers, this is good news. With this, your fingers will be able to play all the strings comfortably from the same resting position.

On the other hand, if you have fat fingers, this would be a bit difficult as the space between each string is small. Because the space is so small, you would often be pressing down on 2 strings instead of one, which can cause distorted and unwanted sounds.

So, what if you have fat short fingers? Well, we think something with a wider neck would be better. It’s easier to learn how to stretch out your fingers, than how to shrink them.

Do you want to hear what the Fender Jazz Bass sounds like? Check out this brief video here where we see the guitar being played using multiple techniques.

Ibanez SR500 Vs Fender Jazz Bass – Unique Pros

Why Some People Prefer The Ibanez SR500 To The Fender Jazz Bass

The first reason why many people prefer the Ibanez SR500 to the Fender Jazz Bass is its price. The Ibanez SR500 is a lot more affordable than the Fender Jazz Bass and still offers great quality for its price.

Another reason why some people prefer this bass guitar is its wide neck. While a lot of people prefer a slimmer neck, some people, especially people who have larger fingers, prefer wider necks on their guitars.

Why Some People Prefer The Fender Jazz Bass To The Ibanez SR500

People love the Fretboard on the Fender Jazz Bass. It’s available in a maple fretboard or a rosewood fretboard. This offers people the ability to pick which fretboard suits them better.

Another major reason why a lot of people like this bass guitar is the fact that the pickups and the guitar are made by the same brand. As a result, the electronics are integrated better into the guitar, giving it a better sound overall.

The slim neck on this guitar is also great for beginners and people with smaller hands. And the Alder wood used for the body is considered superior to Mahogany.

Ibanez SR500 Vs Fender Jazz Bass – Unique Cons

Ibanez SR500

  • It’s only available in one fretboard type, rosewood.
  • The electronics are good. However, because they are made by different companies, the integration is not perfect.

Fender Jazz Bass

  • It is quite expensive.

Ibanez SR500 Vs Fender Jazz Bass – Pros Common To Both

Ibanez SR500

Fender Jazz Bass

It has four strings which is great for people who are not very accustomed to playing the bass. Also, being 4 strings, it maximizes the neck by creating space between each string. It also has 4 strings which is great for people who are trying to go pro. 4 strings is the standard for any guitar and is great for playing many musical styles.
The rosewood fretboard creates a warm and mellow sound, which is something many bass players want as opposed to the bright sounds of maple. This guitar also has a rosewood version that sounds just as warm and mellow as the Ibanez. However, if you don’t vibe with rosewood, this guitar gives you the option of picking the same guitar, but with a maple fretboard instead.

Ibanez Sr500 Vs Fender Jazz Bass – Cons Common To Both

Ibanez SR500

Fender Jazz Bass

For its price point, this is not an entry-level bass guitar. If you want to learn to play the bass guitar, this is not the bass for you.   Although, this is not very affordable, it is still a lot cheaper than the Fender Jazz Bass. This is a pro level guitar. It’s pretty high-end and its price reflects such. Not very many people have the budget to fund getting this guitar.
Just 4 strings. While 4-strings is the standard for any bass guitar and even performs better than 5 or 6 strings, some guitarists prefer the latter. This is because, 6 string guitars provide more room for the bassist to express himself.   Also, for some musical styles, the 4-string bass just won’t cut it. This guitar also comes with a 4-string bass, which also means that it comes with the same hinderances as the Ibanez Sr500.   If you would rather have more strings, you might want to check out other guitars instead.  
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Ibanez SR500 Vs Fender Jazz Bass – General Feeling Amongst Users

Ibanez SR500

Fender Jazz Bass

People who bought this guitar were intermediate level players who wanted to make that step up to the professional level.  

They were pleasantly surprised as to how much quality they could get for the price range. While the price of this guitar looks grandiose for beginners, it is reasonably priced for pro players.  

The multiple volume and tone settings meant that they bassists good get the sound they wanted at any time.  

A few people would’ve wanted more strings, while some others were pretty satisfied with having just 4.
People who bought this guitar are professional players. The first reason why anybody would’ve wanted to buy this guitar is because of the company that made it. Fender is one of the biggest guitar-makers out there and simply saying “you’re playing a Fender”, gives you a certain level of respect among musicians.  

To the guitar itself, people would’ve loved if it was slightly more affordable, however, some understood that Fender just didn’t want to compromise on quality.  

Lastly, people loved the fact that they got to choose what wood their fretboard is made of, either maple or rosewood.

Ibanez SR500 Vs Fender Jazz Bass – What Do We Think?

Here’s our take concerning the Ibanez SR500 Vs Fender Jazz Bass argument:

Ibanez SR500

Fender Jazz Bass

Really great professional bass guitar for its price. Great for playing a variety of musical styles. The pickups are not the best, but they’re good enough.      
Want to get this guitar for yourself?

Fender has done another masterclass with this Jazz Bass. The electronics are well integrated to the guitar to produce really great sounds, the option to choose between a rosewood fretboard and a maple fretboard, this is just good!  

However, it might be out of your budget. If it is not:

Ibanez SR500 Vs Fender Jazz Bass – Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between a Fender Jazz and a precision bass?

There is one major difference between a Fender Jazz bass and a Precision bass. This difference is in the pickup arrangement. 

In a Precision bass, you get a split-coil pickup positioned just about halfway between the neck and the bridge. This results in a loose string that produces a warmer thud to the sound, but still a little close enough to the bridge to produce a tighter tone.

In the Jazz bass, on the other hand, there are two single-coil pickups placed in different positions. One closer to the neck of the guitar (for a warm and full tone), and the other closer to the bridge (for a more aggressive tone). 

What are the best pickups for a Fender jazz bass?

Changing your pickups is one of the best ways to upgrade the sound from your bass, and deciding the best one entirely depends on what sound you like. 

If you would like to keep a vintage feel to the sound of your bass, there are two options that will work best. These are the Fender Custom Shop ’60s Jazz Bass Pickup Set and the EMG JVX Bass Pickup Set.

These two pickup sets give you the satisfaction of the vintage sound with some modern touches. You get a sound that is almost the same as the Fender Vintage basses but this time, with more output and punch.

Are Mexican Fender basses good?

Mexican-made Fender basses are good. They might not be perfect, but they are very decent, especially when you consider their budget price.

Fender is known for making excellent basses, especially when you compare their Mexican basses to other brands that outsource construction. The quality control of the Fender brand is very noteworthy.

The problem, however, is that do not do too well in comparison to their American-made cousins.

While you get decent quality and functionality with the Mexican Fender basses, all the new and innovative tech is absent.

Why are Ibanez guitars cheap?

We will have to start by saying that not all Ibanez guitars are “cheap”. Just like other brands, they offer a wide range of guitars at different prices.

However, it is worth mentioning that they offer some of the best low-budget guitars on the market.

The major reason they made such cheap guitars was to create competition for bigger brands like Fender and Gibson. 

At their early stages, Ibanez made copies of some of the high-end Fender and Gibson guitars and sold them at extremely low prices, stealing some market share in the process. 

Can a jazz bass sound like a precision?

Jazz basses can be made to sound like a precision bass.

By making a few tweaks and modifications to your Jazz bass, you can get a decent P bass sound from your Jazz bass.

The most common way of doing this is by turning the neck pickup all the way up and the bridge pickup all the way down. After this, you can try turning up the bridge pickup little by little, while monitoring the change in sound.

Why is it called a precision bass?

Before the introduction of the precision bass in the 1950s, the bass used was the double bass.

The double bass was a massive instrument that was known to be cumbersome and pretty hard to transport. It was also becoming a problem to hear it as amplified instruments were becoming more popular.

The precision bass was designed as a solution to the inconvenience and burdensome nature of the double bass. It was an electric guitar, so, the audibility problem was also solved.

The precision moniker came as a result of the frets used to play in tune rather than the fretless fingerboard of the double bass.

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