Ibanez SR500 Vs SR600 – An In-Depth Comparison

Today, our guitar comparison is between the Ibanez SR500 vs SR600.

Ibanez SR500 vs SR600
Ibanez SR500 vs SR600

Get the Ibanez SR500 here.

Check out the 4-string model, the SR600, here

Now, one thing you hear quite a lot when it comes to Ibanez guitars is that they are metal basses. While this is quite true, the truth is that Ibanez guitars can also be quite versatile. The SR500 and SR600 are true to that fact as well.

But just before we delve into this comparison, here’s a fair heads up. These guitars are quite similar, like really quite similar.

Ibanez SR500 Vs SR600 – Comparison Overview

Now, this is a pretty long read, to be honest. If you aren’t bothered to go through that long read, here’s a sneak peek into everything we will be talking about today.

Firstly, both guitars share a whole lot in common which is a good thing in this case as Ibanez makes great guitars. Also, in areas where they differ, it’s not about who does it better or who does it worse. It’s just the issue of being different.

Ibanez intended to achieve different sounds and tones with each guitar and they nailed it.

But beyond sound and tone, ergonomics are simply on point. The guitars feel really great to hold. They are comfy, lightweight, and their necks are really slim and flat. And then their flat fretboard makes them great candidates for playing leads and bends.

Also, keep in mind that most people regard the Ibanez guitars as metal-focused guitars. Well, this isn’t entirely wrong, but fortunately, these guitars are quite versatile as well.

Plus, you get to choose between the 4-, 5- and 6-string models, except with the SR600 which does not come with the 6-string model.

Ibanez SR500 Vs SR600 – Our Opinion On The Price/Value Ratio

Price/value ratio? Pretty impressive. Ibanez makes some of the most affordable guitars but thankfully, they don’t skimp on quality. You find this repeated everywhere that Ibanez guitars are value-packed and that much is true.

Playing these guitars, you find that they feel and sound great. The quality of construction is super and many customers had testimonies of its durability. In this section, there is no real contest between the Ibanez SR500 vs SR600.

Ibanez SR500 Vs SR600 – Comparison Table of Major Specs And Features

Ibanez SR500

Ibanez SR600

Double cutaway body construction Double cutaway body construction
Mahogany body Ash body
5-piece Jatoba/Bubinga bolt-on neck 5-piece Jatoba/Bubinga bolt-on neck
Rosewood fingerboard Rosewood fingerboard
34 inch scale 34 inch scale
24 medium frets 24 medium frets
Accu-Cast B20 Bridge Accu-Cast B300 Bridge
Bartolini MK-1-4 neck pickup Bartolini MK1-4 neck pickup
Bartolini pickups MK-1-4 bridge pickup Bartolini MK1-4 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
Ibanez SR500 vs SR600
Ibanez SR500 vs SR600

Get the Ibanez SR500 here.

Check out the 4-string model, the SR600, here

Ibanez SR500 Vs SR600 – What Situation Is Each Best For?

Ibanez SR500

Ibanez SR600

If you’re a beginner looking to start out on a bass guitar, the SR500 is a great idea. It’s also good for intermediate players looking to up their bass game for little money.  

This is a really affordable guitar by all standards. But what’s even impressive is how this thing plays. This is one of the most professional-sounding bass guitars in its category.

In fact, we are quite confident that it can compete with its Fender and Gibson counterparts quite comfortably. That’s how much quality you can expect from this guitar.  

Now, if you know Ibanez quite well, you’d probably know that Ibanez guitars are mostly metal-focused.

Our review will confirm that as we delve into the various parts of this guitar.

However, one thing is sure, you’ll still find this guitar quite versatile. It works well with the gospel, RnB, or hard rock as well.  

The neck is slim and really fast, plus the fretboard radius is just right for solos and achieving those large bends.  

As for electronics, the Bartolini pickups here are custom-made for this guitar and sound really good too. Are there better bass guitar pickups? Probably. However, will you be disappointed? Definitely not.  

In all, you’ll certainly be impressed by how this guitar plays. In fact, many are reluctant to call this a beginner guitar and find it an insult to the SR500. It’s definitely an investment worth considering.
The Ibanez SR600 is very similar to the SR500. They are both inexpensive guitars that sound very high end. It competes really favorably with other higher-end brands as well.  

There isn’t much of a difference between both guitars. And both the SR600 and the SR500 would suit the same kind of guitarists.

Now, compared to mahogany which the SR500 comes with, the ash body of the SR600 gives you more pronounced mids. Plus, its tone also comes out quite transparent which gives the player the liberty to experiment. So, if you’re that kind of guitarist, this is a guitar to consider.  

Of course, this guitar is still quite metal-focused, but it still works for other music genres as well.  

Furthermore, the SR600 still offers the same slim, fast neck as we found on the SR500. So, it’s great for solos and large bends. EQ and pickups are also same as on the SR500.  

Finally, this is a versatile guitar that will emphasize your mids and give you room for experimenting as compared to the SR500.
Ibanez SR500 vs SR600
Ibanez SR500 vs SR600

Get the Ibanez SR500 here.

Check out the 4-string model, the SR600, here

Ibanez SR500 Vs SR600 – Which Features Do They Have In Common?

Alright, we’ll begin with the fact that the contest between the Ibanez SR500 vs SR600 doesn’t really feel like a contest in the first place. This is because the two guitars have a lot that they share in common.

Double Cutaway Body Construction

The first similarity we’ll be highlighting between these two guitars is their double-cutaway body construction. Now, this fact is important for several reasons as we will soon be pointing out.

Here’s the first one. A double-cutaway body construction means that the manufacturer would be using less wood in the body of the guitar. This does not really apply to the SR600 since it comes with an ash body and ash is relatively lightweight, at least in comparison to mahogany.

You’ll be surprised at how lightweight you’ll find the Ibanez SR500 to be considering its mahogany body. It’s so lightweight, you’ll easily jump, walk, run and stand for hours holding this without it becoming cumbersome.

Furthermore, the double-cutaway construction also brings convenience to your holding the guitar. The contours on both sides of the guitar mean that your hands find a groove to rest in while you play. Trust us, your hands would thank you after several hours on the guitar and they aren’t tired yet.

Jatoba/Bubinga Necks

Next up, we have their Jatoba/Bubinga necks as another feature both guitars share. Jatoba/Bubinga necks are quite strong and dense. Now, this news is both good and bad and you’ll understand why we said so in a bit.

The denseness and hardness of these woods make the Jatoba and Bubinga quite stable and reliable. This means that you can be sure that your guitar neck is going to be stable and is also definitely going to last you. Of course, this is an important feature you want to look out for.

On the other hand, the denseness and hardness of these woods still translate to bad news, in a tiny way. What do we mean? Well, if a wood is known for its denseness, hardness, and rigidity, then it should naturally follow that it would be somewhat heavy. And these are quite heavy woods.

Thankfully, Ibanez found a way out of this seemingly bad situation especially with the SR500 that seems to be top and bottom-heavy. And yeah, these are woods that finish well. So, they look good and would also make your guitar look great.

Bolt-On Necks

The Ibanez SR500 and SR600 both come with similar necks on two counts. We just looked at the neck woods. Now, we look at the method of installation. The Ibanez SR500 and SR600 both come with bolt-on necks.

Bolt-on necks represent many things. Firstly, bolt-on necks are easy and inexpensive to install. This, of course, reduces the cost of manufacturing the guitar which impacts positively on cost since it becomes more affordable.

Also, besides the cost of manufacturing, bolt-on necks are known for their attack. They give the most brilliant as well as the snappiest attacks on guitar necks.

Furthermore, bolt-on necks are stable. Now add that to the fact that the woods in question are Jatoba and Bubinga, you get a double assurance of durability.

Bolt-on necks are easily removable which is great news in case your guitar neck gets damaged. Since they join to the body using screws, you only need to unscrew to replace it.

Ibanez SR500 vs SR600
Ibanez SR500 vs SR600

Get the Ibanez SR500 here.

Check out the 4-string model, the SR600, here

Rosewood Fingerboards

The fingerboard of your guitar is a really important part of your guitar. This is because it’s the part of your guitar you’d have the most interaction with.

Ibanez went for rosewood as the fingerboard material. This makes a great choice for all the comfort and beautiful tones rosewood brings to a guitar.

Rosewood has this tendency to bring some warmth and softness to your guitar’s tone.

By the way, another contender for a guitar’s fingerboard is maple. Compared to maple, rosewood is much mellower. So, if the guitar in question is quite bright, rosewood could help to soften and warm up your tone a bit.

Next, let’s talk about feel. Rosewood occurs as a naturally oily wood. So it doesn’t require a finish. In practice, it makes your guitar feel more natural when you play.

Now, even though rosewood does not necessarily require finishing, you still have to care for it by ensuring you condition it regularly. This does not require a long time though. So, it’s not a huge chore.

Lastly, rosewood is a great choice for guitarists who are into jazz, shred, or heavy metal. It gives full, round and deep notes which work perfectly with many kinds of music genres. This is one of the reasons both guitars are quite versatile.

34 Inch Scale Length – Long Scale

A 34-inch scale length is typically the common scale length for bass guitars. But then again, children or people with smaller hands might find such guitars a tad bit uncomfortable.

However, a 34-inch scale length should be adequate for most people.

Besides that, a 34-inch scale length is also perfect for a 4-stringed guitar. Plus, they also have fewer issues of fret buzz than shorter scale lengths.

This is because they have a higher string tension which in turn translates to a higher action.

24 Medium Frets

The maximum number of frets you can get on any bass guitar is 24. The range usually falls between 21 and 24. However, many times, 24 frets are considered unnecessary as they aren’t really used while you play. Nonetheless, they do have their benefits.

For one, the more frets you have the more notes you’ll be able to get on each string. However, like we said, you might not even ever have to get to the 24th fret. Still, having 24 frets is still great especially if you play a lot of solos which these two guitars are particularly great at.

Besides, we’re pretty sure you won’t mind some extra space along the upper frets for your fingers. This is another benefit of having more rather than fewer frets.

Ibanez SR500 vs SR600
Ibanez SR500 vs SR600

Get the Ibanez SR500 here.

Check out the 4-string model, the SR600, here

12 Inch Fretboard Radii

The Ibanez SR500 and SR600 both come with a 12-inch fretboard radius. The higher the value of a guitar’s fretboard radii, the flatter the fretboard is. And the flatter the fretboard is, the easier it’s going to be to play the guitar.

Let’s explain. A flatter fretboard means that your strings won’t be too high. This is good news for metal players since they won’t have to put in so much effort into playing each string.

But there’s a catch. It won’t be as easy to play barre chords. This is the department in which rounder fretboards shine. In the end, it’s your call.

If you’re into metal or you perform a lot of solos, either of these guitars with their 12-inch fretboard radius would work.

On the other hand, if you’re more of a barre chords person, then you might have to look elsewhere.

Bartolini MK-1 Pickups

Let’s quickly chip in here that these pickups are custom-made for Ibanez. Plus, they are made by another company (not Bartolini) which is licensed to use Bartolini’s name on its pickups. Not that this affects the quality of these pickups in any way. That was just for information purposes.

Alright, to these pickups. These are humbuckers (split-coil pickups) which is great news as they are the upgrade to single-coil pickups.

Single coil pickups are great pickups and are also quite popular for their grit, attack, and bite. And, of course, we have to give it to these pickups for their bright and crisp tone. Nonetheless, their hum is a huge drawback for many people.

Ergo humbuckers.

Humbuckers are essentially two single-coil pickups added together to form one single pickup. Now, what wiring these pickups together does is that it cancels out the hum which makes your tone clearer.

Humbuckers are excellent choices for metal and hard rock players. They give a really full and heavy sound, even though they kinda lack the single-coil pickup bite just a little bit.

However, they are still a more preferred option when compared to single-coils among metal and hard rock players for their darker sound.

Neck and Bridge Pickups

Another thing you need to know about this pickup is that there are actually two pickups. So, there is one for the neck and the other for the bridge. This is pretty common with bass guitars these days.

It’s important to state here that the position of your pickup is super crucial to your tone and sound. Pickups placed at the bridge tend to sound different than those placed at the neck. And yes this remains so even if you use the exact same pickups on both positions.

The reason for this disparity is the performance of the strings. Strings sound brighter when they are closer to the bridge than when they are closer to the neck.

Alright, that said, let’s see just how the Bartolini MK-1s fare. First off, these are humbuckers and with two of them on one guitar, you can expect a lot of growl and meanness. Plus, you can also be sure to get a pretty versatile sound as well.

Furthermore, these are passive pickups which means that they don’t require extra power to work. Plus, it also means that they work with passive and active guitars alike. Sure they won’t deliver as much power as active pickups but they are also more affordable as well. Plus, in expressiveness and sensitivity, passive pickups are far better than active pickups.

Ibanez SR500 vs SR600
Ibanez SR500 vs SR600

Get the Ibanez SR500 here.

Check out the 4-string model, the SR600, here

3-Band Equalizer Electronics

The Bartolini MK-1s bring a pretty clean and impressive tone to both Ibanez guitars. This is largely due to the EQ on the pickups. It comes with a preamp which many customers have actually described as “just there”. So, that’s a small bummer.

However, on a positive note, the quality of pickups and EQ here make both guitars professional-sounding and versatile, as well.

You’ll be able to get smooth and clean tones which would work well for literally any kind of music genre from smooth jazz to metal.

Furthermore, this circuit is really cool, especially with its mid-switch. Now, what this mid-switch does is to that it gives you the power to switch your midrange peak.

And there are three options. You have the 250 Hz, the 450 Hz, and the 750 Hz. Now you can decide where you want your attack and growl to come from.

If you want the kind that really makes your chest thump, you can either go for the 250 H or the 450 Hz. This range (the 450 Hz especially) gives you that punchy attack but especially focuses on the low mids.

This does not mean that the higher mids are left out though. You’ll still hear yourself clearly in any setting at the 450 Hz.

And then if you want more of the trebly attack, the 750 Hz is your go-to. The 750 Hz is especially great when you need to cut through a mix and get yourself heard. It does tend to get too shrill at times with its trebly attack, though. And it gets worse when you crank up the treble. So, look out for that.

5-String Models Available (SR505 and SR605)

The Ibanez SR500 and SR600 both come with 5-string models labeled the SR505 and SR605 respectively. Of course, this is exciting news for bassists looking to expand their range and get that lower B string.

The 4-stringed bass guitar might be the more common option. But then with the 5-stringed model, you get more options. Your options now span the low E all the way to the lower B.

With this, you can play underneath any keyboardist no matter how much they like to play in the mid-low range. Your sound will come out clear and it won’t feel like the keyboardist is constantly trampling over your notes.

Understandably, a 5-string guitar might not be so appealing to a beginner just learning the ropes. But for a pro player, it’s more options.

Finally, both 5-stringed models share the same features as their 4-stringed counterparts.

Ibanez SR500 vs SR600
Ibanez SR500 vs SR600

Get the Ibanez SR500 here.

Check out the 4-string model, the SR600, here

Ibanez SR500 Vs SR600 – What’s Unique To Each Guitar?

Alright, this is the part of the Ibanez SR500 vs SR600 comparison review where we find out what each guitar has as unique features.

Ibanez SR500 Vs SR600 – Features Unique To The Ibanez SR500

Mahogany Body

The Ibanez SR500 comes with a mahogany body, unlike the SR600. Mahogany is a pretty common choice when making bass guitars. And this tonewood does have its many benefits.

In tone, mahogany is beautiful. Its tone is warm, soft, and full. Little wonder it is a favorite among many big guitar makers like Fender and Gibson. Mahogany really emphasizes your low frequencies giving you that chest-thumping bass.

Plus, you can count on the SR500 to give you a fantastic growl and sustain with its mahogany body. This is great news for the rock or metal player.

Furthermore, mahogany does not forget your higher ends. They come out smooth even though they are more subdued when compared to the lower frequencies.

One thing you should note about mahogany though is that it is pretty heavy wood. But then again, we’ve already seen that that’s not something to worry about with this guitar. Ibanez has done an impressive job keeping this guitar lightweight.

Finally, we love the color of the mahogany body. It comes in a reddish-brown which glows in a reddish sheen when polished. It’s simply stunning in its looks and will bring a shine to your guitar’s looks no doubt.

6-String Model Available

This is one area where the Ibanez SR500 kinda one-ups its partner in the Ibanez SR500 vs SR600 battle. The Ibanez SR500 comes in a 6-string model known as the Ibanez SR506. Now, why is that important?

First of all, clear your doubts, 6-string guitars are not so difficult to play, although they might not be the guitar you start learning to play with. The only thing with 6-string guitars is that they require a bit of getting used to.

The challenge here is the slim neck profile Ibanez guitars are known for. While they are great because they mean you play faster, in a 6-stringed situation, it would mean that your strings would be super close to one another. This might make the guitar a little challenging at first. But you’ll definitely get used to it over time.

15.75 Inch Fretbaord Radius

Now, don’t get this wrong, the Ibanez SR500 comes with a 12-inch fretboard radius. However, the 6-string model, the SR506 comes with a 15.75 fretboard radius. And if you remember what we learned the last time, it suggests that the SR506 has a flatter fretboard radius than its counterparts.

This difference isn’t so gaping though and the fretboard radius still has the same pros and cons as a 12-inch fretboard radius. That is, it’s great for leads and bends but not so great for playing barre chords.

Ibanez SR500 vs SR600
Ibanez SR500 vs SR600

Get the Ibanez SR500 here.

Check out the 4-string model, the SR600, here

Ibanez SR500 Vs SR600 – Features Unique To The Ibanez SR600

Ash Body

The Ibanez SR600 only has one feature it doesn’t share with the SR500 and that is its ash body. Now, let’s talk about that for a bit. Now, there are two kinds of ash wood – the Northern Hard Ash and the Southern Soft Ash which is called Swamp Ash. The SR600 is made from the latter.

So, what’s with the swamp ash tonewood? Swamp ash is pretty lightweight and porous and you usually find them growing in the swamps of Southern USA.

In looks, swamp ash is quite aesthetically appealing. It’s open grained and bold with a creamy hue. Plus, it works so well with translucent finishes. Impressed? Well, let’s see how it does tonally.

Tonally, ash is highly resonant across the entire spectrum of frequencies. However, especially in the mid frequencies, the sound tends to scoop slightly. In the end, this gives you a really balanced sound that’s bright and sweet.

Also, ash gives a brilliant attack and has an impressively articulate dynamic range. Also, many often describe its tone as transparent. So, with an ash bodied guitar, you have the leeway to experiment and tweak your sound however you want. If that’s your thing, then the SR600 might be the one for you.

Ibanez SR500 Vs SR600 – Unique Pros

Ibanez SR500

  • Gives that growl and bite that makes your bass thump.
  • Comes in 4-, 5-, and 6-string models.

Ibanez SR600

  • Gives a more balanced and brighter sound than mahogany. Plus, its transparent tone leaves room for experimenting and tweaking your tone.

Ibanez SR500 Vs SR600 – Unique Cons

Ibanez SR500

  • Sound is great but not as bright as the SR600. Not many players can tell the difference though.
  • Does not give room to tweak your sound like with the ash bodied Ibanez SR600.

Ibanez SR600

  • Does not offer the 6-string model.
  • Lacks mahogany’s growl, bite, and sustain.

Ibanez SR500 Vs SR600 – Pros Common To Both Guitars

Ibanez SR500

Ibanez SR600

This is a really affordable guitar especially for the value it gives. This sounds so professional, it almost feels like a giveaway at this price. This also goes for the SR600.
Double cutaway construction makes this guitar comfortable and lighter. This means you can have this on you for extended periods at a time without tiring easily. This is also true for the SR600. Although swamp ash is pretty lightweight, the Jatoba/Bubinga neck isn’t. Plus, heavy or not, the cutaway makes the guitar more convenient to hold.
Bolt-on neck is great for stability as well as tone and sustain. Also goes for the SR600
Pickups and EQ are impressive! Same for the SR600
24 medium frets give your fingers more space to roam along the upper frets. Plus, you also get more notes on each string. Also applies to the SR600
Neck is slim and really fast which makes playing leads and bending quite easy. Same applies here.
Ibanez SR500 vs SR600
Ibanez SR500 vs SR600

Get the Ibanez SR500 here.

Check out the 4-string model, the SR600, here

Ibanez SR500 Vs SR600 – Cons Common To Both Guitars

Ibanez SR500

Ibanez SR600

It’s not really much of a con just that the slim neck might not be a feature that everyone is used to. It doesn’t affect playing though. It also applies here.

Ibanez SR500 Vs SR600 – General Feeling Among Customers

Let’s hear what customers feel about the Ibanez SR500 vs SR600 contest.

Ibanez SR500

Ibanez SR600

We were really impressed by the reception the Ibanez SR500 guitars got from the market. It’s obvious that nearly everyone who got the guitars were happy campers.  

We were also really happy to see that customers seemed to agree with us on the price/value ratio of this guitar. These guitars cost too little for the value they give. Thankfully, customers agree with that.  

Besides that, the lightweight of each of these guitars was another feature that really impressed customers. According to one, they could run, walk, stand, jump, or even run with this hanging on them at any point in time.  

As for the neck, the majority were pleased with it. It’s slim, and it’s fast. Who wouldn’t want that, right? Now, as for others who weren’t crazy about the neck, they didn’t have any complaints either. So, that’s a good thing, right? Of course, it is.
Again, many customers are loving this bass. We actually can’t even tell which the customers love more – the SR500 or the SR600. And of all the qualities of this guitar, the ergonomics seemed to be at the top of the list. Customers report that this guitar feels great to hold and is also really lightweight as well.  

Sound and tone were other areas where the Ibanez SR600 scored big marks with customers. Most were impressed with its tone as well as the electronics. But there were few isolated complaints about the electronics, though.  

Finally, durability was another aspect customers praised with this guitar. Apparently, it lasts pretty long. Customers were so impressed, some of them came back after two years to give a review.  

So, from what we gather, we’d say that most customers counted the Ibanez SR600 an investment worth making.
Ibanez SR500 vs SR600
Ibanez SR500 vs SR600

Get the Ibanez SR500 here.

Check out the 4-string model, the SR600, here

Ibanez SR500 Vs SR600 – Our Verdict

So, what’s our final conclusion on the Ibanez SR500 vs SR600? Check it out below

Ibanez SR500

Ibanez SR600

If you prefer the growl, bite and sustain of a mahogany body, the Ibanez SR500 would be the obvious choice. Also, if you were hoping to experiment with a 6-stringed bass guitar, then the SR500 would be the obvious choice again.  

So, for the 4-stringed guitar, get the Ibanez SR500 here.  

The 5-stringed guitar is also available if you need the lower B string. Get it here.  

Finally, you can check out the 6-stringed model if you’re so inclined. Get the Ibanez SR506 here.
For a more balanced tone with a brighter and sweeter sound, we recommend the SR600. Its higher mids are better emphasized than with mahogany. Plus, you also get to tweak your sound more easily than with the SR500.  

Check out the 4-string model, the SR600, here  

As for the 5-string model, it’s no longer listed currently. However, you might be able to get a used one here. Check it out.
Ibanez SR500 vs SR600
Ibanez SR500 vs SR600

Get the Ibanez SR500 here.

Check out the 4-string model, the SR600, here

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