IBANEZ SRC6 BASS VI / BARITONE • BO/018

It looks like a bass, but a short one, with 6 strings that are a bunch lighter than normal...

Is it a bass, a baritone or a guitar? And is it any good for heavy music?

Probably the best way to define the SRC6 is through comparisons of these three instrument types. 

How is it as a Guitar?  
Let’s compare it with the RGIB6. Arguably the most popular 6 string baritone ever produced. The RGIB6 is 28” in scale and the SRC6 is 30”.  

We use a light 0.013 to 0.062 baritone string set from D’Addario on the SRC6 and tune it up a few steps.  

The RGIB6 has a .014 to .068 baritone string set from D’Addario.

Both guitars are tuned to G standard, the SRC active EQ is flat, and both guitar’s pickup positions are set to bridge.  

Personal takeaway: The SRC6 was brighter, with increased sustain. The result of the tension / gauge / scale triangle feels and sounds more like a scaled up, lower register instrument, where as the RGIB6 feels more like a hack or a shortcut with a handful of shortcomings. While the end tone is very similar, the RGIB6 has less sustain, a duller feel with bigger but looser string play. 


Jazzmaster Comparison  
For our second comparison, we’ll play the SRC against the Jazzmaster Baritone. The Jazzmaster being one of the most surprising guitars to reach popularity in the heavy music space recently. The Jazzmaster is also 30” in scale.  

For strings we are using the D’Addario 0.024 to 0.084 Bass VI set on both instruments with the tuning going down to Bass E Standard. 

The SRC EQ is flat, and both guitar’s pickup positions are set to bridge.  

Personal takeaway: The SRC6 has near zero noise at gain, the EMGs with a very impressive signal to noise ratio, are very quiet . The Jazzmaster, even with an aftermarket, boutique pickup installed produces almost tripple the noise. Additionally, the SRC6 string spacing and reach are far more compact than the Jazzmaster, making play not only easier, but more enjoyable. 


Bass Comparison  
For our third comparison, we play the SRC against an Ibanez ATK 800 Premium 34” scale 4 string bass. 

Strings on the SRC6 are the D’Addario 0.024 to 0.084 Bass VI set. Both tuned to Bass E Standard. 

The SRC and ATK EQs are flat, and both guitar’s pickup positions are set to bridge.  

Personal takeaway: Better than decent is probably the best way to say it. It just doesn't "slay" as a bass. I wouldn't replace any of my basses with the SRC6. BUT! if I was traveling and wanted the most compact rig possible for writing and recording, I'd probably take this. Record both your guitar and bass parts, super low noise floor, fits in a regular guitar case. All cool stuff. But if I'm in the studio or playing shows, I wouldn't want a bass player showing up with this. Definitely the best at bass stuff compared to every other Bass VI I've ever played, and I've played most of the production models that have been produced from the last 60 years. Better than decent at bass, but NOT a bass.


What’s Special  
• Short feel  
• Playability 
• Incredible build quality 
• Better at bass than other Bass VIs 

To Consider 
• Looks like a bass  
• Replacement pickups are limited without hacks 

Who is it For?  
• Players seeking an easy playing, versatile Bass VI / Hybrid 
• Those looking for an instrument to cover bass and guitar style rolls 
• People looking for a inspiring instrument that is in it’s own space

Cheers!
Scott Bunn

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