In 2009, all Ibanez basses with the Prestige name will once more be made exclusively in Japan. The obvious question is: why is Ibanez is going against the grain of current manufacturing which seems to be always looking for new venues of cheap labor and manufacture? “It isn’t uncommon for highly expensive basses made in boutique shops, one at a time, to achieve the extreme levels of precision desired by today’s pro bassists,” explained Kiyo Yamada of Ibanez in Bensalem, PA. “But our Ibanez luthiers in Japan are some of the very few, if not the only bass makers, that can achieve that consistent level of craftsmanship from bass to bass in modern bass manufacturing. That’s especially important for our Soundgears where there’s a precise balance between the mass of the neck—which you need for tone¬—and the thinness of the neck that’s the hallmark of the Soundgear. You have to have just the right U-shape to achieve that combination, and it must be consistent from neck to neck. Our bass makers can do that.”

A prime example of the 2009 Japanese-made basses is the Soundgear Prestige SR5000 Series, available in the 4-, 5-, and 6-string versions. The SR5000 Prestige models feature 5pc wenge/bubinga necks, mahogany bodies with wenge tops and backs, the Mono-Rail IV bridge, and Bartolini Custom pickups. Of particular note is the new PWCIII Power Curve EQ with bypass switch, mid boost and cut control, and the Power Curve control which allows rapid and easy midrange fine tuning.

Model SR5000EOL 4-string
SR5005EOL 5-string
SR5006EOL 6-string
List $2533.32 4-string
$2666.65 5-string
$2799.99 6-string
Available Finish Oil
Body Material Mahogany with Wenge top and back
Neck Material 5pc Wenge/Bubinga
Neck Type/Scale SR/34”
No. Frets/Type 24/Medium
Fingerboard Wenge
Bridge Mono-Rail IV
H/W Color Gold
Neck Pickup Bartolini Custom
Bridge Pickup Bartolini Custom
EQ Power Curve 3-band
Case Hardshell Included

For more info go to http://www.ibanez.com/

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