Cool guitar/bass hybrid that makes going super low super easy, but the common hopeful notion is for a more RG-styled version.
Super-low tuning in heavy music… it’s getting out-of-hand low. Amazingly enough there are a bunch of manufacturers stepping up and providing instruments that do it incredibly well.
Enter Ibanez and their BassWorkshop SRC6. Ibanez refers to it as a “Crossover”, but folks in the know more commonly refer to it as a Bass VI. The Ibanez SRC6 is a 30” scale, 6 string guitar / bass hybrid. It comes from the factory tuned to Bass E (E1 to E3). It’s super-low tuned, stock, right from the factory. Ok, great… why is it on ERG Nerds and what does it have to do with heavy music?
Over the last 4 years or so, there’s been a wave of heavy music coming up that is all about the super low. Like.. bass E and even lower. Bands like Black Tongue and Loathe who’ve been slowly popularizing 30” scale Fender Squier Jazzmasters, and the Schecter C-VIs. Why don’t they just use 7 or 8 strings?”. I think the main reason is that these folks don’t care about keeping all the high notes and only about going super low. With a 30” scale guitar, super low is super easy.
- Okoume body
- Satin Walnut Finish
- 30″ Scale 5pc Jatoba/Walnut 24 fret neck
- Jatoba fretboard and Abalone inlays
- 24 Medium Nickel Frets
- Plastic Nut
- Ibanez Tight-End Bridge
- Ibanez Sealed Bass Tuners
- Passive EMG 35HZ Humbuckers
- Ibanez 3-band active EQ
In appearance, it looks exactly like a Soundgear bass. While the Soundgear basses look decent enough as basses, the look doesn’t seem to go over well with many guitarists. This seems especially true for the metal crowd. As a result, many guitar players probably won’t even notice the SRC6 let alone experience how awesome it is for super-low riffing.
Beyond preferences in personal aesthetics, the build quality and finishing are very surprising for the cost of the instrument at $800.00 USD. Friends who have played it, have all assumed it to be from the Prestige line or twice as expensive as it is. The materials, finish and feel are remarkable.
The SRC6 features a 5pc Jatoba / Walnut 24 fret neck with a Jatoba fretboard and Abalone inlays, all attached to an Okoume body. For electronics the guitar is loaded with a set of passive EMG 35HZ neck and bridge pickups feeding into an Ibanez 3-band active EQ. For strings, it utilizes guitar ball-ends and comes stock with a .024 to .084 gauge set from D’addario.
If you have ever played a Bass VI, they tend to feel pretty long and require quite a reach to the first fret. The SRC6 got it right and managed to achieve a significantly shorter feel than any Bass VI I’ve ever played by moving the bridge back and keeping everything as compact as possible. The playability is typical of Ibanez – smooth, fast play with easy access to the whole fretboard. The neck is not a Wizard profile, it is a very slim Soundgear profile. Starts with a slim “C” up at the nut and tapers to a slim “D” into the heel.
The guitar is quipped with EMG 35HZ passive neck & bridge pickups and a custom Ibanez 3-band active EQ and the electronics produce nearly no noise at gain. When used with a guitar tone, the SRC produces a bright, mid-focused tone. When used as a bass and paired with a dedicated bass rig, the SRC6 darkens up nicely, producing a more than acceptable bass tone.
A lot of folks are probably gonna think to immediately change the pups just looking at them. Honestly, I think it’s worth sitting with the stock config for a bit. The tones are quite a bit better than decent and worth exploring in all use cases before jumping at new pups.
Check out some clips here:
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If you are looking to tune your guitars down to low bass E or lower, and want to do it easily without the need for component upgrades or advanced setups, the SRC6 is worth considering. In addition, those interested in a single instrument that can cover both guitar and bass type rolls, should certainly spend some time with an SRC6. For heavy music, the Ibanez SRC6 is a well built, short feeling, ultra long-scale, that makes going super low, super easy, with a tidy, powerful tone.
Ultimately, even though many of my peers and I are both surprised and impressed with the guitar, the common hopeful notion is for a more RG-styled version.