As you may have known, and probably had forgotten, I bought a Thomann 5 string bass some time ago for a spare. Well I never really liked it, although it was pressed irregularly into service from time to time. The neck was just too wide (almost standard 4 string spacing on a 5 string) and I couldn't get it to sound how I wanted it to.
So I put the sh*tty strings it came with back on it and sold it.
Then I bought an Ibanez SR375 BBS from Andertons - they were cheaper than Thomann (more than 10% less) and gave away a gig bag with it. The other thing is that delivery from Andertons is always less than 48 hours to France. I bought their last one: there is a new model out with different finish, pickups and electronics. But I don't care.
I went for the SR375 because of the maple body. In my experience the body wood used on a bass makes a big difference. Mahogany gives a rounded but in my opinion rather dull sound, basswood like mahogany but less full (this was what the Harley Benton 550 was made from), agathis is just the pits. But maple, ah, clear high brights and full deep lows. This means that there is a very wide range of tonal possibilities, even if I will mainly use just the one.
The SR375 does not disappoint. Not only is the sound just what I wanted, although not to everyone's taste I admit, it growls nicely through my existing rigs. The neck is slim and the string spacing is the same as it is on my Hohner B Bass, making swapping between them instinctively easy. It's a fast neck and a joy to play.
Unlike just about all my other recent purchases the set up was bang on perfect for me. This is the first Ibanez of any sort I have ever owned. I'm very impressed by the quality and the condition of the instrument on delivery. First rate.
Really it's just lovely. All it needs is a thumb rest, which is coming from a probably very nice man in China in return for £1, and it'll be just the way I like it.
I've had to promise SWMBO that I won't buy any more guitars for a while. I can stick with that - I now have 4 excellent basses, and a number of 6 strings that are better than my ham fisted playing deserves, the star of that collection being my Epiphone Prophesy GX. And I still haven't completely figured out how the Novation Impulse I bought at the end of last year works. Plenty to keep me away from the shops for several months. Hopefully