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Ibanez Roadstar RB760 bass

Article from Making Music, January 1987


It's a funny shape. Well, to be more accurate, it's a small shape. It's almost as if someone down at Fuji Gen-Gakki in Japan where they make the Ibanez guitars (and Squiers, incidentally) took something like a Precision body shape and squeezed the edges.

To organise the sound of the Ibanez 760 we're given three knobs, which are rounded-top types — very comfortable and sleek looking, but without any means of telling which position they're set in. Recalling settings is thus rather touch and go, with the emphasis on go. Also they're in what you might find an odd order of positions on first contact. They curve away from the bridge in an arc: the front knob is not, as usual, a volume control, but is called a 'balancer', and it changes from full-front-pickup at its clockwise extreme to fullback-pickup at the other end.

Next knob is the volume control — in other words the middle one of the three. And the back knob is an all-in tone control — active, as it turns out. The active electronics are powered by a little PP3 battery that lives under a cover at the back of the bass and you'll need a cross-head screwdriver to get at it.

It might have been more sensible to tuck the 'balancer' away at the back out of harm's way, and put the volume first in line and the tone next. The volume's the one you're likely to want to change most, after all. The pickups are good, though, and teamed with the electronics make some very nice sounds — not terrifically wide-ranging, but what is there is good.

But before we leave the all-important controls, a question. Is there much point in having the potential that the active doodah offers, but then only giving you one tone control to deal with it!

The neck feels good. It's slim enough, for sure, and narrows down somewhat toward the nut, but hardly as severely as, say, a Jazz Bass. Frets have a pleasing flattish top, and there were no buzzes or obvious deadspots to be found anywhere on the luxurious two-octave run.


A disappointment at the price. I get the feeling that this particular RB model sits uneasily in the Ibanez Roadstar bass lineup — below it, the cheaper Precision copies (630, 650) do their job at a suitable price, while the active, four-knobbed 690 looks even more attractive. Above the 760 is the similarly shaped 850 which has two humbuckers for about £50 more. It's an undoubtedly well made, reasonable sounding instrument, the RB760, and continues the Ibanez tradition of high quality Japanese instruments. But it has little to make one want to pounce on it at this sort of price.


PRICE £430
BODY basswood
NECK three-ply maple
FINGERBOARD rosewood, 24 frets
PICKUPS two, P-bass and Jazz style
CONTROLS volume, tone, pickup balance
COLOUR OPTIONS red, metallic, blue, silver, black (all with black hardware)

Previous Article in this issue

The Dumb Chums

Next article in this issue

Torch Baring

Publisher: Making Music - Track Record Publishing Ltd, Nexus Media Ltd.

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Making Music - Jan 1987

Gear in this article:

Bass > Ibanez > Roadstar RB760

Gear Tags:

Electric Guitar

Review by Tony Bacon

Previous article in this issue:

> The Dumb Chums

Next article in this issue:

> Torch Baring

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