Ibanez BTB865SC Review & Prices

Ibanez BTB865SC Review
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  • From Ibanez's 2023 BTB series
  • Made in Indonesia
  • 5 strings
  • 35"'' scale
  • 15.748" Fretboard Radius
  • Ash top
  • Ash/Okoume wing body
  • Maple/Walnut neck
  • Rosewood fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: Bartolini BH2 (Humbucker/Passive)
  • Neck pickup: Bartolini BH2 (Humbucker/Passive)
  • 1 volume and 0 tone Dome knobs
  • 3-way Switch
  • MR5 bridge
  • Bass BTB5 Neck-Through neck
  • 24 Medium Stainless Steel frets
  • Ibanez tuners
  • Weight between 8.875lbs (4kgs) and 9.313lbs (4.2kgs)
  • Compare Specs >

Our Scores and Tone Evaluation

Playability 78
Sound 78
Build quality 73
Value for money 76
Overall Score 76
Tone Evaluation
  • Heavy Metal
  • Hard Rock
  • Jazz
  • Blues
  • Funk
  • Country
Strengths & Weaknesses
Ibanez BTB865SC
  • Stainless Steel Frets
  • Expensive Wood
  • Top Brand Pickups
  • Neck-Through Build
  • Active Preamp
  • No Locking Tuners
  • Made in Indonesia
  • No High-Quality Nut
  • No Push Knob or Extra Switch Option
  • No Weight Relief
  • No Luminescent Inlay
  • No Compound Radius Fretboard
  • No 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • No Retainer Bar
  • No Strap Lock

Price Overview

Its average competitor's price is $770, which means that the Ibanez BTB865SC costs around 49% more than the competition. It might be due to it having additional features, but know that you can find cheaper similar alternatives. This takes into account all instruments of the same category in our database with 5 strings and Fixed bridge that are made in Indonesia.

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Your feedback

Not all instruments are created equally. That's why it's important to have different opinions. Here's what our users who have played this instrument say. If you've played it before, help others by voting below!

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Is it Easy to Play?

The Ibanez BTB865SC meets 2 out of our 6 criteria items for beginner friendliness, which means that it's not recommended for complete beginners. This takes into account the type of frets, scale length, nut width, bridge type, fretboard radius, and neck profile to determine the easiest combination for new players to get used to.

New Player Friendliness

Ibanez BTB865SC
  • Tall frets
  • Comfortable neck
  • Comfortable shape
  • Comfortable fretboard
  • Narrow nut
  • Short scale

Hand Size Comfortability

After taking into account the neck profile, scale size, fretboard radius, and nut width, we can conclude that the Ibanez BTB865SC's construction is balanced for most hand sizes.

Nevertheless, this comes down in the end to personal preference. Make sure you test this bass—or another one with similar characteristics—before buying.

Big Hands
Small Hands

How Lightweight is it?

We found that the Ibanez BTB865SC weighs between 8.875lbs (4kgs) and 9.313lbs (4.2kgs). This was recorded from some online retailers that publish the weight of the instruments they sell.

Scale Length

Scale length is the distance the strings will span between the bridge and the nut. It can tell you a lot about the overall playability and tone of the instrument. A longer scale length means longer distance between frets, brighter tone and more string tension—which means lower action, but more difficult bending of the strings.

Here's the Ibanez BTB865SC's 35" scale length compared to other common sizes:

Ibanez BTB865SC Scale Length Comparison
Ibanez BTB865SC's scale length (at the top) compared to other popular sizes

This is considered a long scale bass, and it's the most popular choice for several reasons. Even though it might be more difficult to play than short scale basses due to their increased string tension, their punchier low-end results in a clear and defined bass tone that can cut through in a mix, making them well-suited for genres like rock, metal, and funk.

Neck Profile

Ibanez BTB865SC Neck Profile
Ibanez BTB865SC's neck profile

The neck profile tells you the thickness (neck depth) and shape in cross section. Every difference will completely change the feeling and comfortability of the neck. This is a highly subjective thing, but most players indeed prefer certain types of necks (like Cs and Ds) because they feel nice in most hands.

The Ibanez BTB865SC's neck thickness is approximately 0.787'' (20mm) at the first fret, and 0.866'' (22mm) at the twelfth.

These measurements were taken either from the official Ibanez website, or, in case this information wasn't provided, by researching multiple online marketplaces and forums where owners of this model have posted their measurements.

It has a C type neck. C-shaped necks like this have been the most popular for the last years. The reason is that they feel good in most hands. It's generally a thin neck that doesn't get in your way when playing fast, but that also has enough mass to give your hands a comfortable grip for chords if they aren't too big.

Thin necks like this make it easier to move your hand across the neck and it helps when playing fast solos, especially if you like to leave your thumb free while playing high on the fretboard. However, thinner necks are also weaker and will need adjustment more often than a thicker neck.

Fretboard Radius

When it comes to fingerboard radius, personal preference will dictate which one is better for you. However, most people seem to agree that a more curved (lower) radius will make it easier to play chords while a less curved (higher) radius is better for soloing and bending.

The Ibanez BTB865SC has a 15.748" fingerboard radius.

Here's an image comparing this fretboard radius to other popular choices:

Ibanez BTB865SC Fretboard Radius Comparison with Fender Stratocaster and Gibson Les Paul
Ibanez BTB865SC's fretboard radius compared to others

Compound radius fingerboards give the best of both worlds. Unfortunately, the Ibanez BTB865SC has the same radius across the board.

Playability compared to main competitors

Ibanez BTB865SC
This model
35'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.85'' Nut Width
15.748'' Fretboard Radius
Multiscale Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.772'' Nut Width
19.685'' Fretboard Radius
Multiscale Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.772'' Nut Width
19.685'' Fretboard Radius
Multiscale Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.772'' Nut Width
19.685'' Fretboard Radius
Multiscale Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.772'' Nut Width
19.685'' Fretboard Radius

Nut Width

Ibanez BTB865SC Nut Width
Ibanez BTB865SC Nut Width

The Ibanez BTB865SC has a nut width of 47mm (1.85''). This is considered a wide width for a 5-string bass. A wider nut provides more space between the strings, making it easier for players to execute techniques like slap bass and tapping, which require extra room for precision. However, players with smaller hands might find it challenging to comfortably reach across the wider fretboard, as it requires a wider stretch between the fingers.

Frets

The Ibanez BTB865SC has 24 frets. A lot of people mistakenly believe that having more frets will always be better because it gives you a higher octave. This is certainly an advantage, but there's also a disadvantage to this.

Since the fretboard will be longer, the neck pickup will need to be placed closer to the bridge. And as you may know, the further away the neck pickup is from the bridge, the warmer it sounds. This means you'll have a brighter-sounding neck pickup when using a 24-fret bass, even if you use the same pickup on a 22-fret bass.

Finally, these are stainless steel frets. They're the best fretwire available. This means you won't need to change your frets since they should last as long as your bass. Some people also feel easier bendings after swapping to stainless steel.

Fret Size

Ibanez BTB865SC Fret Size Comparison
Ibanez BTB865SC's fret size (in orange) compared to other popular sizes

Finally, let's talk about fret size. Some people prefer tall frets because it's easier to press the strings and perform bends since there's less friction against the fretboard. On the other hand, some people like shorter frets because they like to touch the fretboard when playing, or because they got heavy hands and tend to press too much on the string and alter the of the note pitch accidently.

The Ibanez BTB865SC's frets are Medium size. With medium frets, you can feel the fretboard more than with jumbo frets, but it's still easier to press the strings cleanly than with small frets; notes might change their pitch just slightly if you press hard on the fret. Also, if you need to do some fret leveling after years of playing, you'll have some room to sand them down without having to replace them.

Playability Score

Bending & Vibrato Ease 75
Chord Playability 70
Solo Playability 90
Playability 78

Tone Analysis

Wood will have little influence in the final tone of an electric guitar or bass. Instead, the hardware, especially the pickups, will be the most important thing to look at. Bur first, let's see the quality of the wood.

Wood

Ash wood pattern used for guitar building
Ash Body
Maple wood pattern used for guitar building
Maple Neck
Rosewood wood pattern used for guitar building
Rosewood Fretboard

Ash Body: The most popular Ash wood for guitars is swamp Ash. It has a really light color with beautiful patterns, which makes it perfect for a natural-looking finish. It's not as lightweight as Alder, but also not as heavy as Mahogany. It's known for producing a bright tone with solid mids and lows.

Maple Neck: This is one of the most popular types of wood used in all kinds of guitars. It's heavy, strong and compact, which makes it great for necks. However, it's also used for fretboards, bodies and tops due to its light color, resistance and beautiful patterns. When it comes to tone, it highlights the mid and high frequencies.

Rosewood Fretboard: Since the ban of Brazillian Rosewood, this has become a rare and expensive wood. It's not usually used for guitar bodies because of this, and also because it's heavy. Instead, it's used mainly for fretboards. Sometimes it's also used for necks because it's an extremely hard wood (even harder than maple). Its tonality tends to favor warm tones.

Pickups

This bass comes with pickups from one of the top brands: Bartolini. So you can expect well built pickups with great sound that shouldn't need an upgrade anytime soon.

These are passive pickups, so you can expect a rounder sound and a moderade level of output.

Preamp

The preamp is an electronic circuit that serves as an intermediary between the bass's pickups and the amplifier. Its primary function is to boost and shape the bass's raw signal before it reaches the amplifier. This allows for greater control over the bass's tone, volume, and other sound characteristics. Preamps often include tone controls, equalization settings, and sometimes even onboard effects, enabling bassists to tailor their sound to their preferences and the musical context.

This bass has a Active preamp. Unlike passive basses, which rely solely on passive pickups and tone controls, active preamps require a power source, typically a 9-volt battery, to operate. The active preamp offers several advantages, including the ability to boost or cut specific frequencies, resulting in a more versatile and customizable tonal palette. Active basses are favored in genres where precise tonal sculpting and extended tonal options are essential, such as jazz fusion or progressive rock. However, they do require occasional battery replacement or recharging to ensure optimal performance.

The Ibanez BTB865SC's configuration is HH. With this pickup combination, you'll get warmer tones and more output than using single coils. Humbucker pickups cancel the noise that single-coil suffer from, which also results in a warmer tone. This pickup combination isn't only for high-gain music like Hard Rock or Heavy Metal. Their warmness is also popular for Jazz, Indie, R&B, Blues and more.

More with the same pickups

Ibanez BTB865SC
This model
24 Frets
Fixed Bridge
Bartolini BH2 Bridge Pickup
Bartolini BH2 Neck Pickup
24 Frets
Fixed Bridge
Bartolini BH2 Bridge Pickup
Bartolini BH2 Neck Pickup
24 Frets
Fixed Bridge
Bartolini BH2 Bridge Pickup
Bartolini BH2 Neck Pickup
24 Frets
Fixed Bridge
Bartolini BH2 Bridge Pickup
Bartolini BH2 Neck Pickup
24 Frets
Fixed Bridge
Bartolini BH2 Bridge Pickup
Bartolini BH2 Neck Pickup

Versatility

It comes with the popular 3-way switch that is present in most guitars. For more versatility, players tend to prefer a 5-way switch, although it all depends on what you want to use your bass for.

Unfortunately, it doesn't come with more options for coil split or coil tapping. This makes it less versatile than some competitors.

Diagram

Ibanez BTB865SC pickups switch and push knobs diagram
Ibanez BTB865SC's switch options

What music genre is it good for?

As a 5 strings, Solid Body bass with HH configuration and Passive pickups, we'd recommend it for genres like Heavy Metal or similar. However, you can use almost any bass for any genre. This is just the typical type of music for this particular one.

Sound Score

Pickups 90
Sustain 70
Versatility 78
Tuning Stability 75
Sound 78

Build Quality Analysis

Country of Origin

Knowing where the instrument is produced is a good way to know how well it's built. Some manufacturing countries are known for having higher quality standards. For example, most expensive instruments are made in the US or Japan, but there are some exceptionally great countries—like South Korea—that are building a good reputation.

The Ibanez BTB865SC is made in Indonesia. Many people prefer the quality of an Indonesian guitar over a Chinese. Respectable brands like Epiphone, Ibanez and Schecter are building in this country because of the great quality and lower price. Some people like to compare them to the ones built in Japan during the 80s, when Japanese guitar makers made a name for themselves.

Still, remember that we're taking about Ibanez here, which is a brand with good renown. They know how to use cheap labor in this country without sacrificing too much quality. So you shouldn't end up receiving a useless or ugly instrument.

Bridge

MR5: The advantage of fixed bridges is that they don't require any kind of set-up. This makes it extremely easy when changing strings because you don't need to adjust anything besides tuning the guitar. Also, the fact that the bridge is directly attached to the body will help to increase sustain. The disadvantage is the lack of versatility since you can't create the same vibrato effects as with tremolo bridges.

Nut Material

Another important thing to analyze is the nut material, as it's one of the most important aspects that can affect the sound and playability of your bass. A well-cut nut will make sure it stays in tune and will make it more comfortable to play.

In this case, the Ibanez BTB865SC has a Plastic nut. This is a low-quality nut that you might want to consider upgrading soon. Bone and TUSQ nuts are the best for guitars with a fixed or simple tremolo bridge.

Neck Joint

The neck joint is the part where the neck of the bass meets the body. There are three main techniques to attach both parts together: Set-In, Bolt-On and Neck-Through. The latter two provide different advantages, although neck-throughs are the most expensive.

This bass has a Neck-Through neck joint. Many people believe a neck-through build delivers the best sustain because some of the vibrations from the neck aren't lost like with other neck joints. However, no one has been able to prove this. What we know is that a neck-through build is usually the most comfortable when playing the upper frets because there's nothing on your way at the neck-body joint.

Build Quality Score

Quality of materials 65
Features 80
Quality Control 75
Build Quality 73

All Specs

Ibanez BTB865SC
General
Brand: Ibanez
Year: 2023
Configuration: HH
Strings: 5
Made in: Indonesia
Series: BTB
Colors: Black
Left-Handed Version: No
Body
Top: Ash
Type: Solid Body
Body Material: Ash/Okoume wing
Bridge: MR5
Neck
Neck Joint: Neck-Through
Tuners: Ibanez
Fretboard: Rosewood
Neck Material: Maple/Walnut
Decoration: Abalone dot inlay
Scale Size: 35"
Shape: Bass BTB5
Thickness: 1st Fret: 0.787'' (20mm) - 12th Fret: 0.866'' (22mm)
Frets: 24 Medium Stainless Steel
Fretboard Radius: 15.748"
Nut: Plastic
Nut Width: 47mm (1.85'')
Electronics
Switch: 3 Way
Knobs: Dome
Volume Controls: 1
Tone Controls: 0
Bridge Pickup: Bartolini BH2 (Humbucker / Passive)
Neck Pickup: Bartolini BH2 (Humbucker / Passive)

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