Ibanez K5 Review & Prices

Ibanez K5 Review
Add to Compare
FIND IT ON:
Sweetwater logo
Set a price alert
  • From Ibanez's 2020 K5 series
  • Fieldy Signature
  • Made in United States
  • 5 strings
  • 34"'' scale
  • 12" Fretboard Radius
  • Nyatoh body
  • Maple/Walnut neck
  • Rosewood fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: IBZ ADX5B (Humbucker/Active)
  • Neck pickup: IBZ ADX5N (Humbucker/Active)
  • 1 volume and 0 tone Dome knobs
  • EB-7 bridge
  • Bass K5 Bolt-On neck
  • 24 Medium frets
  • Hipshot machine heads tuners
  • Compare Specs >

Our Scores and Tone Evaluation

Playability 75
Sound 71
Build quality 69
Value for money 72
Overall Score 72
Tone Evaluation
  • Heavy Metal
  • Hard Rock
  • Jazz
  • Blues
  • Funk
  • Country
Strengths & Weaknesses
Ibanez K5
  • Made in United States
  • Expensive Wood
  • Active Preamp
  • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
  • No Locking Tuners
  • No High-Quality Nut
  • No Top Brand Pickups
  • No Neck-Through Build
  • 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 $1770, which means that the Ibanez K5 is around 44% cheaper than the competition. This takes into account all instruments of the same category in our database with 5 strings and Fixed bridge that are made in United States.

Videos

Fieldy from Korn on the Ibanez K5LTDWH bass
Ibanez K5 5 String Bass Overview/Demo
10 ICONIC BASS LINES by KORN on IBANEZ K5
My Ibanez Bass Collection
Working on my Ibanez K5 Bass
IBANEZ K5 - najlepszy bas na wesela - prosto od Korn'a
Ibanez Fieldy Signature K5
Ibanez K5 (Signature bass of Fieldy from KoRn) - METAL DEMO
Ibanez K5 Signatur 5 string Bass Guitar setup.
Korn "Did My Time" Ibanez K5 Bass Cover
More Videos

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!

Weight

Vote

Tuning stability

Vote

Neck speed (thickness)

Vote

Neck access to high frets

Vote

Neck profile shape

Vote

Fret edges

Vote

Pickups noise

Vote

Pickups power

Vote
View all user feedback

Explore All From Ibanez >

Is it Easy to Play?

The Ibanez K5 meets 3 out of our 6 criteria items for beginner friendliness, which means that it's not bad for beginners, but it could be better. 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 K5
  • Comfortable shape
  • Tall frets
  • Comfortable neck
  • 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 K5's construction favors people with relatively small hands.

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

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 K5's 34" scale length compared to other common sizes:

Ibanez K5 Scale Length Comparison
Ibanez K5'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 K5 Neck Profile
Ibanez K5'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 K5's neck thickness is approximately 0.768'' (19.5mm) at the first fret, and 0.846'' (21.5mm) 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 K5 has a 12" fingerboard radius.

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

Ibanez K5 Fretboard Radius Comparison with Fender Stratocaster and Gibson Les Paul
Ibanez K5's fretboard radius compared to others

This is the same radius that Gibson uses in most of their guitars. When compare to the other popular radius of Fender Stratocasters, you can see that it's a lot flatter. Guitars with this radius are usually made to bring a good balance between single-note and chord playing.

Compound radius fingerboards give the best of both worlds. Unfortunately, the Ibanez K5 has the same radius across the board.

Playability compared to main competitors

Ibanez K5
This model
34'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.772'' Nut Width
12'' Fretboard Radius
34'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.772'' Nut Width
12'' Fretboard Radius

Nut Width

Ibanez K5 Nut Width
Ibanez K5 Nut Width

The Ibanez K5 has a nut width of 45mm (1.772''). This is within the most common range of nut widths for a 5-string bass. This is what most players find as a balanced width for both playing chords and single notes across different strings. If you have an "average" hand size, or you're not sure what nut width you'd like, this is a safe bet.

Frets

The Ibanez K5 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.

It comes with nickel silver frets, so they won't last as long as stainless steel frets. If you use your instrument a lot, you might need to replace the frets after a few years. But this is unlikely as most people change instruments before this happens.

Fret Size

Ibanez K5 Fret Size Comparison
Ibanez K5'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 K5'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 80
Playability 75

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

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

Nyatoh Body: It's a wood type found mainly in Indonesia. It's fairly hard and durable and is becoming popular for building guitars because it isn't expensive.

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

Unfortunately, it doesn't come with pickups from one of the top brands. This doesn't mean you will get bad pickups, but you might want to consider a pickup upgrade after some time.

These are active pickups, so you can expect a lot of output with a highly compressed signal that will give your tones more distortion while retaining a clear, defined sound, which is what many Heavy Metal players need. However, they have the disadvantage of sometimes lacking a fully clean sound when playing without distortion.

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 K5'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.

Versatility

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

What music genre is it good for?

As a 5 strings, Solid Body bass with HH configuration and Active pickups, we'd recommend it for genres like Hard Rock 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 60
Sustain 75
Versatility 73
Tuning Stability 75
Sound 71

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 K5 is made in United States. Guitars made in the USA have the reputation of being the best instruments you can get. This statement isn't as accurate as a few years ago, but you should still expect top-quality from a guitar made in this country.

Bridge

EB-7: 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 K5 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 Bolt-On neck joint. Even though this type of neck was looked down upon for a long time, nowadays bolt-on necks are well built and provide just as much sustain as any other join method. First of all, it's cheap to make because it consists of simply 4 bolts that attach the neck to the body. And you can travel with the guitar more easily, swap out the neck if you damage it, or upgrade to a more comfortable neck later on.

Build Quality Score

Quality of materials 51
Features 70
Quality Control 85
Build Quality 69

All Specs

Ibanez K5
General
Brand: Ibanez
Year: 2020
Configuration: HH
Strings: 5
Made in: United States
Series: K5
Colors: Black
Left-Handed Version: No
Body
Type: Solid Body
Body Material: Nyatoh
Bridge: EB-7
Neck
Neck Joint: Bolt-On
Tuners: Hipshot machine heads
Fretboard: Rosewood
Neck Material: Maple/Walnut
Decoration: K5 special inlay
Scale Size: 34"
Shape: Bass K5
Thickness: 1st Fret: 0.768'' (19.5mm) - 12th Fret: 0.846'' (21.5mm)
Frets: 24 Medium
Fretboard Radius: 12"
Nut: Plastic
Nut Width: 45mm (1.772'')
Electronics
Switch: 0 Way
Knobs: Dome
Volume Controls: 1
Tone Controls: 0
Bridge Pickup: IBZ ADX5B (Humbucker / Active)
Neck Pickup: IBZ ADX5N (Humbucker / Active)

User Reviews

Help others by sharing your opinion about this bass. Note: to avoid spam, your review will be submitted for approval before appearing here.

You're reviewing as anonymous. to comment with your account.
Your Rating: