Ibanez UB804 Review & Prices

Ibanez UB804 Review
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  • From Ibanez's 2018 Upright Bass series
  • Made in Indonesia
  • 4 strings
  • 34"'' scale
  • 6.024" Fretboard Radius
  • Maple body
  • Maple/Walnut neck
  • Jatoba fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: (/)
  • Middle pickup: (/)
  • Neck pickup: (/)
  • 1 volume and 1 tone Dome knobs
  • Custom AeroSilk MR5 bridge
  • Bass UB4 Neck-Through neck
  • 0 Fretless frets
  • Ibanez tuners
  • Compare Specs >

Our Scores and Tone Evaluation

Playability 75
Sound 70
Build quality 65
Value for money 70
Overall Score 70
Tone Evaluation
  • Heavy Metal
  • Hard Rock
  • Jazz
  • Blues
  • Funk
  • Country
Strengths & Weaknesses
Ibanez UB804
  • Neck-Through Build
  • Active Preamp
  • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
  • No Locking Tuners
  • Made in Indonesia
  • No Expensive Woods
  • No High-Quality Nut
  • No Top Brand Pickups
  • 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 $450, which means that the Ibanez UB804 costs around 156% 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 4 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 UB804 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 UB804
  • Comfortable shape
  • Comfortable neck
  • Comfortable fretboard
  • Tall frets
  • 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 UB804's construction favors people with relatively big 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 UB804's 34" scale length compared to other common sizes:

Ibanez UB804 Scale Length Comparison
Ibanez UB804'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 UB804 Neck Profile
Ibanez UB804'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 UB804's neck thickness is approximately 1.3'' (33mm) at the first fret, and 1.5'' (38.1mm) 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 UB804 has a 6.024" fingerboard radius.

Compound radius fingerboards give the best of both worlds. Unfortunately, the Ibanez UB804 has the same radius across the board.

Nut Width

Ibanez UB804 Nut Width
Ibanez UB804 Nut Width

The Ibanez UB804 has a nut width of 42mm (1.654''). This is considered a wide width for a 4-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 UB804 has 0 frets. Even though 24 frets has become really popular, there's still a good reason to get fewer frets; the pickup at the neck position will be further away from the bridge. This makes the neck pickup achieve a warmer tone. You might want this if you're playing Jazz or similar genres.

However, if you don't care about the warmer neck pickup, more frets will always be better. It's always nice to have the option to play higher notes if you want to.

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 UB804 Fret Size Comparison
Ibanez UB804'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 UB804's frets are Fretless size. This offers the advantage of greater pitch flexibility, allowing for smooth slides and microtonal variations. They can produce a unique, warm tone. However, they require precise finger placement, making them less forgiving for beginners and potentially leading to intonation issues.

Playability Score

Bending & Vibrato Ease 75
Chord Playability 80
Solo Playability 70
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

Maple wood pattern used for guitar building
Maple Body, Neck
Jatoba wood pattern used for guitar building
Jatoba Fretboard

Maple Body and 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.

Jatoba Fretboard: It's an exceptionally hard and dense wood that emphasizes the mid-lows, giving a fuller, more round sound than, for example, Mahogany. However, it also has a lot of clarity in the top end.

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 UB804's configuration is XXH. It's a rare pickup configuration for very specific genres. You only get a pickup at the neck for soloing. It's often found in acoustic-electric guitars to give you more power for soloing.

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 4 strings, Solid Body bass with XXH configuration and Active pickups, we'd recommend it for genres like Country 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 75
Sustain 60
Versatility 70
Tuning Stability 75
Sound 70

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 UB804 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

Custom AeroSilk 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 UB804 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 41
Features 80
Quality Control 75
Build Quality 65

All Specs

Ibanez UB804
General
Brand: Ibanez
Year: 2018
Configuration: XXH
Strings: 4
Made in: Indonesia
Series: Upright Bass
Colors: Natural
Left-Handed Version: No
Body
Type: Solid Body
Body Material: Maple
Bridge: Custom AeroSilk MR5
Neck
Neck Joint: Neck-Through
Tuners: Ibanez
Fretboard: Jatoba
Neck Material: Maple/Walnut
Decoration: White dot inlay
Scale Size: 34"
Shape: Bass UB4
Thickness: 1st Fret: 1.3'' (33mm) - 12th Fret: 1.5'' (38.1mm)
Frets: 0 Fretless
Fretboard Radius: 6.024"
Nut: Plastic
Nut Width: 42mm (1.654'')
Electronics
Switch: 0 Way
Knobs: Dome
Volume Controls: 1
Tone Controls: 1
Bridge Pickup: ( / )

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