Preview: Ibanez Promethean Bass Amplification Systems
(Ibanez | Posted 2009-05-30)
A bold new step, Ibanez recently released its new Promethean bass amplification line. After a somewhat unsuccessful venture with the Soundwave amplifiers, this new edition of Ibanez amplification looks and sounds promising and is well worth plugging into at your bass shop of choice. At least it looks cooler than the Soundwave series ever did, and Ibanez is making every effort to show that they won’t be making the same mistakes again with a 27 lb. sleek combo and a 6.4 lb. Class-D head that seems to have all the fixins you could hope for in a package that comes close to fitting in your glove compartment.
As it stands now, it’s a shame the audience doesn’t get a view of the fire-engine-red head when on a gig, as it’s tucked away behind the speaker, not unlike Mesa/Boogie’s 300-watt Walkabout model. This is because the P500 head is only offered as part of the P5110 combo amplifier, which mates the promethean head with a 1x10”-plus-tweeter shell cabinet for 250 watts of crisp, clean tone (500-watts with an extension cabinet). The head, however, can be easily removed from the cabinet and used solo, making the combo somewhat of a 2-for-1 deal and allowing you to show off the straight-from-James-Bond’s-closet type vibes.
Features for the P500 head include:
• 6-band graphic EQ/bass and treble shelving tone controls
• Peak limiting circuit
• 2-way Clip Indicator
• Auxiliary input (1/8")
• Balance line out (XLR)
• Phones out, tuner out (1/8")
• Footswitch jack (Mute/Vibe)
• 11"W x 10.4"D x 2.2"H
• Weight: 6.4 lbs
Having watched the demo video on Ibanez’s home website, I have to say that given the features and the sound, Ibanez seem to be really doing a good job here. I’m always grateful for a mute switch on any gig, and a tuner out makes for a sweet quick fix between songs (especially on outdoor gigs). Still, what makes me the most curious is the Vibe knob, which claims to take your bass back and forth from modern hi-fi to vintage earthy tones with the turn of a dial.
Ibanez seems pretty pumped to show off the new combo in all of its portable glory at the 2009 NAMM show in Nashville, along with a full new line of bass cabinets, which, according to the graphics on their website, seem to include a 2x10”, 1x15”, and 4x10”, all with HF horns in them.
I hope to get back to you all soon, once I’ve playtested this new beast. Ibanez may have another gem (pardon the pun) on their hands with this one. Check it out for yourselves!
by James Rushin