Tough territory, revamping a past icon. Has it worked?
Taking into account that in past months there has been a trend for bass guitars to feature loads of strings, over extended body curves and active electronic hardware, this retro model could struggle. But these looks… come on!
Design features include two separate scratchplates; no idea why, but it does look pretty retro. The colour scheme echoing Horner’s later years in their design, but perhaps drawing parallels from more up to date hardware, one can see a close resemblance to the JTK4 guitar.
The large bridge is just another bit of evidence which shows how well this bass was made. The string spacing is just right and offers a good base for those who are intent on picking, slapping or picking. The fretboard is very square indeed but, on the upside, it offers the player a wide, well profiled space to work.
As for the sounds of this bass, the stylish good looks really draw on influence from days gone by. Those infamous pickups are a bit misleading though. They aren’t humbuckers but single coil pickups. This makes the bass very capable in lower ranges but not so much when you’re really going for it. Think of the noise a ball hitting a bat makes, but more toneful. It’s all down to the position of the pickups. With passive circuitry they feel warm and fruity at times.
The JTKB200 is a fantastic all rounder. Vintage sound coupled with hardness for gig use this is a perfect old-fashioned revamp. It’s the king of financial conservatism in these times, that’s for sure.
The Ibanez JTKB200 Jet King retails at £249.