Extended range is the new standard. More 8 string guitars and more 6/7 string basses. I'm still a die hard 4 string player, only owned one 5 string but I'm converting it to a 6 and defretting it to hopefully achieve a 72 note tonal pattern. I don't know...it's growing on me.
(Sean Malone FTW)
I may stop spending money on the car and save up for a new sled. Options are growing and growing fast.
The Ibanez GWB is calling my name..Easily one of the top five best instruments I have ever played.
why is there a piece of wood over the neck humbucker?
There is no neck pick up. It's called the "Ramp", it's designed to simulate different string heights so you can adjust how much pluck and what sort of tone you want to have with different finger styles. It's also nice to have if you're used to resting your thumb on a pick up, like I had gotten used to when I was playing a Jazz.
Ibanez has really started to make some crazy new designs. Like the Ashula bass. This thing is crazy. The original was standard EADG for the bottom strings and DG for the high strings but fretless. The fretless strings run on their own pick up and their own EQ it's completely separated. Now they offer it in BEADGC as a standard 6 string extended range with GC being the fretless strings.
Ahhh I had an Ibanez SG405 in Natural Blode Finish many years ago. Great action, and a fly could hold the strings down...tone was warm...but my fingers are just a bit too short to play a 5-string comfortably. My current, and only, bass is a old 89' Fender P-Bass "Lyte" deluxe (J-spec)- a nice jass neck with active p-bass pickup configuration. One day I would like to have a Rickenbacker, an older MusicMan and a 70's Jazz bass with the maple neck and black block inlays.