Besides being clean and evenly responsive, the SR's twin pickup offering exudes a decent bump with a pleasing raspy edge. Higher registers have a hint of high mid but speak clearly and openly with splendid zingy aggression if you pop the G string. If you want a bigger note, maxing Bass EQ provides it – and you'll have to check the condition of fixtures and fittings in the immediate locale, such is the power on offer. There's still more than enough definition to drive a groove, and the polite top end makes this wonderful for retro basslines in low and high registers.
Cutting Middle right back on this setting also provides a decent approximation of the scooped mids vibe. Increasing mid level with a touch of bass boost unearths a darker, barking response with lots of impact, tightening and bringing the SR's sound forwards without over-emphasising unpleasant tonal elements. Ratcheting up the Treble knob gives aggressive, snappy cut and bite, but it's not as open as we'd hoped and definitely a bit choked by the competition from the high mids.
Soloing the neck Bartolini produces a warm, woody tone which nudges the Ibanez in a retro direction; adding a spot of bass boost gives a smooth, rubbery sound that'll delight solid rockers, filling acres of space and opening up more of the fretboard for practical use. Again, boosting Middle has the effect of re-focusing the SR700 but the mixture of tight and defined with a smooth core and barking edge is much better than that sounds. With Treble EQ, full boost is bright with plenty of acoustic zing, but it's a bit brittle unless you balance it with a lot of added bottom end.
The bridge pickup is immediately crisper and more contemporary with less impact than elsewhere. A large injection of Bass EQ provides the necessary presence, leaving plenty of attack and giving the kind of cultured note you’d usually associate with a far more expensive bass. Boosting Middle unearths aggressive punch without any form of nasal trade-off, and when you add some Treble to that, the SR sounds as if it’s about to shatter before your eyes. There’s rather too much fret-noise at this setting, but there's a real 'up yours!' element here which makes the SR700 great fun to play.