Summary: This bass looks, sounds, and feels awesome. You can get any tone you want, and it would look good playing any genre or style. ------------------------------ Answer for the question why tune lower? Why NOT tune lower?
Excerpt: The sound is awesome for a bass that is as thin and light as the SR500. You can get tons of sounds out of it with the EQ settings, from slap to funk, heavy bottom, warm tones, it's all there. I can get a TON of sound out for playing with any drummer and full band or I can tone it down and play with just my guitar player on an acoustic with both of us singing and it sounds great.
Summary: I have my Ibanez Roadstar "Ric" sunburst 1981 bass that now mostly lives in a very nice plush hard case. I love to run out with bass bag and jam. I've owned a few Ibanez basses, mostly the lower end ones, because if I lose one or if some drunk equipment guy runs over it no great loss. I grew up with the Fenders and even owned a couple Gibsons / Hofner style basses.
Pros: Excellent build quality, beautiful finish, Ibanez sound and reputation
Cons: Active electronics, tuners need occasional tightening
Summary: This is me re-entry into bass playing after a 30 year (or so) absence. I got the 5-string and it is very "user-friendly" with its flat neck, nicely spaced strings, and fairly fast action. Yes, it's Korean (and it shows), but it does what I expected for the money and sounds pretty good, no matter how you look at it.
Summary: This is also my first bass. I have the 5 string version as well. I love this bass. I thought the sound was great at the store, and still do now. I think the looks of it are great as well. The only negative I have is that I get a rattle out of 2 frets on the low B and the E strings. The other technical problem is that I get a ticking noise out of the bass. It does it on occassion and then stops. But, that's what the 1 year manufacturer's warranty is for.
Summary: It's a VERY GOOD bass, made of high quality wood (well balanced and light), with a super fast thin neck and a killer sound (those bartolinis really make the difference). The sound is crystal clear & very strong, reach in harmonics (with a powerful low end and strong - almost agrresive sounding mids); the EQ is sensitive & versatile (lots of tone combinations). It sounds incredibly good on its own, you won't need to many tone corrections to obtain a good sound.
Summary: I feel like this bass is the ultimate beginner bass that will last well into any professional career. A huge problem with beginners or people who are "trying out" bass wind up buying the POS starter pack with a 10 watt amp and the $50 bass. The tone sounds terrible, they cant make the bass sound like anything they hear on the radio, they get discouraged and drop it. That will never be the case with this bass.