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Anybody Play/Own/Remember Ibanez SR400NT?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Plucky The Bassist, Sep 9, 2016.

  1. Plucky The Bassist

    Plucky The Bassist ZOMG! I'm back from the dead!

    Jul 30, 2010
    Houston, TX
    So I know...I have an Ibanez addiction, they just make such neato basses and at such good used prices!!! Anyways I was strolling through GC Online used section and saw a peculiar Ibanez PJ in natural finish. Says it's an SR400NT and looks like this:


    can't dig up much on here or online about them, other than it's a later 90's model, has a 3-band EQ, and seems to have an SR4 neck. Anybody have experience with them? I know this is not good form, but I ordered some DiMarzio Model PJ pickups in case I don't dig the stock p-ups. I kind of want this to be a P-ish bass in an Ibanez package, so I can get P grit and tone with an Ibanez size and dimensions bass. The J pickup will be nice to add bite as well, so for around $225 this seemed like a solid buy.

    Anybody play one before? Own one? I'd like to get as much info as possible since I can't exactly pop in and buy one. Is there a finish on the back of the neck and what's it like? Is it typically a heavy bass? Any other info that may be relevant is totally welcome!!

    - PtB
  2. 6Bass101


    Apr 2, 2016
    Fort Mill, SC
    Look through the 90's catalogs on Ibanez archive site. That's what I've done to identify older Ibanez basses.
    Ibanez Catalogs
    Plucky The Bassist likes this.
  3. Plucky The Bassist

    Plucky The Bassist ZOMG! I'm back from the dead!

    Jul 30, 2010
    Houston, TX
  4. If the finish on the back of the neck is gloss and you find it slow and sticky, all you need is some 000 grade steel wool.
    Take the neck off the body, remove the tuners.
    Rub the back of the neck and headstock (so it matches) trying to pay attention to doing an even amount of work in all areas.
    DON'T press hard--like sandpaper and drill bits, you want to let the tool do the work at it's own pace.
    Follow the direction of the grain.
    Seriously, if it takes more than 5 minutes I would be surprised.
    You'll have a slick and fast satin finish before you know it.

    Use American-Made steel wool, not the cheap imported stuff that breaks off little threads that stick in the finish and rust.
    Plucky The Bassist likes this.
  5. Plucky The Bassist

    Plucky The Bassist ZOMG! I'm back from the dead!

    Jul 30, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Very good idea. Any particular brands you recommend? I've got Lowes within 5 minutes of me, Home Depot within 15 minutes, and Ace Hardware around 6-8 minutes from me so I should be able to find nearly anything.
  6. No brand preference, just read the label for country of origin.

    Forgot to mention--that looks like a sweet Ibanez.
    I've been using their guitars and basses as my main "go-to" axes since the late '70s.
    An older Korean SR500 usually gets the nod in the studio.
    Live, my current #1 is a Japan-made RD828 from around '91, and the back of it's neck was a wreck when I got it (free).

    Steam and an iron raised most of the dents, many grades of sandpaper and a few hours took care of the scratches, then a bunch of coats of finish followed by the steel wool trick left me with quick satin goodness.
    (It's the neck in my avatar).

    As for the disgusting bridge, vinegar and gun bluing was involved and I HATE the smell of vinegar.
    Plucky The Bassist likes this.
  7. Plucky The Bassist

    Plucky The Bassist ZOMG! I'm back from the dead!

    Jul 30, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Ok so UPDATE!!!

    It was delivered to work on Tuesday, but I was unable to get it since I was rear-ended (in my only 3 week old car...) on Monday. Finally got a rental so I got to the office and opened her up.

    Definitely needs some TLC, but the neck is satin finish while the body is gloss...honestly not a problem for me. I prefer satin finish on both, but the neck makes most of the contact anyways so that's what's important. Can't give her a run through until tonight when I get it back to the house, I'll give the stock pickups a chance, but the soldering iron will be hot and the Dimarzio Model PJ pickups will be standing on the ready.
  8. Plucky The Bassist

    Plucky The Bassist ZOMG! I'm back from the dead!

    Jul 30, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Update #2!!

    Went home and looked it over before starting. Action was either too low or the neck wasn't adjusted right, got PLENTY of buzz when trying to play. Forget playing with a pick, not going to happen...that's on the "to do" list.

    I noticed the pickups sat a little low, wasn't sure if they were tightened down that way or if the foam was starting to crumble (common on the older ones I've seen). I plugged in and gave them a chance, but they were most assuredly lacking in output and the tone was pretty thin. The EQ did some help, but it almost seemed like I HAD to use the EQ to get it to the same level that some of my passive basses got at. Usually Ibanez basses are pretty hot, so this came as a bit of a surprise to me. Gave them a chance, but glad I ordered those Dimarzio Model P/J pickups! SURELY with how hot those are, there would be no issues and it would be screaming once I go through the preamp.

    Well cracking open the back, I saw that everything was basically wired to a circuit board, not a big issue but it made wiring stuff up a little more difficult, not to mention the original pickup wires were combined into a single cable, the hot signal in another plastic coating and the ground being exposed and surrounding that cable. I fed the wires through and then worked on getting the pickups in. That's the easy part, right? WRONG...I had to use a hammer to get these in, the holes were not large enough and I had to do some scraping to get enough space to fit in the DiMarzios. When they were finally in, I got them wired and got output from them both. After stringing up I tested them out and oh boy did I found out the common denominator...preamp is what is sucking out all the, well, output.

    I cranked up the preamp and got them at a decent volume compared to passive pickups, but it was dismal compared to what I know the DiMarzios can do in passive mode. So here's where I'm at...going to put in an Audere Classic 3-band and call it a day. Honestly it will fit in there just fine (hopefully lol) and should keep the tone of the pickups in passive mode intact. Like with many Ibanez basses I run into (except the SRX series), the electronics is the weak point for them. This one's a tad harder to mod, but it's a good pickup config and the neck is pretty good. Will update again after I get the Audere in there.
  9. Gilmourisgod


    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    One caveat, use a fine scotchbrite pad to satin finish the neck, steel wool makes a mess, and you'll end up with millions of tiny iron filings stuck to your pups. (Ask me how I know this!)

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