Anybody with an Ibanez SRX??? I have some setup questions.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by spickermayne, Apr 15, 2014.

  1. spickermayne


    Jun 11, 2013

    Picked up this beauty for $140 at Guitar Center today. Neck is amazing. It came with some DR blacks on it (which I didn't care for and swapped out) but while it sounds a lot better, I'm still not completely satisfied with the sound.

    A little background:The tone I'm aiming for is an aggressive growly rock tone with nice punch. Usually run a overdrive pedal with the gain set low for just a hint of that tube-style Chris Squire tone. Amp is a Fender bassman 250 1x15. In comparison with my former main bass (a Squire Jaguar vintage modified) there are a few shortcomings that I can't really grasp, since this is a considerably higher end axe.

    1.) Aside from more low end, the overall output is reasonably quieter than my Jag. This is really weird considering a lot of what I read about it said the pickups were really hot on this model. I looked at some pictures of others online and realized the pickups are set quite lower on mine than stock appears. Tried to loosen the pickups screws, but that didn't raise them any.

    2.) My Jag also seems to have much wider tonal range. Could the low pickup height be part of the problem? With all the controls cranked it sounds amazing. Everything else just sounds muddy or has no balls whatsoever.

    Admittedly, this thing has a lot more knobs than the Squire does. Being a used bass with no booklet, I'm not 100% sure what knobs do what, aside from the master volume. Can someone explain with experience with these explain them to me?

    Any help would be awesome. I bought this so I'd have a better quality studio bass, and considering were recording again in a couple of weeks I really need to get this thing to shine the best it can. Thanks guys. :bassist:
  2. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses, Hipshot products
    Wow. Never saw one of them. Looks like a steal at the price you paid. I'd have jumped all over that, even if I didn't want it. Congrats!

    First, raising the pickups will make a difference... ya might need new springs in them if they won't go any higher.

    Second, you should put a new battery in there as I'm guessing it's an active bass.

    I'm gonna guess at the knobs too... vol/blend/bass/treble?? Don't know if any of them are stacked, but if not that's pretty much what I think they have to be.

    Good luck!
  3. spickermayne


    Jun 11, 2013
    Yeah, it's hard even finding pictures of this model online. Can't be a ton of these floating around so I'm happy to have a unique bass at the least. Really wasn't the best time financially to buy it... but I knew it wasn't going to last long enough for me to come back and pick it up in a couple of days.

    I messed with the knobs and you seem to be on the money about what they do. Thanks Joe. I'm pretty sure the previous owner took the springs out and lowered them as far as they'd go, cause with the screws loose, the pickups just rock freely up and down. I'll have to find me some.

    Still, anybody with tips on these basses feel free to offer advice.
  4. TheAnalogKid

    TheAnalogKid Yer Doin' GREAT!!!!

    Dec 7, 2011
    Tacoma, WA
    From what I could find, it's typical of the SDGR SRX line, whereas the knobs are, from top to bottom:

    Volume (master)
    Bass boost/Cut
    Balance (I assume bridge.neck pup)
    Treble boost/cut

    Pups are passive, but boosts/cuts are part of the 2-band active pre-amp - my old RDGR was the same config. BTW, that abalone binding looks really nice on the body, as do the fretboard inlays. Seems you scored a gem, there. Specs, FWIW, are here:

    EDIT: I also second trying out a fresh 9V battery if your output is still lacking.
  5. Wallace320

    Wallace320 Commercial User

    Mar 19, 2012
    Milan, Italy
    Joe's right:
    from neck to bridge
    Volume/balance/bass boost-cut/treble boost-cut

    I used to own both top of the line 2010's neckthru Srx725 and present entry level bolton Srx360

    Analog nailed the version: Srx470 is effectively bit rad so you got a hidden jem

    Anyway the first con is that the color's gonna get yellow with time: I'm serious it'll become a somewhat vintage white, I had an electric guitar (Ibanez Sas32) with same finish and abalone

    Then, opposite to what everybody's thinkin', these basses are much better in the studio than live
    In this sense:
    ceramic passive Pfr humbuckers (that's their name, I'm nearly an Ibanez freak;)) were conceived to allow tourin' bands to adapt with close to no pain to different amps and resident PA, so they're really flat soundin (unless you crank both boost on) but they can result bit uncharacterized if you're used to your sound and your amp (and settings) of choice.

    Consequently they became "unvoluntary" studio standard in active basses: they're quiet and balanced, they can copy a MusicMan output (if only cranked up) but they don't hum and nearly don't ever hiss at all.

    So all the past suggestions are right: work springs out and adapt pickups height to your likings. Use worn out or tapered strings in the studio - to stay balanced - or supershiny rounds when live - to cut thru - and this bass will always deliver.

    I had a Squier Vintage Modified Jaguar too: remember that this Ibanez has a mahogany body, so its sound, with tamed setup, sure could appear lower output than a thick basswood Squier's

  6. spickermayne


    Jun 11, 2013
    Great now, that was the kind of background on this bass I was looking for Wallace. Thanks brah. You're totally right about the yellowing, this one is off white by now but it adds some character, I dig the look.

    As for the sound, I think you nailed my only problem with it. The P/J design of the Jag definitely has a lot more distinct and useful tones. This SRX only seems to have nasally high-treble or boomy thickness with a tad bit of growl and not much in-between. Not a bad thing though, even with the lacking output... the sheer low-end grunt of this thing bass powered through the mix more than the Squire at practice today. The body thing makes total sense, wasn't sure what wood was under the finish.

    Still love it. Plus, I wanted a second bass so I could Frankenstein the jag with some QPs and paint it fiesta red without not being able to play for a few weeks.

    In the meantime... I'll keep tinkering with it. I've been wanting to pick up one of those VT bass pedals soon, so maybe that will spice up the sound of this thing if all else fails.
  7. Wallace320

    Wallace320 Commercial User

    Mar 19, 2012
    Milan, Italy
    Just because I've been down that road before:
    Tech21 are among the most honest (and powerful, and satisfyin') analog pre you can find out there...

    Now: IMHO a Vtbass would better match your P/J Jaguar, to give it a meatier sound, whereas if you'd like to let you Srx come to shine,
    a much better option should be a SansAmp bassdriver D.I.

    The Vt bass "should" emulate the late '70s/early '80s Ampeg Svt valve/tube glory thus addin' more "belly" to your "pointy" Jaguar sound
    The SansAmp Bddi is still more a drive (remember the word "analog") than a distortion, but it's scooped like a VTbass isn't and has room
    for a wider gain range to manage an already so "equalized" a bass

  8. Crusher47

    Crusher47 Tattoo'ed Freak Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2014
    Fort Worth, TX
    Try using the normal passive input on the amp
  9. Maxdusty


    Mar 9, 2012
    Michigan USA
    I used to own an Ibanez SRX2EX2 and I also used to own the Squier VM Jag (with pj). I've since sold both but will say the output of the SRX2EX2 is considerably hotter than the Jag so definitely change the battery and raise the pickup and see if that will make a difference. Tone is nice and heavy on the deep but definitely not as crisp as the Musicman/Sterling Rays, I actually sold the Jag in part to buy a Sterling Sub Ray which had more of the sound I was looking for.
    Ibanez refers to the SRX series it's "muscle" series so it is supposed to be powerful.
  10. Plucky The Bassist

    Plucky The Bassist Bassist for Michael "Epic Mic" Rowe

    Jul 30, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Owned 3 of them and currently own an SRX3EX, so I'll impart some knowledge here...

    Yes, the pickups are RIDICULOUSLY loud and beefy, so you may need to move them closer. Another thing to look out for is if someone has decided to do some "shadetree" luthier work on the bass. The preamps can also go bad on them as well, when I got mine the treble knob didn't work at all, so I ended up asking Guitar Center and they sent me the replacement preamp from Ibanez for free, worked great!

    As far as tone goes, the best thing I ever did was swap out that preamp. I got a Bartolini NTMB3 preamp and installed it, though I will admit it was a pain and a half to get it in there since they do the circular layout for theirs and your knobs are in a straight line. I'd also look at Audere, which will be less expensive and FAR easier to install. If you don't like the tone, it's the preamp that is holding it back. Hopefully that and raising the pickups will wake the bass up some for you. They feel and play great! Absolutely love mine :bassist:
  11. spickermayne


    Jun 11, 2013
    Well, picked up the springs for the pickups today and raised them as close as it would get without the strings clipping (probably about a third of an inch each) and geez, it's night and day. The thing sounds much louder and snarly-- in a good way that is.

    Now that I know what knobs do what, I finally figured out the formula of finding good tones with this bass (like using bass boost to compensate for the lack of bottom when using mainly the bridge PU, vice versa with neck PU ect.) and now I'm really impressed with this thing. Not to mention, I thought the distortion I was getting was just from my amp not being able to handle the low-end of this bass when cranked, but a new battery seems to of helped that too.

    Probably will someday swap the preamp like you suggested Vanilla, and thanks for the clarification on the SansAmp vs. the VT Wallace. I already have a Digitech Bad Monkey that I use for light overdrive but I notice the SansAmp has a lot more possibilities.

    Edit: can't spell.