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Could this beginner bass benefit from a proper set-up and modification???

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by suitlandkid2005, Mar 16, 2009.

  1. suitlandkid2005


    Sep 23, 2008
    I have this Ibanez IJSB90 Electric Bass that came with my starter bass pack:

    Now, I have been playing with it about a year since that is when I started playing bass. Now, I have been looking at new basses and have my heart set on the Ibanez ATK bass; but I am now thinking should I save my money for now and just get my current bass properly set up and possibly modified. I was going to take it to this luthier who does mods and set-ups and everything. I read on here how some people don't like the sound of their current and bass and run and get a new one when all they need is a proper set-up with their bass. So what do you guys think? Do you think I could have a great sounding bass with a set-up even though it is a starter bass? I was also wondering is it possible to aid some active pick ups or some different picks up in general. Like I said, I would love an ATK but I unfortunately missed out on that $300 clearance special at guitar center and musician's friend. So what do you guys think, is it worth it to get my beginner bass set-up and maybe a new pick up and/or bridge?(I was actually thinking about putting a tremolo on it) Or save $500 for a new ATK or search like hell for a reasonably priced one on EBAY?(which I have had no luck) Any info anyone could give me would be greatly appreciated?

    By the way, I am from the Washington D.C. area and I was going to go to this guy. Check out his site:

    or I could go here:

    But I think morgan henry has a lot more going on....
  2. Jo6Pak


    May 2, 2007
    If it were ME, I'd save for a new one. Its called a 'beginner' bass for a reason.
  3. mothmonsterman


    Feb 8, 2006
    Get a new one.
    get a setup on the cirrent one? yes, setups run about 15$ and it will make the bass feel not sound better imo.
    new pickups will run about 100$ and not make much of a difference in that bass, especially if your running through the starter amp.

    run up to all the music stores in the area and try everything out.
    chances are you'll find something and say "holy crap! so this is what I've been missing."
  4. 60bass

    60bass Supporting Member

    Apr 24, 2005
    Charlotte, NC

    Save your money for a better bass down the road. Check Craigslist for an ATK. You might also try gbase and music go round too. I've seen ATK's on there as well.

    Don't dump money into your beginner bass. You won't be able to recoup that extra money down the road. If you were thinking about a P style bass, you could upgrade the Ibanez bass you have now and move the better bridge and PU's over to the P style bass as soon as you got it. If you have to toss in 50 bucks for a decent setup and it gets the bass playing good, then all the better, but I wouldn't put any more than that in an entry level bass. Maybe a decent setup will keep you satisified till you get the new bass.

    The ATK is another bass entirely. Every part is specific to that model so there's really very little in the way of mods you can do to one of those. I've owned them and they are really nice just the way they are.

    Keep Low :bassist:
  5. If cash-strapped, I'd go for a basic setup on the current bass. Save the mod $$ & put that towards the ATK.
  6. Suit-
    There's no reason you can't do a very good setup for a beginner bass on your own. There's tons of information on talkbass and you only need a few simple tools. Save your money and do it yourself. The sooner you get started, the more $$ you'll save. Spend you money on new equipment.
  7. Every bass will benefit from a proper setup. It won't improve the tone, but it will improve the playability and intonation. I agree with the others that it's probably not worth investing a lot of money into mods on that bass, but you'll be amazed at what a good setup will do for the feel. Greg at metro guitar does good work by the way, I've used his services a couple of times.
  8. jmattis

    jmattis Supporting Member

    Jul 6, 2007
    Washington DC
    Exactly what I was going to say. And check out Atomic Music in Beltsville and Rockville for used basses. They have a ton of basses and are constantly getting new ones in.
  9. Doing a setup WILL improve the playability. Those who tell you to dump that bass are being snobs. There's nothing wrong with a "beginner" bass...although over time, you may outgrow it. Get it set up first, then worry about swapping parts. Chances are that after you've gained some facility with the instrument, you'll want to try some others.
  10. depalm


    Apr 22, 2004
    São Paulo
    +1 on set up the bass properly.

    It doesn't matter if it's a cheap instrument, a good set up will not cost too much, you can still save for a better bass and it will improve your playing skills.

    I wouldn't recommend replace pickups or things like that, just put some new strings, go to a repair shop and ask for a good basic set up (string action, neck relief, intonation and check if the nut is too high).

    Every instrument must be properly set up!

  11. ANY instrument can benefit from a good setup, but there's only so much a beginner bass can do. Personally I'd get the ATK.
  12. suitlandkid2005


    Sep 23, 2008
    Hey everybody,
    I just want to say thanks for all the replies and just to let you all know....I'm getting the ATK!!!!!!!! I found a used 90's one for a decent price and I am just waiting for it right now. I can't wait. I still think I will get a set-up for my beginner bass though. Something I can just fool around with. I don't want to just totally neglect it. I mean it has helped me this far.
  13. Good stuff, Suit!

    I'd still set up the current bass. Having a backup is never a bad idea.

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