Ibanez gsr200 final mod

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by marcopalla, Sep 1, 2005.

  1. marcopalla


    Aug 31, 2005
    HI ,
    I will appreciate a lot if you help me and all gsr200 owners to do the best possible mod on this good cheap model (http://www.ibanez.com/guitars/guitar.asp?model=GSR200).
    I know it depends on wich sound you are looking for, I can say that I'd like a warm sound, mid rich, bass rich.
    I'd prefer inprove it rather than buy another one because I've played it for a long period so I know it very well and I'm not rich :meh: .

    1. NUT
    the original is an orrible plastic one, i think is compulsory to change it with a bone one. Any particular suggestion or cunning? I thik is necessary a prefessionist for this work

    2. PICKUP
    some stuff I like, let's talk about:
    - EMG p/j set or
    - EMG 35 TW or
    - x2 EMG J

    Off course I like EMG sound but are expensive, what do U think about??
    a second question, GSR has a battery 9V. but is passive, I think is possible to put this active pickup?

    3. BRIDGE
    - Schaller or
    - Leo Quan or
    - Rickenbaker
    I have never played this stuff so, I'm writing what I've heard around

    4. STRINGS
    - Fender 045 = 065 = 085 = 105
    - warwick 040 = 060 = 080 = 100
    - 50 = 70 = 95 = 115
    I don't like the original gsr200 cords, and in particular the G strings sounds like metallica guitar :scowl: Maybe a bigger one could sound warmer?? Or It depends by the pickups??

    thanx a lot, I hope this will become the gsr200 final modding source
  2. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Of all those mods you listed, the only ones I would even consider is the strings and pickups. It's not compulsory for a professional to have a bone nut. My Jazz bass has a plastic nut and it's fine. And the bridge looks fine. I think the biggest waste of money you can put into modding a bass is the bridge. They do nothing. I know people will argue with me about this, but a new bridge does absolutely nothing to improve tone and if someone disagrees with me, they need to offer up some proof because I've never heard it.

    I also wouldn't sink $150 into pickups for that bass. I could be talked into getting a used set of EMG's, but probably I'd just get a Fender 62 reissue P-J set. And the only reason I'd change them is if they were noisy or had extremely low output.

    As for strings, you're on your own. Thicker strings do usually sound better, though.

    Sorry I couldn't be more help, but I'm an anti-modder. I think the vast majority of mods are done by people who have no clue why they want to mod their bass, or they think they can buy a cheap bass and mod it into sounding like an expensive one, and it ain't gonna happen.
  3. It has a 9v battery because of the active EQ, im not sure if 9V would be enough, however, its easy enough to add another battery in series

    Alot of the sound has to do with the construction of the bass itself, so sticking high end pickups and such in a cheap bass, as JimmyM said, will not make it sound like a high end bass, if it did we'd all do it :)
  4. Totally agreed. Lack of modding experience aside, I'd have said a good body and neck are the most important parts of a given electric instrument - the rest is easily replaceable but if you're starting from a poor foundation, your options are limited.

    I've got a GSR205 here and in comparison to my #1 bass (Stingray) it sounds pretty poor, especially comparing worn strings - a good set of strings on the 205 disguise things quite well, but even worn strings sound passable on the MM. I'd swap the GSR's pickups and maybe the electronics, but I'd rather just upgrade the whole thing.

    Having said that, I'm considering swapping the pickup on the MusicMan for maybe a Seymour Duncan, but I'm not expecting miracles out of a pickup upgrade. Maybe reduced noise, possibly some extra 'phat', but that's about it.

    Then again, the whole guitar makes the sound, and you could change it with upgrades. For the cost and risk though I'd rather trade it in and get something upscale...

  5. If your bass has a battery it's got an active pickup - not an active preamp but an active pickup.

    And go ahead and put whatever bridge on there you choose. All of the ones you've listed are fine but the Rickenbacher won't be cheap or easily available. And contrary to other's experience I've noticed a difference in every application where a high mass bridge has been used in place of a bent tin low mass bridge. No need for proof - you believe it, so go for it.
  6. marcopalla


    Aug 31, 2005
    Thanx to all, I've learned a lot from your posts.
    The reason I'd like to get the best from GSR200 is that now is my second bass, I'm very fond of it, and sometimes I like to play it to get a diffrent sound.
    In my opinion GSR200 as some major difects: strings buzz a little (I thought it dipends by plastic nut but...), pikups are very noisy, the sound is not worm expecially for the high notes (I think is poor of low mid and bass. The situation change a little if I plug to a marshall and I joke with levels, but unfortunatly it happens rarely).
  7. nah, fret buzz is generally a bad action, which can be cured a couple of ways:

    1: take your bass to a good guitar shop and ask them to set it up for you. A good shop will adjust the truss rod and bridge height. A very good shop will do the above plus check out the nut. Buzz is generally a neck thing. I do my own setups, and mostly buzz is a mix of bridge height and truss-tension, with the occasional high fret thrown in for good measure. sometimes it's a bad neck.
    2: do the neck and bridge yourself. not recommended unless you're supremely confident that you know what you're doing. my first couple of adjustments (as a roadie) were hair-raising at best. I think after about 7 years I'm now half-competent, but I don't charge for a setup.

    could be an excessively low nut, but more likely its the action furhter down - depends on the type of buzz. nut buzz is easily cured - with good string trees or a nut makeover.
  8. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    A nut won't matter matter that much. If the current one is fitted correctly and undamaged. There is absolutely no point in changing it.

    Pickups are a huge part of the sound. I personally like EMG pickups a great deal. I only suggest that you do no harm with the install and save the old ones. If you ever decide to get rid of the bass, you'll be better off to put the old PU back in, even with a $500 set of handwound PUs, it's still a $100 used bass.

    I agree with Hambone that a high quality bridge helps. I just disagree as to why. :) But again, try to find one that retrofits, so you can take it off and replace the old one if you decide to part with the bass.

    Changing strings wouldn't really make the list of "Mods." It's more like routine maintenance. But, all strings sound different, so it will change the way the bass sounds.

    Since the reality is that we all do what we want to do and any advise solicited is really just a conduit for general discussion, let me add that you should just cover your bases and try to do as little as possible that can not be undone. IME, slapping a bunch of quality aftermarket parts on a cheap bass is throwing good money after bad, but it's your money. So, if you can take them all off and save them for a rainy day, then at least you'll get more for your $$$? I have a friend who has a SD humbucker that has lived in at least four different guitars.

    Although, I really see no real value in trying to upgrade a cheap bass. It kind of reminds me of the guy who thinks his Civic is a Porsche just because it's got a whale tail and a fart can tailpipe.
  9. Hey Charles, how could you agree with this for a different reason?...


    NOTE: No one should get the idea that this is a bait or a flame post. I respect Charles and his work more than any of you know. He's been a member here for quite awhile and his advice has always been topnotch in my book. He is a golden asset to this community and we are lucky to have him around. Anyone would do well to heed his words.
  10. strings: i recomend ernie bal power slinkies. a heavy .115 cable sitting on your bass won't be that playable, but a .110 will be pretty good for low tuning. a .55 g will sound pretty thick compared to most G strings
  11. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA

    That's it, 'bone!!! I'm callin' you out. This forum ain't big enough for the both of us. 40 paces at high noon!!! :p :oops: :)

    But, to answer:

    The more familiar I become with basses, the less I believe that the mass of a bridge has anything to do with it. If I have lumped you into the proponents of mass, then I apologize and will allow you to draw first. :help:

    Perhaps you have read at least one of my deflection rants for folks who whine about a floppy B. If not, the latest (and shortest) is here:


    I think the only thing that really matters is stiffness. I guess it is somewhat obvious more mass would make for more stiffness, but I would argue that a highly rigid, yet low mass, material (think titanium or some kind of ceramic composite) would work at least as well as steel, brass or anything else being used out there if the bridge itself was properly designed.

    Over in TBDB, general consensus is that mass is a resonance killer. The quest for lighter tailpieces, tailguts, etc is a real one. However, how that applies in slabtown is unclear to me. So, I throw that out there simply for discussion.

    If you consider the Leo Quan BA II, IMO, the beauty of that piece in the design, not the material. Of course, the thicker base plate adds mass, but more importantly it adds stiffness.

    Although, the real kicker is in the surface area of the plate. When coupled to the face of the body, the larger, flat surface makes it far more difficult to deflect.

    If you look at a stock Fender bridge, the smaller surface area and the obviously more flexible metal, make it easier for the bridge to flex forward. Of course, the fabrication method of bending the plate on a radius so as to create a pre-disposed area of weakness doesn't help either.

    You could confirm this by slipping a feeler gage under the back edge of a stock Fender plate bridge both with and without string tension. You'll note differences I am certain.

    But, IME, if you take a bass with the same design of Fender bridge of the same mass, but can be strung through body, you get a behavior and response a whole lot more like a Leo Quan modified bass, yet no mass has been added.

    What you have done is remove the bridge from the deflection equation altogether as it is the body itself that is the anchor.