Ibanez pickups weak? i dont see it

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Oliver, Oct 24, 2003.

  1. Oliver


    Jun 21, 2003
    Perth, Australia
    I went to play a Soundgear 495 the other day
    and DAMM they are good! i compared them with fenders and yamahas and they were up there with them all even with the spectors. Sure every bass is different even the same model and make but many people say they are weak, sure they are different but not weak.

    I think i'll have to get that SR495
  2. I really detest Ibanez pups. The only Ibanezs I tried that I liked in the least were ones that had 3rd party electronics.
  3. I feel the same and I have recorded many bassist who play Ibanez.....they are challenging to get a good recorded tone out of!

  4. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    I liked them until I played better, then dropped EMG's in my Soundgear.
  5. Ibanez of recent times, e.g. Soundgear, have Cort Mighty Mite pickups. They are not a patch on older Japanese-made Ibanez, such as the old Roadstar and Musicians. I've had two Soundgears in the past, and hated them for their thin, lightweight sound compared to the older models. The problem is they sound OK in your bedroom, but get lost in a band mix.
  6. Airsick Pilot

    Airsick Pilot Cleopatra

    Jul 29, 2002
    Cockpit(throwing up)
    I've played a bunch of Ibanez basses in a store, although some of them do sound decent, their pickups are definitely one of the weakest-sounding out there. Try comparing that Ibanez with a Yamaha(for e.g) in the same price bracket and you'll notice the difference.
  7. I have to diagree, Mr Aviation. I was a music retailer until recently, and a dealer for both Ibanez and Yamaha. I personally find that modern Yamaha pickups fall into the same category as the Ibanez, they are not a patch on the older ones. Example: I had a Yamaha TRB5II a year ago, and struggled with trying to get it sounding good. Now I have an older TRB6P (the old neckthru model), and the pickups on that are so much better, I cannot understand why Yamaha has downgraded their pups.
  8. I have a Soundgear Extreme series bass which comes equipped with 2 Music Man style pickups and let me assure you it is far from weak. It kicks the crap out of my Yamaha, and destroyed the Geddy Lee sig I was trying out at the same time when I bought it.
  9. Airsick Pilot

    Airsick Pilot Cleopatra

    Jul 29, 2002
    Cockpit(throwing up)
    I gave that conclusion based on my experience. I spend so much time at the local music store here and their range of basses are pretty extensive. I frequent the store often, trying out as many basses as I could(I know the staff there) and most of the Ibanez basses I've played have weak pickups. That's my general observation. I played some that gave a good impression like the SRX500 and the BTB series. I'm just using Yamaha as an example, I've compared the Ibanez basses with basses from other manufacturers like Dean, Schecter and MTD just to name a few(models in the same price bracket).

    I have to add though that I've never played a Yamaha with poor pickups, they're generally better than the Ibanez IME.
  10. I guess it kinda depends on which Iba you lay your hands on.
    I really love the pu's on my '97 SR1000, the Active Full Range P/J setup. Lotsa output (oh yeah), very clear and flexible tone.
    I do wish I could try out some EMG's or something without having to buy them, to make a comparison.
    'Cause right now I think I'd keep the Iba pu's.
    Probably because they're slightly microphonic. I believe it's that, in combo with the very resonant mahogany body, which gives the sound that 'air' I miss on other basses. :)

    I also laid my hands on an SR505 for a while, and it had those active DMX (or something) pickups, those slightly-smaller-than-they-use-now soapbar pickups, and those stank so bad!
    NO output, NO midrange, NO definition. Terrible. It was definitely the worst bass I ever played. The B-string was really boomy, the E-string was kinda ok, and from the A-string up there was just... nothing. After an enormous amount of tweaking the sound was usable but very weak. Also the cheap body wood (if it was wood) didn't help either.
    So I say: stay awaaay from those Iba's with DMX (or whatever) soapbars...

  11. Metal Mitch

    Metal Mitch

    Jul 14, 2003
    I have a '97 SR800 with the same AFR P/J setup as EZ's SR1000 and have to echo everything he said about it except for the microphonics. Far from weak. The output is there, the mids are there, and it doesn't get lost in a band mix - especially a metal band where you need those mids to cut thru the downtuned guitars with no mids in the guitar sound.

    Recently tried a BTB400 and noticed the pups sound almost exactly the same, even though they're passive soapbars. Sure wish the BTB came with black hardware...

    For some reason, the Ibanez pups are the only pups that give me what I'm looking for in a metal finger-speed-pick attack sound. And I've tried Ric, EMG, Duncan, DiMarzio, and MEC. Call them "specialized" if you will, but they do have their uses.
  12. Oliver


    Jun 21, 2003
    Perth, Australia
    Last friday this dude played a GSR 100 at a gig, which is the cheapest model ibanez makes.
    The whole band was playing loud and you could hear the bass cut the through the guitars and drums like a knife through warm butter.
    Any bass that can do that should be well respected

    thats my 2 cents
  13. GOTTA love those mids!! :D
    I myself have still to find pu's that deliver the goods for ALL the strings as these do. The G string still has so much oomph... (I rate basses by their G string, if it doesn't cut it, I don't even have to try the rest. So far I've proven myself right...)
    Active -Full Range- indeed!

  14. pyrohr


    Aug 28, 2001
    Pakistani compound
    I owned an Ibanez SR400 for about 6 weeks. I tried to give it the benefit of the dout(sp) but the sound just lacked character. It just sounded bland to me, like something was missing. It did have a lot of range but nothing of use for me. I find the bass had no articulation. Traded it in for a new standard precision and some money back.
  15. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Of all the Ibanez's ive played (ive played every Soundgear, and most SRX's and BTBs) the Soundgears have a very thin sound. I really like the SRX700 and i had an opportunity to buy one for $350, but.. i didnt. The BTB's are probably the nicest of all the Ibanez basses.
  16. Metal Mitch

    Metal Mitch

    Jul 14, 2003
  17. Sonorous


    Oct 1, 2003
    Denton, TX
    i just got a sr505... considering its my first bass, i think its pretty good
  18. gyellow


    Dec 16, 2003
    I bought an SR400 and think it sounds great, except the p pickup is strong on the E string and weak on the rest. I'm thinking of changing the pickups to fix it but other than that it plays great, I played lots of other basses before buying this one and it played so good I didn't really worry about the pickups. They sound good together or with just the p, but not the j.
  19. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    They are the weak link, them Ibanez electronics. Which is a shame, because with nice(r) pickups, they're rather decent basses, despite the thrashing they seem to quite constantly get. If you spend say, $500 on the principal bass, and another $150/200 on new electronics, you'd be kickin for a long time at well under $1000. Go used, even better deal.

    If you find the right one (quality control and whatnot), and then drop in some pickups, you'd have a great mid level bass. Most people just don't want to do that or take the time.

    Sure, sure "I shouldn't HAVE to mod it to make it good," and all, but I personally think that the 5s play rather nicely, and if they sound bland, as opposed to bad, then they can indeed be salvaged, and deserve a better chance.

    ... 0_o That came off as a total fan-boy post. I don't even LIKE Ibanez that much. :meh:
  20. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    I have a SR300 with DX pus and electronics, and it sucks real hard: weak, thin tone, and the worst of it, the height is not adjustable: instead of having a couple of springs under the pu, there is a piece of FOAM!!! isnt this ridiculous?