1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

Ibanez SR400 - worth it?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by GregDunn, Apr 26, 2010.


  1. GregDunn

    GregDunn

    Jan 8, 2009
    I wandered into a local store a few days ago and spotted a used SR400 hanging on the wall. I'm not particularly in the market for a bass, but I do like the older SoundGears and thought I'd inspect this one. It's Korean, and from what I remember of the SN it was either 2003 or 2005. It's either black or dark grey, no damage or nicks, just a zillion light pick scratches which should polish out easily. I played it unplugged and it didn't seem to have any fret or neck issues; it felt really nice and I love the SR necks. A Google search indicates it's an active w/3-band EQ but there was no battery cover, just the huge routing cavity cover. The pups are P/J but soapbar-like, i.e. poles covered.

    I was tempted to just grab it at $179 but I have no experience with this model. Questions for the massed mind of TB: Is it any better, or worse, than a modern SR400? Are the pups great, awful, mediocre? I'm not fixated on getting it, but if it's comparable to the new ones I'd consider it a fair buy.
     
  2. i dont like the phat eq on the older models but ymmw
     
  3. GregDunn

    GregDunn

    Jan 8, 2009
    All opinions respected - just trying to get a feel for the relative quality of the instrument. :)
     
  4. DougD

    DougD Bassman7654

    Sep 19, 2002
    North Las Vegas NV
    I've got a 97 SR400 and it's a great bass. The quality of the bass is WAY above par. For $179 it's a ABSOLUTE STEAL! I say buy it:)
     
  5. flight120

    flight120

    Mar 10, 2008
    Denver, CO
    I've got a 2003 SR400 that gets used about 80% of the time (unless I need a fiver or acoustic) and I'm very happy with it. Good variety of sound between the pickups and the active eq (and yes, you pull the large cavity cover off to access the battery).

    The eq is pretty powerful. I almost never boost anything, just cut a little mid and treble. I've tried boosting stuff before and it can get pretty aggressive. I run flats on it, but liked it fine with some Daddario XLs that were on it before.

    I've tried out the newer SR400 in the store and didn't like the way it sounded nearly as much as mine. It was much thinner sounding with less difference between pickup settings.

    As always, YMMV. Hope this helps,

    Tommy
     
  6. Yes... it is worth it.

    I have personal aesthetic (don't like solid color basses) and ergodynamic (i like fatter P style necks) issues with them... but they SOUND great, and really that's the most IMPORTANT factor. Highly underrated bass.
     
  7. danomite64

    danomite64

    Nov 16, 2004
    Tampa, Florida
    The Phat EQ? I don't think those were ever used on a 400.
     
  8. DougD

    DougD Bassman7654

    Sep 19, 2002
    North Las Vegas NV
    I'd like to point out (at the risk of getting flamed) that my SR400 IMHO has better build quality than the 2 American made Fenders that i have owned (USA 5 FMT and 62 reissue) and the Japanese made MM 4. The pup and pre are not quite as good, but they can be swapped out and you would have a bass that is on par with just about anything made in the $1000-1500 price range. Ive kept the Ibanez and sold the Fenders (except for the 62 reissue) I would not say it's better than a USA custom shop, but it's as good or better than many off the rack models I have played and owned. YMMV/IMHO of course :)
     

  9. It MUST be something about those mid-90's Ibbys. I feel the same way about my '95 ATK300.
     
    Tom F likes this.
  10. +1
    My '98 was a great bass and was very versatile... 3 band EQ, blender and volume. But the neck was very thin.
     
  11. yeah maybe they were only on the gsr models and maybe the sr 300 models but i am not too sure because i dont know about the sr basses from that time
     
  12. hmm so imo besides the eq thing, i think sr basses are very good quality basses. the thin neck and light weight body and the general feel is pretty awesome and for the price you are getting one i think thats a steal!:D
     
  13. Bassist Jay

    Bassist Jay

    Dec 28, 2009
    Sterling, CO.
    Endorsed by K.B. Guitars, Nordstrand Audio Pickups, Von York Strings and Gallien-Krueger Amps.
    I have several Soundgear basses and that is a really good deal.
     
  14. Bass-Adrenaline

    Bass-Adrenaline

    Jan 23, 2010
    You really cant go wrong for that price as long as theres no problems with it.
     
  15. GregDunn

    GregDunn

    Jan 8, 2009
    I picked it up. Tuned and played it first of course; the pots were clean, and plugged into a Markbass amp it had a pretty good tonal range. Someone had obviously set it up before hanging it on the wall, because the action was almost perfect for me. Minuscule amounts of fret wear, nothing to impair the playing.

    I'll post a pic later tonight. The scratches on the front & back will certainly get polished out (I plan to disassemble it after making sure the bridge, truss rod and tuners are all A-OK mechanically) but this bass is playable right now, and I'm sure it will get used a lot once I've cleaned and re-strung it.
     
  16. danomite64

    danomite64

    Nov 16, 2004
    Tampa, Florida
    I've owned nine different SR800's over the years and found myself thinking that same thing over and over....finally, I realized they're just that way; the 800's a damn fine instrument. Once I'm done building my next Jazz, I'm going to try some pickup/preamp combinations that I think might improve the tone on my black '91 800.
     
  17. GregDunn

    GregDunn

    Jan 8, 2009
    Every Ibanez I've picked up has been pretty good immediately, except my GSR200; it took a couple of turns of the truss rod - I expect it was taken out of the box, played once and then put in a corner for a long time before I got it.

    Incidentally, I double-checked the SN and am very confused as to the age. The asst. manager agreed with me that it was likely to be a 2004 model, but the serial number is C418*** (yes, 7 characters). This doesn't make sense - it looks like an old, old Cort SN according to the Ibanez web sites and collector forums. Yes, I've visited 3-4 of the best known ones and can't find anything that makes this look like a 20** date. Anyone want to take a hack at decoding it?
     
  18. danomite64

    danomite64

    Nov 16, 2004
    Tampa, Florida
    Sounds like it's an early 1994 model. My '94 ATK has a C + 6 digits; the serial number sites all say C + 8 digits, with a few early ones being C + 7, but they clearly don't know everything. The first 4 digits are YMM on the early ones, so it stands to reason that thy may have opted for YM on the earliest ones.
     
  19. GregDunn

    GregDunn

    Jan 8, 2009
    Here's a pic of the whole bass (black = black!) and the headstock. I've pixilated part of the SN but you can see the relevant part...

    It hasn't been cleaned, tuned, restrung or anything ATM; this is just as it came out of the store.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  20. darryljr23

    darryljr23

    Mar 7, 2010
    I have a sr406 c+8 digits. Not sure of when it was built as I bought it used. It does have very decent tone with the active eq. Action is good no issues with the neck. I picked it up for around two bills a couple of years ago.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.