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Ibanez SR885 Good Deal?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Cgar, Feb 22, 2015.

  1. Cgar


    Feb 22, 2015
    I want to start by saying this is my first post. I've been floating around the forum for some time now and want to say you guys have a wonderful community going on here.

    Now on to my question. I have the opportunity to buy a black 1990 Ibanez SR885 with the jazz style Ibanez regulated lo-z pickups and the two band eq. Four knobs (volume, balance, treble, bass). The problem is it's not currently working and will need some electrical work to get back in running order. When plugged the output level is nothing unless both eq knobs are all the way up with the volume and even the the level is so low that maxing out an amp with it plugged in yields more accoustic noise from the guitar than the amp produces. I tried replacing the battery in it with a fresh one but no luck. The owner also took the bass to a local guitar shop were he received a quote for $150 to fix it(not sure what all that entails). My question is if this would be worth my time if I could pick it up cheap and try to fix it up. I love the way the thing looks and plays but I'm having a hard time finding what they are worth. And even if the electronics are no good I figure I could throw some good passive J-pups in with either a passive 2 volume 2 tone setup or an aguilar pre-amp. Besides the electrical issues the bass is in amazing shape with only a very small indentation on the back of the body. I mentioned to the guy that I would be interested in the $100-$200 range but would do more research before giving him a final offer. What do you guys think this bass is worth on its current condition? And also for those of you that have played these basses, should I spend the time to get the stock electronics working or should I just go the aftermarket route straight away. Thanks for the help guys, I really appreciate it.

    P.S. I hope I have followed all of the rules and things but would be glad to alter my post if I didn't. It's my first post on a forum.
  2. vmabus


    Nov 1, 2013
    I'd pay $100 and gut it, if the neck is good.
  3. Cgar


    Feb 22, 2015
    Thanks for the input. Neck is straight and the guitar really is in phenomenal shape. He is the type of guy that owns one of every type of instrument just to try them, so it has had very few hours of play and mostly lived in its case its whole life. I'll try to post some pictures up if I end up buying it. Thanks again.
  4. 100, maybe 150
  5. Cgar


    Feb 22, 2015
    Ok I'll offer him $100 and see what he says. I'm thinking about putting some barts in it wired up passively with a blend, master volume, and passive tone and bass cut knobs. Might restring it EADGC as well depending on what I think of the low B string (I come from a four string). When playing at my church during quiet parts I think it could be cool to do some chord stuff with the bass cut and a high C. Then turn the bass cut back up and drop back into the bass line when the song picks back up.
  6. Cgar


    Feb 22, 2015
    Ok so I have one more question. I've got all my information together for how to setup my controlls, but I'm a little confused on my pickup choice. I will need two J style pups. I measured the slanted neck pup at 3&11/16 by 11/16 inches and the bridge pickup at 3&3/4 by 11/16. From what I am reading it seems as though many pup choices are designed for a fender jazz 5 which has longer pups I assume to accommodate for a wider string spacing. Do any of you guys know of any 5 string pups that will fit the hole in this bass? Or any recommendations as to what to do with it? Sorry for all the questions. Thanks guys.
  7. eastcoasteddie


    Mar 24, 2006
    They sound like they are the same size as 4-string jazz pickups, which is not unusual. Back in 1990, there weren't too many 5-string pickups available or even popular

    This was 1990....yeah baby!
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2015
  8. Cgar


    Feb 22, 2015
    Hey I just thought I'd give an update here. Mutt friend sold me the guitar for $100. Cane with a case and a battery lol, the rest of the stuff there is mine. I'm pretty excited to get this thing working too.

    Playing around with it I found out that both pickups work (they are active), the blend and volume knobs are working, but the tone controls are not. One knob acts like another volume and the other does nothing. I've ordered a new IC for the pre that I am going to install in hopes of fixing it. If that doesn't work I may snoop around for a bad cap or resistor (lets hope it's just the IC haha), and if I can't fix it I think the bass will make a great platform for new electronics. It looks great, plays great, and is in wonderful shape. I'm quite happy with the purchase so far.

    Attached Files:

    vmabus likes this.
  9. Nice! I owned an SR885LE for 20 years. That bass looks great.
  10. vmabus


    Nov 1, 2013
    You paid for the case. The rest was free!
  11. Thundar

    Thundar Living in sin at the Holiday Inn

    Yeah you stole that one! I had two of those and sold them last year for much more than that.
  12. Maxdusty


    Mar 9, 2012
    Michigan USA
    Excellent basses- as you know, it was MIJ and one of their top of the line Ibanez basses during that era.
    Yours is in great shape - nice! If you can't fix the electronics, it would still be the perfect platform to mod given the price you paid for it.
    The quality of the bass is exceptional, also the neck is graphite reinforced on these, so it's a pretty stable neck.
    Good buy.
  13. Cgar


    Feb 22, 2015
    Well I couldn't fix the preamp. Now a have a bit of a choice to make. The pickups work and I like the sound of them so I'm thinking of either buying an aguilar pre for it or buying emg Hz j pickups and wiring those up passively. I can't wire up the stock pickups passively because they have a pretty low output that doesn't work well with pedals, amp heads, or di boxes because you have to add so much gain. What do you guys think of my options? Or feel free to throw another option in if you have anything better in mind. This is the first bass I have modded so I'm only going off research here.

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