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Is my Ibanez bass any good?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Piplodocus, Jun 29, 2012.

  1. Hello!

    I bought an Ibanez Soundgear SR840 off a mate a while back. After a pickup died I fitted some Nordstrands in it (Big Splits??? can't remember the model).

    I have no idea what it originally cost (my mate bought it 2nd hand too), or have much info on it (took me a while to even work out the model). I was just wondering if anyone has any idea what it's worth/how good it is and is it worth spending any money on. i.e. should I consider changing the preamp to something like an Audere or maybe Nordstrand one? Is the higher the number the better the model (i.e. an SR840 is better than a SR7xx, or SR500, or does it not work like that)?

    I'm not in the market for a new bass, but if spending £120 on a preamp will make it sound a lot nicer, especially since I already changed the pickups in it, then it seems like a good idea, but if it really isn't worth it for the quality of bass then I don't want to try "polishing a turd" as it were.

    The only details I know are these... http://www.ibanezregister.com/Gallery/basses/sr/gal-sr840.htm

    So it has an Accu-cast B20 bridge, and a "1V 1B VARIMID 3LC 3 BAND EQ". Even if you know nothing about this model, if you can make suggestions to how good you think it might be, and whether that factory fitted preamp is any good or not, or whether the thing would definitely sound a lot better regardless if I changed the preamp then all suggestions/tips are welcome.


    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    The more important question is "is this bass good for you". If it feels good, and sounds good, then it is a good bass. I personally am not a huge fan of the Ibanez active electronics. There are several companies making great preamps out there(Bartolini, Aguilar, Sadowsky, etc). It can make a substantial improvement.
  3. fuzzychaos

    fuzzychaos Supporting Member

    Mar 17, 2008

    Also, be careful asking these questions, it leads to G.A.S attacks...:bassist:
  4. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    If it's playable and you can learn & grow with it, keep using it. You'll find your sound. Either with the Ibanez or some other model.

    Play it as long as it makes sense to you to do so.
  5. Well it seems to play alright! I'm really one of those silly guitarist people, not a "real bassist" though so I'm not exactly an expert. I try to play bass with my fingers which is a bit of a hinderance, as I prefer that style of bass playing.

    So this question is mostly in terms of sound quality as I use it for recording my solo project stuff. I know from experience 2 guitars with the same pickup in don't neccesarily sound the same, and a lot better a guitar can sing with the same pickup as one that sounds a bit muddy. So it's really a question of can I make this bass sound better/clearer on my recordings by spending a few quid on it, or will it not make much difference.

    If so, what shortlist of preamps should I look at?

    Does changing the bridge make much difference? Or is that really going too far?

    My main guitar and amp rig's worth about £8k so I'm a bit of a "tone connosseiur" I guess from that point of view, and always looking to get the clearest, most beautiful tone (so I've suffered with G.A.S. plenty already). I can't justify spending the same amount of money on my bass stuff, but if I can maximise the sound I get from it then I'm willing to spend a bit.
  6. CnB77


    Jan 7, 2011
    Looks like an MIJ, so it's very likely a very good quality bass. As longas you enjoy playing it, there's no reason not to change the electronics. Like others said, the ibanez pre isn't for everyone. If you're worried that you won't like the results, you can try buying a used preamp in the classifieds here, and if you don't like it you can sell it again and probably get what you paid
  7. msb


    Jul 3, 2002
    Halifax,N,S. Canada
    It's the singer , not the song
  8. MIJ?
  9. If you're no good, but play something very simple through great equipment you'll still sound nice though! ;)

    I can always get my pick out if I really sound that bad/ loose! Or alternatively spend 3 evenings re-recording the same song's bassline cuz it's just not quite tight enough to be super-funky! At least it's good practice, even though it fills my hard disk up!
  10. Ah, "Made In Japan"!

    Google does wonders if you use it! :)
  11. godofthunder59

    godofthunder59 God of Thunder and Rock and Roll Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2006
    Rochester NY USA
    Endorsing Cataldo Basses, Whirlwind products, Thunderbucker pickups
    MIJ= made in Japan. MIJ Ibanez basses are very nice quality, this bass can do just about what ever you want it to. Maybe not as sexy as a vintage Rickenbacker, Gibson or Fender but it will more than get the job done.
  12. Ok, cheers guys!

    Think I might go and make a "what preamps?" thread in the electronics bit of the forum then! Unless you want to suggest some models/brand here? I've got 4 holes for pots (currently a Volume, Blend, and stacked Mid/Sweep and Bass/Treble) if that makes much difference! Wouldn't mind a passive switch so I can run it into vintage style fuzzes that need a higher impedance output too (my Z-Vex Fuzz probe).

    Is changing bridges a popular way to improve bass sounds too, or is that a bit more of a wild idea that doesn't get done very often? I assume the preamp's gonna make the biggest difference though?
  13. iriegnome

    iriegnome Bassstar style Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2001
    Kenosha, WI 53140
    No... It is junk and you should put it up for sale now.. Please PM me and I will relieve your suffering :D...
    The thing for any of us is if it is good for you. Do you like it? Do you like the tone? Feel? Vibe? Weight? Color? Aura?? What ever it may be, if you don't like it than I would say it is no good. If you like it, the it is good. There are plenty of us with what are considered lesser expensive or cheap basses that would not give them up for the most expensive bass out there. We like what we like. Don't worry about what others think.
  14. Matthijs


    Jul 3, 2006
    If you are mainly searching for extra clarity I don't think a different pre will make an enourmous difference. There are pre's that will sound different, maybe even more beautifull or with lower noise, but I doubt they will be lot's clearer. As you are guitarist (and still seem to think a pick is better than using your fingers :p) maybe you haven't looked enough at the strings you are using?

    I do think changing the pre in that Ibanez can be worth your while. I don't think it will radically change your tone towards clarity.
  15. Tone? Well yeah, this is the whole crux of the question... I like it ish, but its tone is a bit woolly. Hence why I was hoping new electronics will improve the clarity.

    Feel? Weight? Everything is heavy or awkward compared to the Parker Fly guitar I'm used to playing, and I'm not really used to playing basses, but seems pretty good compared to others I've messed about on. Seems quite a thin neck for a bass.

    Colour/Aura? It's see-through red so colour is good. Nice aura! :)
  16. Matthijs


    Jul 3, 2006
    Does the Ibanez have a passive mode and is the wooliness still there when you play passive? Can you hear that same wooliness in the acoustic/unplugged sound of the bass?
  17. Nope, no passive mode (so I can't currently use my fuzz with it). Sounds quite nice unplugged.

    I figured with a nicer preamp I can possibly EQ it clearer as it does tinny and not-very-nice as well as woolly if I fiddle with the knobs! I seem to have never found quite the right sweet spot on the current EQ. So maybe the bass itself as you can't EQ in something that's just not there, but maybe I just done like the "tone" of the preamp and its EQ, and changing that will bring out the best of it. It doesn't sound inherently "bad" overall, it just sounds like it could sound better/clearer. If you hear a really nice fender or music man played it seems to have just a clearer sound. It's mahogany so I guess it should sound quite dark overall, I just figured "crisper"and richer and still dark.
  18. I have you tried different strings?
  19. Matthijs


    Jul 3, 2006
    A good pre might make a difference, but is difficult to tell what would fit your personal taste. From your reference to a really nice fender I'd think a Sadowsky pre might fit.

    Mahogany should not cause a darker sound per sé. What you might be looking for is that sound you can get from thick maple necks like in a music man or fender p. I can imagine that Ibanez being different in that aspect.

    What type of strings are you using? Maybe you should try something different like a lighter gauge or changing from stainless to nickel or vice versa. I once had a fretless Ibanez that did not like heavy strings on the bass side and thrived on a medium/light set (light for e and a) of nickels. Also if you're not that experienced as a bass player you probably need a really good en light setup and play very light to get a decent sound.
  20. iriegnome

    iriegnome Bassstar style Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2001
    Kenosha, WI 53140
    It seems to me your bass isn't for you. As for weight, that is something your going to have to get used to. Basses are heavy compared to guitars. End of story on that one. Sure you will find lighterish basses, but they are still going to be heavier than your Fly. You don't seem all together happy with the bass period, so you might want to stroll into any music store and play a bunch of basses. The scale is going to be difficult to adjust to as well. Basses (in general) are 34" scals and your parker is probably around 25" or so. Big difference there, so a short scale might work good. Also, color does matter (IMHO). If I don't like the color of a bass, I would not buy it. Tone.. Sure you can spend a bunch of money changing pups and the bridge, nut and tuners, then you have an expensive $200 bass. Not much more. Buy a bass you like the feel and tone the rest is just picking out asthetics and price. Shop and play as many basses as you can

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