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Making an Ibanez sound ......"better"....

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by russpurdy, Apr 11, 2015.

  1. russpurdy


    Apr 16, 2013
    yes, yes "better" is a totally subjective can of worms.....

    So I was playing a few Ibanez SR models yesterday and noticed that they were all incredibly comfortable to play and had fantastic, super low action. I liked the neck and the very raw feeling wood as well. What I did not like was the sounds that they were putting out. I played a mid level model with bartolini's and a few premium models with Nordstrands and they all had a similar sound profile to my ears. I'm used to passive basses so I guess that's part of it but none of the ibanez basses could get either a nice warm tone or a proper burpy bridge sound. Treble also seemed uncontrollably zingy at higher levels.

    So my question is, have any of you figured out a way to get a warmer more traditional sound out of a slick feeling Ibanez?
    angrydad likes this.
  2. garp


    Feb 7, 2009
    Connecticut USA
    What sort of amplification were you playing through? Not that amp EQ can solve all tonal woes, but it can often help.
  3. Dan Bass

    Dan Bass Banned

    May 26, 2014
    Virginia Beach.
    I got an SR600 older model, all gloss black, has 3-piece maple neck, solid ash body, Gotoh tuning keys, Accu cast B-4 bridge, 34" scale, 24 fret rosewood fretboard. It came with passive P-J pickups, no name pickups. And I gutted out the pickups and passive knobs and put in 2 Carvin HB4 MUSIC MAN DOUBLE HUMBUCKERS with the ACTIVE/PASSIVE 18v 505S 3-band EQ ICON preamp.Now that SR600 is thick,fat,warm and punchy sounding, a whole hell of a lot better than it was. Of course you have to have a pretty good amp and cab also..
    Sharknose79 likes this.
  4. gpx1200


    Apr 24, 2013
    spencer mass
    I know exactly what your talking about, I love my sr1800 but their is just I tiny bit of something missing sometimes that the bass just can't produce, I suspect the very thin neck has something to do with it because it seems to be less apparent on the 5 string sr's., the stock elixr strings they come with might also be a part of it, mine sounded a lot better once I get a set of high beems on it
    if you like the styling of the sr's and not the sound try a spector ns or euro model the styling is similar and the sound is kickass
  5. thabassmon


    Sep 26, 2013
    New Zealand
    I use a late '90s soundgear and I get can get a warm sound out of it.
    I use the eq on full, blend in the middle position and some older strings.
    But more importantly it's a really responsive instrument where you play on the string and how hard you play change the tone dramatically.
    Spend some time with it acoustically trying to get the fattest tone that you can get out of it, it will translate to a fatter tone plugged in.
    Mine can go from old school to modern slap to clear chords to dub just through touch. No knob twiddling required.
    Bass V likes this.
  6. placedesjardins


    May 7, 2012
    Well, you can try to find an Ibanez SRX300 (or whatever SRX). It has two humbucker pickups and an SR neck. I didn't like the weight of it as it was heavy, or at least I felt it was heavy. But, the pickups, in my opinion, allow you to dial in a beefy tone. Or look for an ATK bass.
  7. gabrielvv7


    Mar 10, 2013
    a good bit of the sound "issue," if you will, is the preamps used by ibanez on their basses, IMO. i recently put in a Tone Monster, 3 band, active/passive (a very nice preamp for $50, and, at the very least, an improvement), in my sr375, and my bass came to life. i like the stock pickups (they're ceramic magnets, and they have been improved in a few ways in the past few years), so i kept them. oh yeah, and i feel a whole lot better when gigging since i don't have to ever again worry about ending up with a dead slab of wood in the middle of a song!
    toberoo likes this.
  8. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol

    You're used to passive. Pickups are pretty good, just rip off the preamp, install a couple volumes with a tone and you're done.
    xrockstrongox likes this.
  9. Nobody

    Nobody Banned

    Jul 14, 2004
  10. gpx1200


    Apr 24, 2013
    spencer mass
    I put an aguliar pre in my sr500 and saw a decent inprovment then I routed it for emg hz's witch wer a little fatter but id like to try some better active emg's or some nordstrand dual coils at some point but I don't see myself keeping it much longer so I don't think ill be investing the cash to satisfy my curiosity
  11. Mike M.

    Mike M.

    Feb 14, 2010
    I tried one of the 6 string models today....the SR756. I liked it a lot! Thinking about getting it, posted about it but so far no one has answered.

    Anyway, I know it's all subjective, but I have an SR505 and have always gotten compliments on how good it sounds. Folks have always said it's "fat, rich, full and clear." Cool! For the rare live gigs I use a GK MB115 and for church I use a Zoom B3. Setting on either as well as on the bass itself can make or break it. I'll admit that I have to be careful with the treble setting because yes, it can get very "zingy" as you said so I generally keep it no more that 1/4 of the way up....if that!
  12. Dan Bass

    Dan Bass Banned

    May 26, 2014
    Virginia Beach.
  13. Trayster2


    Aug 13, 2012
    Palm Coast, FL
    Yes. I bought an older model SR400 and had DiMarzio P/J's put in, and strung it with Chromes. Sounds just like a p bass.
    vmabus, ReneB and oaklandthumb like this.
  14. oaklandthumb


    Nov 12, 2014
    Kansas USA
    Ibanez basses feel amazing, but not even adam nitti can hide the fact that they are a bit bland. I would EQ the amp or try an aggressive pedal like VT bass or darkglass to extend your EQ ceiling.
  15. gpx1200


    Apr 24, 2013
    spencer mass
    im still flifloping between selling it or defretting it and putting an epoxy coating on the neck, if I do the defret I might try the dc's but I like the twx's that I have in my spector to, the coil splitting is a nice option to have.
  16. strictlybass_ic

    strictlybass_ic Mediocrity is a journey

    Jan 9, 2014
    Northern Indiana
    Flatwound strings, cut treble and/or mids to taste.
  17. ReneB


    Dec 6, 2014
    Ithaca, NY
    I did the same as Trayster2, I put in a set of DiMarzios p/j and found that it a great improvement in the sounds I got from my 2002 SR400. When I string with La Bella Deep Talkin' flats it's a very thick sound (my favorite), and for rounds I like Rotosound Swing Bass the best so far of what I've tried. I hardly ever use the tone controls on my bass, but then I'm just a beginner. I've been trying to focus on learning how to get different sounds with my fingers first.
    vmabus likes this.
  18. Buzz E

    Buzz E Supporting Member

    Sep 25, 2014
    San Francisco, CA
    Sadowsky Black Label Flats and a VT Bass...a GK amp helps even more.
  19. Maxdusty


    Mar 9, 2012
    Michigan USA
    Part of the problem is only a few brick and mortar stores carry the new Ibanez basses- I know my local GC has none of them.
    They don't have the SR650, SR750, any of the Talman basses, TMB100 and TMB300. I also wanted to know more and get my hands on the SR750.
    Very little info here and elsewhere on the net in terms of reviews. Other than that videos posted by Nobody above, hard to find any review videos.

    There was a thread about the Talman basses but only a few people actually bought one as of yet, some have returned them due to quality issues (whether through shipping damage or from the factory). A few people love the Talman basses - I finally got to try one at another store and actually loved it.
    It's inexpensive and would fit my needs for a beater bass - prices are $199 for TMB100, $299 for the TMB300. Differences in the bridge pickup and also the neck inlays and binding.
    I happened to find a "scratch and dent" special on Musicians' Friend for the TMB100 - $127. I ordered it and it just got shipped out today. Curious about it.
    What I like about this bass, well - it's what you'd get when you combine features from Ibanez, Fender (Squier) and Yamaha. It reminds me of a Squier Jaguar with an Ibanez touch in the electronics along with a thicker Yamaha RBX neck. The one I tried sounded pretty good for a bass in that price range. I imagine switching out the pickups will make it even better, but that's in the cards for the future.
  20. jg42


    Jul 12, 2012
    Try changing (in the following order):

    1. Strings
    2. Pre
    3. Pickups

    My cheapest ibanez (sr370f) sounds great, but I spent almost 75% of its price to upgrade it. Is it worth it? Not sure. Would I do it now? Probably not. But if I ever decide to sell it, I can always put back the original stuff. So, you CAN make it sound better. But does it make sense - that's for you to decide! :)

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