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"Official" Mikro Bass Club Part 3

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by smperry, Apr 15, 2014.

  1. Keyosuke


    Oct 9, 2017
    The low part of the pickup isn't just sitting down, below the screw level, but is really tightened down there flush with the screw head. I'll try taking the pickup out when I get a chance to mess with it.

    Update: I did end up taking the strings off, removing the pickup screws, lifting out the foam and making sure it's in there in a way that cancels the tilt. It looked better until the screws started going back in, and then the crooked screw holes drilled into the body guided it all to crooked again. I read on some other forums that you can fight crooked screw holes by putting foam/a shim between the pickup and the side of it's hole, you can ignore the issue, or you can redrill the holes after filling them (which seems kind of like a nightmare, to me and I don't have a drill press). I guess I'm going to try the ignoring it option, as it's a little less crooked and probably doesn't impact the sound as much as it impacts my eyes.

    Thanks for the previous input and advice.
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2018
  2. Greenstreet


    Aug 31, 2017
    Pickup height and getting a good balance are really the only things that matter. I wouldn't worry about re-drilling unless it really bothers you (although it's really not hard to do- filling the hole is basically putting a dab of glue on a toothpick and shoving it in the hole).
  3. Greenstreet


    Aug 31, 2017
    Fretless MiKro 3. I finally got the fretless re-wired and strung up with D'Addy tapes (ETB92S)- sounds great, feels great, and it's a blast to play!

    Fretless MiKro 3.

    BDrums, Xad, Tubamark and 3 others like this.
  4. Not an option for me - I have a 5 string.
  5. Greenstreet


    Aug 31, 2017

    Here's one that I did with straight Tru-Oil:

    MiKro 4.01 scaled.

    And here's the fretless with a mahogany-tinted Tru-Oil:

    Fretless MiKro 1 scaled.

    These days, I think I have more fun messing with instruments than I do actually playing them- on a side note, I cut a bone nut for the fretless, since it needed to be quite a bit lower, and I'm liking the bone. I'll probably cut one for the other MiKro, too.

    MiKro Bone Nut 01 scaled.
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2018
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  6. alaskaleftybass

    alaskaleftybass Will Hanbury, Jr. Supporting Member

    Mar 21, 2012
    Sitka, Alaska
    You did an excellent job! :thumbsup:
    Greenstreet likes this.
  7. Greenstreet


    Aug 31, 2017

    Thanks! Sanding the curved edges around the outside was a little tedious, but I used those abrasive sponges (much easier than sandpaper) and it really only took about an hour. Not too bad.

    The rest was super easy. I just used an electric palm sander on the front and back, then put on a few coats of Birchwood Casey Tru-Oil. The Tru-Oil is ridiculously easy to use, and comes out looking and feeling great. I wish I had known about the stuff 50 years ago (no affiliation with Birchwood Casey).

    In the pictures above, it looks like the colors on the two basses are pretty similar, but they're really not. It's just hard to see in the pictures. I'll see if I can get a picture of the two next to each other.
    The fretted one is just clear Tru-Oil over the mahogany.

    For the fretless one I mixed some Grumbacher Burnt Sienna Artist's Oil Paint with the Tru-Oil to try to get this color:

    Ibanez oiled mahogany1.

    The color is spot on, and I actually like the feel a lot better- the oil just has a much warmer, more natural and inviting feel to it than the poly finish.

    I'm guessing that the color you're going for is this one:


    which is a few shades darker than mine. For that color, I would suggest mixing Burnt Sienna, Burnt Umber, and Alizarin Crimson. If it's too warm, I would add just a very little bit of Dioxazine Purple.

    I sealed the wood first by applying two coats of just plain Tru-Oil (that way there aren't any problems with blotchiness), then mixed the color lighter than what I wanted for the final outcome and added several coats until the color was where I wanted it (the color will get darker and deeper with each coat).

    The trick with the Tru-Oil is just to apply as thin as possible. I used those light blue paper towels that they sell at auto parts stores. For the first coat, I put it on fairly heavy (enough to soak in to the wood a little), then wiped it off with a dry paper towel. Once the first coat dries (about 2-3 hours), the wood will be sealed, and no longer absorbent.

    For the rest of the coats, I just used a very thin coat, then immediately wiped it off HARD with a dry paper towel. If the coats are thin enough, you won't need to do any sanding or buffing at all.

    Hope this helps, and if you decide to go for it, post some pics along the way!

    Xad, alaskaleftybass and wintremute like this.
  8. alaskaleftybass

    alaskaleftybass Will Hanbury, Jr. Supporting Member

    Mar 21, 2012
    Sitka, Alaska
    Thanks @Greenstreet ! I have a P style Ibanez that's black and I'm bidding on another Mikro. I love natural finishes so this is good information for me. I'm subscribed! I'm out of town but when I get back I will refer to your instructions. I'm going to pick up a palm sander. Good tip on the sponges. I'll let everyone know when I start one of the basses.
    Greenstreet and Xad like this.
  9. timocharis


    Oct 29, 2015
    For applying and wiping down tru-oil I prefer cotton. Which is why I save old socks and t-shirts in a pile in the garage. Also useful for applying stains and some thin paints. Avoid using cut or worn edges. Use nitrile gloves (or latex if you prefer).
    Greenstreet likes this.
  10. aekisz


    Jul 4, 2006
    So I got my first Ibanez Mikro today and I'm a little bit appalled. The wood does not have the nice mahogany grain that I see on most of the other posted Walnut Flat pictures. There's a little bit of grain on the G string side of the body but it fades as you move towards the E. The finish is very uneven, with pale spots where air bubbles popped, streaky areas with inadequate coverage and a thin patch on the back that looks like some foam dried. I know I shouldn't have expected more for the price, but others seem to have had better luck on the looks front.

    That said, the neck, frets and hardware came a little better than I expected. Plugged in, it doesn't sound that great straight out of the box (harsh and thin) but at least things don't buzz and I plan to swap out strings and pickups. I kind of regret not getting a gloss paint finish to hide the ugly wood and baby poo finish. Let's hold off on the club membership just yet and see if I get over my buyer's remorse.
  11. Greenstreet


    Aug 31, 2017
    Hmm. I was actually pleasantly surprised by the wood grain on both of mine (you can see the grain in the pictures up there ^)

    Perhaps you just got a bum steer.
  12. BDrums


    Apr 8, 2017
    Muncie, Indiana
    Same (happy results) here. I bought my (used) Walnut sight unseen (from GC) a couple years back. I was very anxious about what might arrive but it was dark, rich, brown (not poop), with an even finish and grain. It's shielding sucks, but that's the same as my other Mikro. Sorry you got a really bad one, aekisz. :poop: = :(
    Greenstreet likes this.
  13. Greenstreet


    Aug 31, 2017
    Did you shield yours? If so, how does it sound?

    I put some copper shielding in both of mine, and I was shocked by how quiet they are, but while I had 'em apart, I also replaced the J's (I like the stock P as-is), the wiring, the pots, the jacks, and the capacitors, so I can't really do an apples-to-apples comparison. It could be the shielding, it could be the better components, or (most likely) it could be a combination of the two.

    Either way, I will definitely be adding copper shielding to any of my non-shielded (or poorly shielded) instruments next time I pop the hood on 'em.
  14. BDrums


    Apr 8, 2017
    Muncie, Indiana
    No, I still haven't worked on the shielding on either. One is stock (exept for the volume pots and knobs). The other has a Seymour Duncan P because the stock pup was DOA, so that's what GC put in it for free. They both have the same horrible noise anytime you lose solid contact with the strings. (Nearly all on the P's.)

    Someday I'll get around to gutting them to the necessary extent and shield em, but I just got a used SR 300E that's very active, and quiet as a dead mouse, so that's what I've been playing all the time. ... Even though it has a horrible issue all it's own, and it's the 2nd I've bought in a month with the same "dead notes" issue in the same place. 5th to 10th frets on the D string get muddier as you go, a few decay quick/do not sustain... I sit back and play mostly and realized tilting the body back bows the stupidly thin neck to the point the muddiness gets worse (you can see it shift on a tuner, too.) But even perfectly upright, notes are muffled/muddy/muted.
    If anyone has any tips on this dead neck ordeal, please clue me in. Like I said, this is the second SR300E with the exact same issue. (exact same set of strings, too, but I put on brand new ones yesterday and that didn't help, so I put the Chromes back on (instead of Roto77's).
    ...Sorry for going on about a totally non-Mikro issue on this thread. But at least I know this thread is alive and active. :hyper:
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2018
  15. aekisz


    Jul 4, 2006
    Yeah. Both of yours look great! In mine the pieces making up the body are mismatched. I'm thinking of refinishing with something opaque. Flat black, maybe.

    On the sound front, though, I'm pleased. Even with stock strings and pickups I was able to dial in a solid, aggressive tone (tone and neck pickup full on, bridge pickup rolled back a tad). I'm already starting to get over my unboxing disappointment so I think this bass will be a keeper. I just need to do something about the uglies.

    This was part of a two bass purchase (I sold another bass and an amp) and I was planning to swap in a new Squier Classic Vibe Precision pickup but UPS lost the whole bass in transit! It was scanned upon arrival at the final distribution center and then just vanished.
  16. aekisz


    Jul 4, 2006
    Here are some examples of the finish issues on my new Mikro

    Attached Files:

  17. Greenstreet


    Aug 31, 2017
    Wow. I don't know how that one passed through Quality Control unnoticed.
    BDrums likes this.
  18. unbridled


    May 26, 2005
    Endorsing Artist-Compton Compensated Custom Bridges (for Gretsch 6ers)
    I have an SR505 that I'm in love with, but at last night's gig, I played my Mikro for the last two hours of the gig. Wow! It was fun.

    I'd forgotten how easy it is to play and how good it actually sounds.
  19. Seanmo


    Jul 26, 2015
    I ordered a "Roadster Orange Metallic" Mikro from one of the online retailers and it should be here later today. Glad that the rumors of it being discontinued last year were just that. ;)

    I have trouble with my shoulders (chronic shoulder instability, which I didn't realize was a thing until my shoulders started popping out of their sockets for no apparent reason) and wanted as lightweight an electric bass with as short a scale as possible and chose the Ibanez as there really isn't anything else in it's league. I recently managed to find a six pound Indonesian Fender Telecaster (that sounds so wrong) that has allowed me to continue playing guitar, and now this Ibanez will hopefully do the same for my bass-playing needs.

    I'm moving on from a Squier SS Jaguar, which is fine but my shoulder does tend to pop out of place when I move to the first fret (it's not at all painful, but it cannot be a good thing long-term). Though there is not much difference between the two scale lengths, it might be just enough of a difference to help me. (I had a 9 pound 15 ounce Squier 5 string jazz bass before my shoulder issues. I loved it, but it had to go.)

    I read all 4,000+ messages in these three threads before I purchased the Mikro, and I appreciate all the advice you folks have given. I'm impressed that these really don't need any mods, yet can easily be modded. And because of the weight issue, I may be one of the few who actually likes the knobs on this bass. Every little bit of weight reduction helps. In fact I'm wondering if I blew it by not getting the "walnut" finish, which prolly weighs less than this poly-coated, but apparently beautiful orange Mikro.

    Can someone explain to me the reasoning behind reversing the P pickups versus the way Fender does it? I don't recall an answer here to that one.

    Mine should be a 2018 model, and I assume they still have the same intonation problem with the E string/saddle? If so, I have a favor to ask: Can one of you who has the stock bridge and has properly intonated your recent Mikro take a picture of the saddles/bridge? I'm new at doing my own setup, and I know my action may be different than yours, but I figured I could get close quickly by trying to move my saddles to where yours are.

    Thanks in advance for any advice/pictures, and though you doubtless have seen the orange Mikros before, I will post a picture of mine after it arrives.

    P.S., There are also three threads for the Jaguar SS club here. And they are on page 113 of the third thread (this is page 112). Neat coincidence that after so many years there are virtually the same number of messages in the two most popular budget short scale clubs. And yes, I did read every one of those messages too. :)
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2018
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  20. deepender


    Jan 7, 2014
    I think you are wise going with the Mikro.

    As one who has had both shoulders replaced, let me also suggest seeing a surgeon to discuss replacement. The recovery is not horrible. You get out of it what you put into it. The end result is life changing. But the restrictions (no more than 20 lbs per arm, 40lbs total, no impact, no heavy shoveling, no repetitive work, no work over the head) are just that... Restrictive. But ya know, it's not that hard to live with.

    I don't have a pic of what I did with the saddle, because I shortly thereafter installed a Babycz bridge. But I remember shortening the spring and screw.

    A pic won't give you the correct setting anyway. It's like a fingerprint. Every bass and every string will be different.

    Sound a perfectly tuned harmonic on the 12th fret, then hold down on the 12th fret. If the tuner shows sharp, lengthen the string; if it is flat, shorten the string.

    My apologies if you already knew all of this.
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