On the fence with the Ibanez SR1200, opinions please

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Lownote Floyd, Dec 30, 2015.

  1. Lownote Floyd

    Lownote Floyd

    May 31, 2010
    I am getting close to pulling the trigger on the 4-string Ibanez SR1200 left hand but I still have a few concerns...

    1. How versatile in this bass? I am a finger picker, not into hard rock, funk, slap, etc. Call me a bluesman looking for a lightweight, well made, very playable and attractive bass. Mostly I lean towards blues and classic rock.

    2. I have never really liked active basses and the 1200 runs on a battery. It can't be played without. Thoughts?

    3. I already have a Fender USA P and Jazz but after several back operations, I need a lightweight bass.

    4. How would flats sound on the 1200?

    Is the SR1200 going to make me happy or sad? My price range is under a grand and lefties don't have a lot to choose from. Thanks.
  2. sonicnuance

    sonicnuance Supporting Member Commercial User

    Aug 30, 2003
    California, USA
    Engineer & Owner, Sonic Nuance Electronics
    A friend of mine played a five string one at church. It was his main bass for about two years until he got a Sire. I always loved the sound he got out of the Ibanez. To answer your questions:

    1) I found it was very versitile - he is a fingerstyle player who occasionally popped
    2) I don't know if it can be run passive. If it has a battery door I wouldn't be too worried. Check the reviews to see, but most active basses these days are very good on battery life. I have a bass without a battery door that I use regularly and does not have a passive switch. Once the headroom starts to die I switch it out. About every 6-12 months.
    3) I don't know the weight sorry
    4) I don't know but the versatility of the preamp makes me think it would be nice. Although I think this bass excels in the punch and clarity department so it might prefer rounds and roll off the highs.

    Best of luck!
    Lownote Floyd likes this.
  3. I can't think of a better light weight option for lefties. I personally like those stock preamps. It's only bad setting is when it's 100% flat. Very versatile. Unless it changed recently, it's active only.
  4. Lownote Floyd

    Lownote Floyd

    May 31, 2010
    Thanks. Batteries today last a long time so I am not really worried about that. And it's a lightweight bass. I hear it plays like butter. You can tie your fretting fingers up with a rubber band and they still move up and down the fret board. :) I think I convinced myself. And the prices seem to be all over the place, lots of dealing going on. Negative is that like the Schecters, re-sale value is not terrific so I am looking for a good deal.
  5. PrairieThunder13


    Dec 21, 2015
    Hold on there my good friend, before you pull the trigger, i just want to share with you my little experience with the ibanez sr 1200, and the ibanez company overall. Before I say anything, i would just like to point out that this is my humble and honest opinion and is based on my experience and my experience alone. 1: with regards to the versatility I found my ibby to be VERY dissapointing in the tone department and no matter what I did it sounded very thin, cold and quit frankly boring. Not to mention the active circutry. 2: I don't like active either and you are right, it cannot be used without the battery, and sadly even with today's batteries, i can remember changing the battery at least six times in the short year that I had owned it. 3: the one thing that this bass had was its light weight ( which i don't particularly like), but how lightweight it was made me question the materials, it felt very cheap in hand. Finally, to answer number 4: ibanez necks are *VERY* thin, and mine was frankly quite weak, i too am a flatwound user, and the tension caused the neck to bend so much my tech couln't even straighten it out by fully tightening the truss rod. For these reasons (and sadly many more) my ibanez sr 1200 took a trip to the local pawn shop, and has left me very unhappy with the bass and the company as a whole. Mabye I got a bad lemon, but if I would still like to warn you of my experience. If weight is a concern and you don't mind a less expensive ( sub $500) bass, may I suggest a squier vm precision? They are amazing for the price, and if you have no problem with modding, swapping the pickup will turn it into a lean mean, flatwound-ready blues and classic rock machine! Sorry for the long post and/or coming off a tad rude, i just really want to prevent others from experiencing the turmoil that i did :)
  6. Lownote Floyd

    Lownote Floyd

    May 31, 2010
    Prairie, thank you for the honest feedback. 'Seems like folks either like or not like the Ibanez, no matter what model. Let me explain my reasoning and you can refute. Don't worry I have thick skin. Your experience is very important to me.

    1. I have short fingers and the less expensive Ibanez basses I already own are very easy for me to play.
    2. Because of multiple spinal surgeries, there is no way I can play a heavy bass for any length of time. Standing anyway. Sitting is no problem.
    3. I have Fender P and a Fender Jazz and the P in particular is hard to beat for Chicago style blues. So I am covered in that department.
    4. On my Ibanez SR500 I have La Bella white tapewounds and I like them a lot. I though I might put them on the 1200 as well as they are low tension and easy on the neck. And you are totally on the mark about thin necks and flats. In time they can totally ruin the neck even the light gauges. Truss rod corrections alone won't do the trick.
    5. Being a lefty doesn't leave me with many options. I have a few Schecters too. Nice basses but heavy.

    So for me, the 1200's plus' outweigh its negatives (I think and I hope), e.g., relatively low resale value, the battery requirement and the thin neck. I am just hoping too that with the right tweaking of the knobs on the bass and on my amp's equalizer I can get that sound I want.

    Not to worry. You didn't come off rude at all. I am very appreciative of the fact that you took the time to respond.
  7. PrairieThunder13


    Dec 21, 2015
    Hey there again, with what you have described here^^^ it sounds like it won't be a problem for you, in fact your situation leads me to believe that it might actually be a very good bass for you, except for the tone. If you are comfortable doing some knobulation tweakulage then you should be fine! Good luck, and I hope you will enjoy it!
    Lownote Floyd likes this.
  8. Lownote Floyd

    Lownote Floyd

    May 31, 2010
    Thanks Eli. Knobulation and Tweakulage are actually the names of my two children, Knobie and Tweakie for short.
    NJSouth likes this.
  9. Rib 13

    Rib 13 Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2006
    I have a SR-1205 (the five string)

    1. How versatile in this bass? I am a finger picker, not into hard rock, funk, slap, etc. Call me a bluesman looking for a lightweight, well made, very playable and attractive bass. Mostly I lean towards blues and classic rock.

    I like thin necks and I like the fast response of this bass so, for me, it plays like buttah! Also, before I buy any bass, I play it "unplugged" to hear how it sounds acoustically (if it sounds good unplugged, it generally will sound good plugged in). While not as acoustically "loud" as my G&L ASAT, it was decent enough to purchase

    Plugging it in didn't excite me: I found that plugging it in directly to an amp (a nice 500w GK Combo - set flat) that it didnt have the rich bottom-end I hoped for, even trying to shape with the onboard EQ (as a matter of fact, the bass sounded very mid-rangey to me). The Nordstrands do sound good but - to me - aren't great and didnt live up the "J-Bass on Steroids" rave I had been hearing about - As a matter of fact, I think the Js on a Fender Jazz Bass Deluxe sound better

    I still bought it

    When I got it home, I plugged it into my Zoom B3 and scrolled through the Factory Patches to find something that I liked -- Didnt take long: Patch A4 "Hartke" put me right in the ballpark. A lil tweaking (including the addition of a Paarametric EQ to Boost 8K in the unused center slot) and it sounded Phenomenal

    The Moral of My Story: Keeping in mind that everybody is going to have a different opinion about what sounds "good", for this player the SR-1205 plays absolutely wonderful and can sound great with a little external doctoring

    $.02 and YMMV

    2. I have never really liked active basses and the 1200 runs on a battery. It can't be played without. Thoughts?

    One of the switches on the bass is a Passive/Active Switch to turn off the onboard electronics so, "Yes", it can be played without a battery

    3. I already have a Fender USA P and Jazz but after several back operations, I need a lightweight bass.

    Its very light

    4. How would flats sound on the 1200?

    I play rounds so I dont know
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2015
    SirMjac28 and Lownote Floyd like this.
  10. Lownote Floyd

    Lownote Floyd

    May 31, 2010
    That's what I am hoping for too Spazz. I am not a professional bassist. Just an old baby boomer who took up the bass late in life and is having a ball. The way I look at it, any bass will sound better than me. And if it ain't 12 bar blues, it's advanced math and I run as fast as I can. :) When I started playing 5 years ago I realized I didn't have a large enough window of opportunity to master all genres. I figured if I could just become a half way competent blues player I'd be happy. And the good thing is that when I hit a bad note, nobody throws any rotten fruit at me. I play at home. I have over 10K blues songs on ITunes and Spotify that I use to practice. Ain't much to wave a stick at compared to you guys who really can play but it keeps me busy and happy. I still love music at 65. I only wish I had started in my teens.
    SirMjac28 and SpazzTheBassist like this.
  11. vmabus


    Nov 1, 2013
    I have an old one (P/J neck-through) that is a dream to play, and a marvel to hear (Nordstrands, audere).
    It's one of my favorites.
    Lownote Floyd likes this.
  12. tfer


    Jan 1, 2014
    Dollar for dollar, Ibanez makes the best basses in the world (IMO).
  13. pcake

    pcake Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2011
    Los Angeleez
    i have tried a number of the ibanez premium models, and in my opinion the nordstrand big singles with that eq are superb together. i found the sound a little thin till i tried the switches - one is some kind of boost, and with that on, it's great. i played with various settings and find them quite versatile.
    alaskaleftybass and SirMjac28 like this.
  14. Raman likes this.
  15. Ibanez basses are definitely a love/hate affair for most players it seems. My first bass was an SR500 and I've played many SR series all the way up. I think that Ibanez makes an AMAZING instrument for the money, especially on the used market. If played really fast, technical metal or something I'd probably be very inclined to play an SR just due to the neck. However, after playing my SR for awhile, I went to a shop and picked up a P bass. BOOM!!! It was all over. Within minutes of playing a P, I realized just how weak the tone on those SRs is. And I'm really not a P bass guy. I'm much more into J basses as I later found out. Those SRs just don't have much tone especially in the low end. I think they play great and look cool (expect for the 500 series' ugly brownish finish) but the tone just wasn't there for me.
  16. Kcarlson


    Feb 15, 2015
    Marietta, GA
    Random bit of info time! I have flats on my sr500, and yeah, most all flats put waaaay to much tension on that poor neck :( but! The extra light gauge chromes don't hurt it at all. So you can put certain flats on it, but I know not everyone cares for thin gauge strings too much.
  17. Jason Hollar

    Jason Hollar Jazz & Cocktails Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2005
    Central Pa
    I'm interested in the conversation because I wasn't sure if the 1200 series was readily available? I think the wood looks nice and I bet if set up properly, the instrument plays like a dream. I think the Nords would be an ideal option - and I've been looking for a lighter weight 5 string option as well. Good luck if you buy one - and please report back with your impressions.
  18. I can't comment on that particular bass but thought I'd say that my ibanez jet King is awesome and I wouldn't hesitate to buy another ibanez based on that experience.

    Bit dark compared to a P. I run it with tone wide open, whereas the P is down about a quarter.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2015
  19. KickingBass

    KickingBass Look into it

    Ibanez makes phenomenal instruments especially for the price. Tone preference is subjective so some like it some don't. My 505 is warm and smooth sounding with thick lows so I'm surprised to hear people say their bass has thin lows. You have a P and a J which cover all those classic bases, I think a modern sounding premium Ibanez is all you're missing!
    alaskaleftybass likes this.
  20. MD Stingray

    MD Stingray Guest

    Jan 17, 2008
    I had a 1205, a great bass, but sold it to financial issues at the time.
    It played very smooth, and had a modern sound, so not sure it would fit your purpose.

    Maybe a P?