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Should I buy another Ibanez Mikro or embrace the unknown with a neon green Jackson Minion?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by JohnArnson, Jun 2, 2019.

  1. JohnArnson


    May 28, 2019
    I am pondering on adding another 28,6" scale bass to my collection, since I love my Ibanez Mikro, which has actually become my main bass.

    I feel tempted to take the risk of not really knowing what I get by buying a neon green Jackson Minion instead of another Mikro, but far from sure if this would be a wise choice.

    One of the things that holds me back is that I think I prefer the medium frets of the Mikro to the jumbo frets of the Minion, especially since the frets are already so close together on the short neck, making me think jumbo frets would make the fretboard feel too cluttered and making fretting properly more difficult.

    Also I honestly prefer 2 tuners on each side of the head stock like on the Mikro to all 4 on one side as on the Minion.

    Another factor is that the Mikro has slightly better upper fret access too, with the lower horn cut all the way down for the 21th and 22nd fret being free to reach, while the lower horn on the Minion is cut so only the 20th fret really is free, with the 21th and 22nd basically laying on the body of the bass.

    Additionally I slightly prefer the overall aesthetics of the Mikro design, where the design of the Minion comes off to me as a bit clumsy and unsophisticated in comparison.

    However that does actually have it's own kind of goofy charm, and that neon green color is pretty enthralling to me with it's striking bold and luminously suggestive aura of ultimate exorbitance.

    Another plus to the Minion is that the neck has graphite enforcement, though the neck of my specific Mikro is amazingly stable, probably even the most stable neck I ever had on any guitar or bass, so the question is if those graphite enforcement rods really is that huge of an advantage in reality.

    Finally in favor of the Minion, from the few demos there are to find on YouTube featuring it, the stock pickups seems to be much more to my liking than the stock ones on the Mikro, as in much more punchy and seemingly also having more clarity and better definition, but not sure how much that should weight in my decision either, as I am likely going to replace the stock pickups anyway down the line, as I did on my Mikro.

    All in all, from what I have written in this post, it seems like the Mikro has a clear lead, but really I am actually far from as sure as it might seem, actually I am really tempted to take the risk of venturing into the unknown by acquiring that neon green Minion instead of another Mikro.

    I guess my point with this post is fishing for any experience, thoughts and/or advice that might help me decide, for instance would there be any reason to think that I might actually end up preferring the jumbo frets of the Minion over the medium frets of the Mikro, even if it seems counter intuitive to me with the already sparse fretboard space on the short neck?

    Anything that might help to make the choice more clear for me will be really welcome.
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2019
  2. Greenstreet


    Aug 31, 2017

    It looks to me like you already know what you want, but maybe I can help by giving you a little push.

    I've never been a fan of over-sized frets. In addition to the concerns you mentioned, the larger the frets, the greater the potential for intonation problems, at least on a guitar. I've never played a bass with jumbos, but I have no desire to.

    Aside from being one of the most grotesquely inelegant headstocks I've ever seen, the Jackson's headstock is poorly designed. The strings fan out from the nut to the tuning heads, which puts unnecessary strain on the nut and can cause tuning issues. The headstock on the MiKro is well designed. The break angle is good, the string pull is straight from the nut to the machine heads, and even the truss rod cover is well thought out.

    I'm not really concerned by the access to the 21st and 22nd fret. I can count the number of times I've used those frets on one hand, and still have fingers left over. Those mother-of-toilet-seat sharkfins, on the other hand, would bother me. I think the control knob layout would, too.

    As long as the neck is structurally sound, there's no need for graphite rods. In my opinion, they impact the tone in a not so good way.

    Other than the color, which is a matter of personal taste, I don't see anything at all in the "+" column for the Jackson.

    Last edited: Jun 3, 2019
    JohnArnson likes this.
  3. JohnArnson


    May 28, 2019
    Thanks for your input.

    Yes, I might well have let me seduce by the pungent mystery color, the promise of venturing into, for me, new undiscovered territory, and the hope of uncovering whatever secrets it might have in hold for me, and it might have disappointed med badly and left me worse off than the alternative of sticking to known land.

    I am still not totally convinced I shouldn't give it a try, can't help but being curious, but even if it's a quite cheap bass, it would still be too much money wasted with how my economical situation looks, and prevent me from getting another Mikro, which I with certainty know would have a higher success rate, even with the inconsistent production quality (I was very lucky with my first Mikro).

    A new Mikro would probably be the wiser choice.

    One thing though where the Minion does seem to be better, judging from the very few YouTube demos existing of it, is the stock pickups.

    At least comparing the tone the Minion has on some of those videos with the tone of a Mikro with stock pickups, the Minion wins by quite a considerably length, seemingly both being more punchy but also clearer and more defined, though that might partly be a matter of personal preferences, and as I would likely swap out the stock pickups at some point anyway it shouldn't really be a determining factor for my choice.
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2019
  4. Greenstreet


    Aug 31, 2017

    Youtube videos can be very misleading. Aside from the compressed audio, there's the question of what amp the bass is being played through, what the settings are on the amp, the microphone or microphones used, the placement of the microphones, what kind of processing was used, even the room itself.

    Even then, how the bass sounds soloed is very different from how it will sound in a band setting. Often what sounds good in one setting sounds bad in the other.

    If you're really curious, I would suggest taking your MiKro with you to a music shop and playing both the MiKro and the Jackson back to back through the same amp.

    If you genuinely like the sound and feel of the Jackson better, maybe you can get one of those little purple Crown Royal bags or something to put over the headstock.

    If you like the MiKro better, I'd look for either a used one or one that's been discounted due to a cosmetic flaw. With the money you save, you can get the neon green spray paint and some after-market pickups.

    From the descriptions of the tone you're looking for, you could do worse than a set of Wilkinson ceramics. They're inexpensive, and sound very good.

    JohnArnson likes this.
  5. JohnArnson


    May 28, 2019
    Valid suggestions, though I'd say YouTube demos still can give a pretty good impression of what an instrument sounds like, even with different amps used, chances are if there are two demos using two different amps an both sounds good the instrument likely will sound good in reality as well.

    Finally I can't find any musical instrument shops in my country carrying the Jackson Minion in there assortment, so trying out before buying is not really an option for me.

    As for pickups I currently have a set of P/J EMG Geezer Butler pickups installed in my Mikro, which I am really pleased with, might check out your suggestion for the new bass though.

    Also I think if I end up buying another Mikro I will likely get the weathered black one and leave it at that, though a neon green bass would be cool.

    Thanks for your input.
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2019
    Greenstreet likes this.
  6. wraub


    Apr 9, 2004
    ennui, az
    previated devert
    Real answer- Get the one that's the best for you... It kinda sounds like you already know what that is. ;)
    Fun Answer- Get the one called Dinky Minion. Just because. :D
    Greenstreet and JohnArnson like this.
  7. Greenstreet


    Aug 31, 2017

    Geezers are a great choice for the MiKro. Let us know what you end up with!
    JohnArnson likes this.
  8. JohnArnson


    May 28, 2019
    Will do, though I think by now I have concluded that I will probably be best off getting another Mikro.

    I guess my desire to maybe try out a Jackson Minion was mostly the case of the temptation to try something new and different.

    And yes, the P/J set of EMG Geezer Butler pickups sounds amazing in my Mikro, took it's tone from being fairly decent to being absolutely perfectly great, so glad I decided on those pickups.

    I think I eventually narrowed my choice down to either the Geezers or a set of DiMarzio Model P and J, and although the DiMarzios are great pickups as well from what I heard, I think I prefer the slightly brighter Geezer's more upper mids focus to the darker DiMarzio's emphasis of the lower mids, since I like a bit of grind and bite in my tone.

    Certainly glad I eventually, before finally narrowing it down to just the Geezers or the DiMarzios, ruled out the mid scooped Seymore Duncan Quarter Pounders, as I very much prefer a good deal of mids in my tone.
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2019
  9. Greenstreet


    Aug 31, 2017
    Hmm- if you still want the green, you could check out RustOleum Peel Coat.
  10. unbridled


    May 26, 2005
    Endorsing Artist-Compton Compensated Custom Bridges (for Gretsch 6ers)
    Pretty sure you know the answer. There just seems to be too many unknowns with the Jackson and a white Mikro can be finished in any color you want.

    However, if you go with another Mikro, you'll have two of the same bass. Do you need that?

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