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Try to fix old Ibanez SR885 LE or buy a new bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Hammerhil, Oct 10, 2013.


  1. Hammerhil

    Hammerhil

    Oct 10, 2013
    I'm back playing bass after a hiatus of about a decade. My 5 string SR 885LE has a rather bad problem - the truss rod is cranked and I can't get a bad bow out of the neck. The action is as low as I can get it and I can't get the strings anywhere near as low as I want them. I took it in to a luthier and he can't adjust the truss rod or the action any more than I already have.

    I love my bass but it buzzes something terrible and I can't play fast with the strings so high off the fretboard. It is a bolt on neck and theoretically I could get a new one, but it will cost at least as much as a new bass.

    Alternatively I am looking at getting a new 5 or possibly 6 string bass. I've narrowed it down to either a new 5 string Ibanez BTB 675 or a 6 string BTB 676. I have both on order but I have yet to play either one. I did play a 6 string Ibanez SR 5006 but it is way out of my price range. The neck seemed nice but the string spacing was really close, almost guitar like.

    Any recommendations? Should I fix my old SR or buy new? Other than fooling around in a few shops over the last few weeks, I have only played my old one, so any recommendations for a 5 or 6 string that comes in at the sub $1000 level? If I bought new I would still probably keep my old one around for slapping, it's not that great for anything else now.

    Sorry about the long post, any opinions greatly appreciated!
     
  2. Buy new, period.

    You might be able to rescue that sweet older Ibanez someday.
     
  3. Wallace320

    Wallace320 Commercial User

    Mar 19, 2012
    Milan, Italy
    Nowadays you can opt between rosewood and maple board

    You can look for maple neck (SR305/375/405) or bubinga neck
    (SR505/605/705) string spacin' bein' the same: so you'll keep a fine MIJ basswood body and VariMid electronic;)

    If you want to stay < $. 1,000.00 you gotta look for a 2012 SRXXV anniversary edition.
    It's a Premium bass with nordstrand big single soapbars, mahogany body and padauk top worth your each and every penny.

    Cheers,
    Wallace
     
  4. That neck can be fixed, a luthier would have to do it.
     
  5. Hammerhil

    Hammerhil

    Oct 10, 2013
    Thanks for the suggestions, I think I will pick up a new one and make fixing the old Ibanez a project. I didn't know that a lot of the Ibanez necks were interchangeable, and apparently the luthier I went to either didn't know either or was too disinterested to help. I'll be shopping for a new tech as well as a new bass I guess.
     
  6. -1000!!!!!!

    With ALL DUE RESPECT, I disagree. There's PLENTY of players on here that take WAY FAR BETTER care of their gear than your local (for example) Guitar Center. Unless your wanting something totally custom to your eyes, ears, and hands, buy used. There's some breath-takingly beautiful basses for sale on this site alone.
    Oh, yeah. If your wanting wider string-spacing on a bass, Ibanez IS NOT THE WAY TO GO. They're notorious in the business for their wafer-thin necks, and guitar-like string-spacing on most all their models, which, I don't understand at all. I love how they sound/play. But, that damn string-spacing......
     
  7. Technotitclan

    Technotitclan Lurking TB from work

    Mar 1, 2012
    Rochester, NY
    Beware, a lot of people dismiss Ibanez because its not Fender or expensive boutique and will tell you its not worth it. If your handy with basic tools you may be able to fix it yourself. There's tutorials and video's on fixing maxed out rods and warped necks. Have a look at some and see what ones apply to your issue. Also, please report back with a repair thread if you do it. I love reading (and seeing pics!!) of dead basses brought to life.
     
  8. Wallace320

    Wallace320 Commercial User

    Mar 19, 2012
    Milan, Italy
    It's more like he doesn't know where to find one, other than takin' it off another bass

    Remember that, for instance, a three piece maple 5er neck from the '90s can be had secondhand, so not lookin' for outlet replacements;)

    A 5er neck off, say, a MIK SR405, mustn't break your bank and it's not impossible to come across 'cause sometimes three active eq electronics on those basses turned out to be faulty enough to make it unworthy to repair the bass and conversely feasible to sell its parts, neck sure first.

    Cheers,
    Wallace
     
  9. +1 Ditto.
     
  10. Technotitclan

    Technotitclan Lurking TB from work

    Mar 1, 2012
    Rochester, NY
  11. Hammerhil

    Hammerhil

    Oct 10, 2013
    I haven't worked on any instruments before, but I am willing to give it a shot, once I have something else to play. I agree that there is a lot of great used gear out there and I have bought amps and PA's that way, but I wouldn't want to buy a bass that I haven't had a chance to sit down and play on.
     
  12. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011
    Minneapolis
  13. You could always shim the neck, to get the action lower.....
     
  14. Hammerhil

    Hammerhil

    Oct 10, 2013
    Thanks for the advice. Once I have another bass to play (hopefully in the next week) I will see about pulling it apart. This will be my first crack at fixing a bass (or any other instrument) so probably going to go slow and careful. Other than basic carpentry skills this is new territory for me. Somehow I don't think the good job I did building my deck applies to this project. It is a really nice deck, however...

    Oh, and that Roadbass restoration is amazing! Miles above my skill level. Mine still looks good though, apart from 3 gig dings.

    I know what you mean about this Ibanez stigma though. The reason I want to fix my SR up is because before the neck went it was great. I'm getting back into playing form on it and it's a little painful to hear it buzz so much. When those 2 BTB's I ordered (675 and 676, 5 and 6 string respectively) come in, I will be spending some serious time in the shop figuring out which one to get, or I might get another SR. We'll see when they arrive.
     

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