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Unhappy with my Ibanez SR305 tone, would like some pickup help...

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by runmikeyrun, Mar 13, 2014.

  1. Hey all,

    So this bass is not giving me the tone as-is. I'm sure the light Luthite body has some influence, but I was wondering if any of you have changed pickups in one of these with a good result.

    I play in a metal/doom band. I use heavy distortion (Markbass Distorsore) but also clean at times. It seems like the stock pickups have a low output compared to passive basses and my SR405, I have to drive the Distorsore with an LPB to get it saturated. I'd like something with a higher output. I have a bass-heavy setting on my amp, but would like good mids as well.

    Trying not to break the bank at the same time... I'm seriously considering selling the bass, but it plays so well and is a lot easier on my shoulder than the 405. It's just so wimpy it can't drive my Distorsore at all.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. scottfeldstein

    scottfeldstein Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    West Bend, Wisconsin
    Did they really make any of those from luthite? My old 300 was agathis.

    I suppose you've already looked at pickup height and stuff...
  3. I had one of them a while back and the pickups were very low output. Unfortunately, EMGs don't fit and the only real option that's readily available are Bartolini. You're looking for a P2 shape I believe. That's going to start around $250 plus you'll need to replace the preamp at another $100+ as well. In my case I decided to replace just the Preamp with an EMG and that went a good bit of the way, but didn't really do anything for the low output. If you could find some used pickups out of a higher end Ibby and replace the pre, you'd be alright, but to buy new it's just not worth it...
  4. Honestly, I'm not sure, I was told it was luthite. It's really light though.

    Yeah I did that first and replaced the battery too. I think they're just weak.

    It's kind of a bummer that there's no real options besides spending more than the bass cost new to make it sound better. What's the point of that Ibanez?? lol.

    I'll sell it and save up for that 505...
  5. JustForSport


    Nov 17, 2011
    Try raising the pups as close to the strings as practical-
    might help a bit.
  6. Thanks sport, I'll give it a shot.
  7. Selta


    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    I used to have one of these years ago - they are agathis, not luthite.

    I was also disappointed in the tone. Instead of sinking money into it with new guts, I made it my guinea pig in various ways, and then sold the parts. Complete waste of money bass.
  8. Boom762

    Boom762 I AM the one who Booms! Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2013
    Lubbock, TX
    I have a 305DX from 2006 i believe and i dont hate the tone. Its not my best bass for certain but i can work with it. I generally have little to no bridge pickup and nearly all the neck pickup for the tone i like. My main problem is the battery cover is eaten up pretty bad because it doesnt feel well. I had to use a pocket knife to try and pry it open after the screws were out. The fret job is kinda poor as well.

    Do you have any pedals for EQ? I would think pretty much any pedal with an eq and the eq on your head would be enough to shape the tone to what you want.
  9. Selta: That's disappointing to hear. I'm kinda at the end of my rope too, and not looking to dump a ton of money into this... it looks like that's my option if raising the pickups doesnt work.

    Boom: I have tons of gear and my problem starts with the bass, and can't be compensated by EQ or anything else. My first pedal in the chain is my Distorsore pedal and the low output of the bass doesn't hit the pedal hard enough, it barely distorts. The signal is weak and lacks punch. I tried a couple different pedals before the distortion, an overdrive (set clean, just boosting the signal, with the lows cranked) and a LPB-2. They helped overdrive the Distorsore, but basically just made my already crappy tone louder.
  10. BlueTalon

    BlueTalon Happy Cynic

    Mar 20, 2011
    Spokane, Washington
    Endorsing Artist: Turnstyle Switch
    Have you considered getting your current pickups re-magnetized?
  11. Add an active buffer to the output. Here's a link to a thread where one TB'er did just that to his EDB600:


    You can buy a "Confidence booster" from BYOC pedal kits that would probably work if you're not handy with electronics. I think you can get one for under $20 here:


    I dug into the design of the preamp on my EDB605 and found that Ibanez included a filter at the output that rolled of frequencies higher than 3K. I can't say that your preamp has the same (I had the EQB-3B) but it's possible that Ibanez included a similar 'feature' in this preamp design.

    I replace the pre with an Ibby Bart Mk2 from my BTB675 and the increase in treble was quite noticeable. If you want to go cheap on a new preamp, the basstones offerings get decent reviews here on TB (I've never tried one).
  12. kevmc28


    Feb 28, 2008
    Somerset, NJ, USA
  13. My EDB605 is made from Luthite, it isn't lightweight.
  14. phillybass101

    phillybass101 Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2011
    Artist, Trickfish Amplification Bartolini Emerging Artist, MTD Kingston Emerging Artist. Artist, Tsunami Cables
    check out a pair of Aggie DCB's killer pups. The ones with a 2 on the end are Bart size or you can also get the EMG size. Depends on what fits in your bass. I'm putting a pair DCB5's (2) in one of my brutes along with a Bart NTMB Pre. Killer tone for days.
  15. braud357

    braud357 Supporting Member

    Jul 1, 2010
    Gonzales, LA
    I have a newer SR305, and I like the way that it sounds. But, I play with a band doing old R & B, soul, and old rock & roll. It does not see much use in this setting.
  16. CaneyBoniface


    Feb 17, 2015
    I bought SR305 IPT on 2011 for my 2nd bass. It's really comfortable. but i'm not really happy with the tone. so 2014 i decide to replace the pickup with Bartolini MK1 and Seymour Duncan STC-3p.. Much better now for live and even in studio.
  17. iiipopes


    May 4, 2009
    Aren't current 305 pickups P2 sized? If so, there are several alternatives, from Barts, who developed this size, to Aguilar and others.
  18. CaneyBoniface


    Feb 17, 2015
    yes. P2 size.. Aguilar DCB D2 and Seymour Duncan ASB-5 are same size if i not wrong