Upgrade Pickups or Bass?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Bigby, Dec 30, 2005.

  1. Bigby


    Dec 30, 2005
    I have been playing an Ibanez SR405 for the past five years. Love the feel and playability of the instrument, sound quality is good, however; due to more gigs I was thinking about either upgrading the pickups or buying a new bass outright. I'm looking for more punch and high end clarity. Styles I'm playing are rock and funk.
    Is it worth spending $200 bucks or so to put in some quality pickups, or would it be better to just trade up to another bass? Not exactly sure how much the wood and other physical features of the SR405 will limit any upgrade in pickups.
  2. Changing the sound of a favorite bass is infinitely easier than finding another bass that has the playability and feel you desire.

    If it were me, I'd swap pups, even if that means paying more the the upgrade than the original cost of the bass.
  3. Warwickluvr


    Dec 26, 2005
    I agree. Theres nothing like playing the bass that you've "grown up" on. I learned on a Ibanez and even after playing the Warwick, the Ibanez contains a sentimental feeling that no bass will ever be abole to duplicate.

    Swap the pups.
  4. Bigby


    Dec 30, 2005
    Any suggestions for pickups to use? I'm looking for a deep, punchie tone that really thumps out the low end.
  5. SteveC


    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    Keep the bass, swap the electronics. That's what I did and I love my bass. It only cost about $650 and that's with a Bartolini 5.4 preamp and jazz pups.
  6. PhilMan99


    Jul 18, 2003
    US, Maryland
    I'm in a similar situation, but I've only got one bass at the moment. I'm going to get a 2nd bass before I begin experimenting: just in case.

    I've got an SR496, where I'd really like to replace, in order:
    * pups
    * electronics
    * bridge
    * nut

    First, though I want to have another bass on-hand...
  7. ElBajista


    Dec 13, 2005
    Sebring, FL
    I'd keep the bass in favor of feel and sentimentality, and definitely swap out the pups. If you truly have no problems at all with the playability of your bass, why get rid of it?

    Does the Ibanez SR405 have P/J pickups? I did a google search and that's what came up. If so, the only advice I can give you is shop patiently for some used pups to try out. All you can do is buy some, try them, then decide if you like them.

    Dimarzio, Seymour Duncan, and Bartolini will all run you somewhere around $100, IIRC. There are more expensive and higher quality brands, but any one of those might suit you fine.

    To really make things worse, you could also try out many P-style pups until you find one you like, then do the same with the J bridge pup. You don't have to have matching brand pickups.

    *edit* to make my post even longer, I saw that you said you're searching for more high end punch. If your bass uses the standard 250K pots, you could replace them with 500K pots to let more high frequencies through. just a thought*