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What to do with an Ibanez SR400

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by BryanM, Jan 29, 2013.

  1. Bypass Altogether

    24 vote(s)
  2. Replace with Active OEM Pre

    10 vote(s)
  3. Replace with Active Aftermarket Pre

    55 vote(s)
  4. Replace with Passive Aftermarket Pre

    3 vote(s)
  5. Rebuild OEM Pre (May be difficult because it's on a PCB)

    3 vote(s)
  1. BryanM


    Dec 15, 2007
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Prior to me playing bass, my older brother played a bit a few years back, though he never really had the time to get into it fully. He had an Ibanez SR305DX that he loved, but had to sell it and the amp when kids came along. I recently picked up an SR400 for $40 with a bad preamp, but good pickups and great action. As an early birthday/late Christmas present, I was going to fix this up and give it to him, along with a practice amp I've got laying around and a copy of Rocksmith with the bass package so he can get back into it. I'll also hang out and jam sometimes to help him pick it up again but I wanted to gather opinions on what to do with the SR400 before I give it to him to fix the preamp?
  2. EricssonB


    Apr 5, 2011
    CoSpgs, CO.
    Aftermarket. There are a range of preamps up and down the cost scale that will meet his/your needs -- get what you want from it.
  3. jeffmensch

    jeffmensch Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Oct 12, 2012
    Cambridge, Ontario
    The SR305DX was passive so why not do the same for the SR400? It would be the cheapest option and he liked that sound before.

    If you do decide to replace the preamp, after market is the way to go. Some of the older Ibanez preamps aren't the best quality. I replaced the stock preamp in my SR1000 Prestige because it sounded too thin. The Audere Pro Z in there now is amazing.

    Bass Mods makes some great sounding but affordable preamps. Check out this video with before and after clips in an SR885.

  4. Plucky The Bassist

    Plucky The Bassist Bassist for Michael "Epic Mic" Rowe

    Jul 30, 2010
    Houston, TX
    I'd be tempted to put this thing back to as stock as possible, but the "style sweeper EQ" that comes in the SR [sub-500] series basses is pretty lame. A good 3-band EQ will make that thing start singing again. Good find btw!! $40 is a killer deal.
  5. When I owned an SR305 (basically the same instrument/electronics) I thought upgrading the Pre to an EMG BQC made a huge difference in sound quality. I imagine any of the available upgrades would do the same. It really made the difference between dumping the pickups and being good with them...
  6. Hawkbone


    Mar 23, 2009
    What's a passive pre-amp?
  7. lokikallas

    lokikallas Supporting Member

    Aug 15, 2010
    los angeles
    I recommend an EMG BQC, depending on the knob configuration.
  8. Active aftermarket pre with a bypass switch.
  9. Wallace320

    Wallace320 Commercial User

    Mar 19, 2012
    Milan, Italy
    If the preamp is lame yet perfectly functionin', look for a mere bypass switch, or a volume pot push/pull knob to disengage it.

    With good pickups it's a very coherent mod and you just have to check available space out (but then would be the same for aftermarket pre, so you got me)

  10. BryanM


    Dec 15, 2007
    Pittsburgh, PA
    The preamp isn't functioning, looks like it took a blow to the blend pot that freed the shaft from the casing and broke the signal path. I could probably swap that pot with a push/pull bypass that just keeps the vol/blend knobs in. I wish I had a schematic of this preamp available though, to know exactly what I can do. It's tricky to follow the traces.
  11. Rip Topaz

    Rip Topaz

    Aug 12, 2005
    Willow Street, PA
    Beta tester for Positive Grid
    This is very much true. I had an SR with the style sweeper, and every time I'd engage the bass boost, soundguys would have a cow. It pushed the bass into the red on the board and nothing would bring it back unless the bass boost was removed.

    It's cool for bedroom playing. Not much else.
  12. Wallace320

    Wallace320 Commercial User

    Mar 19, 2012
    Milan, Italy
    If the problem is solvable, again, go ahead and restore it, then
    add a push/pull capacitor, if there's room for it, to bypass it.

    The bass will stay almost stock, original, lettin' you appreciate pickups work only

    If it's all messed up then my vote better be gone to the swap it all type of thing.