#1
So for Christmas, my parents gave me this cheap Ibanez GSR180 to see if I would like it because I've flirted with the idea of creating my own recordings and you can't create a full mix without a proper bass guitar. Well I've been playing it now since xmas and while it is a very cheap bass, it really isn't that bad and it is a lot of fun to play on.

So I've decided that tomorrow, I'm going to return the bass back to the store my parents bought it from and get a replacement bass that falls a bit more closely in line with the quality of my guitars.

I'd like a bass that's pretty lightweight with a thin neck and a flat fretboard, big frets, branded pickups, 3 band EQ and possibly neck through construction. I'm primarily a hard rock/metal player. I'm a fan of John Myung's playing if that's of any help.

My budget is probably no more than £550. I don't want to spend too much money as for now, I'm still only viewing bass as more of a tool for recording than any super long-term hobby. But I am willing to spend a decent amount of money to get something that's versatile, solidly built, and there's money back in it if I sell it a few years later.

I'm interested in the Ibanez SR700 but I don't know of any possible alternatives that might also be worth looking at.

Cheers.
Quote by TheSennaj
And well yes, I'll enjoy the carpal tunnel and tendonitis, because trying to get one is clearly smarter than any word you have spoken thus far.
#2
I was looking for the same when I first started playing bass and looking for a metal axe on a budget. I don't think you're going to get a thinner neck than the Ibanez SRs, but ESP does some decent thin U neck contours on their F or B basses. Schecter also does quality stuff for your price range.

http://www.gak.co.uk/en/schecter-stiletto-custom-5-natural-left-handed-pre-owned/121240
http://www.gak.co.uk/en/esp-ltd-f-4e-ns-natural-satin-ebony/21481

These ones have neck thru and active eq. Compared to the SR700 I don't really see either standing out as a must get, it's mostly an aesthetic approach. You've also got brands like Warwick and Spector which are great manufacturers and are used a lot by metal bassists. Warwick's low-end line has the Corvettes, Rockbass and Vampyres. Spector has these legend series. Great tones on both basses, but the necks are a little chunkier than the ibanez.

Personally I'd say go for the SR700 or the Schecter Stiletto Custom 5. Ibanez and Schecter have the best low-end 'best bang for your buck' in my opinion. If you're new to the bass and need something with easily accessible frets, thin neck, light weight and great tonal variability then the Ibanez is probably best for you, the only factor is aesthetics.

In terms of selling back I don't think there's gonna be a big market for mid-range soundgears, people tend to go for the SR500 and then upgrade to the premiums. The SR500 is pretty much 'as good' as the rest of the line-up until you get to the prestige series, compared to the SR700 you'll be paying extra just for the aesthetics. You can consider this one if you want to save more money.
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#3
So you're essentially saying that the SR500 really isn't much worse than the SR700 to justify paying the difference?
Quote by TheSennaj
And well yes, I'll enjoy the carpal tunnel and tendonitis, because trying to get one is clearly smarter than any word you have spoken thus far.
#4
Yes. Since you'll be using the bass as a tool for recording and you're on a budget there's no real reason to opt for the SR700 unless you really like the finish. The construction, woods, bridges, pups and neck and fretboard have the same attributes between the 500 and 700. From what I've experienced you'll be getting pretty much the same sound from either bass, I've played on both when I was looking to buy a new bass for my friend.

The 500 is a step up from prior SR basses with the addition of bartolinis, it's basically like the entry mid-tier bass guitar. The 600 is the same as well except the body is made of ash, and anything above the 700 falls into their 'workshop' and premium series. The only problem with ibanez is the affordability of their products often deter high rollers from trying them out. Despite the SR500's price I would rate it on par with a Mexican/Japanese Fender Jazz Bass, they really stepped up their bass manufacturing. The proof is that you received a cheap low-end bass from ibanez but still found it to be good stuff.

If I had to say one bad thing about the SR series in Ibanez is the fret buzz it gets from having such an elegantly low action. From what I've been told even if you get a professional to set it up you're still going to get a buzz. I actually like a bit of fret buzz so I take it as a win but some people get fussy over the minor buzz when playing the low notes. You can cut it out with the Eq and put emphasis on the bridge pup. Also in case you didn't know on the bass the tone you get changes significantly according to whether you strum closer to the neck or bridge so strumming near the bridge will put less emphasis on the buzz.

If you're still looking to spend more though or want a more 'metal' finish try some of the Schecters if you get a chance. They have a different feel to the ibanez but for what you're budget you'll still be getting quality tone.
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Last edited by arvarna at Dec 27, 2015,
#5
I do think the 700 looks a hell of a lot nicer than the 500 tbh.

But then I also really love the looks of the 600 and it hardly costs anymore than the 500. And the 700 costs £100 more, which is a lot of money just to have a maple centerblock and a maple top.

I think I'll get the 600.
Quote by TheSennaj
And well yes, I'll enjoy the carpal tunnel and tendonitis, because trying to get one is clearly smarter than any word you have spoken thus far.
Last edited by T00DEEPBLUE at Dec 27, 2015,
#6
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE


I think I'll get the 600.


Go for it the 600 in my opinion is a hella lot sexier than either. I haven't played one but I'm sure it's got great tone and the feel will be the same as the rest of the SRs.
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#7
Thanks for the help.

I was surprised at how well finished the Ibanez GIO bass was. I generally haven't had good luck with their guitars (my dad's old GSA60 is a piece of junk) but there wasn't a single finish imperfection anywhere on that thing. The fret ends were fine, the hardware seemed okay, the action and intonation were okay, but it did have a high 16th fret. The odd fret being a little high can be fixed very quickly by my local tech, so that isn't a huge problem. But the knobs were very cheap-feeling chromed plastic which was really shitty. The whole thing was bland aesthetically and in terms of features, but I was honestly expecting a lot worse for £160.
Quote by TheSennaj
And well yes, I'll enjoy the carpal tunnel and tendonitis, because trying to get one is clearly smarter than any word you have spoken thus far.
Last edited by T00DEEPBLUE at Dec 27, 2015,
#9
fwiw, the SR500's finish is almost a disposable item. it comes off very easily. the buzz can be dialed out with the right amount of neck relief and nut height, but the factory spec is still pretty low.
Last edited by ad_works at Dec 28, 2015,
#10
Quote by zordan123
Do you need a free bass lesson ? Hit me up, check your UG mail messages.

Check yours.

tldr; Even if you are in fact legit, I'm not one to uncritically accept a 'free' bass lesson that I never asked for from a stranger on the internet. Sorry. You'll have a much better chance by asking people you personally know.
Quote by ad_works
fwiw, the SR500's finish is almost a disposable item. it comes off very easily.

Is it a poly finish, or a linseed oil jobbie?
Quote by TheSennaj
And well yes, I'll enjoy the carpal tunnel and tendonitis, because trying to get one is clearly smarter than any word you have spoken thus far.
Last edited by T00DEEPBLUE at Dec 28, 2015,
#12
Oh well. I do like the feel of oil finishes despite being quite fragile so swings and roundabouts.
Quote by TheSennaj
And well yes, I'll enjoy the carpal tunnel and tendonitis, because trying to get one is clearly smarter than any word you have spoken thus far.
#13
i do like my wife's SR500 though it terms of it's "care-free-ness". it's almost like you don't have to worry about the finish much because it's open pore and it's gonna wear off anyway so just play the crap out of it you know?

iirc, those barts have a weird corner radius that can make swap outs a pain. they sound great though, but it's something to keep in mind just in case you want to make a change.

happy hunting
#14
I've just ordered the 600. I'm getting it Jan 8th. I'll make an NBD thread in due time.
Quote by TheSennaj
And well yes, I'll enjoy the carpal tunnel and tendonitis, because trying to get one is clearly smarter than any word you have spoken thus far.