Upgrading from Ibanez SR500?

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Revv0Revv0 Frets: 1
Hi all,

I'm thinking of upgrading from my Ibanez SR500, which is my first and only bass for the past 10 years. It's been great and I love it, but fancy a change. I play a lot of fingerstyle funk rock and aggressive slap (RHCP/RATM style)

I've currently got 2 basses in mind:

Ibanez SRMS800
or
Musicman Sub/Stingray 34

I'm leaning more towards the Ibanez because I'm used to it, like the slim neck and 24 frets, but it's a fanned fret so I'd need to try it out first. All the reviews I've read say that they get used to it really quickly, and it actually feels more natural...

Which do you think would be the better buy?

Thanks :)

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Comments

  • FunkfingersFunkfingers Frets: 7200
    Welcome to tFB. 

    My response to your question is to pose a question to you. It is this. What displeases you about the Ibanez SR500?

    Reading the published specification, I believe that your bass guitar has Bartolini MK1 narrow “soapbar” hum-cancelling passive pickups and Ibanez-designed active EQ. 

    In my opinion, you can get the tones that you desire simply by upgrading the pickups and onboard electronics. 
    Be seeing you.
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  • Revv0Revv0 Frets: 1
    I've considered upgrading to the Nord pickups, but that'd cost me £200... I figured why not just change the whole bass! Could do with a treat haha
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  • As someone who previously owned an SR500 and now plays an SR505, I think you'd have to spend a decent wedge of money to get something that's a significant improvement. They're the sweet-spot in the SR range for me. I doubt the Ibanez you mentioned would be a significant upgrade (unless you really need the fan-frets). I think to get an SR that's worth the upgrade over the 500 you'd need to go for one of the really fancy MiJ models like the SR1400. The ones inbetween aren't a massive improvement over the 500, you're mainly paying for a bit of extra bling.

    The Music Man you mentioned is obviously a quite different kind of bass than the Ibanez, but I wouldn't say it was appreciably better.

    What's your upgrade budget? If you're looking for a used bass I'd have a trawl for something like a German-made Warwick Thumb/Corvette if you can stretch up to the £6-700 ballpark. If you're after something more 'classic' then a MiJ Fender Jazz/Precision may be a good shout. Always had a soft-spot for the MiJ Aerodyne models, but you don't see many of those around.
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  • Revv0Revv0 Frets: 1
    To be honest I'm just looking for a change, rather than a complete upgrade. I don't have more than £500 to spend, and the SRMS800 and Stingray 34 can be had for around £400... I'm just not sure if I'm sold on the fanned frets, but will wait and see until I've tried it
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  • FunkfingersFunkfingers Frets: 7200
    The Music Man you mentioned is obviously a quite different kind of bass than the Ibanez, but I wouldn't say it was appreciably better.

    If you're looking for a used bass I'd have a trawl for something like a German-made Warwick Thumb/Corvette if you can stretch up to the £6-700 ballpark.
    I had a Sterling-by-Musicman Ray34. It was as heavy as some CBS-era Fender bass guitars. Compared to an American-made ‘Ray, I found the S-by-MM nut width and string spacing annoyingly cramped. I upgraded to a pre-owned Bartolini MMC pickup and would have upgraded the onboard EQ if I had not decided to cut my losses instead. 

    The SUB Ray is, inevitably, cheaper but, in some respects, more cheerful. 

    The Warwick suggestion is a good one. The looks, playing feel and sound will be distinctively different from the SR500.

    Yamaha makes all sorts of seriously good bass guitars that can be landed for not more than £500 pre-owned. Stretch your budget a bit further and seriously nice instruments can be yours.

    Revv0 said:
    I've considered upgrading to the Nord pickups, but that'd cost me £200... I figured why not just change the whole bass!
    My suggestion would have been Aguilar DCB or Super Double models. Just check the Bart and Aguilar published dimensions to ensure a good fit.

    Other forumites may have better (or more affordable) suggestions.



    For a REAL change, consider fretless.  :)




    Be seeing you.
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  • MattBansheeMattBanshee Frets: 1432
    As said here several times, the SR500 is probably one of the best <£1k basses on the market. You'd be hard pushed to "upgrade" from it with £400, even if you sold the 500 to top that up.
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  • FunkfingersFunkfingers Frets: 7200
    I have been reading more about the SR500 bass guitar. Apparently, more recent examples get Bartolini BH-2 pickups. These are worth persevering with. 

    If threads on certain bass forums are to be believed, the first thing to change in the SR500 is the active EQ and pre-amp electronics.

    As a former SRX-300 owner, I can attest that its Ibanez-designed EQ wasn’t a patch on EMG 3-band or Seymour Duncan STC and Blackouts 2-band systems.

    When present, @Bridgehouse speaks highly of John East bass guitar pre-amp electronics.

    To my way of thinking, a couple of hundred Pounds for electronical gubbins upgrades makes more sense than five hundred (or more) for fanned frets and prettier body facings.
    Be seeing you.
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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 22248
    I have been reading more about the SR500 bass guitar. Apparently, more recent examples get Bartolini BH-2 pickups. These are worth persevering with. 

    If threads on certain bass forums are to be believed, the first thing to change in the SR500 is the active EQ and pre-amp electronics.

    As a former SRX-300 owner, I can attest that its Ibanez-designed EQ wasn’t a patch on EMG 3-band or Seymour Duncan STC and Blackouts 2-band systems.

    When present, @Bridgehouse speaks highly of John East bass guitar pre-amp electronics.

    To my way of thinking, a couple of hundred Pounds for electronical gubbins upgrades makes more sense than five hundred (or more) for fanned frets and prettier body facings.
    The John East preamps are superb, but might be a bit overkill for a quick upgrade. They aren’t cheap, and they really need some high end pickups to get the most out of them. They work superbly with under saddle piezos. 

    I agree with the comments to date - it’s going to be a tough upgrade with only £500.

    I’d keep it and find something completely different for £500 so you have two very different basses to swap between to keep things interesting. 

    You could go short scale, traditional, fretless, semi hollow, or any number of other wacky ideas...
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  • bassborabassbora Frets: 101
    I think we have all been there. Do you feel like you have out grown the instrument? Or do you just fancy trying something different? 

    I would personally not jump on a fan fretted bass without trying and really liking it. I think only a minority of people like them (we are all conservative in thinking) and if you decide this is not for you, you might be stuck with a bass that’s hard to shift. But that’s just my opinion and others might think differently. 

    If you like the current bass, neck is the most important part here in my opinion, and you just feel like tone might be something you could improve there are many options. Like has been said pickups and onboard electronics are one option but that requires you to make changes to the bass and you might not want that. How about a preamp pedal? In the mid 90s I used a Sadowsky outboard preamp, I believe it was the same preamp you got in the basses, and used it with my mid level Yamaha bass and the difference was huge. There are so many options in this area and might be worth exploring. 

    But you might just want a new bass to try something different. I would always go second hand because you can get so much more for your money. Have you looked at Basschat market place? 
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  • GulliverGulliver Frets: 670
    If you want something Stingray-ish for not much wedge - OLP is where it's at.   These were the pre-cursor to the Sterling range and are stupidly good, and usually go for under £200.   That would give you £300 to throw some better electronics and get the best of both worlds.

    They're not easy to come by - because they're such ridiculous value for money - but they are excellent.
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  • FunkfingersFunkfingers Frets: 7200
    @Revv0 ;Does this FS: Discussion indicate that you bought an Ibanez Soundgear SR900 and, very swiftly, decided against it? If so, what do you dislike about the SR900?
    Be seeing you.
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  • Revv0Revv0 Frets: 1
    Yep, I realised I prefer the feel of my SR500, probably because I've become so used to it over the past 10 years... The SR900 looks more premium though, and I like the neck-thru aspect.
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  • MagnumMagnum Frets: 0
    Revv0 said:
    Hi all,

    I'm thinking of upgrading from my Ibanez SR500, which is my first and only bass for the past 10 years. It's been great and I love it, but fancy a change. I play a lot of fingerstyle funk rock and aggressive slap (RHCP/RATM style)

    I've currently got 2 basses in mind:

    Ibanez SRMS800
    or
    Musicman Sub/Stingray 34

    I'm leaning more towards the Ibanez because I'm used to it, like the slim neck and 24 frets, but it's a fanned fret so I'd need to try it out first. All the reviews I've read say that they get used to it really quickly, and it actually feels more natural...

    Which do you think would be the better buy?

    Thanks :)

    I am just about to collect an Ibanez SRMS800 tmrw.  Not played a fan fret before.  I have two Sandbergs, a Magnum, Yam BB1100s.  If you have never tried a Sandberg....wait for the shops to open and try one!  Wonderful quality and tone...
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  • MagnumMagnum Frets: 0
    bassbora said:
    I think we have all been there. Do you feel like you have out grown the instrument? Or do you just fancy trying something different? 

    I would personally not jump on a fan fretted bass without trying and really liking it. I think only a minority of people like them (we are all conservative in thinking) and if you decide this is not for you, you might be stuck with a bass that’s hard to shift. But that’s just my opinion and others might think differently. 

    If you like the current bass, neck is the most important part here in my opinion, and you just feel like tone might be something you could improve there are many options. Like has been said pickups and onboard electronics are one option but that requires you to make changes to the bass and you might not want that. How about a preamp pedal? In the mid 90s I used a Sadowsky outboard preamp, I believe it was the same preamp you got in the basses, and used it with my mid level Yamaha bass and the difference was huge. There are so many options in this area and might be worth exploring. 

    But you might just want a new bass to try something different. I would always go second hand because you can get so much more for your money. Have you looked at Basschat market place? 
    Gumtree and Reverb are also very good, take your time.  have bought from Basschat previously, sometimes over priced IMO
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  • MagnumMagnum Frets: 0
    Revv0 said:
    To be honest I'm just looking for a change, rather than a complete upgrade. I don't have more than £500 to spend, and the SRMS800 and Stingray 34 can be had for around £400... I'm just not sure if I'm sold on the fanned frets, but will wait and see until I've tried it
    Agree.........try before you buy
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  • Revv0Revv0 Frets: 1
    I tried out the SRMS800 and loved it, the fanned frets were super easy to play. The one major thing I didn't like which prevented me from buying it was the slanted pickups. I had no where to rest my thumb and playing over them felt weird, I'm used to them being straight. 
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  • MagnumMagnum Frets: 0
    I played it first on Wed and literally rested my thumb on the angle of the pup, but I see what you mean........
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  • Winny_PoohWinny_Pooh Frets: 4943
    Try a Ray 34, they will sound naturally more meaty in the bridge position IMO due to construction and quite agressive overall, think RATM & Flea. It will weigh more and feel bigger physically also.
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  • Revv0Revv0 Frets: 1
    Try a Ray 34, they will sound naturally more meaty in the bridge position IMO due to construction and quite agressive overall, think RATM & Flea. It will weigh more and feel bigger physically also.

    I tried out the MM Sub while I was trying out the SRMS800, didn't like it either. Could have been to do with the fact that both the basses were 5-strings, but I just didn't like the feel of either. Too used to the lightness of the SR500, the slim fast neck, the pickup style and location etc
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