Ibanez Soundgear SR400 bass

Posted at 2015-09-04.

A little while back I ran into an electric bass (guitar) for sale nearby and decided to finally get one.


Bass in stand
Ibanez SR400

3-band active EQ model. J-P pickups. Pretty well fits into the idea of relatively versatile and comfortable little bass with an affordable price. I don't expect to have a second one.

Made in Cort Korea factory in 1997 according to the serial. This makes it almost as old as my RG.

Body is metallic green. I'm not too fond of that, but I never got to choose paintwork anyway. All the guitars I've got are fairly plain; being black, black, metallic green, and cherry sunburst.. on ash. I'm not a big fan of ash.

There's a little fret wear, some dents in the paint and neck. Not enough to be more than cosmetic. There's also some damage to end of fretboard and pickup covers. It might have had something press and rub the strings in storage or transport. I can't imagine these being caused by playing. The cover panels for electronics (battery) and trussrod were missing. Anyway, no effect on functionality.

Strap and bag included.

Setting up

Bass neck and nut
Neck CLA

I made some new cover panels out of plastic. Actually it's a multilayer pickguard material I had laying around so there's some zebra edges, but they don't show much. Naturally the fit was a bit hasty and I got the pattern backwards on the rear panel ending with the scratchier side out. But the rear panel typically gets scratched anyway.

I cleaned the fretboard and body and set up new strings. I have no idea what the old ones were. They were probably not that old and still serviceable, but I wanted a fresh start.

First, I somehow ran across Lord of the Strings who seem to deliver many brands. Researching more, I also stumbled on Strings.fi which is neatly in Finland and clearly states their delivery prices. I ended up picking some EBS stainless steel strings from our neighbour and some Graph Tech picks. I should have picked some thinner picks as these are stiffer than the Dunlop Nylon ones I most like.

There is some wear to the nut, but it seems to cause no problems. I couldn't find one with the right string spacing yet. Maybe I'll replace it later.


Electronics cavity
Electronics cavity

I'm actually not that tempted to touch any of this. Not even shielding since there's no noticeable noise. For its range, they seem to have made a nice circuit. TL062 dual opamp, probably buffering a tonestack of some sort.

I think I hear some wire rattle from here on heavy notes, but that doesn't affect the output. I might make some kind of padding for the plate. No idea how old the battery is, but it behaves like new as far as I can tell.

I have a rescued bass amp, but I've mostly been using an old Pandora as a headphone and DI box.

You can get away with a lot less processing hassle than with an electric guitar. If I get around to recording this, I'll see how it works.


Learn to play bass and have a bit of fun on the way :)

Strap locks should be in the mail and I might want that nut replacement sometime.