There is a whole lot to be said about affordable bass guitars, both bad and good. To be fair, most of the time cheap bass guitars only have bad things that can be said about them, which is rather unfortunate. On the other hand this makes finding guitars that are worthwhile and quality despite their cheapness is a treat that becomes easier to enjoy. Though the trouble of finding such a treat can be a little on the annoying side. Anyway, let us take a look at Ibanez GSR200SM 4-String Electric Bass and see whether good things can be said about it.
The guitar is designed after a famous bass guitar design that can be seen so often among cheap bass guitars. It is a double cutaway with a rather large upper wing and a smallish lower wing. Though in the case of the Ibanez GSR200SM this design choice feels fresh, because of the slimmed down wings and a sort of symmetry kept in the design of the guitar. The color pattern of the instrument is what buys the bass guitar its character though, with the red sunburst and the wood sunburst option being rather interesting.
The body of the guitar is built out of a composite of two woods: maple and mahogany. This is a combination that results in a number of interesting qualities in the instrument. The maple top of the body provides the guitar with a nice look, as well as a brighter higher tone resonance. The rest of the guitar, built out of mahogany, provides the instrument with a more powerful low tone resonance, with a nice spike towards the mid tones. The sturdiness of the two hardwoods combines into a nice, long lived bass guitar.
The neck of the guitar is made out of maple, which is a traditional choice with a whole lot of advantage for the guitar. The sturdy nature of maple allows the guitar to have a long lifespan that is resistant to breaking, denting and warping. The neck of the guitar is bolted onto the body, which does a decent job of keeping the neck stable and well aligned. The fretboard of the guitar is made out of rosewood.
The guitar comes with a B10 bridge system. This system is known to be rather decent at providing some nice string stability and great action for the instrument.
The nut of the guitar is made out of a cheapish synthetic material, which is rather unfortunate, since this results in the nut wearing down easily and some string noise escaping into the pickups.
The tunin machine of the guitar is made to look nice with the rest of the guitar’s design. It does its job of keeping the guitar in tune, though I would love to have some more tuning stability in my instrument.
The guitar comes with a dual pickup system, one at the middle of the instrument and one at the bridge of the guitar. The middle pickup is a SNDP passive pickup and at the Bridge pu: PSNDJ passive pickup system. This setup results in a lot of flexibility, since one of the pickups is a single coil and the second one is a split coil. While this does result in some string buzz, it also allows the guitar some great sound flexibility.
The instrument comes with a fairly standard control system, with two individual volume knobs, one tone knob and one equalizer.
The guitar sounds rather interesting, with a great flexibility thanks to the pickup systems installed onto the guitar. The split coil provides the guitar with both humbucker and single coil settings, with high output and bright tone at the same time. The single coil pickup at the bridge provides the instrument with some nice bright tones. Overall the sound of the guitar is flexible, versatile and full in tone.
This is one of the best affordable bass guitars you can get your hands on currently. It has some nice design options and great sound, despite the little bit of string noise present. Recommended for all.