Buy cheaper Ibanez Soundgear bass and change the pickups?

Hi folks.
I am thinking to get an Ibanez SR300 bass. But this bass does not use the higher end Bartolini or Nordstrand pickups. I am wondering, is it worth it to buy a cheap bass and then change the pickups with a higher end one to get a better tone? Or is it just better to buy a bass that already has good pickup built in? What’s your opinion on this one folks?


I do this all the time.

One thing to keep in mind is you won’t get equivalent $ if you sell. But you can always put the originals back in to sell.


I’m playing this game right now. I just bought a Squier Affinity PJ and coming in the mail are pickups that cost more than the bass.

It’s a much better instrument than I was expecting.


What pickups did you land on @DaveT ?

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I bought a Squier CV P bass and installed a Geezer Butler pickup. It’s a good way to go, though with the Sr300 you might want to upgrade the electronics too.

The SR500 is only $650 and has the Bartolinis. so consider that too


BTW, @jpartogi, the whole modding process is a really fun one.
once you do one, hard not to do another, and another etc.
I have done various mods on 5 so far, some really extreme.
I currently have on order bits for 3 more.

@Al1885 is a master of this, if you search for him here you will see some amazing pics.

You can see one of my radical projects here…


The first round of fun will be with Delano PMVC 4 FE/M2 and JMVC 4 FE/M2.

I’m having a hard time even wanting to change them. I could have bought this when I started and been very happy. At least the way I did it I couldn’t blame my crappy playing on the instrument.


Are you running it with Sonar preamps or Aguilar?

Thanks @John_E.

Like everyone else, I love highend stuffs but, but, if you like to upgrade to feed the habit, working on a cheaper bass is not a bad idea.

Let’s face it. If you just starting out on the modding adventure, you don’t know what you don’t know. Believe me when I say this and y’all can confirm this, it’s inevitable that your hand would slip when you turn the screw and it would just scratch up your nice finish or fail to drill a pilot hole and snap the screw in half or strips the head. You name it.

I was very fortunate, by nature I’m very impatient so I made most of that mistake on my first few fix and since made less mistake, lol. Now I’m quite comfortable working on my highend basses.

In addition, if you are buying an expensive bass, there’s no need to upgrade…much.

My only issue with the SR300 is the choices of color. At least on the older ones. I think it uses the 40’s size pickup. I highly recommend EMG as they are easier to install and offer wide range of preamps option if you want to go there later. You don’t have to worry about soldering anything. That’s another skill with some learning curve on its own plus the wide array of wiring option, series, parallel and what not. It took me al long time to get comfortable doing that.

Anyways, BassBuzz forum is filled with a whole bunch of great guys who’s ready to help. All you have to do is ask.


On second thought, if I were in the market for a modding platform, I would go used. Plenty of inexpenive but great condition SRs to be had.

I paid around $200 for my Squier 70s P bass, $110 for the pickup and pots, $50 for a Hipshot bridge, and a set of strings. So around $400, cheaper than the $499 new price of just the bass.

I’m on board with you going Soundgear, a used SR300 in great condition is $200-$230. Just an option


What? Put upgraded pickups in a cheap Ibanez bass?
That’s ludicrous. Who would do such a thing?
Nobody in their right mind, that’s for sure.


Nice @admacdo . Were you happier with the tone after you upgraded the pickups?

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Hahaaa! Absolutely. It has become my practical joke bass. It gets a massive reaction from everyone who tries it. Nobody I know of in Australia has even seen a 5 String Mikro Bass, much less know they exist.
I figured I could always pull the pickups out and put them into something else, but … I don’t think I would. I’d just buy more. The Fishman Fluences are just brilliant.
Next thing to do is make it headless, but I’m slightly hesitant because it means a complete refinish…

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Are you talking’ to me?

Maybe I missed something but I’m hoping those pickups are passive since the Squier has no cavity for that stuff that I know of.

The next step will be to make a space
For the Audere preamp.

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Well they are passive/active. But all you need is to widen the cavity channel between the pickups and control plate just enough to put the battery in sideway. I did that to a few of the Squier including the Steve Harris. There’s no need for battery box.

I love the Delano. I have 2 the SH is running with Sonsr xpure and the other one is on my sterling cutlass project running with Sonar 2.

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ibanez sdgr basses are solid instruments for the price. Find your tone before you change pickups. Some of the most amazing players slay on instruments with stock pickups.

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Yeah seriously the SR line is great from top to bottom.

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That advice probably saved my some trouble. I was going to penetrate to the back side.

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My first cut was done on a $25 palm router from harbor fright. Hey look on the bright side, if you F up it’s still under a pickguard no one will ever see it.

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