Ibanez SR370E

Hello Everyone! If you have been checking the forums in the last 2-3 days, you have probably seen one of my level 0, straight out of the box, kindergarten level noob questions. And I have gotten a lot of great feedback from everyone.

One thing I was still needing some help with was my actual bass. Obviously it’s not possible for @JoshFossgreen to do videos covering every possible bass a beginner might have, and while he did briefly touch on the subject in one of the early lessons in B2B, I was hoping there might be someone on here that has the same bass as me and could answer a few questions!

Here is my bass, a (beautiful) Ibanez SR370E in Aged Whiskey Burst:


(obviously these are just stock images)
And here are what the knobs and switch all do:

Here is my understanding of what they actually do, please correct any errors:
Volume: Obvious
Bass, Mid, Treble: Seems self explanatory, but currently set to dead center per @JoshFossgreen’s instructions in the B2B lesson (there is a soft stop to let you know where center is)
Pickup: a ‘sliding’ scale which I think controls how active each pickup is between the neck and the bridge.
Power Tap Switch: According to the official Ibanez product page “The 3-band EQ works in conjunction with a coil tap switch for maximum control over a wide variety of professional bass tones. Tap Mode (single coil) creates a punchy, dynamic sound with superior articulation. Series Mode (humbucking) delivers a full, warm tone, and Power Tap Mode provides the best of both worlds-combining the clarity of the single coil with the fat bottom end of the humbucker.”

But I am not really sure what any of that means. What is the difference between single coil and humbucking? Why would I want one over the other or a blend when in Power Tap mode? I know it gives a brief explanation of each in the description I copied, but what do they mean when they say things like “fat bottom end”? I was hoping someone might be able to explain these terms in a more simple way, or even provide some examples of songs that have the sounds they are describing.

As always, thanks for any input!

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you can see you have two rows of magnets on each pickup. each row is internally wrapped by a coil and this coil captures the variations of the magnetic field created by the magnets, that’s how a pickup transforms the string vibration into a matching electric signal.

when you have two coils in the same pickup, those coils can be wired together in a way that the ambiant noise will be greatly reduced, that’s what we call an humbucker pickup. sound-wise the medium sounds full and fat. a pickup with only one coil (neatly called a single coil) has more dynamics and more treble, it’s more nervous and sensitive.

with your pickups you have the option to use the two coils in humbucker mode, or only one coil (we call that splitting a pickup), or another wiring called “power tap” (don’t know how it’s wired exactly). this gives you more tonal options.

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Excellent choice for a bass - the SR series is great.

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This is a little concerning because I am getting some buzz even with my switch set in the series mode. I was going to do some research into it, but it seems like this is probably a good place to start anyway.

I get a sort of buzzing or humming sound unless I am actively muting the strings. And then when I take my hand away, unless I am VERY careful and deliberate, the sound comes back. I also notice that when I press down on 9th fret (thats the one that I began noticing it on at least) as soon as the string touches the fret wire, I get a ringing almost as if I plucked a higher string. The sound is NOT the same as if i don’t press the string hard enough (that sort of garbage rattling sound when the string bounces against the fret wire), but rather it happens when I am pressing down on the string very firmly.

Any ideas?

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the humming sound may be a mass issue

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mass as in “common across this model” or mass as in “another music term that @brandoncmurphy does not understand”?

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yeah sorry, english is not my native language and sometimes I’m not clear at all. I was talking about the electric GROUND (which in French is called “masse” :grin: ).

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No worries!
I have found that most people that speak English as a second language are usually better at it than most people that only speak English. I tried to learn French in high school. Took 3 years of it and I don’t think much took hold in my brain at all. Je parle une petit Francais.
Haha, that has got to be horrible if it is even close to correct.

Back to the subject at hand: A grounding issue sounds like something that should not be happening on a brand new bass. Should I take it back into the music store I got it from? Or is there a simple method of fixing it I could try first?

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That is one beautiful looking bass
I also like the SR300E in white. It looks like a bar of soap
Paul

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It clearly sounds like a grounding issue, as @terb also suggested. It has probably nothing to do with your bass, but it is the main line where your amp is connected that is not grounded properly, i.e., the outlet/socket (not a native speaker either :grin:) You’d have to consult an electrician, or perhaps you can get away with connecting a “ground” wire from the outlet to a metal radiator, for example. But, really, this is just a quick fix, nothing permanent!! And, if you don’t know what you are doing, I wouldn’t suggest trying!

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Could you post a video of this?

@joergkutter I can just try a new outlet then if that might be the issue. Right now, the amp is plugged in to a surge protector that is plugged into the wall. In addition, I have y laptop plugged into the amp via the aux port and I am listening to it all via headphones so I can listen to the B2B lessons without my family complaining. So there are a lot of connections being made and none with high quality cables.

@eric.kiser I will see if I can get it recorded when I practice tonight.

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It is probably just the outlet itself that is the troublemaker… Try one in the kitchen - often, they are grounded there even when not properly grounded anywhere else in the house (because of the oven/stove, fridge, etc).

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+1. Grounded outlets are rare in Japan, it’s infuriating. I am actually running a ground wire to my aircon for just this reason.

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Same here - house built in the 70s. Had to get an electrician to put a proper outlet in in the room where I play bass; basically just to have the amp grounded! But, it’s worth it!

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connecting an amp to a computer often causes ground loops

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That’s good to know. I suppose the proper course of action then should be in the following order (if one does not solve the problem, move to the next):

  1. Try new plug (so that I can keep setup the way it is)
  2. Try without the laptop connected
  3. Try without laptop or headphones
  4. Video the issue and possibly seek additional help with instrument.
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Keep us apprised of what does or does not work.

Yep, basically try it in a different plug with nothing but the amp.

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I’d be very surprised if it were the instrument!

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