New Bass Blues...(ish)

Afternoon everyone,

So I recently took delivery of a shiny new Ibanez GSR200SM, which I really like so far. In terms of action and playability its great, but I’ve noticed a couple of things.

  1. The strings sound really really bright…which is fine, but they seem to make a lot more “noise” when I fret notes etc…much more than my old guitar…is this likely to be down to them being new strings ? and therefore will it settle as I play it more…I’ve only had it 3 days.

  2. Since I switched, my playing seems to have gone back a bit, and just seems a bit more sloppy…I just wondered if other people have experienced that feeling while bedding in a new guitar ?

  3. The guitar seems so much louder and getting a tone I’m happy with seems much harder, I assume its the new pickups being more powerful than the old ones ?

Btw I mostly play through my Vox AmPlug and some cheap Behringer headphones, I do have a bigger 60w amp but don’t get to use it much.



I had the same with items 1 and 3, when I got my new bass (in my case a MM Sub Ray4).

The strings are still reasonably bright, and compared to my old bass I get more sustain and volume if it’s not plugged in, but it’s definitely better and less bright than in the beginning.

Getting the right tone took me several weeks. I kept tweaking my amp equalizer, my settings on the bass and twiddling with my compression. I’m fairly happy now, although I did check out quite a few videos on my particular bass and it turns out it’s great for modding, because the tone has so many options to be improved by swapping parts…

As to the sloppiness, a good setup of the bass does help to tighten your playing, but for me sloppy playing depends mostly on my focus and concentration.


Congratulations! That’s a nice bass. Did you get the Charcoal Brown Burst?


Thanks, I do love it…it’s actually the natural grey burst and it looks awesome. It does play nice out of the box too, just need to get used to it :slight_smile:


Regarding the tones, I think part of the problem I have is that I play a range of different songs, si stuff like Hey Joe, Cocaine, midnight Blues and then some rock like Weezer and then through to more metal stuff which is the stuff I’d really like to get more into buy also like to go back to the classic vintage tones too.

I just get overwhelmed when trying to find a suitable tone and feel like I’m undoing the changes I make.

My guitar has a bridge j pickup and neck P pickup with volume controls for each and an overall tone and a bass boost circuit. My amp has bass, mid and treble and an overall tone control too.

I get it’s better to find your own tones, but if anyone has any rough general starting points for the different styles that would be awesome.

This forum is awesome and so supportive btw :slight_smile:


Looks like a nice setup. Congrats.

My plan when I get my new bass is to roll back the bridge pup back a little bit, maybe to 70%, and set the eq to neutral, and adjust levels on the amp. When I am happy with my playing I will dive into finding the perfect sound, happy with good enough sound till then.

Although changing strings is on the table. If the factory strings chew up my fingers I will throw tapes wounds on immediately

That’s my plan


The action on Ibanez basses from what I have played is usually very low if you have a tendency to play more aggressively you will here some fret buzzing that could be some of the sound that you do not like in your first question. I actually had todo a small set up on my new Ibanez to get it right where I like it.
Secondly new strings are almost always bright they will simmer down some. If you set all the controls midway or flat on your bass start there and tweak the tone to your liking.


Doing it yourself is good to learn…I won’t discourage anyone from learning it…however!..get a pro to intonate/setup your bass. They’ve been doing it for years, know what they are doing, have run into every issue that could happen and will do a good job. Yes, it costs some money. It’s worth every penny. Especially if you find someone you like. Try local music shops or a luthier if you have one locally. It’s incredible what a difference it can make, even compared to what you can do after you know what you are doing.


Cheers for all the great suggestions, I’m quite happy with the way the guitar plays, but I might take it to my local shop and see if it can be improved.

I think it’s more a case of just getting used to something new.

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