Should I replace existing cheap Ibanez bass?

I have a Ibanez GSR190-TR that I am learning to play on. I had lessons way back before my kid was born but it got abandoned to a closet (as well as being carted from the USA to the UK then back again by shipping container.) So it’s probably been 15 years since I properly played and I didn’t get real far then.

So my priorities have changed lately and I’ve ditched the gaming habit and picked up my bass again. I’m just finishing up module 4 (I’ve breezed through everything so far (I spent the last month playing rocksmith+ but realised I needed some proper technique lessons.) but Billie Jean is definitely going to take some practice, Josh is right about the ‘finger twister’) and was looking at the beginner bass reviews. I noted that one of the complaints about the Ibanez in that review was the buzz on the strings. That’s been annoying me too but I thought it was a skill issue. (I know it’s not the same model but the buzz was identical.)

So long story short, should I ditch the Ibanez and go for the Yamaha in Josh’s reviews? I’m not going to be playing gigs, I’m a 46yr old, full time working, mum who just wants to be able to jam along to my favourite rock songs with my partner who plays guitar.

Thanks :slight_smile:

If you’re happy with what you have why change?

Cause the buzz on the strings is really annoying. I’ve been putting up with it because I thought it was just me not having the finger strength to play properly yet, but seeing the exact same issue on the Ibanez in the review made me realise it’s not just me.

I’m fairly new still myself, just to state up front. I’d look at the set up on your bass first and foremost. If you want / feel comfortable with working on it, there are loads of videos on Youtube to show you how to check your set up yourself (this series of 4 short videos is my personal favorite). If it’s been sitting in a closet and being moved across oceans a few times, at a minimum I think you’ll need to adjust your truss rod, check the action on your strings, and check intonation. I’d bet that’s where most of the buzzing is coming from. You’ll need a few tools, but most folks will have the important ones in their garage / home tool kit. If you aren’t comfortable with working on your bass, I’d consider taking it to a guitar store and getting a set up done on it before you drop the money on a new bass. Unless you’re looking for an excuse to buy a new bass, in which case go for it.

Added: Josh has a video about set ups also.


Welcome @Morkai playing an instrument is so much more rewarding than gaming :grinning:
Just what @faydout said , maybe a good setup at a music store?


at a minimum I think you’ll need to adjust your truss rod, check the action on your strings, and check intonation

Thanks, you are right. I got caught up in the ‘don’t buy this bass’ review and oooh pretty on the Yamaha. :slight_smile: I’ll definitely do this first.

Unless you’re looking for an excuse to buy a new bass, in which case go for it.

Lol… maybe :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

But… I’ll behave, I’ll do the setup first and if that fixes it maybe I can save the Yamaha for a BTB completion reward.


Thanks, it really is. I used to play the flute in school but got super burned out when my music teacher encouraged me to do all kinds of music exams. When I got into rock/metal as a teen I picked up a guitar and a bass then (I still have trouble deciding on which I want to play but I’m settled on bass for the moment) but my gaming has always gotten in the way of the dedicated practice habit needed to learn properly.

I met a friend recently who opened my eyes to what’s more important in life and thus here I am :slight_smile: Plus, I’m not sure how much jamming I can do with my son’s french horn (he’s just about to wrap up his first year in middle school band) but you never know…


I would never, ever try to dissuade anyone from buying a Yammie. Three months in, I’ve got 2 with a 734 still on my radar. If you can make it to the end of B2B without adding to the stable, you’re doing better than I did :rofl:. If it were me, I’d take the Ibanez in for a set up and leave the place with a Yamaha and a nicely set up Ibanez.

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I’d get another bass if you feel like getting another bass. Keep this Ibanez to practice your maintenance skills. It would worth more to you to serves as a bench bass you can try things on.

I owe education to the cheaper Squier basses and guitar it helps me with the confidence when I have to work in my $3000 bass.

Set-up is great

if you break your ibanez, it will be less painful than your 2nd or 3rd bass that might be more expensive…

I started with Ibanez xxx 200, so slightly more expensive. I replaced it after a couple of years by a Squier PB Classic vibe for the tone but the ibanez is still great to play (left it at my house in the country side)

You can also look into changing strings (I did on the ibanez but don’t remenber the impact; also went to flats for the PB and it is quite different feel :wink: )

Both needed a set-up (home made) and they feel pretty good after this

Totally not helping. :rofl: At this rate I’m gonna be hard pressed not to have clicked buy now by the end of the evening. I am no where near confident enough to go actually play it in a store so two day shipping from Amazon is great.

Hmm… I like y’all’s way of thinking :slight_smile:

Nobody cares. Stores care about money exchanging hands, and i’m pretty sure they make more off of beginners than they do off of, erm, for lack of a better term, proper(?) musicians.
2-octave any scale to get a feel of how the thing plays, and done. Or just random frets on all the strings. Whatever. Make it make noise and get a feel of what it’s like to play the thing. Just because reviews say it’s a nice piece of gear, doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll find it comfortable. I learned that the hard way.
Hell, the slower you play the notes, the more it may appear like you’re listening to the sustain or some such :stuck_out_tongue:
They’ll try and help, possibly offer an alternative to what you want to buy if it suits you better, because they’ll want you to go back.

As for the Ibanez, if it just came out of long storage, let the store do the setup and struggle with un-sticking the truss rod nut. Once it’s loose, you can learn to do your own setups much easier.


Just tell them you don’t need an amp. They will think you are someone that knows what they are doing at that point, and no embarrassment for you.

Because really, 90% of what you need to know when instrument shopping doesn’t require hearing it at all. How does it feel, how is the fit and finish, is it easy/fun to play, any issues with the frets or other hardware, etc.

I usually only ask them for an amp to briefly check the electronics. It’s not as if your practice amp at home is going to sound much like the 500W 4x10 they will plug you in to in the first place, and tone is also probably the most overrated quality in instrument shopping as there’s just so many ways to fix or change it.


I was in the very same situation a few weeks ago, when I played a few short scales in a store. (Un-)Fortunately I can talk much better about playing bass than playing the bass.

I brought my own Boss Katana Go, some headphones, and the rest was acting: putting on my best bass face while noodling hopelessly around…

Nobody will look at your fingers, when they are impressed with your face :slight_smile:

The store guy took me serious and we had a very good chat, so my honour is still intact!

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Aren’t there at least a couple people on this forum with an svt head as a practice amp :rofl:

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Well ok sure :rofl:

Lol, my partner tells me the same thing.

Fair point.

Also a good point, I’m not sure how old it is (my memory totally sucks for dates) but it’s got to be at least 15 years old possibly closer to 20.

I guess I’ll spend the rest of the week practicing something I can play and head over there on Saturday with my bass and guitar (might as well get that setup at the same time) .

I just remembered that even they are a tiny music shop they do have a website, looks like the only yamaha they have in stock is the TRBX174

They do have a Jackson JS3 Spectra in stock though that looks gorgeous. I’m not a fan of the pick guards so the only options of their current stock is the Squier Affinity (I’m guessing equivalent to the Ibanez I already have, the Yamaha (this seems to be the passive version vs the active 304 I think) or the Jackson.

Financially I can afford something better, I was just eyeballing the TRBX604 and that’s definitely still in the budget.

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From what I hear on this forum, but also from friends, Yamaha seems to be very good. If they had a proper short scale I might have one too!

Reviews are very good to orient yourself.
But two things really help with the decision: a) annoy everybody here about every thought you have about basses (I do it all the rime ^^) - you will learn a lot! - and b) go into several stores and just take your time and play all basses they have. I did this and learned that there is a great difference between reviews and real basses, especially in terms of ergonomics!

My decision process took a few months…

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True point. Thanks :slight_smile:

Hahaha, no definitely not, I have a little bitty 16w Ibanez guitar amp that came with my Ibanez Gio. Sounds surprisingly good, and works just fine for practicing, although I have to smack the top of it to get it to work occasionally, I don’t think it appreciated the trip across the pond too much.

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That. Weed out the really crappy ones.

And that too :slight_smile: Nothing beats a little hands-on.

[EDIT] Well, “really crappy”, on second thought, does not exist, per se. Let’s just say way outside your comfort zone.
Eg baby hands wrapped around an oar might not be all that comfy. Similarly, if someone’s hands dwarf those of a full grown mountain gorilla, a thin neck might feel like a toothpick.

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