A monstrous six-string member of the Ibanez GSR line, the Ibanez GSR6EX is just as beautiful sounding as it is looking. The Soundgear sleekness, tone and playability make it comfortable and fun to pla... Read More
A monstrous six-string member of the Ibanez GSR line, the Ibanez GSR6EX is just as beautiful sounding as it is looking. The Soundgear sleekness, tone and playability make it comfortable and fun to play. The GSR6EX has a mahogany body and flamed maple top with an amber burst finish. Featuring Phat II EQ, B16 bridge and DXH-6 pickups.
Case sold separately.
Reviewed by 2 customers
Displaying reviews 1-2
I bought one of these to try my hand at a 6-string bass. For background, I?ve been playing both bass and guitar for 20 years. I normally play USA-made G&Ls, Gibsons and Fenders, and professional-series Gretsches. My first bass (which I still have) was an Ibanez Road Bass from the early 90s, made in Japan. I currently play bass regularly in church services. First, the good: Fit and finish are pretty good. Nice photo-flame top, looks fine for what it is. Amber burst finish is smooth and consistent. I count 4 pieces of wood on the body, which is not unusual for an instrument in this price range, but they?re all matched fairly well, to the point that you have to look for the seams. Maybe luck of the draw, but it looks a lot better than most of the Squiers I?ve seen lately. Everything seems to be well put together. Neck is secure in the pocket with no gaps, dual truss rods for the added neck tension. Weight and balance are good, too. Like most instruments at any big-box retailer, this really was not set up well at all. It did adjust very easily, needed just a couple of turns on the truss rods, slight saddle height and intonation on a couple of strings. Once I got it set up, it plays surprisingly well. The neck is big, and the string spacing is tighter than I?m used to, but I?m adjusting to it fairly quickly. The neck actually does feel like a wider version of my old Road Bass? neck. Next, the bad: The electronics. They?re set up as volume, volume, tone (passive, cut only) and Phat II EQ. So far, I?m ok with this setup? I?ve seen mixed things about the Phat II EQ. People seem to love it or hate it. From what I can tell, it?s just Ibanez?s branded in-house version of the EMG EXB. That said, I like it in concept. One knob preamp that boosts the signal while scooping the mids, to give sort of a modern sound. I haven?t played with it enough in reality to give a fair assessment, but I think there?s just too much gain on tap to make it really usable. I just don?t need that much boost. But the tone is good with it. The bigger issue is that Ibanez used linear taper pots for the volumes. Linear taper pots make it so that the volume adjustment is really weighted on one end of the throw of the pot. In this case, turning from ?10? to ?9? drops the audible volume of a pickup by about half. Audio taper pots would provide a smoother, more consistent adjustment, and is what is commonly used in guitar/bass applications. What makes this stranger to me is that they used audio taper for the tone control, so you know they have some in their parts supplies. I just don?t understand the logic in using the linear taper pots, because it makes blending the pickups a pain. My only other negative comment is the tuning keys. My old Ibanez has nice Gotoh tuners, where as this one has knock-offs that aren?t nearly as smooth. They do hold the tension fine, though, so not a huge issue. Impression: I?m going to replace the linear taper pots with audio taper pots. Since I?ll be doing this, I?ll probably move to a vol/blend/tone setup, plus the Phat II. I would normally replace the pots with the full-size pots, but the tone pot is too close to the cavity to allow for this. But a new volume pot and a blend pot will probably cost about $10 and half hour of my time, so I?m not too bothered by having to do this. Once I get the electronics worked out and adjust to both the string spacing and the high C string, I see no reason why this won?t get pulled into the regular rotation. It is worth mentioning that I did get this on sale at a discounted price. If I were going to spend the full $399, I?d probably go with the Ibanez SR256 (same price), just to move up from the Gio line to the standard Soundgear line. But for what I spent, even with the electronics issues, I?m very happy with my purchase.
First let's get the critiques out of the way. Plastic pots, sometimes questionable matching of the mahogany (On mine you can see where the wood was joined together by a slight difference in color but only in the back). Factory strings? Okay. I would prefer a six bolt, rather than a four bolt neck. Face it, you're not going to get the same little extras that you get when you spend this much on a six string bass. Now to the good stuff. With a little love, new knobs, new strings (Fodera), a good set up (Cody at GC in Oakdale, MN) you can have a better than average six string at a fraction of the price of other models. The flamed maple on the front is nice. It doesn't weigh a ton. The fretboard is stable and easy to travel. It has the Gio line sensibility of strong, basic, and inexpensive but with a shinier package. Ibanez makes good stuff and in my opinion, unless you're buying a boutique bass, rules the normal price range six string bass world. I enjoy the six string bass. I like the range, the vertical vs the horizontal movement it allows along the fretboard, and quite frankly the looks you get when you bring it up on stage. This one is inexpensive but not cheap and if you're willing to add a few improvements to upgrade and personalize it you'll have a very serviceable instrument capable of handling playing out with ease.
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