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Ibanez GSR200 – Patron Saint Of The Budget Bassists

4.4 out of 5 stars

For many years now, Ibanez has been the brand you could turn to and find a number of affordable quality guitars. That type of reputation extends to their bass guitars as well. Out of their entire offer, there has always been one model which stood out the most in this regard – Ibanez GSR200. This bass is the ultimate beginner model, and as such has found its place on our list of best bass guitars. It's cheap, reliable and brings a very decent performance.


Body And Neck

In terms of body shape and finish, GSR200 is one of the most straightforward bass guitars you can find. Ibanez just took the shape they use for their more elite basses, modified it a tiny bit and treated it with the most basic type of solid color finish. Tonewood is Agathis, which is pretty decent for a cheap bass as they usually go for basswood or similar. The neck is a cookie-cutter maple design, and comes with a decent rosewood fretboard. As you could expect, inlays are standard dots and is pretty much it in terms of appearances.



When you're talking about affordable bass guitars, the reliable function is the key. That's why manufacturers opt for cheapest thing they can find which still meets this single requirement in terms of hardware. GSR200 brings a standard fixed bridge with fully adjustable roller saddles, standard synthetic nut and a set of die-cast tuning machines. If I had to find the weakest link in this setup, I'd say it's the tuners. They work pretty well under light use, but will give way as soon as you become more aggressive. However, for a beginner bass guitar, they are perfect.


Here's the biggest surprise GSR200 has to offer. Instead of opting for a passive set of electronics, like most other brands do, Ibanez went with an active one. You have a split coil pickup at the neck position followed by a single coil at the bridge. It's the traditional P/J configuration, only an active one. For this price range, seeing active electronics is a pretty unusual, which makes the GSR200 stand out right off the bat.


With everything I just said about the electronics, it's important to keep in mind that we are still talking about an entry level bass guitars. So, while you do have a whole lot of range to work with in terms of tone shaping, the capabilities of this setup are still somewhat limited. GSR200 offers a fair amount of warmth, precision and low-end response. It's obvious that Ibanez wanted to offer a bit of everything and make this model suitable for a wide variety of music genres.


At the end of the day, GSR200 is still the quintessential beginner bass guitar. Seeing how it evolved from a single passive split coil to this active setup, chances are it won't be de-throned anytime soon. If you're looking for a solid affordable bass to learn on, look no further.

For more info about the Ibanez GSR200, click here.
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