Ibanez GSRM20 Mikro Short-Scale Bass Guitar Review – The Ultimate Beginner Bass

For a long time it was more or less an unwritten rule that if you wanted a good, affordable and versatile bass guitar, you turn to Ibanez. Their GSR200 has been demonstrating this to be true for a long, long time now. However, the bass we want to show you today is a completely different beast.

The Ibanez GSRM20 short scale is a mighty little trooper of a bass guitar that brings all the benefits of short scale design at a very affordable price. By providing a great balance of price and performance, Ibanez has once again given us a true winner in the entry-level range. At the moment, it’s easily near the top of the list of basses you can get under $200.

Ibanez GSRM20 Mikro Body

Body & Neck

The body is a pretty standard Ibanez design, maintaining the same contours as the rest of the GSR line. Tonewood of choice is Agathis – an average solution, but one that delivers the necessary results. Ibanez GSRM20 comes in several finishes, including your standard single color options, sunburst, and brown. The neck is where things get interesting. It’s a 28.6-inch scale, which is significantly shorter than your average bass scale. The neck is pretty standard Ibanez stuff as well, and sports a rosewood fretboard with pearl dot inlays.

Hardware

When you enter the affordable segment of bass guitars, the hardware is going to usually come in the most basic form. That means flush, standard bridge with fully adjustable saddles on one side, and die cast tuning machines on the other. That’s the case with Ibanez GSRM20 as well. In terms of quality, the hardware is solid enough to keep up with you within the scope of normal use. Once you start experimenting with different gauges and setups, you are entering unknown territory.

Ibanez GSRM20 Mikro Headstock

Electronics

Ibanez chose to go with the precision setup boosted by an additional single coil in the bridge position. All in all, a proven concept that has proven to be versatile enough in the affordable range. You get a Std. J pickup at the neck and a Std. J at the bridge. Together, these are controlled by your standard Tone, Bridge pickup volume, and Neck pickup volume knobs.

Sound

What really makes the Ibanez GSRM20 stand out is the sound it’s capable of delivering. Those pickups are working pretty well, and respond great to both clear and muddy tone settings. As far as the scale goes, it makes the whole bass sounds super smooth. That lower string tension works wonders for stable lower notes, which allows you to be pretty smooth across the fretboard. On top of that, this bass is just easier to play than a standard sized one.

Conclusion

All things considered, Ibanez GSRM20 is a true contender in the entry level/beginner market. It brings all the right features, the right kind of performance to price ration, and just an overall awesome feel. It being a short scale model should really worry you. This design has been around since the ’60s, and was actually a more preferred option. Whether you’re a beginner who needs an easy setup to learn on or someone who isn’t comfortable playing standard scale models, Ibanez GSRM20 is something you definitely want to look into.

For more info about the Ibanez GSRM20 Mikro, click here.
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