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Ibanez GSR200 Review

No musical number is ever really complete without some bass added in. After all, it is the bassline that so often drives a song and provides a thick round bottom that truly makes a tune memorable. Among every type of music, the bass guitar is an under-appreciated but essential component in bringing a song to life.

Bass guitars help to keep the tempo of a song, drive the rhythm, and balance out the high-end of the guitar, strings, or brass sections.

Reliable and easy to play…

For someone starting out on the bass guitar, it is important that the bass guitar be reliable, easy to play, responsive, and most of all, affordable.

It’s the same when someone learns to drive and gets their first car. That first car isn’t going to be a Porche, nor is it going to be some junker that constantly breaks down. A first car is usually something reliable, easy to drive, and affordable like a Civic or a Camry.

Ibanez GSR200BWNF-4 String Bass Guitar

Ibanez, in a similar way, makes high-quality, affordable guitars that are perfect for beginners of all types but are fundamentally solid enough that pros often seek out their instruments as well.

Ibanez developed the GIO series for players who want Ibanez quality in an inexpensive package. Guitars in this series are not going to have the same high-fidelity sound found in the more expensive models, but the quality, durability, style, and performance carry all the hallmarks of Ibanez instruments.

One such instrument is the…


Ibanez GSR200

Our rating:3.8 out of 5 stars (3.8 / 5)

GSR-200 Electric Bass Guitar

This affordable bass offers all of Ibanez’s quality construction, thorough inspection, and long-lasting performance.

For those of you who are looking for a good starter bass guitar, you need look no further. So, join us as we take an in-depth look at truly practical bass guitar, the Ibanez GSR-200…

The Body

One of the easiest ways to reduce the cost of a guitar or bass guitar is to use woods that are more plentiful and generally cheaper than the main-stay tonewoods used to build guitars.

Most people are aware that mahogany is a great tonewood and has been frequently used to construct guitar bodies. However, the world’s supply of mahogany has been declining for some time now, and this has caused the price of the famous tonewood to continued to rise.

ibanez gsr200 review

“Mahogany-esque” Agathis…

For this reason, many guitar and bass manufacturers have turned to cheaper mahogany substitutes in order to provide affordable guitars. One of these “mahogany-esque” woods is Agathis, which Ibanez used to build the body of the GSR-200 bass guitar.

It is not as hard as mahogany, but Agathis still offers great warm tones, a good amount of sustain, and strength. It is also much lighter in weight than mahogany, which is good for bass beginners since it makes them easier to hold and reduces fatigue while playing.


Looks a million dollars…

The shape and design of the GSR-200 body closely resemble the more expensive Ibanez models. When it comes to comfort, Ibanez did a really good job with this bass guitar.

The body is contoured on the top back-end so that your arm sits nicely in a natural position. The GSR-200 bass is incredibly comfortable when playing thanks to Ibanez’s contoured body design.

The body of the GSR-200 bass features a double cutaways design where the top cutaway starts at the 16th fret, and the bottom cutaway starts at the 20th fret. This is a common design used by Ibanez for both electric guitars and electric basses.

Ibanez GSR200

A far reaching bass…

The bottom cutaway at the 20th fret means that you can hit the highest note on the fretboard for any of the strings without having to reach or stretch in an awkward way. Ibanez’s double cutaway design offers more range along the fretboard as well as easier playability.

The Ibanez GSR-200 bass guitar comes in a stylish Walnut Flat finish.

The Neck

On any electric bass guitar, the neck is the single most important component. This is because bass guitar strings are heavier and thicker than standard guitar strings. The tension between the nut and the bridge produced by bass guitar strings puts added pressure on the neck.

Ibanez went with Maple for the neck on the GSR-200 bass because it is such a strong, sturdy, and durable wood. Maple is one of the most commonly used woods to build bass guitar necks because of its stiffness and strength.

The GSR-20 neck is sleek and fast, with a satin finish that makes it very playable…

The fretboard on top of the maple neck is made of rosewood. It features 22 frets, which is more than most bass guitars typically have to offer. Many bass-makers like Squier and Fender generally offer 20 frets.

The frets themselves are medium size frets, which means the frets are slightly shorter and thinner than standard bass guitar frets. This is another reason why the Ibanez GSR-200 makes a great first bass guitar because the smaller frets make developing finger strength, literally, less painful.

There are dot inlays on the rosewood fretboard, and the headstock is the standard Ibanez design.

Hardware

As we mentioned already, bass strings put a lot of tension between the nut and the bridge. The second most important component of a bass guitar is the bridge. A flimsy bridge can quickly ruin a bass guitar.

Since Ibanez prides itself on building dependable, performance-driven bass guitars, no chances were taken with the GSR-200 bridge.

The B10 Bridge is a heavy-duty hunk of metal…

It features four independent roller saddles that are fully adjustable. The B10 Bridge offers excellent intonation and precise string stability.

The nut is a standard synthetic nut. It is not cheap plastic, but it is not bone either. The tuners are simple die-cast machine head tuners. Under heavy and aggressive play, these tuners might not be the best, but as far as beginners are concerned, they are more than stable enough.

ibn grs 200

The Pickups

The Ibanez GSR-200 bass guitar comes equipped with a set of active pickups. Active pickups on a bass guitar offer more responsiveness and dynamics. This is a distinction Ibanez has over the other big name bass-makers who generally use passive pickups.

Because active pickups provide increased responsiveness, moving your fingers closer to or farther away from the neck will serve up a variety of tones. And, an added bonus of the active pickups is noise reduction. There is no buzzing or hissing from these pickups.


Precision and Jazz rolled into one…

The neck pickup is a Dynamic P split-coil or Precision bass pickup. The bridge pickup is a single-coil Jazz bass pickup. Each pickup has dedicated volume and tone control knobs that allow you to shape a wide range of tonal frequencies and colors.

These pickups make the Ibanez GSR-200 bass guitar a very dynamic instrument that can handle any musical style thrown at it.

Final Thoughts On The Ibanez GSR200

The bottom line on the Ibanez GSR-200 is the bottom-line. For a budget bass guitar, this one offers plenty of sound and tonal dynamics, strength and stability, and ease-of-play.

These are all qualities one would expect on more expensive bass guitars, but Ibanez continues to surprise with great-sounding, high-quality bass guitars at prices that are hard to beat.

The Ibanez GSR-200 may not be the Porche of electric bass guitars, but it is certainly a bass guitar that has reliability, quality, and affordability written all over it.

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