Ibanez is a company known for affordable yet well-made electric guitars and bass guitars, and the Ibanez SR300 is a pretty good example of a highly versatile bass guitar that's suitable for a wide range of genres. In our Ibanez SR300 review, we'll take a closer look at some of this striking bass's remarkable features.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Bass Guitar
If you're already an experienced player, you likely have at least some idea of what you want out of a bass. However, if you're a new player, you may not be exactly sure what you need in a bass. Before you buy, here are some things to keep in mind:
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Features and Benefits
The Ibanez SR300E has a lot going for it, and it's a great choice for players who want a bass that's capable of achieving many different tones. Let's take a closer look at some of its important features:
Tonewoods and Build Quality
While this is a relatively affordable instrument, the build quality is quite good. The body is made of solid mahogany, which offers both warmth and sustain. We were somewhat surprised to see mahogany used for a bass in this price range--many less-expensive basses are made with cheaper woods like basswood. These aren't necessarily "bad" tonewoods, but many players prefer the sound of mahogany to that of basswood or agathis.
The SR300E also stands out because of its five-piece neck. The neck is made of both maple and rosewood, and the three-piece design makes it visually distinctive. Multi-piece necks also tend to be stronger than single-piece necks, and they resist the warping that can come with age. Like most affordable Ibanez models, this bass also comes with a Jatoba fretboard. Jatoba is a sustainable alternative to rosewood, and it helps keep costs down. Jatoba sometimes looks a bit like rosewood at first glance, but it often has a slightly orange hue.
If you're curious about some of the other tonewoods commonly used to build electric bass guitars, this video (below - left) offers an interesting breakdown of different body woods and their tonal properties.
This bass comes equipped with Ibanez PowerSpan humbuckers. Some players love their sound and some don't (you can hear them for yourself in this video demo - top right), but the three-way switching option means you have much more tonal versatility with this bass than you get with many similarly-priced options. PowerSpan humbuckers also work well with effects, so if you want to experiment even more with sound by playing with effects pedals, the SR300E is a good choice.
These pickups are also active, so you can achieve high-volume sound when you need it. The battery compartment is conveniently located on the back of the bass, making it easy to place and remove batteries as necessary.
In terms of controls, the SR300E also has plenty to offer. You get standard volume and tone controls, but there's also an onboard three-band EQ. This lets you custom-tailor your tone to whatever you're playing. When you consider this alongside the Power Tap three-way switching, the SR300E is a Swiss army knife of tonal opportunities.
If you're at all familiar with Ibanez, you likely have seen many of the company's impressive finishes. The Ibanez SR300E comes in a dazzling array of specialty finishes--whether you want an understated look or something that stands out, you'll likely be able to find one that suits you. Here are some of the finishes we could find:
If you're shopping for a bass on a budget, you may have noticed that many affordable basses only come in one or two colors, so the array of finish options on the SR300E is a welcome change. This video demo lets you get a closer look at the metallic heather purple finish.
The hardware finish likely isn't going to make or break your bass-buying decision, but the Cosmo Black hardware on these basses is a definite plus. Many reviews we found mentioned that this bass both sounds and looks like it should be more expensive than it is.
Social Proof of the Guitar
Buying a guitar or bass is an investment, so it's always wise to carefully consider any purchase before going through with it. We've found a few online reviews of this bass to help you make your decision:
Most buyers we could find were impressed with this bass, and this Ibanez SR300 review mentions its excellent value. Like many players, this person thought that this Ibanez bass has great sound, especially for the price.
Like many players who have purchased this Ibanez bass, the writer of this review was impressed with its sound and value.
Most reviews we could find were positive, but this buyer found the pickups to be too noisy and felt that there were some quality control issues. In this price range, it's possible that you may run into quality control issues, but it's less likely than with extremely inexpensive instruments.
Alternatives to Ibanez SR300
We think the SR300 is an excellent value and a bass worth considering, but it's still a good idea to find a few similar models to compare. We've found three other bass guitar options that you may want to consider:
How it Compares to Ibanez SR300
If you're a bassist on a budget, this affordable alternative is a great option. While the agathis body doesn't have the tone and sustain of the SR300's solid mahogany body, the included Phat II bass boost helps this affordable bass compete with much more expensive instruments. If you're on a budget and want a reliable bass that's easy to play, make sure you check this one out.
Sterling StingRay Ray 4
How It Compares To Ibanez SR300
The StingRay is an iconic bass, and this model from Music Man's budget brand makes it accessible even for bassists on a budget. This one is slightly less expensive than the SR300, but it also has active electronics and a two-band EQ. The basswood body doesn't have the same sustain as mahogany, but this bass is still a great value. If you want an affordable version of a famous bass, be sure to give this one a look!
Ibanez Talman TMB100
How It Compares To Ibanez SR300
This bass looks a lot like Fender basses, and the vintage aesthetic is sure to appeal to many bassists. With both a P-style pickup and a J-style pickup, it also can be used in virtually any genre. This bass is a bit less expensive than the SR300, and the poplar body offers decent sustain while still remaining affordable. If you want a beautiful bass that doesn't cost a fortune, make sure you look at this one.
We think that the Ibanez SR300EB is an excellent value, and it's also a beautiful instrument. With quality active electronics and excellent tonal versatility, it's great for players who like to experiment with different tones or those who want to dial in a specific sound. Whether you're new to bass or just want a quality, playable instrument to work with, we think this is a great choice. Click here to check it out!