Ibanez SR300 Review – Standard Electric Bass Guitar

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:

  • Tonewoods -- The wood used to make the body of a bass helps shape its tone. Mahogany is a popular choice, since it adds some warmth and tends to have good sustain. Inexpensive basses, like inexpensive electric guitars, are often made of agathis or basswood.
  • Pickups -- The pickups used on a bass are one of the most important factors shaping the tone. While it's a good idea to choose a bass with pickups you like, you also can upgrade the pickups later on if you want to change the tone.
  • Active vs passive electronics -- Passive electronics tend to be less expensive, but they don't offer as much power or volume as active electronics. Active electronics will typically require a battery.
  • Strings -- Many basses only have four strings, but if you want expanded tonal options, you might prefer a five or six-string bass. That said, for beginners, a four-string bass may be easier to learn on.
Quick Comparison: Ibanez SR300 & Its Alternatives
IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Mahogany body provides warm tone with plenty of sustain
  • Three-way pickup switching with Power Tap makes it possible to achieve a variety of tones
  • Sweeper EQ gives you more tonal options than many similar-priced basses
VIEW ON SWEETWATER →VIEW ON AMAZON →
  • It's less expensive than the SR300, making it a good choice for players who don't have much to spend
  • Agathis body doesn't have the same tone as mahogany
  • Split-coil/single-coil pickup configuration lets you dial in a variety of different tones
VIEW ON AMAZON →
  • Active humbucker works well with effects and offers plenty of volume when you need it
  • Authentic StingRay aesthetic will appeal to many players
  • Basswood body is lightweight and keeps costs low
VIEW ON SWEETWATER →VIEW ON AMAZON →
  • P and J pickup combination offers plenty of tonal options
  • Vintage looks make this a bass that will appeal to many players
  • Poplar body is higher quality than the basswood and agathis commonly used for value-priced basses
VIEW ON AMAZON →

Our Picks for Review

Ibanez SR300

PRO's & CON's of Ibanez SR300

But first, we'll look at some pros and cons:

Pros

  • Mahogany body provides warm tone with plenty of sustain
  • Three-way pickup switching with Power Tap makes it possible to achieve a variety of tones
  • Sweeper EQ gives you more tonal options than many similar-priced basses
  • This is an affordable bass and a great value

Cons

  • Some buyers have noted that the pickups can be somewhat noisy
  • In some cases, buyers have reported quality control issues

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.

Electronics

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.

Finish Options

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:

  • Black planet matte
  • Iron pewter
  • Weathered black
  • Metallic heather purple
  • Cerulean aura burst
  • Golden veil matte
  • Night snow burst

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:

Ibanez SR300 Review 01

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.

Ibanez SR300 Review 02

Like many players who have purchased this Ibanez bass, the writer of this review was impressed with its sound and value.

Ibanez SR300 Review 03

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:

Ibanez GSR200

How it Compares to Ibanez SR300

  • It's less expensive than the SR300, making it a good choice for players who don't have much to spend
  • Agathis body doesn't have the same tone as mahogany
  • Split-coil/single-coil pickup configuration lets you dial in a variety of different tones
  • Active bass boost offers full, loud sound

Review

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

  • Active humbucker works well with effects and offers plenty of volume when you need it
  • Authentic StingRay aesthetic will appeal to many players
  • Basswood body is lightweight and keeps costs low
  • It's slightly more affordable than the SR300

Review

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

  • P and J pickup combination offers plenty of tonal options
  • Vintage looks make this a bass that will appeal to many players
  • Poplar body is higher quality than the basswood and agathis commonly used for value-priced basses
  • It's an affordable bass that's still very versatile

Review

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.

In Conclusion

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!

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on email
Share on print

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may also enjoy these articles

Scroll to Top