Ibanez GSR200TR 4-String Bass Guitar Review

Usually when I think about bass guitar, they drive images of a stale, brown piece of equipment in the background with little impact and even littler personality. They're an afterthought, a functional piece of hardware that completes the overall sound, but not necessarily pivotal to the overall aesthetics of the band as a whole.

Things to Consider When Looking for a Bass Guitar

And I would imagine that's the way it's supposed to be. When people shop for a bass guitar, they think of functionality, not pizzazz (after all, you never see any bass guitars shaped like a lightning bolt). Usually when you check out a bass for the first time, you ask yourself very simple questions: do I go with or without a fretless (personally, I'm a fretless girl)? Is the truss rod solid? Is the headstock and the tuning keys sound? Most importantly, does it sound ok with my amp?

The Ibanez GSR200TR Bass Guitar

All of these and more are taken care of with the Ibanez GSR200TR 4-String Bass Guitar with the transparent red finish. Not only does this thing sound amazing, but it looks even better.

Pros

  • Great guitar for beginner
  • Well made
  • Sound quality is exquisite

Cons

  • Price is a little high for introductory level bass
  • Some physical features feel clunky
  • Wears easily

Features & Benefits

Construction

Ibanez GSR200TR Bass Guitar

The guitar is crafted from a one-piece maple neck and an agathis body, with a rosewood fret board and pearl dot inlay. The maple especially helps with those upper tones, as they produce a much sweeter sound. It comes with a split-coil and single-coil pickup array, with an active EQ and PHAT-II Bass boost, chrome hardware, fully adjustable bridge, and medium frets. This thing is a beast.

Sound Quality

The sound is rich and pure, with very little buzzing (if you play it properly). The strings that came with it were not the best, and I had to some Allen wrenches to the knobs to do some adjustment, but after that, it played beautifully.

Look

Is awesome a strong enough word? The red finish is just amazing, and definitely stands out compared to other types of basses on the market. I've beaten mine into the ground too, and the thing has held up like a champ.

Playing Ability

This is a beginner bass, so you shouldn't expect too much right out of the box, but I can see this being a solid instrument for several years. The action is great on it, within ten minutes I was hammering some sick runs on it.

Warranty

I bought mine from Musiciansfriend.com, and it came with a free 2 year warranty, which covers parts, labor, and shipping. There was an option for a "gold coverage" from musicians friend also that protected it against my accidental spills, drops, and cracks, but I didn't buy it. It extends the warranty an extra 1-3 years on the manufacturer.

​Rating

Design

5

Performance

4

Construction

3

Value for the Money

5

User Satisfaction

4

ALTERNATIVES

Red might not be your thing though, or it may be that this one just isn't what you're looking for. If that's the case, here are some alternatives you may be interested in.

Ibanez GSRM20B 4-String Electric Bass Guitar Natural

Ibanez GSRM20B 4-String Electric Bass Guitar Natural

Like the GSR200, the GSRM20B also comes in four strings, comes in maple, and also has the pearl-dot inlay. The difference is in price and body: the GSRM20B sports a mahogany body and comes in nearly $20 less, making it a little more in reach for the beginner player. The neck is maple, but a 28.6 scale, unlike the one-piece maple neck of the GSR200. The bridge isn't adjustable either, and the pickups are slightly different. Overall, the sound quality is what suffers, but most musicians won't be able to tell too much of a difference.

Comparison

Ibanez GSRM20B 4-String

Price - $179

Wood - Mahogany

Frets - 22

Ibanez GSR200 4-String

Price - $199

Wood - Maple

Frets - 22

Yamaha RBX170Y

Yamaha RBX170Y

At the same price point and with the same number of strings, the Yamaha RBX170Y is a close contender to the Ibanez GSR200TR, with slightly different construction. The Yamaha comes in basswood instead of maple, and has a fixed bridge instead of the adjustable one that comes with the Ibanez. It also sports a single and split-coil design, but with passive pickups.

Comparison

Yamaha RBX170Y 4-String

Price - $199

Wood - Maple

Frets - 24

Ibanez GSR200 4-String

Price - $199

Wood - Maple

Frets - 22

Hofner Ignition LTD Violin Electric Bass

Hofner Ignition LTD Violin Electric Bass

If you're truly looking to separate yourself from the pack, the Hofner violin model accomplishes that in spades. You'll pay nearly double for this beauty, but you get the same solid maple finish, glossy body finish, with a single-coil neck instead of the split and single from the GSR200TR. The violin produces a warm tone from a semi-hollow body, but the quality may not be what you would expect with an Ibanez. Since this design is so unique though, I've seen it at being promoted at a discount all the time, so you shouldn't end up paying too much more for it than you would the GSR200TR.

Comparison

Gibson Hofner Ignition

Price - $379

Wood - Maple

Frets - 12

Ibanez GSR200 4-String

Price - $199

Wood - Maple

Frets - 22

Final Thoughts

Overall, the design and playability of the GSR is something you can't ignore. For a beginner bass, it's easy to pick up, easy to play, and should sound great for several years. And finally, no more wasting away at the back of the stage in anonymity! You can learn more about other guitars and criteria for selecting bass guitars in our bass guitar guide. And for acoustic guitar guide check it here.

Stephanie Su
 

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