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FDP Forum / Fender Bass Guitars and Bass Amps / NBD...Ibanez Mikro 5 string

Steve Dallman
Contributing Member

Merrill, Wisconsin

Age is just a number...mine is big
Sep 23rd, 2017 06:09 AM   Edit   Profile  

Our band played a 6 hour biker gig last Sat, and the arthritis in my knuckles flared up so much, I could not stretch my fingers enough to play bass.

So on a whim, I bought an Ibanez GSRM25 Mikro bass. (I've played only 5 strings since around 1990)

I am greatly surprised. 28.6"scale and it has a decent low B. It needed truss rod and bridge adjustments, fret sprout trimming, and I rolled the fingerboard edges, as I do with all my guitars and basses. I also rewired the controls from Vol-Vol-Tone to Vol-Balance-Tone.

I am most impressed with the strings. I like bright and clangy and use Pro Steels on my other basses. The stock Ibanez strings sound and feel great.

Turns out, Amazon and Ibanez sell the strings, and I've found they are coated D'Addarios made for this bass. (Amazon is almost half the cost Ibanez charges.)

I will play it at church Sunday, and at band practice next week.

I do plan on upgrading the pickups as any single coil hum will be a problem, and I like the pickups solo'd. I have a Carvin J bass stacked humbucker from a few years ago, and bid on a second. If I don't win it, I'll use the Carvin in the neck spot and route for a solid cover Music Man type pickup I already have. I'll also put a preamp in soon.

I never cared for the narrow-ish Ibanez Soundgear necks, but this little thing feels perfect.

I played it for a few hours now, after set-up and it isn't aggravating my left middle finger knuckle like 34" or 35" does.

I was really concerned early in the week that my playing days will be numbered. I feel like I just got a reprieve.

So between this li'l guy bass, (and no more 6 hour gigs) I'll not be quitting soon.


Newberg, Oregon

Fender...never say never.
Sep 23rd, 2017 03:52 PM   Edit   Profile  

Enjoyed reading your post. All is well that ends well. I, too, am making many adjustments these days in both gear and how I play to stick around a few more gigs. Age and body are fighting me but so far I've managed to keep the wolves at bay.


Contributing Member

Bakersfield, CA

Getting old is not for sissies!
Sep 26th, 2017 06:36 PM   Edit   Profile  

I bought my wife a mikro 4-string bass a couple of years ago when she mentioned wanting to learn to play bass (she's 5'1" - too petite for a full scale bass). Her interest faded but the mikro remains in the herd because it is a hoot to play. I have this one strung with a set of ground wounds that play great. I may even upgrade the pups someday.

Steve Dallman
Contributing Member

Merrill, Wisconsin

Age is just a number...mine is big
Sep 29th, 2017 10:55 AM   Edit   Profile  

I have modified mine quite a bit already. Pics will come later when I get to my computer. I play at church and single coil hum is not accepted. I had a Carvin H50 humbucking j pickup in a junk box so that went in the neck. I found a newer H50S for cheap on Ebay. I put it in yesterday, and the two sound great together or separately.

I changed the VVT to VBT (Volume, Balance, Tone) then started experimenting with active preamps. I ended up with a 3 band, midrange with concentric bass and treble with the volume following the preamp. I run it at 18v, The batteries are in a cavity I routed in the back.

I shielded the control cavity, pickup routes and even the battery cavity. The bass is dead silent even right next to the computer monitor.

The strings felt too high off the body, as I'm used to Fender type guitars and basses. I designed a pickguard and cut it out of a piece of tort. I attached it with 3M double sided foam tape, to raise it slightly.

It's perfect. I've played it at church 4 times (two services and two practices) and at band practice. The band loved it.

It feels great. I played a short scale back in the 60's and early 70's and this takes me back. I don't have to stretch so it's easier on my arthritic hand. The looser strings bend easily and take a lighter touch ( mostly play with a finger or my thumb and sometimes with a pick.) I hadn't bent strings for decades but can now.

If this is my main bass from now on, I can live with it. I may make a couple more with ideas I've had in my head for full scale basses.

I love the stock strings, which are coated rounds. I've heard D'Addario makes them for Ibanez. $18 for the 5 string set from Amazon...$30 from Ibanez. As long as I can get strings with a decent B and these have one.

Contributing Member

North Florida

A Friend of Bill W.
Sep 30th, 2017 09:15 AM   Edit   Profile  

It's great that you can continue to play. I've been going through that, well most of my life. I've indulged in a lot of risky behavior that on occasion has left me less physically capable and a couple of times had to relearn how to play.

I've been using a lot of shortscales, mostly 30", I have a home made 20" fretless that is more of a joke, except for the sound the little beast makes. The last home made 30 inch scale fretless "Home Depot 2"X 8" Pine" bass is just a hair over 6 lbs.

And fugly "o)

FDP Forum / Fender Bass Guitars and Bass Amps / NBD...Ibanez Mikro 5 string

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