Ibanez SR300E Review – 2020 Overview

Vlad
| Last Updated: January 21, 2021

Ibanez Soundgear series often tend to provide interesting and affordable bass guitars.

SR300E is one of their cheapest models and you’re about to be shocked when we go deeper into analysis.

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • A fast and slim Maple neck design
  • Uses the dynamic P pickup
  • Comes with a compact lightweight body
View Latest Price →Read Customer Reviews

Ibanez SR300E 4-String Electric Bass

PROS

  • Bright and loud
  • Lightweight design
  • Incredibly affordable
  • Decent electronics installed
  • Power tap switch versatility

CONS

  • Thin neck shape
  • Modern design might not be appealing for all players

Ibanez SR300E Specs 

  • Type of Guitar: Electric bass guitar with active preamp

  • Body Size and Type: Asymmetric double cutaway solid body

  • Number of Strings: Four strings, also available in five string model (SR305E)

  • Tonewood: Nyatoh solid wood body

  • Orientation: Available in right and left hand model (SR300EL)

  • Neck Profile: 5-piece Maple SR4 neck shape with 38mm nut width

  • Fretboard: Jatoba fretboard with 24 medium frets

  • Scale Length: 34 inches

  • Color: Pearl White (PW), Charred Champagne Burst (CCB), Iron Pewter (IPT) and Cerulean Aura Burst (CUB)

  • Pickup Type: Ibanez PowerSpan Dual Coil passive HH pickup configuration with Power Tap switch

  • Weight: 7.5 lbs 

Pros

Bright and Loud

Thanks to the active EQ system, Ibanez SR300E will sound much louder than any other passive bass, including even more expensive ones. This will also result in much cleaner output and it will be much easier to combine with effect pedals.

Decent Electronics Installed

PowerSpan Dual Coil pickups are working above and beyond at this price range while Ibanez Custom Electronics preamp provides you with 3-band EQ which allows up to 16dB of boost or cut and also with the feature that is not found on more expensive models - Power Tap Switch - and honestly, it’s so good that it deserves a separate heading.

Power Tap Switch Versatility

Ibanez did something amazing regarding electronics for this model. We honestly believe that they weren’t even aware of how good it will end up as it significantly harms the sale of the next tier instruments.

Power Tap switch allows you to switch the working mode of the pickups so it can use either both humbuckers (middle position), single coil mode (upwards), very similar to Jazz Bass sound which means slapping will sound wonderful or hybrid working mode that is very similar to HS pickup system (downwards).

This switch allows you incredible tonal versatility and we can’t describe enough how much it improves this instrument overall value.

Incredibly Affordable

It’s quite impossible not to raise a brow for a moment when you check what you’re getting for this price. If you want to start playing bass at some point, we believe this might be the most affordable and versatile bass guitar on the market.

Lightweight Design

The main trademark of the Ibanez Soundgear series is light body weight but heavy sound. SR300E is no different and it comes around 7.5lbs of weight so it will be a breeze using it live on stage.

Cons

Thin Neck Shape

Thin neck shape might be appealing for guitarists as they can transfer much easier, but, for the bass players, unless they are all about Jazz Bass layout, they won’t find it so pleasant, especially down to the frets closest to the nut.

Modern Design Might Not Be Appealing For All Players

Most bass players prefer a vintage-like bass guitar design with sunburst and pickguards. The Ibanez SR300E is nothing like that at all and it may easily match the appearance of the Ibanez guitars more. 

So, if you’re about to play in a blues or funk band, having this kind of gear with you might put some odd light on your stage presence.

What Recent Buyers Report

Just like we were, the users are also shocked at how much content Ibanez provides with this model. They would gladly give it six stars if possible and would gladly buy it even if it was even more expensive. 

It excels in both sound quality and appearance and it definitely exceeded their wildest expectations especially regarding how light it is to carry around and how playable its fretboard appears to be. Guitar players especially loved this model as the neck width is as close as you could get to the guitar neck.

Beginners with shorter fingers simply love the neck width while the more experienced players totally fell in love with PowerSpan pickups. Preamp is working so well that no matter how hard you play it won’t distort. 

The Power Tap mode is a bit of hit and miss for some users, but it may depend on the music they are actually playing as some genres won’t have any benefits from a single coil setup. But even such players agree that Ibanez simply crushed all the other models at this price range and are often considering buying one as a spare or backup instrument for quick jams and smaller shows.

What Are the Components of the Ibanez SR300E? 

The Ibanez SR300E has a double-cutaway Nyatoh body with a standard 34 inch Maple and Walnut 5-piece neck with 24 medium fret-size Jatoba fingerboard and white dot inlays. It contains plastic nut at 38mm width and machine heads are Ibanez die-cast factory stock.

The bridge is Accu-cast B120, quite a basic and bulky model with 19mm fixed string spacing. 

What Kind of Strings Does an Ibanez SR300E Bass Ship With?

SR300E ships with a D’Addario EXL165 4-string pack. These are decent, reliable, and affordable round-shaped nickel-plated steel strings with excellent sweet spot regarding string tension for most players. They are best known as the all-around solution for most music genres and are capable of producing full and round low-end sound in general.

What Kind of Pickups Does an Ibanez SR300E Bass Ship With?

Speaking of electronics, you’re equipped with a passive Ibanez PowerSpan dual coil HH pickup system and there are five Knurled metal dome knobs for Volume, Balance, Bass, Mid, and Treble and a 3-way Power Tap switch that allows you to control the behavior of the pickup system so you can switch between the single coil, dual humbucking or humbucker + single coil hybrid setup. 

It requires a regular 9V battery to run.

What Types of Music is the Ibanez SR300E Best For?

Due to its HH pickup system and taking side note that this is an entry-level model which won’t simply sound premium, Ibanez SR300E will work the best for all kinds of rock-oriented music including heavy metal, punk, and both more aggressive genres like metalcore or less aggressive genres such as indie rock. 

Power Tap switch makes it suitable even for and even in pop music and we would dare to say even a bit of funk, so if you practice your technique you can even pull a slap on it and someone may think that you were playing good old J-Bass.

What Ages and Skill Levels is the Ibanez SR300E Suitable For?

This model will be an excellent first-time purchase for any bass player out there regardless of their age. 

The thin U neck shape will come especially handy to younger players and we can tell the same about the body weight design and the modern finish may also be much more suitable for them as well.

The active preamp system onboard will also let newbies dig deeper and understand the basics about tone control and what works straight from the beginning while the Power Tap switch positions will allow you to accommodate either pick, slap or finger playing style easily.

Where Are Ibanez SR300E Bass Guitars Made?

The Ibanez SR300E bass guitars are made in Indonesia as a part of the regular Ibanez production line.

What Makes the Ibanez SR300E Stand Out From the Competition?

It’s hard to pull off a decent entry-level bass guitar model because of the given price limitations, but Ibanez somehow managed to do it with the SR300E. 

Everything seems to be right about it - incredibly light body weight, Thin U neck with great balance, decent pickups, and active preamp with quite a lot knob control options. 

And on top of that, the build quality and the finish can fool anyone with and stand next to premium modern-looking models.

Hands down, it’s hard to find a better model at this price range and it’s our definite first pick. 

Comparison Overview 

Now, let’s check how the Ibanez SR300E stands against the same tier competition and what are the pros and cons between those models in general. 

Bear in mind that all models listed below belong to the entry-level tier, so if you like what you’re reading, be sure that there are also advanced models available that share the same basics:

Ibanez SR300E vs. Squire Vintage Modified Jazz Bass

At this tier, the humbucker option combined with the active preamp seems to be a huge win over any Squire model and it comes with a lower price and much lower body weight.

So, in the end, it’s all up to you - would you like a vintage or modern look? Luckily, the sound goes about the same direction and if the look is important to you, Ibanez guitar seems to have another edge for us. 

The only pro for Squire Jazz is that it has a bit of that famous Fender neck shape and shares the sound foundation with the legendary Fender Jazz Bass.

Yamaha TRBX304 vs. Ibanez SR300E

Frankly speaking, it's quite a tied contest here. Both instruments might be a hit or miss for you depending on the music you’re about to play. 

Yamaha seems to provide a bit better all-around tone with a handy 5-position switch to match specific playing style and a slightly better overall build quality while Ibanez SR300E comes with more edge in its tone. So, if you’re all about rock and metal - pick Ibanez SR300E first, if you plan to slap a lot, then Yamaha TRBX304 is the better choice.

Also, if the budget is tight, the Ibanez SR300E comes a little bit cheaper.

Ibanez SR300E vs. SR370E

These two bass guitars share the same hardware and electronics setup. The only difference is in the SR370E Maple body instead of Mahogany or Nyatoh which results in a bit heavier body, but also brighter sound. SR370E is a bit more expensive, too.

Ibanez SR300E vs. Ibanez SR500E

The Ibanez SR500E is a step-up for Soundgear series and it’s one of the best bangs for buck found on the market at the moment.

If your budget allows you, it will share all the aspects found in SR300E, but with the better pickups and a bit better build quality, so in the long run, we feel it might be a better investment as it won’t slow you down as you progress with your playing techniques.

Conclusion 

The Ibanez SR300E is an ideal entry-level bass guitar. It may not be the one that you will keep, but it will be the one that will provide you with all the necessities required for a painless head start. Honestly, we wished such models existed back when we were learning how to play.

Vlad

I'm a 35-year-old rock-oriented professional musician from Belgrade, Serbia with 20 years of field experience in various areas of the music industry. After graduating from elementary music school I joined my first band Alogia in 2001 which had incredible initial success with the debut album and became one of the greatest Balkan heavy metal acts ever. We have recorded several studio and live albums and played as an opening act for Whitesnake, Apocalyptica, and Paul Di’Anno. Meanwhile, I got a chance to collaborate with Roland Planet shop and get familiar with various music equipment for more than a decade. For the last eight years, I have done live audio mixing for numerous bands and other live and studio events, including some TV audio mixing for national television broadcast as well. Currently, I’m playing keyboards for one of the most authentic Serbian music rock legends - Dr. Nele Karajlić, also known for his work with Zabranjeno Pušenje and No Smoking Orchestra.