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GSRM20 Mikro Bass, replacement strings
PsychotropicDog
#1 Posted : 11/1/2013 1:15:22 PM

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Joined: 10/29/2013(UTC)
Posts: 14
Location: Canada
Short version - these are the gauge strings that came with the bass:
.040, .060, .085, .100

I've seen a couple posts with suggestions..
D'Addario XL170s
Fender 4250 - I do not know if Fender still makes these, but apparently made for P bass jr 28.59" scale.

Long boring version and other notes:
I have tried a set of short scale strings of lighter gauge - it was a nightmare how off in intonation they were (and they were never going to get close). The 'factory' strings (whatever they are, rumour is D'Addario) went back on, worn spots and all, so I could go to my paying gig without bringing a long scale bass. I am not too keen to just buy sets that will end up useless, so I am nagging string manufacturers.

NOTE IBANEZ! The intonation screws might be the right size for a long scale bass, but are too long for this one. I took it to the dealer and their tech guy scrounged up some shorter screws, and we cut the springs a bit. Now I've got the intonation as good as it is going to get, ~ +/- 1 cent @ 12th fret.

The bass came in a box and needed set up. Some fret edges were sharp, polished with a dremel. Pickups needed to be screwed down a lot. Am I happy with it? You bet. I will be that much happier if I can find some reliable strings.

I moved the bottom strap button from the standard position, which alleviates most of the neck dive.

Edit:
Drat I put this in guitars instead of basses, guess I will manually move it.
PsychotropicDog
#2 Posted : 11/20/2013 7:32:35 PM

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Joined: 10/29/2013(UTC)
Posts: 14
Location: Canada
So, these are a NO NO : Rotosound RS 66S. 'Maybe' they would work if you did some through body modification, but as it is the speaking part of the E string creeps up onto the peg (yes they have changed the lengths of their strings), causing woes, and even the A string which 'should' have been ok was not even close, nor was it going to be.

What works:
D'Addario
ENR71S - half rounds. Well intonation will work, I seem to have gotten some dead strings in this set. The E and A sound like old flat wounds. The D and G sound like old round wounds with less finger noise (if the whole set sounded like this it would be good).

EXL220S - They sound good, intonation is fine and are low tension. Super Light gauge {40, 60, 75, 95}.
I will probably try out the EXL170S (there seems to be a consensus on these strings working for the mikro) and EXL160S one day.

Note, D'Addario and Fender were the only short scale string manufacturers to even bother responding to my emails.

Again .. Ibanez should ship some extra intonation screws of 21mm or less length - not everybody who buys these is a complete beginner unconcerned about intonation.

While I am on it, an extra mm or 2 neck width on each side of the E an A strings would help (wood and fret). So would 2 more frets (then move the heel down a bit and improve the cutaway).
PsychotropicDog
#3 Posted : 11/23/2013 6:43:22 PM

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Joined: 10/29/2013(UTC)
Posts: 14
Location: Canada
Well let's see if I can post a pic via attachment feature. Note the saddle intonation screws... all but one are shorter then 21mm (which is what I got for the E string). The other little mod is the bottom strap button - this placement greatly reduces neck dive - and yes, I am gigging with this wee little beastie.
File Attachment(s):
MikroBridgeArea.jpg (456kb) downloaded 569 time(s).
PsychotropicDog
#4 Posted : 12/6/2013 7:56:57 PM

Groups: Member
Joined: 10/29/2013(UTC)
Posts: 14
Location: Canada
The D'Addario XL170S set works quite well.
PsychotropicDog
#5 Posted : 6/3/2014 8:00:18 PM

Groups: Member
Joined: 10/29/2013(UTC)
Posts: 14
Location: Canada
I am using the EXL220S {40,60,75,95}. If you are curious, they hold up fine tuned E flat, even dropping D.

Thinking about upgrading the machine heads to hipshot ultralites. The hole is 14mm (9/16"). This would be the first and possibly only upgrade. Throw in a really good case and this will cost me as much as the bass!

Pickups. I was concerned at first by the placement, but I've come to like it. Not sure I would replace these at all - I get whatever tones I need for classic rock.

Bridge - better than I expected for an entry level bass. There are no saddle height adjustment screws sticking up to slice up your palm.

Neck - truss rod - I suspect this is simply a guitar truss rod thrown in the neck - it does not appear to travel the length of the neck, which means effective adjustment is limited. It's still good enough for me to gig with, and yes, this has become my main axe.

Nut - no idea what it is, but no problems with it. There is very little sideways string splay, which is a good thing.

Knobs - painted plastic - eventually I will care enough to replace them. Maybe.

Finishes - well mine's black - I did not see the woody (mahogany!) version, which I would have picked.
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