Refurbishing an Ibanez Soundgear GIO 4-string Bass

My friend Bill heard about my sudden guitar mania (from me) and gave me this fab old Ibanez Soundgear GIO 4-string bass guitar to play with, claiming I gave it to him back when dinosaurs roamed the earth.


He knows I’m a sucker for cheap (or free!) guitars ‘needing a little work’. This one was missing a string and a machine head, not to mention it made no sound. But it was pretty with a maple neck, nice frets, rosewood fretboard and bright black battle-scarred agathis wood body.


My 90 year old Daddy across the freeway in Citrus Heights helped me drill out the hole to fit the new tuner (GuitarFetish-$12USD). Looks odd but works well.


Although there are only 4 strings they cost more than 6-string sets but I found a set on line for $8. My 1st guitar restring job!


One of these things just doesn’t belong here, one of these things is not the same…


The spacer was a thick old washer from my dad’s shed I ground down for height. I notched the edge with a Dremel Moto tool for the supplied screw to prevent the tuner from twisting.


The wire from the pickup had pulled off the pot so I threaded it back from the pickup to this front potentiometer and soldered it back on.


My soldering iron, a 10-penny nail heated on the stove top. Primitive but effective. Now she booms! Of course I’d already misdiagnosed and bought new bass active pickups on-line and they arrived the day I got the old ones to work. I’ll keep the new ones for the future since they were only $26.




Some Ernie Ball’s Instrument Polish and Viola, Eureka, California! It’s a beauty.



Bought some books and this Korg chromatic digital tuner: remember, Everyone Appreciates Dignified Guitarists.


The heavy strings call for heavy picks they say.


I’m still on week one lessons and exercises using one finger, two fingers or a plectrum-or guitar pick. I noticed no anti-hum foil or paint anywhere and it does hum a bit. If I install the beautiful red epoxy-filled new REDactive active pickups with anti-hum foil that should help. Naturally now I’m lusting after a bass amp.


But I’m happy I could finally diagnose and solve a guitar problem, especially like McGuiver with a hot nail. Even played through my tiny, tinny Silvertone practice amp it sounds big! If I will ever learn it I don’t know, but despite scratches and chips and hum, I’m in love again.


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4 thoughts on “Refurbishing an Ibanez Soundgear GIO 4-string Bass

  1. Pingback: Guitar Acquisition Syndrome (GAS): My Struggle |

  2. Pingback: I Bust My Bass’s Nut Twice…and Not In a Good Way |

  3. Pingback: Ibanez GIO Student Bass Guitar for Me: $65USD |

  4. Pingback: Ibanez GIO Electric Bass Fix-up and Re-string |

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