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I played a Yamaha TRB6 last Saturday

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Andy Daventry, Dec 18, 2000.


  1. This very nice bass has just turned up at one of the Ankara music shops. It looks pretty useful. I like the string spacing, the straightness of the neck and the sound. I was a bit leery of the E-string, which was ever so slightly floppy and unclear, but on the whole it seems pretty good value for the grand it was going for. Has anyone here actually tried one in real life?

    Andy
     
  2. Oysterman

    Oysterman

    Mar 30, 2000
    Sweden
    I haven't played the six string, but I am a proud owner of the five string, a 1994 TRB-5, bolt-on model (six very sturdy bolts). It's a great bass for the money I spent (around $650 USD). Great sustain, clear, "throaty" tone, efficient EQ (but the treble control gives a hiss with too much boost and the output is not higher than your average passive axe's, despite the 9V preamp). Unfortunately, the pickups respond too well to human touch, so if you have a sloppy playing style, it won't work too well. I no longer have, so it works for me.

    All in all, very well built, great tone, but somewhat questionable electronics. You could replace the electronics, but you'll lose the nifty 3-way mid preset knob... I believe you'd have to change the pot then as well. For the pickups, I don't know if there is any available replacements...

    Is the bass you're looking at a bolt-on or neck-through?
     
  3. It's a bolt on....
     
  4. nanook

    nanook

    Feb 9, 2000
    Alaska
    A "P" as the last letter of the model number usually denotes a neck through. The 1990 - 1996 TRB-4,5,&6P's were neck throughs.

    I understand that yamaha is again producing some custom shop neck throughs again with the P model designation.
     
  5. Oysterman

    Oysterman

    Mar 30, 2000
    Sweden
    If it had a neck-through for the grand (I can only assume you mean USD $1000), I would have killed you for even hesitating! ;) Since it's the cheaper model, perhaps you'd want it in a good condition for that price... my TRB is quite worn, and maybe that's why I got it so cheap. Or maybe I am such a great businessman... always haggle! :)

    Now, I don't know turkish dealers, but where I live, you should get down $50 and have a fresh pack of strings along with the bass... :)

    Are you sure that it's the bass that makes the E (of all strings!) sound bad? Couldn't it be just a dead string?
     
  6. Oysterman

    Oysterman

    Mar 30, 2000
    Sweden
    P stands for "piezo". There were neck-through TRB:s without piezos. A TRB6P would have gone for $1000 only if it were smashed in pieces...
     
  7. Samie

    Samie

    Dec 13, 2000
    Madrid, Spain
    I just got a TRBIIF, I got it yesterday, they have changed the electronics, I did't notice the pickup noise.- It was hard to tell which one was the front pickup position with the preamp and headphones so I guess that has been taken care of. Beautiful Bass, the on board eq proveed a lot more effective once plugged to the board and monitored through the studio speakers(Didn't try it on an am yet). I was recording within minutes and with no fruther eq from the board.
     
  8. My carelessness. I meant, of course, the B...
     
  9. Oysterman

    Oysterman

    Mar 30, 2000
    Sweden
    It could be the actual string... old strings lose their timbre, low gauges makes them floppy. My 5-string's B is quite consistent, using .130 gauge. Not Stingray-esque, but it works well.
     
  10. nanook

    nanook

    Feb 9, 2000
    Alaska
    I just bought a new TRB-6P. I might consider selling it for about $3000.00.
     
  11. Chuck M

    Chuck M Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    San Antonio, Texas
    I had one of the older TRB-6P's. The bass played great and sounded very good in the practice room. I found that on the gig it tended to get lost in the mix and I was constantly turning knobs to try to get something more out of the bass. I finally sold it in favor of my Ken Smith 6 which always sounds great in the mix.

    Others (John Patitucci and Jim Kalson, who is my bass teacher)use the basses and get great tone out of them. Something lacking in my hands, I suppose.

    The original TRB's were 33 and 7/8" scale. I believe the newer ones are 35" which should make for a very nice sounding B string.

    Chuck
     
  12. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    Here in the US it's a lot harder to move any TRB6.
    This one just sold on eBay for $799. I see them regularly well under $1000:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/aw-cgi/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=518900175&ed=976851429

    I had a TRB6II that was an excellent player but the sound got lost immediately in the mix. I agree with Chuck, it sounded very good alone. I don't have it any more:D
    Patitucci is known more for his high register solo work on his TRB, for the "real" bass sounds (no slight intended), he's used several other basses including LAG and Sadowsky.

     
  13. Oysterman

    Oysterman

    Mar 30, 2000
    Sweden
    :mad: Damn that E-Bay! "We don't ship internationally" yadda yadda... why can't I be an American as well!? :(

    Where I live, to get a beauty like that, I would have to spend *at least* $500 more. Life's so unfair sometimes.

    Well, at least we're not ruled by GW Bush...
    Oh, I shouldn't have said that... :rolleyes:

    (asbestos suit on)
     
  14. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    I know how spoiled I am here in the US:D
     
  15. nanook

    nanook

    Feb 9, 2000
    Alaska
    Actually, the older model TRD6Ps are known for very tight B strings because of the special rigid neck through design. The 35" on the newer bolt on models is their fix for the incipient design weakness of most bolt on's.

    That is why the older models are worth more and hard to find.

    I think Yamaha has reintroduced the TRB6P and the new model is also a 34", just like the original.
     
  16. What design weakness would that be? Genuine question....
     
  17. nanook

    nanook

    Feb 9, 2000
    Alaska
    Rigidity, or the lack of it, is the best explanation of the incipient design flaw in basses, that I have heard. The more rigid the neck, the less need for it to be longer, within reasonability of course. For example, string tension across a 35" neck with slightly more flex will be equal to or less than string tension over a 34" neck that is slightly more rigid.

    This is magnified considerably with the addition of extra strings (5,6,7,8,9,12,15, etc). The neck should be as rigid as possible while still allowing enough bend for the torque rods make adjustments.

    One way of increasing rigidity is with a neck through design. Since there is no joint, it is inherently stronger and does not requite additional length to maintain string tension. This also, arguably, increases sustain and provides richer tone because the wood density and rigidity is constant in the area under the strings. Since it is harder to build basses like this, they usually cost more.

    Some neck through designs also must be longer due to the characteristic of the wood used to construct them, Peavy being a good example.

    With a bolt on neck, rigidity can be increased with compression fitted necks, usually only available in custom basses. Another method is by simply increasing the mass of the neck and/or by beefing up the neck attachments, Conklin is a good example of how this can be done.

    I'm no luthier but have learned these things from reading and listening to knowledgeable people.

     
  18. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    The bolt-on and neck thru TRB6's I've played have all had nice B's. I just didn't like the thin overall sound of the TRB6II I had, in the mix. The B definitely wasn't a problem.
     
  19. Kelvin

    Kelvin

    Apr 30, 2000
    Singapore.
    I was in the market for a mid rangey (US$800-1200) 5 string fretted some 2 years or so ago. I tried the TRB5 and liked the feel and construction of it a lot. Bassplayer mag some 5 years back reported a hissing noise when (suriously enough) the bass control was boosted. Any owners have this problem or have Yamaha licked it?
     
  20. Jeffrey A-Bomb

    Jeffrey A-Bomb Drink Coffee & Destroy Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2000
    Silver Spring, MD
    I have the TRB5-II updated model, and there isn't really any hiss at all =] Quite quiet actually..