ibanez BTB vs yamaha RBX...opinions?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by (hed)-less, Oct 3, 2004.

  1. hey there :) , ive currently been considering to purchase either a Ibanez (yes...ibanez...i know...im sorry...please dont hurt me...*gulp*) BTB 405QM or a Yamaha RBX 775.

    im considering both as i want a bass with a 35" scale as i tune to Bb in my band and like the string tension pretty tight, im after an active, i like 5 strings, both are fairly decently priced as im not that well off that i can afford something like a top of the range spector or warwick at this point.

    ive been searching for reviews and comparrisons on both basses and havent found much. was just wondering if any one owns either bass and what opinions/experiences you've had with them?

    cheers...thanks alot
  2. bigbeefdog

    bigbeefdog Who let the dogs in?

    Jul 7, 2003
    Mandeville, LA
    I have the 775..... liked it so much, I went back and bought the 774 as well. At the closeout prices, it was a steal.

    But..... can you still find one? :confused:
  3. Ian Perge

    Ian Perge Supporting Member

    May 11, 2001
    Evansville, Indiana
    The Dog is right - the 775's were discontinued a few months ago, and I haven't seen any online dealers that have any stock left. I'd say your best bet is eBay - if not there or a dealer that has NOS, you're SOL. ;)

    I have 2 775's (one's going to be defretted very soon) and have played the BTB 405's pretty extensively. I'd honestly rate them fairly equal in terms of electronics, hardware, and fit & finish. I think it's simply a matter of looks (the BTB's transparent vs. the RBX's flat paint) and your preference in string spacing @ the nut. The RBX's is tight, the BTB is much wider. They both end @ .75" at the bridge.

    ...and don't apologize for considering Ibanez. The BTB's are great basses, people are digging the SRX's, and the higher-end SR's are nothing to slam as well. Hell, I see a good deal of high-end owners here recommend the GSR-200 as a starter bass. Don't let the naysayers form your opinion for you. :D
  4. Dincrest


    Sep 27, 2004
    New Jersey
    Aren't the Spector Legends in that price range as well? Their 5 and 6-strings are 35" scale and are quite good basses. The Spector Performer costs less (since it's passive) and it has a 35" scale too.

    I only mention that since you somewhat mentioned Spector in your first post.
  5. SlavaF


    Jul 31, 2002
    Edmonton AB
    My BTB is pretty nice, but the low B string isn't all THAT tight, especially when it's de-tuned. Although I never played the RBX775 (it's ALREADY discontinued?? I thought it was just introduced this year!)
  6. Vic

    Vic There's more music in the nuance than the notes. Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine
    Ok, my flack jacket is on... I picked up an RBX 775 at MF on closeout, and sent it back. I thought it's tone was "ok" at best, and the EQ was not all that hot. I currently have a BTB405QM as my "kick around" bass, and I personally think it's way better... even taking into account it's a lot more expensive.

    For the money, the 775 is an awesome deal, but I just couldn't get what I wanted out of it. The sweep mids are awesome on the BTB.

    IMHO!!!! :)
  7. Ian Perge

    Ian Perge Supporting Member

    May 11, 2001
    Evansville, Indiana
    No flack jacket needed on my part! :D I love mine and every day I think "they suit me more", but I'd never write off another player's a) taste, and b) the chance of a dud from the line.

    I even agree with you on the electronics issues, if you're a tweaker the Ibanez is certainly a better choice - I'd like some of what the Yamaha engineers were smoking when they thought up a "Volume knob/passive tone/pickup selector/mid-boost" package!?! One day I plan on tossing in EMG 45DC's and a BQS, but I find the OEM pups more than adequate... most likely because I'm a 50/50 pan type of guy. I find a sound and stick with it for the vast majority of time.

    Fact is, I was lucky to find a bass that I liked, "fit" (I'm of "smaller stature", so larger bodies don't suit me. As much as I'd love one, a Sadowsky on me would be like seeing a kid in his Dad's tux :crying: ) and tone I liked at an incredible price, one that allowed me to get a double for defretting. And for two "kids" on a tight budget (the fiancée’s finishing her Masters and continuing for her Doctorate, so don't even ask the amount of Student Loans) I was extra lucky she said "yes" and is allowing me to rebuild my entire rig... but anything after this has to come from money I earn in the future. That was her stipulation, and a fair one.

    They were introduced at Summer NAMM '02, so considering time to ship and hit the shelves and then the clearance month or two, about 12 months. I've said it before and I'm sticking to it - the "$999 list" market is perhaps the competitive market for companies, and if you don't make a splash early, you're dead in the water. Plus, it doesn't help if your main endorsee for that line doesn't have his signature model out for another 2 years (Yes John Myung, I'm pointing my finger at you! You left us with "the guy from Orgy" as advertising top dog! :help: ) and that Yamaha can't market their "rock" line out of a paper bag. TRB's, BB's... there's no problem there. Ever since I've been "tracking" them the RBX's are the red-headed stepchild of the company, and it's undeserved. 3XX's as the top of the line... feh.

    /rant :smug:
  8. personally i prefer the BTBS..i see ibanez now make the BTB300 in a 5er, the one with the bubinga top and the two single coils
  9. Vic

    Vic There's more music in the nuance than the notes. Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine
    Yeah, I really think they work right out of the box. Funny, the RBX advocate in this thread is already talkin' about changin' the pickups out for EMG's, but he says the RBX is a great bass? ...odd... ;) :bag:
  10. alright....im confused
  11. bigbeefdog

    bigbeefdog Who let the dogs in?

    Jul 7, 2003
    Mandeville, LA
    Not necessarily. I've had a number of basses that I've been quite happy with, but have changed the pups. Much of that can be attributed to personal taste.

    Give me woods, fit & finish any day. Pickups can be changed easily.

    But speaking as the "other" RBX775 advocate in this thread - my pups are stayin' put.... :D
  12. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta / Macon (sigh)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    Betwixt the two, I'd take the BTB.
  13. Vic

    Vic There's more music in the nuance than the notes. Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine
    Yeah, ok, +1 that. :)
  14. Ian Perge

    Ian Perge Supporting Member

    May 11, 2001
    Evansville, Indiana
    :rollno: ;)

    Context, my friend. The exact quote was "One day I plan on tossing in EMG('s)", and I should have been more defining as to my idea of "one day" - it's not "one day" in the next few months, it's one day eventually... most likely years. It's something I'd like to have available, but have no current need for. There's plenty above "replacing pickups and electronics" on the gear to-do list. I'm right there with BBD - for the foreseeable future it's staying stock.

    ...and I even gave you the point that the electronics are "interesting". Ungrateful bastage... :D
  15. Vic

    Vic There's more music in the nuance than the notes. Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine
    I knew I needed that wall up in front of me. ;) Hey, I hear ya. That's cool.

    My thing was not so much that I thought it was crap, but more that I thought it was really limited in its tonal range. GREAT straight up "rock" tone (which seems to be the comment I hear most about it, and tend to agree with), but IMHO absolutely no ability for a decent "scooped" funky tone at all... especially for a dual pickup config, and I also just couldn't get my kinda' "growl" out of it, either... like off the bridge pickup.

    As far as build quality, bang for buck, it's damn hard to beat, tho... especially at those closeout prices. If the tone's there for ya, it's prolly the best deal out there in that price range!

    You hadn't oughta' called me dat... my sista called me dat once... ONCE! :D (love that movie)
  16. Rumzini


    Feb 14, 2004
    Jackson, MI
    I have a BTB 510...4 string not 5...all I can say is I love it....wanna buy it? I want Warwick...a whole different animal.
  17. My bass in your

    My bass in your

    Nov 1, 2003
    Not always, the routing on the Yamaha's can be a bit funky. I heard a few stories from guitarist friends who had a lot of trouble installing EMGz. Only on Yammies...

    I tried 2 RBX770s. Nice wood and feel to the neck, but the set up was horrible on both. Electronics felt dirt cheap.
    I own a BTB405QM. I prefer my own bass over the Yammies. Gigged, recorded with it for 2 years, and never failed on me. Put DR strings on it if you want to detune it. Sounds nicer then ELixirs too.
  18. i think thats yamaha trying to tell ya not to change the pickups ;) ..they rout for their own pickups because its their brand and they musnt like other peoples gear being used in them....

    not that i should whinge, i have joe barden's in my kubicki :smug:
  19. Ian Perge

    Ian Perge Supporting Member

    May 11, 2001
    Evansville, Indiana
    I hear you, and more than that - I'll absolutely agree with you. :eek: I was on the lookout for more of a "rock" bass when this fell into my lap. I've got a Fender 5 for slap (not that I do much of it), "traditional Fender", and soloed bridge tones, my (higher end) Ibanez six-string for extended range, tapping, and chordal playing... The RBX is filling a hole in my needs quite nicely, but I'd never call it a "Swiss Army Bass". There are precious few of those - Sadowsky comes to mind immediately…. Ironically, so do TRB's. I've see them in almost every genre.

    Exactly, and what works for one person doesn't have to automatically work for the other. There's a wealth of choices out there, moreso than ever before. I'm simply glad I found mine at clearance deals. ;)

    ROFL! I'd never had laid money on the chances of a "Johnny Dangerously" shoutout on a Bass board, of all places. :D

    I hate to sound like the "Yamaha Defender" (complete with cape ;) ) here, but "only on Yammies" simply isn't true. EMG guitar pickups aren't standard-sized for any guitar that isn't routed for them specifically compared to PAF-sized humbuckers such as DiMarzio, Duncans, etc. You need to route Ibanezs, Fenders, etc as well. That's simply a fact I wanted to dispel.

    As for the RBX (which I believe uses the same routing as some of the BB models), EMG 45’s are a straight drop-in. I’d imagine Basslines as well, as they’re based on the same template.

    I wouldn't put a store setup into the equation, but if the BTB works better for you, great. I've gigged for years with both my SR-800 and SR-1206, and recorded multiple sessions with both and a Yahama BBN5A (the "slightly lesser" Nathan East signature)... they all worked well, had different tones, and complimented each other in the studio. I couldn't have asked for more.

    We all have gear that works for us... so what the hell are we "fighting" about?!? :p

    ...and "The Yamaha Defender" heads to bed. :)
  20. Vic

    Vic There's more music in the nuance than the notes. Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine
    I have HiBeams on mine, and it was noticeably nicer than whatever was on it before, and I have no problems with "unevenness" between strings (earlier post mentioned something about that).

    I took a little time to go thru my BTB when I got it, 'cause it was used. Surprised to find dual truss rods in a bass in this price range. Anyway, didn't need much. A little relief adjustment, pickup height, bridge height, and intonation. The thing embarrassed me, 'cause it played and sounded pretty damn nice for a hell of a lot less money than my other boutique stuff! In fact, I'll be gigging with it this weekend.

    An earlier post mentioned the EQ was cool if you're a "tweaker", but I think the EQ is just cool period. Extremely versatile, pretty clean, and not overly complicated. That sweepable mid is killer when compensating for different venues. You got a mid "honk" in the room? Just cut the mid slightly and turn that ring until its gone. :) My other (main) basses have adjustable midpoints, and I REALLY like that.

    Anyway, back to directly on topic, with the current blowout prices on the RBX vs the BTB, even tho they have similar MSRP's ( as fake as those are anyway :rolleyes: ), the BTB is significantly more expensive than the RBX, so the bottom line is, IMHO, the RBX is way more limited than the BTB, BUT... if you like what it does, it's a better value. Even tho I'm way more partial to the BTB, I'd go as far as to say I think both are very well made sub-1k basses.