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The new Yamaha SLB300 Silent Bass sounds like a game changer

Discussion in 'Electric Upright Basses (EUB's) [DB]' started by DuluthDank, Apr 5, 2020.

  1. Neon Scribe

    Neon Scribe Supporting Member

    Yamaha isn't giving much detail, but we think that it is similar to the ToneDexter preamp. A convolution function (a mathematical operation on two functions that produces a third function expressing how the shape of one is modified by the other) is created by playing an acoustic instrument, recording the sound with the piezo pickup to be used and a high-quality microphone. Essentially, the expected difference between the two waveforms is computed in advance and applied to the piezo pickup sound in order to approximate the microphone sound. It is not like a digital keyboard that stores sound samples, it's more like a digital tone control that guesses what the microphone would have picked up. It has to do some serious computation while it's running, which is why two AA batteries don't last nearly as long as they did in the previous version of the Silent Bass.

    Presumably, Yamaha builds the convolution function using a real live double bass equipped with a piezo pickup similar to the one in the SLB300.
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2020
    Les Fret and nbsipics like this.
  2. ted burik

    ted burik Supporting Member

    Feb 22, 2006
    San Rafael CA
    I've eagerly been following this thread on the SLB300 and others here on TB and have done my research-I'm close to making a move to pick one up. For those of you who own or have played an SLB300, any other observations to share on the bass? Is the mic simulation continuing to deliver? Has the shorter battery life provided any challenges? Any other pros/cons worth mentioning? I realize that there hasn't been a ton of playing opportunities over the last 8 months but any additional info or impressions of the SLB300 would be more than welcome. Also going to post on the Yamaha EUB thread and the other SLB300 thread.
    ElMon likes this.
  3. I just got my SLB300 to fulfill a need to play smaller environments for pandemic/space restrictions in restaurants. I use to take my Upton Brescian bass to this very small restaurant and it was a nightmare in keeping it safe. Now the marketing around this bass is very convincing and its tempting to see this as the solution to all our dreams. I have previous owned an Eminence and Kolstein smaller travel bass to get around taking my main bass out to hostile gigs and environments. I can sum this SLB300 bass up by saying that its like taking a decent Honda car to get you to your destination as opposed to a BMW, both will get you there but not in the same comfort. The SLB300 is not the end all bass of my gig dreams. The G and D strings lack the balance and power of the E and A string. The modeling is always mixed with the piezo and the sound gets very weak in the upper register. The action is high even with the adjusters low. The strings that came with it are too dull for jazz, I put my old spiros on it to get some punch. But at the end of the night nobody knows the difference, even my piano player. Packing up is a dream and it might be the whole deal here. I am still looking into tweaking the sound and action and at the end of the day happy I have this thing.
  4. Les Fret

    Les Fret

    Sep 9, 2009
    That doesn't sound good. I would expect more from this bass. Maybe it needs a good setup? But then again a bass in that price range should be setup right from the factory with only minor adjustments needed for personal taste.
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2020
    Luigir, ElMon and ted burik like this.
  5. ElMon

    ElMon Supporting Member

    May 30, 2004
    Oklahoma City, OK
    +1 and interested to know how the schlep factor compares to the Eminence, which I’ve gigged with and which seemed like a very manageable option for the small stages/playing areas you’re talking about
  6. Have you tried playing your SLB300 though headphones yet? If so, any thoughts? I've been practicing exclusively through headphones lately, and although my SLB200 can pass just fine in a band setting, especially with the Full Circle pickup, I'm not too keen on running that piezo sound direct to my headphones. I'm hoping that the digital modeling might make SLB300 an ideal headphone practice EUB.
  7. lukatch


    Feb 18, 2015
    Can anyone please explain the SRT pickup technology? Is is a magnetic pickup? A second piezo? An actual mic? What is it?
  8. There is a stand, this is it:
    Yamaha BST 1 Silent Bass Stand
  9. If it was supposed to be an hyperlink, it didn't work.
  10. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    May 8, 2021

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