Thoughts re: Yamaha TRBX304 Upgrade

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by cmichaelis, Apr 26, 2019.

  1. cmichaelis


    Mar 9, 2017
    Hi guys! I've seen a few threads talking about TRBX305 upgrades, but not so much the 304. I've got one here that I like the body on, and I could swear I liked it when I originally purchased it, but pulling it out of the closet I find it to be lifeless and generally uninspiring. Muddy highs, lack of any solid thump on the low end. (Granted I do prefer P basses.) I've tried string changes, set up changes, etc - I also bypassed all the electronics to see if the pickups themselves were good, but no real change.

    I'm considering upgrading the pickups and electronics in it to EMG 40P in the neck and 40J in the bridge (get me some of that P bass sound, and I know I like EMG's generally), and probably a BQC system for the knobs. Probably leave the gimmicky toggle switch unused.

    Now, this is a 4-string bass, but the pickups are really long - 4.25" long and 1.5" high. The EMG 40s are 4" wide and 1.5" high, so that seems like it ought to work - but those pickups are designed for 5 string, not 4 string. Would this even work given that? Do I need to look for 4-string specific pickups and fill the extra horizontal gap with a 3D printed pickup ring or something? Anyone else done some refurb on the tone in a TRBX304 (not 305) and had good results?

  2. cmichaelis


    Mar 9, 2017
    Another option looks like Bartolini's M44C - those are 4"x1.5" and are designed for 4 string, but they're passive and I've never used Barts before (EMGs are my go-to). Not sure what I would do for controls with those though.
  3. cgull


    Jan 18, 2018
    Hi, I have the same issue. I personally love the neck shape. Im going to build a replacement body in mahogany so I can route out new pickup cavitys.

    Did you ever find a suitable pickup for this bass?