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Yamaha bass guitars

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by acoustic58, Apr 9, 2015.

  1. acoustic58


    Mar 18, 2015
    I just came back from GC and I picked up a Yamaha TRBX304 to try out. I put that down and picked up a Ibanez SR400. I was actually impressed with the craftsmanship on the Yamaha. It definitely can put out every possible tone you can think of, plus you have a choice of running it in either active or passive modes. I also put the Ibanez and the Yamaha side by side and the neck with looks identical. I mention that because everyone seems to compliment the Ibanez necks as being thin and fast. I did not see a difference.

    Yamaha makes great piano's and acoustic guitars but my knowledge of their bass guitars is minimal at best, except for what I read in the reviews. Has anyone played this guitar before or have an opinion on Yamaha's bas guitars in the general sense and how it compares with others.

    Also, I have been looking at trying to find a difference between the Ibanez SR300 and 400 besides the higher price tag on the 400. I did a side by side specs. comparison and they seem to be identical. Same pickups, same number of pickups and same electronic controls. The only difference I see between them is the colors they come in. Do I have that correct or am I missing something.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. AngelCrusher

    AngelCrusher Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2004
    Mesa Boogie, Tech 21, Taylor
    Yamaha makes some amazing basses. If there is any complaint, it is that the tones on some of their higher end models can sound incredible solod but many times neutral in a mix.

    I just went and looked at the bass you mentioned, and at that price point it really will boil down to what makes your balls tingle more.
    darthplagis likes this.
  3. rtav

    rtav Millionaire Stuntman, Half-Jackalope

    Dec 12, 2008
    Chicago, IL
    I've played P basses (had a 66 for more than 30+ years), Steinies, Ricks, J basses, Charvels, ESP LTDs and now I play Yamaha RBXJM2 guitars (RBX John Myung Signature II). I bought it after trying a few Bongo 6's bc the Yamaha had a much faster neck, tighter string spacing and the tone is very similar (the Seymour Duncan SMB6a pickup and corresponding active preamp are monsters.) My band plays a lot of Dream Theater - prog metal, progressive rock - and so the idea to play a John Myung signature bass was a no-brainer (esp after playing and saying "No" to several Bongo 6's that I really wanted but found unplayable).

    I love the look, the color, the B string, and the neck is absolutely perfect on these guitars, the action is extremely low and the tone is to die for. Wow. Wow. WOW.

    They are such great guitars I bought a second one and use one as my primary band bass, and the other as my practice, backup/side band guitar.

    -Asdfgh-, orange joe, 5below and 2 others like this.
  4. acoustic58


    Mar 18, 2015
    Beautiful looking guitars. Thank you very much for the info. I know Yamaha makes great quality guitars, just didn't know that much about Yamaha basses. The ironic thing is that I was at another GC last week and out of a wall full of bass guitars, they only had one Yamaha and it was the TRBX 304. Everything else for the most part was Ibanez, Fender and Schecter. I asked the sales guy about Yamaha as a bass and he said
    " Sure well sell them because we have to but no real bass player uses a Yamaha " Clearly pushing the other brands that for the most part sold for double the price.

    The only odd thing is that the TRBX 504 has the neck dots off to the side of the neck instead of the middle of the neck which is where everyone else puts them. I guess it's just Yamaha looking to be different.
  5. garp


    Feb 7, 2009
    Connecticut USA
    He's a moron, not a sales guy, and I'd say his days are numbered if he continues spewing nonsense like that. Yamahas are terrific instruments.
    Ianhin, Root 5, edencab and 1 other person like this.
  6. HubbardsFate

    HubbardsFate Supporting Member

    Oct 18, 2006
    If I have a complaint about Yamaha, it's this: they don't seem to offer many models with maple fretboards. There are a few models I'd be seriously tempted to buy if they did. I have only ever owned a single Yamaha bass - my very first bass, in fact, a Yamaha BB300 - so it is a bit tough for me to speak from direct experience. But from reading many reviews over the years I'd feel very comfortable looking at Yamaha as a bass purchase.
  7. Marko 1

    Marko 1

    Mar 9, 2009
    N.E. Ohio
    I’ve been using my Yamaha BB415 a lot lately, a pretty cheap bass, and I’m finding I prefer it to the others I own or have played.

    I was actually thinking of getting rid of the others and adding a BB425x.
  8. placedesjardins


    May 7, 2012
    They have a number of nice signature basses. Billy Sheehan, Gerald Veasley, John Myung, Nathan East, Michael Anthony.
    So mine is a BB714BS. It is a discontinued model. I like it.
  9. Every time I hear a clip of a Yamaha model, I get excited and research it.....to discover it is discontinued. The only Yamaha bass I have seen in the store was the extreme low end rbx170 or something. It sounded good for what it was but Yamaha needs more of a bass presence in stores or online at least. They have great products no matter the field. I had a Yamaha sax and keyboard when I was younger and their guitars are nice too.
  10. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    I really dig the Yamahas I've played, particularly the TRB basses, the quality is there, but they're always just a bit out-of-spec for me. That, and they pathologically refuse to use standard sized/shaped pickups, making a pickup swap impossible without some level of funkiness.
  11. Marko 1

    Marko 1

    Mar 9, 2009
    N.E. Ohio
    Look at the BB series. :)
  12. Feralhog


    Dec 29, 2014
    When I bought a 504 at GC the sales guy didn't even know they carried them. I had to show him where they were located. My guess is that perhaps the commission isn't as good on Yamaha items (or the guy was just clueless). There were two in the store hung as high as possible. The 304s were more plentiful and within reach. I just didn't like the high gloss finish and the "Perfomance EQ active circuit" switch compared to the flat finish and controls on the 504.

    The main competitor to the Yamaha (in my mind anyway) was the Ibanez SR500. I think either would have worked just as well for me but it was "Yamaha Sale Days" and the Ibanez was more expensive. My S.O. was happy, so I am happy.......
  13. gnarlyWarlock


    Dec 23, 2014
    I TOTALLY stand behind my BB424x, would easily recommend it to anyone looking for a PJ. I've tried the TRB1006 as well, and by God, easily the best feeling 6-stringer I've played: low action and tension, comfortable spacing and weight.

    Yamaha goes hard in the paint.
  14. CGremlin

    CGremlin Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2014
    I got my wife a TRBX-174 a couple of months ago, and I was actually quite surprised at what a nice little bass it was for less than $200. I've played Yamaha basses, tubas, euphoniums, saxophones, French horns, pianos, and synthesizers, and IME everything they make is top notch in quality, although I usually find their low brass instruments to be a bit stuffy for my taste.
  15. pravus


    Feb 5, 2013
    Broomfield, CO
    I've had a couple of Yamaha basses for years but never played them much. Since I've been experimenting again I picked them back up and it turns out they are amazing for the price. Yamaha seems to put top shelf work into a budget package and that is impressive. My only issue with them (and it's personal to me) is that when I hold one I don't get excited like I do with other basses. It's strange because on the wall they are so beautiful but there is always this neutral feeling when I put it into my hands. I think that's what keeps me from buying more of them. I just need to find the one. They sound great and play well. They are definitely worth every cent if they speak to you.
  16. anzoid


    Apr 17, 2014
    Recently picked up a secondhand RBX A2 5-string in black. Condition is immaculate (and it came in a Hiscox flight case for not much money). It's lighter than any of my four string basses and has an incredible growl to the sound that I just can't get enough of. Lovin' it. Neck is painted shiny but it still plays fast and feels good. Very very tempted to try and find one in white...
  17. Hevy T

    Hevy T Supporting Member

    Jan 11, 2011
    Lethbridge, AB Canada
    Is there any difference in finish of the necks between the 304 and 504. I have a 305 and really enjoy it, but I am not much of a 5 string player, so I want a 4 string as well. SO I an really curious about the necks, and does the electronics really make up for the $200ish in price?
  18. I've played a 90's BBG5a since '98 and if it wasn't for my Mrs popping out a baby a few months back is all thats stopping me grabbing a TRBX 505.

    At only £475 its AMAZING for the bass it is.

    I can't stand ibanez basses, every bass of theirs i have tried save from 90's ATK's and ergodynes (the luthite ones) have been terrible, clunky scooped mids skinny necked monstrosities :) (can you tell i don't like em)
  19. Feralhog


    Dec 29, 2014
    Don't remember what the 300 series necks were like, but the 504 has what I'd call a satin finish (almost "finishless" if that's even a word). Might not be what it's official designation is but it is very smooth.......
  20. sikamikanico


    Mar 17, 2004
    Yamaha BB series are my favorite low-cost basses! I enjoy their necks, and the solid P tone :)

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