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YAMAHA RBX-250 "WAR VICTIM"

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by PilbaraBass, Feb 20, 2005.


  1. A friend of mine had me look at an old Yamaha RBX-250, single P-pickup bass. This thing was laying in his shed for over 3 years collecting dust (and a lot of other ??? debris).

    We live in the Pilbara which is a very HOT place in Western Australia where a typical summer day is around 110-115 degrees fahrenheight (42-45 C) with humidity consistantly around 60-65%.

    First thing I noticed on this bass was that the neck was straight and the rosewood fretboard (albeit dry and debris covered) was not cracked and all the frets appeared to be true and seated well.

    This thing was beat bad, too...a definite victim of a rageful teen punk rocker or a VERY frustrated musician. It had a huge chunk taken out of the finish and there were dings all along it.

    Whoever tried to string it, did a bad job as the E-string didn't even break over the nut, hence it was flopping about when you tried to play it.

    So I took everything apart...even soaked some of the rusty bridge parts in CLR. I cleaned it lovingly. I used a toothbrush and windex to clean the fretboard and then hit it with a nylon scouring pad. Then I oiled it with machine oil and rubbed it through and buffed it. It came up BEAUTIFUL.

    I then restrung everything (properly this time) after cleaning the strings with windex (a quick soaking and wiping).

    I plugged it in and the pots were a bit scratchy (I suggested replacing the pots to the owner as you can get a p-bass wiring kit quite reasonably). But when I set the pots, and plugged it in...SWEET, SWEET, SWEET....what a nice tone. Vintage p-pass with a nice controllable growl. WOW!

    I then tweaked the action. I didn't set it too low, as I didn't want to take away from the fact that the owner is a non-bassist and he has big thick fingers that would initially have a heavier touch. I set it to where it was playable and just a tad too high for me. And boy can this puppy sing!

    I was amazed! A cheapo bass that's been really badly abused, with half-dead strings, and scratchy pots...and it has such a sweet voice. Unreal!
     
  2. Has anyone else been able to resurrect an abuse case such as this?
     
  3. gilbert46

    gilbert46

    Sep 21, 2004
    Sacramento, CA

    not a bass, but i bought a garage sale guitar in similar condition. The pots were very scratchy and didnt work in places and the pickup selector had to be vigorously jiggled to get a sound. The fingerboard was dry and icky from someone else finger dirt.

    What I did
    pull the strings, scrub the neck with the green side of the sponge till everything looked clean, it wasnt when it dried so i did it again. I ended up using a green scotchrite scrubber and really go to town on it till i got it nice n clean. I used some wood treatment on it, not sure the type, i applied it and let it sit till it took it all in, and did that a couple times.
    It came out good.

    The pots I cleaned with electronics cleaner i bought at the auto parts store. Unfortunatly I got the wrong type the first time and cleaned the pots in the amp, but the cleaner melted the plastic :crying: . make sure u get the electronics cleaner that is ok for plastic, it says on the back of the can. Anyways i sprayed the cleaner into the pots and worked it around, as well as the switch.

    Some furnature polish on the rest of the body and put it back together with some new strings. The pots and switch work fine and the fingerboard looks really nice. The amp went out in the trash last week :(

    Hopefully Ill be able to find some tuners that dont suck as bad as the ones on there now.

    Projects are ALWAYS fun, till the cost too much. :rollno:
     
  4. haha...Ain't that the truth.
     
  5. Found the identical bass at the municipal dump, in a gig bag, defretted but otherwise not too bad. Edit: price? $4.
    Good clean up, knocked in a set of frets, new set of RotoBass 40s, instant gigging bass. Got rid of it soon after, but just about to get another for a project. Yamaha make great basses.
     
  6. I haven't rescued many trainwreck basses yet, but there have been some guitars that I brought back from the brink. This Galanti Grand Prix was a $50 pawn shop score with layers of filth, a broken pickguard, a big crack in the body, and one string. As soon as I restrung it, I knew it was worth saving:

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Coincidentally, I've also been known to ressurect a few long dead & buried forum threads...
     
  8. I do this a lot. I'll buy abused gear cheap, repair, setup & then flip. My current project is a Yamaha Attitude Plus M that's beat to snot, lost its pickguard & someone decided to draw on the neck in pen and put nails in the dot inlays...

    I reshaped the headstock to look like a Tele, as the original was this ugly point mess with a giant 80's style Yamaha logo on it.
    The next step for me is to remove the nails & then figure out how to fill the holes. THEN, I have to decide whether to sand & refinish the neck, or leave it as it is and just paint the headstock to match the body.

    I've also installed a Bartolini P p-up and am sourcing a pickguard for it.