Yamaha SLB300 New model

Discussion in 'Electric Upright Basses (EUB's) [DB]' started by Henry Rose, Jan 17, 2020.

  1. Henry Rose

    Henry Rose

    Jan 16, 2020
    I just discovered the new SLB300 silent bass on Yamaha.com. It isn’t on yamaha.ca yet. You can now blend in one of 3 different “mic” sounds with the pickup. I’m not sure if this model is available yet. Has anyone more information?
  2. BobDeRosa

    BobDeRosa Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 16, 2012
    Finger Lakes area of New York State
    Owner, Tritone Jazz Fantasy Camps
    Cool promotional video. It looks and sounds excellent.
  3. Henry Rose

    Henry Rose

    Jan 16, 2020
    I did watch that promo video, but I'm keen to read/hear some actual hands on reviews. I was about to spring for an SLB200, but I'm going to hold off. The holy grail is for an amplified EUB to sound as close to a real DB as possible - maybe this will bring us closer. For those who are interested, here is the product link:
    SLB300 - Overview - Yamaha - United States
  4. Hasty


    Jul 4, 2014
    Fort Worth, Tx
    I see they went from a 9v with ~1000 hours of battery life (their estimate) to 2AA with 24-36 hours battery life. Hope it includes an external adapter.
    I’m also super intrigued about this microphone simulation and sampling of double bass resonance through recording. I would like to hear more about how this works.
  5. Interesting. Literally days after I purchase the SLB-200LTD they revamp their line. Lol. Oh well.

    If I were to judge by looks alone, I'll keep mine. Not digging that headstock or neck wood at all. Love me my flamed maple neck. And OMG, that battery life!? No thanks! I bet it will sound amazing though.
  6. isolated

    isolated Zenji

    Dec 7, 2004
    Kenny Davis was in the shop today getting the bridge adjusted on his. We chatted a bit but I didn't ask about the bass because, you know, it's not a real bass...;) After the work was done, he took it off the bench and walked into the next room. I went back to what I was working on. Then I hear somebody playing an upright and getting a killing sound. I think "That must be Kenny. I wonder whose bass he's playing?" The playing stops and after a few minutes I walk over to say goodbye. Kenny's putting the SLB away and I blurt out "were you playing that thing just now?!?!" He just grinned. I didn't get a chance to take a pull on it, but the sound is proof enough for me. And it packs up really neat into a very travel-friendly case, too....
    El Thumpo and rickwolff like this.
  7. drumsnbass

    drumsnbass Bassic User

    Dec 13, 2004
    Phoenix AZ area
  8. michaelsd


    Dec 5, 2019
    I'm curious; if it's using some acoustic bass sampling augmentation, won't SLB300 players start sounding similar? I'm trying to find one in my area to try out, but I'm a bit concerned about the sample sound. I do like the idea that there will most likely be more used SLB200s on the market!
    Ric Vice likes this.
  9. LaFaro01


    Aug 27, 2018
    Instead of paying this amount of money for a "simulated bass" I would go for a Semi or something like this .. even if it is still a bit more expensive... or even a SLB 200....
    it may sound "a bit old-fashioned", but playing a double bass means for me playing an acoustic instrument and not an "information carrier" for "digital operations"...;) :)
    Ric Vice and Scott McArron like this.
  10. michaelsd


    Dec 5, 2019
    While I agree that the sound of my double is beautiful and has served me well for more than 45 years, due to physical limitations I would have had to stop gigging where it not for a very light EUB. Putting an iPad and preamp in a backpack and carrying my EU allows me to get to rehearsals and gigs and keep playing. There is definitely a market segment for the URB, and, in my opinion, they sound better than fretless basses. I still enjoy playing my carved bass in my studio but I doubt it will see the inside of a club again (unless I can convince my grandson to be my roadie). I've extended my live playing by 10 to 15 years by adopting an EUB. Just my experience.
  11. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Dialing in some of the "impulse file" (which is how I think of it) from the recorded bass signal really makes for a significant (and very pleasing, IMHO) effect. It really fills in some of the missing data that keeps your brain from believing that you are playing a "real" upright. We were all quite impressed. :thumbsup:
  12. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    Often times you're in situations where an acoustic instrument won't work because of it's size. I've been in many music theater situations where I had to double where there was no space for a double bass and an electric bass but just enough space for my Yamaha and an electric bass. When I need to play amplified I always opt for the Yamaha.
  13. LaFaro01


    Aug 27, 2018
    I won't doubt or deny the sense of a "small solution" for the "big" bass in crowded venues or when it has to be amplified...that's not my point...:) as said before... I would go for the semi
    or even an SLB 200.. I may be wrong or not informed good enough, but the evolution of the new SLB 300 into a "more computed" instrument in my opinion and for my perception is no improvement...
    mikewalker likes this.
  14. Wow... Nice one Yamaha.

    I too hope the 100 and 200 on the used market will become less expensive.
  15. That‘s not from Yamaha but from Heiner Windelband, a german double bass luthier.
  16. Could the short battery life listed on the specs page be a mistake? It also says the fingerboard material is rosewood. I can’t imagine Yamaha using rosewood instead of ebony on these. The short battery life could be a deal breaker. I really hope they copy pasted the wrong numbers when entering the battery hours.

    This is a really good point. I would argue that most people actually wouldn’t mind playing instruments that sound the same as long as the sound is good. Everyone expects their P basses to sound like p basses for example. I imagine that the same level of difference that one would find between two p basses might also be found between two SLB 300s.
    drumsnbass likes this.
  17. Henry Rose

    Henry Rose

    Jan 16, 2020
    OP here. Yamaha states that the 300 does not deliver sampled sounds. If I'm not mistaken, a sampled sound would not only include all the harmonics, but also the attack and decay envelope unique to whoever was playing during the sampling. If that was employed, everyone using the 300 would sound somewhat like the original sampled bassist. Apparently, you just dial in some of the "resonance" of the studio-recorded double bass. I assume that means the actual harmonic makeup of the notes, but no more. My take on it, without having heard it yet, is that each player will still have a unique sound because of their individual pizzicato attack, the pressure and length of time they hold down the string with their left hand, vibrato, etc., etc.
  18. johnny_bolt


    Mar 28, 2017
    I still think that the 100 is the best looking EUB. If Picasso painted an upright bass, that's what it'd look like. I don't really care how it sounds :)
    phloxxo and drumsnbass like this.
  19. jmlee

    jmlee Catgut? Not funny. Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2005
    Halifax, Nova Scotia
    I suspect what's at play here is a technology very similar to the convolution system used in the ToneDexter pedal. They must take the natural output of the bass's pickup system and convolve it with a set of defined transfer functions defined from the mic'ed acoustic bass. ToneDexter has maps for other Yamaha silent instruments and a look at Audio Sprockets website suggests that this is all of one cloth—a very interesting cloth, mind you.
    Cartier76 likes this.
  20. Henry Rose

    Henry Rose

    Jan 16, 2020
    jmlee, I think you nailed it. Thanks for posting that link!