Yamaha SLB300 New model

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

  1. Dutch Williams

    Dutch Williams Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2021
    Recording comes to maybe 65% of sounding “real” IMO. Live you can cheat it more, no one will be jumping up and down that it doesn’t sound like an acoustic upright
    BobKay likes this.
  2. Dutch Williams

    Dutch Williams Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2021
    I very much could have gotten a dud. Did not go the route of ordering another because Yamaha has definitely compromised my trust with that. Shipping, return, $4000, .... I’m good off doing the whole routine to compensate for their poor QC.
  3. lurk

    lurk Supporting Member

    Dec 2, 2009
    Anyone know if there's a hard flight case for this?
  4. I'm not sure that the visual impact of a real URB wouldn't be a deciding a factor. People judge timbre as much with the eyes as the ears.
  5. Dutch Williams

    Dutch Williams Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2021
    yeah my basic evaluation of this thing is that it sucks. lol. play a real upright
  6. Dutch Williams

    Dutch Williams Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2021
    i would hope not, that would mean less damage when you throw it off a cliff
    lurk likes this.
  7. It's interesting, though, that the classical guitar equivalent, the SLG200N NW has so many fans.
  8. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    In my experience the visual impact can be both a plus and a minus. The true purists will of course want an upright, but it does not necessary matter if it is a good upright.

    For several years I played an NS Design US series 6-string EUB. It was almost identical to the current EU6. In big band I switched between the NS Design, traditional amplified upright, and a fretted Yamaha TRB6P. I was usually free to play whichever bass I thought was best for a particular arrangement. I personally thought the Yamaha was better for medium swing than the NS Design. The NS design had massive amounts of sustain and 0 thump, so it was not really capable of producing the sound and feel that I wanted.. Normally I played traditional swing on upright and used the NS Design for songs where fretless BG would be appropriate.

    I remember one tour where space was going to be extremely limited on one gig. I queried the bandleader and several of the band members, and none of them really seemed to care which instrument I used. For practical reasons, I wound up using only the NS Design.

    After the gig we had a reception with interested audience members. Several people came up to me and were very curious about the NS Design. A lot of the actually asked, "What kind of instrument is that." I took this to mean they were not sure if it was a bass. I was most concerned with how it sounded, and they were more interested in the look .and also the fact that it was played vertically like an upright. They expressed that both aspects were really cool.

    I asked a bunch of questions about the sound/tone, and all of them said it sounded great and fit the style of music well. So I guess the sound really did not really matter that much to either my bandmates or the audience. It mattered to me, so I continued using all three instruments when possible...and trust me it was a lot of extra work to transport and setup all of the basses, and also to maintain proficiency on all three instruments.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2022
    longfinger, El Thumpo, Luigir and 2 others like this.
  9. BobKay

    BobKay Supporting Member

    Nov 5, 2012
    Estero, Florida; USA
    My experience with the SLB300 continues to be positive; and for my use, it does not suck. Today was a good example - playing western swing, bluegrass, pop and Americana style tunes. Two people in the audience, who are very experienced musicians who play out a lot, offered unsolicited comments about how good it sounds for those styles. They have heard me play a traditional DB many times.

    I have had to learn to deal with the added sustain, muting with both hands as needed. That's the only concession to technique I have had to make since I made the switch.
    El Thumpo, jmlee and Wasnex like this.
  10. Manny Fritsch

    Manny Fritsch

    Dec 8, 2021
    Try a PJB Double Four which is very light and produces a great sound. I play my NS Design EUB through a Zoom A3 Guitar Pedal set for Upright Bass with Small room reverb. I power the amp with a laptop battery.
  11. Hasty


    Jul 4, 2014
    Fort Worth, Tx
    I had to chance to play the new SLB-300 Pro and JEN yesterday at the Yamaha booth. The rep told me it hasn't been officially released yet and this was one of the first times it was unveiled in public. I didn't get to play it much because every high school jazzer at the conference was hanging out at the Yamaha booth (because they had a great setup with drums, bass and keyboard... plus just about every trumpet, trombone, and sax they sell available to grab and play).

    Basically it's the 300 model with a fancy flamed maple neck and gold hardware. Listening to the kids play it, it sounded pretty good. However they were running it through 12 inch PA speakers and not a proper cab. When I finally got to play around on it for about 5 minutes, it felt exactly like my SLB-200. Had I been blindfolded I don't think I could have told them apart without touching the control knobs and feeling the different knob configuration.

    Honestly, based on what I heard I think my SLB-200 and Tonedexter combination are pretty close approximation. If anything, they Tonedexter option might have a slight edge because I can shape the tone with good mic placement and a little time in the DAW to profile the pickups to my acoustic double bass.

    We also talked about the batteries. He loaded them up at 4pm the day before and 22 hours later they were still going strong.

    On a side note... I could probably go a few weeks without hearing Autumn Leaves. That seems to be the one tune these kids could consistently pull from memory without music.

    I liked it... but I don't think it's great enough to sell my SLB-200 and put that cash towards the 300. YMMV.
  12. El Thumpo

    El Thumpo Four strings, no waiting Supporting Member

    Oct 15, 2006
    San Francisco Bay Area
    I’m planning on writing an in-depth review of my recently-acquired SLB300 soon, but meanwhile thought I’d post this video as I haven’t seen it in this thread before. It’s a straightforward documentation of the kind of sounds you can get from this thing. Pretty impressive.
  13. kento


    Dec 12, 2012
    white plains.
    How do you guys like the setting on piezo-mic control? It seems a lot of you prefer to gain the mic sound.

    When I turn 75%-100% on mic side, it sounds nice itself but I found it is really had to play especially with other musician.The attack doesn’t come where I want and I feel something weird. At 10-25% on mic side, I can mark my time there I feel and easier to play with people. Also I can control my sound better.
  14. BobKay

    BobKay Supporting Member

    Nov 5, 2012
    Estero, Florida; USA
    I usually have the blend control at 3-o'clock. I haven't noticed a difference in playability based on the position of the blend control, just on tone. FWIW, I changed strings to Evah Pirazzi light gauge, like I use on my hybrid upright.
  15. BobKay

    BobKay Supporting Member

    Nov 5, 2012
    Estero, Florida; USA
    Decided to try some Spirocore Weich strings on my SLB300. New set - very bright, as I expected. Hope they will tone down within a reasonable time frame - measured in months, not years! I like the feel under both hands. Tension seems to be higher than the EP weich set I put on about one year ago when I got the bass, but I don't know the actual tension data for either set. I'll report any issues.

    Anyone else using this string?
  16. El Thumpo

    El Thumpo Four strings, no waiting Supporting Member

    Oct 15, 2006
    San Francisco Bay Area
    I’m not using them, but I’m curious as to how you find them under the bow. I have to switch between pizz and arco often (sometimes within the same song), so while I love the zing and mwah of Spiros I’m iffy about their starts under the bow. Going with Evahs now, as they’re the best compromise I’ve found, but I’m open to new directions.
  17. kento


    Dec 12, 2012
    white plains.
    I use Zyex mid G, Spirocore D,A,G

    They are really nice combination but sounds little aggressive for EUB.I’m considering switching to Dominant. It seems darker strings sounds better on SLB.
  18. Oscarharboe


    Jul 12, 2020
    Its only ebony on the pro version of the slb300 and the slb200ltd i think. Have the slb100 with rosewood, you feel thats its not as dense an ebony fingerboard (and the strings has started to make the fingerboard uneven).
  19. gtmalone


    Sep 30, 2015
    Allen, TX
    Thanks for all the info, guys! I got away from upright for various reasons and sold it a few years ago. I played the SLB300 for a few mins at the Dallas JEN conference back in Jan. I liked the way the neck felt on the SLB compared to the upright I had (Calin-Wulter Carcassi). Couldn't make a whole lot out of the SLB sound since it was noisy in the area and they had it in a small PA speaker. I'm liking what I hear on videos that have been posted!

    I placed an order with Sweetwater about a week ago. Supposed to be here mid-May. Excited to get it!
  20. Fred Hammon

    Fred Hammon

    May 13, 2005
    Me too. Ditto Sweetwater. They sent me an email saying it was finally in stock so I immediately pulled the trigger. It wasn't, as it turned out so I have to wait until sometime in May as well. I'm now resigned to the fact that I'll have to take it in for a bridge set-up.

    Does nobody here use Spirocore mediums anymore? They used to be the standard for jazz players. I've never used anything else. They are expensive. How will they work on the SLB300? Can it handle the tension?
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2022