Yamaha TRB owners

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by chalie, Apr 25, 2005.

  1. Please provide me with some information about the construction and some pictures, if possible, about the early TRB 4 (pre TRB II). Thanks guys
  2. What is early?
    I have a TRB4 from about 5 years ago

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  3. Funky Doctor

    Funky Doctor

    Aug 28, 2003
    You rang?

    1994 TRB-4. Bolt on, got the funky little slap cut away, swamp ash body, 3 piece maple neck. Funny, the headstock is kinda bent back, not a seperate piece of angled wood. 3 band preamp, bass/treble boost/cut, 3 position mid/mode selector, definiable inside control cavity, sexy looks, sexy smooth feel, nice sound. Oh, and the balance, the balance! Neutral, light wieght. My number one bass.

    Oh yeah! I forgot to mention. It has 2 J pickups. The only one I have seen like it. Cast something (brass?) bridge, gold hardware, althought the knobs, as good as the are, are black plastic, ie, not gold. It came with black counter sunk Dunlop straplocks. I think in the 3 or 4 years I have had it I have only seen one other like it and it was a blue one on ebay. I don't think it went cheap either.

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  4. Thanks for your info.
    I was told that the early TRB 4 has become a collectable item so I was wondering what is the special. I got few signature yamahas and I like them all but I still like to get the early TRB 4. JJ pups is cool, I like that.
    Thanks again
  5. My TRB4 is obviously not an early one, it being from around 1999 ish. It has humbuckers not J-styles, everything else seems the same as James'. Very competent but not outstanding sound, beautifully put together as usual for Yamaha, and as James says nicely designed, shame about those plastic knobs!
  6. Funky Doctor

    Funky Doctor

    Aug 28, 2003
    I think there a few more subtle differences between mine and the later ones. If you look at the the upper horn the cut away on mine has the same shaping on the top of the body as the lower one. Sounds confusing, but it's there. And the neck heel I think is a tad different. Mine has bolts. Not sure about the later ones. I'm thinking of putting in an Aguilar OBP-3. I have had a ton of success with my TRB-6P and the OBP-3. I'll let y'all know how it goes if it goes ahead considering I also think that the preamp isn't overly amazing, yet still rather good.
  7. Oh - yeah - can see that now - me not too observant!
    Bet there are other differences as well.
    Mine is up for sale now as I have become hooked on Stingrays.
    Still it has given good service but time to move on.
  8. :eek: I think you better keep your TRB II as I think you will miss it once it is gone. I have the opportunity to get the TRB 4II but I was learning that Yamaha will come with a newer TRB 4 that has JJ and ebony fret board. I was wrong and now I think they will not make any TRB 4 from Japan.
    I got BB NE 1, TRB II 6P and BEX-BS and I enjoy all those 3.
  9. Funky Doctor

    Funky Doctor

    Aug 28, 2003
    TRB-6PII hey... That's one serious bass. I really want one. I still can't get used to the prawn orange over flame maple on mine. Looks like a prawn.
  11. quatre03


    Aug 20, 2004

    how can you not like TRB 6 strings
  12. Joebone

    Joebone Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2005
    Los Angeles
    Little fuzzy on dates here, and would love to see others jump in filling the gaps!

    As far as I know, the first TRB basses were denominated TRB4P, TRB5P or TRB6P, depending on number of strings, and they date back to some time in the late '80's. All three have a piezo pick-up built into the bridge, and were neckthrough w/ ebony fingerboards, beautifully built by Yamaha in Japan. The 4 and 5 had active P-J pickup configurations; the sixer looked like two extended jazz pickups. Oh - the 4 and 5 are 34" scale; not sure about the 6. All of these are certainly collectibles. I personally have a TRB4P with bartolini pickups that is a honey, and had a TRB5P that I sometimes regret selling, although it went to a great guy who really appreciates these instruments!

    At some point in the early '90's they went to a bolt-on neck w/ rosewood fingerboard and a pickup configuration looking more like humbuckers. These axes feature the "slapping scoop" in the lower horn of the body. The 34" scale was retained. I'm not sure if these are marked "TRBII."

    In the mid-90's these were further refined; 35" scale necks, purportedly upgraded electronics, and the slapping scoops were eliminated. Am suspecting that the tone controls went to a separate mid-range pot at this time, but not sure about that. Also, I believe that at some point manufacture of this series shifted from Japan to Taiwan.

    Sometime around the Millenium, these were discontinued, although I understand the TRB5P was revived several years ago, as a 35" scale instrument with neckthrough, ebony board and piezo. Have seen some really positive comments about these axes in the discussion forums. Don't know whether the "Patitucci" versions of the TRB6 otherwise kept the flame alive with respect to neck-through/ebony/piezo.

    Finally, we now have the Yamaha 1004/1005/1006 series - I think they are 35" bolt-ons, not made in Japan, but am not sure about this.

    Personally, I find the neck and string spacing of the 4P and 5P to be very comfortable for me, although the mass of the instrument is a negative factor - neckthrough instruments that are built like bricks and weigh accordingly! But that probably has something to do with the sound. Dialing the piezo in brings a whole range of tonal variety, and I'm increasingly fascinated with the way the P series can produce both "purr" and definition at the same time.

    Yamaha certainly provides great value for money at all price points, but I've often wondered if Yamaha's mass-market competence obscured the boutique-quality build and performance of the P-series. The II and 100X instruments seem quite good for the $$, but are not in the same league.