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Yamaha TRBX174EW? Interesting

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Bassa Nova, Apr 22, 2017.

  1. IMG_4283.JPG I happened to be killing some time at my local GC and picked up a Yamaha TRBX174EW.

    My next bass is likely a PJ so out of curiosity picked up the cheapest one in the shop. It was super light weight, set up nicely, had a nice neck and had surprisely nice tone from these stock pickups. The p pickup was beefy and blending in j bridge pickup added sufficient growl. I am sure playing through a Markbass Mini CMD 121P did not hurt.

    All in all it felt like a much more expensive bass.

    It has a rather "exotic" mango wood top which does not look cheap.

    I think you can walk away with these for about $170.

    If I were in the market for a nice starter bass or a decent backup, I would strongly consider this.

    It was very fun to play!
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2017
    michael_t likes this.
  2. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    it looks great! athanks for sharing your experience. if i was in the market for an inexpensive fretted instrument i'd probably snag one. i like the two octaves! :thumbsup:
    Bassa Nova likes this.


    Feb 10, 2016
    Michigan USA
    Yes the wonders of the modern age. Yet another credible entry into the affordable bass market.
    Bassa Nova likes this.
  4. TrustRod


    Mar 13, 2016
    Great, Yamaha has released a bass named after my bank password!
  5. Dan_reeves


    Jun 14, 2013
    These actually play and sound great. I sold mine only because I purchased one of the heavier ones and it was killing my shoulder.

    Serious question - does Yamaha make anything that isn't quality?
    Nikol4ik, TrustRod and Bassa Nova like this.
  6. The one I played was surprisingly light. No idea if that is a rarity or the norm.

    As to Yamaha, I am more of a Fender freak, but I have always heard positive feedback on Yamaha. I may have to buy one one of these days. I like the BB series.
  7. Dan_reeves


    Jun 14, 2013
    Ironically, when I returned my Yamaha it was replaced by a Fender Jazz.
    Bassa Nova likes this.
  8. Bubble


    Apr 17, 2013
    I just took one home today. The neck is a little on the thick side, only 3mm more at the body and about 2mm thicker at the nut than a Lyon LB-40 I have been playing for years.
    The first thing I noticed is the bridge pickup only has a slight tint of what I call the "burrrrpy" sound other bridge pickups have a very much more influential tint of. It is bright and clear, just what I was hoping for. But on the down side the J (or bridge) pup swamps the P pup in the last 30° towards full volume and the total = that out of phase sound in a very reduced volume.
    Ok not much problem I just use it up to just before that 30° and put this in my coffee can for some future mods to do.
    Now back to the neck, that sucker is STRONG. I can lift the bass up from laying flat to vertical and see very little if any change in string height. Can't say that for others, I just returned a bass with a bad problem with that.

    Impressed but what I mostly bought it for, the scales are very precise all up the neck. Octaves ring perfectly on any place of the neck, something I usually do not find on cheaper basses, even when they are intonated, something just ain't ringin right. I figure the fret slots are very accurate in placement, probably made by an automated jig in new condition.
    The back of the neck is matte finish, no sticky places but a noticeable palm drag until play buffs it in about 1/2 hour.
    The body seems very hard, knocking on it returns a good hardwood sound without weighing a ton. It's very light weight, and balance is a bit light on the body side but no worry, the neck has no tendency to fall.

    This basic bass (at least the one I got) is a great place to start if you like to make mods that will be worth doing. Not a dull thunker but a solid precision scaled platform. I wish it were active with better pup mixing but sounds the same.
    Down side, the bridge is wimpy, but does it's job ok. I'll be considering an upgrade but see no need to yet, other than for appearance.
    The one thing I did not like is the strings left my fingers black with the initial string material or residue that worked off of them. I play Rotosound stainless steel and never get a speck of anything on my fingers, worth the extra $10. I tried to clean the strings that came on it and seem to have gotten the black whatever out of them.
    I'll have to wait and see.
  9. Bubble


    Apr 17, 2013
    BTW I do not have any memory of any set of strings ever doing that so badly, I looked at my fingers and was totally disgusted with what looks like manufacturing residue painting them. I hope it was nothing harmful. Looks like iron dust, that is no problem. That won't be harmful.
  10. Ghook


    Sep 25, 2018
    Eastern US
    I have owned the RB170 for quite some time, 10years? Anyway, regardless of price its a really great bass. The entire fretboard it intonated and useable. The tonal variation with the stock pups is pretty amazing. At the price they get you could keep one in the trunk with a Rumble 40 and be ready to jam at a moments notice :)
  11. Bubble


    Apr 17, 2013
    I got most of the black stuff off the strings. Now it's great.
    I'm thinking of ordering a pick guard blank or something.
    On the funny side it looks like an octopus swimming away.
    I don't see any need to but it is pretty easy to use a wood router to carve space for a big old mean humbucker. Same for the bridge pup.
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2018

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