Price paid: € 199
Features: This bass is made in China around 2007. It has an Agathis body, 34" scale Maple bolt-on neck with a Rosewood fingerboard. 24 Frets, passive electronics, 4 strings. The body style is unique to RBX basses. Fret access is excellent all the way up to the 20th fret. The last frets are difficult, but not impossible, to reach beacause of the bolt on neck.
It has a Vintage bridge with 4 saddles and brandless non-locking tuners. Despite the price of the bass, the tuners are great. They feel very precise and the bass stays in tune for days if you don't move it in a gigbag.
The bass has passive electronics. There is a Single Coil pickup at the bridge and a Split Coil at the neck, both made by Yamaha. There are 3 knobs: Front volume, Rear volume and Master tone.
The Bass came with a cable and 2 times 2 allen wrenches. The only thing you could be missing is active electronics, but that's so subjective I'm not going to reduce points for it. // 10
Sound: I play on a 15 Watt Ashdown combo. My style of music ranges from punk and pop to hardrock and some early metal, mixed in with some Funk, R&B or hip-hop tunes. This bass is ready for any style, basicly. The 2 volume knobs and the single tone knob give you a wide selection of sounds to choose from.
The split coil is great at what it does. It has a very deep and growling tone with quite a bit of volume. I'm less pleased with the Single coil. I must admit that I'm never a fan of bridge pick ups, but the sound of this thing is just too trebly and it lacks the 'oomph' you expect from a bass. I only use it in combination with the Split Coil.
It is a bit noisy tough. The pickups aren't properly shielded, which means you have to touch the strings at all time or else it will hum. // 8
Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar was set-up quite well at the factory. I lowered the saddles a little bit myself, but it was definetly very well playable. The pick-ups were also at a very good height. All the hardware is fine, except for the electronics. The guitar hums, the pots are scratchy and the volume goes to zero when you turn the knob for 50%. They definetly need to be replaced. The finish on my guitar is beautifull. I have the cherry sunburst version and it's great. there are no visible errors or anything. // 8
Reliability & Durability: This guitar seems to be very durable. I've had it for 8 months now and I can not find a single scratch or dent. The hardware is very solid and it will probably last for years. The bass will stay perfectly in tune for quite a long time and the strap buttons (altough not locking) are rock solid and well balanced. You can definetly gig with this without a backup. // 10
Overall Impression: I have been playing guitar for a year and bass for 8 months now. I play in a post-rock/indie band which gigs occassionally. I also own a Squire Stratocaster. If it would be stolen, I'd save up a bit to the RBX 374 or 375 for the active electronics, but that is the only reason why I wouldn't get this the same one again. I will probably keep this bass as my main passive for quite some time.
The best points about this bass are the great hardware and the split coil pickup. The Single coil and the electronics are less good, but what do you expect from a 200,- bass? This is probably one of the best and most versatile beginner basses out there. // 9