Sound — 9
I mostly play heavy metal, only the old stuff like Black Sabbath, old Metallica, Saxon, old Iron Maiden etc and I love the sound coming outa this bass, but it's not that great for the funk sound. Overall it's a perfect rock bass. The bridge pickup tends to be really noisy even in combination with the neck pickup but the bridge pickup sounds too bright for my tastes so it doesnt't bother me at all. However if you prefer this brighter sound then you should consider getting some sort of hum cancelling device or better pickups.
Overall Impression — 8
I think this bass is a perfect match for the style of music I play which as you know is heavy metal. I have been playing for 13 months now and have progressed rather rapidly. I own a Boss ME-50B effects pedal which I highly recommend and a Fender Rumble 15 amp, by the end of the week I am expecting my new amp to arrive which is a SWR Workingpro 12. If it were stolen or lost I would probably not buy it again and get something of a higher quality. I love that it's very playable and has a great sound, yet I hate that I cannnot use the bridge pickup because it creates too much hum. No I did not compare it to other producs, because this was my first bass. I wish I had my new amp.
Reliability & Durability — 8
I would think this bass would withstand live playing as I've used it in music class for 4 months straight with no issues. The hardware appears to be of pretty good quality and I've had no issues with it yet. The stap buttons never seem to want to let go of my guitar strap no matter what I do, and that is without strap locks. I would most definatly use it on a gig without a backup because it has yet to fail me and I have yet to see any Yamaha product fail. The finish is rather thin and thousands of sratches can be seen on the back of the body of the bass. But isn't too bad for this price.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
I bought this used so I could not tell you how the factory finish and setup is, but it was in rather good shape when I bought it except for one nick on the back that no one can see, other than that it seems to be holding up just fine.
Features — 7
It was made in 2004 in Taiwan, 21 frets, rosewoof fretboard, alder body, black pearl finish in BB style body and pickups. Passive electronics with a volume, tone and 3-way pickup selector. Nice set of features for this price but you can get a lot more for just a bit more $.