RBX170 Review

manufacturer: Yamaha date: 02/25/2014 category: Bass Guitars
Yamaha: RBX170
This is a fantastic starter bass. It is a great value for the price and will keep playing for years to come.
 Overall Impression: 9.7
 Reliability & Durability: 10
 Action, Fit & Finish: 8.3
 Features: 10
 Sound: 8
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (3) pictures (6) 33 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9.5
RBX170 Reviewed by: unregistered, on april 21, 2004
9 of 9 people found this review helpful

Purchased from: Academy Of Sound

Features: This bass was made in Indonesia, has 24 frets and a solid top. Includes Master Volume, Master Tone and Pickup Fader for the P/J pickup config. The pickups aren't as good as the mexican fenders but they do the job well. This model doesn't include active electronics but the 270 which is only about 50 more does. The body is made from agathis which is mega light so this bass is great for long shows, the neck is maple with a rosewood fingerboard. On this bass there are only 3 finishes (metallic blue,metallic red and metallic black), I've got the metallic blue which I think is the best of the 3. The hardware is unbranded but from what I've seen it could withstand a nuclear war. The neck is FANTASTIC, it is 40mm at the nut so it's thicker than jazz but more slimline than P-Bass which is great!!! // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The bass played straight out of the box, no factory flaws, and the action was perfect, my only complaint is the stock strings that came on the bass were abit dull, but that was easily sorted. At one point the nut holding in the jack plug came loose, but that was fixed in a matter of seconds. // 8

Reliability & Durability: This guitar does withstand live playing very well, as I have already gigged with it on several occasions. The strap buttons are pretty solid but I would recommend buying some form of strap locks just in case. I have and will continue to gig with this bass without a backup, because it is the most reliable bass that I have ever owned. // 10

Overall Impression: The bass is fantastic, the only thing I wish it did include would be active electronics other than that all I can say is BUY THIS BASS. // 10

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overall: 9
RBX170 Reviewed by: basilbrush, on june 02, 2009
4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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

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overall: 9.4
RBX170 Reviewed by: Defcon1, on february 25, 2014
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Features: - Made in Indonesia
- Rosewood fingerboard with 24 frets
- Solid body 
- Vintage style bridge
- Passive electronics
- Front volume, rear volume and master tone controls
- Single coil pickup and split coil pickup

The features on this bass are pretty much what you would expect from an inexpensive beginner bass. The tone controls actually allow for quite a bit of range. The only feature I wish it had was active electronics, but for the price, you really can't get much better. It also came with the allen wrench needed to adjust the truss rod and saddle. // 10

Sound: I play multiple different styles from Evanescence to Red Hot Chili Peppers and 311. For the heavier metal songs, it has rich lower notes sounds good even at lower tunings (Drop D, Drop C#). This guitar has fantastic tone for slap bass songs. The passive controls do allow for a wide variety of tones that can fit pretty much any style of music. I use it with a Peavey practice combo amp and sometimes an Electro-Harmonix Bass Big Muff Pi pedal for rock songs and for songs requiring more of a fuzz sound such as "Hysteria" by Muse.

The single coil pickup is noisier than the split coil. At higher volume, the guitar has a constant hum unless you hold the strings. This humming isn't too bad and doesn't interfere with the sound when playing. My only real complaint with the sound is that the A string is significantly quieter than the other strings. You can adjust the tone to compensate somewhat, but it is still noticeable. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: As soon as I pulled the bass out of the box, it was ready to play. The action was well adjusted and there were no other adjustments that needed to be made. Everything was aligned properly and there were no issues with the tuners. The only comment I would make is that the stock strings that come installed in the bass are not the best. I don't really like light stings anyway so I'm not sure if they are fine for someone who likes them like that. I changed the strings to mediums and had to adjust the action, but that is to be expected. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I have had this bass for a year and a half now and it plays like the day I took it out of the box. I play this guitar almost every day for hours on end and I have never had anything break. I'm pretty rough on it too. I've hit it a few times and dropped it from a small height. There are now a few nicks in the finish, but even the worst are hardly noticeable. After a lot of playing slap bass, there is an area on the finish full of scratches from my watch which I wear on my right hand but even this is only noticeable in the right angle of light. This is not my only bass but it is the one I play most of all. I can depend on this guitar to sound great every time I plug it in. One of my favorite things about this bass is that it locks in tune really well. Even after temperature and humidity swings in my dorm room, it is still in tune. The strap buttons aren't locking but are rock solid. // 10

Overall Impression: The bottom line is that this guitar is a fantastic starter bass. This is the fist bass guitar I have ever owned (not the first I have ever played) and it has never let me down. I'm no expert bassist but I know this bass is better than a lot of starter basses out there. If this bass was lost/stolen I would most certainly buy it again although I would consider a higher end version with active electronics. Compared to the Squier J bass I own, it's got a better tone. It doesn't sound that much different from a Fender P bass I have played, and considering the price difference, I find that astounding. This bass is a great value for the price and will keep playing for years to come. // 10

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