RBX650 review by Yamaha

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 7
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 8
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8 Superb
  • Users' score: 10 (1 vote)
Yamaha: RBX650

Sound — 8
Well, I have to admit that I am not the most experienced player, though I tried a lot of entry level basses and some intermediate ones. Also I am not that skilled. But I hope this review will be helpful. Just wanted the readers to be aware. I think this bass has a good sound all around, without being excellent, and the P/J config gives a good versatility. The P pup packs quite a punch (nothing harsh, though), and gets the clacky sound if you dig Steve Harris playing style. The bridge pup is more rounded sound and it is well balanced, not being too trebly, which I think is great. Both together work okay, but I think it's better to use either one of them. I use the tone control turned all the way up usually. But I roll it down when I'm looking for a jazzy sound. However, I think that the p pup isn't the best for that. It packs a punch but at the end it lacks a little bit something for me. I am using a Fender M 80 160 watts bass amp, no effects, and I also own a Squier Vintage Modified Jazz Bass. This bass is more even sounding while the VM is brighter. I think this bass is decent, but I don't like P Bass pups myself too much. The j bass is pretty good though, and it's good to have some variation.

Overall Impression — 7
I'm playing quite a lot. I'm not a decent slapper yet, though I am improving quite at a good pace. Played guitar like 7 years, recently moved onto the low end. And it's so much better now. I bought this bass so I could get rid off one of my guitar amps. I think it was somewhat a blind trade, and at first I disliked it, but with the time and after trying some more expensive basses, I must say it is a great bass for what you pay (payed something like AR$2000 for it, think Us$ 400, but here everything is more expensive than in US. I live in Argentina, the land of HOT women.) I am more of a Jazz bass guy, so this bass doesn't completely suits me, though I like to use it as a workhorse and second bass. Therefore I wouldn't buy it again. Don't get me wrong, it's a great bass, but it's not of my personal taste. I'd save up for a good Fender jazz. In fact, I am. I just don't like it's balanced tone. I think it lacks a little personality. But that's just me. However, if you like versatility, go for it, it's really playable! It gets a 7, but just because it's not my cup of tea.

Reliability & Durability — 8
I already said that I think it is built like a tank for surviving all these years, and still be totally functional. This is definitely a workhorse, you can take it to a gig, to a rehearsal, to a jam with friends, or whatever. I think you can depend on this one. Pretty tough bass. The strap buttons are ok, the hardware has lasted without tarnishing, and the finish is dinged, but still there. I think you can rely on this bass... Though you'll get this ones a little worn since they are long ago discontinued (they don't appear in the Yamaha webpage, though it is a legit-checked the serial number).

Action, Fit & Finish — 8
The set up wasn't the best, though I luckily haven't need to touch the truss rod. I had to adjust the intonation quite a lot and the action too. The pickups were fine though. I had no problems with anything else, and that was easily adjusted to my personal tastes. It has quite a lot of dings, but bearing in mind that it almost has 20 years, I have to say it must be built like a tank, because nothing is bad and it took a beating. The paint is holding pretty much okay apart from that. And I think that this is a very comfortable bass, the neck is okay, it is lightweight, and I already stated the cutaway.

Features — 9
Bought this one used. It was made in 1993 in Indonesia. Has 22 frets in a rosewood fingerboard. Neck is (seems) maple, somewhat chunky, and I am not a 100% sure, but I'm almost certain that it has a basswood body. The finish is satin black, the hardware is black and efficient (stays in tune in a whole week, with some very minor adjustments, or maybe none). It has passive electronics in a P/J configuration with independent volume knobs and a master tone control. And the right "horn" has some cutaway that is surprisingly useful when playing the highest frets. No accessories included. It's a lightweight bass, and the P/J pups are both good. It gets a nine.

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