TRBX504 Review

manufacturer: Yamaha date: 08/15/2014 category: Bass Guitars
Yamaha: TRBX504
This bass is suited from the most advanced, seasoned player who wants to simply add a new axe to their collection, all the way to the new beginners who want to drive a bass like Chris Wolstenholme or punch it like Flea and Claypool.
 Features: 10
 Sound: 8
 Action, Fit & Finish: 8
 Reliability & Durability: 9
 Overall Impression: 10
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
review (1) pictures (3) 6 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9
TRBX504 Reviewed by: dudester410, on august 15, 2014
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Price paid: C$ 499

Purchased from: Local music store

Features: For what this bass is worth, it's a steal. It's made of a solid mahogany body, a smooth 5-piece bolt-on neck, active/passive pickups you wouldn't expect in its price range and a stunning visual appeal. It also hosts solid hardware that will be dependable after much use. I didn't expect any of this from a Yamaha, as this is my first product from this company, and am highly impressed with the overall feel and build of this bass. The bass also has 24-frets, a blend knob for the bridge and neck pickups, an on-board 3-band eq, an LED indicating when your 9V is out of juice and a thin, small-profile and easy to play neck. // 10

Sound: This bass can give most modern rock tones without much adjustment of the on-board preamp. The pickups are very punchy, giving off a very bright and full rock tone (think Flea from "Freaky Styley" up to "Blood Sugar"). Overdriven, I can easily obtain a strong and tight Jason Newsted sound ("AJFA," "Black Album") and even an Anesthesia-like tone with enough drive. 

I play a lot of Metallica, Primus, RATM, RHCP, Tool, Jaco Pastorius and find this bass suits all but the latter tone-wise. Feel and playability, this bass suits them all. It's great that it offers 24 frets and the ability to switch between passive and active - speaking of, this feature is also a downside.

Though it could be only my model, a weak battery or a wiring problem, occasionally when switching between the passive and active sound, the "active" sound simply disappears when engaged. This has been fixed every time by switching back to passive and right back to active - I'll be getting a solder iron soon and will be debugging this as soon as it arrives. 

Reviews have stated there's no volume loss between the active and passive sounds - this is not the case. The first thing I noticed while demoing this in-store was the 'passive' option diminished in volume and in tonal richness. The bass still sounds great when the "passive" sound is engaged, but there's a noticeable loss in tone between the two options. Additionally, neither suffer from noise or hum's of any sort. Because of its lack of fatter lows (however, this could be because the strings are new, and require more usage to obtain that Jaco-tone), problems with the switch and volume-loss between passive and active, I'll be giving the sound an 8 rather a 9. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: This bass looks great, and the photos hosting the white background does it no justice. I own the white/metallic grey model and though I wasn't visually taken by it, it wasn't until I unpacked it from the box in my home that it looked spectacular. Anyone I've shown it to raves about it to me about its looks alone.

I bought it in-store at a shop, so it was already properly set-up for standard tuning. I do find the pickups are a bit too high, as my fingertips constantly rub them while playing. The pickups are also very noisy if a string touches the coils, something that's never been a problem other guitars/basses I've played. Additionally, the pickup switch is loud - but not in all cases. I play through an Eden Metro DC210XLT (phenomenal amp)at home where the pickup switch makes no noise, however, when I played this at a jam the other day through my drummers amp (I didn't get the make/model) it shot a loud thump everytime I switched the pickups - for this I'll give it an 8.

The finish is solid and will appeal to anyone who lays their eyes on it. The neck is thin and free of any gloss, so your hands will fly across with much ease. Its action was farily low at the shop and I can play just about any thing fairly easily. // 8

Reliability & Durability: I just bought it at the beginning of the weekend and it is currently the end. It's withstood three days of 4-5 hour practices of slap, pop, finger playing, picking, tapping, etc.., and a 4-hour jam with my band - I can happily report this bass is entirely reliable, and will be my new recording and performing bass if I don't need the 5th string my other bass offers. The hardware seems durable, aside from the above-mentioned pickup switch problems (which I'll be commenting on this review with an update in the near-future), and will surely take a good beating. Because this is my new baby, I'm cautious about even zipping it up in its case - the finish looks so nice but feels as though any little ding will find itself a new home on the body in no time. Other than this, the bass gets a 9 for reliability - again, the damn pickup switch. // 9

Overall Impression: Overall, this bass is suited from the most advanced, seasoned player who wants to simply add a new axe to their collection, all the way to the new beginners who want to drive a bass like Chris Wolstenholme or punch it like Flea and Claypool. I've been a guitarist for 8 years and a bassist for 6 and am greatly satisfied with my purchase, as this will be my main axe for a long-time coming.

I sat in the music store for 5 hours jamming on all basses in the $400-$700 price range and felt for the money, feel and sound, this bass had it all - and even outdid its Fender and Ibanez competition in its price range. I went in thinking I was going to walk out with a $650 bass and still came out with a full wallet. If there's anything I could change about this bass, it would be the pickup height (really, this bass is perfect perfect!) and my unique pickup problem.

This bass truly deserves a 10 in all categories, but objectiveness is key in writing a good review. A 10 for the overall impression - I highly recommend this bass to you if you're reading this! // 10

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