Yamaha RBX170
Yamaha RBX170

RBX170, 4-string bass guitar from Yamaha in the RBX series.

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King Loudness 12/31/2011

Yamaha RBX170 : King Loudness's user review

« Great beginner level bass »

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The Yamaha RBX170 is one of the lower tier basses in their line, but it's still a force to be reckoned with if you're looking for a cheap yet easy to play and great sounding instrument. They're built in Taiwan and feature an agathis body, maple neck with rosewood fretboard and 24 frets, standard tuners and bridge, and a pair of pickups, one P Bass style in the front and a Jazz pickup in the back. This offers versatility that you won't find in the average Squier or other cheaper basses. It's available in a variety of colours, but the mist purple is great looking and stands out from the pack.


The design of this bass ergonomically blows away a similar Squier bass. The instrument is quite light and the shape is extremely player friendly. The fact that it has 24 frets is a huge plus as well. I particularly like the feel of the neck and how strong the upper fret access is (getting to the 24th fret is not a problem at all.) I'm a guitar player, so I like basses that are easy to play, and this one is probably one of the best cheap basses I've tried in that aspect. Getting a good sound is very easy. It offers both the thicker more strident P bass type tone as well as the punchier and clearer J bass tone, so you can have either one of those or even blend them for some fun.


This bass sounds pretty good for being what it is. The stock pickups aren't to the quality of DiMarzio, Bartolini or Fender, but they do a good job here. The P bass pickup is great for thicker, more bass heavy tones that require a very big and full sound, whereas the J bass pickup is clear, bright and articulate, making it ideal for lead lines or a more trebly tone. This makes the bass ideal for a variety of styles, and combine that with the easy playbility and great design, and you've got just an excellent bass on your hands.


All in all I think the Yamaha RBX170 is a great bass for anyone looking for something that's not too expensive, but has the quality, feel and tone of basses that cost a fair bit more. They are about $200 new which is a killer deal considering the excellent design and quality that goes into this. It will blow away a Squier or other cheapo bass, so give one a whirl!