Yamaha RBX170
Yamaha RBX170

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

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heads on fire 03/04/2012

Yamaha RBX170 : heads on fire's user review

« Great cheap bass! »

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This RBX170 bass from Yamaha is a four string model. It has a solid agathis body, a bolt on maple neck, rosewood fingerboard, 24 frets, and a headstock that is not angled (better for durability). The hardware is decent quality Yamaha brand. Pickups are Yamaha brand also, a P style and J style. Electronics are passive, with volume, tone, and blend controls.

I'm usually pretty open about instruments - even though I've had a lot of esoteric, bizarre, vintage, and uber-boutique gear, I'm still not a snob about price. If an instrument is good, it is good, period. But I do tend to look down upon any solid-bodied instruments that have an agathis body. In my experience, every agathis guitar and bass I've played has just had an utterly dismal tone, even when pickups have been swapped - until now.

I just bought this bass from a local store. It was used, but still has the factory pickups in it. The bass actually sounds good! It is no MEC or Bartolini setup, but the pickups do a great job of showing what a decent P and J combo can do. The bass can play any style, honestly.

I was most attracted to this bass initially due to the playability! There is something about the string spacing and neck carve on Yamaha basses that just fits my hands perfectly. I picked this little jobber up just because it was extremely cheap, and I didn't want to put it down! I've been trying to up my bass technique, with the Victor Wooten style double thumb. This bass is perfect for my hand for trying to get this down.

Overall, the bass is a wonderful deal. The street price on a new one is under $200, and I honestly got mine for $50 used. I figured I couldn't go wrong at that price, and now I'm happier than a clam!