Saturday, November 29, 2008

Yet another new bass


For those who have not followed my Yamaha bass saga, here is a recap:

I bought one of those fancy-schmantzy, lighted-dial, uber-light RBX5-A2 basses. The bridge nearly fell apart and the neck got wonky. China, he said. Back it went.

That one was exchanged for an RBX-375. I wrote about this bass, basically saying it was the coolest cheap bass ever. I rescind those remarks; not only did the neck get a kink, but something weird happened with the pickups, causing distortion and making a sound like the strings were hitting the pickups (they weren't). I checked everything out, but back it went. China, he said again.

You can see I'm lucky to be able to return these wonky instruments. That's what good customer service is all about.

I was still on the hunt for a good Yamaha bass. I wanted Yamaha because I like the necks, and generally I've really liked the quality of Yamaha gear. To get 2 basses from them that were both crap has been a very unexpected experience. But along the way I developed a jones for a Yamaha TRB-1005, so I went looking for a black one.

I found out that Yamaha stopped making colors in this product line; all they now make is natural. Bummer. So while tottering around Guitar Center in Towson, MD, I saw a knocked-around TRB-1005. Not black, it was natural, but the thing played like, as they say, butta. It had a bunch of dents and such on it, and the battery door was broken off, the battery held in with black gaff tape. I'll never understand how anyone can not take care of a nice bass like this, but maybe this was meant to be. I got it for a sweet deal, and Eric at GC threw in a really nice gig bag, and even paid for a new battery box (which I replaced in about a minute).

So how is it? So far so good. I'm still working out the sound, but it plays great. Honestly, I liked the sound of the RBX375 better; it was clear and deep without any tweaking. This TRB-1005 requires a bit more finesse, but it's also got more knobs on it, and it sounds anything but lame. And more knobs is always better, right?

It's a great bass, and even had I paid the "new" price for it (currently running around $800), I'd be really happy with it.

Zebron and James


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