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Yamaha TRBX 600 Series Electric Bass

4 string seismic thunder ...

 

by Chris Loeffler

 

 

Yamaha upgraded its much celebrated 500 series basses with the 600 series, upgrading the aesthetics of their favored line with the bold statement of “great tone, outstanding comfort, boutique looks, zero compromise).

 

What You Need to Know

 

The Yamaha TRBX600’s body is constructed from a combination of alder and maple and was clearly designed with looks and ergonomics in mind, with enough mass to hold down a thick, sustained tone but well balanced between sculpting and horn design for a well distributed weight. The figured top certainly adds pop to the piece, and certainly adds the impression of a much more expensive instrument. The 5-piece maple/mahogany neck looks sharp and, in the unit I reviewed, was seamlessly sandwiched and well fretted across its 24 fret run.

 

The headstock is positioned to create even tension (and spacing) across all strings, and the bass I reviewed was perfectly set up. The fretboard is just a hair skinnier than some vintage instruments I’ve played, but far from feeling modified to accommodate guitar players. I would say those with smaller hands might find a bit more enjoyment on it than a fatter neck while a longer-fingered player like me didn’t detect any “bunching” or perceived difference.

 

The high-mass bridge is sturdy as heck and clearly contributes to the clarity and sustain of the core sound. It is adjustable, but mine arrived perfect (for me) out of the box.

 

The Yamaha TRBX600 features controls for master volume, balance and 3-band EQ with an active/passive switch. These are fed by proprietary YGD H5 pickups, which I found to be especially clean and wide range, thanks in large part to the quad-pole piece design for some extra push to the preamp in active mode while retaining response and nuance for more expressive playing in passive mode.

 

The preamp itself is, as stated by Yamaha, an audiophile-grade active/passive circuit that I found uncolored and well matched to the input. I appreciated the level-matched output, which guaranteed similar volumes when switching between passive or active mode and found it much easier both for on-the-fly switching and to evaluate the two modes. I didn’t run the battery all the way out, but it certainly lasted the duration (about four weeks of evaluation) of the review without dulling the sound or introducing the brittleness of a slowly starved circuit.

 

Limitations

 

While the Yamaha TRBX600 is a swiss army knife of tones, I couldn’t get it to nail the dirtier vintage tones of a Fender P-Bass.

 

Conclusion

 

The Yamaha TRBX600 is a bit of an odd duck for me to review. I’m used to a lot quirkier character in the basses I’m sent to review, but this bass just arrived perfectly set up and sounding fantastic. The balance and equal usability of both active and passive channels makes for a bass that’s up for anything from clean snap to driving aggression.  -HC-

 

Resources

 

Yamaha TRBX600 Product Page

 

Buy Yamaha TRBX600 on Amazon ($600.00)

 

____________________________________________ 

 

Chris Loeffler is a multi-instrumentalist and the Content Strategist of Harmony Central. In addition to his ten years experience as an online guitar merchandiser, marketing strategist, and community director he has worked as an international exporter, website consultant and brand manager. When he’s not working he can be found playing music, geeking out on guitar pedals and amps, and brewing tasty beer. 

 

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