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RBX170 Bass Black

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Yamaha crafts the RBX170 Bass with a solid agathis body, versatile electronics, maple neck with rosewood fingerboard, chrome tuners and bridge, dual classic-style pickups, and passive tone controls. C... Read More

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Yamaha crafts the RBX170 Bass with a solid agathis body, versatile electronics, maple neck with rosewood fingerboard, chrome tuners and bridge, dual classic-style pickups, and passive tone controls. Case sold separately.

  • Solid agathis body
  • Maple neck with rosewood fingerboard
  • Chrome tuners and bridge
  • Dual P/J-style pickups
  • Passive tone controls
  • Yamaha's lowest-price bass
  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • Case sold separately
  • Customer Reviews


by PowerReviews

(based on 72 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

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Most Liked Positive Review


The perfect entry-level bass

The RBX170 is a solid product. I've owned mine for almost 4 years and I couldn't have picked a better bass for the price. The sounds from the pickups are decent, but produce...Read complete review

The RBX170 is a solid product. I've owned mine for almost 4 years and I couldn't have picked a better bass for the price. The sounds from the pickups are decent, but produce a lot of hum (you do get what you pay for). The tonal palette is wide, however. Through my Fender Rumble 100, I can go from a dense dub sound to a biting Squire-esque tone. The thin neck plays fast and the unique cutaway lets you hit all 24 of the frets. You'll also appreciate the light body a few hours into a set. Unlike other basses in its class, this Yamaha stays solidly in tune and doesn't require high maintenance. It definitely inspires playing rather than hindering it. I recommend this bass to anyone who is starting out on bass or looking for an inexpensive back-up.


Most Liked Negative Review


Eh, a decent starter bass.

I�ۡ���ll start off with the positives, this bass stays in tune very well, I rarely have to spend too much time tuning it,...Read complete review

I�ۡ���ll start off with the positives, this bass stays in tune very well, I rarely have to spend too much time tuning it, about maybe two or three times a week. It�ۡ���s very durable and light, and it has good sound unplugged, I play it without the amp when I�ۡ���m at home just practicing alone. The neck is smooth and easy to play, and the bass looks pretty good, I have mine in black. And I�ۡ���ve been able to get a nice P-Bass tone from it, not that it compares to a Fender, or even a real P-Bass, but I�ۡ���ve gotten some pretty close tones, and some of my own tones that I�ۡ���ve gotten from just doodling around of it. Now for the negatives, I play mainly with a Dunlop 1.14 mm pick, and when I use it the two upper string always have an annoying buzz when I play them open down to the third fret, and whenever I turn my amp up, it picks up every little thing, from the bass hitting my hipbone from a jump, to my even barely touching a string while moving my hands up and down the fret board. All in all it�ۡ���s a very decent beginner bass, but I suggest looking around for a better option in the same price range, I enjoy having this thing, but I will trade up when I get enough money for a better option. This was my first bass and I've been teaching myself on it.

Reviewed by 72 customers

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First Bass

By Shoo

from Minneapolis, MN

I just got this bass this past monday and I love it. I'm already playing The Beatles and NIRVANA and the RBX170 just sounds so good. It's a perfect bass for beginners: comfortable to play, easily tuned, sturdy strings, a solid sound, and it's just fun to play. Even though I just got it, the room I play in is rather small, and my bass keeps hitting the walls. However, it hasn't got a single dent. Not only is it aesthetically pleasing, but it's durable (I mean, even if it wasn't durable, Guitar Center has a pretty great return/damage policy). It looks attractive, it's fun to play, and I honestly can't get enough of it.

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Owned for years and still going

By galen rosson

from Fayetteville, Nc

My oldest brother gave me this bass as a 14th birthday present. Here I am, almost 25, and this thing still keeps kicking. My dad plays locally where I live and usually prefers his 30 year old fender bass, but as age caught up with him I let him use my bass sometimes and it helped with his back because it was lighter. You can get any tone you want out of it, the tuners have held up over the years and the bridge has not needed adjustment. The pickups have adopted angles from age but it was nothing I couldn't fix myself. Overall I give the bass 5 stars as it has: 1)withstood the test of time holding together through heavy use from myself and my father. 2)Has not once given me problems electronically or physically 3)Always felt smooth and easy to learn on and master 4)withheld it's volume and resonance Overall I am very satisfied with this bass, and I cherish it to this day as my first instrument I ever owned. The best gift a brother could give.

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Old Violin Sunburst

By William Moore

from CT

Fantastic bass. A little bit of buzzing on the strings, but it's easily fixed. The Old Violin Sunburst color is great, and looks much better than the picture given above. Fabulous for beginner levels through expert levels.

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I love this bass!

By Gavin McWilliams

from Lenexa KS

I recently got this bass for Christmas and although i've never played a bass before, it was really easy to get the hang of it. The noise this beast produces sounds deep and powerful. I hooked it up to my computer to record and it sounded amazing. The one problem for people just getting this bass is figuring out the different knobs for volume and clarity. The pickups are independent of each other, and learning the different knobs is difficult. To know which is which, the first two are directly under each pickup. Having both on makes a rock sound. While having one off or one on changes from heavy rock, to jazz/blues. The one knob all the way in the back of the bass, is clarity so you either get a clean sound. A muffled sound. Or somewhere in between. Over all, the bass is good. So is the colour, mine's a Root Beer. :)

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Great Beginner Bass

By Cassandra Villarreal

from Norfolk, VA

When I bought this guitar I had barely played a bass guitar before. I wanted a solid beginner guitar that wasn't overly expensive so I could start to learn. This guitar is a perfect fit for anyone who wants to get started. I've had it for 9 months and I play it almost every day. It has never needed fixing or anything. It was ready to play straight out of the box. My only complaint was the strings that came on the guitar were not the best but a set of replacement strings fixed that problem. The action was perfect and it stays in tune perfectly. As far as sound, it has a clear defined tone. The pickups hum a bit but it's nothing too annoying. Overall, this guitar is the best beginner guitar I could ask for. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to play on a budget.

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Great Bass

By Terry Liedel

from Fenton, MI

I used an Ibanez GSR200 for years as a performing and recording bass. Had to sell it due to financial difficulties. Spent 3 years without a bass. I ran across this Yamaha at the local GC. They had just marked it down and put it on display. I stopped in after a weekend gig and saw it. Took it home that day. Had to do my own set up on it, but I prefer to do that with my own instruments anyway. The feel and playability are so close to the Ibanez I used to have I almost can't tell the difference. Its an awesome recording bass and a great stage instrument. More than worth the price I paid for it.

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By Dennis Bardorf

from yorkville, il

I have one and as everyone does I changed the strings!! but i changed to super light flat wound strings .045 to .095!! its amazing what you can get out of it and i set the action super low! i run my through a couple of vintage Kustom amps, a Kustom 200 bass amp and Kustom 250-4 guitar amp! then add effects and you have a four string lead!!

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Fun project bass

By Christopher Williams

from Kentucky

I originally bought this bass about 5 years ago when my first bass broke down the night of a gig. It was cheap, fast, easy to work with. The longer I had been playing, the less I used it, and I currently have a rather large collection of basses by now, but I never sold this one and I don't see myself doing so. A lot of people knock it as a starter bass, and only a starter. I saw it (and still see it to this day) as the perfect project bass. I actually learned a LOT about general mantainence, repairs, mods, soldering, replacing parts/pickups etc., from doing work on this bass! The advantage you have with this bass is that it's practical, easy to replace (such a low price!), and it actually has some nice sounds on its own. I never felt it was a weak bass, and the longer I've owned it and worked on it, the more and more I enjoy it. Maybe it was a late bloomer of a bass, but it was well-worth it! Mine is currently fretless, active pickups with 2-band EQ and a treble-boosted hot-rod push/pull pot, and I repainted it to my liking. Overall, it's a solid bass, and it has so much room to grow into a strong bass for your gigging arsenal. It's a very practical bass and a great starter if you just want to get into bass itself! I love the 24-frets and the 34" scale. The neck always played fast and has a nice, medium-thin profile. The P/J pickups sounded great and really blended the best of both worlds! For the price, I'd say you wouldn't be wrong to buy one today. Beginners can learn a lot on this bass and get a feel for what they will want in a newer bass should they keep with it, and seasoned players will have a great bass for a project palet!

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Pretty good for a first bass

By Steven Hewatt

from Loganville, Georgia

Well, I've had this bass for about a year and a half...It's was pretty good, but when I got my 5 string bass I pretty much never used it. This bass alright in a standard tuning, but it sounds terrible when you tune it down...which sucks for me. Overall it's a good bass, but I probably won't be using it for much longer. Hopefully I can get a new 4 string bass that sounds a lot better when it's tuned down. So I guess I'm basically saying that this bass is probably good for some types of music, but definitely not metal...

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(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


As good as a cheap bass can be

By DeMichael Winfield

from McDonough GA

I purchased this bass in January earlier this year(2011), and it is my first experience with a bass guitar, but I have played drums for 5 years and piano for 3, so it isn't my first instrument. I got the violin sunburst, and it's nothing spectacular, but definitely what you should expect as far as aesthetic quality. Straight out of the box, the bass is ready to go, though I would advise some new strings. The only problem I encountered when I first got the bass is that the tuning keys where a little tight, but when I put new strings on and let all the tension out, it was all good. The tone of this bass is up to par with other guitars in its price range. The split style pick up delivers a pretty, soft, and warm tone while the bar pick up does pretty well at giving the more punchy sound. The 2 tone control knobs are also very nice. The first gives the bass a more booming sound, one that really makes the lows drown every other range out, and the second gives the bass a nice gain boost. The thing I really like the most is the neck. For a cheap instrument, this bass has a very nice fret board, and the neck feels strong and plays very smoothly. The bass also stays in tune very well. The lows on this bass are spectacular, mostly due to the tone control. Mids are pretty solid, but the highs come across a little weak sometimes. This isn't really the bass's fault though, weak highs is a dilemma that all cheap bass guitars have to deal with. The only downside to a bass like this is that you will probably outgrow it in a good year or two if you are really into it. I've been only playing for about 9 months now and I'm already looking at buying a more pricey bass that has a richer tone. This is a problem with any cheap instrument however. This is still a solid bass though, and I hope to give this to my niece when I get a new bass, because it will definitely last her a good while once I move on. Overall, I'd say that this is a solid bass for a starter, and would recommend it to anyone wanting to learn. This bass isn't for anyone with some experience playing bass, but it is good enough to learn on and see if you enjoy playing. If you're a more experienced musician like me, it's still a solid bass to have to just play around with. I would only dis-advise this bass to someone who already has solid year of bass experience under their belt.

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