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Rating and Reviews: Yamaha RBX170 Bass Guitar

Yamaha's most affordable bass, this bad boy comes with a solid feeling durable Agathis body and passive tone controls for greater musical versatility.

User Ratings
Overall
Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
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"All the right things for a basic bass" submitted September 16, 2013

By Jim R. in Hamilton, ON
Overall
Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
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The Wow Factor
Musical Background: 25 yrs Guitar & Songwriting. Also some Keys & Bass
Music Style: Rock, Blues, Prog-Rock, Metal Industrial, Experimental, Psychodelic Psychobilly, Punk Folk, Country
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Overall: I'm a singer/songwriter who was looking for a bass for home recording, jamming and playing around with and when it came down to brass tacks, I couldn't beat the price/performance of this baby. I was comparing to slightly more expensive models from other seond line brands (Squire, Epiphone etc...) but beyond a few little quirks I didn't see much of a difference. I set up the bass, plugged it in, and was surprised at the playability of this instrument. The neck is fast yet strong and the body shape lends itself to sitting and pliddling around with it. I had to set the intonation but the string height was set near perfect from the factory. Intonation was so close that I could have left it, but I tweeked it to perfection anyways. This bass is light - much lighter than the Fender Jazz I've used on occasion. Why is it so inexpensive? 1) The Pickups I will be swapping the bridge pickup out at some point, it is marginal, but adequate for jamming etc.. It's not as dynamic as I want and is a little noisy. The split pickup sounds decent - though I'll probably swap both out for the sake of completeness. There is NO RUSH for this though. The cheap stock pickups are fine. 2) Other Cheap Outs There are a couple of plastic covers that give a feel of cheapness to this bass, but this is only cosmetic - so far. The cheap tuners seem okay, nothing to write home about, but not on the upgrade list (yet.) There is a bar (not sure what it is called) just beayond the nut that controls the strings for the tuners, it is held with two tiny wood screws. I've had no problems, but the arrangement makes me nervous. Basically this bass has VERY GOOD bones, and for anyone who is used to maintaining a guitar or bass, (doing upgrades and repairs) or is looking for a good starter bass, this is the one.
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"Forget the Squire-Yamaha is soooooooooooo much better" submitted September 17, 2006

By a customer from shilom.net
Overall
Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Value
The Wow Factor
Musical Background: 40 years playing electric, writing & recording
Music Style: Rockin' Blues style
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Sound: It has a pretty good sound-pickup controls adjust the sound well Feature: One good feature is that is light-weight and has reasonable action. The Ibanez (and I do like Ibanez) was too heavy for my wife to play- The Squire is a piece of crap-the strings are about a mile off of the frets. Ease of Use: Yep, easy to use, easy to play Quality: Ask me in 6 months Value: Great value-$20 cheaper than the Squire-300% Better! Manufacturer Support: n/a The Wow Factor: Sexy red solid body-the blue looks cool too! Overall: It's a beginner bass for my wife-probably trade it in - a year or two. Liked the Ibanez-but too heavy for the wife- Hated the Squire-It's basically crap.
22 of 23 people (95.65%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"What A Freakin Awesome Bass!" submitted January 13, 2007

By a customer from yahoo.com
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Sound
Features
Ease of Use
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Value
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
Musical Background: active
Music Style: Metal, Alternative Rock, Punk
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Sound: This thing has great, full sound that really stands out over the other basses that are in this price range. I have tried out many basses before but this has better sounds than some basses twice the price. Feature: No stand out features but you still get more for what your paying for. Ease of Use: Really easy bass to play. Also its very light to its great for long gigs. Quality: This thing is very well built. Yamaha puts a lot of effort in everything they make and it really shows. The Wow Factor: This thing is amazingly sexy. I play at gigs with other bands and they ask me how much my bass was and there surprised because it looks much better than some of the more expensive basses out there. Pure Sex Overall: For the money you spend you get a hell of a lot more than you paid for. Don't hesitate to buy this bass.
34 of 36 people (94.44%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"If you are looking for a bass that does the job and looks good, there is no reason to pay more than this Yamaha costs. It gets" submitted June 19, 2011

By a customer from att.net
Overall
Sound
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
The Wow Factor
Musical Background: First career was professional musician - now using Pro Tools to record originals
Music Style: Blues and Fusion
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Sound: I am using this bass with my Eleven Rack to record with Pro Tools. It came with round wound strings and has a good range of sounds, with the "PJ" pickup set up. The bass is relatively light compared to the original Fenders, but it still has excellent sustain. It is easy to adjust the tone by mixing the two different pickups. I leave the "tone" control wide open and never cut the highs. Ease of Use: When the bass arrived, the neck needed adjustment, which is perfectly OK. I cranked it to the limit of its adjustment and wished it had a little more left, but it is pretty close to straight. The pickups also needed height adjustment, but there was enough room in their adjustment range to get them where they needed to be. The bridge also called for a little height adjustment, but the string lengths were spot on. The instrument responds as it should to varying where on the string it is plucked. The signal strength across the strings is very even. Quality: I purchased the bass at a discount as a second or blemished item, but the finish is flawless black and I have yet to find something less than brand new. The tuners are good quality and the bass holds a tuning very well. I could see nothing about the bass that would cause me any concern that it would be ready to go any time. Value: This is a fabulous value -- for $145 I have a fully functional bass that is easy to play, stays in tune, does not weigh 20 pounds and looks great. Manufacturer Support: I have had no cause to contact Yamaha about the bass. The Wow Factor: The bass looks great to me. The shape is nice and balances well when played seated. Its shape is not a copy of a better known bass. The only reason I did not give it a "10" is that it is simple and basic looking, not trying to be especially eye catching. Overall: I am a guitar player, but I needed bass for my Pro Tools projects. I have no intention of looking for anything else. The only thing I might consider is to replace the pickups with an EMG PJ setup.
6 of 7 people (85.71%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"Great Starter Bass" submitted January 20, 2012

By Pete H. in Middletown, CT
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Sound
Features
Ease of Use
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Value
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Musical Background: Home jammer on Guitar and Bass
Music Style: Rock, Pop, and alternative
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Overall: I had one of these several years ago - it is a good, solid, reliable instrument for beginners. Works as advertised, pretty sturdy and feels solid. Doesn't need a whole lot of maintenance, other than tuning and changing strings when needed. There are some limitations (It IS a sum-$200 bass): advanced techniques like hammers and slides don't work well at all, but if you find that to be a problem your skill level is probably beyond this bass. All-in-all, I would absolutely recommend this bass to someone just starting out.
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Yamaha RBX170 Bass Guitar Customer Review submitted November 20, 2004

By a customer from gmail.com
Overall
Sound
Features
Quality
Value
Manufacturer Support
Musical Background: "keen amateur"
Music Style: Rock, blues (although this bass is not great for blues)
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Feature: I like the pickup alignment. Quality: The moulded chrome machine heads look a bit cheap, and are not too sturdy, but apart from that it seems pretty unbreakable... Value: Excellent value for the sound quality and durability. Manufacturer Support: I haven't needed any product support. The Wow Factor: To the untrained eye it looks expensive, and the girls seem to love it ;-)
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"The RBX170" submitted March 1, 2006

By a customer from googlemail.com
Overall
Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
The Wow Factor
Musical Background: In a local 5 peice rock band
Music Style: Rock, reggae, classical, alternative, jazz the list goes on...
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Sound: The bridge pickup provides a rocky, fat tone, whilst the neck offers astounding blues, a very flexible guitar, sounds great if you de-fret it, phisically or using a pedal. Feature: Not amszing in terms of hardware and electronics, but does what it was meant to do, be an affordable bass guitar,and so excels at the basics. Ease of Use: Nice sound, with dials to control neck and bridge pickups, and tone, passive bass(no batteries !!!) an excelent begginer bass (although mines been through a few gigs ans sound awsome). Quality: I only have one nag, when i bought mine,the neck pickup dial and tone control (on mine anyway) where missing a washer. Otherwise, fantastic. Value: A basic bass, affordable, good all rounder, what more can I say? The Wow Factor: Three lovely finishes, black, glitter blue and glitter red.When I bought it i had a coice of black or glitter blue, blue seemed more appealing, being very glam rock, very nice indeed. Overall: I would always have this as a backup, being so versatile, but i may be tempted to buy the 774 as it has more advanced hardware.
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"Yamaha RBX 170" submitted September 11, 2012

By Adam G.
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Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
Musical Background: I've been playing bass for about 3 years now. I've been gigging for about 2 of those years, and I've always had my yamaha with m
Music Style: I tend to play more Rock, Reggae and metal.
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Overall: I absolutely love this bass! I own a few basses, going from ESP to a wesley, but my Yamaha is my absolute favorite! very light, great for gigs, easy action, easy to set up and quick change strings.
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"My experience with RBX170" submitted August 6, 2005

By a customer from hotmail.com
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Sound
Features
Quality
Value
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
Musical Background: 4 years playing jazz trumpet and started bass
Music Style: jazz, rock
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Sound: depends if u have a good amp. Feature: for professional playing humbucker pickups would be better but i think the single coil+split coil is plenty for standard-intermediate players. Quality: its well built and is strong. Value: for its price u get pretty much what u paid for. Manufacturer Support: dont know coz i havent had problems so didnt need to contact company yet. The Wow Factor: the body shape is good but i dont like how the back of the neck and the head is left at its wooden state. if the head and back of neck had same design and finish as the more expensive yamaha rbx series it would be perfect. Overall: this is an excellent bass for beginners to intermediate players. when a more advanced bass is required for my skill, i would probably stick to the RBX series and just get a better version of this guitar. yamaha RBX series basses have a modern design and not retro which i like.
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"Great starter bass for someone to learn on." submitted April 30, 2005

By a customer from nospam.com
Overall
Sound
Features
Quality
Value
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
Musical Background: Active Musician
Music Style: Rock
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Sound: The sound is actually quite good for a cheap bass. A little bit muddy on the highs, so if you're looking for one with a bright sound, I would look elsewhere, but if you like that thick bass sound it's great. Feature: Nothing special in the features department. All the electronics are cheap, but reliable. Quality: I had to put lock-tite on the jack, because the nut kept backing off. Once I did that I never had any problems with it. Value: This bass could be better, but I think it's great considering the price you pay for it. Manufacturer Support: Haven't had to contact Yamaha so far with the bass The Wow Factor: It looks good, nothing special. Overall: I'm pretty happy with the bass considering what I paid for it. I've since bought a Spector 5-string, so I haven't been playing it nearly as much, but it still plays well, and fills my need when I want a 4-string. I'm in the process of defretting mine, so I think I'll be using it more then.
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"yamaha rbx 170" submitted April 13, 2012

By jocelyn l. in macamic, QC
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Musical Background: sa fait 30 ans que je suis dans la musique et j ai un studio et je joue un peu de tout
Music Style: rock , funk, blues et country
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Overall: cette basse est parfaite pour les débutants et tres bien pour les plus avancés. tres bon son et vaut plus que son prix. le manche est tres bien et le corps est fait solide. j ai essayé plusieurs basse (cort, ibanez,squier) et j ai choisi cette basse. parfait pour moi !!!
2 of 3 people (66.67%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"The best budget bass you can buy." submitted January 16, 2006

By a customer from hotmail.com
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Musical Background: hobby
Music Style: rock
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Quality: For the money it looks fantastic. Value: Excellent VFM I bought it for
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"The Beautiful Yamaha RXB 170" submitted September 5, 2004

By a customer from hotmail.com
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Sound
Features
Quality
Value
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
Musical Background: Bass Player
Music Style: Rock, punk, heavy
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Sound: The sound in this bass is amazing. You can play any type of song you like with this bass and it the sound quality just simply refuses to let you down. Feature: Lots of pickups for a lovely crisp treble sound and a great looking body and head. Quality: I expected nothing but the best from yamaha, beautifuly crafted. Value: Great value for money. Manufacturer Support: They were always on hand to sort any problems i had with the bass and they were very friendly to. The Wow Factor: I already own one its great for me and my band. Overall: Excellent bass guitar its what you'd expect from yamaha. top noch
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"this bass kicks ass" submitted February 19, 2005

By a customer from yahoo.com
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Musical Background: just started playing
Music Style: rock and metal
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Sound: sounds good, i've only been playing bass for a month and a half but it doesnt buzz or anything so far. the only time there's buzz is if you turn up the rear pickup and tone all the way, turn the front pickup all the way down, and have the amp volume all the way up too Feature: for the price, it's a really nice bass and really easy for even my inexpierienced skill to play. the only features are front and rear pickup volume and tone, but that's normal Quality: seems like it'll last a long time, probably 5 years at the least, i'll be ready to buy another bass before then but i'm still keeping this one, that's how much i like it Value: this think needs like a 15 out of ten for value, awesome bass for like a 100 less than anything else of this quality, could probably compete with a couple basses that are even 200 more if you put high quality strings on it Manufacturer Support: dunno, but yamaha seems like a good company so i'll give them a ten The Wow Factor: chicks dig it....trust me....they think it's hottttt with the extra t's Overall: this bass rocks literally if it's your first bass, like it was mine, you'll regret nothing about it and it's good enough to last you till you really spend and get a much more expensive bass
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"Drop the Squire and pick up this Yamaha" submitted January 6, 2007

By a customer from hotmail.com
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Musical Background: Active Musician
Music Style: Rock, Classic, Jazz
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Sound: Okay sound the G-string seems to have the worst buzz and it needs constant tune ups to get rid of buzzing strings. Feature: The sound controls and volume work excellent and the pickup is great Ease of Use: easy as hell, great for beginners. Quality: okay, it last pretty well, it just needs little tune ups here and there. Value: Wow... a fender of around the same quality will cost about twice as much. Manufacturer Support: Yamaha usualy has pretty good help with brass and woodwind instruments... they are a little harder to deal with when you need a part for a bass or guitar. The Wow Factor: Mine is a little different. It has no color, just the sexy wood finishing... and everyone comments on how damn good it looks. Plus it has a very stylish design. Overall: I want to trade up to a nicer Yamaha or probably a Fender, this is only good if you are starting out on bass or are strapped for cash
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Yamaha RBX170 Bass Guitar Customer Review submitted June 4, 2005

By a customer from yahoo.com
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Musical Background: Active Musician
Music Style: death metal, metal, rock, hardcore, etc
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Value: great deal for the price. i've had mine a year and its in exelent condidtion exept for some scratches, wich is cause of how hard i play it. The strings arent the best, but there ok.
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"A Great Learner's" submitted July 1, 2006

By a customer from hotmail.com
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Musical Background: Active Muscian
Music Style: All around rock and metal
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Feature: Yea, the knobs show very little change to the sound. Or maybe it was just me, but still some
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"Kick @$$ bass that won't let ya down." submitted February 25, 2008

By a customer from hotmail.com
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Value
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Musical Background: Hobbyist/Avtive Musician in a band
Music Style: Alternative, Punk Rock, Heavy Metal
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Sound: Really good from slap to constant strumming Feature: Didn't come with anything that i know of, i bought it off of a friends brother Ease of Use: Plug it in, adjust volume, start strummin' Quality: I've drop it from a broken strap w/ no signs to tell on the guitar Value: I bought mine for 150 but its easily worth that much. Manufacturer Support: Never needed it The Wow Factor: Looks pretty sweet, got a nice sleek look to it Overall: Its sturdy, sounds good, i plan on using it for about 4-5 more years (having it for 2 already).
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Yamaha RBX170 Bass Guitar Customer Review submitted April 23, 2004

By a customer from yahoo.com
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Music Style: alternative acoustic
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Sound: it is simply the best! i can do any fingerstyle with this bass, it may not be the expensive bass of yamaha products, but the quality of the sound is superb! this bass has also a unique sound, u can make the sound a little bit of jazz,rock,funky, the whole point is this bass has a whole lot of rocking to do!
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"Good with one HUGE problem" submitted February 7, 2005

By a customer from yahoo.com
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Musical Background: Band bassist
Music Style: Emo
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Sound: the sound quality is pretty bad because it has a clanging sound after you've used it for a month, its something about the low pressure in the A string's tuner Feature: its got great p and j bass sounds, its good Quality: the clanging metal with the A string makes it horrible! the cord to plug in that comes in it broke twice and i had to refund my money 3 times until i found at least a suitable guitar that wouldnt break in my hands Value: the price is pretty good The Wow Factor: i like it but you have to consider that this is a "Metal" style bass, im more into the Emo punk scene Overall: i expect to be satisfied with it for as long as its around, or until i can buy a new one. i hate the A string tuner problem but love its power
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"THIS IS NOT WHAT YOU WANT TO WASTE YOUR MONEY ON!" submitted December 12, 2007

By a customer from aol.com
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Musical Background: Active Musician
Music Style: Death-Metal
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Sound: It sounds terrible, the pickups that came with it went dead after only 3 years all it got was a muddy midrange and about half of the volume somehow was being cut, now i got a First Act (for free;) that sounds better, imagine that. Feature: the sound was the only real problemi had with it. it has great features, 24 frets, easy action, & perfect for speed. Ease of Use: Very good for beginning musicians, the fact that you can control each pickup's volume seperately also separete from tone just makes it simple to get whatever tone you are looking for. That is until the cheap pickups go out. Quality: After a while you will probably notice that your sound is deminishing but really it is just the pickups going out, also the wireing falls apart really easily so i recomend a sodering iron if you own this bass. On my RBX170 one of the tuning machines fell apart, so the quality kinda sucks. Value: its relatively ok, but I recomend Ibanez basses Manufacturer Support: when the tuning machine fell apart I had to contact the company to order a new one, the company isnt bad to deal with it just took forever to ship from Japan. The Wow Factor: Its a beutifull body shape I own the metallic blue (personaly my favorite color for this bass)one. I really like te way the neck feels when im playing it. Overall: Ive already replaced it. thiking about ressurecting it and putting some Di'Marzio Pickups on it.
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"Great all around bass" submitted November 16, 2005

By a customer from yahoo.com
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Value
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Musical Background: Active musician
Music Style: rock punk(real punk not that pussy girly punk the oldschool shit)and everything else
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Sound: sounds pretty good but doesnt have a very good low end punch like drop d or low b could hace had better pickups Feature: can blend tones good for the price Quality: strong and well built except where the input is theres a plastic piece holding it in place and I recently broke but I rigged it up and it still works fine Value: I think it was worth the money Manufacturer Support: i havent neede it so i dunno The Wow Factor: looks cool but it would have been better with a matching headstock Overall: this is a great bass for the price it could have had some better pickups though
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"its a greta bass i wish it was my first it would ba great learner" submitted September 16, 2006

By a customer from yahoo.com
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Musical Background: i play in couple bans that are pretty good local wise
Music Style: speed metal
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Sound: i dont care bout ur questions this thing osm period Feature: i liked the feel of the fret board tuning it can b a little tricky at times the dual pick up is pretty cool Ease of Use: its good um i didnt read the manual its playable it stands out (in a good way)in the band i play in Quality: it is good 4 all i dont have a stand or case (Broke guy)its fallen like 2 or 3 times and no even a crack Value: ya it is with the rite set up it can sound great Manufacturer Support: no i just bought it online here so i wouldnt know The Wow Factor: i like its body great curves(ironic) Overall: im greedy i can use somthin 4 like 8 months and then break it delibratly so i have an excuse to buy a new 1
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"this is definatly the only good begginer guitar" submitted March 10, 2006

By a customer from netzero
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Quality
The Wow Factor
Musical Background: active musician
Music Style: Rock
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Sound: with its deep sound and amazing feel its the best for such a small price Ease of Use: so easy to use Quality: amazing durability The Wow Factor: so beutiful Overall: overall its almost perfect
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"awesome bass" submitted January 17, 2012

By a customer from google.com in denton, TX
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Musical Background: years, bass, profesh
Music Style: chillwave ragtime?
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Overall: I've had this bass for 3 years and play it all the time (rock, blues, country). It's been all over Texas with me. I thought when I bought it, it would only be temporary. But I can't find another one even close to my budget with the awesome sound this bass has. Except for the plastic bit where you plug in, which I've had replaced, it's tough as hell, too.
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Yamaha RBX170 Bass Guitar Customer Review submitted December 1, 2008

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Musical Background: Active Musician
Music Style: Rock, Jazz, FUNK!
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Sound: The passive pickups put out a lot of sound for this bass and the controls really work well. I paired it up against an Ibanez GSR 200 and the yamaha kicked it's butt. The P-J style tends to give a whole different variety of tones from fat to boomy. Feature: Like I said, P-J pickups give a wide variety of tone. 24 fret neck lets you go a whole extra octave. 3 knobs that all do something. Light weight. Beautifully built. The only problem i had with it was the tuning machines were crap. they wiggled alot. but after i got new tuners, i was happy. Ease of Use: Hey, it sounds great, the neck is smooth, easy controls. The pickups were a little bulky and pointy, but i got used to them. Quality: Quality is pretty good. Beautifully crafted Value: This is a nice bass for the money you pay. Manufacturer Support: Never had to deal with it. The Wow Factor: Hey, as long as it sounds good and is reliable (which it is) , i don't care about the look. (as long as it's not unbelievably ugly) I wish it had active pickups but these passives put out a lot.
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"It's the best for the money." submitted November 29, 2007

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Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
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The Wow Factor
Musical Background: Hobbyist
Music Style: everything
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Sound: The sound is really good. I like the tone and warmth it produces. Feature: For what you are paying, its ridiculously tricked out. Ease of Use: I found a sweet spot that I really like in this bass. Its exactly what i wanted. Quality: i love this bass, its the best thing you can possibly buy in this price range. Value: This bass is worth every peny and more. Manufacturer Support: I've never need suport. :) The Wow Factor: its not the sexiest bass I've ever seen, but i care more about how i sound with it than i care about how i look playing. Overall: I'm more than happy with this bass.
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""It is definitely worth the price..."" submitted January 21, 2007

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Musical Background: I'm in Two Bands currently.
Music Style: Metal, Rock, Classic Rock, Black Metal, Alternative
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SPOTLIGHT REVIEW
Sound: The sound on this is warm and strong. Feature: The Passive tone controls are very easy to use. Ease of Use: This bass is great for beginners and pros alike. Its ease of use is top quality. Quality: This bass is wonderful and is rugged and it will last a long time. My only problem is, is that the output nut is constantly coming loose and I have to tighten it each time I plug in. Value: This Bass is way more then the what the price tells you. It is definitely worth the price. The Wow Factor: It has a sexy curvaceous body. and it has beautiful color choices. Overall: Its Amazing all around. Bravo Yamaha.
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Yamaha RBX170 Bass Guitar Customer Review submitted November 12, 2006

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Sound: Hey it buzzes non stop after you play it for at least 30 minutes. Ease of Use: If you are starting out you would like this but if you have been playing for at least a month you would want a new one. Quality: it has smears everywhere and can't play a note with out buzzing after 2 months. Value: If you are going to play for fun or try it out get this bass. But if you are in a band or group don't. The Wow Factor: it is just you know just blah.
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"this bass is stylish, has a great sound and is practical" submitted January 12, 2006

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Value
Musical Background: active musician
Music Style: rock-jazz
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Sound: to make the yamaha rbx170 sound better, always put high presence on the amp. Feature: i think the rbx 170 has everything a bassist needs in terms of aditional accesories. Quality: this bass is the best bass/guitar for value and quality. Value: this bass is great value. The Wow Factor: it is very good but practical bass that's why i bought it
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"For the bass players who want to have fun." submitted September 7, 2004

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Music Style: 70's and 80's heavy metal rock
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SPOTLIGHT REVIEW
Overall: well I've had this bass before and it was stolen. So I just bought another because they're so great.
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"MEH" submitted September 11, 2003

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Sound: It's ok. I wish I woulda bought a fender but it does its job. Feature: Features are fine Quality: DO NOT GET IT IN BLACK. SAVE YOURSELF MONEY!!!. I have the black one and not 2 weeks after I got it there was a massive scratch on the back. and not from negligence. Its like a baby to me. But I'm already gettin it repainted cuz of its easy of scratch Value: Good begginer but its not gona jump through hoops for you Manufacturer Support: Havent used it The Wow Factor: Pretty Standard Overall: Ill be gettin a new bass soon. This one did fine but Im gettin better and need more. Make sure u get a hardcase with it too cuz it seems to get nicks from soft gig bags.
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