|Body And Neck:|
If you are familiar with the TRBX line of bass guitars from Yamaha, you know that not a lot of resources was invested in diversifying the aesthetic aspect of these guitars. Some bass players even go as far as to call the TRBX line the ‘cookie cutter bass’, which isn’t all that unreasonable if you look at all of them side by side. However, Yamaha made an effort where it matters the most.
TRBX basses are one of the best in their respective categories, which is especially true with the TRBX 204. It more or less dominates the $300 range. You can see how it compares to other great bass guitars from this segment in our short guide.
If you have seen one TRBX, you have pretty much seen them all. The shape is that standard Yamaha design with a pretty deep cutaway under the neck joint. TRBX204 comes in several finish variants, which include both the solid colors and the sunburst. The neck is a standard mahogany piece with a rosewood fretboard and a very comfortable profile. As a matter of fact, this entire bass is light, pretty well balanced and comfortable to play even for those who are just starting out.
In the hardware department, the TRBX204 doesn’t differ much from the rest of its entry-level brethren, as well as the other models in this price range. The bridge is a standard flush vintage design that comes with four fully adjustable saddles, while the headstock is fitted out with four die-cast tuning machines. The overall quality of the hardware is good and every component does its job more than well. You can count on the TRBX204 to hold the key you have chosen under normal use.
When it comes to electronics, you have a set of pretty decent active pickups at your disposal. The configuration is the standard J-Bass setup with a single coil in the bridge position. At the price the TRBX204 is going for at the moment, it’s the cheapest active bass that is worth the money, currently on the market. The pickups are controlled by a master volume and tone knobs, along with a two-band EQ. Overall, this is a great setup for the money.
Those active pickups are definitely not just for show. The tone TRBX204 offers is punching way above its price range. You can dial in a wide range of sounds, and the pups have a lot of output to offer. For the most part, the definition of the tone is great, with crisp trebles and a well-rounded low-end response. Compared to other basses in this segment, and even those in a category one level above, TRBX204 ranks surprisingly well.
Finding an active bass at this price is borderline impossible, let alone one that brings such a balanced performance. Yamaha once again proved why their bass guitars are among the best on the market, and why so many bass players turn to them for quality. If you are looking for a relatively future-proof model that will serve well for a long time, we definitely recommend the Yamaha TRBX204.
Check out this demo video for the Yamaha TRBX 204: