Yamaha TRBX305MGR review

A new pocket money offering from the Yamaha stable

  • £340

MusicRadar Verdict

A highly recommended budget five- string. Buy with confidence.


  • +

    Highly playable with a seriously good tonal performance.


  • -

    No mid-EQ.

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The Japanese manufacturing behemoth Yamaha produces a plethora of musical instruments, covering all price bands from the ridiculously cheap to the eye-wateringly expensive. 

To the company’s credit, it rarely rests on its laurels when it comes to the lower end of the bass guitar market, constantly tweaking their designs, coming up with new hardware and electronics and generally keeping things interesting for players. 

This bass from the TRBX range has the looks, features and electronics to appeal to a broad range of the bass-playing public - so how does it perform?  


Sturdy, roadworthy build quality is usually a given with Yamaha products, and this bass is no exception. It features a curvaceous body shape with a deep lower cutaway for easy fret access: the front body edge and rear contouring makes it quite sleek and easy to wear. 

It has a gloss polyurethane coat on the body and a satin polyurethane finish applied to the five-piece laminate neck. The neck is sleek with no rough patches: 19mm string spacing is a feature of both basses. 

It is a joy to get around, as the setup is good with no sharp fret edges that we could find. The shallow D-shaped neck profile works well for its increased range.

As for hardware; smoked nickel is the order of the day. The diecast tuner is adequate and the bridge functions well. The control set feels sturdy and smooth with a gradual operation.


Yamaha basses have a characteristically powerful tone. Some players regard it as a little clinical and clean, and although this bass does exhibit some of this, it does not sound worse for it. 

In terms of power, projection and resonance, we found the expensive five-string to have a pleasing tonal palette, helped in no small way by the EQ selector switch which made calling up specific tones very easy. 

We thought the tonal performance might be a little muted or lacking in certain departments, but this bass was having none of it! The EQ was useful and colourful without being particularly excessive. 

Whether you are looking for your first bass, a backup instrument or just a new squeeze, this bass would suit you well in most musical areas. 

So what can we deduce from our experience? Well, at this price, this bass performs very highly. It ticks all the boxes you would expect: although it lacks some of the finesse and fine detail you would expect on more expensive basses, take a look at the pricetag and see how far it punches above its weight.