Yamaha Silent Bass Problems (All you yamaha/eub guys - help!)
To be fair I did comb the posts here a bit - but I couldn't find what I was looking for, so I thought i'd post.
I bought my Yamaha about five years ago in Japan - and to be fair, it served me well through about three hundred odd gigs. The first problem I had was about three years ago - which was having the bolt/height adjuster wearing out (grooves wearing out) and the rod started to slip in.
After some time, the endpin rubber also wore out - and the rod began to cut through it.
Anyway, I found a way around most of that - but now I'm looking at two new problems over the past two/three months that are really killing me:
1. A wire somewhere has shorted out - or Something has happened - and I'm getting serious ground noise/earthing problems. My guess is that the pickup is giving in.
2. The bridge is starting to warp - and I don't even know how That began.
So. Long story short - if anybody is interested with selling their bridge to me - or - has free advice to give me about what to do about this grounding issue.. any help would be appreciated.
I'm looking to buy another EUB soon - so recommendations on that front would be good too.. I'm thinking another yamaha probably.
If anybody is also interested in buying a really battered up yamaha silent bass - that works too! I'm based out of Boston - studying at Berklee.
The bridge warped because that's what bridges do. I have a theory that it may be possible to prolong the life of a bridge by holding the crown while you tune, but that doesn't help you now. Replace it. $200 to $300 problem.
I'm not familiar with the endpin Yamaha uses, but if it's a standard endpin assembly, replace it. Ulsa endpins are nice. $100 problem.
Is the pickup a proprietary design or something that can be replaced? Possible $50 to $100 problem. Have you talked to an electrician or amplifier repair shop? Or, better yet, Yamaha?
You've played this bass on 300+ gigs. Good instruments aren't like Bic lighters. You don't throw them away when something breaks. You treat them like a house or a car, service the problem and keep moving. Paying a luthier or learning to DIY is part of being a musician.
X - I have a spare yamaha silent bass bridge laying around I could sell to you. Send me a PM if you're interested. I'm surprised you got one to warp, as short and fat as these things are. As for the endpin, they take a standard 1/2" chair leg cap that you can buy at Home Depot. I recently bought a Fishman BP-100 off of Craigslist and put it on my Yamaha and it sounds much better than the built-in pickup (mine still works fine, I just hated the sound). And I'm only about 10 miles from Cambridge.
I'm about 10 miles from Boston too, I don't know why I saw Cambridge. Getting old I guess.
Yeah, just get a new bridge with a full circle pickup and go to home depot for the endpin rubber and a small hose clamp to maintain the endpin height.
I'd visit a luthier to get that new bridge installed.
At some point Yamaha used to offer a Jazz bridge for the SLB but I've looked I don't see it anywhere for sale anymore. IIRC, the bridge wings were done in a way that facilitated stuff like underwood and Planet Wing. Certainly a Full Circle works well - I use one too.
I've never been impressed with the materials used in the Silent basses - usually low quality for what you pay. Getting a custom bridge made by a reputable luther will be a step up.
Most of the cost is generated by the fitting of the bridge to the top curvature of an acoustic upright. Since the EUBs usually have a flat top (at least at the position of the bridge legs), the fitting is rather easy. Might be cheaper than a bridge with setup for an acoustic upright bass.
You might even do this yourself. Blank upright bridges are not so much expensive, you just need to get the right ones (leg distance). You also need to look for the height, so that when you remove wood from the crown to get the correct setup height you don't run into (or too close to) the cutouts of the bridge. EUB bridges are often lower than acoustic bass bridges, so you need to check the dimensions of the bridge before you buy. But look around in the internet or get a book how to setup a bridge, so you know what you have to do if you want to go DIY.
BTW, the Yamaha and the NS are miles away from each other. I don't think a Yamaha owner would like any NS EUB. Better get a new bridge for your Yamaha, it is worth the money.
If you want to sell yours cheap, I'll take it off your hands. I had one, sold it last year and regretted it. The screw for the endpin can be replaced by a 6mm Pearl drum wing nut. I used a Full Circle pickup and it worked great. All fixable stuff, but you sound like you just want something different(?)
If you suspend your bridge over a bowl of water and put it in the mircowave curve down on top of the bowl with about 1/3 of the bowl full of water and turn on the micro for 5 minutes or so the curve should simple vanish. Take it out and clamp it to something flat until it cools. Use pliers to move it or you will burn your fingers. Fixed many a bridge over the years like this. saves buying a new one and having it fitted.
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