Jonesing for a 5 string
I know that it is a wide world of basses out there. I believe that I want to buy a BB series bass.
Hypothetically, which would you choose between these two contenders...
BBN5 natural with 24 frets for around $200 or a (JJ passive):
BB415 in the deep red. Same price (PJ Passive).
These are both on CL locally. I haven't tried either. I believe the 415 was more expensive orginally, but I'm not sure that will necessarily equate to more quality.
I like the looks of the natural wood better on the N5.
I know, how do the play, how do they sound... for our hypothetical, lets say they are both about the same in all used criteria categories.
What else should I be looking at in a five string in the $200 range?
Thanks in advance,
That depends on what kind of pick-ups you like. if you're into jazz pick-ups, go for the bbn5. if you're into p/j pick-up, go for the bb415.
I have an RBX 1000 four string from the early nineties. It is PJ and I like it very much. I'm not sure how the Jazz PU would differ in the neck position.
I don't want to spend the extra $130 or so. Nice thing about used is that you can usually get out for equal or better than what you got into it for.
They're both alder body bass, so that class of Yamahas sounds very... Fenderish
You can't go wrong with either
I once had a BB415 and still have a Bbn5
The style differs, 'cause Bbn5 is in Nathan East configuration, so, yes, a "modern" Jazz like bass.
BB415 respects historical Van Halen's Michael Anthony design, so the sound is way more "rockish"
The punch is incredible with the BB415 for its AlNiCo split coil literally "pushes" the air out of your speakers, while its ceramic
single struggles to be heard (so it really stays a 5er Precision)
Bbn5 is way more balanced and its ceramic dual "Jazz" pickups cut thru each and every mix with ease, never soundin' too boomy...
Up to you
Thank you all for the considered advice. I will also keep my eye out for a used Squier Deluxe Active Vintage. One at a dealer for a whopping $30 off the normal street price. Maybe they will take a pay cut to get it out the door. I do like the Yammy axes though, think they have been making solid low end instruments for a long time.
Wow, could this bass have come from the factory looking this rough?
I was thinking about the Deluxe Jazz BassŪ V Active (5 String). Are the VM of the same caliber?
Slightly different animals. (different series), but a great bass in it's own right. They get a lot of love around here.
As I always say, don't overlook the Squier Affinity V. A real nice 5 string for not much money. Try one out.
Mark, I understand you
I own two black Squier active deluxe V
One is regularly tuned (B, E, A, D, G) strung with Ernie Balls and sportin' dual Samarium Cobalt Noiseless pickups
The other is a fullstep downtuned (A, D, G, C, F) strung with d'Addarios and has Seymour Duncan '70/'74 neck SJB5 pickup.
They use the very same bridge (and string spacin') on Yamaha
Bbn5 but have an ebonol fingerboard, a chunk neck and a very
heavy (unusual for the kinda wood) basswood body
The electronic on Squiers works really like on Bartolini equipped
Ibanez Soundgears: three band equalizer with midscoop switch
So it's reliable and very modern soundin'. But it delivers. I just swapped pickups because I wanted a lil' rounder sound on the regularly tuned bass that I use with a blues band-and a fatter bottom end on the downtuned one, 'cause I use it in a thrash metal band with a two 7 string guitar attack
Ownin' a Yamaha Bbn5 (havin' owned a BB415) and two Squier
active deluxe Vs, I'd tell ya: go with the Squier
And if you're into a passive (yet hot) approach, go for the VM.
Thanks again for the info. I have to overcome my predilection for Japanese branded instruments, no matter where they are actually made. I had a chance to play a VM Precision at Guitar Center and felt like it was clunky and heavy. I'm definitely spoiled by how comfortable and svelte my RBX 1000 is (thought it only a four string).
The Tobias Toby Deluxe had a much better ergonomics in my book. Maybe the Jazz would feel better.
I'd also add that I don't like maple fret boards much. Mostly on aesthetic grounds.
I can't find a Deluxe Jazz BassŪ V Active in Denver. There is one down in Co. Springs at GC. I really don't want to spend much more than $200, so I am really trying to find a used something that I like.
I didn't like the sound of the Deluxe. It was just a little 'nasal-y' or 'honky' and had WAY LESS low end than the passive. But, in a way, I liked the neck and fretboard better on the Deluxe, so I tried swapping necks. They are not the same size (doh!), so that didn't work. (The link to the pictures above shows the process.)
I kept the (passive) VM V, but despite several adjustments and string changes, driving around some bass stores in LA last Saturday made me realize the action is always going to be a little more "challenging" on a Squire than a Fender. I found this to be somewhat true of their guitars as well.
While I have the VM V playing 'tight' and (somewhat) like the recorded sound, I think the bridge pickup could sound better.
So instead of chasing a sound, I took a leap of faith and purchased a used Fender American Standard Jazz V from 'barisaxman' on these forums.
I am still within the 30 day return period on the VM V. I will probably return it when the Fender arrives.
Thank you again for all the input. I did pull the trigger on the BB415. My most basic requirement was price and I got the bass for $200. It is not in pristine shape but seems completely serviceable. I could have found both Squier basses at Drum City Guitar Land I later found out, but either one would have blown my budget. Part of it is comfort. I'm very comfortable with the mid range Yamaha but not as much with the Squier name. I have seen that name on too many very inexpensive instruments in the past. This is not a comment on their current offerings, just a mental hurdle for me. Thanks again for the input. Mark
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