'85 Yamaha BB refurb

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by wmhill, Nov 20, 2019.


  1. wmhill

    wmhill Inactive

    Aug 20, 2012
    upstate NY
    MTD basses endorsed artist Bartolini pickups emerging artist TECAMP bass players gear endorsed
    The Bass is a 1985 Yamaha BB300, that my folks bought me brand-new for graduation. ($199 right in the box). I played tons of gigs on it but never was totally happy with the sound. In the mid-90s I changed the stock P pickup to a Fender 62 reissue and that wasn't any improvement. Around that time I had the brilliant idea to install a pair of G&L pickups, their version of the Jazz P/Us. Being a fan of Billy Sheehan and his "wife" bass, the work was crudely but effectively done. It sounded quite nice despite the looks. I moved on to different basses through the years but never parted company with the Yamaha. About a year ago I decided to resurrect the bass and try to shed some of the shop class reject look.
    I had a pair of stock MTD MM pickups that I had replaced with Bartolini's and decided to rehome them. Off it went to my guitar guy (Tracy Cox Inlay studio, Parishville NY). He filled my beaver routes with wood, rerouted the fresh cavities and crafted a pickguard that covered a multitude of my sins. The wiring is 500K, dual volume/tone, and a Gibson style switch. I went with some cheaper Chinese hardware (bridge & tuners) from eBay.
    It was a low dollar mod, but it turned out well. It sounds as you would expect with passive MM pickups and there is plenty of gig-induced mojo which looks cool on a bass of its age. The pickguard gave it a nice look and took some of the giant body look that it had stock. The chrome knobs look good against the black hardware and silver polepieces. It weighs in at 10 pounds even (no diet here). I have a black bridge cover that will be installed after it settles down from being unstrung for some time. It's no showroom vintage piece, but it has a ton of personal history.


    bb300 76730163_2845495545484189_7006660701523542016_o.jpg bb300 78111630_2845495618817515_8839998540139724800_n.jpg


    The bass when new in 1985

    yamaha 312024_456526927714408_1704936254_n.jpg

    during the "Wife" era

    @BB300.jpg
     
    kentiki, tindrum and ajkula66 like this.
  2. tindrum

    tindrum Supporting Member

    May 2, 2007
    Suffolk, VA
    That looks freaking AWESOME! Great post. I enjoyed seeing the evolution of that bass.
     
    wmhill likes this.
  3. wmhill

    wmhill Inactive

    Aug 20, 2012
    upstate NY
    MTD basses endorsed artist Bartolini pickups emerging artist TECAMP bass players gear endorsed
    Thanks, it's been an old friend for a lot of years.
     
    tindrum likes this.
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