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Fender American Pro / Elite vs Yamaha BB Pro series (both 2017 models)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Rockin John, Dec 8, 2017.

  1. I know I'm a bit late with this thread because 2017 is about over. But I've just rediscovered Yamahas so I thought I'd post....

    About 20 years ago I was well into Yamaha basses. Then I had a a bit of a thing for Fenders. In both cases we're talking the cheaper end of the range.

    Looking back I think the Yamahas probably scored over the Fenders.

    Now, my financial circumstances have changed. I can afford the high end models. But therein comes the confusion....

    The Yamahas are billed as being (virtually) hand built by their craftsmen at their Japanese HQ. This seems to imply a level of construction above that of the Fenders which are basically (just) production line built. Maybe the Yamahas compare with the Sandbergs for hands-on building, and at very similar prices.

    The Elites are a couple of hundred more expensive than the Yamaha Pro, here in UK, whilst the Fender Pros are about the same.

    Custom shop Fenders - which are more like hand building - start at about eight hundred more than the Yamahas.

    I've yet to play either make, but I just wondered if there's any experience having both makes been around for about a year.


  2. Mark76


    Dec 1, 2015
    Did you win the lottery? :D
  3. No ...LoL
  4. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    Does body shape matter? Yamahas tend to have rounder bodies.
  5. Body shape isn’t the prime influence for me. We’re all used to the Fender look - especially us older players, I suppose - but my eyes are opening to different body shape styles. Even so, I tend not to deviate too far from a ‘traditional’ body shape: I wouldn’t consider a bizarre design of BC Rich bass for instance!

    A bass that sits nicely on the strap is of prime importance: I’ll consider almost any body shape if that part works for me. Because I’m not especially well, the physical side of playing bass means so much for my situation.

    In considering a comparison between the Fenders and Yamaha’s, I was wondering about construction quality, attention to detail, etc.


  6. twc1313

    twc1313 Practice is the cure for GAS...or so I've heard. Supporting Member

    Oct 28, 2013
    Pittsburgh, Pa
    I've owned a American Pro P, a Yamaha BB424x and a BB434. Aside from some tuner issues on shipping (both based on the box they use and not the quality). I would say the Yamaha hands down is better. I never played the top end version but even my 400's wow me much more than the Fender. Plus the BB has a tone that is beyond heavenly. They also have no neck dive and the necks are a nice compromise between the p and j.

    I'd get the Yamaha in a heartbeat, no questions asked. The other one I'd consider is the EBMM Caprice. Both are amazing quality for the money.
  7. Hello twc1313 and thanks.

    I had a suspicion the Yamahas might be a favourite for someone. That's based on my previous experience with their budget models of years ago ... which were really good for the money.

    Great that neck dive is absent: that and neck dead spots are my two big hates on basses.

    That's for your comments.


    twc1313 likes this.

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