Fender Precision Deluxe or Yamaha BB734a

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by javi_bassist, May 9, 2018.

  1. Hello everyone!

    I wanted to ask you your opinion about these two basses. I finally sold a bass I was trying to sell for long and I want now one active (and I've never had one). I tried them both at a store the other day but I cannot decide :p. And I just want to hear some of your impressions and if you share what I think.

    Sound: In active mode, I think the Yamaha is slightly better. Besides, the preamp was "easier" and more intuitive to I think. What's more, I think it can change the sound more than the Fender. Or that was my impression. In passive mode both sounded really good to me.

    Playability: the Fender got this one. I think the neck is more comfortable (I'm used to jazz basses). Besides, I think the Fender is (or felt at least) more lightweight than the Yamaha.

    Quality: I cannot say really say which one is better with the time I had them. Even though I'm a Fender fanboy, I have to admit that I have trust issues. My Fender Jazz bass was expensive and I had to make a lot of mods (bridge, electronics, pickups and even a I had to make a hole to reach the truss rod). Now is an awesome bass, but I had to modify it a lot. So, because of that, I have trust issues. I must admit that I don't really care about modifications in the long run, but to me it's a little sad that I have to think about mods when I don't even have it. So I want to know your opinion about this model.

    And I have some more doubts about the models

    Tone control. In passive mode, the Yamaha uses the treble knob as a tone control. I couldn't appreciate in the store if the Fender does the same. That would be a -1 to Fender if it does not.

    Bypass. I read (I couldn't try it) that, if the preamp runs out of battery in the Fender, you can swith to passive mode and it is still working. Does the Yamaha do the same?

    And a pic of the two in the store :p


    PS the Fender looks sexier haha. But it's the inside what matters, right? :p
  2. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    I had never seen that model Yamaha until this weekend. I went into a store I usually don't frequent because personal friends own another store in town.

    That Yamaha caught my eye so I played it for a minute. Had it been a 5 string I would have bought it right then and there. Just a great looking bass that sounded and played great too.

    I own and love several Fender basses and have owned a dozen more over the years. I have never liked an active Fender.

    As for "sexy" that black on black wins in that category to me too.
    K-2 and javi_bassist like this.
  3. garp


    Feb 7, 2009
    Connecticut USA
    Yes – like the Fender, the Yamaha also has an active/passive switch.

    Good luck whichever way you go here. They're both nice instruments.
    javi_bassist likes this.
  4. Yes, I know that. But I wonder if the Yamaha preamp runs out of battery, it can be used in passive mode
  5. garp


    Feb 7, 2009
    Connecticut USA
    The passive mode completely bypasses the battery-powered EQ circuit. You don't even need to have a battery installed to use either bass in passive mode. Of course, both Fender and Yamaha market the active/passive switch as a feature which expands the tonal range of the instrument, which is absolutely true. But in reality, the switch also doubles as a nice-to-have emergency "panic" button for gigging players.
    DLESSING and javi_bassist like this.
  6. hypercarrots


    Jan 28, 2009
    BB734A has a battery alert led
    Screen Shot 2018-05-09 at 3.26.21 PM.png
  7. I would go for the Yamaha without question and never look back. Amazing pre-amps... You can string it with flats and get round-like brightness but with all the other benefits of flats.
  8. Louis Munari

    Louis Munari

    Dec 31, 2018
    I'm SO late to this thread but I just picked up the BB734a yesterday in black- its amazing.
    its fun to play, lighter than the fender. The neck is an in between jazz and p. Sound wise - extremely versatile. It has a great P bass growl sound on top of many others!

    I've left Fender and moved to Yamaha and I don't think I'm gonna look back.
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2019
    CameronJohnson and Nunovsky like this.
  9. Louis Munari

    Louis Munari

    Dec 31, 2018
  10. wizard65


    Sep 1, 2014
    The Fender purely on looks, the Yamaha looks like it was styled by a work experience kid.
  11. Nunovsky


    Sep 4, 2004
    I'm a bit biased on this subject but for my experienced with my two Yamaha BB (1024x and 735a) I couldn't be more satisfied with it's looks, sound and playability. I love them and I wouldn't trade them for any Fender.
    Also, from what I read in other threads about Fender's PJ's they usually don't get many positive reviews. But I can't give an informed insight over that matter because I haven't played that many PJ Fender basses and never played that specific one.
    But I have played with a friends MIJ Jazz Bass Special (AKA Duff Mackagan bass) and I loved it. I've also tried one of the new Jaguar Player series bass and loved the tone and feel of it.
    But none of those would make me drop my BB's...
    Louis Munari likes this.
  12. I really like the looks of my BB735 (sunburst) but the black is also really appealing. The new BB series look really good IMO. The older versions are nice too.
    CameronJohnson and Nunovsky like this.
  13. Solude


    Sep 16, 2017
    Same. After 3 Fender basses I am now in the Yamaha camp with the BB734A.
    CameronJohnson and Louis Munari like this.
  14. Fender. All the way. What was wrong with the bridge, pickups, and electronics on your expensive jazz?
    wizard65 likes this.
  15. The bridge was total garbage. It was a very cheap one. It didn't align with the pickups and it felt cheaper than my Squier. The pickups were fine, but after changing them you can tell a huge difference. The electronics and the knobs felt cheap too. And after opening the plate, I found they were actually cheap. What is more, the truss road is close to the body, but there wasn't a hole in the body to adjust it.
    Don't get me wrong, after all that modifications is the best bass that I ever played and I'm absolutely in love with it. However, I also had a mex bass which didn't need any mods and this "better" (in theory") bass needed many adjustments. Now it's perfect
  16. PSPookie

    PSPookie Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2006
    Lubbock, TX
    I feel like the Yamaha has better electronics. No basis for this other than my gut.

    Both are quite nice.
  17. Bodeeni

    Bodeeni Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2010
    I have 3 Active Fender American Deluxe basses. They have all been converted to passive. Not a Fender preamp fan and I really tried. I would get the Yamaha if I wanted active or plan on switching out the pre if I had the Fender.
  18. Fender is a widely accepted and recognized industry standard. A Fender P / J / PJ is always a welcome sight for sound engineers, band leaders, etc. If I had to decide between a Fender vs any other bass and I can't see any significant difference, I would go with the Fender. I would expect the Fender to have a better resale value as well - in case things go unexpected.

    That being said; too much depends on the particular instrument. Wood quality, weight, dead spots, overall resonance, ad-hoc craftsmanship, string balance, etc will differ from bass to bass. Despite leaning towards the Fender in general, I could have walked out of the shop with the Yamaha because that particular Yamaha works better for me.
  19. Was it an American fender?
  20. It is a MIJ. However, the wood feels awesome. As I said, with better electronics and bridge, it was a totally different animal. The pickups are just different.
    MoeTown1986 likes this.
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