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First 5-string that felt good - a Yamaha ??

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by rydin4lifebass, Nov 14, 2017.

  1. I've always played four string basses since I've never found a five string that really felt good to me, and I just haven't needed five strings on one occasion. I keep two basses (an Ibanex SRX300 and a Squier VM 70's Jazz) tuned BEAD when I need the low B. I was in my local shop yesterday and they had a used Yamaha BB415 for sale. I sat down and then neck felt great...I was quite surprised. The pickups felt a little odd to me as they were a little rough, had metal guards around them, and I'd never played a P/J before. I don't really need another bass, but I couldn't help be intrigued by this guy. What's the scoop on these?

  2. They are really great PJ basses , they don't get much better at any price . I had a BB425 that is the same bass but with a string through bridge . I wish I still had it . S7300398.JPG
  3. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    Yamaha makes great basses that are very under appreciated. I used to have a BB605 and it was a fantastic bass. I haven;'t played these but Yamaha as a brand is very solid. Good quality. Consistent. If you like it and it feels/sounds good, go for it. It'll probably last forever.
  4. lowdownthump


    Jul 17, 2004
    As I recently stated in another thread, Yamaha BB’s are great basses!!
    They don’t look like or sound like Fenders. The tone of the Yamaha is more aggressive and punchy. Very in your face. I consider them to be some of the best passive basses ever made .
  5. dinoadventures

    dinoadventures Feets don't fail me now!

    Jul 10, 2015
    Dallas, TX
    They're fantastic. I have a BB1025x in Caramel Brown. Absolutely no corners cut on this thing at all. The neck is unbelievably solid (I've only seen more rosewood on Alembics). The nut width is rather narrow but it's not the skinniest 5 string neck. It is, however, one of the most comfortable.

  6. Doctor J

    Doctor J

    Dec 23, 2005
    Yamaha seldom disappoint. If it feels good to you, go for it. You're unlikely to lose out if you move it on in the future.
  7. garp


    Feb 7, 2009
    Connecticut USA
    At the time the BB415 was launched, there really wasn't a decent 5-string P/J available in the U.S. under the $1K mark at retail. IIRC, most major stores were pricing them around $549. I had always wanted one back then, but for some reason, never pulled the trigger. Instead, I ended up waiting about ten years and picked up a pre-owned one in superb condition. It's one of my favorite basses.

    Gratuitous shot of my "Orange Metallic Beast":

  8. Love mine. I use it as one of my main gigging bass's. Very nice tone and it cuts through guitar and drums nicely lol. The B string sounds great as well. Very punchy and clean. Not muddy like a lot of the less expensive 5 strings. 20953081_1081855251944649_3785387386702656496_n (1).
  9. I love my BB424. Granted not a five. But I will Yamaha !!!! Of course.

    Michael Schreiber likes this.
  10. Interesting....I had no idea these were so popular! I'll have to stop back and double check the condition that it's in and see if it needs anything aside from a good cleaning. I don't even recall the price off the top of my head, but what's a good deal on one of these in the used market? Assuming it just needs a cleaning and setup (which the store will do at no charge if I buy it) along with new strings, is there anything else I should be cautious of?
  11. garp


    Feb 7, 2009
    Connecticut USA
    As a point of reference on price, Guitar Center currently has a couple of pre-owned BBs listed in their used section. I'm not necessarily saying that GC is the definitive barometer on market value, but I'd be willing to wager that they will probably be able to sell those instruments at their asking prices.
    Nothing that you wouldn't normally check on any pre-owned instrument. If you do find something out of sorts, the good news is that Yamaha USA still stocks many OEM parts for the 414/415/614/615. For example, the G-string tuning machine on my 415 had a slight bend in it which caused an annoying rattle that I couldn't eliminate, so I ended up purchasing a replacement directly from Yamaha – they've always had great customer service.
  12. I paid $400 for mine last year. It was in pretty much brand new condition.

    EDIT: Sorry I just noticed you were looking at a BB415... I paid $400 for the 425X Model. Not sure on the pricing for the 415.
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017
  13. BryanM


    Dec 15, 2007
    Seattle, WA
    I picked up a sunburst one used about a year ago for $150. To date it's only the second bass with frets that I've liked playing and the only fretted bass that I still have.
    Pbassmanca likes this.
  14. lexefx

    lexefx picky?? Supporting Member

    Jan 1, 2009
    Grayslake IL
    I played an NE2 last month and I was blown away. Not the same, but the 1st one to get me since the Original TRB5P.
    dinoadventures likes this.
  15. wishforbass


    Jun 23, 2016
    They sound good .
    Powerful pj , aggressive .
    The but is from plastic ,mine broke and I had hard time changing it.
    The pickup selector is ok but it's from plastic too mine broke and I used glue for it .
    A little heavy
    Great sound
    Good output
    Super comfortable
    Bb old style
    Good tone
    Tuner are ok
    The bridge work well
    The wiring is good no noise hear .
    I bought new one for 300$
    johnson79, Joybass and Pbassmanca like this.
  16. superheavyfunk


    Mar 11, 2013
    The Yamaha BB415/615 and the Fender Marcus Miller are the *ONLY* 5 string basses that have ever felt even halfway comfortable in my hands.

    As a stock P/J, I think the BB series is the best sounding P/J bass you can buy - especially for the money.
    Nunovsky and Joybass like this.
  17. BioDriver

    BioDriver A Cinderella story

    Aug 29, 2008
    Austin, TX
    I have a Yamaha TRB5-II for a while and it was easily one of the nicest necks I've played on. Really regret selling it :banghead:
    dinoadventures likes this.
  18. River Runner

    River Runner

    Sep 23, 2014
    If it matters to you, I believe the BB415 does not have the stripes in the neck like the BB425 does. Can't tell in either of the pictures in this thread because both have painted headstocks. There's nothing wrong with not having the stripes :) (plenty of awesome basses don't) but the stripes should make for a stiffer neck. Also I'm not 100% sure the 415 doesn't have the stripes but I don't believe they did.
  19. garp


    Feb 7, 2009
    Connecticut USA
    Correct – the 415 has a one-piece maple neck; whereas the 425 and 425X both have a five-piece maple/nato neck.
    Clutchcargo likes this.
  20. Marko 1

    Marko 1

    Mar 9, 2009
    N.E. Ohio
    I have my BB415 around my neck as I opened this thread, lol... It is the bass that feels the best in my hands.

    Michael Schreiber likes this.

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