Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Great fix for Yamaha Basses!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by tuBass, Mar 12, 2003.


  1. tuBass

    tuBass

    Dec 14, 2002
    Mesquite, Texas
    Until I can afford a high end bass like a MTD 535, modulus or even a dingwall, I decided to upgrade my Yamaha BBG5S for the time being. My main beef with the Yamaha was not the tone or the construction, but rather the cheap, noisy electronics. Nobody could tell me if the noise came from the pickups or the pre-amp, so I gutted both of them. I threw out everything that had a wire attached to it and started over. I bought a pair of EMG 45dc pickups, which came with all the wiring and pots that I would need. I also bought a EMG EXB, which is a mini-EQ that gives an adjustable Slap conture. I never liked slap switches because they were either all the way on or off. I also took out the existing battery compartment and in it's place am using an 18 volt system.
    THe pickups are nearly a custom fit, with only an 1/8th inch gap on each side, and it was super easy to wire everything into place.
    The bass is now super quiet, with a great tone. I was worried that the EXB would make too much noise, but it's really pretty quiet too. It doesn't give as great a slap EQ as I was hoping for, but I may just leave it about 30-50% on, and just forget about it.
    If any of you have yamahas you are unhappy with, I can testify this fix really helps them a lot.
     
  2. Tristan

    Tristan

    Jan 28, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
    i always wanted to do this to my yammer. do you use two 9Vs or one?

    thanks
    tristan
     
  3. tuBass

    tuBass

    Dec 14, 2002
    Mesquite, Texas
    two. Both 9v battereis fit in the space of the old plastic battery compartment, and I built a temporary cover that screws into place. I say temporary because I have some black pickguard material that would match the bass better, but I haven't cut it up yet. I will take some pictures soon a post pictures. I am very happy with the modifications. Even after buying the bass ($300) and pickups ($200), I feel I have a great bass for money.

    Mark
     
  4. Tristan

    Tristan

    Jan 28, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
    i had the hiss problem, but i just ripped out the active electronics and put in passive ones. i think it was mainly the preamp's fault. i would like emgs tho.
     
  5. tuBass

    tuBass

    Dec 14, 2002
    Mesquite, Texas
    I was tired of the hiss, but also I couldn't blend one way or the other without adding a ton of noise. Never seen humbuckers act that way, so I got rid of them.
     
  6. That model Yammy is a great bass for a project. The neck and the B string are very good. The stock Yammy pups are a bit bland, and the preamp is not great either. I think your EMG setup is great. Another good mod is to leave the stock pups in, and install a U-retro from Steve Barr for $250.
     
  7. tuBass

    tuBass

    Dec 14, 2002
    Mesquite, Texas
    Here's a picture of the front with the new pickups. Sorry about the poor quality, my digital camera HATES taking pictures of black, shiny things.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. tuBass

    tuBass

    Dec 14, 2002
    Mesquite, Texas
    here's the back, with the new battery cover

    [​IMG]
     
  9. tuBass

    tuBass

    Dec 14, 2002
    Mesquite, Texas
    here's the back with the new wiring and both batteries crammed in there.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Nick Wagner

    Nick Wagner

    Feb 24, 2003
    WA, USA
    My RBX isnt noisy at all... I have the RBX760A.
     
  11. dirk

    dirk

    Apr 6, 2000
    Memphis, TN
    After seeing your mods, I'm very tempted to hang on to my Yamaha BN4 Fretless that I'm trying to sell and mod the hell out of it. I just got my old job back (sacking groceries), college is just too expensive, so maybe I'll have the resourses. I really want to get a custom pickguard. I know pickguards.com does them, does anyone know about how much one would run?

    Thanks
    Dirk
     
  12. birminghambass

    birminghambass Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2002
    Birmingham, AL
    I've been thinking of getting EMG's for my Yam also. My only concern is the fit as they are a little short. Does the gap feel awkward when you play?
     
  13. tuBass

    tuBass

    Dec 14, 2002
    Mesquite, Texas
    I don't anchor my thumb on the pickup, so I don't notice any difference. It's only 1/8th of an inch on each side. Of cource, these are pickups meant for a 6 string bass, so you could mount them flush with your thumb side, and have a 1/4 inch gap on the opposite side, and you would still be fine. There are no poles to line up.