Identify this whacky-looking Yamaha bass.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by DaveBeny, Aug 19, 2000.

  1. DaveBeny


    Mar 22, 2000
    London, UK
    Last week, I played a Yamaha bass in a local music store. I have never seen another bass like it. Stupidly, I have forgotten the model name (it may have been CRX, or something like that).

    Unusual body shape with virtually no top body horn.
    Maple neck and fretboard with 21 frets.
    Two jazz-style passive pickups, angled more towards the bridge under the A and E strings.
    Large, unusual headstock, that looked a bit like a Parker Fly guitar's headstock.
    Compact tuner keys (ie. not "elephant-ear" style).
    Three very-shiny chrome control knobs (2 volume, 1 tone).
    Basic, Fender-style bridge.

    The bass was being sold for £299 (sterling), which makes it a budget instrument, I suppose. The quality of the instrument was very good though - no pickup hum when held near an amp - good neck-to-body fit. The only bad point
    was that the control knobs turned too easily - I strummed downwards with my fingers and turned the volume completely off.

    The bass-department assistant said that it was a new model.

    I wanted to go back and buy it today, but would like to find out whether it is availble in any other finishes. The Yamaha Guitars website has no information. Incidentally, there was also a sister guitar to this bass. I'm going to London tomorrow, and will look for another one, so if anyone knows what I should ask for, please let me know.



    [Edited by David Benyahia on 08-19-2000 at 10:50 AM]
  2. Offbase


    Mar 9, 2000
    I'll try to find my newer buyer's guide to get you more info. I've seen that bass recently in banana yellow and green. I think it's offered in at least another 2 finishes.
  3. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    Yeah, they have like 1200 of them at the local GC. They have black, red, green, blue, yellow, and i think thats it. Theyre ugly! :) Thats all i know...except that they are like $280 here. Ha!
  4. MegaAngus-
    I think they are getting a better deal in England... you'll pay $280 American here, but run the conversion and you'll pay $203.32 American there... The HA is on us.
  5. Deynn

    Deynn Moderator Emeritus

    Aug 9, 2000
    I saw those at GC too when I was back in MI visiting the folks. Even my wife said "what the devil is that?!" Ya know, I cannot remember the model either. Maybe we WANT to forget...:)
  6. gmstudio99


    Mar 11, 2000
    Cleveland, OH
    It looks like a big Warner Brothers cartoon bass or something...I've seen those...curiously, there's no mention of them on the Yamaha web page...maybe even they want to distance themselves from them! :D

  7. Deynn

    Deynn Moderator Emeritus

    Aug 9, 2000
    well...I did manage to find out that the model is SBV500. I found this in a GC sale catalog. It also says that the quantites are who knows "what's up" with that????
    Oh yeah...the price is $369.
  8. Deynn.. let me know if you buy it and how you like it. I saw one of those at GC, and the Reverend Rumblefish lover in me was quite intrigued by it (I didn't play it though.)
  9. Deynn

    Deynn Moderator Emeritus

    Aug 9, 2000
    Dave....I have no plans to buy one...right now...:) I saw it when back in Michigan, but didn't have time to play it.
    I do like those "odd" basses though, so there may be one in my future. Maybe when they start showing up on Ebay...:)
  10. DaveBeny


    Mar 22, 2000
    London, UK
    I now own of these basses. Like I said in my original post, I was going to look around London for another one. Well I found one - a blue sparkle finish with a rosewood fretboard - much better looking than the one in my local store, which was banana yellow!

    I got the bass in London's 'Tin Pan Alley' for £250, compared to £299 for the yellow one here in Birmingham. I had to buy a gig bag to bring it home in, though! (£20, so I still saved £30.)

    The bass sends out a really strong signal for a passive instrument, and the sound definitely seems to favour the bridge pickup, with a very sharp, biting tone. My own sound/playing style is based around lead-guitar style tones/chords/melodies, and the bass excels at these sounds - it's ideal for those Clarke/Hodgkinson/Wooten impressions! If you want a bass for dub reggae, this isn't it! :)

    My only grumble is that it came set up with a very heavy gauge of strings, which make slap/tap playing tricky. I usually play Rotosound 30-50-65-85 roundwounds, but I feel that putting a set of these on the bass might push the sound to a treble-y extreme. A set of 40-100 (perhaps flatwounds?) might suit this bass better - soften its bite a little.


    [Edited by David Benyahia on 08-31-2000 at 01:54 PM]
  11. Deynn

    Deynn Moderator Emeritus

    Aug 9, 2000
    Congrats on the new bass, David. Keep us updated on it, okay?
  12. gweimer


    Apr 6, 2000
    Columbus, OH
    I just played one of these at the local GC at lunch today. I kinda liked it. It's the first Yamaha I've actually enjoyed the sound of. Maybe it was me, but I'd swear that there was no volume knob on the one I played, just bass/mid/treble. When I turned the bass down, it almost sounded as if there was no volume, but it was hard to tell. Yes, the knobs do spin pretty freely if you're not careful. It's definitely one of those stylish futuristic retro looks, but they should've left the input jack alone. It's sitting cock-eyed into the hole, making it goofy to get the plug in and out of; I can just see someone breaking a plug thinking that it comes out straight from the body. But, for what it's worth, it has a nice clear tone, and respectable low end. I played it through an SWR amp just after trying a Warwick Thumb, and the custom Corvette, and I didn't have to play around on the amp to get a decent sound.
  13. rojo412

    rojo412 MARK IT ZERO! Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2000
    Cleveland, OH.
    GOOOOO!!! I mean... congrats.