If You're Considering a Yamaha BB ...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by IotaNet, Jan 6, 2006.

  1. IotaNet

    IotaNet Supporting Member

    ... by all means do it!

    I needed a Fiver as a simple compliment to my Bongo. don't get me wrong, the Bongo is awesome but with 3 pickups and a 4-band EQ, she can be a bit complex.

    I wanted something that was affordable (but not cheap), versatile, and dead-bang-simple. Enter the Yamaha BB415.
    Man, what a nice bass!

    The particulars:
    * Nice neck -- narrower than the standard Fender (I loved my Squier P-Bass special but that Fender neck was just a tad too wide for me.) and slim. The profile is much more consistent with that of my Bongo.

    * Excellent tone -- the P/J configuration does exactly what it's supposed to: It can growl like a J or thump like a P. (This is important because I had been looking for a P-Bass sound-alike in an affordable 5-string package. Those who share this quest know how tough it is to find.)

    * Fit/Finish -- Beautiful color, well constructed hardware (although the bridge seems a bit flimsy), no noise. A well constructed piece. I see why BassPlayer gave it an "Editors Choice" award.

    Bottom line, this is a nice, affordable, quality instrument. Nothing uber-flashy but everything in it's place and ready to TCB.

    If my Barker is my Bentley Arnage, my Bongo is my BMW 760, and my Aria is my MG Midget then the Yamaha is my Toyota Avalon. Affordable and classy but able to hang with the big boys and look good in the process.

    Folks looking for a nice Fiver that won't break the bank (Dr. Cheese - are you listening?) could do a lot worse than the Yamaha BB's
  2. draginon


    Oct 4, 2004
    I might get one of those later this year..

    looks good man
  3. Eek.

    That thing is hideous.
  4. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    ItoaNet, you can read my mind! I have been a huge fan of the Yamaha BB series since the 1980's and that passive BB415 really reminds of the old BB2000 and BB5000. I've been thinking of one of these for a long time and your review is going to make me look even harder. I wouldn't mind another five and since I already have a 55-02, a less expensive backup makes good sense. That BB415 is nice and I also like the MTD Kingston passive and the G&L Tribute L-2500 or Skyline 55-01 are great basses on the high side of the bottom end.
    Once again, you really read my mind IotaNet! I'm glad to be hearing so many good things about the BB415 & BB615 because I have been disappointed with the new Yamaha TRB 1005. I've got to find a BB415 to play!
  5. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    IotaNet, how firm is that B string? If it has a firm B string, it is definitely worth the coin.
  6. eots


    Dec 18, 2004
    Morris, IL.
    I recently bought a bb405 (passive j/j) off a tb'er that was flawless but after experimenting with barts and some pot configurations, I let it go to a friend after returning it to stock form and doing a shield job.
    Then I got a 605 (active j/j) that was practically new but the fretjob sucked. The ends were all poking out the sides scratching up my fingers.So goes ebay findings...I cleaned those up myself and even though this one had shielding paint, I used copper foil on it anyway.
    It has a very powerful preamp. I'm liken' it and I just put some DR black beauties on it as well. Another big improvement.
  7. IotaNet

    IotaNet Supporting Member

    Doc -

    I investigated all of those options and these were my conclusions:

    * MTD Kingston passive: This is strictly a personal opinion/preference but I didn't like the way it looked. This despite a personal recommendation from Norm Stockton. (He is an awesome bassist and a really nice guy, BTW!)

    * Skyline 55-01: Also a nice bass but I really prefer a 34" scale over a 35".

    * G&L Tribute L-2500: Was in the running and was very nearly the one I chose but in the end, it failed the "simple" test. (The Tribby is as complex as the Bongo!) That's not a bad thing per se -- it's a GREAT axe with tons of tonal options -- but I wanted my backup to be basically plug-n-play.

    As with all of these kinds of things, YMMV but that was my thought process.
  8. Ty_Boogie

    Ty_Boogie Bass, A way of life

    Sep 6, 2004
    The Bronx, NYC
    April will make two years with my BB405, never gona give it up!

    I'm going to buy a Fender, maybe some other basses over the next few years, but Yamaha stays

  9. phxlbrmpf


    Dec 27, 2002
    It's all subjective, I happen to really like them. The picture seems to have been taken at an odd angle, anyway. By the way, I see you graduated from Naruto to watching Bleach, I really liked that show until they decided to travel to "Soul Society" and the show lost pretty much all of its charm in favour of non-stop powering up, bragging and fighting.

    Here's a bigger picture:


    Ok, I took out the Imagecabin link, I had no idea they treated you to popups and crapware installs.
  10. I'm really considering getting a BB415 due to everyone talking of them so highly compared to basses that are so much more expensive here in Australia.
    For example, I could get a BB415 for about $700, whereas a 55-01 would set me back at least double that.
    Even if the Yammy isn't as good a bass, the bang for the buck factor makes up for it. (especially in Australia)
  11. Yeah, it would be a lie to say those BB414s haven't caught my eye. Are the pickups quiet when soloed?

    It looks like the Gotoh 201 would be a direct replacement for that stock bridge too...
  12. I'll also say I once had a BB1500A, and it was a great bass. Everything about that bass was quality.

    I may have to see if my local GC has a BB414 or 415 in stock sometime...
  13. Kitsapbass

    Kitsapbass What key is this?

    May 26, 2005
    Fife, WA
    ....must resist......saving for house......must not buy one................aaaaaaggggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhh...............MUST RESIST GAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    what the hey, it's only money, right??? :D
  14. Graduated? :spit:

    Masashi Kishimoto is brilliant - Bleach and Naruto complete each other very well in the sense where one has a downfall, the other rectifies it. Also... Naruto is in filler mode until Spring, so I had to become hip to Bleach 'cause lord knows I can't stand many other anime out there.

    I digress though...

    The orange is nice, but the body shape is a disaster. I really am not a fan of the casing around the pickups, either. Having played one at a local Sam Ash, can't say I was all too impressed with the tone either. I would've preferred (as opposed to a switch) another control that would balance the pickups.

    Again though, like you said, it's subjective.

    Enjoy the bass in good health.
  15. I was really considering a BB before I got my last bass. Maybe one day I'll pick up a 5er, considering I dont have any ERBs that are fretted and it couldn't hurt to have one

    Love the finish on your bass Iota
  16. old grouch

    old grouch "Old Fool? Ya don't get old, bein' no fool!"

    this might be fun also

    Same BB Series FRETLESS

    I'm waiting to see one.....
  17. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I agree, that bass in a fretless would be sweet. :D
  18. phxlbrmpf


    Dec 27, 2002
    Thing is Bleach, too, is about to enter filler mode after two or three more episodes. I seriously hope it doesn't turn out too crappy, even though the Soul Society arc has been rubbing me the wrong way from the start, I simply couldn't stop watching. :meh:
  19. Hey IotaNet thanks for the review and congratulationss on your new bass. Those Yamahas look great. I look forward to playing one, in particular a passive fiver.

    I like the car comparison. My best friend drives a Toyota Avalon, and it's a smooth and comfy ride.
  20. fivestringdan

    fivestringdan Supporting Member

    Dec 4, 2001
    Little Rock, AR
    I played on a 414 today. I'm getting one, or two...maybe a five and a four. :bassist: