To the Group - I have noticed that the Yamaha BB-series (414/614, 415/615) is getting a lot of recommendations lately ... "I want a good passive 4-string bass under $500" "Check out a Yamaha BB414" "Name a good 5-string P-Bass under $1000" "Look into the Yamaha BB415" "Whats a better bass for the money -- a Fender MIM Jazz or a Yamaha BB?" "Yamaha -- Hands down" That might make folks begin to wonder if maybe certain TB'ers have been drinking too much Yamaha Kool-aid. As someone who has been leading the Yamaha charge, I would have to say, "Absolutely not!" Basses come in all shapes, sizes, finishes and configurations and based on our respective budgets and requirements, we all want, need (and GAS for) different things. That said, just about every bassist I know has a need for a bass that: * Is consistently well made * Is comfortable to play * Will provide standard usable tones (i.e. reasonable facsimiles of P and J) * Has good customer support * Is affordable (i.e. right around $500 or less) A bass like this may not be your only bass but you definitely want this one somewhere in your arsenal. To my way of thinking, Yamaha has nailed all of these features in their BB series. Don't get me wrong, I don't mean to suggest that we should be clones and we should all like/own the same instrument. I also don't mean to suggest that the Yammies are perfect or that they will be all things to all people. (Heck, my collection includes a Bongo, a Barker, and an SX in addition to my BB415.) That said, I don't want skeptics to look at all of the positive Yamaha press as the rantings of a bunch of people blindly jumping on the bandwagon becaue it has somehow become trendy to do so. These are good, solid, quality instruments that will do just about everything a middle-of-the road bassist will ask of them. I am prone to using car analogies when descrbing basses and the BB series reminds me of Honda or Toyota sedans. (Think Accord/Camry.) They are not especially sexy but they are extremely well made, they ooze quality, and if you keep the oil changed, they will run forever. IMO, that's the exact kind of thing that a middle-of-the-road bassist needs to have. Thoughts/opinions welcome!