Low End Yamaha basses. Good value for money?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Rockin John, May 4, 2001.

  1. Would any one like to recommend a low end Yamaha bass to me, please?

    Something from the RBX or BB range, perhaps.

    There won't be much £ to spend so I'll have to go second user.

    Comments appreciated.

    Comments too, please, on Yamaha vs MIM Jazz.


    Rockin John.
  2. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    MIM Jazzes have the more classical sound of a Fender (duh). Yamahas sound a bit more "modern", but depending on where you come from, and through what rig you play, you might think of the Yamaha tone as "generic", "bland" or "weak". (I don't, but a Fender is definitely "fuller", whereas a Yamaha more often is "flatter".)

    I like the lower-end models from both Fender and Yamaha. I tend to like the feel of Yamahas more, but the MIM J has a warmer tone that suits many styles of music. The Yamahas are superior to MIMs in construction quality, IME.

    Whichever you choose, you'll get a lot of bass for your money. A MIM J is almost always a good choice, but I would also recommend a Yamaha RBX 760, if you can afford it. Not quite "low end", though, more "mid end" :D.

    (I don't know how much difference there is between the BB and RBX range, I have mostly played RBX.)
  3. dblbassted


    Mar 21, 2001
    Memphis, Tn.
    I've owned both a MIM J and a Yamaha BBN5. Both are great basses for the money. As a matter of personal preference, I'd go with the Yamaha. With a minimal amount of work in the future, it can easily be a pro quality axe. Plus, the Yammys, IMO, have much better fretwork and necks than most Fenders I've tried.

    My $0.02

    BTW, Musicians Friend is still selling the BBN4 (the brown stain is quite attractive, BTW. It's also a solid piece of alder, whereas the painted ones are sometimes laminates from what I hear) for about 250 bucks.
  4. CrawlingEye

    CrawlingEye Member

    Mar 20, 2001
    Easton, Pennsylvania
    I'd say take the Fender. Fender's you can change pretty much anything on them, I believe there was a thread not too long ago about that, where a lot of people posted pictures of their upgraded to hell MIM Fender J's.
  5. John, it just so happens that I played two Yamaha
    basses a week ago while on a string shopping sojourn. I played an RBX760A and a BB4NIII.

    Short review on both: The RBX760A is a two pickup active bass with a Jazz type body, but the upper horn is more exaggerated. This bass balances well and whoever designed the active circuit got it right. It falls mainly into the Jazz Bass sound category, but I think it's a little better for slapping than a standard Fender because of the actives. The fretwork is a little better than a lot of Fenders,
    IMHO, and the output jack is on the side of the body which I like. Put this one on your list.

    BB4NIII is the newer model of the BB4N as far as I can see. Its got two humbuckers as opposed to the BB4N which I believe had single coils. It's set up just like a Jazz Bass; Two pups, two volume and one tone control, and it's passive. Nothing spectacular about this bass to describe, but, it's one of those "sleeper basses," you know, looks good, but, nothing special, and no ground breaking features, but, if you like a real down home Jazz Bass
    sound, this one's got it. It's just a well made no frills
    bass that feels so good in your hands, and, since it doesn't have actives, or anything else, you find that your playing starts to come through rather than you're fiddling with controls to get that "right"
    sound. The neck is very similar to the RBX.

    To Compare them to the MIM Fenders, I'd say with the MIMs,they sound good to begin with, but you can upgrade a lot or a little. With the Yamahas, you pretty much have a set up bass out of the box.

    Check them out,
    Mike J.

    P.S. Both Yamahas have 24 fret necks, and you can get to all 24 easily.
  6. I had a Yamaha BBG5A for about a month...then I returned it. Very well made with a nice sound and surprisingly quiet active electronics for a cheap bass. I returned it because (and this is going to sound really pompous! I'm sorry :) ) I just can't play low end stuff anymore. My basses are a MIA P bass and a Rob Allen MB2. The Fender MIA basses are my bottom line. I'd certainly go for another Yamaha, but it would have to be 'higher end'.

    Both the Yamaha basses and the Fender MIM basses are fine entry level instruments, though. Which one you go for depends on the sound you want.
  7. What, so you're too <i>good</i> for us??:D
  8. DarkMazda


    Jun 3, 2000
    I went to Guitar Center and I saw a beautiful red RBX760. Yamaha Pickups etc.. etc.. $499.. Very nice! I played it through a SWR Workingman 12. And it just filled the room! I loved it! Very nice feel.. and no buzz. Its a VERY nice sounding bass for the $$!! I'd definately recommend this bass to anyone ^_^ just get it setup after u get it
  9. nymph


    Mar 16, 2001
    Bucyrus Ohio
    i own a Yamaha rbx250 and it's better than that other thing i tried to play when i was picking out bass's the yama has better sound quality and everything the pickups are nice and it's a good bass to begin on or for someone with some experience in the feild i'd go for a yamaha rbx series if i were you.
  10. Hmm. Interesting stuff, eh guys?

    The crux of my original question was, I guess, a chat I had in a music store. I was looking at a BBN4III when the guy came over. I commented that one appeared to get a lot of bass for the £ with Yams. He agreed, adding that Yam subsidise their low end guitars and basses to get people on the Yamaha ladder, so to speak. Therefore, the BBN... @ £249 was probably about £100 under priced because of this subsidy.

    He went further saying Yam's quality control was 2nd to none and that IHO the quality issue didn't stand between a Yam and a MIM J or P: the Yam was invariably (sp?) better built. Looking at the BBN and a J side by side in his shop, I had to agree.

    Thing is, guys, I'm unlikely ever to gig again (some of you who know me through these boards know I've just taken up bassing again afer 25 years off, with a Squier P Affinity.) I'd love something a bit better now, but it doesn't have to stand up to the riggors of the road anymore. A one a week jam with the lads is all its ever likely to be.

    The feeling so far seems to be 'Jam with a Yam, not with a Jazz!'

  11. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    A Yamaha would make an outstanding bass to upgrade. Better than a Fender, IMO. It would be harder to get some products (some aren't available that are with Fender, some are available that wouldn't be with Fender), but the end product would be a lot better than with a Fender, IMO. I love the necks better, the woods are much better, the finishes are better, fretwork is better, and the bass looks better, too. IMO, of course!
  12. I wonder whether or not it's a bit odd that much of the praise heaped on the MIMs (on this thread and on many others) concerns their ability to be modified. Can the MIM be all that good if players almost instinctively rush out and buy new pups, bridge etc?

    Does that speak more highly of the Yams?

    Or am I missing the point completely?

  13. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    I think much of the praise the MIMs get is because they are Fenders, they are cheap and they are good. Lower end Yamahas are both cheap and good, but they're not Fenders. There's far too many people with the... you know, "Japanese motorcycle manufacturers" kind of attitude. :rolleyes:

    Regarding the upgrades: if you find a decently built MIM, you can slap on a new bridge and new pickups, and get a bass that's equal to a MIA (which are very overpriced IMHO) in quality for a lot less money. You don't HAVE to rush out and buy upgrades, a MIM will work just fine as it is; but if you do, you'll get one heck of a bass for very little money.
  14. I totally disagree. It's not just the pups and bridge. The MIA overall build quality is far superior.
  15. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    Well, maybe you're right about that (and there's also tuners, wiring, fretjob, finish etc.), but you still don't get what you pay for with a MIA, IMHO. Give me my TRB anyday. :D