My first neck-through..Yamaha BB1200

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Andy Daventry, Nov 28, 2001.

  1. I seem to have acquired an old '80s yamaha BB1200, an active model, which has been PJ'ed. It's the first neck through bass I have ever owned, and so of course I got straight into comparing it with the bolt-ons I know and love.

    I can't see the difference. Sustain is good, but not markedly different from a well set up jazz bass. Tone is not noticeably deeper or more fundamental (acoustic tone is middier if anything!) than a Fender. Nothing that a bridge change wouldn't alter out of all recognition.

    The neck is very straight and very rigid. But is this a result of neck-throughness?


    BTW, it's a lovely bass. I may change the pickups, because I am an inveterate fiddler, but not yet. I think.

  2. I've got 3 neckthrough BBs (2 of them the 1200), but this is all IMHO. The neck-through design isn't magic, but there should be some noticeable differences. Hold your ear (and adjacent jawbone) against the upper horn and give the E a good pull. That's the sound and sustain that you should be getting.

    Sustain should be very good, there maybe something funky with your setup. Dead strings, pickups too close or too far from from the strings? Maybe something wrong with the pickup wiring. What kind of pickups got put in it?

    I've found the neck-through BBs to have very strong, sweet mids. Lows are full and highs are clear. I don't know what you are playing through, but oftimes amps have some rolloff (-db) below 80hz that affects the enhanced fundamental character of a neck-through. The ear still hears the note, but it's filling in the bottom. Try setting the amp flat, then boost that freq a bit. For more on this, check the neck-through vs bolt-on section of Tobias' Quest For Tone.

    Neck rigidity is a combination of many things. I've found the 5 piece (maple/mahogany) on the 1200s to be very strong.

    If you do change the pickups, I highly recommend the EMG p/j setup. It allows all that well put together wood to express itself fully without coloration.

    Speaking of color, which color is your bass?
  3. I have a 1979 Ibanez Musician that's neck through, and the mids are almost too much. It's also active, and since I bought it in 1981, I've always cut most of the mids on the bass' controls. It has crazy sustain and the highs sing. The lows, on the other hand, while not muddy, lack the growl that I like. It supposedly has a bar on either side of the truss rod which is supposed to eliminate dead spots. Believe me, it has no dead spots, but, maybe this is why this bass has little growl. It's a very nice bass, but, I mush prefer the growl that a bolt on has.

    Mike J.
  4. Sustain is good. But I can set up a jazz bass to get very good sustain as well. Yeah, it's better than a J, but not astonishingly better is what I meant.
    The P is stock, with the original preamp. The J is, I think a Schaller. I don't like it.
    This could well be true. I have as yet only played it through my BXR25
    Certainly seems so
    My bass is natural. I will be changing the pickups, but I am not sure whether I want to go passive or active. I have a preference for passive sounds generally, but...

    I have been thinking of EMGs, or of bullying Roger Sadowsky into selling me one of his PJ sets.

    Or perhaps a Fender original P and Duncan classic stack.

    I am going to play the bass for a few weeks to fully get the feel of it before I decide, though.

    Thanks for your interest. Any ideas from an experienced BB user are gratefully appreciated!!
  5. Disclaimer: Although I love the EMGs on my basses, some folks much prefer other sounds.

    After posting yesterday, I pulled out my 1200s (it's my backup fretted bass) and went through my daily practice with it. I bought this bass after I already had the plain 1200 (reversed P, passive) and 3000 (P/J passive) that I had converted to EMGs.

    If I had bought the 1200s first, it's very possible that I wouldn't have gone to the EMGs. The passive sound of the reverse P is quite good, the preamp is quiet and has the 3 band EQ that works well for tone shaping.

    You might be better off finding a passive J style that would work well with the P. Or getting a matched set of passives to use with the Yamaha preamp. I dunno, I'm not the best guy to talk about pickups. You could post something to the P/J thread in this forum or over in pickups.

    My experience with the EMG P/J set on my 3000 is that I mainly run it as a P, adding varying amounts of J to add cut (the set has 2 vol. controls). Soloed (with just a little P for warmth), the EMG J is clean, doesn't growl unless I get very aggressive with my right hand attack.