NBD! A 5-String Precision for Goldilocks

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Riff Ranger, Feb 15, 2022.

  1. Fourth time’s the charm—is that right? So it would seem in my search for a just-right 5-string Precision-ish bass. Here we go:


    Meet my new-to-me, thoroughly-broken-in Yamaha BB735A :bassist:

    The idea of a 5-string P got its hooks in me a few years ago, and I quickly learned that affordable production models are few and far between relative to Js, Rays, HHs—pretty much any other kind of 5-string. As I’ve hunted, I think I’ve gotten some ideas why, but I have managed to acquire a few:

    •Squier Vintage Modified Precision Bass V (best-playing stock Squier I’ve ever had in my hands, but no amount of modification could get a sufficiently bright sound out of it for my purposes; sold to fund this acquisition)
    •Jackson David Ellefson 30th Anniversary signature (nicest instrument I’ve ever owned in some ways, but EMG Ps just don’t seem to do it for me; currently for sale or trade)
    •Ibanez RGB305 (debuted after I started looking, a bit further from my original idea, but I really have no complaints; I expect to keep it) (and it never got an NBD here :jawdrop: I might remedy that)

    I think some of you pointed me toward the Broadbasses from Yamaha when I first started looking into this, but I didn’t care for their looks at the time. I did come around to their looks in a big way just as money got tight :banghead: and everything got hard to find last year :banghead::banghead: and just days after a buddy in Nashville sold one to another Nashville guy on behalf of a friend’s widow :banghead::banghead::banghead: the same buddy recently tracked one down and meant to check it out for me, but kept not making it to the shop. I thought to ask whether the other Nashville guy might want to sell, and fortunately for me, he had just gotten himself a brand new Lākland and had deemed this one surplus :cool: I happened to know what he paid, so I offered a bit over that, which sealed the deal quickly—and even after factoring in shipping costs :banghead: I still did okay.

    Both the original owner and the next guy had plethorae of instruments, and this thing can’t be more than five years old, so I was a bit surprised to find it as broken-in as I did (the photographs may not show it), but I guess things get played hard in Nashville! Fortunately, it can take it; I had an easy time setting it up, even taking it from BEADG down to GCGCF without need of a truss rod adjustment. SOLID (and yes, HEAVY :laugh:). It still looks sharp at arm’s length, and feels great in my hands (now that I’ve cleaned it :laugh:)

    It sounds comfortable, too: it does all the usual P things in passive mode, but really comes alive in active mode with a bit of EQ and bridge pickup blended in. While one could find usable sounds at almost any point on the blend knob, I anticipate sticking to about 70% P/30% J with minimal EQ.

    I think I have finally found the Precision-ish instrument to complement the Ibanez ATK my surprisingly wise teenage self got new way back in 1995. Even the size and weight feel familiar :laugh: I think it looks right at home with these other big, heavy classics :cool: It’s juuuuust right :thumbsup:


    P.S. Yes, it looks black in this last image. (So does my aging mane :laugh:). We have to refer to the finish as “black coffee,” because the universe only allows me to keep black instruments :whistle:
  2. Herrick


    Jul 21, 2010
    Munchkin Land
    Very cool. I've been looking at these latest BBs since they came out. I still haven't bought one yet but I'm still GASsing hard for one of them....either a BB435 or BP35.
    Riff Ranger likes this.
  3. If you can manage a big, massive instrument, I can’t think of anything to say to dissuade you (and I bet the passive-only models even come in a bit lighter). Yamaha thought of just about everything with these. If I’ve got my facts straight, the BB735A is essentially an Indonesian-made BBP35 with a 3-band preamp and without the artificial breaking-in process; they use different pickups and construction with the 435, but I imagine it’s got to be in the same ballpark.
  4. Oh, and while I think I’m hooked on active basses, I do really like the look of the BB43X models with maple fretboards.
    C Stone likes this.
  5. JW56789

    JW56789 Guest

    Feb 18, 2017
    Well, I'm :) really happy :thumbsup: you found something you like :hyper: and hope you really :laugh: enjoy it :p:whistle::p:whistle:.
    lowdownthump and Riff Ranger like this.
  6. LOW BATTERY WARNING LED :woot::woot::woot:
    JRA and lowdownthump like this.
  7. Hmm … is it really an NBD if @JRA hasn’t made an appearance? Something’s amiss in the algorithm! Does this mean my new bass will disappear? :nailbiting:
    C Stone and JRA like this.
  8. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Gold Supporting Member

    :bassist: :thumbsup:

    alright, riff --- this one's just for you! :D

    i think you scored big-time --- and that it feels so good would make it "priceless" in my world! i'm glad you hung out for the right one: you deserve a "goldilocks" ax! congratulations on your new instrument! :thumbsup:
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2022
    BadSanta1281, Riff Ranger and C Stone like this.
  9. C Stone

    C Stone

    Sep 4, 2020
    Man Riff that bass looks killer!
    Like you at first I wasn't quite sure If could fully come around but the more I look the more I like! Congratulations enjoy it!
    Riff Ranger likes this.
  10. Thanks! I’ve got a few 180° turns in my opinions on instrument aesthetics in my history: I didn’t care for the looks of Fenders or Rics when I started out as a tween in the early ‘90s, but had come around as a teen in the late ‘90s; I finally came around to the typical Spector NS shape a few years ago; and now I’ve finally come around to the Broadbasses. I even did a 360° with pointy ‘80s stuff—loved them as a kid, was too cool for them as a young man, and love them like a kid again as I enter middle age :laugh: I wish you a similar broadening of taste!
    JRA likes this.
  11. C Stone

    C Stone

    Sep 4, 2020
    I feel ya man well except for the pointy 80's stuff haha still not a fan, but am broadening my tastes as I age out. Problem is I have run out of room (it's a good problem) but a problem none the less. I just put together an active 5 today and need to make room.
    Ended up putting a couple in cases but once they go dark I tend to forget about them and I like to have all of my basses at the ready. 1st world problems...
    JRA and Riff Ranger like this.
  12. Woohoo! Now it’s finally official :roflmao: thanks for answering the summons :roflmao::roflmao::roflmao: as I think we’ve discussed before, I like every NBD I see on principle: whether I personally care for the instrument or not, I well know the joy of getting a new one, and love to do my bit to amplify the excitement; but I think you catch them more reliably than I do, and you’ve generally got something thoughtful to say as well—that’s top-notch TalkingBass :thumbsup:
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2022
    JRA likes this.
  13. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Gold Supporting Member

    0000_1.jpg :thumbsup:

    couldn't have said it better, @Riff Ranger! ;) :thumbsup:
    Riff Ranger likes this.
  14. … and now, a 4-string to match :cool:

    Pickguard, or no pickguard?

  15. That rig is intense! So cool.
    Riff Ranger likes this.