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New Yamaha BBP35

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by mstrlowdown, Mar 16, 2018.

  1. mstrlowdown


    Jun 2, 2006
    I went to Sweetwater today and a sunburst Yamaha BBP35 followed me home. This is a beautiful bass and plays as good as it looks. While there I played a Fodera and this Yamaha and have to say that both basses played very well but the Yammy felt more comfortable to me. The Fodera had a slightly better B string but over all the Yamaha was the one for me. I like that it is passive and the playability is just great. Very satisfied with my purchase. If you use the split P-ups it sounds like a nice old P bass and gets just the right amount of honk with the J P-up solo. I've played a few Yamaha basses but this is the first one I have owned. If you like passive basses you owe it to yourself to check this out.
  2. mstrlowdown


    Jun 2, 2006
    Just a quick update. Played a rehearsal and a gig today and the Yamaha did great. The pickups are hot so I had to turn the amp down a bit from what I'm used to but a great sound and played like butter.
    nixdad, One Way, songwriter21 and 2 others like this.
  3. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    Post pictures or it didn’t happen (buying your bass:).)
    Luigir and CameronJohnson like this.
  4. chadhargis

    chadhargis Jack of all grooves, master of none Supporting Member

    Jan 5, 2010
    Nashville, TN
    I've played a couple of BBP35 basses and I am still in disbelief that the bass can be that good for the money. It really is a fantastic instrument. I'm currently considering pulling the trigger on one.
    songwriter21 likes this.
  5. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Brooklyn, NY
    Would LOVE to get my hands on one of these!
  6. EddieJackson


    Oct 29, 2008
    Bump :)
    Any more opinions on that bass ?
    Could anyone compare this one to the BB735a (same model made in Indonesia,with no I.R.A. wood treatment)?

    Thanks in advance !
  7. S.F.Sorrow


    Dec 6, 2014
    I've got the 4-string version, the BBP34. It's an amazing bass and it just screams EXPENSIVE! But they're really not THAT expensive, considering what you get. If looking objectively at quality/craftsmanship these basses totally destroy any Fender anywhere near this price range. It's basically Fender Custom Shop quality at a fraction of the price.

    Still, it's a SLIGHTLY modern take on the Fender P sound (I normally only use the P pickup, not a fan of bridge pickups or blending). It's slightly tighter, deeper, crisper than a classic Fender P. So I totally get why people buy overpriced, inferior Fenders for the Fender vibe too (sadly I count myself as one of those people:laugh:).

    The vintage Fender P-bass "bloom" is somewhat missing on these Yamahas IMO. The emphasis seems to be slightly more towards deep lows than warm lower mids.

    90% of the time my BBP34 will KILL any Fender. The last 10% I might prefer a more traditional Fender sound. But I'm totally splitting hairs here. It's not like comparing an Ibanez SR to a Fender. We're talking SUBTLE differences, but they're there. And in some cases I might prefer a classic Fender even though this Yamaha is objectively a far, FAR better instrument than any current non-Custom Shop Fender I've tried.

    If I could only choose ONE (Fender vs Yamaha) I'd get the Yamaha, no contest. I honestly don't understand why this model isn't more popular. I mean, the entire BB-series are Fender killers at their respective price ranges but these MIJ, top-of-the-line BBs are truly works of art and blow the doors off any current Fender production model I've tried.

    But I still prefer my trusty old Fenders from time to time...;)
  8. Brandon Stroud

    Brandon Stroud

    Sep 10, 2018
    Are you able to get close to a jazz bass (both pickups) sound with it?
  9. S.F.Sorrow


    Dec 6, 2014
    I haven't tried the 5-string versions but I can say this: The BB734a is a great instrument but the BBP34 is still a step up IMO. The craftsmanship is absolutely top notch. I can't find a single thing to dislike about it (except that I personally don't use the J pickup so would have preferred a straight P). Of course it's not active so depending on your needs it might actually be less versatile than the 73x. And in this price range we're getting into the area of diminishing returns, plus you're paying a bit extra simply because it's manufactured in a country with higher wages. But I still think it's hard to find a better PJ-style bass for the price. Of course you may find something that YOU like better but you won't really know until you try one.

    I'm not convinced about the whole I.R.A treatment though. Sounds a bit like snake oil to me. Still, Yamaha is a highly regarded manufacturer and Sandberg does something similar so maybe there's something in it. But it's really just vibrations. I don't see how it can achieve anything that you can't do yourself by simply playing the bass over time. I mean, it was absolutely superb out of the box and the factory setup was some of the best I've seen but there was nothing that made me think "wow, this feels like a 50 years old vintage instrument". On the contrary, it feels like a slightly modern take on the P(J). But that's what the BB vibe is all about IMO.
  10. EddieJackson


    Oct 29, 2008
    Thanks for your input S.F.Sorrow :)
    Yeah, this I.R.A. thing remains a mystery to me...like the Egyptians pyramids :)
    I'd like to test those basses,can't find one in my area...
  11. S.F.Sorrow


    Dec 6, 2014
    Those damned Ancient Aliens, first the pyramids and now they've taken control over Yamaha too. ;)

    A bit off topic but I was once completely alone inside the Red Pyramid at Dahshur (there's not nearly as many tourists there as at the Giza pyramids). I took some photos and when I looked at them later every single one had these little things that looked like eyeballs floating everywhere in the air. It must have been reflecions from dust particles or something but it really creeped me out when I looked at the photos a couple of days later, all alone in a cottage in the outskirts of Luxor with a full moon and stray dogs howling outside. It got me thinking about that horror film The Omen and I literally got chills down my spine. It didn't exactly help that there are TONS of pics online from inside the Red Pyramid and none of them has the "eyeballs"... Those damned ancient Egyptians and their curses, lol.

    Keep your eyes open for discounts. I've seen the BBP3x basses heavily discounted on several occasions.
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2019
    EddieJackson likes this.
  12. songwriter21

    songwriter21 I have an obsession for wood. The musical kind. Supporting Member

    Jul 31, 2005
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Sponsored by Hipshot
    I just got a midnight blue BBP35 last week. I agree with you, it's amazing. I can't imagine another bass, anywhere, being significantly better than this thing. The action is like butter. The B is insane, and the growl and sustain seem legendary, reminiscent of G&L or Spector...pretty impressive for all-passive with alnico pickups! I was a dedicated ceramic humbucker/active 3-band guy until this bass changed my opinions. I can leave my bass plugged in, without worrying about batteries, too...joy! :hyper:

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