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Opinion: 2018 Yamaha BB734a or 2013 Gibson EB

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by MZo, Nov 7, 2019.


  1. Yamaha BB734a

    10 vote(s)
    66.7%
  2. Gibson EB

    5 vote(s)
    33.3%
  1. MZo

    MZo

    Nov 24, 2018
    I have always been interested in the 2013/2014 Gibson Eb basses, but have never found an opportunity to play one. I currently own a 2018 Yamaha BB734a and really like it for the most part, but am debating whether to sell it and buy the Gibson. Does anyone have any experience in playing both? They Yamaha is comfortable to play and I've hear good things about the EB. Can anyone comment on/contrast the sound characteristics and range of each? I already have a AM Jazz and P, so this would be my one quiver "player bass". Looking forward to hearing some comments!
     
  2. ajkula66

    ajkula66

    Sep 23, 2016
    NEPA
    If you're predominantly a Fender player when it comes to feel, Yamaha is probably a better fit.

    Gibby is a fine bass but with a completely different feel than any Yamaha I've ever played, and I've owned and played many over the past 40 years.

    Sonically, they both hold their own. EB is the most unconventional Gibson bass ever in that respect, and very versatile. To me it's more interesting-sounding than Yamaha - I could get a Music Man-ish flavour out of it amongst other things - but it takes some getting used to.

    Good luck.
     
    MZo likes this.
  3. S.F.Sorrow

    S.F.Sorrow

    Dec 6, 2014
    Gibsons are hideously overpriced, Yamaha BBs are fantastic value.

    But if you REALLY want the EB sound/feel the Gibson is the winner by default.

    If not the Yamaha is a better and more versatile instrument IMO.

    An EB is a cool instrument to have around but I personally wouldn't want one as my only bass, probably not even as my second. They have a very ideosyncratic sound (some would say muddy) that you won't be able to dial out. At least make sure you REALLY know what the EB sound is all about before you sell that lovely Yamaha!
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2019
    MZo likes this.
  4. bradd

    bradd Supporting Member

    Jan 27, 2008
    Minneapolis, MN
    I don't think that you know what Gibson bass the OP is inquiring about. It has nothing to do with the EB basses of yesteryear. p1_ulqp0yk3d_ss.

    OP, I'm not familiar with that particular Yamaha, but the EB is a very versatile bass.
     
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  5. Iristone

    Iristone

    Jul 8, 2017
    Beijing
    You want an EB, why not try one? I played one at Liverpool Music Experience, and it felt and sounded fantastic, fantastic. :thumbsup:
     
    MZo likes this.
  6. MZo

    MZo

    Nov 24, 2018
    Thanks all, great feedback so far. bradd is right that the 2013/2014 EB are a different breed, and unfortunately, i’m lot in a position to try one anytime soon. I also have too much gear to have both! I have a feeling it’s going to be the Yammy, and I’ll just have to ignore the GAS for now!
     
  7. TDR1138

    TDR1138

    Apr 11, 2007
    Section 204
    No experience with the Yammy, but I picked up a 2013 EB earlier this year and I’ve been pretty happy with it so far. If you’re ok with the rough finish on them, it’s a pretty nice bass. (If you have no idea what I’m talking about, the finish is where they cut their costs to keep the price down, so it’s not a smooth glossy finish by any means.) Plays well, kinda like a P, and has a versatile sound, as both buckers have a coil tap on them. And yeah, it’s the most “Fendery” bass that Gibson makes. I’m not much of an active bass fan, so given the choice between the Gibby and Yanmy, I’d take the Gibby. So that’s where my vote lies.
     
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  8. bradd

    bradd Supporting Member

    Jan 27, 2008
    Minneapolis, MN
    I have the 5 string version, and the pickups almost sound like they're active. They're very responsive. Lots of useable sounds.
     
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  9. S.F.Sorrow

    S.F.Sorrow

    Dec 6, 2014
    Ooops, yeah you're right. I was thinking of the old Jack Bruce style EBs. Sorry, please ignore my post above.
     
    MZo likes this.
  10. MZo

    MZo

    Nov 24, 2018
    Well... I bit the bullet and bought the EB (blind/online). Now my thoughts are that I won’t part with 734a after all and I’ll keep both... it really is a great playing and visually appealing bass(this is an addicting and tormenting hobby, lol)

    However, my pragmatic side is pushing back, and I am now considering returning the 734a and replacing it with a much more cost effective BB234 so that I have a true beater/practice bass, which I don’t really have right now.

    I like to keep my gear in tip top shape, and I know that the Gibson has a thin skin, while I’m also worried about making a mess of the 734a’s beautiful matte/satin finish. having a beater bass is appealing.

    Can anyone comment on the durability of either one?

    So, I won’t actually be getting access to the Gibson for a few weeks, but I’ll be sure to post my thoughts once I able to give it a test drive...


    thanks for all the feedback so far.
     
  11. ajkula66

    ajkula66

    Sep 23, 2016
    NEPA
    The finish on Gibby gets scratched/worn easily but given that it's not high-gloss to begin with, the imperfections don't stick out as much IMO/IME.

    In all other respects, my 2013 was a well-built instrument and the only reason I sold it was the fact that I could not get used to its neck profile.

    Good luck and keep us posted.
     
  12. S.F.Sorrow

    S.F.Sorrow

    Dec 6, 2014
    If you need the Yamaha ONLY as a practice/beater bass then maybe. But if you plan on using it for anything else the BB234 is a HUGE step down from the 743a. The 234 is the entry level bass in the BB series. It's missing most of the classic BB features like the 6-bolt miter neck joint and the laminated neck. It also has a ceramic pickup instead of alnico. The BB234 doesn't really have the BB-vibe in my opinion. It's a really nice bass for it's price but it's nothing like the more expensive BBs.

    Even the BB434 is a BIG step up from the 234 IMO. The 434 feels like a real BB. If you don't need active I think you could be happy with a 434. But if you replace your 734a with a 234 I think you may be a bit disappointed.

    I absolutely love the current BBs. So much that I went the opposite way from you and upgraded to a BBP34. It's a work of art! But I still wouldn't mind playing a 434. The 234... probably not if I had other options.
     
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  13. MZo

    MZo

    Nov 24, 2018
    Thanks! Yes it would be used as a beater bass. I’m having trouble letting go of the 734a. I think it will end up staying!
     
    S.F.Sorrow likes this.

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