Scored a Yamaha BB series bass today for $40.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by cassanova, Sep 13, 2010.

  1. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    Some kid was selling a Yamaha BB404 on craigslist for $40.

    It needs new strings and set up on a desperate way, but is still comfortable to play. I'm sure after I do a good set up on her, it'll be even more comfortable.

    Other than that it's not in too God aweful condition. There's some dings and a couple of fairly deep gouges on the front of the body. One is about the width of my pinkey. Fortunately, none of them chipped away any paint. I don't know how to describe this part, but on the back it looks like someone took some bondo to part of the body and painted over it. I know it's not bondo, but think of that dented ripple look that you see over a crappy bondo job. One or both of the previous owners didn't take care of it, but I wouldn't go as far to say the bass was abused.

    It came with those nasty magnified numbered control knobs, so I took the dome knobs from my RBX170 and slapped them on.

    The tone is a bit better than what I expected. In my hands she has a warm full tone, prominent mids without them being overpowering, and good top end clarity. It's also IMO a very aggressive sounding bass. When I solo the J pickup at the neck it replicates a P bass tone fairly decently and when the J at the bridge is soloed it gets a very throaty tone much like a jazz bass does, perhaps slightly more aggressive sounding.

    It's passive and barring my RBX because its a rarity that I'll take it out of the gig bag, I haven't owned a passive bass in at least 12 years. So I'm not sure how I feel about the tone. Overall, I'd have to say it doesn't sound bad.

    Some things I'm not sure of are, there was no shielding inside the control cavity. Not sure if that's the norm on passive basses or not. I'm also not sure when it was made. The serial number is either 01Z198060 or QlZ199060. It's hard to make out the 1st and 4th numbers stamped into the back of the headstock

    I bought it with the intention of selling it on craigslist or through the local newspaper because I'm a 5 string kinda guy and could use the cash, but after sitting down with it for a bit I'm not sure if I can. I like the body style and headstock and am thinking that she'd look quite pretty if I were able to sand out the gouges and then refinish it with a nice stain color. Either way, for $40 I don't think went wrong at all.

    I know, I know. No pics, no bass. I'll post pics of it ASAP. I just need time to talk to my sis so I can borrow her camera, do a set up on it, and study for a couple of tests I have to take. Not necessarily in that order either.
  2. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    Wow! BB404s are really nice Jazz style basses. They are also verry easy to mod if you ever want to.

    I'm jealous!:D
  3. God bless America for those unbelievable prices!!!!!
  4. pedroims


    Dec 19, 2007
    so you got it !... very nice bass, congrats!
  5. BillMason


    Mar 6, 2007
    A good friend of mine has one of those, it is very bright and if I recall the pickups are very hot. After playing my P bass, he's put Chromes on it, I haven't heard it or played it since. It's a nice bass, a value at the $350 he paid for it years ago, and a super value at $40! :hyper:
  6. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    Yup sir, I figured for $40 it was a win situation regardless of condition and other factors.

    Do you (or anyone else) know if it's the norm to not put any shielding in the control cavity? I know on active basses it's there, but it's been so long since I've owned a passive, that I honestly can't remember.

    I'm also curious to find out when it was made and what type of pickkups are in it.
  7. Greevus


    Apr 15, 2009
    Great deal man! Fix that war machine up and go to battle! I love dings and scars. When I was 16 I was terrified my baby was gonna get hurt. She is still a warrior princess to this day with her blemishes. I bet you will have a blast modding that thing.
  8. There's the one thing I've discovered when dealing with craigslist and the search for the cheap bass. You are lucky if you find a deal like this. You are luckier still if you actually get the person selling it to contact you.

    Good find, though. Have fun with it!
  9. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta (Grant Park!)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    Congrats! This will be here Thursday.:

  10. Alot of passive basses dont come with sheilding in the cavities, I have owned multiple USA fenders , MIM, MIJ and squiers and all had no sheilding tape , a few had the paint version sprayed in the cavities.
  11. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    I'm not a fan of the dings and battle scars. Fortunately, they're not that visible unless you're close to the bass and the lighting is hitting them.

    I'm also not sure if I'm going to refinish/mod it or sell it yet. The jury's still in session on that one. I'm a 5 string guy so I'm almost certain that I'll hardly play the bass, especially on gigs. I'm also out of work and if I'm lucky get $150 or so out of this thing and turn a decent little profit.
  12. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    True. I don't usually find many deals on craigslist. Seems most people price their gear unrealistically and in some cases at or above new gear prices. I cannot lie, I'm guilty of doing that myself. I've got a Yamaha RBX170 on there for $150, they only go for $180 new. I also had my Ibanez Sr535 w/gig bag listed for $600. Those sell for $650 new.
  13. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    Dude, you have got to post pics and soundclips when you get it!
  14. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    That this is sweet!
  15. bassclef112

    bassclef112 Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2003
    Astoria, NY
    Wow! That's one of the new ones, isn't it? Noice!! A few weeks ago I managed to grab an '86 BB3000, threw on some flats and am just diggin' the hell out of it. Took it out on a gig this past weekend and it totally rocked!:D An excellent bass all around. The boys in the band loved it too.

    Cassanova - congrats man! You can't beat that deal with a stick!!! Sounds like a little TLC will bring it round in no time. Take it out and give a road test report ASAP.:cool:
  16. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    I own a BB415 and if those pups are the stock ones and it's passive, those pickups are really hot! Best pups I've heard on a passive bass in a long time. The P-Bass and Jazz sounds are there and it has a real vintage tone to it, but it's also really aggressive sounding when you dig in.
  17. fourstringbliss

    fourstringbliss Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2003
    Puyallup, WA
    Corry's copper snail tape works just fine for shielding and is about $7 from most hardware/home stores. I'd strip the finish, fill the dings, and refinish it wahtever color you want.
  18. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    I was kinda hoping to use a nice wood stain on it if I do decide to keep it. Not quite sure how that would work out if I filled the dings. Though they might be a tad too deep to sand out.
  19. Kael


    Dec 26, 2004
    Oklahoma City
    The thread on the 5 string version of this bass piqued my curiosity on it. Does anyone know what the string spacing at the bridge is on the 5 string version? Is it a full 19mm or is it tighter than that?
  20. fourstringbliss

    fourstringbliss Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2003
    Puyallup, WA
    I figure you could strip the finish off the body, fill the dings with wood filler, sand it smooth, and then refinish with some Reranch spray paint.

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