Squier Precision Special 5 vs Yamaha BBN5

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by acebase62, Apr 14, 2014.

  1. acebase62


    Jun 29, 2010
    One of my 4 strings is tuned BEAD, but I might pick up a used/inexpensive 5 string with JJ pickups.

    I've seen low prices on these recently:

    Squire Precision Special 5
    Yamaha BBN5

    In either case, I would upgrade pickups, pots, and maybe some hardware.

    Does anyone have any experience with both of these for comparison?

    I do prefer a P style body, so J body basses are not on the list.
  2. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    The old budget J/J Yamahas fives are great basses, I would take one in a heartbeat.
    .BumeStik. likes this.
  3. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    Yamaha. I used a BB605 for years. Aside from my Roscoe's, my favorite 5 string bass.
  4. acebase62


    Jun 29, 2010
    I played some 1980s Yamaha BB PJs that sounded and played great.

    I know the N5 is a different design, but it sounds like they are a good deal for the $.

    If I can find one in natural finish at a good price, I'll have to consider it.

    There was a nice looking Squire Precision Special 5 on ebay last week which had Dimarzio Ultra J pickups, upgraded bridge, custom black/gray paint job, and black pick guard.

    I've never played one, but it seemed like an OK deal.
  5. Joedog


    Jan 28, 2010
    Pensacola FL
    I've had 2 Squier Special 5's. Never could warm up to the necks. Sound was MEH. No complaints about fit and finish. They were OK $125 "trunk basses". Not something I'd invest in upgrades. Now have a Squier Protone 5, and like it MUCHO better. They are a bit rare though. Never played a BBN5, but given the 2 choices, I'd go that way. Yammy makes a very nice bass for the $.
  6. acebase62


    Jun 29, 2010
    Yeah, I've heard about the pickups that came stock in the Squier P Special 5.

    I would definitely replace with some Dimarzio Area Js, which would require some routing from what I have heard.

    I'd probably also do the Dimarzio pickups in the Yamaha if I find one.
  7. bobba66


    May 18, 2006
    Arlington, Texas
    My Yamaha BBN-5 is a sweet playing bass. Not in love with the stock pickups, though.
  8. pb9717


    Aug 18, 2006
    yamaha all the way. got mine at GC for $160 bucks used. gave the truss rod a tweak, put flats on it, and its a monster funk, old school R&B bass. cant recommend the BB yammies enough.
  9. esoxhntr

    esoxhntr Supporting Member

    Jun 21, 2007
    Markham, Ontario
    Just picked up a BBN5 from guitar centre in Buffalo. Probably the best bang for the buck I've ever gotten from a bass. Sets up like a dream play and feels great. Likely can't be beat for anything else you would get in this price range. I'm likely going to get a second one and experiment with pickups, control set, bridge, etc. Do it!!!
  10. Geri O

    Geri O

    Sep 6, 2013
    Florence, MS
    I have tried, tried, I say, tried to get next to Yamaha basses. They play great. Not the sound I'm looking for.

    I stick with Fenders and lately, Music Mans (Men??)...:D
  11. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    It's a small world because I just found a BBN5 today, and I am going to take it home Wednesday. I agree the pickups are not hot, but they have sweet tone. If you have a good amp, just crank it!
  12. acebase62


    Jun 29, 2010
    Let us know how you like it when you get it home.

    Also check your Inbox.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2014
  13. acebase62


    Jun 29, 2010
    I found a decent priced natural finish Yamaha BBN5 on the GC used equipment website.

    Looking forward to checking it out when it arrives.

    I might throw in some Dimarzio Area Js and a Fender TBX tone control.
  14. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I picked up the BBN5 on Wednesday. The store set it up nicely for me, and it came with the original hardshell Yamaha case! I forgot how big the necks on these are. It also has full 19mm spacing at the bridge too. I might add a preamp, but I might just leave the stock pickups alone. All in all, it is a good deal. I will post pics when the iPad/iPhone capability is restored.
  15. Wallace320

    Wallace320 Commercial User

    Mar 19, 2012
    Milan, Italy
    I have a '95 walnut flat Yamaha Bbn5

    My brother taught me to play the bass and he got started on the Rbx350 I still got (even if with restored electronics, Emghz pickups, Hipshot Gb7
    bass extender and Fender flats on it): in '95 I presented him the then brand new Yamaha Bbn5 and he in turn presented me his former Rbx350 so that I could start playin' the bass myself.

    I also borrowed his Bbn5 many times in the past, before switchin' to fullstep downtunin': it's the Nathan East design, not the more common Michael
    Anthony/Tony Kanal one so, while keepin' a somewhat Precision/StingRay/L2500 body design (alder body) it sounds like a Jazz bass on many count

    There's no comparison with Squier Precision special V

    The only honest comparison with Yamaha Bbn5 would be with present Squier active deluxe Jazz V: bridge is the same (infact Squier active deluxe Jazz V has a giant 2" nut) and although a full three band active eq, even pickups sound mostly the same between the two

    No, my advice is to jump on the Yammy and forget the Precision special V
    You definitely won't be disappointed!

    Last edited: Apr 21, 2014
  16. -Asdfgh-


    Apr 13, 2010
    I've also seen old Squier 'Precision' 5 strings that have two Jazz pickups. Not the Protone series I don't think as they had chunkier pickups, from memory?
  17. Timmah

    Timmah Supporting Member

    May 19, 2011
    Yamaha any day. They have a great reputation around here as excellent basses for the money, and IMO have a better B string than the Squier.
  18. -Asdfgh-


    Apr 13, 2010
    I am unsure what causes a better B string (for the same scale length). It's a length of wire between two witness points so assuming everything else works what affects it other than wood resonances (should be the same as the E, pretty much, if you fret on the 5th fret of the B) or the electronics...
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2014
  19. Timmah

    Timmah Supporting Member

    May 19, 2011
    To be honest, I'm not sure either. Maybe it was just setup differences. All I know is that the B strings was just clearer and easier to play on the Yamaha, IIRC. I've no idea why it was.
  20. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I have owned a number of budget J/J Yamaha fives. The thing they all have in common is a very heavy midrange oriented one that sounds more like two soap bars close the bridge rather than two single coils. I remember installing Sadowsky stacked humbuckers on a BB405, and midrange got even more intense. The only exception to this I have seen is a YouTube clip of a guy who put an Aguilar OB-3 preamp and Seymour Duncans (I think,) and the bass gets a classic active Jazz tone.