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Thoughts on the Yamaha BB-1600

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by HiFi, Sep 6, 2004.

  1. HiFi


    Apr 20, 2002
    Anaheim, CA
    Well, I just went and bought a Yamaha BB-1600. I'm not a No Doubt fan at all, but it's one of the basses Tony Kanal (I think that's his name) uses for them.

    I have searched Google and have come up with almost nothing on this bass. As far as I can tell, it was discontinued quite awhile ago, although they receive high marks for the most part. Basically, I'm simply wondering if any other TBer's own one or have played one and what their thoughts were. Also, any info. you may have on the bass would be of help. If I end up not liking it (never played it but think it looks interesting) I may sell it, but for now I plan on using it as a backup bass.

    Also, here's some pics:

  2. Great basses.I had a BB 2000 a couple of years ago and it had a great cutting sound and played like butter.I sold it because I'm more a five string player but I still regret selling it.Those 80's BB series basses are all fine insruments,yours looks really nice.
  3. bugbass


    Apr 8, 2004
    I think the old BB series is the best Yamaha basses ever. Superb playability and sound. Most of the new ones has a lot less personality.
  4. Niskamies


    Jan 13, 2004
    I also have an old Yamaha, a BB1200S. Wonderful instruments. If you're ever sellin that bass, PM me:)
  5. HiFi


    Apr 20, 2002
    Anaheim, CA
    I will...

    Thanks for the comments so far. Any other input or knowledge of the bass in question would be welcome.
  6. Sigh, sweet memories. My first good bass was a black BB1600, that I foolishly enough traded for something else. Nowadays I find myself wanting one again, and preferably a white one. So, you just bought one of my many dream basses. Good for you!
    And, BTW, they're not really discontinued, as they're available under a different name - BB X - on the Japanese market. Someday I might order one...

    Congrats on your find, and enjoy!
  7. eqvolvorama

    eqvolvorama Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2000
    Arlington, Virginia
    My current main bass is a red burst bb1600, which I got off of ebay a few months ago for $300. It's my favorite bass of all those I've ever owned or played. Nice and lightweght. Does a great P with the neck pickup soloed, and has a great, high-mid punch with both pickups on full.

    For an example of some good bb1600 tones, check out the opening bars of No Doubt's "Spiderwebs". Even if you don't dig the band, it's a great tone.
  8. Davehenning


    Aug 9, 2001
    Los Angeles
    I love the BB series. My first bass was a BB450, which really was not much different from the BB1600. I plan to get another one soon.

    Great sounding basses and well made. Great bang for the buck factor.
    Plus they look cool!

    I also have a BB5000a which replaced another BB5000a that was stolen from me.

    nice purchase. have fun making noise!
  9. Anti_Wish


    May 14, 2004
    Boston, Ma
    i've been thinking about picking up a used 5er from the guitar center over where i live. it's got really high action (the stupid clerks there won't let anyone lower it?!) but it's got a nice plunk that would sound great with flatwounds and no sustain at all. perfect for those low down root note jumbalaya's and country bopper recording sessions ive been to lately. it's jet black and quite pretty
  10. rogerbmiller

    rogerbmiller Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 16, 2003
    I love the older Yamaha BB's. They have the vibe of Fender's, the innovation and quality of japanese bass, they were built like tanks and they sound great. I am always on the lookout for a special older BB. I currently have a BB5000FL-A and it was my bread and butter bass for years.
  11. jedi


    Apr 11, 2003
    north texas
    I got that cream yamaha from Bassable a few months ago. I dig it alot, but I'm not sure it's still what I'm looking for. I just got it out of the shop getting the output replaced because it just kind of kicked out last week. I was curious if anyone was interested if I put it up for sale or trade. I'm doing it in this thread before the for sale thread. later gator.
  12. The images in bassable's post are missing on my computer. Do you have pics? I'm not sure about the differences between the BB series (neck-thru vs. bolt, inlays, etc).
  13. jedi


    Apr 11, 2003
    north texas
    here are three pics i just painted together and just took. it's not quite as white as the bright, but not as dark as the blurry one. it's a bolt on. my camera doesn't take the best indoor photos. the inlays are oval shaped with two breaks on the inside.
  14. BB3000S.

    Here's my BB3000S, best bass I ever had, I'd be lost without it. The blemishes are light reflections, there's hardly a mark on it.
  15. barebones

    barebones Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2005
    Denver, CO
    I agree with many here. I think the 80s BB series are the best Yamaha basses made. I have to say, too, that I think the new BB series pales in comparison. Although the new ones are by no means bad basses, they just don't quite reach the bar set by the older ones, in my opinion, as is the case with many instruments these days.

    The Frankenbass I play now started out as a BB1100S nearly twenty years ago. Many times I have looked at the photos of me playing in high school and early college and wished that I had left my once-beautiful and undefiled bass alone. I can honestly say that all the mods I made to the original bass were for the most part unnecessary daliances on my part, just because I love trying different necks, hardware, pickups, etc., and were not by any means done due to deficiencies the original Yamaha itself. In fact, with the basses now starting to acquire a bit of a retro vibe to them, most people ask me, "Why didn't you just leave the damn thing alone and buy another bass to screw around with?" And, of course, I ask myself the same question! I may one day pick up another un-tainted BB1100S, just so I can say, "Here's my beautiful bass BEFORE I started screwing with it. And here's the thoroughly UGLIFIED version!"

    Anyway, as far as the bass itself is concerned, if I recall correctly, the BB1600 was virtually identical to my BB1100S, with the exceptions that the BB1600 had slightly different pickups and no active eq, as found on the BB1100S.

    I remember buying my bass back when I didn't know too much about basses in general, and kind of trusting the salesman helping me, and thinking all those Billy Sheehan endorsement ads--pre-Attitude days--were pretty cool. Knowing what I know now, I made a good decision to buy the bass.

    Now, all my modification decisions since then... maybe not so good....

    Enjoy your bass!

  16. Thanks for the pictures jedi and russjm. I hope this isn't inappropriate, but please let me know if you decide to sell, jedi.

    BB owners, how do the truss rods work on these basses? I've owned several '80s Ibanezes with not-so-hot truss rods. My tech said it has to do with the way they act on the neck.
  17. That bass is, when it comes to looks, probably my favourite, of all the basses I've seen posted on TalkBass. And I've seen many.
  18. rdhbass


    Jun 28, 2003
    Springfield, mo
  19. Bass_Machine


    Oct 29, 2004
    Dunno about your yamaha, but I own a bb604, anyone got any thoughts on that?
  20. barebones

    barebones Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2005
    Denver, CO

    Hmm... Well, now that you mention it, I do recall having a bit of a problem with my original BB1100S neck, which I think is the same design as the BB1600. There was always more relief on the G string side than the E string, which I was not able to correct with the truss rod. It wasn't horrible, and I guess to an extent I just got used to it playing that way, since it was my first bass and I played that neck it for several years. I'm not really sure if all the BB series had this problem, as I never owned another.