Vintage Yamaha bass recommendations

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Jimmy Aloha, Jun 6, 2021.

  1. Hello! I am living in japan at the moment and am seeing crazy deals on vintage Yamaha basses. I know about most of the higher end model such as the BB3000, 2000 and 1000 models but, what about the lower tier models? I am seeing a BB-VI in black excellent condition for 250usd. Played it amd it sounded great! Thinking about getting it. Any other lower models to look out for ? I am looking for a vintage p bass style. Thanks !
    Bass4Brkfast likes this.
  2. If you want a straight P - albeit with a reverse pickup - BB800 was a fine bass back in the day, at least to my recollection.

    Happy shopping.
  3. Thanks! That model and the BB1000 have also caught my eye….
    Bass4Brkfast likes this.
  4. Templar

    Templar Supporting Member

    I've always wanted an old BB series Yamaha.

    I'd keep an eye out for an old BB1600, or an SB500S Super Bass.
    Jimmy Aloha likes this.
  5. Those are cool! A bit difficult to find (in good condition), perhaps.

  6. Ricky Rioli

    Ricky Rioli

    Sep 29, 2020
    Here in the UK, a retailer is asking for the equivalent of 800usd for a BB-VI....does that help? :D From the YouTube demos I could find of that model, I thought it made a very classy, balanced tone. When I searched for past TB adverts, the only one I found said that the VI is extremely rare outside Japan and that the seller had imported it himself.
    Jimmy Aloha likes this.
  7. wmhill

    wmhill Inactive

    Aug 20, 2012
    upstate NY
    MTD basses endorsed artist Bartolini pickups emerging artist TECAMP bass players gear endorsed
    I bought a BB300 new in 1984 and it's still a great gig-worthy bass.
  8. Nice! Yeah. I am searching reverb and other places . Looks like they go for 600usd or above. Hmmm….impulse buy!??
    Ricky Rioli likes this.
  9. Yeah. The BBVI seems similar. Those seem like great basses also.
    wmhill likes this.
  10. Ricky Rioli

    Ricky Rioli

    Sep 29, 2020
    I also found someone opining that the VI was a slightly more upmarket version of the 300. I was very tempted by it, but concluded that I like BBs when they make a more in-your-face noise. (Also the split pickup on the one for sale here wasn't reversed, which seems even more rare, and I would like to try a reverse P.)
    Bass4Brkfast and Jimmy Aloha like this.
  11. JeezyMcNuggles

    JeezyMcNuggles Suspended Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2018
    Santa Maria, CA
    I suck, but nobody really notices
    Nope. No need to look out for anything. Yamaha makes solid...everything, in any price range.
  12. Too right! I started doing repair, set up and customizing work on guitars and basses back in 1980 and I'd have gone broke in a month if I'd had to rely on Yamaha instruments for work. Sure some of the cheaper models might have benefited from a pickup upgrade, depending on taste, but as reliable playable instruments, they are just b****y consistent. (Just like everything else that carries the Yamaha brand name.)
  13. arbiterusa


    Sep 24, 2015
    SB5A. An original, not a reissue.
    Jimmy Aloha and skycruiser like this.
  14. 75Ric

    75Ric Supporting Member

    Feb 13, 2019
    The Yamaha BB400 is a great p-bass with reverse pups made in the early 1980s. Terrific p-bass tone.
    J_Bass and Jimmy Aloha like this.
  15. BobDeRosa

    BobDeRosa Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 16, 2012
    Finger Lakes area of New York State
    Owner, Tritone Jazz Fantasy Camps
    I agree about the BB400. At the higher end of the spectrum, a BB2024 would be great to find at a decent price.
    Jimmy Aloha, Mili and 75Ric like this.
  16. Renegade bass

    Renegade bass

    Nov 2, 2020
    I was a couple of mouse clicks away from bidding on an RBX800 about a year ago. Really wish I did seeing what it went for.
    Jimmy Aloha likes this.
  17. 2tonic


    Dec 22, 2015
    Vintage Yamaha bass recommendations?

    When purchasing vintage Yamaha basses, there is a very specific model you should seek out, if you wish to make a wise investment in an ultimately playable piece of history.

    It will have "YAMAHA" on the headstock, and the model number starts with "BB". :thumbsup:
    Jimmy Aloha likes this.
  18. skycruiser

    skycruiser Supporting Member

    Jan 15, 2019
    That and/or the Flying Banana (SB-1C I think). Both are such cool looking instruments. But the Banana is definitely not a lap instrument!
    Here are the 2 together.

    bararan, seedokebass, Ellery and 2 others like this.
  19. Bass V

    Bass V

    Dec 11, 2008
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    one of these has been lurking in Honolulu and dropped in price to around $400, if op is heading this way soon I can pass on the locale. in scant research they seem to be a fine Jazz bass for sounds but not much info beyond that so my interest was tamed a bit, but being vintage YAMAHA I still want to try it. the store allows for trial periods but I'd hate to return such a nice piece for minor quibbles, it looks to be nearly new cond. and is deffinitely an oddity.
    otherwise, like with Ibanez you really can't go wrong no matter what instrument they make.
    Jimmy Aloha likes this.
  20. Altitude

    Altitude An ounce of perception, a pound of obscure. Supporting Member

    Mar 9, 2005
    Denver, nee Austin
    The BB1600 was a passive bolt-on P/J. I bought one new in ~1989 and had it all these years until I foolishly traded it for a bass I don't even have anymore. The BB1600 had a great, super fast neck and that trademark P/J ping in the slap tone. I'd buy it back right now if it were in the same condition I let it go in.

    Jimmy Aloha likes this.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    May 22, 2022

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