What's your honest opinion on Yamahas?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Johnny5, Mar 17, 2006.

  1. Johnny5


    Mar 5, 2006
    Calgary, Canada
    The first bass I ever bought was an RBX170, wood finish, very entry level from a pawn shop. I became increasingly more interested in their guitars when I checked them out online, especially the BB614. So I played one last night at the store through the same amp that I own and it sounded great! Really. It had a 3-band EQ built into it which was very cool which adds a bit more tone shaping. But then I realized, maybe it has so much punch because it's active, and sure enough it had a 9 volt in it's back.
    So I'm wondering what you guys think of Yamaha's electronics. Any good? I've never owned an active bass before and I'm a little hesitant because I don't know much about it.
  2. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    Yamaha, like Ibanez, Peavey, or Fender, is a huge manufacturer that makes basses in all price ranges. I find all Yamahas very high quality at their respective price points. From what I hear, the BB614 is a fine bass for the money.
  3. fookgub


    Jun 5, 2005
    Houston, TX
    I agree the the Doc. Yamaha has leading instruments in the sub $700 price ranges. I don't have any direct experience with their active stuff, but I've never had any reason to doubt their quality.
  4. SteveC


    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    I have 2 Yamahas. One is a BB414, passive P/J, and the other is a BB605. I changed the electronics on the 605 to Bartolini because I really like "the Bart" sound.

    I love the passive stuff in the BB414. It's the only bass that I haven't changed.
  5. Fawkes007


    Sep 13, 2005
    SF Bay Area
    Never really dug their looks, but the ones I have played have been solid.
  6. IotaNet

    IotaNet Supporting Member

  7. Johnny5


    Mar 5, 2006
    Calgary, Canada
    I'm not too crazy about the looks either, but it feels good when I play it.
    I think I need some clarification on what the biggest differences are between passive vs active. Is active just some kind of boost? Will the guitar still play without a battery in it? Hmm..
  8. IotaNet

    IotaNet Supporting Member

    Johnny -

    In the thread I linked to, there is a link to last year's review in BassPlayer Magazine. The review addresses the passive vs. active versions.

    BTW- Is your handle a reference to the movie "Short Circuit?"
  9. Johnny5


    Mar 5, 2006
    Calgary, Canada
    Damn straight.
    Thanks for the link.
  10. mark beem

    mark beem Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    New Hope, Alabama
    Not too crazy about the RBX line but I haven't played one in a while.. Would like to try out the newer Myung model 6 string..

    The Patitucci model 6ers are very nice!!
  11. I own a BB404 that I defretted and epoxied - it's passive, so there's really not much to say about electronics.

    I also am proud owner of a TRB 1005. I replaced the stock preamp with a U-Retro Five Knob Deluxe. That means: I was not really happy with the electronics. Now I am!!!
  12. WillCO

    WillCO An ounce of perception, a pound of obscure.

    Mar 9, 2005
    Denver, nee Austin
    I've got a Yamaha TRB5II, which at a certain point in time was their high-end 5 string. It's a great bass, with material quality as good as anything out there.

    I did change the electronics (Bart pickups and an OBP-3 preamp), with incremental improvement. My current setup involves passive pickups with a preamp, and the OEM has active pickups, so the result is a little less zingy and slightly more vintage. But, again it's very incremental; I think the B tightened up just a little. I couldn't honestly say the change was worth the money and effort.

    So, in sum, great basses with decent if not outstanding electronics. The TRB series brings more game than 99% of bass players need. I recommend one.

    There's also a Yamaha Appreciation Thread out here somewhere that has tons and tons of Yammy information.

    MAJOR METAL HARVESTER OF SORROW Staff Member Supporting Member

    I thought the Yamaha Bass that No Doubts bassist played and recorded with was pretty nice.
  14. Johnny5


    Mar 5, 2006
    Calgary, Canada
    Cool, I'll be able to take away some good info from this. Thanks.
    The thing I really like about the BB614 is the 3-band EQ knobs, I fiddled with it for about 10 minutes and was able to create the exact tone I wanted (and others). Maybe because it's active and I could really feel the extra punch. I don't know much about active electronics but I do know I liked the sound a lot..
  15. IotaNet

    IotaNet Supporting Member

    I agree.

    Yamaha doesn't make a crappy "anything." The given item may not be the top of the line (although in some cases it will be) but it will be of high quality and well-made .
  16. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    As others have said: excellent value for the price, at all price levels.
  17. Love my BB405. I swapped out the stock pups for Q-Tuners because - well nothing beats Q-Tuners. I was at NAMM last year and had a chance to check out just about every bass known to man. My hand's down fave was the TRB5IIP - but even then I think I would replace the stock pups with Q-Tuners - just cause.
  18. mike sancho

    mike sancho SANCH

    Feb 10, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    I had a TRB5 and I really liked it. Very playable and good tone controls. I sold it so I could move into a custom. GAS is a bad thing!
  19. kjones

    kjones Supporting Member

    Dec 4, 2004
    All I know is Nathan East's tone is golden. Of course, a lot of that is him, but the instrument deserves praise as well. Just a beautiful round tone.
  20. Pennydreadful

    Pennydreadful Goin out West

    Jun 13, 2005
    Arlington, Texas
    I thought I was the only person in the world who liked that movie...