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Yamaha BB Basses - Neck Dive/Upgrade questions?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by stinky_UK, Jan 17, 2006.

  1. stinky_UK


    Feb 3, 2005
    I am contemplating either a BB414 (in black) or a BB1000MA (in black). I am leaning towards the 1000MA, but having read through here some have mentioned about neck dive on the 414 and 1000MA. Is this correct or am i mis-reading things?
    Also i saw a 414 in a local shop and have it in my memory that the oval fret markers are obviously cheap, plastic and tacky. Are they that bad? i have never seen a 1000MA in the flesh so what are those red markers like too?!
    One last thing if i were too change the bridge on a 414, would a gotoh /badass/other 'fender replacement' size bridge fit as is?
    I play a Fender 62 re-issue jazz but want a backup / complimenting bass, but only want to buy 1 more bass!
    Thanks in advance!
  2. eqvolvorama

    eqvolvorama Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2000
    Arlington, Virginia
    I've played both of these basses, and I don't recall the neck-dive being bad at all. My measure of "bad" is set by a Gibson Thunderbird bass whose tuning keys yearned to hit the floor the second you raised your left hand to scratch your nose. This never happened on my old BB1000MA, or on my current Yamaha BB1600 (same shape).

    The oval fret markers/and the overall aesthetic of the old BB series is really something you'll need to judge for yourself. Some can't stand the look. I kind of dig the oval fret markers. For a closer look, I'd look up the BB414 on musiciansfriend.com and click the 'zoomable photo' link to get a closer look.

    The BB1000MA has the same shape markers, but they're red as opposed to a mother-of-pearl flavor.

    As far as replacement bridges, any standard 5-screw replacement bridge will fit the bass, including the standard Badass, Gotoh, and Fender replacement bridges. Don't buy a new bridge until you're convinced the old one doesn't do it for you. The tone-impact of replacing a bass bridge is really overstated IMO.

    As far as I know, the one thing that separates the BB414 from the BB1000MA is the positioning of the P pickup (BB1000MA is reverse-P, 414 is traditional.) Being a discontinued model, you should be able to get a significantly better price on the 1000MA if you shop around.
  3. stinky_UK


    Feb 3, 2005
    the 1000ma is discontinued? that may explain why in the UK i have found 1 shop that lists it on the net and thats it! I have emailed them enquiring about it but they havent responded. Not yet anyway. Nothing on ebay with regard to original BB basses.
    If i go for the 414 (or 614-but i like passive basses-which sounds like it may be my only choice!) i like the shape of the markers. My issue is if they seem too 'cheap plastic' looking!
    i know what you mean about the bridge i replaced one on a p bass once and wasnt overawed by the benefits the badassII supposedly gave!
  4. Hmmmm ...

    I have a 415 and I have no problem with the markers. I mean they're obviously not MOP but I don't find them any more/less "Cheap" looking than on any other bass in the price range.

    IMHO, the overall look and feel of this bass is one of solid quality. Nothing flashy but certainly not cheap. (Think Honda Accord or Toyota Camry.)
  5. stinky_UK


    Feb 3, 2005
    Ok thanks. Its a bit of a silly little thing i suppose but the 'price range' says it all! Silly question perhaps, but how does the 415 compare to the Bongo you 've got?
    I used to have (and may again get) a Sterling but now, quality/sound/£ (or $ to you!) all need to be taken into account!
    i dont expect much (price diffenrence is enourmous) but an opinion would be appreciated!!
  6. Stinky -

    They're totally different animals. The Bongo is this awesome monster of a bass -- every tone known to man and able to shatter glass for miles around. I've heard the Bongo's B-string described as "The Voice of God." That's about right.

    The Yammie is more like, "Everything you need and nothing you don't." It's hard to put into words but I spoke on this in another thread. Read this post to see what I said.

    Remember -- I bought my Yamaha as a compliment to my Bongo, not a competitor. Something simpler for times when I don't want to tweak knobs or settings. It's perfect for that. Simple but still extremely versatile.

    Stop mucking about and buy the bloody thing -- you won't regret it! :smug:
  7. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    I have a 414 and really like it. It may be a little bit neck heavy, but it doesn't dive. The pups are hotter than my active and the stock bridge is fine. Probably the only bass I won't hotrod.
  8. eqvolvorama

    eqvolvorama Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2000
    Arlington, Virginia

    I would agree that you really can't go wrong with a BB414. You'll be getting a well-manufactured cool-looking axe with enough versatility to carry you through any gig. My BB1600 is basically the same exact axe (with gold in place of chrome hardware) and it's a bass I love dearly and will never part with. I did a recording project last year with the BB1600 and got comments from even the non-musicians on the quality of the bass sound.

  9. stinky_UK


    Feb 3, 2005
    ok people thanks!
    I think i will bite the bullet and get one! I want a compliment to my Jazz 62 re-issue so was only really asking out of curiosity!!
    Thankas as always chaps!:)
  10. The head of my BB3000S heads for the floor the second you let it go, but who cares, it's still the best bass I'll ever have.
  11. stinky_UK


    Feb 3, 2005
    no dont go saying that!! My mind was made up!!:rolleyes:
    Gaving said that, some people say they have a neck dive problem with Japanese fenders, though i have never found it to be true in my case!
    I'm guessing that the newer, cheaper ones may be a bit more balanced as generally lighter!
    Bloody hell i've got a bee in my bonnet over this dont i?!
    At the end of the day for the price i dont think you can get better!
  12. eqvolvorama

    eqvolvorama Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2000
    Arlington, Virginia

    Do not hesitate. Do not think. Order a BB414 immediately, and don't come back to this thread until you have done so.

    The BB3000S is a different animal. It has different wood combinations (magohany and ebony) down the neck in addition to maple that contribute to that weight. The BB414 only has maple, which will make it lighter up the neck.
  13. Stinky -

    I know it's hard to pull the trigger (anytime you spend your hard earned $$, you gotta think long & hard -- I get that) but unless you are expecting Sadowsky/Lull quality, the Yamaha BB will be just fine!

    I can't offer any guarantees about the one you buy but the Yamaha basses are as good as advertised! :D
  14. Nah, go ahead and buy mate, it won't let you down, they're great basses. The problem with the 3000S is the lightweight body, the balance isn't great, but the 1100S I also have is much better because the body is heavier, but the new BBs are fine, I've tried a few.
  15. stinky_UK


    Feb 3, 2005
    ok i have been to a shop again and i am going to go for it!
    I will however be purcasing on-line as i can save my self £80. If it needs setting up then its no problem.
    Thanks to everyone for their patience (!) and help.
    I will report back....