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Yamaha BB

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by steve135, Mar 19, 2009.

  1. steve135


    Mar 19, 2009
    Hey guys I'm new to this board and I'm also new to playing Bass. I've been a guitarist for 11 years and recently took up bass for a new/different challenge. I've borrowed a friends Ibanez SRX-500 which is doing the job just fine right now.

    I'm thinking. If I keep this up, I'd like to have my own bass.

    I've been looking at the Yamaha BB414, the reviews of this bass on Harmony Central seems to be great, not a bad review to be seen. But I would like more opinions on this bass or maybe even some recommendations for something cheap but reliable and solid.

    thanks :D
  2. i'm playing a bb414 and i like it a lot.

    it's a P/J hybrid, with 3 position selector switch, selecting P only, P+J, and J only pickups.

    I like it a lot because of 2 things:

    (1) the sounds that I can get from it. it has a nice deep P sound with the P-only setting and a nice mid-range bright punchy sound if you select the J pickup only. I've never used the P+J setting.

    (2) the neck depth. I'm not talking about the width but rather, the front-to-back. It's very shallow from the face of the fretboard to the back of the neck, i've tried other basses that felt thick from the front to back and never liked it - feels like grabbing a round baseball bat, but the bb414 is really shallow and i like it this way.

    is there anything specific that you would want to know about it?
  3. Thump Jr.

    Thump Jr.

    Jun 8, 2008
    SW FL
    I play a BB614 (BB414 + active EQ) and I am quite happy with it for the money. I haven't come across the passive 414 in stores, but it should be a good bass as well, and you won't have to fool around with batteries (which is nice - I'd like to have a passive bass). It should serve you well. Have you looked around on Musician's Friend any? I recommend looking at basses in that same price range - I think you'll find you can get basses with more features for the same price. That said, there's absolutely nothing wrong with the 414, and it should serve you well.
  4. RBASS930

    RBASS930 Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2005
    New York
  5. steve135


    Mar 19, 2009
    Thanks for the reply guys. The only other thing I'd like to know is, is it possible to retrofit other brands of pickups in the BB? like Seymour Duncan etc or are the routes a unique shape to the BB?
  6. kramerj


    May 22, 2003
    Iowa City, IA
    I have a BB415 (passive 5-string). The toggle switch, combined with numbered "speed" knobs for master volume and tone, enable you to rapidly and accurately dial in settings. Granted a blend control or separate volume knobs would provide more tonal flexibility---but the Yamaha controls are nice for on the fly changes, and you should be able to get a number of very usable sounds from this bass.
  7. cakebass


    Mar 1, 2009
    I have one of the original BB series from the mid-80s, and I love it. I had the chance to mess with the 414 a few years ago, and I couldn't believe how much they have in common. Although mine's neck-through and the 414's bolted, they both are identical in sound, at least from playing thru what the store had on hand. The 414's bridge wasn't really up to par, but that's something easily switched out, and the neck is similar to a Jazz with a narrower profile. I'd say spring for it and get it, or check Ebay and see if you can grab up any of the 1000MAs Yamaha discontinued awhile back. Either way, you'll be pleasantly surprised by the sound and build quality...
  8. They are great basses. Pretty affordable as well.
  9. LowBSix

    LowBSix Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 25, 2008
    818 ~ 805 ~ L.A.
    Endorsing Artist: GHS Strings
    I've had a BB1200 that I bought used in 1981 and replaced the pickups with EMG PJ set up; 3 way toggle; volume and tone knob.

    The best recording bass I ever owned! Every engineer I ever worked with raved about the tone, definition and intonation.
    Fantastic basses.
  10. I've heard nothing but great things from the BB series.
  11. Otso


    Mar 6, 2006
    I had the BB414 as my first bass. Should have kept it as a backup for the Ray, but... oh well. After playing a lot of basses, I could not believe how I got such a great bass for so little money. Everything about it was great (although the electronics were a tad noisy). I highly recommend getting one.
  12. mobis.fr


    Jun 2, 2005
    i had a bb414. nice bass. amazing sound, but the neck was too thin for me. i prefer "baseballbats" ;)
  13. phall2112


    Dec 31, 2008
    I have GAS for one of those, been considering a trade. but cant make up my mind. isnt the billy sheehan attitude modeled after the bb series?
  14. SwitchGear

    SwitchGear Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2005
    I own a BB415, my son the BB414. Both great basses that sound terrific and play well. I had an BB615 (active version) in the past, but it wasn't for me.

    Another great thing about the new BB basses is that one can be had for very little ching used, or new. They are priced right compared to other manufacturers who have been raising their prices faster than a speeding bullet, as of late.
  15. Idiotpod


    Feb 11, 2009
    Got Djent?
    I've been playing a BB414 for 1.5 years now. Its a wonderful(and cheap) bass thats got a really nice tone and a good neck to play. Its (according to me) well balanced and good for slapping, picking, popping and playing with the fingers.

    I love mine.
  16. cakebass


    Mar 1, 2009

    Yeah, it's the same materials and construction, only Billy configured the pups different. Looks like it may be more bottom ended than the 414s and such, but other than that, same thing...
  17. MD


    Nov 7, 2000
    Marin Co. CA.
  18. We come from a Blue Grass & Gospel heritage. My two uncles, on acoustic guitar, my son finger picking my acoustic guitar, on neice on a squire strat, one neice with a small drum kit and a cousin on the piano.
    The bass was great, I hadn't p;ayed since July. Partialy because of medical reasons ans later because a friend set it up for me. He is a thrasher 55yr old speed metal or something gui****).
    I had less than 2 minutes to adjust ampe settings etc. I have used that bass in a variety of venues and always have found the needed sound.

    Best of Luck,
    Wesley R.

    PS, I was thinking I needed a new bass, but I am now fine with this one, again.

    PS2 Last Saturday my father died, Monday I got laid off, Wendsay after the veiewing my mother ended up in the ER with Arotic Ambulism (spelling is fubar on that one)
  19. skeptikal


    Jan 24, 2008
    Fort Wayne, IN
    I love my BB404. In the process of giving it a new natural finish! So light. I play it just as much if not more than my warwick!

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