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Yamaha BB1200

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by muppetprince, May 6, 2005.

  1. muppetprince


    Dec 24, 2004
    I just bought a one owner '78 Yamaha BB1200 and have a couple of questions...:help:

    What wood is the body made from, I have read it's maple but it doesn't seem heavy enough?

    Where SHOULD the serial number be? I can't find one so can't verify it's actual age!!

    This one has a pickguard, that I was told was fitted from new, but I have not seen another with a p/g any ideas??

    ...oh and here it is...:D

  2. Vic

    Vic There's more music in the nuance than the notes. Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine
    I'm almost positive these are Alder bodies.

    No clue on the s/n location or pickguard.
  3. bigbajo60


    Nov 7, 2003
    Laredo, Texas
    I had the good fortune to receive a brand-spankin' new BB1200 back in 1982. Awesome bass. That particular one has since "died" and been replaced with another that looks practically identical... other than for the holes left behind by that pickguard. I never installed it on my original BB.

    IMHO, you can't beat these basses for raw, meaty, straight ahead rock tone.

    As for the serial number, it should be engraved (stamped) on the back of the headstock, below the tuners.

    The woods used (IIRC) are maple and walnut for the neck, and alder body wings.

    As shipped new (back in the day) the pickguard was included with the bass along with the screws to attach it with, an adjustment collar-wrench for the tuners, a long-handled truss-rod wrench which was also a phillips screwdriver at the "handle" end, an itsy-bitsy screwdriver for the bridge adjustments, and the owners' manual. All in a handy-dandy vinyl pouch.

    I see you got the case too! Now that's the way cases USED to be built! Feels twice as heavy as the bass, with plenty of "crush space" around the instrument, just in case!
  4. Bongolation


    Nov 9, 2001
    No Bogus Endorsements
    Wow, that's a nice-looking bass!...but...what's that going on with the case lining?
  5. muppetprince


    Dec 24, 2004
    I found the S/N, it is "stamped" in the varnish and is difficult to pick out!! Anyway it reads 002975 can anyone translate that into a year of manufacture?

    What is wrong with the case lining? :confused:
  6. Mo'Phat

    Mo'Phat Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2003
    San Diego, CA, USA
    Yay, the BB club!

    Here's my '2000

    - paid just over $200 and is by far my favorite, over my Rickenbacker, Musicman, Carvin, and Warwick. Completely adaptable to most any music style.

    pssst...if anybody has one they want to sell, I'll buy it.
  7. Mo'Phat

    Mo'Phat Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2003
    San Diego, CA, USA
    I think it's because you took the bass out, flipped it around, and looks akimbo to the form-fittedness...or the fact it's an odd shade of blue. Don't worry, mines the most hideous puke-green you've ever seen, but I love it. Great case.
  8. Niskamies


    Jan 13, 2004
    I have a green BB1200S. It is strung with flatwound strings, and I changed the pickup to a Dimarzio Will Power. Excellent bass! I get authentic 60's type bass sound with this.
  9. FranF

    FranF Supporting Member

    Jul 25, 2004
    Northeastern PA
    Just caught this golden oldie thread and wanted to see if anything's new with the BB1200 owners here! Just picked up a nice '79 and felt like talking about them a little. Super bass!
  10. FranF

    FranF Supporting Member

    Jul 25, 2004
    Northeastern PA
    Also, there's one on Ebay now. They're not too common anymore! #7423605681.
  11. g00eY


    Sep 17, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    i like that pickguard.
  12. sum41_cone09


    Jun 8, 2006
    the pickguard is ugly
  13. FranF

    FranF Supporting Member

    Jul 25, 2004
    Northeastern PA
    Great info, especially that Japanese page. Keep it coming boys!
  14. jobo4


    Apr 19, 2006
    Austin, TX
    I have a MIJ BB400 that is an alder body. I called Yamaha USA and all they could tell me is that the model was produced between 81-83. Even with the full serial number visible (stamped, back of head stock,) they couldn't give me more info than that. I can tell you it is a great player.:)
  15. FranF

    FranF Supporting Member

    Jul 25, 2004
    Northeastern PA
    Depending on who you speak to there, there is a secondary source of s/n info in their system Only a few reps can access it apparently. I did get a quote from one such guy that 003000 through 004000 is 1979, which is a start. What they WOULDN'T give me is the actually recipe to decode though! Around that time, it was a mix of all numbers or letters and numbers. Seems to be confusing as all hell. Plus, the pots aren't coded in any recognizable fashion either. A real James Bond case!
  16. muppetprince


    Dec 24, 2004
    Thanks for the info FranF, according to your source my BB1200 is indeed a '78. I don't understand why it is so difficult to date these early Yamaha's!!
  17. Joe Smithberger

    Joe Smithberger Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2002
    Canton, Ohio, USA
    I picked up one of these this year too. It is a great feeling bass. I have it set up BEAD with a set of DR High Beams. Does anyone know where I can get a truss rod wrench for this?
  18. FranF

    FranF Supporting Member

    Jul 25, 2004
    Northeastern PA
    Wow, some life here! I'd all but given up on hearing from anyone with their BB1200's! Glad my limited knowledge was of any use. Regarding the wrench, good call. I haven't pursued that yet. If anyone finds a source, let me know! Also would like to find the little device that tightens the tuner shafts too. I don't even know what they look like! Needle nose pliers work, but mark the shafts and are just the wrong tool for the job.

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