Just tried out these basses and my buddy (tb=Hou) and I are completely gassing! We tried a few of the same model to see if Yamaha just got lucky on the one we started playing. But no! They were all amazing! Some of them were just out of the box and were just killer. Nothing to notice on the build quality - craftsmanship. The playability on this bas was awesome and very smooth. The sound, I mean THE SOUND! My God. When you had the two pickups blended there was an excellent slapbass sound with big balls to go with it. Solo the neck-pickup and you had a very smooth deep p-sound. The instrument was very clear and with the active preamp you could change it dramatically litteraly with the flick of the wrist We played through an Ampeg SVT and 8x10 but also some Eden stuff and EBS HD350 with neo 2x12 and 2x10 just to make sure it wasn't the Ampeg that produced this lovely noice. It wasn't. These basses ROCK. The active model it just a tad more punch in it and also the active preamp is very flexible. But the passive was also very very nice. We tried one B-string that was kind of floppy but after some tuning it was much better. I noticed that the brigde on the B-string was significantly moved back with respect to the other four. In the shop we also tried Stingray 5, Fender P Highway (in fact very nice), Fender J '75 limited edition, Fender J QMT 4 and 5. Maybe it was due to poor setup on the high-end Fenders but we have to admit that the Yamaha kicked these booties for sure. If you have to opportunity go out and give them a try. I promise you that you'll be surprised at just how MUCH value you get for money. It's redicoulous! It has to be said that Hou usually plays Fodera Monarch but he was completely blown away of the quality, sound, look and last but not least the VERY low price. If I'm not mistaken he will buy one on monday when the shop opens again. I'm thinking of selling my Fender J MIA Deluxe now, getting a BB614 to stand beside my Sadowsky Metro Ultra vintage 5(on order). Wouldn't that be a sight? Now if you only could get the active in orange... Now that would be funky!