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Yamaha BB416 Black Bastard

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Sundogue, Dec 27, 2011.


  1. Sundogue

    Sundogue

    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    No, this particular model isn't made by Yamaha. I converted my 5 string BB415 into a 6 string with new black tuners, a black Kahler 7460 bridge, black nut and redid the chrome pickup rings in black...

    I also installed my wireless into a cavity in the back (the on/off switch is next to the neck pup volume control).

    My conversion is covered in this thread here... Conversion

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Sundogue

    Sundogue

    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    Before and after shots...Changed out the Chrome pickup rings, bridge, tuners, nut and wet sanded out the Yamaha logo (under where the new G string tuning peg is). Added more weight to the body with the new bridge, shaved weight off the headstock with the new tuners and it is now beautifully balanced. Before it was a bit neck heavy. Just an added bonus.

    Before as a 5 string BB415...

    [​IMG]

    Now, as the BB416 Black Bastard...

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Hans Gruber

    Hans Gruber

    Jun 18, 2003
    Los Angeles
    Holy Moly! That is amazing!
     
  4. niiiiiiiiiiice
     
  5. StuartV

    StuartV Finally figuring out what I really like Supporting Member

    Jul 27, 2006
    Manassas, VA
    That is pretty darn cool. What is the string spacing?
     
  6. Sundogue

    Sundogue

    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    Thanks. It was only about a $180 mod that made a significant difference.

    I wanted a 6 string and love tight string spacing, but I absolutely love how the Yamaha sounds and plays. The Yamaha P-Bass and Jazz pups sound just like the original Fender pups so I retained everything I loved about the bass but made it the way I wanted it.

    Adding my wireless as an onboard wireless is FABULOUS! All I have to do to plug in is flip the on/off switch. No more being tied to my amp, tripping over cords, OR having to plug in and strap on the wireless transmitter.
     
  7. Sundogue

    Sundogue

    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    About 6mm at the nut, and just shy of 16mm at the bridge. Makes for very fast fretting and still easily playable fingerstyle (to me anyway). The Kahler 7460 is the only bridge that would work as it allows for adjustments forward/back, up/down AND side to side. And it was narrow enough to make it work on my 5 string neck.
     
  8. Bassamatic

    Bassamatic keepin' the beat since the 60's Supporting Member

    That is REALLY well done! Congrats.
     
  9. Sundogue

    Sundogue

    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    Thanks. I had thought about buying a cheaper 6 string (like a Brice, ESP, Ibanez, etc.) but I wasn't familiar with how those played or felt and I really love my Yammy. Aside from it having been a little neck heavy it was the most comfortable bass to play and the sound is killer (especially for a passive bass).
     
  10. Hans Gruber

    Hans Gruber

    Jun 18, 2003
    Los Angeles
    Does the D-string line up ok with the neck pickup?
     
  11. Sundogue

    Sundogue

    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    That was the only concern I had with this mod at the outset (save for finding a narrow enough bridge). But I was pretty confident (laying out string spacing with a straight edge) that it would work out alright.

    Turns out the D string lies right between the pole piece of one half of the P-Bass split pup and the pole piece of the other half. Those poles are offset of course, but having played it now quite a bit and using only the P-Bass pickup, it sounds even all across all the strings (either or both pups) and yes, the D sounds just like the other strings. Perhaps there is a scientifically proven difference, but heck if I can hear it.

    I used to be so anal about strings lining up right over/between pole pieces and I don't find it to make a lick of difference.
     
  12. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Excellent conversion! I can dig it.
     
  13. Sundogue

    Sundogue

    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    Surprised nobody has asked about the onboard wireless. It's more commonplace these days among some touring pros, but it isn't exactly a standard mod to a bass. ;)
     
  14. I would love to see pics of the wireless intragrated. What wireless did you use?
     
  15. Sundogue

    Sundogue

    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    It's a Samson wireless. Really tiny circuit board, although if you take apart almost any wireless transmitter there is very little to them under the hood. Here's an old pic I took of it outside the case...

    [​IMG]

    I have since taped the on/off switch to a permanent "on" and then wired in a kill switch to the battery, so I could put the switch on the face of my bass next to the other controls.

    The Samson only needs one little AAA battery, for which I made a small battery box that I taped to the circuit board. The antenna inside the cavity hasn't degraded the transmission at all. The bass's input jack remains unaffected so a cord can still be used.

    Empty cavity...(Routed out rough freehanded without a template)...

    [​IMG]

    In the pic below the green colored wire wrap goes from the wireless to the input jack's + and -. You can just barely make out the wireless antenna running right along the bottom edge of the wireless cavity.

    [​IMG]

    And the switch on the front...

    [​IMG]
     
  16. Sundogue

    Sundogue

    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    Today was my first extended day of playing with the new 6 string.

    Action is buttery smooth. I am really loving the spacing, especially doing a lot of chordal work. It's like having a "manly" guitar! LOL.

    The fret leveling, new strings, the new 6th string, the action, the balance, etc. is really inspiring. I think the new bridge increased my sustain.

    I should mention that my action is much lower than the pics as I hadn't fully tweaked my bridge prior to taking the photos.

    At any rate this is like getting a new bass with all these improvements. :hyper: :bassist:
     
  17. StuartV

    StuartV Finally figuring out what I really like Supporting Member

    Jul 27, 2006
    Manassas, VA
    That's really cool. I don't think I could afford a wireless transmitter for each of my different basses, though. And I could NEVER settle for just one bass. :D
     
  18. Sundogue

    Sundogue

    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    Yeah, having only one bass does kind of make that easier. ;)

    But really I own three basses with just the one. A four stringer EADG, and two 5 string basses tuned EADGC and BEADG. Just depends which one I want to play. Makes it easier taking them all to gigs. :D
     
  19. Sundogue

    Sundogue

    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    After much playing, I am definitely happy with the conversion to a 6 string. I love the tight string spacing and the feel is incredible. I'm already able to play more complex pieces easier because of the tighter spacing with my fretting hand and also being able to play higher notes on the C string instead of having to go up so high on the neck on the G string as before.

    Fingerpicking chords is a lot of fun and using effects with the lighter strings is really beautiful.

    I am so glad I converted this bass instead of buying a new 6 string as I really love this bass, even more so now.
     
  20. Sundogue

    Sundogue

    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    Man, the more I play this new 6 string the more convinced I am that this conversion was one of the best musical instrument decisions I've ever made!

    The playing action of it is incredible. It's just so buttery smooth easy to fret and the string spacing is exactly how I wish all my basses in the past could have been!

    The mod not only gave me a 6 string (with all the nice features a 6 string brings) but it also balanced the bass perfectly, it looks better and the tone has changed. The heavier (significantly) mass bridge I think has increased the sustain and the sound just has a different character to it I can't explain.

    A few people tried to talk me out of doing it and I almost agreed with them, but looking back on it, it is by far the best decision/mod I've made with a bass.
     

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