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Yamaha BB424/1024 pickups

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by manchild, Aug 1, 2014.

  1. manchild


    Jan 30, 2008
    I have been looking through various threads on these bass's, I see some people say they have their own sound while others say they are a very good Fender copy.

    Are the pickups in the above bass guitars considered vintage/old school sounding in the same way that fender P/J pickups are? I have seen one review on here that mentioned they have a bit more treble than most people would like.

    Also - given that one is alnico and the other is ceramic, would it be possible/advisable to put the P and J pups in series to each other, or would this not work? I did this with an Ibanez GSR200 and it sounded great but that was with the same type of pups.

  2. manchild


    Jan 30, 2008
    Any Yamaha BB players out there?
  3. Toptube


    Feb 9, 2009
    The 424 and 1024 do not have the same neck pickups. I'm unsure if the bridge pickup is the same.

    Regardless, I find that Yamaha BB basses definitely have their own sound. I find it to be more "clean" and a bit deeper. But they still tend to adapt very well to "vintage" needs.
  4. I have a couple of BB basses but not the same model you are asking about. Mine are older (early 80's).

    One is a BB300 just the split P pickup - I don't care for the stock pickup, very low output - decent sounding I guess but I tend to like hotter pickups so I replaced that with a Joe Barden and this inexpensive bass kicks butt now. Oh and the stock pickup had very sharp edges to the alnico pole pieces - they were always catching my finger - I did smooth them over and that helped that problem but it is just a cheap pickup.

    The other is a BB1200s with a different stock split P pickup (the BB300 is entry level and the BB1200s is higher end) and I like the sound of that stock pickup a lot. It is not very hot - but it is hotter than the BB300 pickup was. Also this BB1200s split P has some very rich, deep lows (or it could be the body of the bass causing that - it's a very nice neck thru) - the sound doesn't grab you straight away but after you have played it for a bit you realize that there is a very deep warmth to the tone and you don't want to put that bass down.

    My other BB is a BB5000 but someone had replaced the stock pickups with EMG. I don't have any BB with the stock blade bridge pickup, so I can only comment on the two split P pickups I've had. I also know they varied the pickups among models even of the same vintage.
  5. manchild


    Jan 30, 2008
    Thanks for the replies guys - Should I look for different pups to get a more vintage sound or will the suffice?

    Anyone advise on putting alnico and ceramic pickups in series?

    Thanks again,
  6. I always get a bit puzzled by just what, specifically, people mean by "vintage sound" .... I was the warranty repair for Fender, Peavey, Yamaha, JBL, EV etc. etc. back in those days at a very large music store ... and the general feeling about stock pickups in the 70's and 80's was that they were crap. The first thing people would do with a Fender bass was to have me pull out the stock pickups and put in EMG or SD or Dimarzio pickups. If I had saved all those fender pickups I'd be rich for what people are paying now for them. Anyway ... pickups were pretty inconsistent back then so some vintage pickups were wound hotter than others. I don't know if people who are looking for "vintage sound" are looking for an underwound, weak pickup or one of the overwound and hot pickups.

    You can make a lot of difference by how close you adjust the pickups to the strings - I'd say that pole pieces very close to strings sound more like a modern hot pickup and pole pieces further from the strings sound more like I remember those vintage underwound pickups sounding.

    I suspect that if you record a hot pickup ... and then put a less hot pickup on the same bass with same strings and pole pieces the same distance from strings and record it again (but turn the preamp volume up so the level is the same) ... you probably wouldn't be able to hear as much difference as you thought. I think a lot of the difference we hear in pickups is how hot they are - and usually whatever is louder will fool our ears into thinking it sounds better.
    aguacollas likes this.
  7. manchild


    Jan 30, 2008
    Thanks for the replies. I see your point about output and pickup height, I was just meaning are they warm and dirty sounding (vintage) or clean and sharp sounding (modern) Does the P solo'd sound like a Precision bass?
  8. The stock pickup on the BB300 (the cheap pickup) sounded a lot like the weak P-Bass pickups I remember from the 70's. The stock pickup on the BB1200s sounds a lot like I remember the P-Bass pickups sounding on some great pre-CBS Fender P-Basses.

    In the BB300 I put a modern Joe Barden split P rail pickup. It is very crisp and bright and you hear every string noise. This pickups sounds great but does not sound at all like a vintage P-bass (sounds better IMO - but this is totally up to what your preference is). I really like the three screw adjustment on the Yamaha pickups and you'd lose that three point adjustment with any replacement. The BB300 only had two screw adjustment - but the higher end BB basses use the three point and I think it's a big improvement.

    I have not heard the Yamaha rail bridge pickup - but I would expect it to be bright and crisp. I also haven't heard the newer Yamaha split P on the newer models you asked about, but I suspect that newer split P would sound pretty good - and be similar to the split P pickup on my BB1200s (and you can control that a lot by how close to the strings you adjust it).
    aguacollas likes this.
  9. thudfromafar

    thudfromafar Supporting Member

    Dec 12, 2007
    I have a BB414, which appears to be virtually the same thing as the 424. I find this is pretty accurate. You can get it to sound pretty close to a P-bass or J-bass, but not completely. I think the bass would work well for most applications, the exception being if you need that active, modern bass sound. It definitely leans closer to vintage than modern.

    I like it! Great bass for the money.
  10. Here's a comparison of the BB424 BB1024 and BB2024 so you can hear the difference between the pole piece and rail on the neck pickup
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2014
    chinjazz, acebase62 and Toptube like this.
  11. Isotonic

    Isotonic Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2011
    Round Rock TX
    I have a BB300. The pickup really has a sound all it's own. It is very growly. It's not a bad pickup at all, but obviously doesn't suit everyone's needs. I am keeping my origenal pickup because it works with one or two of the types of playing I enjoy, which I would describe as aggressive/melodic.
  12. I have the 424. The p pickup is a little too scooped for my preference, so I'm going to try swapping it with a dimarzio model p. I liked the sound of the 1024/2024 p pickup in the above video, but to order that pickup from yamaha they want a lot of money. Too bad.

    Also, I believe the bridge pickup is also different from the 424 to the 1024/2024. If you look at close up pictures, there is a difference in the black cover.
  13. Swapped out the p pickup for the dimarzio model p. I had to swap the leads because it was out of phase when both pickups were on. I hear more clarity and natural growl from just the model p, which for me is a good thing. This bass is set up for drop C, and has large gauge strings, so it's not easy to get a more classic p bass sound in it's current form, but it does sound like it's closer.

    The PJ sound is still good, it was good before I swapped too. I can't really tell much of a difference right now but I will play it more in the next week.

    FYI the stock pickups are larger, so there is space around the dimarzio.

    I think if you're looking for a p sound, the stock 424 is good, but swapping out the pickup would make it even better. From the videos, the 1024 has a really nice p sound.
  14. cardozo


    Dec 19, 2013
    Compared to a Fender American Standard P Bass, the Yamaha BB424 has the most open and metallic sound. The Fender has a softer, fluffy sound.

    I often say that the Yamaha BB424 is a Fender P Bass with steroids. Magnificent instrument.


  15. SharkMagician


    Dec 11, 2013
    Made a clip for your consideration. New bb1024 with GHS medium Boomers. Apologies for butchering that little fill in Money lol.

    Going straight to the audio interface from the DI output of my amp bypassing everything. Tone knob open all the way.
  16. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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