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Yamaha BB435 versus Fender Player Jazz V

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by greg_k, Nov 30, 2018.

  1. greg_k


    Nov 27, 2018
    Before I ask my question, just a quick shout out to everyone on this forum. I love hearing your experiences and advice. While we are on the subject of experience, it sounds like nearly everyone is a professional in the industry. Very impressive. Thanks for sharing the skills of your craft. You are hearing from a wannabe, a relative newbie.

    The worship band I play in has a very simple / streamed stage, which is by design. I currently have an active J bass (Ibanez SR705 - 5 string) that requires the use of a floor tuner than kills the circuit and saves the battery. This is necessary to prevent battery drainage and reliability across multiple services. Unplugging is another alternative, but not appropriate. I need to avoid this by going passive.

    I’m taking this opportunity to consider a PJ bass (passive and 5 strings), but have been disappointed in the available options. I really only found one in my price range (<$900), the Yamaha BB435. Looks nice, should do the job. I just don’t know enough about Yamaha.

    BB Series - 400 Series - Basses - Guitars & Basses - Musical Instruments - Products - Yamaha - United States

    If I stay with a J bass (passive and 5 strings) the Fender Player Jazz V is something I’m considering.

    Player Jazz Bass® V | Electric Basses

    My question is quick and simple. Which of these two is the better bass in terms of higher quality components, reliability and sound quality. I realize they produce much different sounds, I just want your initial / ‘top of mind’ response to which is a better solid performing bass. You can see I’ve tried to narrow things down, but perhaps I’m missing an option or something in my assessment. Just let me know. Thanks in advance!
  2. 4sight

    4sight Supporting Member

    Yamaha. (Arguably) better built, more versatile, and for some reason I've just never been keen on 5 string Fenders.
    MrWolf14, AlexanderB and greg_k like this.
  3. eastcoasteddie


    Mar 24, 2006
    The Yamaha definitely has quite a number of innovations that make sense, but no other company puts into their instruments...probably because it would cost more to do, and hey, most likely no one would notice...

    Like the string through-body bridge. I personally never liked that the string makes a sharp 90° bend over the saddle in a traditional through-body setup. The Yamaha has a more obtuse angle and would put less strain on the string windings.
    Then there’s the neck bolts that angle into he heel to pull the neck down into the pocket. Who does that!?! Pretty awesome in my book.
    And you can be sure that multi-laminated neck will be stable forever...

    But the Fender “looks” nicer...:bag:
    AlexanderB and greg_k like this.
  4. taught


    Jan 5, 2015
    ^ This... so much this...
    During the days I sold my Yamahas and gravitated towards Fender style instruments.
    I miss the feel, quality and sound of my previous Yamahas so I will probably let go one of the current ones and replace it with a Yamaha again.
    AlexanderB and greg_k like this.
  5. Lionel Albert

    Lionel Albert

    Jul 24, 2015
    Not the 435 model but it sounds like a P Bass or better.
    jmlee, Marko 1 and greg_k like this.
  6. lowdownthump


    Jul 17, 2004
    Yamaha. But I would also consider a Sire P7-5. It has both active and passive capabilities and one of the best preamps.
    Bass Man Dan, oren and greg_k like this.
  7. vindibona1


    Apr 18, 2015
    I have a Fender MIM5 Jazz (2010) and a new Yamaha TRBX605FM. I love them both, but for the price point the quality of the Yamaha is at another level. I'm sure the BB435 won't disappoint. Everything Yamaha touches at all price levels just shouts quality.

    Sire is a nice bass, but doesn't compare to Yamaha instruments in terms of fit and finish and overall quality. I have a lot of experience with several different genres of instruments and I don't think anyone can touch Yamaha, especially at entry/mid levels.
  8. I acquired my first non-Fender bass back in April - Yamaha TRBX505. Considering its build quality and clever design features, as well as how it feels and sound, I still can't get over the fact I paid $250 CAD LESS than what I would have paid for a new Fender MIM P bass. Talk about value for the money!

    And that is why Yamaha BB735 (active version of BB435) is at the top of my current GAS list for my next bass.
  9. garp


    Feb 7, 2009
    Connecticut USA
    Tough call.

    I own several MIM Fenders, and I also own a Yamaha BB415 (the model featured in the video link above, which is two generations earlier than the BB435). They're all terrific instruments, and I gig them regularly. IMHO, the Yamaha BB's P/J design offers tonal versatility that you simply won't find in the Fender. Whether you need that versatility is another matter. As evidenced in the video link, the Yamaha BBs do a pretty good impersonation of a Precision – if that's what you're after – and the ability to blend volumes between the pickups expands the BB435's tonal palette. With the Player Jazz V, you get a more traditional range of Jazz sounds – replete with their legendary single-coil hum if not balanced.

    Both are very different sounding from an active Ibanez Soundgear, so if at all possible, demo both the Yamaha and Fender in person before you make up your mind. Good luck!
  10. flojob

    flojob Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 15, 2011
    I'm all about getting a new bass, but I'm wondering why getting one is easier than bringing an extra battery, or unplugging the bass in between services? You should easily get a full day out of a 9 volt, even if left engaged the entire time. Also, if your tuner is on and muting your signal, unplugging the bass should have no pops to the sound.
    But Yamaha.
    greg_k and Turxile like this.
  11. Chuck M

    Chuck M Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    San Antonio, Texas
    Personally I don't think you would be disappointed with either a Yamaha or a Fender Player 5. I have owned some Yamaha basses through the years and was always impressed with what great instruments they make at decent prices.

    I recently wanted a Precision style bass and settled on a Fender Player Precision and I am delighted with the bass. I put a set of LaBella flats on it and it just kills. Looks wonderful, plays great, has a wonderful neck and it sounds fantastic. IMO Fender did a great job with the Player Precision...have not played the Jazz or Jazz 5 but expect them to be very good indeed.

    I also use an active bass for the worship service at my church but simply unplug it when the worship service is over. That works fine in my little church where I play through an amp with a line out to the board. I unplug from the amp and then from my bass just in case the bass is not muted in the board.

    By the way, I'd like to say that although I am an older guy who has been playing bass since 1958 and have played professionally for many years I still learn from the guys here and greatly appreciate the vast amount of knowledge that is freely shared. I learn something here most every week and thank my bass brothers from the bottom of my heart.
    greg_k and the baint like this.
  12. packhowitzer

    packhowitzer 155mm of pure destruction

    Apr 20, 2011
    I've played in a P&W band for 10 years. All the basses in the pic below have had stage time during that span. Without a doubt, the two NS Design CR5s have been the best fit. They are both 18v basses. I keep a couple of spare batteries on hand but I have never had one die while I was playing. For my use, I plug in each Sunday morning about 9am and the bass stays plugged into my wireless transmitter until the service is over at about 1pm. I know that not all active basses are created equal, but in my experience- battery life was pretty much the last thing i've worried about when trying to decide between active or passive.
    For my uses, the actives just offer more tone control (and i'm not sure if it's the active electronics or not, but the CR5s are much more balanced across the strings than the fenders or the stingray - just my .02). I still bring a P bass as a second bass about 6 or 7 times a year. I'll play a few songs on a CR5 and then switch the P for a song - and then end up back on the CR5 every time. And i feel the need to qualify that I LOVE MY FENDERS. but for the music I'm playing, with the PA we have, and the other instruments on stage- my active CR5s just dominate in pretty much every way.
    greg_k and Mili like this.
  13. subtlestew

    subtlestew Supporting Member

    Apr 7, 2000
    Kent, CT
    Don't tell my other, far more expensive basses, but the Yammy BB435X I got here on TB for $350 might be my best-playing bass. Sounds righteous as well. It makes me wish I was a better 5-string player every time I pick it up.
    4sight, greg_k and The Nameless like this.
  14. Hounddog409


    Oct 27, 2015
    If you like the SR705....check out the SR755.
    There is an active/passive switch on the bass that disconnects the battery when in passive mode.

    Basically same bass, a step up, and problem solved.
    packhowitzer and greg_k like this.
  15. Crystalman85


    Nov 30, 2008
    Chicago, Il.
    I would say the yamaha bb435 would be a good choice for a passive 5-string. I was thinking of getting one myself. that or the yamaha trbx505.
    4sight, greg_k and Lionel Albert like this.
  16. redstrand


    May 18, 2007
    Saint Louis, MO
    Fool For Four Strings
    My BB734a just about aces most fenders at two to three times less cost, I got into mine cheap and play the hell out of it.
    4sight, greg_k and Lionel Albert like this.
  17. Lionel Albert

    Lionel Albert

    Jul 24, 2015
    I've never tried them but you should take a look on Sire, M7... I'm very impressed by all the demos.
    greg_k likes this.
  18. greg_k


    Nov 27, 2018
    flojob, I appreciate you putting a little common sense and practicality into my situation. A few others have done that as well in their responses. I’m going to try some rechargeable 9V batteries in order to address the frustrating battery purchases. However, should the frustration continue I’ll be ready to pull the trigger on the Yamaha BB435. For your information here are the poll results: 90% for the Yamaha, 10% for the Fender (31 votes). Thanks again to all of you for sharing your experience. It is very much appreciated.

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