Yamaha BBN4III

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Rockin John, May 10, 2001.

  1. Anybody know what's happened to that bass?

    I've a Yam catalogue (that's about a year old as far as I know) which shows that bass. It's got 2 double coil pups.

    www.yamaha-music.co.uk shows just the BBN4 and the BBN4F and both have J type pups.

    I saw the '4III on sale in UK about 9 months ago so what's going on: is it an obsolete model or what?

    Am V interested in the '4III but can't seem to get much sense from some dealers on this point.


  2. Tsal


    Jan 28, 2000
    Finland, EU
    I think yamaha.com's pics are outdated.
    But all produced models are BBN4 IIIs.
  3. Hi Tsal.

    Thanks. But the pup combination between the two models is different. I'm confused about that and, consequently, what's available. There must, I guess, be / have been two different models of that bass.

    I just took it that the .co.uk site would be right up to date.

  4. Hey John, Tsal's right. The Yamaha site is outdated.
    It doesn't include the BB4N III, or the acoustic/electric BEX4C. I hate when companies do that. Also, if you go to the Sam Ash site, they show you a BB4N, but, when you go to *Some* of their stores, what's staring you in the face when you go to the bass dept.? Yup, BB4N IIIs.

    I have to assume that the BB4N III is the sucessor
    to the BB4N, mainly because of the "III" designation
    at the end, and because I've seen the BB4N around for a few years. Maybe the Yamaha people are taking a page from Epiphone's book concerning what they did with the Jack Casady model, ie: develop a new and really nice bass, then go to sleep as far as marketing it is concerned.

    Maybe they're not in the U.K. yet. Don't give up Lad, you'll find one.

    Mike J.

    P.S. It is a bass worth checking out.

  5. John, I saw your thread on the BBN4III and thought I would reply. I happen to be a proud owner of one. :) I have been very pleased with the bass. Before I bought mine, I spent a year trying basses and kept coming back to the BBN4. During the year of trying to find the right bass for me, they changed the pickups.

    The BBN4III has soapbar humbuckers with split coil P-style configuration. This style of pickup has been on the bass for about two years. You can still find the bass with jazz pickups. The ones with the jazz I think are BBN4II if I remember right.

    Bass Player magazine has a review on BBN4FIII. You can find it in the April 2000 issue.

    Hope this helps!! I agree with Michael Jewels. It is worth checking out for the money!!

    P.S. The only thing I wished Yamaha would change now are the control knobs. Chrome ones would look so much better. IMO!!
  6. Good afternoon guys and greetings from a gloriously sunny England. (Weather guys got this one right!!!!!)

    ArchBass, over this side of the pond we don't seem to have any bass players' magazines at all. I've looked. Great shame 'cos I'd like to see that review.

    I think you've sorted my concerns, really. This really does seem to be a good bass and I'm certainly interested. It's great to know the vibes are good on this one. I've got a couple of possibilities for my next bass but I do like that BB.


  7. I live in London, and get Bass Player magazine every month- Borders bookshop sells it and so do a few large newsagents.
  8. Hmmm.

    Obviously haven't looked hard enough. I just asked the very well known news / mag retailer in UK who said there weren't any mags for bassists any more.

    Thanks MTR.

  9. danqi


    May 21, 2001
    i am kind of concerned about the "III". i just ordered a BBG4SII. is there also a BBG4SIII model and where is the difference?

  10. Hello Orthanc.

    Don't know is the short answer, and the information available from Yamaha does not help much. That's where these boards are so useful, I find.

    You've obviously read this thread. I reckon the bass you're buying must have gone through similar changes to the BBN4, now on model variant III.

    Perhaps the guys on this thread could help you in a similar way. Perhaps you could try a new thread on the BBG4S and ask for help as I did.

    Maybe your II will have a variant III some day: maybe it's out at the moment, I just don't know. I understand Yamaha are releasing new models very soon. If you've ordered the II I don't see a way out of having to buy that bass unless you can talk nicely to your dealer....

    Best regards.

    Rockin John
  11. Rockin_John and Orthanc, I wanted to let you know what I found out by searching Yamaha's web site today. I was researching the BBG4SII and the BBN4III and came upon a tag called brochure. It is the latest brochure that has a picture of every BB series that Yamaha makes. It gives the particulars for each bass. The N4III is the low end model with the G4SII being the next step up. The only difference is the G4SII has active electronics. Based on this brochure, IMO the change from the older models to the latest is the pickups. They went form jazz style pickups to the double coil pickups.

    I am not sure if this helps but the brochure is nicely done and is a PDF file so you can save it for later use. The brochure has a N4III in the natural satin finish which matches mine.

    P.S. Let's try to keep the thread going!!:)
  12. Hi ArchBass, and thanks for your trouble.

    Yes. I kinda pieced it together that way.

    One or two of the guys on this thread were not that impressed with the way Yamaha keep their WWW updated: I get the impression that one or two other music sites are likewise, which is a great shame for all us punters.

    Yes, the '4III is the low end but the feedback I've taken is that it represents really good VFM. I'm hoping to get to my dealer soon to give one a try. I'm pleased to hear you like yours. I understand they're in solid colours now: my dealer says she's got a red one in soYam have obviously gone away from the natural only finish.

    Slight digression from the thread, ArchBass, but how well does that finish stand the knocks and bangs that come with playing the bass?

    Thanks. Now of to the Yam WWW again to check out your advice. :D

    Rockin John
  13. danqi


    May 21, 2001
    i got my bbg4sII and i like it. it seems to be very well build and solid. someone here on talkbass said it would have plastic "dont knwo how you call it in english - used to controll the sound" but they are made of metal. the bass looks really nice as well, it is black with gold hardware.
    the only thing that i am worried about is that there is quite some buzzing of the strings hitting the frets when you play. i already had a thread open on that and i am going to take the bass back to my dealer tomorrow to get it adjusted. i just hope it does not loose any of its playability because of the changes made to it.

  14. Good stuff. I'm sure the Yam will be fine.

    ArchBass, will you please be kind enough to give me the full address of the Yamaha WWW? I can't seem to find what you've found.


  15. danqi


    May 21, 2001
  16. taurus1


    Sep 13, 2006
    Vancouver B.C.
    mega bump
    I have a chance to pick up a Yamaha BBN4III today for a great price. I've exhausted all search options and I'm hoping someone here can answer a question for me. is the body made of alder? I've read a couple reviews that said it was alder and one suggested it might be agathis. It's not a deal breaker but if it is alder I'd be even more stoked.
  17. Marihino


    Mar 25, 2010
    wow, more than ten years!

    Yes, it is definitely alder. I've had a couple of Yamaha BB's from the late-nineties-to-early-naughties era and ALL of the bolt-on ones are alder. Very good basses. One of UK's best and busiest session players, Mike Mondesir, uses a stock natural finish passive 5str (I'm not sure which model, probably BB N5 or G5) as his main bass.

    Grab it, you won't regret.
  18. MrSinister


    Dec 1, 2011
    in my opinion this is a very underated bass. for as long as i have had it ive never wanted anything else. ive seen that a lot of people are searching for these basses still ... how much are they selling for these days ? i paid about 5 when it came out but havent seen another one anywhere

    construction - bolt on
    scale length - 34"
    fingerboard - rosewood
    radius - 10"24/-/24
    frets - 24
    body - alder
    bridge - die cast
    pickups - double coil x2
    controls - front vol, rear vol, master tone
    color - red (n4iii only apparently for the bb series)