Yamaha BBNE2 vs Ernieball MusicMan Stingray 5 HH

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by DarzKnight, Sep 23, 2017.

  1. DarzKnight

    DarzKnight Commercial User

    Sep 23, 2017
    Hello, may I have your thoughts about these 2 basses? :D
  2. Pachap


    Jun 21, 2014
    Savannahstan, GA
    Are you considering one over the other? These are two totally different animals. What are you looking for out of a bass and where does either one fit in your current arsenal?

    With that out of the way, I like the Yamaha for the sounds I like to make, but I could also use some Stingray growl in my life. My aversion to buying a Stingray right now probably has more to now with neck dimensions and string spacing than anything else, and I just need to get over it. I believe the strings are wider than the skinny necks I'm used to playing.
    DarzKnight likes this.
  3. songwriter21

    songwriter21 I have an obsession for wood. The musical kind. Supporting Member

    Jul 31, 2005
    I think EBMM is highly overrated. Yamahas, at least the higher-end ones, crush EBMM. Look how long Nathan East has been using Yamaha, along with Billy Sheehan. Yamaha makes some serious sleeper basses, my friend.
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  4. songwriter21

    songwriter21 I have an obsession for wood. The musical kind. Supporting Member

    Jul 31, 2005
    Adam Wright and jaysbass2002 like this.
  5. It's a very subjective opinion...you can make the same case for either manufacturer...
    I myself have a thing for a Stingray 4H. Not the 5, not the HH or HS, not the Sterling...(but my "thing" also extends to the SR5 Classic).
    No doubt that Yamaha makes great High-end instruments, their price reflects that. But which to choose is really ultimately up to the purchaser...
  6. Bass_Thumper


    Oct 20, 2009
    Madison, MS
    I have an SR5, SR4HH and a Yamaha NE2. Basses in the price range just come down to your personal preference because they quality is there whichever you decide. I will say that for me, the Nathan East is more versatile and while it looks like it would sound more like a jazz, I think it sounds more like a double P since the pups are actually stacked humbuckers.
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  7. DarzKnight

    DarzKnight Commercial User

    Sep 23, 2017
    I'd be using it in some recordings and some concerts. Thank you for your insights, sir! :)
  8. DarzKnight

    DarzKnight Commercial User

    Sep 23, 2017
    By the way, I use an Ibanez SDGR too. Mine is SR300. Yep, it has thinner neck. How about the BBNE? Does it have a thin neck too? :D
    Pachap likes this.
  9. DarzKnight

    DarzKnight Commercial User

    Sep 23, 2017
    Ha! Thank you! I just love how the SR5HH in stealth black looks.

    In terms of flexibility in different styles of playing, is the BBNE still standing out?
  10. DarzKnight

    DarzKnight Commercial User

    Sep 23, 2017
    I loved how it sounded with Nathan East. Damnit. Hahahaha, Thank you sir! :D
  11. osonu

    osonu Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2013
    Las Vegas
    I'm sure the Yamaha is a great bass though I've never tried one. I can tell you that I love my SR5HH and that it is very versatile sound-wise. I really like the neck and string spacing too. I have small hands and this was the first 5 string that I really took to (I started on an Ibanez SR605). I hope you can play them both because I can't see any other way to make that decision, not at that price point!
    DarzKnight likes this.
  12. inanimate_carb


    Aug 11, 2016
    Tough call - they're both great basses so you have to figure out which one will be the best for you and the music you make. If I was doing Fusion/Jazz/Funk all the time, I'd likely go for the Yamaha. It's got a smoother, more polite voice. Structurally, it's a little smaller in the body than most basses. One of the best feeling and easiest playing instruments out there, and the build quality is right up there with the well-known boutiques.

    The MM is what I'd pick for more Rock-oriented material. It's got a larger sized body compared to other basses as well. I've never heard one sound bad live, ever. Either bass could do any style well, but this is the way I hear them.

    The great Will Lee has been using a black Yamaha BBNE-2 for the last 12-18 months or so, which I've found interesting. He doesn't sound like Nathan East on it, but it still sounds good!
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2017
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  13. JW56789

    JW56789 Guest

    Feb 18, 2017
    An interesting choice: A personalized bass by a man who really helped popularize fives in the 80's, and a double pickup version of the first five-string that just worked without any of the 'four-string with an extra string added' baggage. I'm a big fan of both of these excellent choices. I think of the StingRay Five as the Ford pickup of basses.

    The MM would feel a bit bigger and thicker. Traditional bolt-on design, with good hardware and solid pickups and electronics. It could sound more aggressive and would tend toward more mids on its own and you can look and see why: Those pickups are very wide relative to the J shapes on the NE, and pick up correspondingly more string length (a wider pickup 'aperture' if you will), and MM's are more than able to cut through any band if desired.

    The NE would feel more compact and a little more svelte with the neckthru and the curved front and back, somewhat Spector-ish. It would offer a wider tonal palette, especially packing the Nathan East EQ: This is similar to a circuit seen in many places that boosts bass and treble while dipping out the mids. And the appointments are a bit more luxe with gold parts and an ebony fingerboard. Just a bit more sophisticated instrument, in no small part to the input of a man who's the veteran of a lot of session work and live work with some of the biggest artists in the world. But it may be just a bit less aggressive if pushed for some guys than a MM. Incidentally, this a real, MIJ bass, made by Yamaha Music Craft, the home of their best and brightest.

    Hard to go wrong with either one, though if it were me, I've often though the traditional single pickup StingRay Five in the new neckthru option would be all the bass I'd ever need.
    DarzKnight, mindwell and wmmj like this.
  14. interp


    Apr 14, 2005
    Garmisch, Germany
    I can only speak to the Yamaha BBNE2. I was curious about this bass for a long time and finally acquired one at a good price. Overall, I loved it, but only owned it for ten days. Why? String spacing. I have to have 19 mm.

    If that’s not an issue for you I would highly recommend it. A fine bass.
    DarzKnight likes this.
  15. mindwell

    mindwell Supporting Member

    Aug 17, 2006
    Wichita, KS
    The last several comments get at the overlap between these two fine instruments, which is their relatively narrower spacing at the bridge (18mm on the NE2 and 17.5mm on the SR5) and the nut, the latter of which is 1.75" on both basses. So which to do? Very different animals.

    I haven't owned either the NE2 or an HH Stingray 5, but I do currently own the 2025X and am about to take possession of a second SR-5 to go with my fretless SR-5, which makes for *five* Stingray 5 H's I've owned over the years. I think others have said useful things about the electronics on the NE2, and for my part, I have owned the NE-1 eq box, which puts the NE's mid-cut in a standalone box. I owned and gigged it for a while, but in the end, I decided that mid boost *and* cut is something I personally can't do without in an active bass, so it was sold off.

    My 2025X is the most organic-sounding passive 5 I've ever heard, anywhere; perfect complement to my SR-5s. What the 2025X shares in common with the NE2 is that understated Japanese design ethos and FLAWLESS execution. High-end Yamaha is a very special, subtle beast; EBMM, for their part, are, to my mind, the very best production-level basses. Again, the NE2 and the SR-5 HH are different beasts, so a question occurs to me: can the NE's aggressiveness be dialed up as readily as the SR-5 HH's can be toned down?
    Badwater likes this.
  16. Pachap


    Jun 21, 2014
    Savannahstan, GA
    I have no personal experience with the BBNE, but looking at the specs, and trying to translate metric specs to imperial, I believe they are about the same.

    The SR1200 in my avatar pic is long gone, sadly. Right now, I have an older Yamaha BB404, which is more similar to the BBNE than most other current Yamaha offerings. I am trying to get some chops back after a long absence from playing due to illness. If my memory is correct, this Yamaha feels very similar to my past Ibanez basses. I've had the SR1200, an SR300, and an SR305. The neck dimensions and general feel are pretty similar. So, the BBNE might be the one for you based on your past experience.

    Also, I didn't realize the BBNE had stacked buckers. It probably has some good tonal variety and can also get some nice growl.
  17. andruca


    Mar 31, 2004
    Madrid (Spain)
    I've owned 2 Stingray5s forever (original model, single 3 coil humbucker, ceramic, 3-band EQ) and also for years I've been searching for a bass that did feel and play the same (body, neck profile) but sounded fenderish and currently I've arrived to the BB615. While trying the many P/J BBs available I found the 2025 and 1025 not anywhere near the SR5s I own in playability (quality being great of course). They just felt like a 425X I've also owned, with some certain "shoulders", sort of a flat D instead of a C. The BB615 I finally ended up with (previous generation) is definitely sharper, thus more in line with a SR5 (non Classic, Classics are thicker necked).

    As impossible the proposed instruments are to compare I'll share my closest experience. The only BBNE1 I tried felt great, light, balanced nicely but also had a thicker neck than any SR5 and didn't have nearly as much personality in its tone nor oomph or authority in a mix (something the SR5 really excells at).
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2017
    Pachap likes this.
  18. Pachap


    Jun 21, 2014
    Savannahstan, GA
    I am quite surpised that the neck on the BBNE1 was thicker than the SR5. o_O

    I am sure that the OP is going to find this to be some valuable information. For me, it just kinda warns me away again from ordering online, site unseen, without a good return policy. I need a good reminder every so often to keep me from dusting off my Sweetwater card.
  19. Adam Wright

    Adam Wright Supporting Member

    Jun 6, 2002
    Mike Lull Artist
    Love the Yamaha Nathan East. The higher end Yamaha stuff is as good as it gets IMO. Just wish they'd release a BBNE2 without gold hardware. Stingray is great but not suited for everything.
  20. Bassist Jay

    Bassist Jay

    Dec 28, 2009
    Sterling, CO.
    Endorsed by K.B. Guitars, Nordstrand Audio Pickups, Von York Strings and Gallien-Krueger Amps.
    Yamaha makes some good stuff so I’m not going to knock them. There is a reason why Billy Sheehan has been with them as long as he has. But, I would strongly have to disagree with the poster that said Music Man is overrated. In my persona opinion, Music Man has the best quality of any mass produced guitar and/or bass manufacturer. Their basses sit in the mix better than any basses out there. There is a reason why the SR5’s are the #1 selling 5 string bass on the market.

    For me, I would take a Music Man all day long over a Yamaha and have done so. Since 2010, I have owned I think 15 or 16 of their basses and out of those, still own 9 right now and plan on buying aseveral more in the future. Some I sold to purchase limited run models that only had a 1 month ordering window. I have also owned several of their guitars and I am yet to play or own a bad one.

    If these are 2 basses you are considering buying, go play both. What feel comfortable to you? Which one sounds better to you? If you by a Made in Japan Yamaha, chances are, it will be built with good quality. If you buy a Music Man, I can pretty much assure you from personal experience, that it will have excellent quality but if you do have an issue, Music Man has some of the best customer service out there.

    Either way you go, if you are happy with the bass, that is all that matters!