Yamaha BBP35 vs BB435 - opinions?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by McIrish, Apr 26, 2021.

  1. aproud1

    aproud1 Don't surround yourself with yourself. Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2007
    Cincy, OH
    I've played both and had a P35. The 435 was a great bass, no doubt. The BBP35 was an amazing bass. Just rock solid. I sold because it was heavier than what I wanted to deal with. But the feel, sound and especially the B string were just amazing. You could put a custom builders name on there and charge another $1000. Seriously amazing bass. Yes expensive compared to Yamahas lower price options, but a bargain if you compare it to basses of similar quality.
  2. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    The price is lower than Lakland Skylines, American Fenders, or G&L at $1,599 for a BBP35.
    aproud1 likes this.
  3. The current BB's are excellent values at each of the series' price points. However, as others have pointed out, IF the budget permits, the MIJ BBP is a noticeable step up, built by Yamaha's best, Music Kraft, the same shop that makes the JP's, Billys, and Nates.

    Yamaha approaches these things as a whole, and the pickups are noticeably passive, built to work with the rest of the axe. That they're an engineering company, as @agedhorse has pointed out is staring back at you: The particular wood sandwich with their IRA treatment (I'd think that's BS if this was anybody other than Yamaha), the 45-degree neckthru insertion, the neck joint, etc. If you look a BBP over closely, you see lots of little tweaks, like you'd see on a race vehicle, all designed to add up into something better.

    The BBP's are one of those products that Yamaha releases every so often (think DX keyboards, Recording Custom drums, CX grands, and so on) that reminds you that they are not just another Japanese builder, but a company capable of re-inventing the game.
    raal, J_Bass, Mastermold and 2 others like this.
  4. Bonafide

    Bonafide 'RG' Rodney Gene Junior Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 15, 2002
    Austin Texas
    Artist: Band In A Box, Nick Silver Pickups, Free The Tone, Carr Amps
    As a professional (and gear geek) and I am speaking only from personal experience and IMO I find the difference dramatic. The 'fit and finish', if that is of relevance to a player, is very much on a next level with the BBP made in Japan models. It matches my JP2s and Nathan East Yamahas in terms of feel and build quality. There is a definitive 'exceptionalism to the resonance'. The 435 I played was very similar to my original Yamaha 425. Nice bass, giggable, studio bass but felt, sounded and played like 'mid level' bass. In fact because it was.
    J_Bass, Rabidhamster and stingray69 like this.
  5. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I have no doubt you can hear and feel the difference. My post you referenced said I doubted that engineers and and audiences would notice a big difference. I say buy what you can comfortably afford.
  6. Bonafide

    Bonafide 'RG' Rodney Gene Junior Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 15, 2002
    Austin Texas
    Artist: Band In A Box, Nick Silver Pickups, Free The Tone, Carr Amps
    Sure, I understand. Engineers and audience are a different conversation/topic IMO, but I was speaking to this:

    I suppose you would have to define 'dramatic'. But as we know, 'major' or 'dramatic' improvements are not linear with gear. It is that last 10% that cost significantly more in time and money, while 'function' remains the same. You can feel and experience that 10% with the BBP from my experience. At some point in our development or for some players anyway, that 10% is the only goal or real defining difference we seek. For others it makes less of a difference which is why I said 'if' it is important to you as a player. None of it changes our skill level. :)
    stingray69, J_Bass and Rabidhamster like this.
  7. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I agree with you. I can feel huge difference in my nicest and least expensive basses. I think very little of it matters to folks listening in church or the online service broadcasts.
    Rabidhamster, stingray69 and Bonafide like this.
  8. Shorelinegold

    Shorelinegold Supporting Member

    Jan 5, 2017
    All things considered, I'd rather be in Philly
    No one in their right mind would pay me to endorse them....
    I had the 435 for a time. Really right put-together piece of kit it is. Yamaha seems to build things very consistently. I haven't tried the 35 but I don't see a 435 as a huge step down. Excellent value.
    Clark Westfield and Dr. Cheese like this.
  9. stingray69

    stingray69 Talkbass Legit

    Aug 11, 2004
    St Louis Area
    I own 2 top end BB's (BBP35, 2025x) and 2 mid-level (425x) - I love all of them but the differences in feel, tone & resonance are marked. As others stated, think Custom Shop vs. off the shelf.

    The standard BB's are great instruments - no doubt, I own a couple myself. But if you experience playing a BBP35 or BB2025 you can tell immediately they are something special unto themselves - a cut above anything you're gonna find on a GC floor (by a longshot).

    It truly does play, feel, resonate & sound like a master craftsman spent his knowledge & time invested in making this instrument with pride and perfection with the best cuts of dried & seasoned woods. :thumbsup:

    Last edited: Apr 27, 2021
    raal, el jeffe bass, J_Bass and 5 others like this.
  10. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    You’ve got bragging rights!:thumbsup:
    stingray69 likes this.
  11. Marihino


    Mar 25, 2010
    It's a shame they didn't go with that beautiful curved forearm cut from 2024/5 in P34/5.
    stingray69 and Dr. Cheese like this.
  12. hypercarrots


    Jan 28, 2009
    the curved forearm cut looks similar to the stingray specials. funny that music man adopted it and yamaha took it away.
    stingray69 likes this.
  13. Clark Westfield

    Clark Westfield Floyd Pepper is my mentor!

    Jan 30, 2012
    Central Jersey
    Thanks for all the feedback everyone.

    As much as I would love to buy the BBP35, and have the means to buy it, I am still not sure I’m a 5 string player.

    I was originally looking for a Craigslist deal, then the Yamahas hit me.

    Then I stepped up from the 235 to the 435.

    I think that either way with the Pro or the 435 I’ll be ok.
    stingray69 and Dr. Cheese like this.
  14. moley6knipe


    Dec 18, 2018
    I’m late to the party but... I had a 425 which I got second hand for £180. I sold it when I expanded the herd but man, what a bass :thumbsdown: WAY better than anything at that price point had a right to be. I would LOVE a proper MIJ 2025/x. I can’t imagine how good they must be based on playing the 425!
  15. xroads


    Nov 6, 2012
    I would not say weak, but simply modern voiced. I replaced the PUs in my BBP35 by Delanos, mainly because the SC was humming, and it made a difference in the sound.
    It now sounds much closer to the classic P-sound, which I really like, and the bridge PU is noise cancelling and dead quiet now.
    As others have said, this bass is fantastic in terms of craftmanship and wood selection/treatment. It has become my number 1 for cover/rock music when I need a 5 string.
    S.F.Sorrow likes this.
  16. S.F.Sorrow


    Dec 6, 2014
    I agree, poor choice of word on my part. The pickup is definitely not "weak". I was simply trying to explain that the pickup is the one thing I like the least about the BBP34. The pickup is only the weak link for ME because every other aspect of the BBP34 is so outstandingly high quality and I had expected the pickup to be voiced more like a classic P. But like you said, it definitely has a more "modern" voicing and for lots of people that would actually be a positive thing.
  17. stingray69

    stingray69 Talkbass Legit

    Aug 11, 2004
    St Louis Area
    Yamaha stated that their goal with the current BB series was to open up the top end a bit further than the previous generation of BB as an appeal to a more contemporary generation of players.

    Granted, I prefer the more vintage tone of the last gen, but having heard the BBP35 I definitely appreciate the extra clarity I am hearing. Chords, tapping, slapping, etc all benefit from the enhanced clarity.

    On the one hand, I sometimes find myself boosting the high end on my amp when I'm using my previous generation BB's (425X) for some styles of music, and often times rolling back the highs on my BBP35 to attain a more vintage type of tone.

    Either way, it's all slight variants of the same awesome BB tone. :bassist:
    Corto14 likes this.
  18. Herrick


    Jul 21, 2010
    Munchkin Land
    I wonder why these are a lot less than the previous 2000 series BBs. I think were around $2400 when they came out.
    Dr. Cheese likes this.
  19. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    Good point!
  20. stingray69

    stingray69 Talkbass Legit

    Aug 11, 2004
    St Louis Area
    Not sure, but I'm not complaining. My only guess is that maybe they felt the astronomical pricing of the previous top-of-the line BB series was hindering sales. I was extremely lucky to find my BB2025x pre-owned, at a fantastic price.

    I purchased my BBP35 brand new from Sweetwater, but had Yamaha maintained those sky-high prices for the top of the line BB's, I'm pretty certain I wouldn't have obtained a BBP35 (at least not for quite some time, if at all).
    Dr. Cheese likes this.
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