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Yamaha BX-1 info

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bubbastain, Dec 24, 2013.

  1. bubbastain


    Oct 1, 2012
    I'm gonna check a Yamaha BX-1 bass within the next day or two. I briefly played it and it felt really good. I didn't really pay attention to anything. Anything I should look for or stay away from? I'll hook it up to a small bass amp just to see if everything works. Just would like some heads up info. It's black and has the original case. Anyone know what years they were made?

  2. BassCliff


    May 17, 2012
    So. Cal.
    sshep12345 likes this.
  3. Hi.

    Check out the tuners.
    FULL travel.
    If neglected, they tend to seize and forcing it will ruin them.
    No replacements (other than DIY) available AFAIK.

    Rust/corrosion on the HW is a strong price negotiation point, but most of them had very thin plating so corrosion is IMLE (1 owned) rather common with them.

  4. GM60466


    May 20, 2006
    Land of Lakland
    I OWNED ONE 35 YEARS AGO. It wasn't a "keeper". Tuners were a real pain.
  5. BawanaRik


    Mar 6, 2012
    New Jersey
    This bass used standard strings which is nice. The MIJ ones might be better. Make sure it has a case. They are hard to find.

    The neck will thinner than what you're used to but is real fun to play.

    No case? A guitar gig bag works. The bottom tone control should have a coil tap.
  6. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    Were they around that far back? :meh:

    IIRC, they were made in the mid to late '80s; mine is from '87. I used to have a BX-5 that I bought new in 1987, the BX-1 I currently have I got used of a guy who was featured in BP in the mid '00s.

    The neck is very narrow so that may take a bit of getting used to but once you do it feels great. Mine is rock solid, the tuning stays put, no noticeable dead spots at all on the neck. The pickups, solo, can sound a bit middy, but in a band context they shine.

    I may have a new nut made for my BX-1 as there is, IMO, a bit too much space between the E and G strings and their respective edge of the fingerboard, so I can get a sufficiently wider string spacing at the nut if I do so.

    I love that you can use any strings you want on these, the clamping system is very straightforward and the fine tuning of the bridge tuners is nice; the tuning knobs can get a bit tight, so lubricating the threads and the slots the string holders ride in are recommended. I also recommend moving the upper strap button to the end of the horn, the bass sits better that way.

    I had the BX-5 I used to have converted to a fretless by John Carruthers while I was living in L.A. (which is when I bought the bass at Westwood Music). He also made a curved plexi leg rest for me. :)

    Here is a photo of my BX-1 shortly after I got it.

    Attached Files:

  7. bubbastain


    Oct 1, 2012
    Hey, thanks for the info. Might not be able to see it until Thursday. Guy wants $375 for it. I'll play and closely examine it then. So far I dig it. It might just end up being a "play with it for a little bit" purchase. So as long as I don't lose money, i'm cool.
  8. kerryg

    kerryg Supporting Member

    Jul 15, 2007
    Vancouver BC, Canada
    I'm keeping my eye open for one of these (had one in the 80's) so if anyone hears about one up for grabs and would be kind enough to let me know, I'd be grateful. Thanks!
  9. sshep12345


    Nov 3, 2013
    hey all, i was just able to get a bx-1 from GC of all places! its in decent shape, not " never been played " shape, as the the out -of-state-salesman said on the phone. any advice on how to clean / lubricate the tuners to keep them working ? any chance the knobs are the same as on a steinberger ? it plays awesome ! i had one in high school and have been looking for one forever. oh, and now i have a white westone rail if anyone here wants it :)
  10. Maxdusty


    Mar 9, 2012
    Michigan USA
    I have a Hohner headless bass and one problem I had was with two of the tuners being incredibly stiff and hard to turn and fine tune once the strings have been tightened. I realized that I was missing some small washers that were actually very important in being able to turn the tuners smoothly. It would be nice if it was mentioned somewhere on the Steinberger or Hohner website or FAQ section but it isn't. lol.
    So if you ever run into this problem, these may help. (I don't know if the Yamaha bridge tuners utilize similar components, but I'm guessing they do). I've linked the thread to this comment. Also be careful with what you lube the tuners with. You don't really want to gunk it up with something that can potentially damage the finish of your bass - a post in the thread I attached recommends a teflon type lubricant.
    Last edited: May 7, 2014