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Yamaha parts?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by d_rock211, May 16, 2002.

  1. d_rock211

    d_rock211 Guest

    Apr 29, 2002
    Kansas City
    I'm new to playing the bass. I just got my first bass (w00t!!) the other day....a Yamaha BBN4. I like it so far, but I have two questions about it:

    1) As I move up the neck (about 5th fret on Dstring and 10 or so on A and E) the bass starts going ever so slightly sharp and only gets worse the further I move up. Is this a problem w/the bridge, truss rod, strings or what? What should it cost to get this thing properly setup?

    2) I am a tinkerer...bigtime. I am interested in learning more about this bass, and possibly upgrading pieces here and there as I go along. Is this bass worth keeping and upgrading? (I got it for $180 brand spanking new on ebay after playing one in Guitar Center) And if it is, where should I start looking for hints and tips...besides here :D

    Would appreciate general comments, or comments about my bass
  2. bizzaro


    Aug 21, 2000
    Sounds like you need to set the intonation. Got to run to work. I will be back!!
  3. Hello D Rock.

    The problem you describe is an intonation error although, to be honest, it sounds quite severe. How do you know it's getting slightly sharp? Not being funny, but have you checked it with a chromatic tuner? [If you don't have one, buy one: they're really cheap. IMHO they're an absolutely vital tool for the bassist. I've a Korg. It's brill :D]

    Try the Yamaha web site. They supply manuals for their instruments in PDF format so you can get all the info there.

    Unless the truss rod is dreadfully mal-adjusted / broken, that's not the problem. Neither is it the strings.

    IMHO your bass is well worth keeping (I'd love one). I'm a big fan of Yamaha and I don't think you'll get a much better bass for your money with a Yamaha.

    Upgrading depends on which varient of the BBN4 you have. Some (perhaps all) that model are fitted with J style pickups which can obviously be replaced with better pickups. But don't be in too much of a rush to change them. I've an RBX270F and I really like the pups: I play it direct to an amp - ie, into a slave amp -without any tone shaping other tha the bass' own tone controls.

    Best of luck with the Yammy.

  4. d_rock211

    d_rock211 Guest

    Apr 29, 2002
    Kansas City
    I may be new to the bass, but I've played jazz trumpet for 12 years, and been in a musical family since birth....so I can hear it going out of tune. It is a pretty nasty thing in any song where I am letting a note ring up there. The (very short) manual that came with the bass mentions something about bridge adjustments for the very problem I am describing but doesn't go into any detail about how to go about making these adjustments and also includes a caveat that bridge adjustment should be accompanied by appropriate adjustment of the truss rod, which is in turn accompanied by a warning to let only pro's play with the truss rod. So, I have no idea where to go...other than a local shop.

    Edit: Here is a link for more info about the bass... coincidentally all teh info I can find on the Yamaha site about it.
  5. No offence, Rock. Wasn't flaming you, just didn't know.

    Agreed, the Yamaha manual doesn't really say too much. I guess it assumes some prior knowledge. But, IMHO, it's better than many makers who don't bother with any literature at all.

    Anyway, if you're a bit unsure, perhaps a good guitar store will do a good setup for you ($$?). But it's always worth learning yourself.

    I suggest you check the action first, following the guidelines in the manual. If that's OK, check the string height. If that's not OK raise / lower the saddles with the hex headed grubscrews to get it right - or nearly so. When satisfied, adjust the intonation by screwing the bridge saddles in / out depending whether it's sharp (in your case) or flat.

    A full setup is a combination of all these things and each would probably have to be adjusted several times to get it right.

    There's no such thing as a 'correct' setup. There's a correct setup for each player / player's style, but not a setup that's correct for everyone. Yamaha's setup is a starting point and is probably the one the instrument is given prior to shipping.

    It might be worth you reading up on some of the excellent articles about setup that appear on on-line music magazines. I found them great: I'm damned if I can find the addresses, though [must get myself orgainsed, one day.....:eek:]

    There'll be some guy on this board that'll know.

  6. Well, not having read the Yamaha book and only going by what you've said, I can assure you that intonation adjustments DO NOT have to be accompanied by a truss rod adjustment. The truss rod is to counteract the neck bending from the string tension. It keeps the neck straight for proper setup of the string height. Intonation is the matching of the string length to the fretboard so that each note is "in tune" with the overall string length. This adjustment is done by moving the string saddle forward (to shorten string) or backward (to lengthen string). If you aren't sure of your skills, you should take it to a pro but watch him and ask questions so that you can do it yourself if needed later.
  7. pkr2


    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    Hambone is exactly right.

    You might do a search on "Fender set up". There are a few very good sites that go into detail on the set up procedure. The exact same theory applies to all brands of basses.

    The truss rod should only be adjusted to control the relief in the neck. Contrary to what many people seem to think, it is not meant to be an action adjustment although it does affect the string heigth to a very small degree. It has almost nothing to do with intonation and most definitely does not need to be adjusted with every setup.

    Be prepared to spend some time with your first attempt at intonating your bass . The string length adjustments become more critical as you get it closer to right.

    LEARN TO DO IT! Unless you are satisfied with playing a bass that's out of tune. It's really pretty easy, once you understand what you're doing.

    Any time you change strings, even if you put the same brand of string on, the intonation will probably change to some degree.

    Congrats on the new bass and good luck.

  8. I'm in complete agreement with Ham' and Pkr2.

    Fender setup lives on www.mrgearhead.net

  9. d_rock211

    d_rock211 Guest

    Apr 29, 2002
    Kansas City
    None taken Rockin John.

    Thanks for the info guys. I will check out that link and see what I can learn. Unfortunately, I have a ridiculous amount of work for finals week....so this may have to wait.
  10. d_rock211

    d_rock211 Guest

    Apr 29, 2002
    Kansas City
    I did figure out a little more of the tuning on the bridge. Tomorrow's task (after a final and a paper) will be to check the string height and p-up height. Thanks for the help.

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