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Al Krow

The Yamaha BB mega-thread

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@Andyjr1515 - just quoting from part of your full post as there were a couple of "takeaways" that immediately jumped out at me, which I suspect may well be of interest to other folk, and which I've taken the liberty of highlighting. Have to say that in the over 2,500 posts we've had so far on this thread, I don't think anyone has made these points with such clarity - so thank you!

1 hour ago, Andyjr1515 said:

While I'm waiting for the knobs to arrive for Tom's Squier, I've kicked off the initial work for another small job - this time for @Sibob

Those of you who follow the Yamaha BB thread will know that he's had a problem with the neck on his BB415.  Some kind soul suggested that I might be able to do something with it and so he sent the neck to me a week or so ago.

Basically, @Sibob couldn't get enough adjustment on the trussrod to achieve a decent flatness of neck.

I love Yamahas, but I'm not keen on the trussrods they tend to use.  The love comes from the fact that ALL of their instruments are just, well, right.  I play a Yamaha sax - and that is as good as every Yamaha guitar and bass I've ever played.  Just look at the carve on this neck:

ruLX2tpl.jpg

It is as smooth as silk and it feels great!

But - the trussrods are single acting and have a relatively small adjustment range.  So they rely on the neck being flat with the trussrod loosened and no strings, then the adjustment is enough to counteract the bow resulting from the string tension.

So - full loosened, it should be flat...

Edited by Al Krow
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Well ive given up with my P34. Love the tone, love the feel, but when i stand up to play it i find its awkward. Set up is fine for me, but i have a feeling its the depth of the neck. Tried all sorts of strap heights etc. it plays ok but i feel slower on it. I had a rehearsal last night and i kept fluffing the lines.

Im going to go back to my Fender for now, or maybe give the 425 an outing.

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3 hours ago, dave_bass5 said:

Well ive given up with my P34. Love the tone, love the feel, but when i stand up to play it i find its awkward. Set up is fine for me, but i have a feeling its the depth of the neck. Tried all sorts of strap heights etc. it plays ok but i feel slower on it. I had a rehearsal last night and i kept fluffing the lines.

Im going to go back to my Fender for now, or maybe give the 425 an outing.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wz0XbsqfOE

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23 minutes ago, whamni said:

depth of the neck

Are you talking at the Nut or past the 12th fret ?

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1 hour ago, whamni said:

Are you talking at the Nut or past the 12th fret ?

Back of neck to fretboard. 

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2 minutes ago, dave_bass5 said:

Back of neck to fretboard. 

That's quite interesting, I've not played one of the newest series, but they've been touting them as having thinner necks than the previous series. 

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3 hours ago, TRBboy said:

That's quite interesting, I've not played one of the newest series, but they've been touting them as having thinner necks than the previous series. 

I really can’t  put finger on it. I’m not suggesting it’s a chunky neck at all, but I’m very comfortable with my jazz neck, and just as comfortable with my P, but P34 just throws me a bit. Really, if it was the only bass I had I wouldn’t complain, the issue is i do others that I can see me going back to for the comfort. 
its funny but for some things I find the P34 so easy to play, I guess having the nut end of the neck slimmer helps, and the tone is way ahead of my Fender, but it’s just the comfort side that is the issue. 

Edited by dave_bass5

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Sometimes you just know that an instrument is 'wrong' for you.

You may not be able work out exactly why that may be, but if it feels wrong it is wrong.

Someone else will probably love it though.

Edited by Cato
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39 minutes ago, Cato said:

Sometimes you just know that an instrument is 'wrong' for you.

You may not be able work out exactly why that may be, but if it feels wrong it is wrong.

Someone else will probably love it though.

Totally agree. 

What confuses me a bit is that Dave is still loving his 425, which isn't going to be a million miles from his P34 in body shape. 

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18 minutes ago, Al Krow said:

Totally agree. 

What confuses me a bit is that Dave is still loving his 425, which isn't going to be a million miles from his P34 in body shape. 

Slightly bigger body, certainly wider - and I think if I’m reading it right it’s more how it feels neck wise, and the 425 is a flatter wider profile

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I’m not sure it’s the radius, as the P34 is 10” and my Fender/Squiers are 9.5’ so not much in it. 
Could be the frets though. I find they are more noticeable than on the other basses, even that is not really the reason. I loved this bass when I first got it, and really, i do still love it, but having had the Fender out recently I just feel there is no point having a £1000 bass sitting around not getting used. The Fender has less life in it, less punch and has a warmer tone. I really, really prefer the P34 over the Fender tone, but it just sits better in my hand. Harder to play, but more comfortable.

 Been going back and forth between the two tonight, and each time I plug one in I feel this is the one, then I plug the other in and feel that’s the one. One has the tone and more playable neck, the other feels more comfortable to play. Bugger lol.

My 5 string  basses have a narrower string spacing, and yes, are flatter. In fact I like playing 5 string basses because they do feel more comfortable to play because of the string spacing, but I really don’t   want to go full time 5 string. 

Edited by dave_bass5
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Simples. Keep 'em both. Fender and Yammy. Yammy and Fender. Job done. 

And then play your 425 😉

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2 minutes ago, Al Krow said:

Simples. Keep 'em both. Fender and Yammy. Yammy and Fender. Job done. 

And then play your 425 😉

Well once the P34 has gone I’ll probably use the 425 a lot more.

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I can see that you're going to need to spend some quality time in the company of a P35, 'cos from everything you've just said in terms of tone and wanting to get back into 5ers it could be just what you're looking for. 

I happen to know a narcissistic BCer who might just be prepared to let you borrow one for free for a couple of months... :)

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I definitely have no inclination to go back to 5 string as such, and as I’ve said a few times I doubt I’d buy an expensive one now I have the 425. 
I like messing around with 5 string basses, but always end up back with 4. No point spending a lot of money when I know I’ll not play it  much. 
 

Thanks very much for the offer though, I assume you mean your P35 and not the KS? 😳

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You're welcome. Haha, yup the KS won't be being made available for loan anytime soon! 

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I'm sure you've read all this before, but it's strange the neck spec for the BB range is more or less the same !

I'm sure you're long enough at the game to have it set up the way you want it. 

I discovered with my 734 I can get the relief down to 0.20mm and action on E to 1.80mm, with no buzz.  but then I use flats  

But if it don't feel comfortable to play, maybe it's time to move it on, just a pity as I think they are a great bass and I've played Musicman all my life !

 

Yamaha spec.JPG

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Thanks, i think @Al Krow posted that already. Useful info.

Yep, action is as good as ill get it, but its not the action that's the problem. Relief is at .0082 (same as my Fender and Squier) and action is 2.25 with no buzz unless i dig in. I play with a pick so cant go too low.

As i said, sitting down at home it plays like a dream, but when i stand up it just doesn't feel as comfortable. Again, im talking comfort rather than playability if that makes sense. Could also be the feel of the back of the neck. I love the smooth gloss finish on my other basses, and while the sating doesn't really bother me on the P34 its still a different feel.

ill put it up for sale but wont push it, i really want to get it working for me but ultimately i dont think ill ever really gel with it while i have the Fender here (and thats never going to go)

I wonder if i can buy one of the pickups to put in my Fender

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Could also be the feel of the back of the neck. I love the smooth gloss finish on my other basses

 

Funny thing, I have noticed, the back of my 734 has lost it's matt finish and gone gloss ! 

 At the gig last Sat night the neck got very sticky, so I used a baby wipe lol, cleaned the back of the neck,  then a micro cloth,  problem solved.

Just wondering if that could help with your BB 

Hope you get it solved.

 

Edited by whamni

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Must admit its not as matt as it was the first few weeks. Its nice, but not as nice as the full on gloss for me.

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Not all satin finishes are created equal. The same applies for gloss. 

@dave_bass5 I think I may have posted a few pages back about preferring the Fender Am Pro Precision V neck to the Yamaha P35 neck. I fully stick by that with the addition that I also prefer my BB735a neck to the P35 neck. And I think it might be entirely down to the difference in finish - they’re both satin in a general sense but each executed differently, with the result being that the 735 feels noticeably better (for me)

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I guess the neck finish and whether satin or gloss must be very personal and affects us each differently, otherwise there would be just one neck finish that everyone would be demanding! In terms of the necks, the shape is identical for the 735A and the P35 and I do find the Yammy necks to be very comfortable to play.  Having had both the 735A and the P35 at the same time for a couple of months, in deciding which one to keep the finish on the back of the neck was just not a deciding factor at all for me.

But I know that the original owner of the BBNE2 in my possession did mention that he found the gloss neck finish too 'cool' on that to work well with, if I remember correctly, the moisture from his hands when playing. And I certainly have had a couple of basses which were just not particularly comfortable to play for me in terms of their body shape and weight distribution  - a Warwick $$ and more recently a Squier Bass VI. So there are definitely factors at work at the minutiae level that are likely unique to us individually, like our own body shapes and whether the bass sits comfortable when standing vs when we are sitting - which is another point that Dave has raised but not mentioned by anyone else on this thread as far as I can remember in relation to Yammy basses.

There's clearly no substitute for 'living with' any bass to see if it works for us! 

Edited by Al Krow
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