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Al Krow

The Yamaha BB mega-thread

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I spent some time measuring both necks last night. I got a set of digital calipers (never had Caliper GAS before but saw a few members have them).

I really cant find a noticeable difference between the two necks, other than the P34 has a slimmer nut. Im fine with my Jazz bass so its not that. Action is almost the same, both within .5mm at the most. Its not the back to front dimension as i thought. 

Then it struck me, its more likely the frets. The Fender has quite low frets, and the nut slot is very low, although i know thats out of the equation once you start fretting (probably need to get a new one soon, although its not an issue), my Squiers have Vintage frets, as does my Sire i beleive as well. This gives me the effect having the strings feel like they are more part of the fretboard, rather than sitting above it if that makes sense. When im playing, the frets are more noticeable and i can feel them more. This is probably where the comfort thing is coming from. The frets arent sticking out or anything, no buzz on certain frets etc, its just that they are taller or very slightly more prominent. Its not a set up thing, as i can play the bass fine, and as ive said the action is what i get on my other basses.

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27 minutes ago, dave_bass5 said:

I spent some time measuring both necks last night. I got a set of digital calipers (never had Caliper GAS before but saw a few members have them).

I really cant find a noticeable difference between the two necks, other than the P34 has a slimmer nut. Im fine with my Jazz bass so its not that. Action is almost the same, both within .5mm at the most. Its not the back to front dimension as i thought. 

Then it struck me, its more likely the frets. The Fender has quite low frets, and the nut slot is very low, although i know thats out of the equation once you start fretting (probably need to get a new one soon, although its not an issue), my Squiers have Vintage frets, as does my Sire i beleive as well. This gives me the effect having the strings feel like they are more part of the fretboard, rather than sitting above it if that makes sense. When im playing, the frets are more noticeable and i can feel them more. This is probably where the comfort thing is coming from. The frets arent sticking out or anything, no buzz on certain frets etc, its just that they are taller or very slightly more prominent. Its not a set up thing, as i can play the bass fine, and as ive said the action is what i get on my other basses.

That's quite an important insight Dave. Given everything else really positive you've said about the bass in terms of loving the tone, really positive feedback from your band, playing it for 5 hours continuously when you got back from hols recently etc etc., sounds to me that getting some fret 'dressing' done to lower the frets may be the win win for you with this bass?

Best speak to someone with a LOT more expertise on this stuff than me, though! Someone like @Andyjr1515 for example.

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Well i had thought about getting a PLEK done, but im loath to spend more money on it. It might not even be the real reason, although i know it would play better. The fact that it does when im sitting down i really cant see that the frets are just the issue.

The fly in the ointment is i love my Fender bass, and while im not making these issues up, maybe i am subconsciously wanting to get rid of the P34 so i can go back to the Fender without the guilt of having a £1300 bass sitting gathering dust.

 

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Should add, i also still think its the shape of the neck, even though the dimensions aren't that much different.

Not going to push for a quick sale though, and ill try and live with it. After all, as you say ive spent so many hours enjoying it that it would be a real shame to give up on it.

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I don't think PLEK will help with the fret shape. But I understand what you are saying regarding the fret size and I agree, I feel the same regarding the Yamaha frets. Never really looking at it before and I have only ever played a Fender for a decent amount of time on one occasion and the frets were quite flat but it did feel very comfortable. 

Maybe a reshape could be the answer? 

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19 minutes ago, 2elliot said:

I don't think PLEK will help with the fret shape. But I understand what you are saying regarding the fret size and I agree, I feel the same regarding the Yamaha frets. Never really looking at it before and I have only ever played a Fender for a decent amount of time on one occasion and the frets were quite flat but it did feel very comfortable. 

Maybe a reshape could be the answer? 

This is why im loath to get work done, as i dont know what the real issue is to start with. it could be a combination of more than one.

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Dave I’m just curious to know what year your Fender is, I ask because I’m thinking it could be the radius of the fret board that’s causing the problem.

You said you have both instruments set up the same, i.e.  neck relief, action @ the 12th fret, string height at the Nut and first fret etc.

If that is the case, they would play different because of the fret boards  being a different radius.

Because the Yamaha has a 10 inch radius,  you can afford to set the relief, action and string height at the Nut a lot lower than you would with the Fender,  resulting in a very fast playable Yamaha and still dig in without fret buzz.

For reference, the Fender radius could be anything between 7.25 and 9

I have played and set up a variety of bass guitars over the years and it’s amazing the difference you get even between the same make and year of bass/guitar.  

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My Fender is a Sandblasted P bass, so made in 2014. As I said above, the neck radius is 9.5”, so very close to the P34. 

All my basses are set up the same, more or less, and all payable. I’m quite OCD about the action. Ive never mentioned action at the nut, other than to say the nut in the Fender is getting worn and quite low. 
I can’t get the action any lower on any bass without buzz, as i play with a pick and do get fret buzz when diffing it a bit too hard. 
I do all my own setups and this bass set up really well, I can’t imagine it getting any better (I know, I’ve tired, it won’t go lower). Its definitely not a set up issue.

Again,  as I’ve said a few times, I have no issues playing the P34, although I find its better when I’m sitting down, it’s just not as comfortable overall as my Fender, even though it plays better. 

cheers anyway. 

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I was playing my BBN4ii earlier - lovely neck - felt effortless.

 

IMG_2419.JPG

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Was really hoping that Yamaha would be at the guitar /bass show next weekend, but it doesn't look like they are.... Wondering if it's worth trekking across to the Yamaha store when I'm in town next Saturday to try the whole range out! 🤔

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1 minute ago, TheGreek said:

I was playing my BBN4ii earlier - lovely neck - felt effortless.

 

IMG_2419.JPG

I've just been playing my BBN5ii too, astonishingly good really! I used it at band practice on Wednesday and it sounded fab through my Rumble 500. 👌

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4 minutes ago, TheGreek said:

I was playing my BBN4ii earlier - lovely neck - felt effortless.

It totally looks the part, too, Mick! Just love the simple but elegant finish on that bass.

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The problem nowadays??...lots of brands making great VFM basses - "lot of bass for your buck" is an all to familiar a phrase - and generally this is true.

Both of mine represent great VFM - even so I'm considering selling them - "too many basses" is another all to familiar phrase on this forum...

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5 minutes ago, Al Krow said:

It totally looks the part, too, Mick! Just love the simple but elegant finish on that bass.

Wish my 5 was black instead of brown stain.... Still may refinish it though

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10 minutes ago, TheGreek said:

"too many basses" is another all to familiar phrase on this forum...

What does that phrase even mean?! Someone please explain 😁😂

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That means that you don't have enough room for the next bass you want to buy.

They say space is infinite - not in my flat it isn't

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12 minutes ago, TheGreek said:

That means that you don't have enough room for the next bass you want to buy.

They say space is infinite - not in my flat it isn't

I guess we won't need to enquire of @cetera what the right answer to the question "how many is too many basses" then, as I think you've hit the nail on the head :) 

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Honestly at the moment, I'm leaning towards having one main bass and a backup, that's it. I'm also having somewhat of a gear/midlife crisis at the moment! 😂

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Haha - you're clearly suffering from a bit LOT of confusion as part of your mid-life crisis?!

Surely mid-life crisis = more gear not less? (Well that's how I sold it to Mrs Krow, anyway 😂)

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3 minutes ago, TRBboy said:

I'm also having somewhat of a gear/midlife crisis at the moment! 😂

Welcome to my world ... and that of 90% of everyone else on here. 😂 

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2 minutes ago, Al Krow said:

Haha - you're clearly suffering from a bit LOT of confusion as part of your mid-life crisis?!

Surely mid-life crisis = more gear not less? (Well that's how I sold it to Mrs Krow, anyway 😂)

YES! 😅😭

Weirdly though, I'm finding myself wanting to move away from lovely boutique gear towards more meat and potatoes stuff. I'm kind of rediscovering what I like and don't like recently, and learning a lot of things I thought I had figured out years ago! After playing active, modern basses for the past 10 years or so, I've recently discovered that actually I like passive basses best, especially in a band mix! And also my amp changes, experimentation recently: there's something going on with me at the moment about 'perfect imperfection' that is giving me the bass sound I want to hear right now. 

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1 minute ago, TRBboy said:

...there's something going on with me at the moment about 'perfect imperfection' that is giving me the bass sound I want to hear right now. 

I love that description of the journey you're on! 

An analogue bass player in a digital world.

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1 hour ago, CameronJ said:

Have to agree. Lusted hard after them when they came out. @dave_bass5 is yours blue or red?

Cheers guys, it’s blue, with black hardware (other than the tuners).

it took me less than an hour to find out about them and track one down secondhand for £700. A real bargain. It’s also only 8lbs so great for long gigs/old people lol. Unlike some there doesn’t seem to be large chunks of wood missing, and I love the look of this one. Its a bass I really will never sell. 

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