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Al Krow

The Yamaha BB mega-thread

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I’m gonna be annoying and say I can’t be bothered to read 124 pages.

Would someone be forgiving enough to tell me which 5 string I should buy-

435

735a

BBP35

Really, is the 735a much better than the 435 (excepting the obvious fact that it’s active)

obvs I need to play some, but I’m currently lying on the sofa so it’s not an immediate option.

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8 minutes ago, nottswarwick said:

I’m gonna be annoying and say I can’t be bothered to read 124 pages.

Would someone be forgiving enough to tell me which 5 string I should buy-

435

735a

BBP35

Really, is the 735a much better than the 435 (excepting the obvious fact that it’s active)

obvs I need to play some, but I’m currently lying on the sofa so it’s not an immediate option.

Save time, get the BBP35 if you don’t want active. Save money, get the 735 if you want active. The 435 is a great bass by all accounts, but the fact that you are asking about the higher end seems to indicate you aren't put off by the higher cost, so........

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1 minute ago, dave_bass5 said:

Save time, get the BBP35 if you don’t want active. Save money, get the 735 if you want active. The 435 is a great bass by all accounts, but the fact that you are asking about the higher end seems to indicate you aren't put off by the higher cost, so........

Get the 435 in teal if you’re getting one 😉

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1 hour ago, nottswarwick said:

Thank you both. There are none in Nottingham to try. How does the string spacing and neck compare to a Stingray 5?

Spacing on a ray is 17.5mm,  Yamaha is 18mm

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1 hour ago, nottswarwick said:

Thank you both. There are none in Nottingham to try. How does the string spacing and neck compare to a Stingray 5?

Never played a Ray 5, but i know they are quite narrow. I have a 425 and its the nicest 5 string (to play) that ive ever owned. Very easy to play. 

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13 minutes ago, whamni said:

Spacing on a ray is 17.5mm,  Yamaha is 18mm

I have a BB425 and a SUB Ray 5 and the difference in the spacing feels much greater than it really is. Strangely, I find the tighter spacing on the SUB the more comfortable of the two

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most 5 sting basses are 18, but Music man use 17.5 , I'm told they do have a model at 18.

I sold my Ray 5,  I just couldn't get used to it, been playing 4 strings a long long time  lol, it's amazing what a few mm can do.

Edited by whamni

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Please help me decide between yamaha bb235 and yamaha bb435, if money is not issue i'll get the bb435 easy decision. I am struggling with the following points.

Major Struggle

1. Multi piece neck, by common sense i think this is so much better than the one piece, but other brand like fender as far as I know doesn't have this feature in their hi-end models, so am I right to conclude that one piece will do its job, and this multi piece neck are kinda of marketing stuff?

2. Body thru stringing, I believe this remove a lot of pulling stress from the bridge. I always had a fear  of screws holding down the bridge could eventually get loose. Does unscrewing and re-screwing of the bridge will result to a loose thread for the screws?

Minor struggle

1. nuts - can be easily upgrade no big deal

2. 4 vs 6 nect joint bolts

3. I like the colors  more on the 200 series than the 400 series

Thanks

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Hi @james_027

Like many people here, my older Yamaha BB seems fine with a one piece neck, 4 bolt neck join and top loading bbot bridge!

I'd not really be concerned about the structural side of things (as you say, that's what you get on most of the  multi-thousand dollar Fender custom shop basses) but it's more a question of whether the laminated neck, and through body stringing give a "better" sound to your ears.

The biggest difference (for me) would be the pickups. The 2 series have ceramic magnets while the 4 have alnico5 magnets. Received wisdom would imply that the 4 series pickups are a bit more subtle and vintage voiced. As always, it's a bit more complicated than that. One player's "vintage mojo" is another players "weak and characterless", one players "brash and unsubtle" is another's "punchy and agressive" etc.

Bear in mind that, unlike previous BBs, these new ones feature standard-sized pickups so upgrades will be possible further down the line if you feel there's something missing. Needless to say that Yamaha make great sounding pickups anyway!

I guess this isn't helping. It's 5am and I can't sleep so I thought I'd put some thoughts out there. I don't think you can go wrong with either choice and a great deal on either is what might sway it for me. I particularly like the yellow natural 2 series look but the teal 4 series is pretty saucy too. 

I daresay some of the Big Beasts of the BB thread will be along with far more informed guidance soon enough. 

Edited by Baceface
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2 hours ago, Baceface said:

Hi @james_027

Like many people here, my older Yamaha BB seems fine with a one piece neck, 4 bolt neck join and top loading bbot bridge!

I'd not really be concerned about the structural side of things (as you say, that's what you get on most of the  multi-thousand dollar Fender custom shop basses) but it's more a question of whether the laminated neck, and through body stringing give a "better" sound to your ears.

thanks for those inputs, I guess there's not much need to worry about the structural side.

2 hours ago, Baceface said:

The biggest difference (for me) would be the pickups. The 2 series have ceramic magnets while the 4 have alnico5 magnets. Received wisdom would imply that the 4 series pickups are a bit more subtle and vintage voiced. As always, it's a bit more complicated than that. One player's "vintage mojo" is another players "weak and characterless", one players "brash and unsubtle" is another's "punchy and agressive" etc.

Bear in mind that, unlike previous BBs, these new ones feature standard-sized pickups so upgrades will be possible further down the line if you feel there's something missing. Needless to say that Yamaha make great sounding pickups anyway!

Does the 200 series pickups considered good?

2 hours ago, Baceface said:

I guess this isn't helping. It's 5am and I can't sleep so I thought I'd put some thoughts out there. I don't think you can go wrong with either choice and a great deal on either is what might sway it for me. I particularly like the yellow natural 2 series look but the teal 4 series is pretty saucy too. 

I daresay some of the Big Beasts of the BB thread will be along with far more informed guidance soon enough. 

Many thanks

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13 hours ago, james_027 said:

Please help me decide between yamaha bb235 and yamaha bb435, if money is not issue i'll get the bb435 easy decision. I am struggling with the following points.

2. Body thru stringing, I believe this remove a lot of pulling stress from the bridge. I always had a fear  of screws holding down the bridge could eventually get loose. Does unscrewing and re-screwing of the bridge will result to a loose thread for the screws?

Minor struggle

2. 4 vs 6 nect joint bolts

3. I like the colors  more on the 200 series than the 400 series

Thanks

Why would you need to unscrew and re-screw the bridge? You don't need to take it off to change the strings, if that's what you're thinking.

Given that you are thinking about a 5-string, the extra rigidity that you get with the 6-bolt neck should manifest itself in a much better sounding B string . This is obviously not so much of an issue for 4-string players. But since I haven't tried either, I couldn't say for sure.

I have played a 434 and the neck was superb.

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17 hours ago, james_027 said:

Please help me decide between yamaha bb235 and yamaha bb435, if money is not issue i'll get the bb435 easy decision. I am struggling with the following points.

Major Struggle

1. Multi piece neck, by common sense i think this is so much better than the one piece, but other brand like fender as far as I know doesn't have this feature in their hi-end models, so am I right to conclude that one piece will do its job, and this multi piece neck are kinda of marketing stuff?

2. Body thru stringing, I believe this remove a lot of pulling stress from the bridge. I always had a fear  of screws holding down the bridge could eventually get loose. Does unscrewing and re-screwing of the bridge will result to a loose thread for the screws?

Minor struggle

1. nuts - can be easily upgrade no big deal

2. 4 vs 6 nect joint bolts

3. I like the colors  more on the 200 series than the 400 series

Thanks

My BB435 is superb, absolutely unbeatable for the money. So much so that I’m considering upgrading it for the P35. 

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Damn, I got my 425 out this evening and i too want a P35 now. Such an easy instrument to play, and all the notes seem so even. This certainly rivals my old Lakland as far as playability and all round workhorse goes.

I know there is one for sale on here, but I'd need to sell my P34 first and, well I'd miss it if i did, 

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On 02/12/2019 at 20:28, AndyTravis said:

Get the 435 in teal if you’re getting one 😉

Its getting to a point where i genuinely do want a 435 now, and yes, if it matches the P34 the GF will never know we have  new addition (plus i have an empty bass case that needs filling).

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...finally found a (pretty big!) use for the solo'd J pup

Had a slightly weird week trying to work out why my BB 1025 wasn't cutting through at rehearsal on the low B string on the D and C notes on e.g. Uptown Funk, which we were doing for the first time yesterday. Ended up taking my Ibby to the gig last night and had comments from bandmates along the lines of the "your bass line sounded great on Uptown Funk" and "whatever pedal setting you were using to fill out the sound please continue". Obviously, not being bass players, they didn't notice what bass I had or even that there was no pedal board in sight! 😂 The only thing that had changed was the bass - I'd gone from PJ to a JJ (with different pups).

Was wondering whether it was possibly down to old strings, but actually they don't sound 'dead' - just played in, or whether I'd got the amp on wrong active / passive switch setting, or was it simply down to the pup height at the low end.

Investigated further today and checked out all the above. Turns out that the Yammy can sound just great on the low B notes and will cut through...using the solo'd bridge J pup. Never thought I'd find a situation where I was going to prefer the Yammy J over the P or PJ. Well I just have - it's now going to be my default on anything requiring a meaty full throat low B and E string, and I've gone from 😒 to 😊 in the course of the week.

Kinda makes sense - the P is all about that 'P mid-bump' and P basses were all originally 4 string so perhaps inherently less focused on the low B string?

The other key point for the J pup is if you ever need to thumb slap (e.g. on Uptown Funk!) you'll get speaker pop from the P or PJ, given that the thumb is coming down pretty close to the P pup, whereas I don't find that to be the case with the J.

Two years in (okay I'm a slow learner) I'm still finding out great things about the versatility of this bass.

Any of you guys also using the solo'd J in any of your numbers?

Edited by Al Krow

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Just remember, if this was done at home level you may well find things are different with the band. 

Might be my imagination but most of the 5 sting bases i see on TV are Jazz type basses. Maybe this is the reason why you dont see a lot of 5 string P's. 

I dont use my P34 bridge pup much, let alone solo'ed, but i do with my 425. I use it solo'ed all the way through All Right now and My Sharona. 

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3 hours ago, Al Krow said:

...finally found a (pretty big!) use for the solo'd J pup

Any of you guys also using the solo'd J in any of your numbers?

I'm playing a few Led Zeppelin tunes in the band rehearsals right now and I find the solo'd J pickup on my 734 sounds pretty good. I use roundwounds so it's not gonna nail the JPJ tone but with the bass boosted slightly, a big mid boost, and a treble cut, it sounds pretty tasty regardless.

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Solo j has its place

So just a question did you use the solo’d bridge j pick up when playing Uptown Funk with the Ibanez? 

Did you have the active eq engaged on the Ibanez and did that result in you bass being easier to hear?

I know the BB can be quite aggressive but going from a passive BB pj to an active Ibanez JJ are two very different sounding basses I’d suspect.

Hopefully your experiment will translate to the gig. I know having recently gone back to using a Jazz bass you hear some basses stand out more on certain songs or just became more aware of their sonic footprint especially if you’re more familiar with one bass over another. In my experience my mustang still works better than my jazz in my other band.

 

Edited by krispn

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Congrats on getting yourself a BBNE1! Pics please.

I suspect a big part of the reason that there haven't been a bunch of replies to your post is that the BBNE1 are as rare as hen's teeth, so there's a bit of collective 'black hole' in our knowledge of this particular bass, and you've managed to get yourself a bit of gem there! 

Just based on the following clip of Nathan East playing his NE1, it seems to me that the key difference with the NE2 is that the latter has a sweepable mid cut ('SMC') and a selector switch to engage the SMC and the NE1 doesn't. @pete.young  is a bit of a guru on the BBNE basses and hopefully he'll be along shortly to confirm / correct what I've just said.

 

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We had the Stereophonics at our Christmas bash, and it was good to see Richard Jones sporting a burst BBP34. Pretty damn punchy with the pair of 8x10s he had behind him. 

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6 hours ago, crabman said:

We had the Stereophonics at our Christmas bash, and it was good to see Richard Jones sporting a burst BBP34. Pretty damn punchy with the pair of 8x10s he had behind him. 

We've just started playing Bartender and the Thief. What a great song, 

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16 hours ago, Al Krow said:

 

I suspect a big part of the reason that there haven't been a bunch of replies to your post is that the BBNE1 are as rare as hen's teeth, so there's a bit of collective 'black hole' in our knowledge of this particular bass, and you've managed to get yourself a bit of gem there! 

Just based on the following clip of Nathan East playing his NE1, it seems to me that the key difference with the NE2 is that the latter has a sweepable mid cut ('SMC') and a selector switch to engage the SMC and the NE1 doesn't. @pete.young  is a bit of a guru on the BBNE basses and hopefully he'll be along shortly to confirm / correct what I've just said.

 

Oh no he isn't! I don't know that much about the BBNE2 and virtually nothing about the original BBE. I suspect the preamps are completely different circuits and there's much more difference than just a missing knob and switch. All I can do is read manuals.

SPeaking of which there's a service manual for the BBNE available for download here: https://elektrotanya.com/yamaha_bbne_nathan_east_model_guitar.pdf/download.html#dl

 

Sorry but I can't figure out how to use the rubbish post editor to delete the rubbish included files!

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Hey guys. I am on the quest for strings for my BB735. I have been using Ernie Ball Slinky and I hate them. I don't like the 5th. I would like to use the Dunlop Super Brights (because I use them in my 4 string basses and I love them) but they are hard to find in Spain. I was trying a bass in a Yamaha store (RBXA2 which I loved) and I like the strings. It has the Daddario nickels but the super long version. Do you know if the BB735 would need the Super long version? They come with the super long out of the factory. I wanted to put them on through the body. The Ernie Balls Super Slinky were normal but I don't know about D'addario

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17 minutes ago, javi_bassist said:

Hey guys. I am on the quest for strings for my BB735. I have been using Ernie Ball Slinky and I hate them. I don't like the 5th. I would like to use the Dunlop Super Brights (because I use them in my 4 string basses and I love them) but they are hard to find in Spain. I was trying a bass in a Yamaha store (RBXA2 which I loved) and I like the strings. It has the Daddario nickels but the super long version. Do you know if the BB735 would need the Super long version? They come with the super long out of the factory. I wanted to put them on through the body. The Ernie Balls Super Slinky were normal but I don't know about D'addario

Standard 'Long' is fine. I use D'addario XL's and they work really well on my basses.

I had a set of Ernie Ball Slinky's on my P34 and took them off after a couple of days. Not sure why i didn't like them, but i didn't.

Edited by dave_bass5
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