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The Yamaha BB mega-thread


Al Krow

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23 minutes ago, Reggaebass said:

Yeah I’ve been watching that one, thanks Al , what would you say would be a reasonable price 👍

If it's mint, I'd agree with Andy, worth going up to £500, given it's your first choice colour. 

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Just now, Al Krow said:

If it's mint, I'd agree with Andy, worth going up to £500, given it's your first choice colour. 

If it’s the eBay one I’d say £400-£450 max.

I’d buy at £300 and refin 😉

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2 minutes ago, Al Krow said:

If it's mint, I'd agree with Andy, worth going up to £500, given it's your first choice colour. 

Yeah I like the white ones, the black looks good too 

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I realised I've had 4 BBs already. First a natural 605 bought for £160 on ebay in 2009, then a year or two later a raspberry red 415 that I won also on ebay at £115, but the seller contacted me right away saying he only wants £95 as he just noticed the pickup switch was shot. He happened to be Tony Williams of Steelers Wheel ("Stuck in the middle with you"). Then a wine red 1500a (£160), and a 350f from classifieds here (£150). The three I moved on are the basses I regret letting go. 

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On 21/04/2021 at 19:45, Al Krow said:

We're clearly struggling with aging memories...for the life of me, I can't remember you ever commenting about me mentioning that before. 

its been a very long 12 months hasn't it?

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7 minutes ago, such said:

I realised I've had 4 BBs already. First a natural 605 bought for £160 on ebay in 2009, then a year or two later a raspberry red 415 that I won also on ebay at £115, but the seller contacted me right away saying he only wants £95 as he just noticed the pickup switch was shot. He happened to be Tony Williams of Steelers Wheel ("Stuck in the middle with you"). Then a wine red 1500a (£160), and a 350f from classifieds here (£150). The three I moved on are the basses I regret letting go. 

Used to work with Tony. 
“did I ever tell you I was in steelers wheel...”

Nice bloke.

The 1500a is a “should own one” bass.

 

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Just now, LukeFRC said:

its been a very long 12 months hasn't it?

It's certainly been different! 

Fewer gigs but FINALLY realising the bleeding obvious - what gear you have matters far far less than what you actually do with it. It really is all in the fingers! 😉

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16 minutes ago, Al Krow said:

It's certainly been different! 

Fewer gigs but FINALLY realising the bleeding obvious - what gear you have matters far far less than what you actually do with it. It really is all in the fingers! 😉

I'm looking forward to first practice/gig. 
Either I've forgotten everything, or a year of noodling at home on work lunchtime and I've improved 

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1 hour ago, AndyTravis said:

 

The 1500a is a “should own one” bass.

 

They're fantastic. Preamp kind of difficult to understand, but capable. Native tone was much more dense than the Marcusowsky that was my main bass then. Chunkier. Marcus only came close when I put DiMarzio model Js in it. The Yamaha had a sweet chunky neck too. 

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7 hours ago, such said:

They're fantastic. Preamp kind of difficult to understand, but capable. Native tone was much more dense than the Marcusowsky that was my main bass then. Chunkier. Marcus only came close when I put DiMarzio model Js in it. The Yamaha had a sweet chunky neck too. 

Marcusowsky?

 

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My BB1200S is almost restored, for now. Some history: I found it in about a year ago in quite sad state: Original pickup missing and replaced with an EMG PJ set (with quite an ugly route for bridge PU, plus the original neck PU frame destroyed), volume and tone pots changed to 25K dual volumes (correct for active EMGs), knobs replaced with ill-fitting chickenheads, machine heads replaced with Schallers (very good quality but not as pretty as originals), scratched and dented all over. Oh, and a large poo brown wooden thumbrest was installed, had to remove it even before taking pictures, two screw holes remain. 

But what matters is it played beautifully and sounded acceptable. The EMG P was quite good but the soloed J and both PUs together did not do much. I even considered removing the J, getting the PU route filled and having (maybe the whole bass) refinished. Glad I didn’t. 

In late August I received a pagkage containing a set of original BB tuners, PJ pickup set off a MIJ BB1100S plus some other Yamaha hardware. Thanks a lot @jezzaboy! Still missing the reverse P pickup frame, I had to find a way to make a replacement. A friend helped with drawing and laser-cutting it, and it took lots of filing, sanding, buffing and polishing to make it look like a 40-year old piece of plastic, but finally I’m quite satisfied with the result. The P needed to be reversed (BB1100S being non-reversed), so some rewiring was to be done. That also meant new pots, 250K LOG for volume, 250K MN for blend. And two new original knobs - surprisingly, Yamaha still sells those as spares! Not cheap, not easy to get (it took 4 months for the order to arrive at my local Yamaha distributor. Finally, last saturday, I had everything I needed at hand. 

Some pics to show where I was at the beginning. More to come.

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Edited by MattiZ
Stupid mistake.
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The Schallers had a different mounting pattern from the original tuners, so extra holes and imprints were left visible in the back of the headstock. Oh well. 

Just admire the impressive woodwork here, at the J pickup cavity. The P rewired and reversed, ready for assembly, and some stuff waiting for the next step. 

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Before & after rewiring, both PUs installed, final result. 

I must repeat that I’m deeply grateful to @jezzaboy without whom this little restoration project would not have been possible, as he provided me with most of the impossible to find parts. Thank you! 

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Edited by MattiZ
Dumb mistake.
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Some issues remain: J PU poles are not flush with the cover, they feel so sharp it would be easy to split fingernails by hitting them, and the routing still looks hideous. I have no woodwork experience, but I guess the only way to clean it up would be completely re-routing the cavity, to fit a larger PU, like the soapbar-styled J like the one from BB1000S (or the older Yamaha SB Series basses). Anybody have one to sell? Or even if not the pickup, just the soapbar cover would do!

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