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#2883817 - 10/07/17 07:45 PM Yamaha's revised BB-Bass series: interesting spec changes
Mark Schmieder Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 8295
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
Someone finally found some specs for the new Yamaha BB-Bass series:

https://au.yamaha.com/en/products/musica...ml#product-tabs

Prices are lower than before, and the mid-range model is now active, so the high-end model in some senses represents a 50% price increase on the old mid-range model, with significant improvements.

The BBP35 is the one I'd aim for, at $1600 vs. the $1100 paid for my BB-1025x (including a separately purchased hardshell case; the BBP35 comes with its own case). It's too bad it doesn't come in maple like the lower-end model. First time since the 80's that Yamaha has offered a maple fingerboard on a bass?

I never liked the ceramic "J" bridge pickup on mine and never solo that pickup. The new series uses standard pickups shapes and materials, so both are now Alnico V and can be swapped for other brands without much trouble. Some say the new "J" pickup is "too quiet", but as there are now separate volume knobs per pickup, I can't see that as being an issue. I never used the toggle anyway as I disliked the "J" soloed.

The body is now alder/maple/alder instead of all-alder, and the neck now blends the maple with mahogany instead of with nato. There are now six bolts, with the lowest two being beveled for a tight connection of the end of the neck with the body. Supposedly this gives more sustain.

Someone complained that the lighter tuning pegs can be individually tightened with an allen wrench anymore. I'm not sure I ever even took advantage of that on mine.

Not sure I'll go for this, but as the neck profile is said to be way more comfortable and as the lack of comfort on mine is a big reason why I only use it in the studio, I'm inclined to order the burst model (the "midnight blue" looks all-the-way black to me), and see if I even end up starting to use this bass at gigs and rehearsals.

I should point out that the music I do in the studio rarely overlaps with what I do live, and tends to cover an even broader range of styles. In the studio, the BB-Bass is my main bass, and I use the J-Bass models a lot too. Not sure why the P-Bass doesn't cut it as much for me in the studio as I consider it by far the most versatile live bass since it's good at everything and thus rarely seems like a compromise.
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Eugenio Upright, 60th P-Bass, Select J-Bass, Geddy Lee J-Bass, Yamaha BBP35, Viking Bari
Select Strat, Select Tele, Am Pro JM, LP 57 Gold Top, T486-RB, ES295, PM2, EXL1
WX5, XK1c, Voyager, Prophet12

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#2887500 - 10/27/17 11:30 PM Re: Yamaha's revised BB-Bass series: interesting spec changes [Re: Mark Schmieder]
Mark Schmieder Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 8295
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
The low-end models in the series are getting super-negative reviews over at TB, and said to be a huge step down from the previous serious, with the new 700 series being the equivalent to the old 400 series and the new 400 series being poorly constructed and requiring multiple orders before getting a good one. The tuners are especially faulted as inferior.

Now I have cold feet on ordering the BBP35 as an "upgrade" from my BB1025X.


Edited by Mark Schmieder (10/27/17 11:30 PM)
_________________________
Eugenio Upright, 60th P-Bass, Select J-Bass, Geddy Lee J-Bass, Yamaha BBP35, Viking Bari
Select Strat, Select Tele, Am Pro JM, LP 57 Gold Top, T486-RB, ES295, PM2, EXL1
WX5, XK1c, Voyager, Prophet12

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#2887590 - 10/28/17 07:45 PM Re: Yamaha's revised BB-Bass series: interesting spec changes [Re: Mark Schmieder]
Mark Schmieder Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 8295
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
The new review of the four-string high-end model published today in Premier Guitar magazine (UK) has removed all doubts:

https://www.premierguitar.com/articles/2...erm=PG%20Weekly

I may call Kraft Music this week to see how soon they could get one in stock.

The pickups sound righteous. In lieu of a good photo of the Midnight Blue finish, I'd probably go for the sunburst.


Edited by Mark Schmieder (10/28/17 07:45 PM)
_________________________
Eugenio Upright, 60th P-Bass, Select J-Bass, Geddy Lee J-Bass, Yamaha BBP35, Viking Bari
Select Strat, Select Tele, Am Pro JM, LP 57 Gold Top, T486-RB, ES295, PM2, EXL1
WX5, XK1c, Voyager, Prophet12

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#2887772 - 10/30/17 12:47 PM Re: Yamaha's revised BB-Bass series: interesting spec changes [Re: Mark Schmieder]
Michele C. Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 02/27/06
Posts: 1020
Loc: Milano
It definitely has the looks and the goods. Looks a little bit skinnier than the ones I remember. I had a fretless and sold it to buy an ABG. I wanted to send out one when I let one in, but I miss the BB615 I had. Still, I was not using it.
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-- Michele Costabile (http://proxybar.net)

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#2889205 - 11/08/17 02:20 PM Re: Yamaha's revised BB-Bass series: interesting spec changes [Re: Michele C.]
TShakazBlackRoots Offline
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Registered: 02/01/04
Posts: 1113
Loc: Uganda
Let me check them out. I still have my BB2004. Very cool basses.
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#2889463 - 11/09/17 10:57 PM Re: Yamaha's revised BB-Bass series: interesting spec changes [Re: TShakazBlackRoots]
Mark Schmieder Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 8295
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
I have the dough and just need to wait for some credit to clear so I don't keep paying cash for everything instead of cycling debt.

I'll probably call Kraft early next week for an ETA. If it's a long wait, I may hold off as I have other things I could use on current recording projects where I wouldn't have to wait for a back-order.
_________________________
Eugenio Upright, 60th P-Bass, Select J-Bass, Geddy Lee J-Bass, Yamaha BBP35, Viking Bari
Select Strat, Select Tele, Am Pro JM, LP 57 Gold Top, T486-RB, ES295, PM2, EXL1
WX5, XK1c, Voyager, Prophet12

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#2889610 - 11/10/17 01:07 PM Re: Yamaha's revised BB-Bass series: interesting spec changes [Re: Mark Schmieder]
Mark Schmieder Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 8295
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
I just called Kraft, and no one has ordered one yet but they are confident of a 305 week waiting time for a fully pre-paid order (non-refundable).

I like that vendor and used them to order my Yamaha RevStar guitar and some keyboard items, but I'm going to see if a bass specialist has these, now that bass Northwest (where I bought my current BB1025x) is out of business.
_________________________
Eugenio Upright, 60th P-Bass, Select J-Bass, Geddy Lee J-Bass, Yamaha BBP35, Viking Bari
Select Strat, Select Tele, Am Pro JM, LP 57 Gold Top, T486-RB, ES295, PM2, EXL1
WX5, XK1c, Voyager, Prophet12

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#2889614 - 11/10/17 01:13 PM Re: Yamaha's revised BB-Bass series: interesting spec changes [Re: Mark Schmieder]
Mark Schmieder Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 8295
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
Zzounds expects Midnight Blue by 20 NOV and Vintage Sunburst by 8 JAN:

https://www.zzounds.com/item--YAMBBP35?siid=229538

I despise every picture I have seen so far of the Midnight Blue model, but in person it might look better. In photos, it looks black, and the white pick guard accentuates the weirdness of the cutoff shape, which I notice less on the Vintage Sunburst model.
_________________________
Eugenio Upright, 60th P-Bass, Select J-Bass, Geddy Lee J-Bass, Yamaha BBP35, Viking Bari
Select Strat, Select Tele, Am Pro JM, LP 57 Gold Top, T486-RB, ES295, PM2, EXL1
WX5, XK1c, Voyager, Prophet12

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#2889618 - 11/10/17 01:27 PM Re: Yamaha's revised BB-Bass series: interesting spec changes [Re: Mark Schmieder]
Mark Schmieder Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 8295
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
Sweetwater says their shipment will be a mix of both finishes and got delayed but is expected within a couple of weeks, so I am going to go ahead and do a pre-order through them as they also allow cancellations and returns.
_________________________
Eugenio Upright, 60th P-Bass, Select J-Bass, Geddy Lee J-Bass, Yamaha BBP35, Viking Bari
Select Strat, Select Tele, Am Pro JM, LP 57 Gold Top, T486-RB, ES295, PM2, EXL1
WX5, XK1c, Voyager, Prophet12

Top
#2893697 - 12/02/17 04:12 PM Re: Yamaha's revised BB-Bass series: interesting spec changes [Re: Mark Schmieder]
Mark Schmieder Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 8295
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
No update on expected ship date. This is one of three rather expensive items that I pre-paid last month as pre-orders. The other two items are in the mandolin family. $5K altogether, with interest accruing, but I don't want to sell the items these are upgrades from, until a direct shootout.
_________________________
Eugenio Upright, 60th P-Bass, Select J-Bass, Geddy Lee J-Bass, Yamaha BBP35, Viking Bari
Select Strat, Select Tele, Am Pro JM, LP 57 Gold Top, T486-RB, ES295, PM2, EXL1
WX5, XK1c, Voyager, Prophet12

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#2894007 - 12/05/17 12:58 AM Re: Yamaha's revised BB-Bass series: interesting spec changes [Re: Mark Schmieder]
Mark Schmieder Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 8295
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
Got a call this morning that the BB Bass shipment finally came in, so mine will be sent out as soon as it is inspected. I might not have it physically at hand until next week though due to an off-site meeting on Friday, unless it arrives on Thursday.

Good timing, as I have now finished final bass takes on the songs that will use the J-Bass with flats vs. the ones that will use the BB-Bass with rounds.
_________________________
Eugenio Upright, 60th P-Bass, Select J-Bass, Geddy Lee J-Bass, Yamaha BBP35, Viking Bari
Select Strat, Select Tele, Am Pro JM, LP 57 Gold Top, T486-RB, ES295, PM2, EXL1
WX5, XK1c, Voyager, Prophet12

Top
#2894102 - 12/05/17 12:05 PM Re: Yamaha's revised BB-Bass series: interesting spec changes [Re: Mark Schmieder]
Mark Schmieder Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 8295
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
They sent me photos as teasers before sending it off today. It should arrive next Monday.

Absolutely gorgeous grain and finish, so I'm glad I bought the burst vs. the so-called "midnight blue" that looks black in photos (but probably isn't) and which would hide the grain of the wood.
_________________________
Eugenio Upright, 60th P-Bass, Select J-Bass, Geddy Lee J-Bass, Yamaha BBP35, Viking Bari
Select Strat, Select Tele, Am Pro JM, LP 57 Gold Top, T486-RB, ES295, PM2, EXL1
WX5, XK1c, Voyager, Prophet12

Top
#2895457 - 12/12/17 01:23 PM Re: Yamaha's revised BB-Bass series: interesting spec changes [Re: Mark Schmieder]
Mark Schmieder Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 8295
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
Tracking says it has arrived. Will check our receiving dock after they get off lunch break.

I will be getting it inspected tomorrow after work. I can't plug in here, and took BART today so can't drive it home, but even unplugged, I should be able to judge whether I want to try NYXL strings on this bass, stick with the EXP's it comes with, or go with my favourite TI PowerBass set.
_________________________
Eugenio Upright, 60th P-Bass, Select J-Bass, Geddy Lee J-Bass, Yamaha BBP35, Viking Bari
Select Strat, Select Tele, Am Pro JM, LP 57 Gold Top, T486-RB, ES295, PM2, EXL1
WX5, XK1c, Voyager, Prophet12

Top
#2895746 - 12/13/17 05:12 PM Re: Yamaha's revised BB-Bass series: interesting spec changes [Re: Mark Schmieder]
Mark Schmieder Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 8295
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
Inspection found no problems, and instead we became ever more impressed with the engineering changes that Yamaha made since the last BB-series revisions.

Very focused sound up and down the neck, across the strings, and at every pickup blend and tone combination imaginable. These are excellent pickups.

The fingerboard relief is adjusted for the low strings vs. the high strings. There are six bolts, the bottom of two which are at a 45 degree angle, for maximum neck stability. Strings come out at 45 degrees as well, at the end of the instrument.

Although on-line lit says they ship with EXL's, it has something else that I don't care for (sticky texture). It appears to need Super Longs, so we'll slap on a standard EXL1705SL set, as the main problem with the "A" and "G" strings seems to be incorrect action vs. the wrong string tension.

That means it will initially go with .045/.065/.080/.100/.130 as we're concerned a heavier gauge might present some problems that it doesn't currently have.

You can still tell it's a Yamaha BB bass, but it has way more expressive and dynamic range than previous recent models, so once I can actually compare them side by side, it's highly doubtful I'll have any regrets, and thus I expect to put my BB1025x up for sale over the holidays.

The hardshell case is quite nice, and rare for Yamaha (even as an after-market sale; a major failing of that company). It even has gold hardware for some reason.

This is an absolutely gorgeous instrument. The wood grain is to die for, and the flame finish is about the most even of any I've ever seen -- whereas so many go to all-black too soon, and with narely a transition.
_________________________
Eugenio Upright, 60th P-Bass, Select J-Bass, Geddy Lee J-Bass, Yamaha BBP35, Viking Bari
Select Strat, Select Tele, Am Pro JM, LP 57 Gold Top, T486-RB, ES295, PM2, EXL1
WX5, XK1c, Voyager, Prophet12

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