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Yamaha BB Series Bass Guitars

The Yamaha BB bass guitar - these very playable, classic workhorses have been the mainstay of bass aficionados the world over. And now, they are back! And Yamaha has breathed new life into these classic basses, while succeeding in staying true to the BB series' well-loved legacy. Choose a BB for the penetrating sound, clarity of fundamental notes and impressive sustain for which they have become so well known. Craft your BB bass's tone the way you would like it to sound... 

Watch: In-depth Review of the Yamaha BB Series Bass Guitars with Roy Martinez

Video Transcript

Hello, everyone, and welcome to Mega Music's series on the brand new Yamaha Broad Bass basses. I'm here with local musician Roy Martinez - hello, Roy. He's been using Yamaha basses for quite some time now how long would you say, Roy? About 20 years in various models. There you go we've even got one of his original ones here today. This is my workhorse actually. It's a BBN5. I've had this for about 15 or 16 years or so. It's seen a bit of action here but I find these are great basses. This is actually a very basic model. I remember as a kid in the '80s, I had the Yamaha catalogue and I loved the BB basses and, you know, it was fantastic for me to listen to my favourite records that have a lot of people like Abe Laboriel, Nathan East, they were all using these BB basses and I loved the sound of it. There was something really... they kind of just sat in the mix really well and I find this bass which is my workhorse in the studio or live just sits in the mix just perfectly really fat and even and it's just a great platform to do anything on. Absolutely, that is awesome. No worries, well we'll leave it with Roy now and he'll take you through a few different options. So this is the Yamaha BB234 from the 200 series - the more introductory model. It comes with a solid alder body, custom v3 pickups, bolt on neck and lightweight, gear tuners. Roy just gave you a run-through with the neck pickup, was it? Well, actually, it was just all the controls on. There you go, everything on full bore! How I like to play! Yes. No worries. And he'll just run through a couple of different modes for you now. Ok so here again this is a default mode I suppose with everything full-on. So that's usually a great kind of sound just for general kind of playing I suppose. What I'll do now is I'll kick back the treble control which is the volume. So this is actually a volume for the neck pickup, volume for the bridge pickup and the general tone. So the tone is on full, the neck pickup is on full and I'll cut back the bridge pickup so this should be just the neck pickup for a nice deep, woolly, P-Bass sound. So yeah, right? So now I'll cut back that neck pickup volume and I'll put on the bridge pickup volume which ends up being kind of what they call the Jaco Pastorius kind of sound where he used predominantly the bridge pickup, so this is a nice kind of burpy sort of mid-range sound. I love it. Okay, now I'll just take down the tone control. So this is much more of a muted sort of sound - great for things like reggae and you know when you want that really deep sort of sound. So it's great because that sound usually on most bases can sound a bit woolly but this one has a lot of definition and still sounds very clean. Yeah, yeah and the fundamental is still there. Okay, so here we are now with the 400 series. This is the BB434M - the maple neck version. This has a five-piece neck. It has a solid alder body, involves the new six-point miter joint, the extra two pins hold the neck closer to the body - basically transferring vibration better and kind of bringing you closer to like that of a full neck-through bass. You've also got a string-through body at the back here. It's as far back as possible for maximum tension and we also upgrade to the v5 pickups where as it was the v3 in the 200 series. Take it away, Roy! Yeah, okay well, you know, one thing I have found through playing a lot of basses throughout the years is how solid the neck is really adds to the tone and the sustain like you were saying so this one, yeah, you can really feel it's solid as. Okay, so let's see, I'll go with the default position which is all the pickups on and the treble on, full position. Very nice! Well immediately I could tell this bass is actually a little bit brighter than the others because of the maple neck, I'm assuming as well. Let me try now with just the neck pickup, so I'll cut back the treble pickup to nothing and so it's just the front pickup here. Cool, yeah. There's a lot of character in this bass and now I'll try just the treble pickup. And this neck is just really playable I just feel like you could do anything on it. So, yeah, I love the dimensions and it's actually relatively light, too. The added brightness of the maple board is awesome. Yeah, yeah so I like this one. Yeah, no worries. You want to give us that Jaco setting you were telling us about before. Okay, well this is again the treble pickup again, so... Nice ending. So one thing about these maple necks because it's a little bit brighter, it kind of really lends itself to the slapping sort of technique, which I love. So here's a demo of that... Ok, so now we're going to step up to the 700 series. The attention to detail in this bass gets really quite impressive. A few big changes versus the other 2 versions - first thing you probably noticed was the woods. So it is actually a three-piece body - split alder, maple, alder. You also go to an active/passive system which can change from passive to engaging the active mode which can allow you to boost bass, middle and tone which Roy will go through. It also continues with the trend of the six-point miter joint on the back for additional sustain bringing the neck closer to the body, closer to neck-through. You'll also notice that the 5-piece neck is now a satin neck which has a beautiful feel - feels really good. Exactly. You've got that active preamp in this one so we've got the easy-to-put-in battery pack - which we found out earlier. It also has a battery alert light, for when it's on the way out, which is a nice feature that I haven't really seen anywhere else. These basses - one thing we haven't touched on - is they're all available in five-string as well. On the five-string version of this it actually sits the five-string back on a little bit longer scale as well for even more tension on that fifth string. No worries. This is the default position again so this is a little bit different in the outlay here. This has a master volume and for the pickup it's actually got this one knob here that has a centre detent - one or the other - so I'll put it on the middle position which means both pickups are on, and the cool thing about this bass is, in the passive mode, which is the switch up here, this control here still makes the treble bleed so you have it passively kind of bright we can make it a bit down but that's still in the passive mode. So I'll go with just somewhere in the middle and everything on Ok, here we go. Cool! Alright, so what I'll do now is maybe I'll put the active electronics on, so this becomes now the bass and the mid and treble here. So I'll try to put it on the centre detent which means there's no boost or there's no cut it's just flat - flat but still in active position. So this is with both pickups on... For me, immediately you get a bit of a gain boost. So this is in passive mode... and this is in active... so you do have a little bit of a gain boost, but then the beauty of the active electronics is you can really hone in on the frequencies and say for instance I'll put the bass control full on and you can hear the difference here... So there's a beautiful warm kind of bass frequency which they've selected the right ones it seems. So what I'll do now is the mid-frequency... So that's with the mid-frequency full on. That's great because it can really cut through a mix, you know, in a band situation where you really need that kick and it just kind of centres in that fundamental quite well. So what I'll do is I'll do a bit of the scooped sort of sound which is maybe putting the mids a little bit less, bass a little bit more and the treble a little bit more... A nice tone. So that's all with both pickups on so I'll try to go for the Motown sort of sound with the neck pickup on, a bit more of the bass and a bit less of the treble and the mids where it is... Great and again it never gets too muddy - the fundamental is still there, still really clear even with the treble way down, so, yeah, good. Alright, now I might try to go for again the Jaco kind of sound with the bridge pickup. Here again I'll cut down on the treble a little bit. I'll use the treble pickup Really cuts through, actually. Okay, everyone, so there we have it - thanks for your time, Roy. Thank you. A great introduction to the Yamaha Broad Bass series. They are available to check out online right now - you can just click on the link or you can run into either of our stores and have a play for yourself.

The Yamaha BB series of bass guitars consists of the BB200 series, the BB400 series and the BB700 series with each of the series being available in both 4-string and 5-string variations. Whether you're a beginner and would like a solid starter bass guitar, or a professional/working bassist looking for a go-to workhorse, the BBs are sure to impress with their quality construction and electronics - not to mention their superb good looks. Check out the range of BB basses below...

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Yamaha BB234 4 String Bass Guitar Black

The introductory model of the hardest working bass guitar in the business: the Yamaha BB series.

Yamaha BB234 4 String Bass Guitar Raspberry Red

The introductory model of the hardest working bass guitar in the business: the Yamaha BB series.

Yamaha BB234 4 String Bass Guitar Vintage White

The introductory model of the hardest working bass guitar in the business: the Yamaha BB series.

Yamaha BB234 4 String Bass Guitar Yellow Natural Satin

The introductory model of the hardest working bass guitar in the business: the Yamaha BB series.

Yamaha BB235 5 String Bass Guitar Black

The five-string version of the B234 - the introductory model of the hardest working bass guitar in the business: the Yamaha BB series.

Yamaha BB235 5 String Bass Guitar Raspberry Red

The five-string version of the B234 - the introductory model of the hardest working bass guitar in the business: the Yamaha BB series.
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