BB414 review by Yamaha

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Features: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 8.2 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.9 (47 votes)
Yamaha: BB414

Sound — 9
I mostly play heavy metal, only the old stuff like Black Sabbath, old Metallica, Saxon, old Iron Maiden etc and I love the sound coming outa this bass, but it's not that great for the funk sound. Overall it's a perfect rock bass. The bridge pickup tends to be really noisy even in combination with the neck pickup but the bridge pickup sounds too bright for my tastes so it doesnt't bother me at all. However if you prefer this brighter sound then you should consider getting some sort of hum cancelling device or better pickups.

Overall Impression — 8
I think this bass is a perfect match for the style of music I play which as you know is heavy metal. I have been playing for 13 months now and have progressed rather rapidly. I own a Boss ME-50B effects pedal which I highly recommend and a Fender Rumble 15 amp, by the end of the week I am expecting my new amp to arrive which is a SWR Workingpro 12. If it were stolen or lost I would probably not buy it again and get something of a higher quality. I love that it's very playable and has a great sound, yet I hate that I cannnot use the bridge pickup because it creates too much hum. No I did not compare it to other producs, because this was my first bass. I wish I had my new amp.

Reliability & Durability — 8
I would think this bass would withstand live playing as I've used it in music class for 4 months straight with no issues. The hardware appears to be of pretty good quality and I've had no issues with it yet. The stap buttons never seem to want to let go of my guitar strap no matter what I do, and that is without strap locks. I would most definatly use it on a gig without a backup because it has yet to fail me and I have yet to see any Yamaha product fail. The finish is rather thin and thousands of sratches can be seen on the back of the body of the bass. But isn't too bad for this price.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
I bought this used so I could not tell you how the factory finish and setup is, but it was in rather good shape when I bought it except for one nick on the back that no one can see, other than that it seems to be holding up just fine.

Features — 7
It was made in 2004 in Taiwan, 21 frets, rosewoof fretboard, alder body, black pearl finish in BB style body and pickups. Passive electronics with a volume, tone and 3-way pickup selector. Nice set of features for this price but you can get a lot more for just a bit more $.

15 comments sorted by best / new / date

    nikidude3 wrote: This is a really good bass really good sound, I have one of these and i think its great. But I think the best bass would be Stingray or Flea
    my friend has one of these and he is really experianced and he says yamaha is the best brand. im not so sure about best but stll.
    also you have to be careful when stringing this bass because if you let the a string come off the tuner too high it will cause you lots of greif. Yamaha is up there but there are better basses out there but i cant find one that gives me the same sound as this, so im most likly going to get a BB2004 which is a higher end version of this one.
    Double Basser
    I have the original BB bass, an old BB400 out of the late seventies. It doesn't have the J pup but it is a damn solid bass. Mines been defretted and has flatwounds on it. I couldn't tell you what the original tone was like but the Fretless tone is similar to a vintage fretless p-bass, so i'd assume the fretted tone is similar to a fretted P-bass as well. All in all an awesome basses.
    i own the bb614 model,ive been playing bass for 3 years now, i think its a great well rounded bass for all styles or music and players
    Its a good bass but you shouldnt buy it if you have been playing for more than 1 or 2 years beacuse this bass is more a beginners bass and for people who havent played for long but my opinion is that the bass is the best high quality beginners bass you can get today. I regret bying it beacuse i needed something with higher quality.
    This was my second bass...after a P-bass. It was good for a stepping stone to my now ibanez. It was a nice step up cause it was almost an intermediate guitar and sounded really well. I don't play it anymore because I find that the neck isnt fast enough. Definitely not a beginners bass, but not an advanced/experienced bass.
    I have your exacty amp (and also a Fender 100w) and the exact Effect pedal! I agree it is a very nice bass to play and the sound is great. It could be a bit lighter maybe but it depends on what kind of music you are playing.
    Flea basses are supposed to be bad, unless you meant the old flea signature ones I can't remember the models name
    Since the original posting, I still have this particular bass. My taste in tone changed considerably and I found myself using the bridge pickup almost exclusively. More recently I fit an EMG PJ pickup set. The neck pickups have more midrange to them compared to the Yamaha passives. This better suits my tastes, YMMV. Probably not worth modifying too much considering an entry level MTD is around the $1000 mark, also consider a Warmoth or Carvin. However you can still modify those as well. For an entry level bass, seeing as they're $300 or less in good shape, you can't go wrong. Other tidbits: On the topic of the Boss pedal, I can't stand the thing, sounds too digital. Even the synthesizers sounds forced and harsh. The Fender amp, probably not worth the effort involved. Aim 50-100W at minimum. The SWR has worked out well, but those look to be a thing of the past after being acquired by Fender.
    This is a really good bass really good sound, I have one of these and i think its great. But I think the best bass would be Stingray or Flea