BB424 review by Yamaha

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  • Features: 10
  • Sound: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 10 Gem
  • Users' score: 5.5 (4 votes)
Yamaha: BB424

Price paid: € 430

Purchased from: MitrosMusic

Features — 10
It was made in 2011 in Indonesia. It has Alder body, Bolt-on maple/nato neck (clear satin finish, very smooth and easy to play) and rosewood fingerboard. It is 34" scale with 21 frets. It is 4 string version. The electornics are passive and contain a bar single bridge pickup and a split single neck pickup. The controls are volume knob, tone knob and 3-way toggle switch. I really like this switch because I can change sounds easily during playing. Bridge is standard and stringing can be 45 degree string-thru body and standard through bride. It weighs 4.4 kg.

Sound — 10
I play rock, punk, pop rock and I play loud and heavy. Used it with Crate 15w, Vox 60w, Marshall box and head (don't remember which one), Hartke 4x10+1x15 with Hartke head, Mark Bass 2x10+1x15 with Mark Bass head and it sounded better and better as amp progression goes. If the amp is stronger, the bass sounds better.

I compare this bass with Yamaha BB300, Yamaha BB414, Squier Jazz Bass Standard, Squier Prec Affinity, Aria IGB-30 and it is blowing away every one of them. BB414 has similar pickup configuration but the sound of BB424 is clearer and more powerful. Older BB have more muddy sound. Split P pickup is prec sound, but with piano dynamics. It is not like Fender's woody sound. It is very strong and powerful (I'll be using these adjectives many time) There are a lot of sound samples on YouTube and those that are HQ are very much correct. They can help you figure out the sound pretty good, but when you plug the bass into an amp and start playing with a band... I was extremely surprised how much power does this bass have and by power I do not think of decibels but of presence in the band. You are there and heard. Bridge pickup is strong and useable. It has more definition and low end than Squier Jazz which sounds weak and transparent even with the both PU full on and can not cut through mix (I really did not enjoyed this bass, not a second of my time with it). This trait of character of BB424 to sound like a piano is completely different than anything I have heard so far.

BB424 can be used for playing pretty much anything. Play with a pick the sound is sharp and has a great attack, with fingers is rich and full, and if you want to slap, with half wound or flat wound strings, you get completely new sounding instrument but a little brighter than standard dull flat sound. Also, this very much depends on the type of strings you are using. Either way it is suitable instrument for funk also.

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
Set up from the factory is not something I look at because I always change everything to better adress my type of playing. I had to rise the action and lower the pickups because I dig really hard, and people I know always lower the action, for example. It is a matter of personal technique and taste and I strongly recommend everybody to learn to adjust the instrument they are playing because it will connect you deeper with it. But everything was on it's place and ready for standard player. I would give it 9 because the truss rod was lose but it was not a problem at all, so it is 10 :)

Reliability & Durability — 10
This instrument s rock solid and I think it will last for years to come. It can withstand live playing, hardware is very nice, finish is good… No problem with it so far. My friend has BB300 for 20 years and it is still in fantastic shape. I hope to witness that with my shotgun BB also. This is the type of bass that I personally would like to use for the rest of my life. It is not expensive so one would not be in constant fear when gigging with it but it has GREAT sound and killer looks. Mine is X version with pickguard.

Overall Impression — 10
It is not possible to simplify the amount of excitement I have toward this instrument. It has the low end I love, the sharp tone, killer looks, it is easy to play and I would not change anything on it. If I have had more money I would have for sure bought 1024 version, because it is more sophisticated regarding finish job and sound. I have tried a remarkable amount of basses in different shops and this Yamaha left me with strongest impression. When searching, I stumbled across a lot of good comments and reviews for Squier basses, but they didn't made a good impression on me. Yamaha is by far a better instrument.

3 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Thanks for taking the time to write this review but I would challenge you to at least find some constructive criticism for it instead of giving it a 10/10 in every category. How about the price? These are $500 basses. You could compare them with other basses in the price range (not $350 Squiers) and probably find some things you don't like as much. Or, at the very least, you can use that $500 price point as part of your criticism.
    Dear Xomar, believe me that I would have written sharper critics regarding this bass if there were any beside the ones I have already mentioned. This is not a comparison review for every bass in the price category, but is my angle and mine impression of the instrument. Maybe there are better basses for $500 but I didn't came across them. I completely understand your point of view, but in the last approx. 6 months I have had many disappointments with bass guitars below $500 (range $200-400). Bad fret work, bad control knobs, bad buzz... The ones that I have mentioned are the instruments I have tried playing with (or in) a band, which is completely different from trying the instrument playing over the original song or playing alone...I am sure you know this already. I have tried many different basses in shops in BB424 price range (other Yamahas, Ibanez, Warwick, Washburn, Vintage...) but I didn't have the opportunity to test them in the live action, so it would not be justly to take them into consideration for comparison. For 500 dollars more you can get some serious guitars, but they are twice the price. Yamaha BB424 is my favorite bass guitar. The more I play it the more I like it It is really good instrument and it deserves the best marks.
    Xomar,,Are you for real?? you want someone to criticize something just because? Ok, here's one, the BB424 is not a good bass because it makes every Fender/Squire owner look like dick heads for paying 3 times the price for a name!! You buy a Yamaha, and you change nothing, you buy a Fender/Squire and change the p/ups, bridge and electrics to get it to sound good.