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Chowderboots

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PostSubject: And I thought we were being original...   Wed Jun 17, 2009 1:04 pm

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PostSubject: Re: And I thought we were being original...   Wed Jun 17, 2009 2:12 pm

Um...I'm not too convinced of that. It looks more like a homespun job, and because of the pickup setup, the guy is tagging the bass as a "Billy Sheehan project bass". If Billy himself had actually owned this bass, I think the seller would be exploiting that point. I also don't see two output jacks, or neck scalloping, or a brass nut. I'm not even sure this is a "new" instrument, since the knobs appear to be missing, and I think I can see some wear/shadowing on the frets, but this is hard to tell from the pictures.

Also, unless the guy did what I did in swapping out the P pickups within the stock cases, those look like they are ordinary Yamaha P's. I recognize the casings as being the same from my red Yamaha. Now, the humbucker at the neck does look like an X2N-7, and the pickup ring looks really good. But I think this is a Yamaha that the guy customized a bit, and is now trying to unload.

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PostSubject: Re: And I thought we were being original...   Wed Jun 17, 2009 2:59 pm

It seems as though Mr. Sheehan has foiled us yet again! Laughing
http://mos.musicradar.com/images/Product%20News/Guitar/Feb08/Billy%20Sheehan%20Yamaha%20bass%201-850-100.jpg

Some reading...

http://www.yamaha.com/yamahavgn/CDA/ContentDetail/PressReleaseDetailPF.html?CNTID=5024604&CTID=551476
http://www.gearwire.com/yamaha-b714bsbillysheehanbass.html
http://www.guitarworld.com/article/yamaha_bb714bs_billy_sheehan_signature_bass

But you are right, it doesn't look like something he'd play. Stereo capability, scalloping, and DiMarzios aren't there. Maybe he's looking for a change, or maybe the BB417BS was created to be a more widely acceptable Billy Sheehan signature bass?
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PostSubject: Re: And I thought we were being original...   Wed Jun 17, 2009 4:45 pm

Ah-ha! So this IS a Sheehan design!

I do note that this bass does not incorporate stereo outputs, and it sounds like the pickups are not the hotter DiMarzio's. Still, it's a great concept.

Hmmm...speaking of the concept...a Yamaha BB series...interesting...I wonder where Billy might have gotten the idea to use a BB series bass...





...where indeed? scratch

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PostSubject: Re: And I thought we were being original...   Wed Jun 17, 2009 4:49 pm

Hahahahahahahahaha I love the quizzical look on your face in the last photo. It goes well with "...where indeed?" Laughing It has a very implied "well, look at me now" look to it. Very Happy

What kinda pickup did you have in the neck position on there? DiMarzio Jazz?

I just figured I'd point it out since we've been so obsessive about this, you know? Maybe great minds think alike. However, I don't think that Billy's new bass has at all the same intent as the crap we dream up. And considering that they're Yamaha electronics, nope, they probably won't be as hot as an X2N-7 and a Model P.

They probably decided to use blades on the "woofer" pickup for a good reason. I mean, you see Billy do all those crazy bends and the Model One style pickups have small pole pieces with lots of space in between them. I could imagine some kind of drop out happening there. With blades, the notes won't drop out like with individual pole pieces, especially by the neck where the pickup is closer to where the strings are being bent. And the fact that he traditionally uses that pickup to power super clean lows leads me to think that he has a very different idea there.

That and I love messin' with ya. Twisted Evil tongue
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PostSubject: Re: And I thought we were being original...   Wed Jun 17, 2009 6:53 pm

And I enjoy being messed with! Laughing

I think that expression on my face had more to do with being a goofball! Wink

To be honest, I am really not being serious in thinking that Billy took the idea from me. The Yamaha BB series is an awesome set of basses, and it only makes sense that they evolve in this way. And actually, the very first bass that Yamaha built for Billy was a modified BB series.

So now that I am seeing this bass, I might have to re-think my decision to go with a BB414, and get one of these instead. The routing is already there for the neck pickup, so it would be easy to replace the stock one with an X2N/X2N-7. The P is going to be a challenge, since I want an X2N-7 to go in the spot, but it wouldn't be impossible. I would have to re-do the circuitry to be stereo, which would also be easy. And of course, the trem.

I am thinking more and more of going with a Bach Musik tremolo, and Mo/Jeff has really given me food for thought from his idea of a modified seven-string trem, which has me now wondering if the toplock couldn't be modified to handle bass strings.

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PostSubject: Re: And I thought we were being original...   Wed Jun 17, 2009 9:44 pm

I know you aren't, but it's interesting how a lot of things appear to be similar about you, although they couldn't be more different. Just different means of arriving at a similar end, I guess, you know?

I'd go with the BB414 if I were you. It's cheaper and that much more your own.
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PostSubject: Re: And I thought we were being original...   Wed Jun 17, 2009 10:54 pm

Yeah...the more I think about it, the more I think that's the way to go. Since the BB414 costs around $350, and the BB714BS costs twice that amount, that would mean that I would be paying about $350 to have a hole routed for the neck humbucker. So I might just go with the BB414 after all.

Decisions, decisions.

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PostSubject: Re: And I thought we were being original...   Wed Jun 17, 2009 10:56 pm

Indeed. I wonder if anything's different about the construction of the Billy Sheehan BB. I think that would be a more deciding factor.
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PostSubject: Re: And I thought we were being original...   Wed Jun 17, 2009 11:21 pm

EricHaven wrote:
So now that I am seeing this bass, I might have to re-think my decision to go with a BB414, and get one of these instead.

If you lose the bid, you might have to break your "I won't play anything over $500" rule. Musicians Friend has them for $700. And with a trem, it will probably cost close to $1000.

Chowderboots wrote:
And considering that they're Yamaha electronics, nope, they probably won't be as hot as an X2N-7 and a Model P.

I don't know, Billy takes a lot of pride in his signature models. His other signature is almost identical to the one he uses on stage. The only difference is that his is rewired to bypass the tone knob and has LED fret markers that cost hundreds of dollars extra. I don't think they'll be quite the same, but I'd think they'd be similar. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.
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PostSubject: Re: And I thought we were being original...   Thu Jun 18, 2009 3:56 am

boots was asking about the newer model having the blades on the neck position of the signature model vs. the dimarzio pickup ..............

i've seen billy play several times. the best times was when he was with vai ... just more opportunity to be an "off the hook" bass player.

the example was him playing the attitude bass with the pole pickup in the neck position. when billy was soloing, bending and being the nut that he is, it seemed the sound (that howling mid tone) would deteriorate quicker in different keys or fluctuating notes (like trem or bends).

now, i'm just assuming he was soloing with that pickup on (hotter pick up; i would) and assuming that this fluctuation was comming from the strings straying from the magnetic field .... as opposed to a comressor hitting its limits? but if this is the case ... a bladed humbucker would make sense ... right?

anyhow ... i'm really digging this "new" yamaha signature bass. i'm gonna do some research.
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PostSubject: Re: And I thought we were being original...   Thu Jun 18, 2009 7:32 am

madmike wrote:
boots was asking about the newer model having the blades on the neck position of the signature model vs. the dimarzio pickup ..............

i've seen billy play several times. the best times was when he was with vai ... just more opportunity to be an "off the hook" bass player.

the example was him playing the attitude bass with the pole pickup in the neck position. when billy was soloing, bending and being the nut that he is, it seemed the sound (that howling mid tone) would deteriorate quicker in different keys or fluctuating notes (like trem or bends).

now, i'm just assuming he was soloing with that pickup on (hotter pick up; i would) and assuming that this fluctuation was comming from the strings straying from the magnetic field .... as opposed to a comressor hitting its limits? but if this is the case ... a bladed humbucker would make sense ... right?

anyhow ... i'm really digging this "new" yamaha signature bass. i'm gonna do some research.

Yep! My thoughts exactly. The pole pieces on the Model One and Will Power neck p/u are small and far apart. It wouldn't surprise me in the slightest if that's the reason behind this.

And yeah...it is one helluva cool bass!!! Shocked What I like about Billy's signature models is that they're stuff that a lot of people have dreamed of (or similar to peoples' ideas for a hot rodded instrument), but they're actually produced by a big company for folks to buy and *** kicking right off the shelf. They're no longer just a legend or just a wild idea, they're real. A bass with stereo outputs, a scalloped fretboard, and controls ridiculously close to the strings...WOW! Never woulda thought of that because no one else does that, you know?

Kugelspot wrote:
I don't know, Billy takes a lot of pride in his signature models. His other signature is almost identical to the one he uses on stage. The only difference is that his is rewired to bypass the tone knob and has LED fret markers that cost hundreds of dollars extra. I don't think they'll be quite the same, but I'd think they'd be similar. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

However, as far as I know, he hasn't used an X2N before and, from what I know, he has a very different approach to his sound that an X2N would probably get in the way of. He's looking for more clear low end instead of smoke and dirt. And that pickup is called a "woofer" by numerous sources, which makes me think that it's a different design altogether from an X2N, although it might look similar. Probably to reduce dropout on high string bends. I could be wrong, but those are my educated guesses.

The stock electronics probably won't be worse than totally DiMarzio parts, but they are probably going to be very different from the Model P/X2N-7 configuration that we've been fascinated with lately. Jah mean?
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PostSubject: Re: And I thought we were being original...   Thu Jun 18, 2009 2:22 pm

Upon reading the specs, my thought is that that stock pickups aren't going to be like the DiMarzio's would be, even though they will still probably be superior to ordinary stock Yamaha pickups.

Yeah...I think the BB414 will be the way to go for me. It doesn't make sense to pay that much extra for what is essentially the same bass. Although I am curious to hear how the neck humbucker on the BB714 sounds.

MadMike, that howling midtone of Billy's stems from the P pickup, since this is his high/distortion channel. The neck humbucker is the source of his low/clean tone. I do know that Billy was using DiMarzio P's that had pole pieces instead of blades, but I'm not sure if the current Willpower models he uses are based on the same idea or not. If they are, it is possible that the drop-outs you heard were the result of him bending out of line with the pole pieces, and in such a case, it does make more sense for him to go with a pickup that uses blades instead of pole pieces. This is yet another reason why I like the X2N concept, since it uses two complete bars for the poles pieces that run almost the whole length of the pickup.

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PostSubject: Re: And I thought we were being original...   Fri Jun 19, 2009 3:35 am

i was actually thinking about it from the other direction eric. billy is an awesome bassist and for the overkill on the low end tone, even doing solos, he makes that tone work for him.

i've looked at the output ranges of those signature dimarzios and the split p is low and the model one is it (?) (neck) is even lower.

personally, it just seems like something i would be fighting with to overcome and cut thru the mix. billy does cut thru with it and its probably with something after the pickups ... people have talked about wiring set up? i'm sure he's got better than top of the line gear. pre amp? eq? multitudes of processors? boggles the mind!

this is why, rebuilding the p bass, i went with a humbucker in the bridge with a blend. i get all the lows from the split double p and can squeal out high end with the turn of the knobbie.

so the signature doesnt have the dimarzio pickups? i would wonder if such a low end output would have been brought up from the bottom in design of the stock pickups. i mean ... mentioning billy cutting thru .... wouldnt someone quite possibly have problems with civillian gear?

i'm gonna go find one of these puppies and find out. theres a yamaha dealer exclusively here in eastern pa.
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PostSubject: Re: And I thought we were being original...   Fri Jun 19, 2009 9:34 am

Tell me how it goes if you do get to try one some time!!

Well, I know he uses compressors out the Wazoo. And 3 or 4 SVT4 Pros all EQed differently. I think it's the fact that he's got so many frequencies covered that no matter who he's playing with, you still hear "bass", you know?
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PostSubject: Re: And I thought we were being original...   Fri Jun 19, 2009 2:12 pm

I can give you a quick and cheap way to get your bass tone to cut through.

Midrange.

I used to think that you needed tons of treble to get a cutting sound, but years of tweaking EQ's finally learned me what the secret was. I can recall more than a few times where a band would be playing, and the bass player would ask me "how do you get your bass sound to read so thoroughly?", and I would tell him to simply turn up the midrange control. He would protest a bit saying "but that will make my tone really honky", and I would say "yes, but when you are playing with the rest of the band, it will all level out". Lo and behold, he would come over to me at the next break and say "it works!"

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PostSubject: Re: And I thought we were being original...   Fri Jun 19, 2009 3:54 pm

yes it does work.

i also agree with that dude you were talking to ... honkey was it?

personally ... i cut the mids as much as possible ... but like eric sez, i gotta turn em up to cut thru the rest of the band. practice and recording, i drop the mids and push the compression.
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PostSubject: Re: And I thought we were being original...   Fri Jun 19, 2009 6:37 pm

It's true that upping the midrange will make your tone more honky. But since I only do this on my distortion channel, and add tons of blazing distortion, it works well.

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