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EricHaven
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PostSubject: Need help with decison   Mon Jun 22, 2009 5:28 pm

OK...you guys all know that my plan is take some sort of Yamaha BB series bass, and do all of my customizing things to it. You know, a trem, stereo pickups, etc. So I find myself really on the fence as to which way I ought to go, and I wanted to get your opinions. Here are my two choices.

Yamaha BB414:



Yamaha BB714BS:



The BB414 costs about $250 less than the BB714BS does. But I want that neck humbucker, so if I got the BB414, I would end up routing the spot for the neck pickup, and the bridge pickup would go to waste. But if I got the BB714BS, I would imagine that the stock neck pickup it comes with will work fine for my purposes. And in either case, I still have to somehow get a DiMarzio X2N-7 into the spot where the stock P's sit. And of course, the trem routing will be the same for either one as well.

So what do you guys think I should do? scratch

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PostSubject: Re: Need help with decison   Mon Jun 22, 2009 5:31 pm

I'd go with neck bucker, the more expensive one, its almost what you want, saves on some routing.


Also, having no pre-amp like the cheaper one, means less trouble gutting it, and no extra holes.
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PostSubject: Re: Need help with decison   Mon Jun 22, 2009 6:50 pm

Ah! Excellent point about the electronics, Bill! To be totally honest, I hadn't noticed that the BB414 had an active system, which would be a complete waste for me anyways since I will NEVER use active electronics ever. I guess that's definitely one point in favor of the BB714BS so far! Wink

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PostSubject: Re: Need help with decison   Mon Jun 22, 2009 7:34 pm

EricHaven wrote:
I hadn't noticed that the BB414 had an active system, which would be a complete waste for me anyways since I will NEVER use active electronics ever.

Never and ever are a long time Wink I use active 99% of the time so I guess I can't help.
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PostSubject: Re: Need help with decison   Mon Jun 22, 2009 10:00 pm

And I do understand the appeal of active electronics, Jeff. I have played with them in the past, and they do sound incredible, but I'm so old school that the thought of having to rely on a battery in my bass makes me nervous. And yes, it also stems from Billy Sheehans opinions about "batteries in guitars", but also because I have seen situations where the battery would die, and the player would be going "uh-oh!" Now, I realize that this can be remedied by changing the battery every time, but it just isn't something I want to deal with. Now, if I were to ever find an active pickup system that gave me the tone and reactivity that I'm after, then I might reconsider it. But for now, I'm happy with passive systems.

And my conundrum isn't related to whether to use active or passive, but which bass would be a better investment given what I want to do to it. Wink

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PostSubject: Re: Need help with decison   Mon Jun 22, 2009 10:08 pm

I'd go for the second one. $250 isn't that much, and you'll end up with something that looks fairly professional, not something that'll look like crap and be an embarassment to gig with
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PostSubject: Re: Need help with decison   Mon Jun 22, 2009 11:29 pm

There's some more leaning to the BB714BS. Wink

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PostSubject: Re: Need help with decison   Tue Jun 23, 2009 12:34 am

EricHaven wrote:
There's some more leaning to the BB714BS. Wink

There'd be even more if the bridge actually mattered, has a sweet heavy duty one.
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PostSubject: Re: Need help with decison   Tue Jun 23, 2009 3:46 am

i'm feelin ya eric ........

i've always loved these basses and never owned one.

i dont like where the 1/4 input and knobs are on the 714.

i wouldnt like to buy a new bass just to rip out active electronics and router for pickups that i'de want on the 414.

if the 414 is active stock wouldnt the stock pickups with be lower output? ... eh, your gonna rip em out anyway.

i'de spend the extra $$$ and just get over the position of the jack and pots and already have the pickup, electronics and position routs you need.
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PostSubject: Re: Need help with decison   Tue Jun 23, 2009 9:30 am

With the BB414, the truss rod access is on the body side, on the 714, it's at the nut. If you want to stick two humbuckers where the P pickup is, you might run into a problem there.

As for the controls--do you want to have the knobs all up by the P pickup like that? On the 414, you can choose pretty much wherever you want them to go. If neatness is a factor, cut out a piece of pickguard to cover the other holes, perhaps?

And a self-made pickguard could cover up whatever you want it to--holes from the weird bezels from the stock pickups, pickup cavities that you aren't using, etc. and it would neaten it up really well.
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PostSubject: Re: Need help with decison   Tue Jun 23, 2009 6:45 pm

I have to admit that I really like the thought of having the truss rod adjustment on the headstock, and to be honest, that was my one complaint about the BB300's. In fact, if you look closely at pictures of my red BB300, you can see where the Jackson neck humbucker actually encroached upon the truss rod adjustment screw. Now, the neck had been set already, and I just hoped that it wouldn't go out of whack. Sure, it made it kind of a pain to adjust it, but it could be done if I pulled off the pickup.

And I think the input jacks are on the side, and if they are, then I will move them to the top of the body, since I use the plugged-in cord as the stop for my tremolo arm.

Yeah, I'm leaning more towards the BB714BS.

This is why I need you guys. Wink

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PostSubject: Re: Need help with decison   Tue Jun 23, 2009 7:36 pm

Yep...and on the 417BS, put another output on it and you're good.
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PostSubject: Re: Need help with decison   Tue Jun 23, 2009 10:03 pm

Yeah, but those stock P's will have to go. I will find a way to finagle an X2N-7 in there somehow! Wink

And now I see what you were saying MadMike. The BB414 has the jack on the side, but the BB714BS has the jack on the top. Another definite point in favor of the BB714BS, because personally, I actually like it that way. As far as the placement of the knobs, it does appear that they are higher than normal. But I think I can adjust to that with time.

I really did/do wish the regular BB series had the truss rod adjustment at the headstock instead of the bottom of the neck. I can't understand why they did it like that. Is there some advantage to this that I'm missing? scratch

At least they got it right on the BB714BS. cheers

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PostSubject: Re: Need help with decison   Tue Jun 23, 2009 10:44 pm

I don't get that truss rod access on the body side thing. It takes the whole thing down a peg, you know? I don't think there is an advantage. It just makes an instrument look more low end.

I think it would be cool to have the controls like that. I've always wondered what that'd be like. I think it looks very convenient. And snazzy.
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PostSubject: Re: Need help with decison   Wed Jun 24, 2009 1:19 am

EricHaven wrote:
I really did/do wish the regular BB series had the truss rod adjustment at the headstock instead of the bottom of the neck. I can't understand why they did it like that. Is there some advantage to this that I'm missing? scratch

More wood at the headstock/1st fret area, since there's no rout there, makes it much sturdier, as I'm sure you've seen, headstocks can get knocked off easily(espcially Gibsons), the truss rod at the headstock makes that join weaker than it could be.
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PostSubject: Re: Need help with decison   Wed Jun 24, 2009 3:30 am

i'm sorry ... that is so weird.

i dont know why or by with what rhyme or reason yamaha decides to put the truss adjustment at the top or the bottom. at first i thought it was just because of the neck pickup but after looking at pictures ... basses without have the body side truss access too (or not).

i never owned a bass with the truss at the body ... i dont know of any reason one way or the other except; ittl probably be right in the way of you mounting a pickup there eric. i'de avoid it.
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PostSubject: Re: Need help with decison   Wed Jun 24, 2009 3:36 am

That's a good point, Bill. Especially when the bass in question is one that will be at a thrasher like Eric's hands. Very Happy

I have been meaning to ask you about that, Eric. In your BB300, you say the pickup you put in was a Jackson humbucker. Do you remember what kind exactly? Why did you choose that one and how did it work for you?
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PostSubject: Re: Need help with decison   Wed Jun 24, 2009 5:03 pm

I wish I had a more glamorous answer for your questions, Martin, but the plain and simple truth is that I used that pickup because it was a free gift from my cousin. Laughing Because of this, I am not completely certain which model it was. All I know is that it was a bass humbucker made by Jackson. I couldn't even tell you if the pickup was an OEM component, or if my cousin had ripped it out of a Jackson bass. I'll try and remember to ask him about it the next time we talk.

The only picture I could find on the web that resembles the one I used is this one:



It worked pretty well, actually. It gave a really deep and woody tone, which worked well for my low/clean channel. My only complaint is that it lacked high-end, so there wasn't quite as much clarity of the clean notes as would have liked to have had.

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PostSubject: Re: Need help with decison   Fri Jun 26, 2009 12:35 am

Oh cool! So it was indeed a bass humbucker? It was probably a J40...

Check out pgs. 26-7.http://audiozone.dk/cm/thumbnails.php?album=10

I think your answer is more glorious than you'd expect. I've been hoping to get one of those off of the Bay for a while to try out...I want to that much more now. They are reportedly really cool pickups. If it's anything like the EMG bass humbucker in my Kelly, it probably sounded fantastic. The OEM Jackson pickups (like the J40) sound a lot like EMGs to my ears, but a bit warmer and much less sterile-sounding. Your description of that humbucker could fit the P/J pickups in my Charvel 3B perfectly. They are very warm and focused to my ears.


Just for shits and giggles, I just bought a Jackson humbucker for $30 off of eBay. It's probably not a J40. I don't give a damn if it is, either. What a Face But it'll be fun to throw into something and see what happens. I think those pickups look cool and I've heard all the guitarists over on the Jackson/Charvel Forum rave about them, so hell--why not? Twisted Evil

Maybe the guitar pickup will have a similar warm, middy sound with a bit more sparkle on top? Or maybe it'll just suck a fatty and be a $30 paperweight. Or maybe I can toss it into a friend's guitar and see what happens. In any case...it's on it's way. Very Happy
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