Yamaha BB605 5-string w/ NE1 Reviews 4

Yamaha BB605  5-string w/ NE1

I bought this low-end Nathan East model (well, there is one cheaper one) at Highland Music in Birmingham, Alabama for US$375 (tax included), with a free set of strings. No case or gig bag was provided. My old 5-string needed replacement... the electronics (active) were noisy and scratchy and the string spacing was too close. This Yamaha fit the bill.

I love the way the bass feels and looks. The string spacing is spot on, the balance is pretty good, and the preamp controls work well. I just like it, it feels right. The neck feels great, a little more rounded than an Ibanez (for instance), the tuners work well, all around great, except for...

The pickups. The pickups are not that great, it has 2 jazz-style single coils that hum-cancel when used together, but the sound is hard to EQ the way I like it, even with the NE-1 preamp, which I'm assuming is not at fault since it's the selling point of the instrument. Oh, the neck heel... it's huge! but that's visible and part of the trade-off for the price.

I have no complaints about quality. It came ready to roll. The action and intonation was good, and the electronics cavity is nicely wired and shielded. I'm just not sure what part Yamaha played and what part Highland Music played.

For $375, or $399, as I've seen at Musician's Friend, I think it's an incredible deal. It will need new pickups, in my opinion, but that's probably easiest and most fun thing to change, I'm just glad corners weren't cut elsewhere.

groggyidyllic rated this unit 4 on 2002-08-19.

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