Yamaha BX-1 4 String Headless Reviews 5

Guitar Center, Albany NY, USA $200, no case, and needing a lot of adjusting, tightening, cleaning, etc. I bought it because I like headless basses that don't need double ball berger strings, and of course because it sounded good.

It's got that nice mellow twin-humbucker tone, is very light and compact, and can use standard 34" strings even though it's headless like a Steinberger. Also, the jack is on the front, PUs are passive, and I prefer the rear tuning knobs over the usual headstock location [of "normal" basses]. It has a top horn so it balances and positions nicely compared to "minibody" headless such as the Hohners.

Standard string headless basses are a bit of a pain to string because you have to use the clamping screws on the "head" to secure the strings. I prefer a PU balance knob but this has the more common seperate gain knobs. I prefer a bolt-on neck but this is neck through or set neck.

Opaque finish over mystery wood, rosewood fretboard [24 frets]. Neck-through or set neck [can't see for sure] and a sort of "alt-steinberger" bridge made out of mystery metal. Intonation and saddle height easy to set using screwdriver and allen key. Neck rod access is at the body joint, using an allen key. Mystery soapbars seem to be humbuckers but are not the usual type as they lack elevator frames. Seem to be sitting on pads, not springs. Everything seems well done for a factory bass and it's marked "made in Japan". I don't see any obviouse cost cutting but neither is it a hi-tek marvel nor museum grade custom furniture. I bought it used and it has a lot of scuffing and visible fretwear, but everything is intact and working well. I was able to easily set the action lower than standard with no buzz or rattle.

This is a players' ax and the only two dislikes I listed are really very minor. It comfortable to wear and easy to play. It's light and compact to carry. What more could you ask? As a factory product [not hand made], it is close to flawless, and has stood up well to alot of use, so it rates a 5 on that basis.

Golem rated this unit 5 on 2004-05-04.

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