Product Review: Yamaha BBP35 Broad Bass 5-String Bass Guitar – Midnight Blue

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As seen in Guitar Girl Magazine, Issue 8

Authored by Platinum Viking

Yamaha is certainly a popular name in the instrument world, known for its superb craftsmanship and attention to quality control, and if I were handed this bass while wearing a blindfold, I would have probably guessed it was a Yamaha right off the bat. From the balanced tone across the board to the way it feels and plays, you generally can’t go wrong with a Yamaha. In the past, I’ve owned and played a fretless BB line bass, and the BBP35 brings me right back to why their basses are immediately identifiable, consistently well made, a joy to play, and sound great.

My first impression of the BBP35 from the Pro Series was how “played in” it felt right out of the box, generally something one wouldn’t immediately get to experience outside of a vintage buy. Whether this is due entirely to Yamaha’s exclusive Initial Response Acceleration (I.R.A.) build technology that offers a mature instrument experience from day one, according to their tech specs, or a testament to their attention to detail, you’re still sure to have a well-balanced, responsive sound and basic harmonic clarity.

“…nice, harmonically clear rich sustain and spectacular resonance, particularly in the low to mid-lows.”

The BBP35 brings in the reliable bottom end with some nice upgrades on the technology we’re already familiar with and some well-thought-out design enhancements. It features the classic P/J pickup configuration with simple but effective volume/volume/tone wiring options, but added some design changes, like use of standard-sized pickups over the previous BB proprietary ones, which will allow for easier customization, if desired (though the Alnico V single-coil stock pickups are just as good in their own right). It also features a thinner but still rigid 5-ply maple and mahogany laminated neck for the modern player and a smaller, lighter alder/maple/alder multi-laminated body with lightweight, vintage-looking open gear tuners. The addition of a sustain-enhancing 6-bolt miter neck joint design and convertible bridge seems to give it a nice, harmonically clear rich sustain and spectacular resonance, particularly in the low to mid-lows. This model isn’t plagued with the dreaded muddy low B that I encounter a lot; it’s taut, and while still having a deep tone, each note is still clearly audible and distinct in its own right.

The BBP35 gives the player that meaty punch many Fender players look for but with Yamaha’s own sophisticated uptake on construction and a slightly more refined sound. The BBP35 offers plenty of extra perks and a solid namesake, and I would certainly include this bass in my top lineup of basses. Its cool midnight blue finish and overall comfortable fit make it look and play like a pro. If you’re looking for a reliable go-to passive 5-string bass that gives you clean, articulate tones and that classic vibe but with tenable modern updates, then this often-underappreciated bass is for you.

MSRP:  $2,575.00
Street Price:  $1,599.00
Yamaha.com

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