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In 2017, Yamaha revamped its famous BB Series of bass guitars, from the entry-level models right up to the premium line. Today we take a look at the lower priced introduction to the series, the BB234, which comes in at under $300. Good news for beginners and those on a budget! Let’s see what new…
‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ – we agree with this sentiment, but there’s always room for improvement, as Yamaha are out to prove with their new line of BB basses. The brand has made small tweaks here and there to deliver the BB experience players know and love, but with enhanced comfort, playability and tone.
In particular, the BB234 features a solid alder body carved to the familiar curvaceous BB double-cutaway shape, but with a smaller size than previous years for added comfort, especially when standing for a long time. This is all finished in a urethane gloss with several color choices, including black, white or red, as well as a sleek natural look with a satin finish.
The neck has also been subject to a few changes, with a new thinner profile for enhanced playability. This 34” scale length maple neck is bolted-on and features a rosewood fretboard with 21 medium frets. It certainly feels nicer in the hands and is an improvement on an already very playable bass. Great so far!
There have also been some upgrades in the hardware department and they all lend themselves to a bigger tone and more reliable playing experience. Starting with electronics, the BB234 is now loaded with two passive Custom V3 ceramic pickups – a single-coil at the bridge and a split-coil at the neck. These are controlled by an individual tone pot for both pickups, as well as a single master volume knob. Simple and effective.
The headstock features Yamaha’s newer lightweight open-gear chrome tuners which complement the new smaller body to ensure the headstock remains well balanced. These tuners feel solid and precise, while the fixed vintage-style bridge keeps things secure at the other end.
The BB Series has always offered basses with great tone and the BB234 is no exception. The duo of Custom V3 pickups offers a clear and focused tone, with great booming lows. It’s a balanced and highly versatile bass, suiting heavy rock as well as it does blues and jazz.
But don’t take our word for it – check out some great tonal samples from the BB234 in Yamaha’s promotional video:
The BB234 is the first bass in the BB Series and what an introduction! For beginners, or pretty much any player looking for a versatile and comfortable bass that doesn’t cost any more than it should, this is a very good call.