NBD: Yamaha PB400RA - 1985 P-Bass Copy.

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blizzard
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NBD: Yamaha PB400RA - 1985 P-Bass Copy.

Post by blizzard » 21 Jan 2018, 18:37

My Christmas bass arrived - a Yamaha PB400RA. There doesn't seem to be much info on these online but basically this is a 1985 Japanese Yamaha P-bass copy. It has a Sen-Ash body, Maple neck, Rosewood fingerboard and Yamaha electronics. For a twist the neck is also painted.

I bought this online for a good price, I wasn't quite sure what to expect but I had played a couple Yamaha BB basses from the same era and they were great so I took the plunge. When it arrived it played well and sounds great it has quite an agressive tone, not quite as honky sounding as some PBasses I have played - I did read someone compare the pickup to a SD Quarter Pounder. The bass itself is very resonant acoustically and has nice a played in feel. The neck is the same width at the nut as Pbass but not a thick.

Unfortunately the nut was cut a bit high (which surprised me seeing its a 33 year old bass). So a quick visit to a luthier to for a proper setup (primarily due to the nut issue), also while he was at it he re-crowned some of the frets and modified the pickguard so it doesn't have to be removed to access the truss rod. Now it plays even better.

Overall I am really happy with this bass, definitely seems that Yamaha basses are underrated compared with Tokai's and Grecos of the era - also these go for a few hundred dollars less.

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cleary
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Re: NBD: Yamaha PB400RA - 1985 P-Bass Copy.

Post by cleary » 22 Jan 2018, 09:05

That looks the business - thanks for the review, hadn't heard anything about them
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blizzard
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Re: NBD: Yamaha PB400RA - 1985 P-Bass Copy.

Post by blizzard » 22 Jan 2018, 11:08

cleary wrote:
22 Jan 2018, 09:05
That looks the business - thanks for the review, hadn't heard anything about them
Me neither, from what I gather in the same years they also made PB400 basses which were exact same specs without the painted neck. These models seem more common.

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narcdor
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Re: NBD: Yamaha PB400RA - 1985 P-Bass Copy.

Post by narcdor » 22 Jan 2018, 12:16

How's that painted neck feel? I had to move on a BB with painted neck which otherwise sounded fantastic. I thought about sandpaper for a minute before accepting I'd probably just ruin a very nice instrument.
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hamo
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Re: NBD: Yamaha PB400RA - 1985 P-Bass Copy.

Post by hamo » 22 Jan 2018, 12:55

blizzard wrote:
21 Jan 2018, 18:37
My Christmas bass arrived - a Yamaha PB400RA. There doesn't seem to be much info on these online but basically this is a 1985 Japanese Yamaha P-bass copy. It has a Sen-Ash body, Maple neck, Rosewood fingerboard and Yamaha electronics. For a twist the neck is also painted.

I bought this online for a good price, I wasn't quite sure what to expect but I had played a couple Yamaha BB basses from the same era and they were great so I took the plunge. When it arrived it played well and sounds great it has quite an agressive tone, not quite as honky sounding as some PBasses I have played - I did read someone compare the pickup to a SD Quarter Pounder. The bass itself is very resonant acoustically and has nice a played in feel. The neck is the same width at the nut as Pbass but not a thick.

Unfortunately the nut was cut a bit high (which surprised me seeing its a 33 year old bass). So a quick visit to a luthier to for a proper setup (primarily due to the nut issue), also while he was at it he re-crowned some of the frets and modified the pickguard so it doesn't have to be removed to access the truss rod. Now it plays even better.

Overall I am really happy with this bass, definitely seems that Yamaha basses are underrated compared with Tokai's and Grecos of the era - also these go for a few hundred dollars less.

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Nice score! I've seen a few of these around but never played one.
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Aussie Mark
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Re: NBD: Yamaha PB400RA - 1985 P-Bass Copy.

Post by Aussie Mark » 22 Jan 2018, 13:02

If the gloss neck is an issue because of stickyness, some Mr Sheen is an effective option, as is giving it a rub with a plastic dishwashing scourer

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blizzard
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Re: NBD: Yamaha PB400RA - 1985 P-Bass Copy.

Post by blizzard » 22 Jan 2018, 17:21

narcdor wrote:
22 Jan 2018, 12:16
How's that painted neck feel? I had to move on a BB with painted neck which otherwise sounded fantastic. I thought about sandpaper for a minute before accepting I'd probably just ruin a very nice instrument.
So far I haven't had an issue with the neck, feels like a clear finished gloss neck. I may try Mark's suggestion if I do get have a problem.

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slowlearner
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Re: NBD: Yamaha PB400RA - 1985 P-Bass Copy.

Post by slowlearner » 22 Jan 2018, 21:48

I remember looking through the glossy Yamaha catalog in the 80s and seeing these. Really solid basses and MIJ. I bet it plays really nice.
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