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7/14/2011 12:00:00 AM
The Yamaha BB3000S and MA (Mike Anthony) Model.
This Month - The Yamaha BB3000S and MA (Mike Anthony) Model.

Yamaha Guitars answers the request for a robust, 4-string electric bass that emulates the distinctive sound of the 1980s with the BB1000MA. Recalling the classic look and sound of the venerable Yamaha BB3000S—and the recently-introduced BB3000MA signature Michael Anthony (Van Halen) model—the BB3000S/MA is the ideal choice for the working musician.


  • Neck-Through-Body design
  • Brass/Chrome in-line machine heads
  • Five piece laminated neck and body centre with Brazilian mahogany outriggers
  • Streamlined body contours for comfort and balance
  • Hipshot D-Tuner on E-String tuning head
  • 21 fret Rosewood fingerboard with pearl inlays or LEDs
  • Hard Nickel alloy fretsP/J format Alnico V pickups
  • Three band Active EQ system providing good tone variation for any style of playing
  • Standard 1/4" Jack outputBrass/Chrome hardware
  • Finished in a hardwearing high gloss lacquer
  • Metallic Black, Yellow and Mist Green finishes


    Named for Van Halen bass virtuoso Michael Anthony, the signature instrument recalls the classic sound and style of the BB3000S, which put Yamaha electric basses on the map nearly 20 years ago. The BB3000MA is a collaboration between Anthony and Yamaha Guitar Development (YGD), the company's R&D, artist relations and custom shop, which works in tandem with a variety of artists to develop new and innovative instruments.

    Currently available, the BB3000S / MA is an ideal choice for the rock, jazz or fusion player needing a professional-quality instrument for the stage or the studio. USING THE YAMAHA BB3000S/MA "This was always a great bass and now it's even better," says Anthony, known for his tight, hard rock style and flashy improvisation. "When I heard that Yamaha was doing an updated version of one of my favorite instruments, I wanted to be a part of it.

    "The design was really a group effort," he continues. "Yamaha was really open to my ideas and allowed me to have input on everything from the body shape design to the hardware."

    An improved, original neck-through-body design features a streamlined body style, P/J format Alnico V pickups and a low mass bridge. The fast, thin Maple and Mahogany neck and Ebony fingerboard offer improved access to the upper register. A low mass Hipshot® "D" Tuner™ lever lowers the bottom string from E to D. The headstock features a "4-in-line" tuner design and durable Nickel hardware. The body is available in Black Metallic and Mist Green Satin finishes.

    "The BB3000MA answers the call of many dealers, artists and consumers to bring back the concept of the Yamaha BB3000S," states Ken Dapron, USA manager, Yamaha Guitar Development. "Thanks to Michael Anthony's input, we have been able to offer an updated version which emulates both that classic sound and appearance."

    This bass is extremely comfortable to wear with excellent balance. The fingerboard is very fast (even faster than the JayDee in my opinion) and overall, the bass plays "like butter". One can get a very low action on this bass without fret buzz. In fact, this bass has given me the lowest action out of all the basses I have played over the years.

    The range of sounds that can be achieved from the bass is fairly impressive. For the most part, the bass gives a full, rich woodish tone that can cut through a song to prominence if desired.

    The bass uses a 9-volt batteries to feed its active circuitry. This system works well with lighter gauge strings, giving a crisp, punchy sound.

    The fret board, while very fast, gives a modicum of control to the soloist, allowing for speedy time signature changes and bridges, whilst still retaining its original balance.

    The bass incorporates a single truss rod, adjustable at the body end of the neck (as is the case with Fender basses). The bridge has four separate shoes that are fully adjustable in two dimensions so that intonation and action can be adjusted to any arbitrary level desired.

    The thru-neck design gives the bass the quality of true sturdiness, and plays or feels the same through a range of temperatures and humidity. In other words, the Yamaha BB3000S/MA is a very stable instrument, which is often important for outdoor gigs, where the instrument can be at the mercy of the ravages of the weather.


    The Yamaha BB3000S/MA bass design is one of the best I've played. Very comfortable, fast, easy to play with an impressive range of sounds, it should be considered seriously by any bass player. Its definite top point is its playability, whilst the low point is probably the bridge design which, although good, doesn't afford me the fullest adjustability that I like (as in the Alembic or JayDee design).

    Also, the RRP price tag of $2,500 (on average) for the BB3000MA seems, in my opinion, a little steep.

    To finish then, if you wish to own a true workhorse bass, irrespective of your playing style/musical genre, then you really can't go wrong with the Yamaha BB3000S/MA. Yamaha and its collaborators have done a sterling job in producing both the BB3000S and the updated BB3000MA. You can view more about this bass at

    Yamaha Basses
    GAZZBASS.COM RATING: 8.4  out of 10
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