Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Yamaha SB-50 Bass

OK, so the Kavkaz bass went down like a lead balloon. Don't like Russian, eh?

How about a very nice vintage Japanese bass from 1972? I've not seen a bass like this Yamaha SB-50 before and I must say that I like it.

It has a National/Valco/Supro look to it, and if it weren't for the grain of the wood clearly visible on the top, you could believe that that body with its german carve could be made from fibreglass.

This particular bass looks to be in beautiful condition, which isn't bad for a 37-year old instrument. I'm not sure, but I'd guess it's a short-scale bass - I've always had a bit of a soft-spot for the much maligned short-scale bass. If I were in the market for a bass at the moment I'd certainly consider this.

G L Wilson


  1. Yes, it is a 32" and it weights 8pnds flat. It has a one piece 4-bolt on laquered neck with rosewood fingerboard and pearl inlays. It has what according to other instruments of the same year and similar series a Katsura Wood body. The bridge has a resonator plate covering it, and the wholes in it suggests that it also had one over the neck pup. It has two volume and one tone controls. Made between 1972-1974 in Japan. I have a red one and let me tell you this baby has some sweet sounds and still thumps hard.

  2. 32" would make it a medium-scale length bass. Thanks for your comment.

  3. how many is the neck radius? i've need to sand the fretboard of mine as it was converted to fretless and the fretboard isn't leveled and buzzes in many places, mine its in bad condition but i've saved it from being crushed to the floor as jimi hendrix guitars, (it maked me feel good) the person that had it doesn't play any instrument and found it in the trash. The original tuners are missing as the bridge, i've put them from another brand and now at least plays. Excuse me if i did any misspell. Greetings from Venezuela.



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