Yamaha SB800 Super Bass Natural 1977
Yamaha SB800 Super Bass, natural finish, made in Japan 1977. These are an under-the-radar gem. The Super Bass line was a Yamaha original design; it's similar to Jazz Bass but appears to have eaten a few too many pretzels and has a certain offbeat weirdness to the shape. The tone is enormous: the combo of an alder body, maple neck, high mass bridge and the original 8-pole pickups delivers a huge amount of growl, grind and thump. It's in the Jazz Bass genre, but with a heap of extra midrange presence and a very thick low end. The neck is chunky; similar to a '57 style P in profile. As with all these vintage Yamaha basses, the quality of workmanship and timber is exceptional. It feels very responsive and reassuring in the hands; a lot of love went into the build. This is the high end version of the model with the block inlays and an alder body, so it was a pretty pricey bass in it's heyday. It takes a certain boldness to embrace the quirkiness of a bass like this, but hey, fortune favours the bold, right?
Model: Yamaha SB800 Super Bass
Made: Japan, 1977 (serial 001829)
Finish: natural (NT), 3-ply black guard
Body: alder, 3-piece
Neck: maple, 1-piece, 34" scale, 12" radius
Mods: strap pin replaced
Pickup: Yamaha 8-pole J-style single coil x2
Cosmetic condition notes: mild finish wear. Headstock has a few marks on the end and top and bottom edges. The neck is smooth in the hands but has a number of marks on the back and some play wear on the board. The back has some widespread dimples, scuffs and pock marks; nothing big and nasty but a lot of little small marks. The sides have no major marks, but again there's a whole heap of minor dimples and scuffs all the way around the body. The front has a few dimples near the knobs and around the bridge, as well as some play wear and dimples on the top horn and scratches on the guard. Overall: good condition (7/10).
Playing condition notes: Action is low, neck is straight, intonation is good, truss rod works. Frets have some normal wear including minor pitting, but they're pretty even and don't need immediate attention; 6/10 for fret life left. All electrics tested and working properly. Set up with fresh 45/105s.