Yam BB434 feels most similar to...?

Barring some kind of unforeseen detour or disaster, I’m hoping to graduate from B2B University sometime in the next two or three weeks.

My reward to myself for achieving this goal is going to be purchasing my own bass to replace the Yamaha RBX170 loaner that I have been learning on.

My preliminary research tells me that I might be happiest with a Yamaha BB434, but I know I need to personally try a bunch of different basses (like Yammie TRBXs, Ibanez SRs, and various J & P models) before making a decision. One problem: there seems to be a dearth of BB434s to try out in my area. One Guitar Center 20 miles from me has a BB234 in stock, but that seems to be it. So my questions are:

Would trying out a BB234 be a good enough indicator to allow me to order a BB434 with confidence? (I’m talking primarily about the feel of the neck and action and weight & balance. I assume the sound is likely to be different and I’m happy to trust that it will be an improvement.)

How similar is the feel of the RBX170 to a BB434? Are they two totally different animals, or am I likely to notice a similar Yamaha feel between to the two models?

I’ve tried to mine old forum discussions for wisdom, but none of the threads seems to tackle these particular questions.

Thanks in advance for any Buzzer feedback or advice.

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I had a BB434, and I think the feel of the BB234 would be a decent indicator. Better constructed neck, pickups, and electronics in the BB434. If you like the feel, I would recommend saving your money and jumping up to the BB734. Pro level bass for a couple of hundred dollars more.


I’ve never played one, Yammies seldom make to this neck of the woods, but the BB734 is universally loved by everyone who has owned one. Only ding I have ever heard is choice of colors


Thanks, @Wombat-metal @AnotherJosh.

I hope the BB234 is still there when I start hitting the stores. Or even better, maybe the better models will be in stock by then. Is there a supply chain issue with Yamahas?

I’ll look more closely at the BB734 but I’m already stretching the limits of my budget with the 434. I’ll keep an eye out for used, though I would like to be the original owner for this purchase.

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During Covid there were big supply issues, but now they seem to be trickling into the US. I know BB734 is a high budget, it is just crazy how much more bass you get going up the next level. Seriously worth saving up for if you like the BB line.


I’m pretty rural. I take a ferry to get to the mainland US so my experience is not common


Very very different

Yes, the overall feel will be very similar. You can think of the 434 as a higher quality 234 but the neck and body are very similar in feel.

Can verify. It’s one of the best production basses you can buy.