The Twelfth Fret ~ Since 1977 ~

Yamaha BB-N5A Nathan East 5-String Fretless Bass Trans Blue, 1996 (No Longer Available)


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The Yamaha BB-N5A Nathan East was built from about 1995 to 2000, seen here in the 5-string fretless version. Like so many successful guitars and basses, the BB model (standing for Broad Bass) draws from the designs by Leo Fender, with a Maple neck bolted to a solid body. Here, the Maple neck has an Indian Rosewood fingerboard, tipped back head which removes the need for string trees, and a six-bolt joint. The fret slots filled with contrasting wood while the body uses a figured Maple cap on an Alder back. This bass features five active tone controls powered by a single standard 9v battery.

Additionally, the active circuits include internal pots to set the center of the EQ boost/cut and the overall output, helpfully and unusually detailed on the back control cover plate. For colours, the Yamaha BB-N5A bass was listed as being available in ‘ Amber Burst’ and ‘Trans Blue’; this would be the Trans Blue finish though it looks to me more like Teal.

Overall, this Yamaha BB-N5A example is in good condition. There is a repair to a break near the output jack cutout and control plate. While this is visible from the rear, it does seem to have been solidly repaired.

The specific design of the Yamaha BB-N5A and the entire BB-NE series relates to work with Nathan East, who has played and toured with many top artists like Eric Clapton, B.B. King, Ringo Starr, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston and Daft Punk. East has the distinction of having done so much studio work that he’s one of the most recorded bassists in history.

Yamaha began building electric basses around 1978. The initial BB-NE model appeared in 1994, with the fretless and 5-string versions following closely. In 2017, the BB-NE models were modified with new, standard sized pickups. The model subsequently disappeared from catalogs around 2000.

Sold without case, but most bass gig bags will fit and we carry these in stock.


Price: $0.00 CAD
  • Model: BB-5NA Fretless 5-String
  • Year: 1996 | Approximate year
  • Finish Trans Blue
  • Class: Used
  • Serial Number: 6FA017, likely built 2006 in Hamamatsu, JapanYamaha, BB-N5A,solibody, 5-string, electric, bass, guitar, Nathan East, Made in Japan, Hamamatsu, Maple, Indian Rosewood, Maple, Alder, the twelfth fret,, toronto, ontario, canada, guitar shop,
  • Country of Origin: Japan
  • Condition: Good
  • Date Posted: 04/04/2023

  • This instrument has been sold
  • Consignment Item

  • Instrument Weight: 9.988lbs 4.54kg
  • Scale Length: 34in 863.6mm
  • Nut Width: 1.825in 46.36mm
Yamaha Guitars Website

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