Phil Maneri's

Black basses are always cool. Completely blacked-out basses are the coolest of the cool. This one is an active 5-string for $1,275 list, $800 street. That’s some well-priced cool and a great starter choice under $1,000.

Yamaha starts with an alder and maple sandwich body, bolted up to a mahogany and maple neck with a rosewood fingerboard. The 6-bolt connection is a bit of overkill, and that neck isn’t going anywhere.

P and J pickups in typical po...

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