Given that I live, literally, 5 minutes from F Bass' factory and showroom in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, I have been trying to avoid the wiles of Mr. Furlanetto's wares.
However last year, when I hosted Trip Wamsley for a house concert and visit to Toronto, a trip to the factory was in order.
While we were there, inviting George, Marcel and crew to the concert, I happened to spy a gorgeous instrument in progress. A transparent blue BN5 with a Heartwood Ebony fretboard.
At the same time, George tried out my instruments at home and offered to overhaul the action on some of them. His adjustments to my rather mundane collection of Precisions made okay instruments into instruments that practically played themselves.
Later that summer, I had decided enough was enough and began to discuss what I was looking for in an instrument with George. Namely a 5 string strung EADGC, and reversing how his preamp is wired - so you pulled the tone pot to engage the pre for a preset volume/tone boost for solos. He heard me play my main instrument (rosewood board Fender P - Highway One) through one of his reference amplifiers and immediately pulled a number of instruments from stock and the finishing room.
When he pulled this one from the finishing room, still missing its blackwood knobs and needing a setup, he plugged it in and it fit perfectly - played beautifully and felt "right".
I layed down a deposit on it to ensure that it was mine and confirmed how I wanted it strung/rewired. Life intervened (cancer in the family forcing a stop to most activities) and I finally picked it up today.
George signed and dated the headstock for me as well.
This beauty plays like a dream, the neck is smooth and fast and just fits my hand. The bass balances well both on a strap and on the lap. The heartwood under the G and C strings soften their attack somewhat and make them less "clangy" and strident, which is nice for my playing technique...the reverse wiring of the preamp allows me to play passively like a j bass on steroids and then pop the preamp in to boost for solos or parts that need to stand out.
And yes, this is a bass that practically plays itself. I have it set up with George's own strings (all my basses have them installed) and the action is lower - in a good way - than one can possibly get with my precisions...
Expensive yes, but well worth the purchase and wait. I'm very lucky to be within walking distance of this fine craftsman!