F-Bass; 5 knobs and 1 switch

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by FortessOne, Dec 4, 2007.

  1. FortessOne

    FortessOne Guest

    Nov 8, 2004
    Hey Guys, I have the oppurtunity to buy an F-Bass BN5, and I´m suffering one of the worst GAS-cases ever :p
    Only thing is, the guy told me it has 5 knobs and one switch, instead of 6 knobs, and 24 frets.

    Any thoughts on this one? I'm getting photo's tomorrow.

    ps. sorry for my bad english, I'm from holland :)
  2. Ostinato

    Ostinato Guest

    Feb 7, 2005
    Toronto ON
    Sounds like a pickup toggle to me. I don't know if I would go for it personally...you'd be missing out on a lot of cool tones...Maybe it's a custom deal?
  3. FortessOne

    FortessOne Guest

    Nov 8, 2004
    I think, if it does have de coilswitching + the active/passive switch this would be a great bass for me..
    But I don't have any experience with F-Bass. I'm looking for a quality 5 string that cuts through the mix nicely.

    And the price isn't high at all, compared to other F-basses.
  4. are you sure it insnt 5 knobs, one concentric and one coil tap switch?
  5. FortessOne

    FortessOne Guest

    Nov 8, 2004
    The guy told me about 5 knobs and a switch. That's all I know right now.
  6. I played one like that on several gig's a while back AND I also played one with the normal setup around the same time. The one with 5 knobs had a custom Bartolini preamp, which I'm normally not a fan of, but on that F Bass it sounded fantastic. It sounded much better than the one with the normal F Bass preamp. It was real fat and growly and also had a great slap tone. Everyone around LOVED the tone of that one. It's the only one I've seen like it.
  7. FortessOne

    FortessOne Guest

    Nov 8, 2004
    Was it a natural grain finish?
  8. No. It was a beautiful buckeye burl on top and the ash on back had the dark enhanced grain.
  9. Hey there FortessOne, it may be an older F bass with the buffer preamp. Follow this link to the F bass FAQs page, scroll down and you will see a small section on the older 5 knob + one switch style preamp. I'm not an absolute expert on F basses, but I believe that switch was the active/passive switch at the time. Contact George at F bass for specific details. Hope this helps:


    Paul Theriault
  10. I owned two Fs with that preamp configuration made in '88(?) and '91, respectively (the last two digits of the serial number indicate the date). Both had the same control layout as that shown on the chart in the FAQ that Paul mentioned above:




    They were a little less versatile, but more punchy and aggressive than the current smoother and more polite/refined-sounding basses they're building nowadays, though that may have been partially due to their neck-through construction and split-coil pickups.

    Having owned and played quite a few Fs over the last two decades, I'd have to say that I find their older instruments much more desirable in terms of tone, the ability to cut through a busy mix, and overall attention to construction detail (five-piece maple/wenge neck-through with a deeply contoured heel, matching truss rod cavity covers, optional contrasting neck/body runners, optional arched bodies, tapered center laminates, etc.). If you have a line on one for a reasonable price, I wouldn't hesitate.


  11. I would have to go with active passive, my older BN6 has the same set up with a Demeter pre amp...

    Nice bass btw, I wish George still made them this way...


  12. FortessOne

    FortessOne Guest

    Nov 8, 2004
    Ok, so it should be the older preamp-style.

    Can anyone of you guys explain me how the EQ-blend works exactly?

    Thanx for all the replies!
  13. knarleybass

    knarleybass Commercial User

    Apr 6, 2005
    Tustin, CA
    Owner of Ulyate Instruments
    you have two eq bands and you blend between the two, it's an interesting idea, I had one in my F bass, I did have to swap it out for another preamp due to the impossible hum it created.
  14. FortessOne

    FortessOne Guest

    Nov 8, 2004
    Ok thanks! Hope the hum isn't common with this preamp.
  15. Think of the EQ-blend as an active bass/treble balance control with adjustable high and low frequency centers that overlap into the upper and lower midrange. You set the bass/low-mid and high-mid/treble frequency points to emphasize the amount of midrange, or the lack thereof, that you want in each, and then use the EQ blend to dial-in the tonal sweet-spot between them.

    For example, if you want a nice burpy midrange-rich finger-style bark that will cut through just about anything, you could set the bass/low-mid and the high-mid/treble controls to emphasize the high and low midrange while cutting a bit of boomy low bass and rolling off some sizzle in the highs, then use the EQ-blend to dial-in a tight, aggressive tone without excessive overtones or bloat that might dull your attack and articulation.

    If you want a slap tone, you'd do pretty much the opposite; rolling off the high and low mids while emphasizing the deep bass and high frequency snap, with the EQ-blend acting as a balance control between the two frequency extremes.

    The description might seem odd, but it's actually more intuitive and user-friendly to get used to than the current six-knob pre, which can be a bit of a handful at first.

    As far as hum goes, both of mine were pretty much dead-quiet in every situation.

    Hope this helps.
  16. FortessOne

    FortessOne Guest

    Nov 8, 2004
    It shure does, thanks :)
  17. sethlow3

    sethlow3 Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    Nashville, Tennessee
    go for and F. They are awesome in any pup configuration.
  18. knarleybass

    knarleybass Commercial User

    Apr 6, 2005
    Tustin, CA
    Owner of Ulyate Instruments
    I hope so too
  19. FortessOne

    FortessOne Guest

    Nov 8, 2004
    I'll keep you posted!
  20. FortessOne

    FortessOne Guest

    Nov 8, 2004
    Checking her out tomorrow! :)