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Fernandes Bass anyone?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Bass Atlanta, May 6, 2004.

  1. While searching for a Fender 62 RI yesterday, I ran across this used Fernandes Tremor 4x at my local GC. I have been interested in playing a Fernandes for some time, since I knew that Rocco Prestia (aka: my hero) had endorsed these basses for awhile. I have also read some pretty good reviews on them.

    I plugged her into a Mesa bass amp and she sounded pretty decent. But with the 100 dB ambient g----r noise blasting in my ears, I couldn't really hear very well. So, knowing that I could return it within 30 days, I plunked down the $250 and took her home. I plugged her into my Demeter HBP-1 through an Aguilar GS210 this afternoon and OMG !!!!!!!!!! I couldn't believe what I was hearing. This little baby sounds awesome. With the combination of the neck Jazz and
    the bridge MM pups, you can get a lot of cool tones. With the MM soloed, she sounds as good as any Stingray I've ever heard.....lots of punch and growl. Dial in some neck Jazz and she mellows out nicely, approaching a vintage J sound. The fretwork is outstanding with no hang-over or sharp edges, the neck pocket is tight, and there's not a scratch on her.

    The neck width is 1.5" at the nut and feels very sleek. The current Tremor 4x models are equipped with just 1 humbucker, so this is an older model....not sure when it was made exactly. But it has the Tremor body style, so I guess that's what it is.

    There is just a sticker on the back of the headstock with the SN, but no country of origin. I am presuming that it was MIA.


    After all is said and done, this $250 passive-only gem sounds and plays as good as basses that cost 4-5 times as much. There's NO WAY I'm returning this to GC.....they'll just have to keep my $250, even though it pains me. I could probably get a brand new one for about the same price, but it may not sound this good, and I like the neck J pup, which is apparently no longer available on the Tremor.

    Anyone else had a similar experience?

    Johnny Crab likes this.
  2. Carey


    Jan 18, 2002
    Redlands, CA
    So you're gonna sell your Nordie now? LOL, J/K.

    I have an older Fernandes J that is killer. It's a J copy that was made in Japan about 10 years ago I think. It needed a refret and new pickups, but after that it smokes. It's my favorite bass that's not one of mine. Believe it or not, I don't even own one of mine. Someday I will, but until then the Fernandes will have to do, and it does very nicely.
  3. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    One day in 1988 I picked up & played a Fernandes Jazz Bass copy in a little guitar shop in Washington DC. Though I didn't buy it, I still remember to this day how surprisingly well it played and how good it sounded.

    In my experience, the Fernandes basses are chronically under-rated. And since we're on the topic, I'll tell you another one: Washburn. Yeah, I know it's hardly a brand that rolls off the tip of the tongue. But for a well-constructed, high-quality budget bass guitar that sounds surprisingly good and plays very nicely, it's one of the best...


  4. Nah.....I'll think I'll hang onto my Nordie for awhile. ;)
    It's a work of art......but it's kinda hard to fret while wearing those white gloves !!! :) I'm still afraid to take it anywhere for fear of scratching it, but I did play it at church 2 weeks ago when we did this particularly funky gospel tune. It's a slappin' machine when the situation calls for it.

    Take care,

  5. maxoges


    Aug 23, 2000
    Stockholm, Sweden
    I've been ranting a while here on talkbass about my favourite bass. A 1990-ties Fernandes APB 4 (the one Rocco endorsed and used in his video). I haven't played a bass easier to play. (am I making any sense?)

    Switched the pickups and preamp to semore duncans though.
  6. Awesome. Do you have any photos of your bass?
    I have the Rocco video, but haven't watched it in a few years. I'll have to take another peek. It's seems like I remember that it had a P-J config?

  7. maxoges


    Aug 23, 2000
    Stockholm, Sweden
    I wish I had. I'll post a picture of another one later
  8. Planet Boulder

    Planet Boulder Hey, this is a private residence...man

    Nov 10, 2001
    6,482 feet above sea level
    I once had impure thoughts. Oh, and I pluck my ear hair.
    Wasn't there someone of relatively high profile at Tobias who left said builder in the 80s to join Fernandes? My memory is cloudy on this, but I was wondering if anyone knew about this.

    I have heard good things about Fernandes, but I have never played one so i cannot comment. They can be had pretty cheaply on ebay.
  9. Wilbyman


    Sep 10, 2003
    Parkersburg, WV
    I've got a Fernandes retro 5 (jazz style 5, 300.00 shipped from MF). The stock pickups weren't great, so I dropped some barts in it. It sounds awesome and the neck is straight as an arrow. I really like the skinny neck width at the nut, and its plenty wide at the last fret.
    I also put an EMG BTC control in it, but it sounds way better passive. Tons of punchy midrange burp from alder body.
    For a 400.00 investment, its about 10x as good as a mexican fender jazz five. I recommend it.

  10. maxoges


    Aug 23, 2000
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Here is a pic of the same model I have. Mine is see through red though

  11. Whoa-doggies !!!! That's a purty thing.

  12. Limo


    Sep 22, 2002
    Reykjavik Iceland
    There's something about aluthier who doesn't play his own basses that bothers me:smug: :D It's like a psychiatrist in a straight jacket;)
  13. I think you're just kidding, but in case you're not:

    He clearly stated that the Fernandes is his favorite bass, other than his own basses. And the fact that he hasn't made a bass for himself yet simply indicates that he's too busy filling orders from other people who think that his basses ROCK.

    But if you're just kidding, please disregard the above. ;)

  14. Limo


    Sep 22, 2002
    Reykjavik Iceland
    That will remain a mystery whether I was joking or not;)
  15. Carey


    Jan 18, 2002
    Redlands, CA
    Actually, one of the main reasons I don't play one of my basses is that I can't afford to. It's ironic, but true. And, the cheap basses that I have around are justified as being test basses for my pickup development. As a matter of fact, I just bought a MIM Fender Jazz 5 today so I could test my new replacement pickups before shipping them off unheard.
    I will have a bass of my own one day, but for now I have to catch up with my orders, and it would be selfish of me to put myself in front of my customers.
  16. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    I really like the way most of their guitars look, and the Tremor is as fine a body shape as there is, but alas, I cannot play Fernandes, since they're all too narrow at the nut. Jazz spacing gives my hands fits to no end, and they're all jazz or thereabouts.

    Shame, too.
  17. Kyuss80


    May 11, 2004
    Panama City, FL
    I know I'm bumping an old thread but -- while checking my email today, Music123.com had sent me one of their sale thingies, and Fernandes basses are on sale... really good prices it seems...
  18. Dave Neal

    Dave Neal

    Aug 22, 2015
    Yup fernandes j basses are killers so too Tokai's.
  19. Johnny Crab

    Johnny Crab ACME,QSC,Fame/Hondo/Greco/HELIX user & BOSE Abuser Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2004
    South Texas
    We like Fernandes basses.
    One Fernandes bass here, an older neck-through P with 2 sets of P pickups. Same or similar model as this one but a slightly lighter, honey-colored finish.
    Pros: Looks, sounds, and plays amazing. Solved the quest(s)/curiousity for a neck-through P AND dual pickups.
    Con: a bit heavy, the one below says 9.2 lbs but the one here hasn't been weighed yet.
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2015