I received this BN5 F-Bass earlier this week: - Tone: Outstanding. Many, many options from the passive, single coil, and dual coil combinations. -- The tone is very similar to the Eshenbaugh bass that I once owned--growly, authoritative and very musical. The Eshenbaugh had a lower frequency growl; sometimes it seamed like too much bass and growl (Is there such a thing?). In dual-coil mode, the F-Bass tone is balanced throughout the frequency spectrum. But I prefer the single-coil setting with just a touch of bass, slight balance towards the neck pup, and nothing else. The bass is very quite all modes. -- The active tone controls are boost only--just like the Sadowsky. The F-bass preamp has less gain than the Sadowsky preamp but it's adequate. With the Sadowsky, I could crank the treble up high enough to shatter a window and the low up enough to blow a woofer; both extremes are certainly unusable. Can't do this with the F-Bass. Fully cranked, the bass, mid, and treble stay within the realm of highly usable tones. -- The F-Bass has the first usable midrange control that I've ever seen. The mid center freq is set at the right frequency; I couldn't make it sound bad. -- The preamp is powered by a single 9-volt battery. The overall output level is middle of the road. This does require that I set my outboard preamp gain higher than before. Nothing's perfect and if I had one issue with the F-Bass, this would be it. But the trade off for not being loud or overly percussive is balanced tone everywhere on the fretboard. - Bass Player Mag, Feb 2000: "Now this is what a $3,000 bass should sound like. The BN5 has one of the most balanced, rich, warm, tones around...and Geotge Furlanetto's wonderful F-Basses are worth every penny." - Strings: The F-Bass came with Labella Super Steps 45-128 SS. I don't like them. They sound good but have exposed cores at the bridge. IMO it makes the strings too flexible. That's what delayed this posting. Today, I bought a set of DR Longneck tapered strings. Very similar to the Labellas but the inner winding goes the full length of the string. I think that the extra contact/thickness at the bridge results in a stiffer string with more punch. - Balance: The best. No matter what you think, jazz basses bon't balance well in a seated position. Why? Because of the location of the lower bout. On the F-Bass, the lower bout is perfectly placed. The bass will balance on my leg with no hands and no strap. You can't do this with a Fender J-style bass no matter who makes it (Lull, Fender, Sadowsky, etc.). The Benavente singlecut balanced like the F-Bass as did the Brubaker. But the Brubaker had extra weight in the body to counter balance the neck. Personally, I find the seated balance issue very important when playing slap/tap style. A well balanced bass gives me more freedom to move my right arm by not having to anchor the bass into position. - Weight: Just right. The F-Bass feels several pounds lighter than the Brubaker. Adrian said it weighed 9.3 pounds. The Brubaker weighed 10.7 pounds. - The Neck: Very nice: The scale is 34.5". The neck is very comfortable and fast. The neck feels like a Lakland 55-94 but with a slightly heavier finish like a new Stingray. The string spacing is slightly wider than my old Smith-5 at the nut, a plus. - Body finish: Nice. The bass looks sharp. However, the nitrocellulose finish is more susceptible to smudges, especially on the darker areas. Fortunately, a soft cloth and some Ken Smith polish was all that I needed to buff the bass back to new. Shouldn't I be doing this frequently anyway? - Fit: Superb. I inspected this bass from top to bottom. Every inch was as it should be; tight and solid. No gaps. No complaints at all. - Gig bag: The bass shipped in a flexible heavily padded canvas Levy bag. I prefer the stiff leather bag that I own. - Playability: All day long. SLAPPER'S DELIGHT! - Conclusion. I've played this bass at least 15 different times in the last 4 days. I wouldn't mind if all my basses, except the Ken Smith, sounded like the F-Bass. This is a PLAYER'S bass. I play for fun and this bass is fun to play. It is ergonomically perfect-like putting on your favorite pair of old jeans. This is my only 5-string and hopefully the only one I'll ever need.