Got me a new F-Bass this week! I like it!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by JRBrown, Nov 28, 2003.

  1. JRBrown


    Jun 21, 2000
    North Carolina
    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.

  2. Beautiful bass! Glad to see that you picked the sunburst. That's my fave.
  3. Beautiful bass indeed, if I had the money I would get an F-Bass for sure.
  4. christle

    christle Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2002
    Winnipeg, MB
    :eek: That's beautiful!
  5. Glorious. F Basses aren't my thing in the tone or playability department, but George Furlanetto is one hell of a builder. I'm sure you'll be happy with it for years to come.
  6. Oh man, i so want an F-bass now. That just looks brilliant ;)
  7. I don't usually like sunbursts but I wouldn't mind if I had that bass...
    You'll love it more and more in the future, as i do with mine.

    PS: you forgot to say that she's a bass for slappin'!!!Awesome.....:bassist: :D
  8. gfab333


    Mar 22, 2000
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    Welcome to the F Bass Club. Nice acquisition!
  9. adrian garcia

    adrian garcia

    Apr 9, 2001
    las vegas. nevada
    Endorsing Artist: Nordy Basses, Schroeder Cabs, Gallien Krueger Amps
    I told you it would suck!!:D
    now you know why I gave up everything else and became strictly an F bass man. It is the perfect gigging bass..
    Glad you love it, bro- thanks for your business, Im here should you need anything-play it in the best of health- peace! drian
  10. JRBrown


    Jun 21, 2000
    North Carolina
    I knew I forgot something! I made a few edits to my review. Thanks.

    I can see why. The bass practically does it all. It's like having the best of several basses rolled up into one.

    P/M me the secret handshake or code. :D

    I hear you. I like the Smith and Sadowsky tones also.
    My Smith-4 should be here in two weeks.
  11. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    Excellent. It's a GREAT feeling when a bass makes you feel this way. Congrats on the beautiful bass!!!!! <img src="">
  12. superphat


    Sep 30, 2001
    Adrian, you gave up everything? the MTDs and the Fender Jazz Deluxe? gave up the MTDs??? :eek:

    wow, i gotta try me an F bass soon~
  13. Hman


    Jan 8, 2002
    San Francisco, CA
    Beautiful JB...hopefully I can get one like that someday:D
  14. craigers2


    Sep 26, 2001
    very nice! i love the sunburst.
  15. Gsxtasy99


    Jul 10, 2003
    Boston, MA

    congrats, that's a mighty nice bass you've got there.
  16. adrian garcia

    adrian garcia

    Apr 9, 2001
    las vegas. nevada
    Endorsing Artist: Nordy Basses, Schroeder Cabs, Gallien Krueger Amps
    EVERYTHING, bro... not that they re not amazing basses. the ones you mentioned.
  17. adrian garcia

    adrian garcia

    Apr 9, 2001
    las vegas. nevada
    Endorsing Artist: Nordy Basses, Schroeder Cabs, Gallien Krueger Amps
    you're so bad!!:D
  18. Yamarc

    Yamarc Supporting Member

    Jun 25, 2002
    Northville, MI
    JR, how does this bass stack up against everything else that you've this the end all be all or just another great bass?

    Adrian, As I was doing some F bass talkbass research I came across some old posts where you claimed to not like the F basses in general, esp. the sound. I was jusy wondering, what has changing for you? Did you just start with a bad F bass or was it something else? Thanks