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Kawai F-2B?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by friedbass, Dec 1, 2002.

  1. friedbass


    Dec 1, 2002
    I recently stumbled onto what I believe is a Kawai F-2B; probably 12~20 years old, in excellent condition. Shop is asking 1K, but lowered to $750. I put it on lay-a-way to find-out what it is before buying. It really could be the sweetest bass I have ever played; old or new/of any price range. I didn't even know Kawai made basses, and I am beyond impressed. I'm having a hard time finding any detail on the unit, and people I've talked to seem to know little about it.

    Are any of you familiar/experienced with the Kawai F-2B, and what an incredible instrument it is? Is it worth $750?

  2. Brendan

    Brendan Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Which is the F-2B? I've played a few Kawais, but they were the Alembic styled ones. Which weren't bad basses at all. Heck, I would consider them the Budget Alembics...
  3. friedbass


    Dec 1, 2002
    Yes, it strongly resembles Alembic style/construction.
  4. I've played those before (way back when) - if its mint, or at least in excellent playing condition, its certainly worth $750 'with case' (IMHO)
  5. Brendan

    Brendan Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Oooo! One of those. Killer basses, but you see them go for 500 or less on e-bay. Armed with this, talk to the store, and tell them usuall market price is about $500, though you really like the people there, so you'll go $650ish (or less, depending how much you wanna spend), because it's just an overseas Alembic wannabe (;))

    Then, you have a BITCHIN' bass for cheaper. All through the clever use of the "it just intrigues me" style of wheedling. Or, you could just for over $750, but you could do better if you haggle.

    I'd jump on it.
  6. until you've researched for pricing. I acquired a stellar example of an F-2B three years ago, bought it on ebay, and paid $450 for it. This is only important when coupled with the fact that there hasn't been one on ebay go for more $$$ since. I know because I religously check for these basses. You should be able to score one for under that and it's usually well under - in the $300-400 range. They appear quite frequently in all styles - solid colors, simple laminates and premium laminates. Mine happens to be a premium with a maple/mahogany 5 piece neck and a maple body with zebrawood faces.

    What put me onto the Kawai's originally was finding one in a high-priced pawn shop. Like you, I was enthralled by it's quality and it was only selling for $499. For it's construction and style I thought that even that was a steal. After doing more research, my wife and I decided that the one I have now was worth going for and we were able to outbid some heavy hitters or mine would have been a bit less expensive.

    Keep looking - you can do better.
  7. BTW - Some more info about the F2-B's:

    18v preamp
    Dual Kawai pups - Alembic knockoffs - potted
    Tone/volume knobs for each pickup
    3 position tone shaping switch for each pickup
    Front/rear/both pickup switch
    Graphite nut
    22 frets - 34" scale
    Gotoh tuners
    String thru body
    Heaviest brass bridge I've ever seen on any production bass.

    All of the F2-B's I've seen (dozens) have had the same neck and wing sandwich construction but differ in the body faces and backs. Some of the choices or offerings for top laminates were mahogany, flame maple, walnut, and zebrawood. I don't know the composition of the painted versions but they were likely assembled with similiar woods that didn't have a great look or were mismatched in some way.
  8. SMG

    SMG Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2000
    metro Detroit
    These are pretty good basses. The tone is quite bright, like most of the MIJ basses from the era, but through a good amp it sound killer. The electronic set up is fairly simple, a three way switch and also a series/split/parellel switch for each pickup, but quite effective for getting lots of tones.

    About a month ago one of the musicgoround.com stores had what I assume was a passive version of these (it only had three knobs and no toggle or mini switches) for something like $200 or$250, not sure which. They sent me a pic upon request and it looked pretty good. Do a guitar/bass/kawai power search from their site to see if it is still around.

    $750 seems a lot for one of the active ones. I believe I paid $250 on ebay for mine about a year ago.

    (HD's edit - substituted "MIJ" for another term considered to be a slur...)


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