NBD - FBass VF5 (long-winded story warning)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by ScottfromCalgary, Mar 18, 2017.

  1. ScottfromCalgary


    May 10, 2015
    Just received this beauty yesterday via Purolator from Long and McQuade in Markham, Ontario. First new bass I've purchased without getting my hands on it first, but I took a chance given the reviews and reputation of the crew at FBass. I'll also preface this by saying I've only had about 2 hours playing time on the bass, and no time with the band yet. But holy crap is this a gorgeous bass...

    Backgrounder: I've been playing bass for 33 years now and have gone through a LOT of different gear. I've been on another purge and trade binge lately, moving most of my passive Fender/Fender-style basses and recently acquiring a Sadowsky RS5, a Lull M5V and also having a Dingwall Super J5 in my possession for a week. My #1 GAS list bass had been the Super J (the VF5 being a close 2nd) and playing one for a week didn't help that at all (thanks to TB'r #rocket45 for letting me experience his for a little while). To date, the Super J had been the nicest bass I'd ever played, so the bar was set pretty high for the FBass.

    With the Super J no longer in my possession and not readily available to purchase, I set my sights on the VF5. Had a quick chat with Marcel at Fbass (great guy and very helpful) who sent me the current price list and info on build times, etc. I was about a day or 2 away from ordering direct from FBass when I stumbled upon this beauty on the L&M website - in much the same configuration I was going to have built anyway! The difference being a PJ setup versus the JJ that I would have ordered. Regardless, I snatched it up right away.

    The bass arrived well packed and came in a very nice padded gig bag - even the bag oozes quality. The bass is in nearly mint condition (it is a new bass after all) but does have a few pick guard swirls etc from being in the store and played a little bit. Construction quality is as good if not better than I would have expected. The neck pocket is tight tight tight and even the pots/knobs feel like a lot of effort went into them to make them high quality.

    This one has the ash tone block with alder wings, Aguillar HC pups, FBass pre-amp, rosewood board, gold with the matching headstock, tort guard and vintage style bridge. No string T needed given the offset design of the headstock.

    Plugged it into my Markbass LM800 Tube and matching 410 cab and this thing thumped! Awesome passive P sound right off the bat! Kicking in the pre-amp took it to a whole new level though - this is one of the nicest and more musical pre-amps I've played. It's a B/M/T boost only style and provides very nice ability to blend in just the right amount of mids and treble without the harshness that sometimes comes along with it. I always find it tough to gauge the sound and musicality of a bass until I've played in a band setting, but this one was obvious from the start. I already see it replacing everything else I own (except for the fretless of course).

    That's about it for now given the short time I've had it, but hopefully this will instill a little confidence in anyone else considering one of these beauties - from what I've seen so far, it's well worth it.

    IMG_0975[1].JPG IMG_0976[1].JPG
  2. ba55i5t


    May 24, 2006
    Congrats on your new bass! My teacher had one from the 80s when I first started and a recent student acquired one too. Outstanding instruments.
  3. Baird6869

    Baird6869 RIP Gord Downey. A True Canadian Icon.

    You are lucky that I didn't buy it when I played it in Markham. :woot: I would have bought it but I didn't have the $$$ until I sold a Fodera. I did pick up a different VF5 a couple of days ago. Amazing basses!

    Great bass. Enjoy!
    TheMartianBassist and Pbassmanca like this.
  4. ale29


    May 25, 2008
    How'd you compare it to your Lull and Sadowsky?
  5. jim nolte

    jim nolte

    Oct 26, 2006
    My '99 BN5 has been my main bass for the past 17 years. I eventually sold all of my others except my '65 Jazz. Every other 5 string I had just felt bulky and lifeless to me, even unplugged my F just sings ! Enjoy it :)
  6. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    That gold and tort looks so classic. I've only played an F Bass once, but it was nothing like your beauty!
  7. ScottfromCalgary


    May 10, 2015
    Haha thanks for not buying it!
    Baird6869 likes this.
  8. ScottfromCalgary


    May 10, 2015
    Hard to compare as they're all great basses. I will say that the ergonomics of the F just fit me better - it's one of the most comfortable basses I've played. Sound wise, they all sound great, just in different ways. Sadowsky has it's own sound which is fantastic too. Also hard to compare as the other 2 are JJ's whereas this has the added flexibility of the PJ config.
    jim nolte likes this.
  9. joebar


    Jan 10, 2010
    I don't think I've ever seen a PJ like this before. Nice bass enjoy
    Dr. Cheese likes this.
  10. Gnal


    Apr 22, 2014
    Congrats on the new VF! Fbass makes some stellar instruments.
  11. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Jun 15, 2021

Share This Page