NBD Fernandes Neck Thru Mockingbird MB-90

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by BoomBoomOGTL, Jun 16, 2020.

  1. BoomBoomOGTL

    BoomBoomOGTL Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2012
    York SC
    I wanted to post this up for all to see as these Fernandes licensed Mockingbirds are awesome. A neck though Mockingbird with full electronics has been on my bucket list for decades. They simply ooze coolness.

    I had recently been contemplating a USA ‘Mock for a while but hefty prices have kept me from pulling the trigger, plus I had never played one for more than 2 minutes. I started reading these neck through Fernandes Mockingbirds are spot on as far as feel, ergonomics and tone so I started my hunt. (they are not copies as they were licensed to build these by BCR). These models are rare here in the states but I saw one pop up on eBay one morning priced very attractively with the seller located in Japan and pulled the trigger. It was a slight gamble as the auction pics were terrible but from what I could see, it was all there and the seller acknowledged no breaks or repairs. What the hell, lets do it!

    The auction stated 10 days to process and ship which seemed unusual and the seller took all of that time. But once shipped on a Thursday, it was at my door in SC on Monday morning! The bass was wrapped in a couple layers of bubble wrap, placed in a Fernandes gig bag and then inserted in a carboard box with plastic strapping.

    Anyway, unveiling it for the first time, I was very pleased (and relieved) with the condition. A couple of small finish nicks on the lower body edge but that is it. All the points are still sharp and clean w no dings It’s very clean for almost 30 years old and coming from halfway around the world.

    So on to the bass: it’s 24 fret neck through body with diamond inlays, rosewood fingerboard and rosewood headstock overlay, just like the vintage USA BCRs. The entire body is painted glass black except the headstock overlay. It has the original Moser electronics circuit with all those mini switches and a 5-way Varitone switch which really provides a boatload of varying tones. The pickups are passive DiMarzio P’s, the electronics are also passive, with the exceptions of the variable gain circuit which is activated by one of the mini switches and the gain dialed in with the center pot control and powered by a 9 volt in the control cavity. Engaging the circuit cuts the bass frequencies considerable and ratchets up a pretty nasty sounding distortion at higher settings. At lower settings it sounds ‘OK’ although the I have much better sounding pedals.

    The bass sounds absolutely killer. The vintage DiMarzio P pickups pack a deep, articulate punch, and 2 sets are even deeper. The tone is great and versatile. The controls (pots) are master volume, master tone and preamp gain. Obviously, this is the same as the BCR guitar preamps although I don’t know why anyone would play these bass pickups out of phase as they get very thin sounding. The neck profile fills your hand yet is fast and comfortable. The neck heel is nicely sculpted and provides great upper fret access. Tuners are Grover copies without any rear screws like the Grovers have. I installed the BadAss II as I had it laying around doing nothing for years, but the OEM bridge was decent.

    …But let me tell you what IS NOT comfortable about this bass. OMG, it has the worst (only?) neck dive I’ve ever encountered. You literally must hold the neck in playing position with your fretting hand while playing it. I’ve tried 4” Italia suede straps to no avail. I always thought neck dive was made up by the same folks that can’t play basses over 7 pounds but I take it all back!! Yes, neck dive is REAL. But the utter coolness factor of this bass still overrides the atrocious neck dive so I’ll tread on….

    Like I said earlier, it was shipped in an OEM Fernandes gig bag. I plan in keeping the paint on the points intact so I picked up a Gator hard case which fits these Mocks’ perfectly as far as body width goes. I’ll build a covered foam insert to keep it moving lengthwise as I do with a lot of my cases..

    I WILL gig this bass once things clear up. I was ready to spend $2-$3k on a vintage USA BCR but wanted to try one first and this is the perfect example without spending all that cash. I’m sort of glad I didn’t because I might have regretted spending that much on a bass with this severe a case of neck dive. I’m fine with the one I ended up with as this one is a true rocker.

    B07EFA63-F554-4DF4-B772-0DD09F72EF98.jpeg 3AD05E64-186E-4E20-BDB3-6E6CA6344D94.jpeg 2EE5C235-C4FC-4C63-913A-24BF02564B64.jpeg BAEC8366-B58A-4AE5-8280-FC2A53D6F583.jpeg 128AA9E8-9935-4608-BBD0-545D53170532.jpeg
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2020
  2. kesslari

    kesslari Groovin' with the Fusion Cats Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2007
    Santa Cruz Mtns, California
    Lark in the Morning Instructional Videos; Audix Microphones
    So cool... play some great music on that beauty.
  3. bassclef112

    bassclef112 Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2003
    Astoria, NY
    What??? Neck dive??? Welcome to Mockingbirds my friend!!!
    I had an '80 BCR that was solid Bird's Eye. A beast in every respect. And neck dive that doesn't quit. I managed to find a position where I could get my elbow onto the lower bout to help offset it. That sent 1st position out there and I'd have to reach for it when necessary.
    Not doing that made it impossible for me to play effectively.
    But it was such a badass bass and sounded so good I'd find ways to make it work.

    I can tell you the Eagles are a joy to play - none of that dive in their design. I had the one Mock and 4 Eagles for a reason.

    Your bass is a beauty. Make it work and enjoy it!!!
    BoomBoomOGTL likes this.
  4. ishoulddie


    Jun 28, 2005
    Portland, OR
    Apologies for the thread necro-bump, but which model Gator case are you using this with? I recently acquired an MB-85 and have been trouble finding a suitable case.
  5. BoomBoomOGTL

    BoomBoomOGTL Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2012
    York SC
    Here you go. Hope this helps. E21DD3D7-D76C-4BE9-9E73-60041D91B82B.jpeg E813F60C-8B3E-4BEB-86B9-BDD8753D77F1.jpeg
    ishoulddie likes this.
  6. ishoulddie


    Jun 28, 2005
    Portland, OR
    Great, thank you!
  7. Ender_rpm


    Apr 18, 2004
    St. Louis MO
    That bass has more swagger than an intact pit bull. nice
    Gluvhand likes this.
  8. 9c1ny

    9c1ny Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2008
    Just saw this thread, cool basses and fairly accurate copies but they are just that.
    BCR never licensed Fernandes (or Greco or Aria) to build BCR shapes

    I can't say with certainty but I'd guess the pickups are Gotoh's and not DiMarzio and also are reversed configuration from most Mocks of the era

    Upper strap button is not where BCR placed them but they did however get the neck dive right ;p
    MattZilla likes this.
  9. Kawika007


    Apr 10, 2001
    Houston, TX.