Peerless construction and quality materials put this F Bass at the top of the tree.
Sitting atop the F Bass range, the BN5 pairs an ash body with a three-piece maple neck. It’s a classic combination that remains as popular as ever. Why? Because it offers the best of two great tone woods. In more practical terms, the rather unusual body shape incorporates some sleek contouring and makes for an extremely comfortable bass. It’s reasonably light and the elongated upper horn compensates for a smoothly sculpted cutaway on the treble side. ‘Our goal has always been to create vintage-inspired basses that benefit from a modified approach to things like balance, scale length and access to the higher frets,’ explains Marcel Furlanetto of F Bass.’ The BN5 is essentially our take on a vintage Fender Jazz Bass. We’ve added a very transparent preamp and a 34.5-inch scale length, which allows for a more musical low B without compromising the G and the D strings.’ Each F bass is handcrafted by George Furlanetto and his team from their workshop in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. ‘Even our pickups, preamps and control knobs are handmade by local friends of ours,’ says Marcel. ‘The only components we source from outside of our hometown are Gotoh and Hipshot hardware, LaBella Strings and the VF Series pickups, which are handmade by Aguilar in New York.’ These kinds of detail add extra wow-factor without (in our opinion) going too far and appearing over the top. All told, a consumate piece of work.
At this kind of price point, we’re looking for a bass that’s not just nigh-on perfect in terms of construction, but offers something truly special too, and the BN5 certainly does that. It plays perfectly straight out of the gig bag. Besides all of its aesthetic embellishments, the sound and playability are exceptional. The pickups are F Bass stacked single-coils, which can be susceptible to picking up hum, but essential in achieving those growling bass tones beloved of Jazz Bass fans. But the BN5 has another trick up its sleeve – using the push-pull bridge pickup volume control you can select the pickups in hum-cancelling mode, which eliminates any unwanted noise. Alongside the three active EQ controls (bass, middle and treble) is a volume control for the neck pickup and a passive tone control that doubles as a push-pull EQ bypass switch. F Bass has got the overall balance just right. The low-end bass sounds carry a real weight to them that naturally build through resounding mids up to the ultra-responsive top end. The BN5 could comfortably sit in with any genre from up-front pop or jazz to reggae and funk. It’s capable of really great things, with its pickup spacing lending a mid-range edge that will have a really broad appeal. There will always be those who refuse to consider anything that steps away from the classic Fender Jazz or Precision templates, but the fact is, we couldn’t put this bass down. Its performance, build-quality and materials are up there with the best.
Built In: Canada
Scale Length: 876mm (34.5 inches)
Neck: 3-piece maple
Pickups: 2 x stacked single-coils
Controls: 2 x volume, 1 x passive tone & 3-band active EQ
Machineheads: Gotoh, 20:1 ratio
Bridge: Hipshot B-style, chrome
Finish: Transparent blue gloss