F Bass BN5
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Ericc 12/25/2010

F Bass BN5 : Ericc's user review

« The best 5-string typed 'jazz bass' so far »

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Value For Money : Excellent
- I spend the characteristics mentioned in previous assessments.

- My BN5 is standard (key maple / ash body), natural color.


- The handle: by far the best of all the bass I've tried (Noguera YC, M'Bappé and Expression Plus Deluxe / Fodera Emperor neck and neck through screwed / Ken Smith / Sadowsky / Fender Jazz Bass (but the everyone knows) / Yamaha TRB5P / Zon Sonus 5 / Fender Marcus Miller 5). Exercise is not easy, but I found that F was able to make a bass whose handle is not too thin / flat, but not too thick and round like a jazz bass. The neck width is also excellent (I have medium sized hands) with a spacing of 19 mm (20 mm is too much for me on a 5 string). The satin finish makes the movement of the hand (not hooking as a gloss).

- Ergonomics of the bass is excellent. It is very well balanced and Calle herself against my body. She did not walk to the horizontal as a jazz bass!

- Access to Acute very easy.

- There are 6 knobs, but the settings are very simple. The 3 knobs on the top are volume neck pickup / bridge pickup / passive tone. Below, there are knobs preamp acute / medium / low. 2 knobs are push / pull: one to enable / disable the preamp and the other to switch from single coil pickup / humbucker. The sound is still very good, whatever the configuration of the microphones. You just do not abuse the passive tone that can cut all the highs.

- The electronics are super quiet. It's simple, when you turn the preamp, EQ and preamp knobs to zero, we hear no breath (which is not the case with lots of bass that I tried). Then when you add high / medium / low, it seems we're always passive, and that the bass is naturally (within the liabilities) of more serious, medium or sharp, still without breath. It's very impressive. I saw no other preamp except that of the 2 Fodera I tried to give such a result.


- I play soul / funk / pop jazz. It is perfect for my style. I love the sound of my bass with Bona and I can approach him. I think it's related to the use of the same wood on his bass (maple fingerboard and ash body) but also to the microphones F. The bass is very versatile. We can go from one sound to the Pastorius, Marcus Miller, to the sound of Bona and even have a sound close to the bass (yes!). This bass is great. Highs are sweet and not aggressive (this is unfortunately the problem with some maple fingerboard bass I've tried), the sound is more crystalline. If the bass is very well defined (I compared with 2 Fodera Emperor and it has nothing to envy them). In liabilities, it was truly a vintage sound by playing with the bridge pickup. This bass also has a lot of attack. Not being a slappeur, I'm not going to give my point of view, but many say that F has a good sound slap.

- I play on an EBS Drome 12 inches, neutral, no effects.


- I have this low since 2004. I tried many fretted (Noguera YC-M'Bappé-Expression, 2 Fodera Emperor, several Fender Jazz Bass, Ken Smith, ...) which are good and very good bass. I'm still waiting for the bass that I will want to sell mine. It's simple: I do not see any fault him while low above all have at least one negative point (neck too thin / flat and too wide, too shrill treble, bass weaklings, lack of attack, looks ugly string spacing too large, poor ergonomics, no dial tone passive preamp which distorts the liabilities, disproportionate price) and is reflected in my BN5.

- This bass is in the spirit of jazz bass but has many improvements: the sound is better defined especially in the bass, the preamp does not alter the liabilities, the interface is excellent, the finish is very good even for BN5 standard (hidden microphone preamp cavity cover made of wood, ebony buttons), the look is terrible (I consider it the best look).

- I also have a BNF5 F (fretless version). I do not see today, given the price that I paid the low competition. The only bass that I would try one day are Fodera Imperial Bona (about $ 9000!) And the new range of vintage F, VF5 series. The rest does not really care since I have my BN5.

- Since I paid € 2100 this bass second hand very good condition, I found the quality / price excellent! For a new bass takes $ 3,000, still a very good value for money.