Madzää
Failing at n00b language
Join date: Apr 2008
1,550 IQ
#1
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So this is my first BOTM, I am doing my main bass, a Fernandez FRB-100 from 1991. They were listed at 100.000 yen back then, or 1400 US dollars. The FRB line is the japanese market version, the american export line would be called APB-5, since it is a five string. This bass was built in japan, and it plays like a dream!

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As for the specs: they are as follows:

Body: two-piece Swamp Ash
Neck: Maple Bolt-on with a Rosewood Fingerboard (24 frets)
Pickups: Active Fernandes
Preamp: Fernandes 2-Band EQ
Tuners: Golden Gotoh
Bridge: Golden, 18mm spacing, I believe it´s a Gotoh bridge.
Scale: 34"

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It´s a little bit hard to see the grain of the wood here, partly because my phone does not have an acceptable camera, but you can still see some of it here.

These basses are very underrated nowadays, even to the point where there has not been a single post about this line of basses on this site until now. This is truely a world-class bass. The neck is very comfortable and smooth, and the active pickup give a great sound. Mind you, I´m nearly exclusively playing jazz, and I believe this is one of the best sounding electric basses you can find.

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This is the back of the bass, here you can see the battery case, as well as the two holes for the low B and the E string. The bridge was routed this way that these 2 strings can be strung string-throu, or at the end of the bridge. While this is a great method to get more sustain, I couldn´t find any sets of flatwounds to put on there. The strings are definitely tight on this bass, even the low B, although it´s a 34'' scale. I think this is partly because I strung them through the body.

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It is currently strung with D´addario Halfround strings in super long scale, gauge 045-130. It has a great, smooth yet punchy bass sound, with a thick defined bottom without icy highs. It is great for jazz, and other stylistics, but the slap sound needs some adjustment on the amp.

Now, my bass is not in top condition. It has been in heavy live usage over the years, and since then the Neck pickup has failed on me, after I´ve literally worn it out on the bass. I kind of hesitate replacing it, since I haven´t found the exact same pickup anywhere. The neck pickup itself has been a great pickup, really giving off a P-Style sound, but I´m not missing it much since the bridge pickup is probably a tiny bit better. It gives off a rich, warm tone full of deep bass, yet still balanced. Kind of unusual for a bridge pickup, but I like it that way. Keep in mind, they are Fernandez pickups, no external. The active preamp offers a bass boost at 85Hz, and a treble boost at 3500hz, both up to 12db.

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Overall, I think this is a great bass, and sadly nearly forgotten nowadays. So if you´re looking for a cheap, pro-boutique instrument, these sometimes go for under 500 dollars on ebay. If you are looking for a new one, you might want to try the Gravity line of Fernandez, which was put into production after this FRB line was discontinued.

If you have any questions about this bass, feel free to ask me. Again, I´m sorry I could not deliver better pictures of this one, but I felt the need to share my bass with the world! At last, here is a picture of it in action:

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I´ve uploaded some more pictures, so that you can view them in this album if you like:

http://imageshack.us/g/205/inuse1size.jpg/

Edit: Here are the promised sound clips! They are from a show my old band did rather recently!

Caravan:
http://profile.ultimate-guitar.com/Madz%E4%E4/music/all/play1076800

Ladybird:
http://profile.ultimate-guitar.com/Madz%E4%E4/music/all/play1076805

Fusion Elevator:
http://profile.ultimate-guitar.com/Madz%E4%E4/music/all/play1076814
In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.

Quote by Lord-O-Donuts
Banned for being the coolest April 08'er on UG.


please check out my own album:
almilano.bandcamp.com
Last edited by Madzää at Jan 12, 2012,
Nutter_101
...
Join date: Aug 2006
1,826 IQ
#2
Very nice bass indeed! Reminds me of the Yamaha TRB basses to a certain extent!

I love older Japanese basses, they got the cooler stuff!

Looking forward to hearing some sound clips!
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skater dan0
ex-mod
Join date: Jul 2006
1,755 IQ
#3
We haven't had a BOTM for nearly 9 months so thank you Mazdaa I'm sticking this. I have to agree with Chris here, it is a tasty looking bass and we need some soundclips especially if you're a jazz man
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Madzää
Failing at n00b language
Join date: Apr 2008
1,550 IQ
#4
Quote by Nutter_101
Very nice bass indeed! Reminds me of the Yamaha TRB basses to a certain extent!


You are quite right! I also had a mid 90ies Yamaha BB G-5 bass with 2 single coils for a few years, which is essentially a modern TRB without the body curve cutouts! They do indeed feel kind of similiar. However, the Fernandez did seem a little bit "tighter" to play. My set of strings seemed a little more sloppy on the BB. Not that that´s a bad thing in any way!
In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.

Quote by Lord-O-Donuts
Banned for being the coolest April 08'er on UG.


please check out my own album:
almilano.bandcamp.com
Last edited by Madzää at Jan 6, 2012,
anarkee
oh the horror!
Join date: Aug 2006
3,136 IQ
#5
Sweet looking bass! Its nice to see something a bit different.
Cantplay4penuts
Registered User
Join date: Jul 2008
514 IQ
#6
Very nice bass you have there! Beautiful!
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Madzää
Failing at n00b language
Join date: Apr 2008
1,550 IQ
#7
I´ve uploaded some soundclips. I´m sorry the quality is not the greatest, but they are from a gig my old band did rather recently. The first one is a reinterpretation of "Caravan", the second one is "Ladybird" from the soundcheck. If you´d like to hear our own songs, please tell me!

Caravan:
http://profile.ultimate-guitar.com/Madz%E4%E4/music/all/play1076800

Ladybird:
http://profile.ultimate-guitar.com/Madz%E4%E4/music/all/play1076805

Actually, here´s one of our originals, "Fusion Elevator":
http://profile.ultimate-guitar.com/Madz%E4%E4/music/all/play1076814
In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.

Quote by Lord-O-Donuts
Banned for being the coolest April 08'er on UG.


please check out my own album:
almilano.bandcamp.com
Last edited by Madzää at Jan 12, 2012,
zacker
Registered User
Join date: Mar 2012
10 IQ
#8
The first one is a reinterpretation of "Caravan", the second one is "Ladybird" from the soundcheck.
roast
UG Addict
Join date: Oct 2005
1,885 IQ
#9
Tasty bass! There's a lot of similarities between that and some of the Ibanez SR line.
Any idea what the string spacing is on this?

DARK_MATTER, Instrumental Post-Metal from Ireland


Bass:
Ibanez BTB 405QM
Ashdown PM600 - Peavey TVX 4x10
Russian Big Muff

Guitar:
Fender Jim Root sig
'99 Stagemaster 7-string
Yamaha F310
Hughes & Kettner Warp 7 w/4x12