This Article Was Originally Published On: July 1st, 2014 #Issue 14.
Sooner or later, every great builder takes a poke at the Fender Precision design. Why not? It’s probably the most-copied, most-used electric bass in history. For good reason; it works. F Bass’ shot at it has some great choices. First off, the alder body mated to a maple neck with maple cap is great hybrid choice. Usually, alder is paired with rosewood and ash with maple, but on occasion, Fender matched alder and maple with great, underrated results.
The joinery on the neck/fingerboard is particularly good, as is the body billet. The bolt-on structure and its carve are very well executed; what you should expect from a great bass builder. The bass, overall, is very light, yet still balances well. The finish is a nice, simple unshaded satin that feels great and shows off the wood.
Continuing with the vintage sensibilities, they use a traditional P-bass pickup (from Aguilar) in its usual position. The shielding is perfect, and really overkill for a passive P-bass, but quite good. They use the Hipshot version of a vintage bridge to retain that original tone and use F Bass-branded Gotoh 720 keys. They depart from the usual P-bass by using a Jazz-sized neck and spacing. The body is very F Bass, but with a pickguard. A very nice, 4-ply tortoise shell pickguard, to be exact. The bass plays great, sounds like it should and is built well, as one would expect from F Bass.
F Bass VF4-P
|Body Dimension:||20.5” long x 14.75" wide at lower bout|
|Neck width at nut:||1.52"|
|Neck width at 12th fret:||2.226"|
|Neck width at joint:||2.433"|
|Neck thickness at nut:||1.016"|
|Neck thickness at 1st fret:||.812"|
|Neck thickness at 12th fret:||.949"|
|Neck thickness at joint:||1.036"|
|String spacing at nut:||.364"|
|String spacing at saddle:||.790"|
|Fingerboard radius:||10-12", compound|
|Descriptor for neck shape:||D shape|
|Peghead break angle:||18 deg|
|Bridge break angle:||5-10 deg|
|Afterlength at nut:||2.22" to 5.275"|
|Afterlength at saddle:||1.1"|
|Truss rod type/access:||Double-action / body end|
|Fretwire:||106 x 45|
|Pickups:||Aguilar AG 4P-60|
|Pickup location(s), from the 12th fret:||11 1/2”|
|Preamp circuit voltage:||N/A|
|Strings:||DR Nickel Lo-Riders (roundwound, with hex core)|
|Gauge:||.045”, .065”, .085”, .105”|
|Bridge/color:||Hipshot L plate steel / chrome|
|Tuners/color:||Gotoh / chrome|
|Knobs/color:||Plastic / black|
|Pickguard:||Tortoise shell (4-ply)|
|Control cavity cover:||Body wood (ash)|
|Company:||F Bass, Inc.
16 McKinstry Street
Canada L8L 6C1
ph (905) 522.1582
|County of origin:||Canada|
|List Price:||$3,500, USD (standard/as tested)|
|Street Price:||$3,000, USD (standard/as tested)|
|Test Bass Options:||Passive electronics|
|Options:||Too numerous to list; see webpage|
|Accessories:||Ballistic gig bag, strap|
|Available colors:||Multiple solid, transparent and burst color options|
|Acquired from:||F Bass, Inc.|
|Dates:||December, 2013 to March, 2014|
|Test gear:||GK MB115, GK MB Fusion 800, Mesa/Boogie Titan V-12, Ampeg SVT-7Pro, Bergantino NV215, Bergantino 15/6, TecAmp Puma 900, TecAmp S212, Carvin PB5, Lakland Skyline 44-64 Custom|
1-5 (unacceptable to impeccable)
|Ease of Use:||5|
In-hand Score 4.29average
On-bench Score 4.71average
|Fit and Finish of adornments||5|
|Quality of finish work||5|
|Ease of repair||5|
|Potential range of setup||5|
|Balance on knee||4|
|Balance on strap||4|
|Overall electronic quality||5|
|Solder joints, wire runs||5|
|Quality for Price Range||4|
Low: On the warm side, but not too fat
Mids: Very responsive to right hand technique; smooth and clear to barky
Highs: More extended than the typical P-bass
The VF4-P is undoubtedly a P-bass at heart, but with enhanced clarity and playability. It goes from clean and clear to split-coil bark with ease. Smooth when you want it to be, but aggressive when you dig in.
Sign up for the Bass Gear Low Down E-Newsletter!
Stay up-to-date with all our recent articles, podcasts and more.