Samick Fairlaine FN 1 - Greg Bennett Reviews 4

I bought this bass at a local music gear retailer - Heartland Guitars. Prior to purchasing, I shopped around and tried out some new Mexican Fender Jazz basses, Peaveys, and several others. A few years a ago I purchased an amp at Heartland and decided to go and see what they had. They recently transitioned to a Samick line and I found some nice-looking basses loosely designed around the Fender Jazz and Precision line. There I tried out the Fairlane. After trying it out, I went back back and forth to several shops to compare the sound and value vs. the other basses. Although the Fairlaine FN1 overall edged just under the quality of the other brands, I liked the meaty growl it produced and it was cheap...$150! I knew I had to do some customizing, but it was going to save me a lot of cash in the long run.

I like the sunburst finish and the retro appearance. The body looks like a design from the 50's or 60's. The tuner is split, giving it that modern edge. Overall it's a very unique-looking unit with some personality. The neck is VERY playable. The electronics are questionable, this jazz copy produced a meaty growl. However, I knew I had to do some modifications.

This unit has one tone and two volume controls for the pickups. When cranked in the higher ranges with the old electronics, I heard some hiss in the amp. I cracked it open and found that the pots were 500k units (basically better for our 6-string playing bretheren). I replaced all the pots (pentitometers or something) with 250k Fenders. I replaced the bridge pickup with a Carvin J99. I left the stock neck pickup in because I ran out of money. It is now a smooth-playing, growling, deep-bassing, and great sounding bass. Mids are average, tone is great. I don't slap so I couldn't give you the lowdown on that stuff.

Bolt on neck, rosewood Fgbd, agathis body, JJ pickups, die cast tuners, 3 ply pickguard, chrome hardware. Paint is ok, no chips, finish is pretty tough.

A good-playing bass, but you will need to replace the cheap foreign electronics. Great action. The shorter neck allows you to move up and down quickly. I start gigging with it soon.

Rap rated this unit 4 on 2003-05-22.

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