Samick FN 1 Fairlane Reviews 4

This is a follow-up to my review I submitted in the spring of '03 of the unit I purchased at Heartland Guitars...

After removing the stock electronics and replacing with Fender hardware, I removed the stock pickups and put a Carvin J99 on the neck side (had to do a little filing on the pickguard to fit it in) and placed a Fender Custom '62 Original Jazz pickup on the bridge side. What a difference this has made...When played with the bridge at about 90% and the neck at 70%, I get a punchy yet full sound that cuts through the other guitars and their "chatter." I play just behind the bridge pickup to get that sound and the sound doesn't drop off as much on the G and D strings. However, I still plan on purchasing a compressor pedal. Since I play a lot of church worship material, at times I just open up the neck pickup and decrease the bridge for a less-intrusive sound that blends well with the piano. Currently I use a DOD FX63 Bass Chorus pedal on some of the stuff I play, more for making my sound more unique and clean when needed.

I've been gigging at church with this bass for about six months and don't have much to complain about, especially since I gutted the electronics and put in some quality pickups. If you plan on purchasing this bass, keep in mind its natural acoustic sound is somewhat reasonant/"middy". I wouldn't call it a hollowbody sound, but it's distinctive. If you are looking for a flatter or muddier Precision sound, you might be better off looking for something else. The unit is capable of good bottom with the right pickups, but its natural strength is really lies in producing mids, tone, and a decent jazz bass sound.

It's solid. Tuners are ok, the unit lacks a locking tuner, but what do you expect for $150? Bridge hardware is of good quality. The wood is agathis. I don't think it's the highest quality wood, but I really went out for playability and capability when I made the purchasing decision. More details are on my other Fairlane review.

I've been playing 3 times a month at church and I've played this bass each time. I've had positive comments not only about my playing style, but on the sound that's coming out of this bass. Yes, I have made many modifications since purchasing, but as a raw unit I knew it had potential and that it would address my needs with the mods I had in mind. When it's all said and done it really comes down to what you need and sounds best for your purpose. Know what you need and shop around, but give this bass a try. Don't let the cheap price fool you.

Rap rated this unit 4 on 2003-08-20.

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