I was looking around for a 5 string jazz bass and didn't want to blow my budget. I've tried a few and found most were pretty decent but the price tag didn't quite justify a purchase. One fine day as I was chatting with a friend, he suggested that I try a FGN 5 string jazz bass. Here's what I think of it.

Build (9/10)
The body is made of light ash, as stated in their website (http://www.fgnguitars.com/jmj5_r.html). I won't say it's very light but it isn't too heavy. Mine's a black gloss finish. Pickguard is different from conventional shape so if you're thinking of replacing it then you'd have to custom make one.

Big sturdy bridge with locking mechanism. You can either string thru body or just hook it at the bridge. I like this feature on a bass.

The neck is satin finished and feels very smooth and comfortable with a slim C profile. I'll just play it for hours on end and it won't feel sticky at all. Love it. The rosewood fingerboard looks great and has nice grains. It has a CFS (Circle Fretting System). Their own innovation that helps to improve intonation. Has Gotoh tuners that look and feel solid.

Neck is bolted on with 5 bolts and it's a perfect fit into the body. Good cutaway with enough access to the last fret. 19mm string spacing, same as an American Standard bass. The overall build is fantastic.


Electronics (6.5/10)
I've got a little beef about the electronics...but then again, based on the price for the bass, I'd say it's expected. The pots used are pretty decent, but the input jack had issues one week into my owning the bass. Input jack couldn't quite plug in nicely and signal was intermittent. Had to open up the pickguard and did a quick fix. At the end of it, I replaced all the pots to CTS and input jack to Switchcraft. Added a Russian cap for the tone pot.

As for the pickups, I find it a little strange that they'll put jazz pickups with pole pieces that doesn't quite align with the strings. Their stock pickup is for narrow string spacing and it just annoyed me a little to see a quality instrument with such a quirk. Tone wise, it sounded decent but a little lacking. I replaced them with Seymour Duncan 67/70 set with the proper string spacing. Some minor routing needed to be done to fit the slightly larger pickups but I feel it'll be worth it. So please take note for people who wants to swap pickups on this bass.


Overall I'd say this is a pretty good bass. Build quality rivals most high end brands. The only thing that lacks is in the electronics department. Those who's less picky will still be pretty happy with what this bass can offer. For the price of just S$999, you can't go wrong with this pick. Made in Japan in the FujiGen factory, this is their in-house brand which still has much less exposure to more established names but make no mistake, their quality is top notch. I can't say enough about this. I'd give an overall rating of 8/10. The pros do outweigh the cons. Go try one out at Woodworkz as they're the only ones bringing this brand in.