Heartbroken: Fernandes FAB-170 (Rant)

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Homer J. Simpson

Well-known member
Apr 19, 2017
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Yesterday a FAB-170 popped up on German eBay in my neighborhood, with only 2 pics, an announcement that they'd add more pics and a description today, and a pretty outerworldly price tag of 3,000€. Still, I was slightly GASsing and contemplated the feasibility and benefit of an investment near that ballpark a little bit - after all this is the only attempt at making a decent Alembic Series I copy I know of (apart from the FAB-180 which has also the stereo option). They are pretty rare.

Screenshot 2023-03-19 at 22-29-11 Fernandes FAB 170 Bass Alembic Stanley Clarke.png

Today the additional pictures were uploaded:

Screenshot 2023-03-19 at 22.42.23.jpg Screenshot 2023-03-19 at 22.42.53.jpg


He wrote that it sounded a bit "too old fashioned" to him so he ripped out the PUs and the electronics. The pretty odd filter preamp design is what makes this instrument what it is, replacing this with something else turns this into some random active, Alembic-shaped bass IMO. That the parts are still there doesn't make it much better, they can't be tested and much worse, there are no circuit diagrams to make sure this would get reassembled the way it should be, apart from the skills needed to turn this from an oversized paper weight into a collectible again. In this condition, buying that bass makes absolutely no sense to me, regardless of the price.

Whenever some kind of (at first sight) desirable MIJ classic shows up in manageable driving distance, it was butchered to some degree, usually badly and without the original parts still in existence, refinished, badly relic'd or decorated with the usual F+G waterslide decals. What gets to me is the perceived or assumed lack of understanding of, or respect for what they have there ("just some Japan knockoff"), apart from all the too obvious fraud attempts I've seen in the past 15 years. The standard "no lowballing, I know what I have here" disclaimer (also found in this offer) in this context was only funny the first 20 times.

I usually don't care that much about this stuff but an FAB has been one of the instruments I was eyeballing as a "really nice to have" for quite a while. Well, until the prices obviously went through the roof that is. Bummer.


Staff member
May 14, 2012
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Sorry about that.

It's frustrating when people end up with stuff they don't appreciate and ruin it for the rest of us. Women, houses, guitars. Long list.

I feel your pain.

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