Modulus flea/FU information resource

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by JJJ, Jan 2, 2014.


  1. JJJ

    JJJ

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2014
    Location:
    Southern England
    Lucky enough to have bought a silver sparkle flea bass today (1997) and have spent ages on line looking for a site which goes through the general evolution/changes over the years similar to the excellent musicman website which covers bridges, logos, necks etc.

    Is there a information resource for Modulus? Or are there any experts out there?

    Will post pics in a while.

    Cheers

    jJj
  2. JJJ

    JJJ

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2014
    Location:
    Southern England
    As promised.
    I am interested in any details that help to date it or confirm that everything is in order.

    [​IMG]
    front view

    [​IMG]
    Back view serial number starts with 97 so this is a 1997? No neck plate.

    [​IMG]
    Lane Poor pickup? Bartolini preamp inside with B & T pots cut and boost

    [​IMG]
    flea logo, note the string guides

    Any info welcome from across the pond!

    Cheers
    JjJ
  3. TXLawDawg

    TXLawDawg Put some stank on it... Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2007
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    You are correct that it would be a 97 model based on the serial number. Everything looks stock to me besides the bridge. I had an 06 and it had a Hipshot Type-B on it and that one appears to be a Gotoh 201. I was thinking the early FB's might have came with a Badass bridge (because that's what Flea used) but I'm not 100% sure on that. Someone else more with more knowledge is sure to chime in or you can ask over in the Modulus Mob thread (might get quick response) - http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f8/modulus-mob-part-4-a-992997/

    Congrats on the bass!
  4. sbassface

    sbassface Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2007
    Location:
    Alexandria, VA
    I can't answer your questions but I was looking for one out of curiosity and could not find one good score!
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  6. JJJ

    JJJ

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2014
    Location:
    Southern England
    Thanks for that can the moderators out there move this to the Modulus section?
    Cheers
    jjJ
  7. rossiman

    rossiman

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2011
    Location:
    Chicago
    It is a 97, I used to have one. Everything looks stock (97s had gotoh bridges, they then moved to hipshot and badass IIs)
    Lane poor is accurate, I have the same one- as is the flea logo
    The string guides were used on 97s. Some time in 98-99 they switched to 2x of the current string guides...then again in 2000-2013 they started using only one

    The preamp in yours is most likely a Bartolini- that was the common preamp combo with the lane poor

    Everything says 97 but usually they had a neck plate, this may have been a late 97 one when they started to not use neckplates anymore
  8. JJJ

    JJJ

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2014
    Location:
    Southern England
    Thanks rossiman, just the information I was after. After a bit of searching I could only find early ones with neck plates.
    It does have a Bartolini preamp.

    As for the sound, I'll have to wait for my amp to come back from the shop. With any luck they will sort out my flapping farting distortion riddled speaker then I can see what I've got!

    Would be good to have access to a database of Modulus Fleas/FU design etc. I'd like to know more about them and how many were made. Or am I being too much of a trainspotter ( or whatever the US equivalent is)!?

    JjJ
  9. rossiman

    rossiman

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2011
    Location:
    Chicago
    The most popular are the flakes- blue and silver the most common. Some oranges, reds, greens, reds, purples, etc
    Theres also black, stealths, tobacco burts.

    After Lane Poor stopping making pickups in 2000 or 2001 (I believe), Modulus sent a LP to Seymour Duncan and they reverse engineered it to make their own representation. That is now the most common pickup found in 2001-2013 modulus basses: the SD Basslines "Modulus"....if it wasn't a SD in your Modulus it most likely was a Bartolini. There was a rare 97 modulus once upon a time that had TWO Lane Poors in it like a jazz/HH configuration.

    Preamp have pretty much always been either Bartolini or Aguilar ODB
  10. rossiman

    rossiman

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2011
    Location:
    Chicago
    There's also a civil war amongst Modulus fanatics like myself between the 97 modulus basses and the current ones.

    The 97s were sleeker and had an indescribable way of playing if you got a good one BUT a lot of people could not trust a bass that didn't have a truss rod (some horror stories about graphite warping)

    I was lucky enough to find a newer Modulus ('05) that resembled the weight and playability of a 97 I used to have
  11. Hidesert

    Hidesert

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2011
    Location:
    Santa Fe & Sanibel
    Nice find, JJJ! Perfect appointments, IMHO.
    One additional bit of info; the Sparkle finish was a significant up charge, and the matching peghead finish yet another costly up charge.
    I would bet that if you look under the pickup, it will be dated from Lane Poor, too.
  12. JJJ

    JJJ

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2014
    Location:
    Southern England
    Thanks again, my curiosity got the better of me so I had a look at the underside of the pick up:

    Initials and 2020 on the white sticker and MM4HB etched on pick up.
    Not sure what it means but a) it may help with the general knowledge and b) I'm glad it didn't say made in China!

    Cheers

    Jjj

    [​IMG]
  13. Hidesert

    Hidesert

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2011
    Location:
    Santa Fe & Sanibel
    Interesting. Wish I could help you figure that out.
  14. penguineman

    penguineman

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2012
    Location:
    kansas
    very nice looking Bass I've been looking for one and havent had any luck myself so it's a great find. if you find a site that does give more info on them please let us know.
  15. JJJ

    JJJ

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2014
    Location:
    Southern England
    If I find out more I'll post it.
    According to the legacy lane poor site MM4hb is the code for a musicman pick up (Humbucker (parallel, 2 conductors)) which I assume is interchangeable with a Modulus.

    I've been looking on eBay, gumtree and a few other sites and I have seen a few 90s flea basses and a few FUs over the last 6 months or so. Here in the UK the second hand prices seem to have risen by ~50% in the last 2-3 years.

    Jjj
  16. stuhammfan

    stuhammfan

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2004
    Location:
    Jonesboro, Arkansas
    I've got a very early Modulus flea- serial number begins with 96 actually! It's black, also Modulus told me years ago that it was assembled in Jan 97, from parts made in 96, as they transitioned from the Sonic Hammer to the Flea- everything sounds correct- mine does have the back neck plate, lane poor pu, the 2 string tree guides, Bartolini preamp with trimpot level inside, fleas 'gapped teeth logo' bridge doesn't say, tuners are modulus (it came with a Gotoh D-tuner) Funny thing is, I haven't played my flea in a few years. I have a ken smith and status graphite that gets all my love these days. Congrats! These will increase in value, no doubt.
  17. exidor

    exidor

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2011
    Location:
    Detroit,MI
    great find! think whatever you want about flea,that is a great bass! have a blast with it!
  18. Hidesert

    Hidesert

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2011
    Location:
    Santa Fe & Sanibel
    "I've got a very early Modulus flea- serial number begins with 96 actually! It's black, also Modulus told me years ago that it was assembled in Jan 97, from parts made in 96, as they transitioned from the Sonic Hammer to the Flea- everything sounds correct- mine does have the back neck plate, lane poor pu, the 2 string tree guides, Bartolini preamp with trimpot level inside, fleas 'gapped teeth logo' bridge doesn't say, tuners are modulus (it came with a Gotoh D-tuner) Funny thing is, I haven't played my flea in a few years. I have a ken smith and status graphite that gets all my love these days. Congrats! These will increase in value, no doubt.[/QUOTE]"

    Lucky to have acquired Frankie's 1996 Flea 4. It's an interesting combination of features. The Satin Black finish is like a piano's and is one I have never before seen Modulus use. It came with 2 pickguards. This non-pearloid off white one is the original. Here's a few pics. image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg This is the earliest Flea that I have ever seen. Most important, IMHO, is that the neck is absolutely dead on straight and the bass plays wonderfully. The Lane Poor sounds amazing.
    Thanks, Frankie.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Apr 28, 2014
  19. Hidesert

    Hidesert

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2011
    Location:
    Santa Fe & Sanibel
    Corrected pics! image.jpg image.jpg Hope this contributes to future Flea scholarship!

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