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Tell me about graphite guitars please

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by [CRTL+ALT+DEL], Jan 23, 2014.

  1. [CRTL+ALT+DEL]

    [CRTL+ALT+DEL] mad scientist Supporting Member

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    So what's the deal with graphite? I saw Moses necks website. Why aren't there more graphite guitars and basses? What's the tonal quality of graphite? Is it cost? Is it machine-ability? Is it demand? All info wood be great thanks.
  2. [CRTL+ALT+DEL]

    [CRTL+ALT+DEL] mad scientist Supporting Member

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    Autocorrect pun unintended
  3. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member

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    The thing about carbon fiber necks is that they are basically impervious to climate changes, and move very little.
  4. [CRTL+ALT+DEL]

    [CRTL+ALT+DEL] mad scientist Supporting Member

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    Yeah, kinda got that. I'm the first person in my family to not become an engineer. So I know the a bit about various materials but not from a musical instrument perspective. I guess I should say, I'm thinking about getting a custom made bass or possibly trying to do my first build. So, yeah, the original set of questions plus does anyone here have experience building an entire guitar out of graphite, not just the neck?
  5. David Grunigen

    David Grunigen

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    Rainsong guitars make acoustic guitars, 100% graphite, and used to make basses. Status also makes a couple models that are all graphite. I had a Peavey fretless B-quad that I loved, should never have sold it... had a great neck!
  6. Art Araya

    Art Araya Supporting Member

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    I can't answer your technical questions but can tell you that I've owned a Modulus Quantum 5 for many years and it's one of my favorites. I love the rock solid neck - set it and forget it (except for outdoors in hot sunny days when the neck WILL move).
  7. Bipslapper

    Bipslapper Well Ahoy, Paloi Supporting Member

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    I echo what Art says, I own 2 Modulus Q5's and they are soooo reliable. Living in New England, I like the stability of a carbon fiber neck. They are a little bright so I roll off the treble when needed. The lack of dead spots is huge; makes playing bass much easier
  8. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member

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    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    It's not only that the necks are stable, it's that the notes are consistent across the board - no dead spots, wolf tones or unevenness. Due to the material they articulate precisely and clearly. Players who use them like them for that reason, but some players feel they are less interesting because of this - less character.

    There's not more graphite guitars/basses because they are expensive to produce (correctly) and as above not all players like them. Graphite has been used for a while to reinforce necks so in that regard you get the best of both worlds.
  9. MPU

    MPU

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    Some experience as at the moment I'm making a full cf bass. I've made back/neck, top, trussrod sides and cf plate under the fretboard. Next is fitting and gluing the parts together. All parts are made in a mold with vacuum bagging.
  10. kesslari

    kesslari Supporting Member

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    Lark in the Morning Instructional Videos; Audix Microphones
    As a very satisfied Zon player, and to answer your "why doesn't everyone do it?" question.
    Graphite or composite instruments are not for everyone. Some people like the tone better, some do not. Cost is another factor, both for the player/buyer, and for the manufacturer. Cutting wood is relatively easy and low-tech, molding carbon fiber is more specialized and fewer people have the tools or have developed the skills to do it. (by which I mean that it's relatively easy, over the course of growing to adulthood, to have opportunities to work with wood and learn at least some woodworking skills. Not so easy with carbon fiber.)
  11. MPU

    MPU

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    I don't find working with cf more difficult than with wood. It sure is different and takes different equipment. Other than vacuum pump there really is nothing special as long as you work with resins that cure without heat treating. It's not a lot more expensive than working with wood either. Cf and resin for my current project was about 150€ and that's easily spent on woods too.
  12. [CRTL+ALT+DEL]

    [CRTL+ALT+DEL] mad scientist Supporting Member

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    so to clarify the graphite moses necks are made using vacuum seal, and not taking a piece of graphite and putting it through a CNC?
  13. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member

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    None of them are graphite, they are carbon fiber. Graphite is heavy and very brittle
  14. [CRTL+ALT+DEL]

    [CRTL+ALT+DEL] mad scientist Supporting Member

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    That explains some things. I remember my dad had a huge block of some type of tool grade carbon, I think graphite that got ruined from getting wet. It was left over from a job and was supposed to be worth a lotta bank.
  15. Matt Liebenau

    Matt Liebenau

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    I have a Steinberger x series guitar with the composite neck and a Rainsong guitar. Love them both. Leave the Rainsong in the car then go outside onto a cold (winter weather type) stage and she stays in tune!

    If its an option, I'd recommend one with a truss rod just so you can set the neck relief to your liking.
  16. MPU

    MPU

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    Not sure about vacuum , I suppose they are made of some sort of resin-carbon fiber putty in a mold. Status basses are laminated of cf cloth with resin in a mold.
  17. [CRTL+ALT+DEL]

    [CRTL+ALT+DEL] mad scientist Supporting Member

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    Gotcha, essentially. Those are all similar methods. The DIY version with vacuum seal bags, a mold which most likely uses either some vacuum or just pure force... unless it is only a one sided piece like grandmas homemade chocolate Xmas tree. Or status style where they're putting a skin over wood using a mold with a vacuum.
  18. Roy Vogt

    Roy Vogt Supporting Member

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    Endorsing Artist: Accuracy, Carvin, Hotwire, Conklin Basses, DNA, Eden
    Had a bunch of Modulus basses over the years as well as a Steinberger. The only drawback I noticed with the early ones was that with no truss rod the neck relief would change with string gauges and what you got was what you got. I believe Moses has always used truss rods and the later Modulus instruments had them as well. Mine didn't. They were very even and recorded like a grand piano. Sometimes that's good and sometimes not what I was looking for. I've let all of them go and I'm back to wood necks and it seems to be more of what I'm hearing now.
    Modulus use the graphite cloth or chips with resin for the most part when I had mine. Dings were almost impossible to get but were a bear to fix when you got them. Certainly they were bulletproof for the most part!
  19. MPU

    MPU

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    I don't think Status uses wood core. They use foam core and make their basses in a mold.
  20. yodedude2

    yodedude2 Supporting Member

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    for the record, i once used a moses headless 'graphite' neck on an alder warmoth body, and it had an easily noticeable 'dead spot' in the classic place: c on the g string.

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