TalkBass
Flea4MetallicFlakeGreencollage2.jpg
TalkBass
Flea4MetallicFlakeGreencollage2.jpg
ModulusFlea43TSBcollage2.jpg

Modulus Flea 4 String Bass Fb4

4.8/5, 4.8 from 6 reviews
The energy and vision of Red Hot Chili Pepper's Flea inspired Modulus to create a bass guitar that bears his name.
Flea4MetallicFlakeGreencollage2.jpg ModulusFlea43TSBcollage2.jpg
Reviews Summary
5
 
83%
1
 
17%
0
 
0%
0
 
0%
0
 
0%
Overall Rating:
4.8/5,
Tone:
4.83/5,
Build Quality:
4.83/5,
Feel:
4.83/5,
Value:
4.5/5,
  1. Schwinge
    Inspiring
    5/5, 5 out of 5, reviewed Aug 14, 2010
    Tone:
    5/5,
    Build Quality:
    5/5,
    Feel:
    5/5,
    Value:
    3/5,
    Pros
    • + splatter funk
    Cons
    • - not a great value
    I have owned a modulus Flea bass for slightly over three years now, and I feel I have spent enough time with the bass to write a review of it.

    Playability

    I have medium sized hands, and the D shaped neck feels quite comfortable. The glossy neck can be slightly sticky if you have sweaty hands. My modulus weighs about 9.5 pounds and DOES have a slight neck dive. The cutaway below the neck is nice, but it’s still slightly awkward to reach the highest fret. The shape of the body makes playing with the bass high on the chest uncomfortable. The Basslines pickup doesn’t have much room to support the thumb- I find it rather uncomfortable. The Lane Poor is superior in comfort.

    The fretwork is incredible. This bass permits extremely low action with minimal fret buzz, and still has no dead spots. Don’t get me wrong- this bass is a breeze to play.

    Hardware/Setup

    The truss rod is easy to adjust and the neck is impervious to warping from temperature changes. The nut is clean. The BAII bridge is easy to adjust and has a low profile. The Aguilar preamp gives this bass a hot signal along with plenty of bass and treble boost. The SD Basslines pickups are high quality (I ended up changing mine to lane poor but more on that later.) The wiring under the back plate is clean and well organized. Unfortunately, the batteries are beneath the back plate- swapping them takes some time. The Gotoh tuners are great- they are smooth and hold tuning very well.

    I received my Funk Unlimited with moderately high action. I was unable to lower the strings as low as I wanted- the BAII bridge could not go low enough. It was an easy fix by putting a shim under the neck pocket. After installing the shim there was a gap in the side of the neck pocket, about the width of a credit card. I have not noticed any change in tone or sustain, and the gap is probably my fault. After installing the shim I found that while the string spacing was still even, the strings were not centered on the neck.

    Tone

    Imagine the sound of a Tyrannosaurus Rex vomiting thunder- in the best way possible. If you can mimic Flea’s technique, you CAN get Flea’s tone with this bass. The Basslines pickup sounds quite transparent and is very responsive to hand and finger technique. I have never heard a bass with a larger dynamic range. You can make a crunchy-punchy-explosive sound when digging in that is out of this world.

    I wanted an even more transparent tone and bought a Lane Poor pickup. The Basslines pickup was designed to mimic the Lane Poor pickup and is very accurate.

    I would NOT say this bass is versatile. It is difficult to get a traditional bass tone.

    I am still inspired by the sound of this bass. I would highly recommend buying this bass used.
    Price Paid:
    $2100
  2. Afc70
    Fast neck, may be too "hi fi" for some
    5/5, 5 out of 5, reviewed May 8, 2010
    Tone:
    5/5,
    Build Quality:
    5/5,
    Feel:
    5/5,
    Value:
    5/5,
    Pros
    • + Fast neck, Cutting tone, Simple tone controls
    Cons
    • - Graphite may be too "hi fi" or modern for some
    Mine is an early Modulus flea bass with the coveted Lane Poor pickup. Serial # begins with 96. Modulus informed me it was assembled in Jan.97. This bass cuts really well, even with old strings. Ive owned a few stingrays and the flea cuts through better to me, although the low end isnt quite as much as the musicman. However, it worked extremely well in all the bands ive played with. It sounds amazing for funk playing- fingerstyle or slapping, very "marcus miller" sounding. The finish on this bass is extremely tough and it will hold up very well to about anything- its oblivious to humidity, temperature, etc. and stays in tune for months. The only real drawback i can find with this bass is that it suffers from the "stingray syndrome" in that you basically get one sound out of it. That isnt always a bad thing,though. The sound you get out of it is killer! If you're a rocker who likes to funk it up, this is the bass for you!
    Price Paid:
    $1200
  3. PhilRitter21
    Amazing neck, powerful output
    5/5, 5 out of 5, reviewed Sep 12, 2008
    Tone:
    5/5,
    Build Quality:
    5/5,
    Feel:
    5/5,
    Value:
    5/5,
    Pros
    • + Amazing Neck, Powerful Output, Great fit and finish.
    Cons
    • - Some people dont like the lack of warmth in the sound. It works just fine for my applications!
    First off, I bought this bass new on a super rare clearance deal. So, dont expect to be able to find this bass for this price! I got incredibly lucky, so view my purchase as an anomaly. But with that said, I would still gladly buy this bass at full price. In fact, I am considering buying a 5 string version to compliment my 4 string.

    I have now had the bass for several days, and have used it at church. This was the ultimate test for it, and everyone at practice commented how powerful it sounded and how I was cutting through (which had ben an issue since we removed onstage bass amplification.

    The neck feels amazing, and its great to look at too! It attracts tons of attention.

    I would like to try the Lane Poor pickups. I have heard good things, but my Basslines and Aguilar OMP1 sound just fine!
    Price Paid:
    $975
  4. FunkyMonkCP
    Excellent
    5/5, 5 out of 5, reviewed Oct 3, 2004
    Tone:
    5/5,
    Build Quality:
    5/5,
    Feel:
    5/5,
    Value:
    5/5,
    Pros
    • + the neck, the action, the sound, the craftmanship, the look
    Cons
    • - I'm not such a fan of the new headstock, doesn't have a lane poor pickup
    This bass kicks ***.

    I had wanted a Flea Bass for 5 years. August 13th, my dreams finally came true. It had arrived, a brand spanking new flea bass. I was able to get mine spec'd out just like fleas too.

    Specs:

    - Blue Flake finish
    - Basslines Pickup
    - Aguliar OBP-1 preamp
    - Badass II bridge

    I know flea has a lane poor pickup on his, but they've been discontinued and I can't find one on ebay yet.

    Sound & Playability-

    This bass sounds awesome. It totally rumbles. I use a Nemesis NC-210 combo amp, and for a combo amp, the bass rumbles the house. The perfectly straight graphite neck is EASY to play. It is pure euphoria playing this bass, every note rings perfectly.

    Look & Craftmanship-

    The flake blue finish on this bass looks totally awesome. It is unlike anything you will ever see. Pictures don't do this bass justice. When using a flash when taking pictures of the bass, the bass just lights up with sparkles.

    Also, this bass is the most sleek bass I've ever seen. It's almost aerodynamic looking. The craftmanship is incredible. The finish is so smooth I can almost see myself in it.

    There is one thing I'm not such a big fan of about the look. It's the new headstock, I think it makes the bass look less sleek.

    Overall-

    If you can afford this bass (about $2,200+), get one. I was lucky enough to get mine for only $1,999 (yep, not an even $2,000). You will never have to buy another bass, this will last you a lifetime. The graphite neck will never break or wear.

    Buy a Flea Bass!

    I give it a 10/10

    - FunkyMonkCP
    Price Paid:
    $1999
  5. Mental Octopus
    Prefer wood neck
    4/5, 4 out of 5, reviewed Jul 10, 2004
    Tone:
    4/5,
    Build Quality:
    4/5,
    Feel:
    4/5,
    Value:
    4/5,
    Pros
    • + incredibly low action, great build quality, fast slapper, neck never moves, lane poor pickup
    Cons
    • - graphite isn't for everyone
    I bought this flea bass about 7 months ago. I was looking for something very slappable with low action. The graphite was appealing because the neck never warps at all, even during drastic temperature and humidity changes, which is useful for whenever i travel.

    The best thing about this bass is the Lane Poor pickup. When i bought this one it had a Bart pickup and it sounded like garbage. Not well defined and muddy. Putting the Lane Poor in i heard a drastic difference it sounds about a 1000 times better.

    This is the first graphite necked bass i have owned and i've found that i prefer the sound and feel of wood. To me, graphite lacks personality and warmth. But i will say that this is probably one of the best basses ever made for slap....after all, it was made for Flea.

    To me, the price of a new Flea bass is completely ridiculous (almost 3k i think) and i would never consider it because it is truly not worth it. They frequently sell for around $1000 used.
    Price Paid:
    $920
  6. 95JettaCity
    Amazing Tone
    5/5, 5 out of 5, reviewed Mar 17, 2004
    Tone:
    5/5,
    Build Quality:
    5/5,
    Feel:
    5/5,
    Value:
    5/5,
    Pros
    • + Amazing tone, fast and easy to play, extremely lite in weight
    Cons
    • - Have yet to find any...
    I was fortunate enough to find one with the Lane Poor pickup and Bartolini NTBT preamp. This pickup is a hard thing to find these days and it absolutely makes the bass come alive. The graphite neck is incredibly fast and comfortable to play. I would recommend this bass for a variety of different musical styles including funk, rock, blues, etc...

    If you can find a used one for $1000 or less, don't pass it up!
    Price Paid:
    $950
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