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Another new Modulus... Couple of questions.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by trainyourhuman, Dec 13, 2004.

  1. trainyourhuman


    Apr 12, 2000
    So I am ordering up a custom Modulus (details to follow) and I can't decided on a top wood. I am leaning towards walnut, but have never played a walnit bass before.

    Anyone out there with a walnut Modulus care to comment? All of my previous Modulus experience has been with the maple topped variety.
  2. Davo737


    Feb 29, 2000
    Syracuse, NY
    IMHO, different tops don't make much of a difference on a Quantum with respect to tone. I've played multiple maple tops, one chechen, and one purpleheart all with alder bodies and similar electronics, and couldn't hear any difference. Actually, that's one of my favorite things about Modulus basses - the consistency in tone and feel from one instrument to the next. I have found, however, that going from the composite to the chechen or grenadillo fingerboard does make a significant difference in tone. But, back to your question...

    Aesthetically, I would say walnut and purpleheart are my two favorite tops. And since purpleheart is no longer an available option (too bad Modulus really cut down on available tops), walnut would be my first choice.
  3. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    I agree with Davo: if all else is equal, it's highly doubtful you'll notice a difference in tone between top laminates.

    The difference between EMG and Bartolini electronics is another matter. Have you decided which electronics package to order?
  4. Pickebass

    Pickebass Supporting Member

    Jul 12, 2004
    San Antonio, TX
    I have a purplehear fretless q6. I would have to agree that the walnut would be cool. I have tried different tops and the normal rules apply...

    I also have a walnut p bass and it sounds great. The fingerboard does make a difference. I think this is a bass that actually does sound better with the composite fingerboard than a wooden board (fretless anyway).

    Walnut tends to add more depth to your sound especially in the lows and low mids. I think maple tops have a little more snap.
  5. DaveB


    Mar 29, 2000
    Toronto Ontario
    Just some support for what the other guys have said. I have a Q5 with a Chechen top and ,while I love the look, it doesn't change the tone of the alder body one bit. I also have the Barts and a Chechen fingerboard and that combination is substantially warmer than the EMG/Phenolic options.
  6. trainyourhuman


    Apr 12, 2000
    Well, my current Q6 has a quilted maple top and granadillo fingerboard. Bartolini pickups and pre. Pretty much standard.

    My new bass is going to be custom in that it is going to have the standard EMG CS pickups that Modulus uses, but with a v/v/t arrangement. Walnut top and chechen board. Black hardware. The sucky photochop gives an idea of of what I am going for, save the board.
  7. JOME77

    JOME77 Supporting Member

    Aug 18, 2002
    I think the walnut would look great. As others have stated, I've not noticed much difference in sound with top woods 1/2" thick and less. It can be used to slightly focus the sound but the body (core) wood contributes much more to the sound of the bass.
  8. DDXdesign

    DDXdesign formerly 'jammadave' Supporting Member

    Oct 15, 2003
    Wash DC metro area
    My Q6 has a Chechen top, satin finished and with just a hint of colorful grain visible. My last Q6 had a super-quilty gloss maple top. The maple top was the barest of hints brighter than the chechen top, but it may have been just as much the gloss as the top wood.

    Both Quanta are Bart NTMB and composite board equipped.

    Aesthetically, you can't go wrong - maybe if you happened to get a dull, lifeless cut of wood (visually, that is), but most Q tops are really nice.
  9. JRBrown


    Jun 21, 2000
    North Carolina
    Mine is a Walnut Q4. I've owned other Q4's and Q5's. The neck, pups, and strings make the Modulus sound. Mine didn't open up until I installed Lane Poors and Daddario Nickel strings. I think Daddario XL's are stock on Modulus basses.


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  10. trainyourhuman


    Apr 12, 2000
    Well, Lane Poors aren't really an option anymore, so I'll stick with my plan. I already have two maple top/bbart Mods, and just want something different.

    I actually like the more "plain" walnut tops the best. I seem to be moving away from the fancy-pants tops that are so popular right now. Its all about the understated.

    On my current basses I have DR Sunbeams strung on the Genesis, and I really like how those sound and feel on this bass. On the Q6 I have Slowounds, which I like... Kind of. I thought the DRs on the Q were a little to bright, and thin up top. The Slowounds last a while, which is nice, but that is about it. They do remind me of the stock strings. I am going to try some TIs soon on the 6 though. I have them on my Tacoma, albeit in bronze, and I love the "weird" guages.
  11. chimp


    Dec 4, 2004
    South Africa
    have you thought about putting something like Ziricote on?

    Attached Files:

  12. trainyourhuman


    Apr 12, 2000
    Whoa. That is pretty, but maybe a little too busy for my taste?

    Also, anyone care to comment on the EMG CS/passive tone setup? I have an EMG P in my pbass and I love it.
  13. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    Poor baby, I'd love to have problems like yours :p

    My main bass is an older Q5 with an alder body and a walnut top. It also has about a 1" bar of purpleheart seperating the two halves of the alder down the centerline of the body that does not show through on the top.

    It is the best looking, best playing, and best sounding modern bass I've ever used. Compared to a maple top modulus (which I've demo'd many times) I think its a bit darker with stronger low mids, which is really attractive on the already-bright Q5. I've never heard anything other than a great P bass sit so well in a rock mix. Mine also has Lane Poor pickups, which I think complete the package wonderfully, but Barts would be my second choice.
  14. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    i'll reassert the notion that teh top on a modulus won't affect the tone much. Pickup choices and the fingerboard will. Also, the genisis basses are very different sonically from the quantum series, but still have some of that MG "vibe". I've noticed some tonal differences in identical MG basses, but i belive that was simply from the peice of alder being used for the body. Some builders like MG and sadowsky use top wood as a decoratve "veneer", while guys like mike tobias use much thicker tops which definitley have an impact on the tone.
  15. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    You're probably right. I have not played any maple top Qs with Lane Poors. And cirtainly none with Lane's 2x1 buffer preamp and seperate passive tone controls :smug:

    My Q5 has a pretty solid slab of walnut on it though ... and it is very slightly darker with throatier low mids than other Qs I've played. Actually, that purpleheart bar is probably having some effect as well. Could also be the age.
  16. trainyourhuman


    Apr 12, 2000
    Alright... Walnut it is. Thanks everyone for the input.
  17. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND

    Super-quilty describes your old one pretty well. :D

    Really couldn't live without one and had to pick up another, eh?? ;)
  18. DDXdesign

    DDXdesign formerly 'jammadave' Supporting Member

    Oct 15, 2003
    Wash DC metro area
    You betta believe it, Ryan! I kicked myself long and hard for selling that one.

    And even though 6-7 months from now I'll have a new shoooper-sheecret custom 6, I'm still not letting this Q6 go, dammit.
  19. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND


    Well, I've always kinda wanted a chechen topped Quantum. I'll be patient and keep watching the TB classifieds to see if it shows up on there. ;) :p
  20. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    My Q-4 has a figured walnut top, it really looks fantastic. IMO the top wood is more decorative. Besides the player, IMO the majority of the sound comes from:

    The alder body and graphite neck.
    The pickups and hardware.
    The type or brand of amp used.