any woody sounding graphite necks out there?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Mental Octopus, May 9, 2005.

  1. Mental Octopus

    Mental Octopus

    May 24, 2003
    i love my modulus graphite neck for it's stability but i hate the weak tone that it produces. i like the punch and thickness of a wood there a graphite neck out there that sounds close to wood?

    the only brands i could find besides modulus were status and moses. any experience with either?
  2. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    Well, there are some "approximations" that come pretty close in terms of sound and stability. An example would be, I have a Roscoe bass with a diamondwood fingerboard. The diamondwood definitely contributes to the overall structural stability of the maple-and-purpleheart neck, and it also has the "woody" element in the sound. There's more to a neck than just stability, for instance think back to the days of the aluminum necks (the Travis Bean's and some of the Kramers). :)
  3. MO,

    I went to a composite-based instrument to get away from any type of sound that could be defined as "woody" or "fat", since these tones don't necessarily fit within my compositions.

    You might try a Status neck or try some type of different pickups that might give you the desired sounds that you are looking for. Without a doubt, I get great "woody" tones out of both my Parker 5 and Status Stealth 2 basses. Even though I don't really use these sounds, it's still great to know that I can tap into the depths of the basses if need be! :)

    I have playing/owner experience with every composite on the market so I highly suggest Status, Parker, and even Zon (if you dump the Barts and go with EMGs). I just heard Doug Lunn play a 5-string fretless Zon Legacy with Terry Bozzio the other night and his tones were uniquely fat, woody, and "Eganesque". :)

    Are you looking to buy a new bass, make a "parts" bass, or simply go for a warmer sound? Try dropping some of Carey Nordstrand's pickups in your current Modulus, as that might work and it would save you some money. :)

    You can reach me at if you want to discuss any other options! :)

  4. pickles

    pickles Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    There are lots of really stable wooden necked basses out there, some with graphite reinforcement. But if you still want modulus-style stability try a Genesis.
  5. philiprst

    philiprst Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2005
    I own (among others) a Steinberger M series bass and a Status empathy. The Steinberger is a composite bolt-on and the Status a neck through composite. My Steinberger and Status sound completely different but neither of them are particularly woody. Like Jay, this is a characteristic I like and personally I doubt you will find a composite bass that will be able to reproduce the overall tone of an all-wood bass. Just remember than one person's "tone" is another's "coloration".

    In my opinion, if you want a "woody" tone out of a composite bass you have to really spend some time with the EQ, both on the bass and the amp. My Status comes with a very powerful parametric EQ system and, with enough care, can reproduce a wooden bass if that's what I want. I realise that you have probably tried this already, I just urge you to go back and work with the EQ before giving up on your bass. I realize that some people believe that a good bass must sound "good" without the EQ flat. Personally I don't think there is any real difference between modifying the tone of a bass by selecting particular woods or pickups or simply adjusting the EQ.

    As you know there are huge advantages to composite instruments which make them very attractive to me. No truss rod, absolutely perfect action and relief with no changes over time. Unlike any other bass I have owned, my Status is perfectly even in tone up and down and across the neck. Good luck...
  6. bassjamn


    Jan 4, 2002
    San Francisco
    +1 i've got 3 Zon's and they all sound warm, fat, w/great definition. I read on TB somewhere hat there is a certain amount of wood in the Zon necks.

    Though the formula is top secret.:ninja:
  7. funkcicle


    Jan 9, 2004
    Asheville, NC
    I just got a Modulus with a neck that, from what i can tell, looks like a layer of graphite sandwiched between a maple neck and a chechen fingerboard... looks like pao ferro, feels like ebony, has it's own sound, woody with some oomph. Clear and precise... I made a little puddle the first time i heard it.. she's sleepin in the bed with me tonight.
  8. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    MO - My fretless Jazz has a Status neck and is very warm sounding, certainly not what I would describe as a weak tone. Very full and well-defined across the frquency range. PM me your email if you would like me to send you a soundclip.
  9. Snarf


    Jan 23, 2005
    New York, NY
    If you just put a graphite neck on a Fender or something, I would imagine the tone would still be awfully close to the original. After all, doesn't most of the influence of wood come in with the body and fretboard? (for bolt-ons, neck-thrus are a different story.)
  10. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass ****

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    I have a Warmoth with a Moses Graphite neck, and while "woody" would not be the first adjective that comes to mind in describing the tone it is much warmer than other graphite necked basses I have played. The low end is much more natural sounding, it has a very even lower-mid response without bieng "boomy" or "hollow" sounding, but it still feels and sounds like graphite. If it is stability and rigidity you seek but want the sound of wood I would suggest sticking with wood. Many builders are using graphite/composite materials to sure-up their necks these days and the results are incredible. The 9 piece maple neck on my Dingwall has NEVER needed ANY adjustments and as far as sustain and dead-spots it gets a perfect 10, and keep in mind, I don't know it's exact birthday, but this bass has got be at least 8 years old and has seen alot of hard action!!
  11. Muzique Fann

    Muzique Fann Howzit brah

    Dec 8, 2003
    Kauai, HI
    I have a fretless Stingray with a lined Moses neck and it sounds very warm - with flats and especially tapewounds it gets pretty woody too. EQ to taste.


    Nov 24, 2001
    New York,NY
    +1 on the "old" style 9 piece Dingwall necks, never tweaked mine yet either in 8yrs...

    As far as EMG to Bart's, IME Bartolini's are much warmer where as EMG's are brighter thus contributing to the "sterile" Modulus sound. Play a Bart equipped Modulus & compare it to the same with Barts & you tell me...

    my $0.02
  13. pickles

    pickles Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    I agree the moses necks sound great. I build a fretless 5 with one and played it until I got tired of fretless.

    But actually, if you play outside in the sun wood can be more stable than graphite ... if the sun shines on one side of the dark composite neck it will have a "thermostat" effect and change the bow of the neck! It has actually happened to me with my Moses, and I've heard the same story from others.

    So I say, play what sounds good and what you like the feel of ...
  14. pickles

    pickles Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    They both contribute ... it would sound different.
  15. Mental Octopus

    Mental Octopus

    May 24, 2003
    which bass to you have it on? can you elaborate more on the feel and sound?

    i think you're describing the genesis neck...which is what i am most interested in right now.
  16. budman

    budman Commercial User

    Oct 7, 2004
    Houston, TX
    Formerly the owner/builder of LeCompte Electric Bass
    I wouldn't call it woody, but my Status Retro Active 'J' has a well rounded tone.
  17. fraublugher


    Nov 19, 2004
    ottawa, ontario, canada
    music school retailer
    i played a graphite neck almost exclusively for over a decade and after going back to wood , it was like going back to vinyl.
  18. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    Another vote for Zon. Joe's recipe yields the woodiest sounding necks IME. My Sonus custom sounds woodier than most of my basses with wood necks.
  19. Halftooth

    Halftooth Supporting Member

    Nov 24, 2002
    Tri-Valley, NorCal
  20. funkcicle


    Jan 9, 2004
    Asheville, NC
    Yeah, I think it's the Genesis neck, on a Modulus Vintage jazz. It has a chechen fingerboard, feels like ebony and looks like pao ferro. The sound of this bass is it's own.. very strong attack, very even tone.. not overpowering, not particularly edgy. I've had the bass less than 48 hours so I can't really go in depth yet, except to say that I'm VERY happy with it! I'll probably have some pictures and sound clips within the month.