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Anybody still use Graphite Necks?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Grapevine921, Oct 11, 2018.

  1. Grapevine921


    Feb 8, 2011
    I played a Modulus at CME for the first time in a few years and forgot about the openness and clarity of the graphite necks. I feel like there isn't a lot of talk about carbon fiber right now. Modulus basses doubled in price, they no longer sell aftermarket necks and Moses doesn't seem to be doing a lot in the aftermarket neck department currently. Are the biggest players in carbon fiber instruments Status and Zon?

    I love carbon fiber necks. They really seem to make chords ring out clearer and harmonics sound beautiful. Have they fallen out of fashion for any particular reason or are they just not trendy enough to have a healthy market?
    drumvsbass likes this.
  2. @GeoffGould comes to mind. If you knew Modulus, then you already know Gould.
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2018
  3. arbiterusa


    Sep 24, 2015
    San Diego, CA
    Still bust out my Steinberger every chance I get.

    When I was at SCGC, my assistant and I went to NAMM and played the Rainsong stuff. We got very interested. We then went to a local guy who was making carbon fiber bikes to get some idea if this was something we could do.

    Answer: yes and no.

    There's a reason the stuff is expensive. The resins involved are some of the nastiest chemicals on the planet. I was already working in a supplied air environment, but this would have involved about two levels up in protection (with corresponding leaps in price, which would have come out of our own pockets as this was going to be a solo project for us) and the carbon dust...it just soaks right into your skin and stays there. For months if not years. The tech itself is pretty simple and anyone who has worked with fiberglass and the molds could do it, but...it's just WAY too toxic.

    And if I were an employer having to carry workman's comp on guys doing it? And knowing they might be coming back in a few decades saying I gave 'em cancer because I forgot or didn't know about a safety issue? No. Just no. Probably couldn't afford it and no way would I want that hanging over my conscience and my family. So I'm not surprised that very few people do it.

    FWIW, Moses threw in the towel on aftermarket because too many people didn't realize that carbon is not wood and were sending necks back for warranty replacement that they'd broken after not following Moses' very specific instructions. Can't blame them. You can still get stuff from them, but they'll want you to prove that you're not an idiot. And preferably that you're running a production facility. I do wish they still made the Jump bass. I'd buy one.
  4. Bob_Ross

    Bob_Ross Supporting Member

    Dec 29, 2012
    They did?!?! Wow, I did not know that.
    btw, I see you're in San Diego, was the "local guy making carbon fiber bikes" Craig Calfee?

    I still own three graphite basses: a 1982 Steinberger L-2 that I got new, a 1988 Modulus Graphite Quantum-6 SPX that I got new, and a 1996 Modulus Quantum-6 TBX that I got second hand.
    As I've said elsewhere on TB, I could never not own a graphite-necked bass...but I could never only own graphite-necked basses.
    carsbybigd, Cheez and MattZilla like this.
  5. arbiterusa


    Sep 24, 2015
    San Diego, CA
    I was living in Santa Cruz at the time. I was born here and moved back here, close thing, almost stayed for good in SC and still kinda wish I had. Oh well. It's worked out very, very well, me being here.

    Can't remember the guy's name, early 1990s, Santa Cruz builder. Super nice guy.
  6. arbiterusa


    Sep 24, 2015
    San Diego, CA
    Well, I was wrong. Just went to their website. They are done. From Moses:

    MOSES LLC announces our pivot to solely producing SONUSPHERE speaker

    and SOUND COMPOSITES classical stringed instrument products. We have
    now ceased all production of electric guitar and electric bass necks.
    wmmj, mikewalker and Bob_Ross like this.
  7. Billy889


    Sep 29, 2018
  8. Gilmourisgod


    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    Still play this home-brew Steinberger neck, tuners, electronics, home-made body regularly, it's ALWAYS in tune, even after weeks or months in the case. Some of the Majors are incorporating CF rods in necks to stiffen them up, but nothing beats a true CF/Resin neck for stability. If mine has any dead spots, I can't find them, but some people just don't like the feel or look of an all black neck.
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2018
    neddyrow, interp, HolmeBass and 8 others like this.
  9. It's sad to hear this. For a long, long time Moses were the champion of affordable graphite. I had heard they were pretty good too, provided their fitting instructions were followed.

    Graphite isn't really in vogue now like it was in it's heyday. I look back on the late 80's and early 90's as being something of a high point for the popularity of the material. It was a material that rode the wave of forward thinking that had washed over instrument design in the 80's. These days, vintage-rehash enjoys an enduring popularity and forward-thinking design has been pushed to the fringes again.

    For those who like graphite instruments, they've always been there and there is still choice. I could never be without one but I would not wish for graphite to be the only flavour on my plate. Is it better than wood? To me, it's different and has a few key advantages. Variety is the spice of life.

    I've owned several Status Graphite basses, including a first generation Stealth Six String and a 1988 Series II. I've had a Zon Sonus and a Zoot with a graphite neck too. My current graphite bass is a 1994 SKC Bogart Blackstone, made by Stefan Heß. You may think of Stefan as the godfather of German graphite basses. He was responsible for supplying Schack and Clover in the 80's and 90's as well as building his own Bogart basses. The Blackstone uses a synthetic foam core inside a composite shell, manufactured to be the same density as Alder but with an extremely refined consistency. The bass is very dense and compressed sounding. It's very HiFi and really punches in the low midrange. It plays and sounds riotously. I love it. It also balances very well but it's not that light, despite what you might have assumed!


    nomaj, Mastodon2, HolmeBass and 6 others like this.
  10. arbiterusa


    Sep 24, 2015
    San Diego, CA
    I would not assume that. My Steinberger weighs ten pounds. It balances in such a way that it feels weightless, but in real life it's very heavy. And it's hollow!
    JMarkD likes this.
  11. I say this because my old Status Stealth was featherlight. Carbon fibre monocoque over a wooden frame, it was amazingly light. Not so with the Bogart, which feels about on par with a wooden bass of similar size, but with exceptional balance due to the low mass headstock and the bridge tuners.
  12. Yes, I still use a Modulus VJ with Aggie Pick ups from time to time, as well as the Q5 as seen in my avatar. The Steinberger L2 makes an occasional appearance as well. I am pretty much a Fender dude, but once and awhile I crave the dead spot-free even sustain of a good graphite necked axe.
  13. fauxtoe

    fauxtoe Supporting Member

    Apr 20, 2018
    Murrieta, California
    Both of my main basses are a Modulus FB4 and FB5. I have nothing against wood except for a dead spot here and there and having to fight temperatures changes a bit, but I’m reminded constantly how good graphite necks really are every time I pick up my basses. Nothing moves, they’re stiff and comfortable, the the tone is crystal clear, and it responds exactly how I want it to each and every time.

    Basically I’ve had a hard time wanting to purchase anything that isn’t graphite. I think if I end up buying another wood necked bass it will have something other than maple for the neck to try and seek out a different tone and feel.
    jim nolte likes this.
  14. Afc70

    Afc70 Supporting Member

    Feb 2, 2004
    Northeast Arkansas
    F21E4F39-148E-4FE3-9E52-C4E8CFD62BDD. I still use my 95 Modulus Q-5 from time to time.. great tone & thunderous Low B. If I play an outdoor venue, it’s my bass of choice. The used market occasionally has some really nice Q-5’s, & my old Status Graphite was in the classifieds last time I looked. (Great basses also)
    Edit: here’s my Quantum 5
  15. aproud1

    aproud1 Don't surround yourself with yourself. Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2007
    Cincy, OH
  16. Jim C

    Jim C Is that what you meant to play or is this jazz? Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    If there was a market, the Chinese would be all over this as pollution is not an issue for them
    The EPA made it cost prohibitive to plate with chrome except for high precision or military applications due to hazardous materilas

    A manufacaturing friend hired a broker to have his parts plated in Chia; they dump the spent plating solutions in the gravel parking lot...

    Edit - a Status P bass neck is about $467 shipped to the US
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2018
    mindwell likes this.
  17. TNCreature

    TNCreature Jinkies!

    Jan 25, 2010
    Philadelphia Burbs
    I love them. But can't afford them.
  18. Double E

    Double E I ain't got no time to play... Supporting Member

    Dec 24, 2005
    Northeast OH
    How in the world were people breaking these necks? I don't remember hearing this story about Moses' reasons for ducking out.
  19. gwangi

    gwangi Supporting Member

    Jul 4, 2009
    Forbidden Valley
    Fuzzbass and drumvsbass like this.
  20. blacktocomm

    blacktocomm Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2013

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