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Bass cost plenty - doesn't do it for me......

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Tendollarcat, Apr 1, 2006.

  1. The picture attached is of my Moses Custom Jazz Bass. It has a Passive Bartolini MM4 pickup at the neck and a Seymour Duncan Quarter Pounder Jazz pickup at the bridge. It has schaller tuners, a deluxe string through body bridge. The body is off a Modulus VJ (Alder) and the neck is a Moses Jazz.

    Heres the deal, my bass cost plenty. It then arrived off the mighty ebay with a crack in the neck at around the 21st fret. Being graphite, this was no huge deal - it keeps perfect stability and can be repaired. I spend $300 geting the bass repaired, the frets dressed, fully set up and the electrics checked. With this exception, the sum of the parts should be on a par with a Modulus VJ, and in fact, I think it was better than most VJs I've tried.

    I'm discovering, much to my horror, that I must just be an ash-maple bass kind of guy. The bass will do anything, it has punch, clarity, growl and miles of sustain. Yet it doesn't sound like MY bass. I've spent a serious amount of time wondering if my problem is I always want something else and now I'm not sure. I've investigated getting Villex pickups put in to see if that finds the distinct character I need but then, if that doesn't work, I'm out of ideas and certainly out of money. I want a bass that has it's own voice. This one seems to have hundreds.

    What would you do if you were me? Would you,

    a) Get the Villex pickup system. These work so well on Modulus it may be the missing ingredient.

    b)Sell the bass and use the cash on something ash. (If anyone in Australia has any ideas on what this is worth, your input would be appreciated!) Modulus VJs cost $4400 Australian new over here but I'm trying to be sensible. Is it worth $1800? $2000?

    c) Learn to love the bass. Am I thinking that at the price I paid, that it should be the holy grail?

    d) Go trade it at a local store for something expensive and shiny. Music stores over here are pretty starved for decent gear.

    e) Trade it on Talkbass with a Modulus lover?

    f) Go nuts. Get a vintage ash body, villex pickups and put it all together?

    It's a big series of questions! I'd appreciate any help. I think I've analysed this bass to the point of insanity.:help:

    Anyone been in this position before with an expensive purchase? What did you do?
  2. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Retired Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    I don't think I'd pour good money after bad on a bass that doesn't work for you. Maybe sell it and buy something that gives you a bodipka.
  3. v-12


    Mar 3, 2005
    FL Panhandle
    if you don't like the way it plays, get rid of it; but on the other hand; i remember reading an article with tom morrello (ratm, audioslave) where he built a pretty solid guitar out of a few others, and then decided he would make "his" sound around the guitar.
    - just a little food for thought.....

    fwiw; that is a sweet looking bass and i love the humbucker in the neck instead of near the bridge where most people put them.
  4. Thanks guys. It's one of those basses that other players say "Oooh, where did you get that from?" I've been tempted to go the Tom Morello way and persevere but am starting to feel that after gigging with it for ten months, it should be at a stage where I know exactly how to find my tone. Theres so much to like about the bass. I wonder if I'm just used to the cheaper bass idiosyncracies. It may be too classy for me:D
  5. I'd say if you've been gigging it for 10 months and are still asking this question, then you should get rid of it. Unfortunately, I don't think you would get much more than $1000 out of it. I can buy a used Modulus VJ for that, and a Modulus fan would consider this less of a bass because it has been pieced with a Moses neck. I don't know how much you paid for it, but I can't really see getting any more than $1000 for it. Maybe go with a pre-amp to see if that gives you the sound you want. I have pretty much the same pickup configuration on my Warrior and it sounds great with the Bart/Warrior custom 3 band preamp. Just my thoughts.
  6. Thanks for your input. It's nice to know that the pickup configuration works for you. I should have stressed that I was talking Australian dollars with my value ideas. Or should I say - Australian Pesos.........:)
    With shipping and work, the bass has cost me well over $1000US but I'm fully aware that it's worth much less in the US. I'm also aware that the retail prices for basses in Australia are marked up so high that it's amazing they sell anything.
    I guess there comes a point with any bass that the value of it comes down to what it brings to your playing. I have a USATK on the way at the moment which I was planning to be my spare. If it outplays the Jazz, it's definitely on it's way to someone who will enjoy it!

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