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Graphite fretless compared to wood?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Tommy el Gato, Sep 1, 2008.

  1. Tommy el Gato

    Tommy el Gato

    Jul 6, 2007
    I'm sure this has been discussed to death, but a search did not yield the results I was looking for, so I guess a new thread is in order.

    I'm wonder how graphite necks (in particular statuses. Although I'm sure that graphite is graphite, just as rosewood is rosewood and ebony is ebony) compare in terms of tone to particular woods. Like is it brighter/darker/growlier/smoother than ebony, rosewood, pao ferro, etc?

    And, how well do these graphite necks hold up to roundwounds? These would be especially appealing if they held up about as well as an epoxied neck.

    Thanks guys/gals.
  2. I LOVE the acoustic sound of my Status Stealth-2 fretless 6. It has that classic MWAH sound. For me, whenever I hear a bass with a good acoustic signature, I know that it will JUMP OUT when amplified! You have to try one for yourself!! ;)
  3. Hoover

    Hoover Banned

    Nov 2, 2007
    New York City
    At the risk of sounding circuitous, graphite fretless necks compare to wood fretless necks the same way graphite fretted necks compare to wood fretted necks:

    - lots more top end
    - more even response from note to note, & string to string
    - a very high level of detail (every nuance of articulation is conveyed clearly)
    - a somewhat "hard" or "edgy sound...as compared to the "earthy", "organic" sound of wood

    I'm basing these observations primarily on a late-1980's Modulus Graphite fretless I played, but I also noticed similar characteristics with a Zon.
  4. Tommy el Gato

    Tommy el Gato

    Jul 6, 2007
    Thanks for the info. Pretty insightful. I'm still trying to figure out how well these necks hold up to roundwounds.
  5. Keep in mind, the fingerboard isn't usually graphite. At least, none that I'm aware of. Most companies go with synthetic fingerboards like phenowood, ebonol, or Dymondwood. I'm not certain how polyester/epoxy would compare in the long run, but they're pretty darn tough.
  6. neptoon

    neptoon Supporting Member

    Jul 25, 2000
    Cape Canaveral, FL
    just as a reference, here's edo castro playing his 7 string bee stinger fretless with a graphite neck:


    just scroll down towards the bottom of the page
  7. Human Bass

    Human Bass

    Aug 26, 2005
    I've only heard great things about the tone of fretless Zon basses.
  8. neptoon

    neptoon Supporting Member

    Jul 25, 2000
    Cape Canaveral, FL

    all true
  9. I played wood fretless necks for ever, and then I put together a franken jazz using a Moses fretless J neck, and it was very nice. It never needed adjusting, it was easier to intonate, and it had a very focused tone. I still played some fretli with wood boards/necks, and the franjenmoses was a nice change up.

    Then I played a fretless Zon Sonus 5 at a local shop (GGuitars, before they sold out) and it was GAME OVER. Yeah, if you string it with bright rounds it is a brighter sound. But I found it to be far more versatile and far deeper sounding than any fretless I have ever played. Part of that is string selection, part is how you use the preamp/eq, and part is on the rig. Even as a 5'er it feels to me like what I always wanted a Jazz to feel like.

    Anyhow, it is hard to generalize about composite instruments, but when they are made correctly I feel that they are the way to go. I play nickel rounds and I have had no fingerboard wear issues at all.

    Last, if I wasn't so happy with my fretted 4 string J-style bass, I would be the owner of a fretted Sonus 4 as well.

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