Graphite Necks?!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by FungusHumungous, Jun 17, 2003.

  1. FungusHumungous

    FungusHumungous Guest

    Jun 13, 2003
    Brookfield CT USA
    2 Qs about graphite necks

    1.Are they worth it?

    2.Any good names to be graphite necks from?

    Maybe some day I'll create my own bass from warmoth and may look at a graphite neck option

  2. Voice Of Thor

    Voice Of Thor Member

    May 19, 2003
    First answer: It is all in the beholder. Give one a try sometime.

    Pros: Uniform sustain and tone up and down the neck. Few deadspots and if they are there, they are so subtle you can barely notice. Stable and don't need truss rod adjustments, neck won't bend more or less due to weather, humidity, etc (a nice confidence booster when you walk into a humid club from the subway or a 10 mile walk in the winter). Action won't change as much when using alternate tunings (drop D, etc). Nice punch, warmth, clarity. Excellent translation of the fundamental.

    Cons: Some folks don't trust the lack of truss rod, or want that adjustability (yet for most, it isn't needed as the relief is set for optimal playability at the factory). Not as "harmonically complex" a sound as a wood neck...while the graphite necks have more uniformity up and down the neck, some might feel that lacks personality/character. Less dynamics in tone on a graphite neck (however, this can be good if you frequently change from finger style to slap...graphite necks have a sort of built in compression to them that you can only get the string to pop/thump SO much). This built in compressed sound also gives the perception of the "punch" mentioned above.

    Second answer: Zon, Modulus, Status. Each sound different from one another.
  3. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Aftermarket necks:

    Moses Graphite

    SKC (Germany) - they pretty much make all graphite necks for German luthiers, except the monocoque makers Miller and Basslab.

    Somehow I think I forgot some others...I think Hohner used to offer a J replacement neck.
  4. jongor


    Jan 11, 2003
    I built up a Warmoth/Moses/EMG four string with and EMG preamp, it was a DA though I sold it, regretted it ever since.

    Nice crunchy, modern tone, very solid tone, almost dense....hard to describe.

    The Moses did have a truss, however I never needed to use it, it was perfect from the moment I slapped it on the body.
  5. bass_man86


    Apr 29, 2002
    Virginia Beach
    I don't own a bass with a graphite neck myself, however, if any would care to take a listen to Jaz Lochrie on the Bad Company "Merchants of Cool" CD, he plays a Status 6 on that album. The tone of that bass is just incredible. I enclosed their link, if anyone is interested.
  6. seansbrew

    seansbrew Supporting Member

    Oct 23, 2000
    Mesa AZ.
    I just purchased my first graphite neck bass (Modulus Quantum 5) and agree with some of VOT's points, it is a compromise of sorts. You give up the qualities of one for the different qualities of another. I play alot of funky,jazzy fingerstlye lines (a little thumb technique)and like the even tone and volume of any note I play(exteme upper register or down low). One thing that I miss about a wood neck is the response you get when you dig into it. Wood necks sound gritty and growly while graphite necks keep their polished smooth voice.
  7. Voice Of Thor

    Voice Of Thor Member

    May 19, 2003
    Yes, that is an excellent way of putting it. With the wood neck there always seems to be "more" available in the dynamics department, while the composite necks reach a limit b/c they don't flex as much when you dig into them. As I mentioned though, this can be a good thing if you are a slapper, as there is little need for compression.
  8. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Retired Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    I would describe the tone of a plastic neck (Zon, in this case) as "tight and aggressive." It's not unpleasant at all, but not warm like wood. Perfect for songs like Alanis Morrisette's penultimate bitch song, "You Oughtta Know."
  9. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta (Grant Park!)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    Erika Badu Live (Hubert used a Q5 in the beginning of the tour) and EEPEE by the Aquarium Rescue Unit (Otiel on a Modulus) is what really got me to like graphite necks. I really wasn't too crazy about them in the beginning, because they sounded like fretbuzz. Once I'd gotten better, techniquewise, I began to appreciate them.
  10. NV43345


    Apr 1, 2003
    I play a Modulus Q4, I live in Florida where there is alot of humidity, The Bass is always in tune, The sound is so clear. I use it alot, when
    I get in the mood for fingerboard tapping or pop & slap the sound is unreal, and when I get in one of my Stanley Clarke moods, I can change the tuning without any set up changes. I recently
    found a old video tape In my archives with a Sting concert from the "Ten summoners" tour
    I think most of it was shot in Italy 1993, anyway
    he is playing a P-Bass Bass with what look's to be a Modulus Graphite neck. He sounded great. :)I use the DR High Beam strings 45-105.
  11. Voice Of Thor

    Voice Of Thor Member

    May 19, 2003
    What kind of strings do you have on your Zon?
  12. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta (Grant Park!)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    I know the composite board made a big difference to me as well. I'm not a big fan of EMG's, but I really like them in my Q5
  13. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Retired Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Roundwounds of some sort. I don't think I even changed them out. If I did, they're D'Addario Slowounds.
  14. Voice Of Thor

    Voice Of Thor Member

    May 19, 2003
    I hear that nickel wound strings can warm things up a bit.
  15. I've seen one video from that tour in which he's playing a sunburst P-bass with a Modulus neck- Angus said something about the whole instrument being made by Modulus.
  16. NV43345


    Apr 1, 2003
    When I got my modulus in 1990,they did have a P-Bass option on the Q4. Alot of times sales reps will send out there basses to a band and have them try them out, and if it works out sometimes they wind up with a endorsment, in the late 80's
    and early 90's it was competitive, I remember
    having to pack up and ship back stingray's and some
    nice epiphone guitars & basses back then, we use to get them from alot of different reps. maybe Sting was just trying them out ? I also have the
    video of them recording ten summoners and Sting is playing his old Fender Jazz.:) If I have some time soon,I will watch that tape again.I had it on during a house party between sets,so between stuffing my face and chasing skirt, I only saw bits & pieces.;)
  17. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Inactive

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    I've owned two composite necked basses, a Clover 5 and a Zon fretless 5, which I still own. IMO graphite is a compromise only if you want it to do something it can't do. If you have a graphite neck without a trussrod and it's built right there should be very little movement. This can be a good or bad thing... if, like me, you like where the neck sits, no problem. If you want a different relief, for whatever reason... problem.

    Probably due to the hardness, the necks can sound naturally bright. Knowing this, there are ways to make them sound not so bright, like using different strings or employing techniques which de-emphasize that characteristic. I've had no problem getting tons of growl and warmth out of my graphite necked basses, they're just as versatile as anything else around... it might just take a bit more exploration to find the versatility. It's in there.
  18. XxBassmanxX


    Nov 21, 2001
    Rosman NC

    They have some necks for sale. Ive never tryed a status neck, but their basses have awesome necks and great craftsmanship.

  19. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    I'm currently using all wood necks, because I prefer the way the back of the necks feel against my hand when I sweat. However, I used to have a Modulus Q6, and its graphite neck stayed perfectly stable when I gigged in the humid Caribbean, where my wood-necked freak out and require substantial truss rod adjustment coming and going.

    I can see why touring bassists would prefer graphite for live use. Set it and forget it from city to city, state to state.
  20. Voice Of Thor

    Voice Of Thor Member

    May 19, 2003
    I believe that Zon and Modulus both have satin finishes now for their necks.