I have a love/hate thing for...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Mental Octopus, Dec 14, 2005.

  1. Mental Octopus

    Mental Octopus

    May 24, 2003
    Zon Basses

    I am really looking into buying one used...hopefully a Sonus but I wouldn't mind a Legacy Standard.

    The fact that there is no truss rod scares me. I just worry about that neck moving, especially since I live in New England. Can anyone out there assure me that a zon neck will never move, or am i perfectly normal being scared?
  2. i don't think that they are made out of wood. so i am assuming that they wont move

  3. Andy Brown

    Andy Brown Supporting Member

    Jul 23, 2004
    Rhode Island
    Founder: Wing Bass
    I wouldn't be too concerned. Graphite is impervious to weather. It shouldn't warp, bend, break, or twist. I've owned Modulus, Zon, and have had Moses necks without one issue. I'm not exactly sure why Modulus' have truss rods these days.
  4. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY

    I owned one a while back. Went from Southern Cal to the desert to Reno. Never an issue. Its not wood. Wont move

  5. Papersen

    Papersen Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2002
    I own a Sonus, and had no trouble at all. The bass went from California to Florida to South America. Different enviroments and climates. It arrived perfectly well and the neck is straight as an arrow.


    Nov 24, 2001
    New York,NY
    ...quick question: Has anyone EVER heard of a Zon neck moving? None of mine ever have...

  7. cheezewiz


    Mar 27, 2002
    I had a Legacy Standard. I live in Ohio, the land of extreme temperature and humidity swings. I didn't have any problem whatsoever.
  8. Groundloop


    Jun 21, 2005
    I'm sure Joe Zon could give you that assurance. I don't know you well enough to assure you that you're perfectly normal. :D

    Seriously, as everyone else has stated, graphite/carbon fibre composites don't react to temperature and humidity changes like wood does, which is to say they don't react at all.
  9. Mental Octopus

    Mental Octopus

    May 24, 2003
    the only reason i want to make sure is because i am trading for an oldschool legacy standard (really old one, has a cursive zon logo) and i just worry that over time the neck could move.

    well, if you guys say so, i think i will trade up.
  10. sethlow3

    sethlow3 Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    Nashville, Tennessee
    I personally would tell you to not risk it. I have heard of issues with graphite still being able to move over years of use. This has been a topic on this forum at least once a year and there are always dissenting opinions.

    Some people like some neck relief. Some people like their necks flat as a board (like zons). So if you want it with some relief then you can't do anything about it without a truss rod. Joe will even tell you that 1 or 2 of his basses every year come out with some sort of neck issue which isn't covered by warranty. The fingerboard has impregnated wood in it BTW so eventually something would HAVE to move in contrasting temperatures.

    Also, Modulus historically was one of the 1st marketable graphite necked basses. They didn't use truss rods in the beggining and eventually due to customer complaints with neck issues, they installed truss rods in every model from then on. So if THEY are doing it why the heck isn't Joe Zon?

    Graphite does yield a unique tone. I wouldn't call it "sterile" but I would say it has a different tonal color than wood. I had a Sonus 5 once, but I eventually found that I disliked the tight spacing and bart electronics. The pre was a 2 band polyfusion (AKA Zon) and it sounded great just me alone. However in the studio and live it was muddy at times. Especially in metal and busy stuff.

    Take your time with this purchase...
  11. Smallequestrian

    Smallequestrian Rock and/or Roll Supporting Member

    Jul 6, 2004
    Chicago, IL
    Beta Tester: Source Audio
    If you want to know about possible Zon issues I would PM basso gruvitas. His previous screen name was zonforjon, he now plays Roscoes and he can probably give you some good feedback. He once explained to me what happened, but I don't remember any of the specifics. I do know that his name is no longer zonforjon though.
  12. Even though its not a Zon, I have a 1996 Modulus (that I have owned since 1996) with no truss rod.. It has had NO problems and plays like the first day I bought it (knock on wood, or graphite).
  13. pickles

    pickles Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    I've had problems with both moses (minor) and modulus (major) graphite necks. The moses, when exposed to hot direct sun, backbowed due to the fingerboard heating up. This was fixed as soon as I took the neck out of the sun and that bass still plays great. Zon necks are more like Moses necks, and I have not ever heard of this or any other problem with a Zon. Actually I heard a story where someone left a Legacy in the trunk of their car at LAX when they left on a trip during the summer. When they got back, the finish of the bass had melted and rippled, but once it cooled off, the bass was still IN TUNE.

    The modulus developed a twist, the cure for which was a refret with fingerboard level. According to the guy that fixed it, this is not uncommon, and it should stay put for another 10-15 years, then might need work again. A truss rod would not really have helped with this, since it was a twist, not a uniform relief change.

    I wouldn't really shy away from graphite entirely, just be aware that its not a no-movement guarentee. Your concerns about cold are probably not justified, the resins in graphite may do bad things if they get very hot (epoxys usually soften up around 150 degrees), but getting very cold shouldn't be as much of a problem.


    Nov 24, 2001
    New York,NY
    I still can't figure out the original questions concerns? Graphite is in the minority league of haveing any kind of stability problems which has been proven for years. Yes, there are very minimal exceptions that have had a "problem" if that is what you'd call it after the extreme abuse it endured(cold/heat/sun etc...)

    The biggest issue with a graphite neck is if you like the sound & feel, NOT its stability.
    Wood doesn't have half the structual stability of graphite & it doesn't stop or concern people about its movement when choosen for construction. Yes, they have truss rods but that doesn't sought all the possible problems out.
    There will always be the freak problem that pops up with any style construction bass, regardless of manufacturer, but as said earlier, it's rare but does happen.
    Buy it for what you like in sound & playabilty/comfort first...


    PS: Here's my Legacy, never a problem in yrs & it's been all over the world(climates)with me...


    Nov 24, 2001
    New York,NY
    @Mental Octopus,

    If you can, get the serial# of the bass & call Joe Zon. Maybe he can give you the info you want about that particular piece & the history of problems, if any, in that years production.

  16. gyancey


    Mar 25, 2002
    Austin, TX
    A point about instrument care: Graphite, wood, impregnated wood, plastic, reconsituted mouse hair, whatever. The rule of thumb is your instrument is comfortable wherever your are comfortable, i.e. not in a car trunk in LA during the summer or out in the cold.
  17. fretlessrock

    fretlessrock Supporting Member

    Aug 8, 2002
    I live in CT and my Zon Sonus 5 fretless has been as stable as could be. A funny trait is that it might go a *little* sharp or flat moving between temps. But when it does, each string goes out by the same amount. The Strobostomp does not lie :cool:

    The neck does not move so I can't imagine where a truss would be needed. The thing is like a monolith. If you like the way it plays then you will like it every day.

    I guess it is normal to have reservations. Here's my take: Bass players used to have hard to adjust truss rods and almost never did any tweaking. But hey, a one-piece maple neck doesn't move a lot, and not in the way that causes excess relief. Then the easy-access truss made quick adjustments possible, and some of those skinny maple necks would make nice barometers, so that was good. But on a bass like the Sonus you have a setup with virtually no chance for differential expansion. If the entire neck moves at the same rate then you never have a change in relief. Viola!
  18. Groundloop


    Jun 21, 2005
    Excellent point.
  19. buzzbass

    buzzbass Shoo Shoo Retarded Flu !

    Apr 23, 2003
    I have 2 sonus 5s and the necks NEVER move, EVER. Neither one has had a setup in over 5 yrs. I just put new strings on every once and a while
  20. Thumper

    Thumper Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2000
    Layton, UT
    My Zon Sonus 5/1 is my travel bass. It goes on the road at least 12 weeks a year from the Utah desert to: Ohio, Missouri, Georgia, and Arizona. It'll also see the far East next year.

    No problems yet in over 20 trips.