Modulus Graphite neck with dead spot?!?!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by JFT, Jun 24, 2003.

  1. JFT

    JFT Guest


    I had quite a shock today. I played a Modulus Vintage-J bass with graphite neck and experience the worst dead-spot of heard (or actually didn't) 3rd fret second string.:eek:
    BTW the second strings played ok on the rest of the neck.

    I always thought (and read here) that graphite neck were immune to dead spot...

    How can this be possible?!? (Or am I becoming deaf!)
  2. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    well, you can send the bass to me, and you'll never have dead spot problems with it again.
  3. newbass

    newbass Guest

    Mar 18, 2002
    Austin, Texas
    If I'm not mistaken, the frets are still just embedded in wood. If the wood in that spot is soft, or if the fret is a little loose, it'll sound dead. Wood is an organic material, and is flawed as is every other organic thing on the planet. Peace.
  4. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    newbass--Nope, you are mistaken. Unless the bass has a wood fretboard, the frets are not "embedded in wood". The regular Modulus necks are hollow with no wood at the core, either.

    There have been plenty of discussions on TB about whether or not graphite necks are immume to dead spots or not, and some folks seem to get very upset about it. Rather than open that can of worms again, it's probably worth doing a search to see what folks who actually own graphite-neckes basses have said in the past about it.

  5. tripwamsley

    tripwamsley Guest

    Jan 31, 2002
    Sulphur La,
    I have 3 basses with composite necks. They all have some dead spots. Graphite is in no way immune to this. Not in my world at least. Oh yeah, I have 2 Zons and a Status. I don't think it's something you should worry about though. Sometimes those "wolf" tones make things interesting. Of course, I could be wrong...
  6. RAM

    RAM Guest

    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    I've seen cases where dead spots occur because of a high fret. That was the case in one of my basses. I bought it and took it in for work. When I showed them how dead the note was, they suggested leveling the frets. I didn't believe it would fix the problem, but it did.

    What appears to be a dead spot may, in fact, not be...

    And, for the record, even my Modulus had a little bit of a dead spot, but a little higher on the G string than on my wood-neck basses.
  7. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    I think it depends on the neck, since every manufacturer uses different concepts and production methods.

    I hardly ever played American composite necks, but all Status and SKC graphite necks I've played didn't have deadspots, same with the two Basslabs I played.
  8. Thumper

    Thumper Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2000
    Syracuse Ut
    A dead spot can also be caused by strings. I finally bit the bullet and got a new (to me) Sadowsky Standard 5. It had almost new strings and had a horrible dead spot at the A string 3rd fret, I was shocked and disappointed. I found the strings too stiff for my taste and put on a new set of TI Jazz rounds, the dead spot disappeared, what a relief that was!
  9. Chuck M

    Chuck M Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    San Antonio, Texas
    I own 3 basses with graphite necks-a Lakland JO with a Moses neck, a Modulus Q5 and a Modulus Q6. They have the most even playing necks in my collection of basses. They do, however, have some very slight hot/dead spots.

  10. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Well, that's been my experience, too (since we're talking about it!). My graphite and composite necks (Steinberger, Modulus, Curbow, Zon) have all had slight dead spots, though usually higher on the neck than a wood necked-bass and much less noticable. Probably only detectable by a picky SOB like me, really, but definately there.

  11. JFT

    JFT Guest

    It looks like I'm not (yet) crazy.

    It might have been the strings as someone suggested, or a high fret.

    I guess I was shocked since even my two modest basses (BTB & ATK) don't have any dead-spot of that amplitude. With all the fuss I read about graphite neck I wasn't prepare for this...

    On the other hand the neck felt awesome but the tone... I'm not sure it's for me!

    Thanks for the feedback.
  12. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    My Zon fretless has a very slight dead spot at the classic 'C on the G string' spot. Not near as noticeable as the one on my Fender.
  13. You know Mike, I have experienced the same problem with some dead spots only on the upper register on the D and G strings on both my Q5's. I thought it was the strings, or the frets, but then I started to think that maybe it's the preamp. I play the bass unplugged, and I don't notice the dead spot really, so I think this upper register problem is a preamp issue. For the most part, the Q's that I have come into contact with haven't been bright at all. I would think that a bass with a graphite neck and board should be ultra bright, so I'm guessing that Modulus has the preamps roll off on certain frequncies to mellow out the sound, which would cause some dead sounding notes, especially at the upper register. I'm going to contact Modulus about this because I actually have a problem with the preamp in my Q5. I'll see if my theory is true about the preamp causing dead spots sounds.
  14. Deano Destructo

    Deano Destructo Stingray & Serek addict. Hasn't slept since 1979. Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2000
    Southwest Texas
    Whats even crazier is I had a Modulus Flea bass. One of the first run of them. It had the purple Metal flake with the matching headstock and the little smiley face insignia on it, even had the lane poor. I bought it from the store and about 2 weeks later noticed that the neck had a slight warp in it. Graphite's not supposed to do that right? Mabye it just left the factory in that condition. I returned it and laid down alittle more money for my cabs, though this was years ago. Modulud did offer to exchange the neck though.
  15. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Well, the dead spots have been detectable to me even unplugged, but not quite so much so because you tend to play a lot harder when you're unplugged, and tend to hear the overtones more. Likewise, it's much easier to hear the dead spot with dead strings, or with the treble rolled off--because a dead spot primarily affects the fundamental of a note, and not the overtones. So, the overall brightness of the tone does have an impact, because a brighter tone has more frequencies going on above the fundamental.

    Nope, neither Modulus nor any of the other composite makers that I can think of has their preamps custom configured to "roll off certain frequencies". And if they did, it would be something more like "cut everything above 10kHz", not "notch out everything between 75-90Hz". Make sense?

  16. JFT

    JFT Guest

    First time I read the dead-spot affects mostly the fundamental and the overtones to a lesser extent.

    Can you explain why it is so?

  18. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Because that's what a deadspot is--a frequency that is absorbed by the "vibrating system" that is the bass, and therefore causes the string vibrations at that frequency to die out quicker. But just because the neck is resonating and disapating energy at 96Hz (for instance) doesn't mean that it's doing that at 192Hz and 384Hz as well. So, the funamental at 96Hz (whatever not that is :p) will die out, but the overtones will continue to ring. A brighter tone means those overtones are louder to begin with, while a darker tone means less overtones, making it more obvious when the fundamental dies out.

    Now, there are lots of other things going on, of course. This resonant frequency that's dying out can also be at one of the overtone frequencies rather than the fundamental (say, if you play the note an octave below the "dead spot")--the tone will sustain differently than the notes around it, but not really sound "dead" in the same way.

    Also, playing the same note farther up the neck usually makes the note sound much less "dead", because the end of the string is "attached" (fretted) the the energy applied so much closer to the body--try wiggling a board 3 inches from where it's attached to something solid as opposed to 23, and you understand how much more effort it takes to make it wiggle. You may find dead spots kind of high up on the neck, but (in my experience, anyway), they'll be strongest at the lowest position you can play that same note--you don't really find the 12th fret D on the D string being dead while the 7th fret D on the G string isn't, for instance.

    And of course, there's the fact that some basses or necks just vibrate/absorb energy much less strongly at any single frequency than others, so you can have notes that are "slightly" dead. You also have instruments whose resonating frequencies are higher than the fundamentals of any notes low enough on the neck to be impacted.

    That's my story, and I'm sticking to it. :D


    DEVILMAN Guest

    Nov 24, 2001
    New York,NY
    Mike Z,

    Ditto & Amen!!!!

  20. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    You mean someone actually read all the way to the end? Gee, thanks! :)