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Modulus Owners: How Straight a Neck is Too Straight?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Bioflava, Feb 14, 2016.


  1. Bioflava

    Bioflava

    Feb 14, 2016
    Hi Modulus Owners,

    I've got a 4-string Flea Bass that is in excellent condition, however I think it might need a neck adjustment and my question is: How straight is too straight for a Modulus?

    My 5-6 year old Modulus has a truss rod and in general plays great -- however, I've had to raise the action a bit over the years I've owned it. I recently put new strings on it (Black Beauty mediums) and brought it in to have the action adjusted.

    The large corporate shop didn't know what to do with it and in fact raised the action to reduce buzz (which was the opposite of what I wanted). When I sight down the neck, it looks good, but the neck has a bit of forward bow. Should I tighten the truss rod to remove this bow? Or do I want some amount of relief even on a graphite neck?

    If anyone has advice on the care and feeding of a Modulus Graphite bass, please pass it on.

    Thanks!
     
  2. ModuMan

    ModuMan How many is too many? Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2007
    Bristol, CT #19
    You want a little bit of backward bow to allow for the strings' vibration. If you picture a vibrating E string, it forms an ellipse. A bow allows that ellipse to form fully.

    An old school Modulus that doesn't have a truss rod still has a bow "baked in". That said, they can still change over time so a truss rod is handy.

    If you have forward bow you should adjust it and give yourself a little backbow.
     
  3. DigitalMan

    DigitalMan Wikipedia often mistakes my opinions for fact Supporting Member

    Nov 30, 2011
    I think you are trying to say the right thing, but definitions of forward bow and back now might be opposite of standard.
     
    ehque and Bob_Ross like this.
  4. ModuMan

    ModuMan How many is too many? Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2007
    Bristol, CT #19
    heh, my edit was too late! I guess if it's forward bow, the neck is too tight and should be loosened.

    My understanding is forward bow is "humped" towards the strings, back bow is away.
     
  5. DigitalMan

    DigitalMan Wikipedia often mistakes my opinions for fact Supporting Member

    Nov 30, 2011
    image.

    This drawing is closest to my understanding.
     
    Bob_Ross, Tbone76 and ModuMan like this.
  6. ModuMan

    ModuMan How many is too many? Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2007
    Bristol, CT #19
    HA! I was JUST going to post that very pic and say how wrong I was!
     
  7. DigitalMan

    DigitalMan Wikipedia often mistakes my opinions for fact Supporting Member

    Nov 30, 2011
    But what you intended is correct. A bass neck needs a slight amount of relief to avoid buzzing.
     
  8. gwangi

    gwangi Supporting Member

    Jul 4, 2009
    Forbidden Valley
    You should have a little relief in your neck, you should be able to fret the first fret and the very last fret at the body end of the neck a there should be just a little space at the 7th or 8th fret from the top of the fret to the bottom of the string, just enough gap to slide a business card through without moving the string.
    Then adjust your string height to get any buzz out.
     
    Nev375 likes this.
  9. Bioflava

    Bioflava

    Feb 14, 2016
    Hi folks -- thanks for everyone's comments... From looking at the diagram, I would say there is a very modest amount of up-bow... but since the strings can vibrate without touching the frets, I think I'm going to call it relief and leave the neck alone!

    PS: Is there are forum/thread for Modulus owners?
     
  10. ModuMan

    ModuMan How many is too many? Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2007
    Bristol, CT #19
  11. Nev375

    Nev375

    Nov 2, 2010
    Missouri
    The whole point of graphite necks is they are virtually maintenance free.

    When you change strings to a different brand or gauge you might need to adjust the truss rod if the difference in tension is significant. Otherwise you should be immune to temperature and humidity issues. You probably won't even have to touch your tuners between gigs.

    The only thing is getting a refret. I've heard theres a risk of damage if the tech isn't familiar with pulling frets from graphite or phenolic or whatever synthetic your fretboard is made of.
     
  12. gwangi

    gwangi Supporting Member

    Jul 4, 2009
    Forbidden Valley


    The part about being immune to temperature and humidity issues is not all entirely true, the phenolic fingerboard can dry out and cause the neck to bow even if the neck has a truss rod or not.
     
    Bob_Ross likes this.

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