Modulus Set up

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by robd, Apr 12, 2004.

  1. I've had a Modulus Q5 for about 8 months now and am having a problem getting the sound I want out of it. At first it was just too bright. I was playing it thru a Hartke with the aluminum speakers and the mix of the graphite neck, active p/u's and the alum. speaker was not prime. So I got a 2x10 Trace cabinet and a sansamp bddi and the sound is better (or should I say more to my liking)

    Actually, I can get many good sounds out of the bass, the problem is that there is a lot of right hand string noise, there is this high end clicking noise, it almost sounds like I'm hitting the strings with a drumstick instead of just playing with my fingers.

    I'm sure the sound is coming from the bass itself and not the amp, since I went into a studio over the weekend and there I ran the bass staight thru the board and the sound is there . The overall tone of the bass is excellent, except the clicking noise.

    Maybe it's just the way I play, I don't know, but I've been playing a long time and have never had this problem before.

    Any suggestions on setup changes or anything else that might help me get rid of the clicking noise?



    btw - it has Bartolini's with the 18v preamp, I have no idea if the p/u's are active or passive.

  2. Here's a sample if you want to hear what I'm talking about, I guess I could dial all of the highs out of the bass and get rid of it but I don't think that's really an option.
  3. Deep


    May 8, 2002
    The overall sound is very good. Possibly string height too low for your attack? Maybe roll off some treble? Composite sometimes will give you that attacking sound.
  4. I guess I could dial all of the highs out of the bass and get rid of it (that way) but I don't think that's really an option.....since I can't really cut out just the narrow frequency that's causing the clicking, if I remove all the high end it will be over bassy with a lack of definition.

    Thanks for the input though.
  5. Deep


    May 8, 2002
    How about the string height? Could it be a little too low for your style? This will cause clacking also. Are you using SS strings? SS on a composite neck can be harsh and give you a pinging attack too. Also pick-up height. If it's too close to the strings.
  6. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    I agree about the string height for your right-hand attack being too low. However, I don't think cutting treble would help you much. You'll lose definition and growl more quickly than you lose the clicking.

    I had a Modulus for 1-1/2 years and got rid of it for that reason (and others).

    Some amps, particularly tube amps, seem to warm up the clicking a bit to make it sound more like a natural sounding attack, but there's no perfect solution unless you raise the strings AND lighten your right-hand technique.

    Oh...and Bartolini pickups are not active, though the preamps obviously are.;)
  7. Jerry Ziarko

    Jerry Ziarko Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Rochester, NY
    Rob, I may have a solution. I have not listened to your sample, but the noise you are refering to may be the B string hitting the back pickup as you play the E (mainly) and the A string. The downward pressure you put on the B as you release off of the E will click against the pick up. Try lowering the pickup slightly to see if this helps. Another way to test if this is the cause, is to put your thumb under the B string kind of holding it up as you play the E string. The clicking should disappear! If this does not solve it, the action may have to be raised.
  8. Deep


    May 8, 2002
    What Jerry said may me the culprit. It may not actually be the string you are attacking at that moment, but it could be the string your finger touches after the attack (the next lowest string).
  9. Thanks for the suggestions, I have already cranked the p/u's down almost as far as they will go and still be able to maintain and even signal between strings. I even switched from nickle roundwounds to the Rotosound Tru bass strings, the ones that are covered in black nylon, this helped with getting the overall brightness of the bass down to an acceptable level.

    Any other suggestions are welcome. I love the way the bass plays but this is clicking sound is making me nuts. I thinking maybe if I can get my hands on a 31 band equalizer I could figure out the narrow frequency and the add a cap or something to the electronics to try to cut it out...I dunno

    RAM - what kind of bass did you get after you got rid of your Q5? If I could find a bass that felt and played like this one but without the grapite neck I'd switch in a minute.

    Thanks again for the suggestions
  10. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Actually, I had a Q4. I traded it for a US Spector NS-4, which is an improvement, but not by tons. I like it, but it's still kinda "clicky", though not as bad. I've since bought a Jerzy Drozd Mastery which, interestingly, is less expensive, but twice the bass the Spector is!

    I don't think an eq, even 31 bands, is gonna solve your problem. If you really like really low action, perhaps the Modulus just isn't for you. It's part of the ultimate bass search.

    PM me and we can take this off the board. I don't want to say too much publicly.
  11. The 31 band eq would just be a tool to figure out exactly what frequency the clicking noise is, I have no intention of making one part of my setup. I'm thinking if I could isolate the frequency then maybe I could remove it from the signal.

    I hope I'm not being too dense here, but the clicking noise is coming from my right hand. I can't see how string height would cause or solve the problem. If I raised the strings the noise would still there, just softer (just as the overall signal would be softer, since the strings would be farther away from the p/u's).

    Thanks for the input.
  12. Yamarc

    Yamarc Supporting Member

    Jun 25, 2002
    Northville, MI
    Any other thoughts on getting rid of the clickiness?