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MTD 535, Modulus Genesis, or Rob Allen MB2?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by lefty007, Feb 23, 2006.


  1. lefty007

    lefty007

    Jan 19, 2004
    Miami, FL
    OK, help me fuel my GAS. I'm looking to get a 5-string fretless.

    I'm torn between an MTD 535 24-fret, a Modulus Genesis 5-string, or a Rob Allen MB-2 5-string.

    The first two are available for me to buy now; the latter has to be ordered (no big deal.)

    -I like the MTD (have had a fretted before) BUT I don't like the balance--the upper horn is too short, and that coupled with the 35"-scale makes a hard-to-reach-in-the-first-position bass. At least to me. I have never heard a fretless 535 before, so I'm unsure about the sound.

    -I like the Modulus Genesis BUT I'm sure it will be heavy and I have no clue about the sound. Never tried or heard one before. I like the body ergnomics (the big profile of the body looks comfy to me, and the upper horn goes well beyond the 12th fret- which should make for a very balanced bass).

    -I like the Rob Allen MB-2 5-string, BUT I wonder if those tapewound LaBellas with the 35"-scale will be too much work. I like the semi-hollow body sound (have had a Turner Renaissance before), but I also want a fretless that will play itself, with little effort. Tapewound strings seem to be available only in heavy-gauge, which leads to high tension. I use low tension strings for the most part.


    They all have comparable prices.


    Then there is Matt Pulcinella Guitars, and F Bass -- both worthy considerations.

    Let me hear you! :cool:
     
  2. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Considering the basses you are currently looking at, I would add Pete Skjold to that list. His fretless basses really hit the ball out of the park. I totally love MTD's, too, but I have never played a fretless one. I'd have to think that the MB2 is going to sound great, but I'd also expect it to be quite different from a fretless MTD.

    But again, before you commit, I'd look into a bass from Pete Skjold.

    Tom.
     
  3. sincity

    sincity

    Oct 16, 2002
    Connecticut
    I have a Modulus Genesis 5 (Fretted), that I love. It is not heavy at all, and balances very, very well.

    Mine has a blond quilted maple top, with a maple fretboard & Bart electronics.

    I do not know how a fretless Genesis would sound.
     
  4. I love the genesis, but it's also a 35 inch scale bass which you said was an issue with the mtd. They aren't that heavy, but they aren't light weight's either, and the body shape is super comfy and balances well. They can be had pretty cheap used, which is one of the benefits of underrated basses, IMHO. I've never played a fretless genesis though, so I have no idea what they're like.
     
  5. ArwinH

    ArwinH run rabbit run

    Dec 1, 2005
    Southern California
    I actually find the tapewounds to be pretty low tension. Playability on my mb2 is topnotch. I would you you might be able to order the bass in 34" scale if you really wanted too. Rob is an amazingly nice guy, have you considered emailing him with your query, or calling him?

    Good luck.
     
  6. If you can afford an MTD fretless, I would do that in a heartbeat. The Rob Allen will be a fine instrument but sounds very much like an upright bass, not a Jaco-type fretless tone.

    And Modulus....I owned one and would really catagorize it as a very nice Music Man. Really nothing special. Outclassed by the other two.


    Consider also a Roscoe. Those are great fretless basses. Very expressive -- and a used one will save you some money.
     
  7. +1 on all of the above. Also, the MTD all walnut fretless basses seem to be the ones that many say sound the best in the MTD line, although I've also heard good things about the ash neck fretless MTD's if you want a very aggressive sounding fretless. If you are interested in an MTD fretless, Glenn at Austin Bass Traders is definitely the MTD expert regarding wood combinations, etc.

    Finally, there seems to be used Rob Allen MB2's for sale at Bass Northwest every couple of months. They are great basses, but I find the B string not particularly usefull on those basses, given the acoustic vibe.... I would recomment the 4 string version if you go that route.


    Edit.... I noticed you said that MTD/Allen/Modulus have comparable prices.... ? I believe a 5 string MTD sells, in general, for about $1,000 more than the Rob Allen (depending on options, etc.), and even more versus the Genesis (which as posted previously, is not in the same league as these other two basses).
     
  8. lefty007

    lefty007

    Jan 19, 2004
    Miami, FL
    -Tombowlus: I dig your recommendation for a Skjold - I really like his C4 pickup. But I don't dig the shape of the body, from a visual point of view, and from an ergonomic point of view. I don't really like small-bodied basses.

    -ArwinH: I would like to have a 34"scale better, but I think that hollow-bodies can definitely benefit from 35". I had a Carvin AC50 once and the B-string was simply the worst.

    -Basso: I dig Roscoes but the small body and especially the short upper horn turns me away.

    -KJung: I hear you loud and clear - I think a B-string on a hollow-body, even with 35" scale would never be a completely satisfying thing. I also thought about going 4-string, but I play 5s 95% of the time, and I'm tired of switching. The prices are comparable because: the MTD is used, at $3000 - the Modulus is new, at $2800 (has all the options plus the lefty charge) and the Rob Allen is $2800 also, because the lefty upcharge.

    Thanks for the comments so far.
     
  9.  
  10. Like I said I love the genesis, but I love it for the $1200-1400 it costs used, I can't imagine paying the new price for it. If I were in your shoes I'd go for the mtd, but that's just me.
     
  11. It's a sweetie, ain't it? I have this newfound love for an Elrick too :)

    Not to derail. The Genesis is one hell of a player's instrument. It isn't a feather pillow, but it balances well, and the neck is extremely comfortable. The palette of tones available to you with the Bart pre-amp and pickups is extremely flexible. Speaking of the neck, it STAYS in adjustment. Bass also stays in tune. I don't think you could go wrong.
     
  12. lamarjones

    lamarjones Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    Hi, those choices sound great. If I had to pick, it would be the Rob Allen, but as you probably know that is a very specific sound, won't be like the other two.

    When it comes to staright up fretless bass guitar sounds, Pedulla pentabuzzes and Zon fretlesses are the mwah factories. I am not knocking the others, although never head a genesis fretless, but having had a ton of fretlesses, there is something about those two that kick tons of major booty.

    And, FWIW, 3000 for a used MTD is a tad high IMO. If the bass totally rocks your socks (which I hate to say, but you stating cons to it don't sound like it is) then it might be worth it.
     

  13. +1 on the Zon... amazing Mwaw on those Zonus Specials (the ones with the neck pickup moved toward the bridge... wonderful modern fretless sound.