MTD 535 or Modulus Q5

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by refinedbass, Jun 12, 2003.

  1. I am looking to upgrade to a new bass, but I don't know what to choose. I have read great reviews about the MTD 535 and I got to play a Modulus Q5 and loved the sound and feel. I have been through about 6 or 7 basses in the past 2 years and am ready to find one that I'll love. Can anyone give me any suggestions regarding this problem???
  2. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    Oh man, tough call. I couldn't decide so I got one of each [/show off]. :D

    MTD 535's can vary a lot in tone, depending on what woods you select for body and neck. Mine has wenge neck and tulipwood body, which is warm and growly. But the 3-band preamp is always musical and provides a lot of variety. Playability is absolutely perfect for me: between the string spacing and asymmetrical neck profile, it's like Mike built it for my hands.

    The Modulus has narrower string spacing at the bridge (17mm instead of 19mm). Because of this it will never be my #1 playin' bass, but it has incredible clarity, amazing string balance, and a B string second to none. Generally speaking it's a more "modern" sounding bass, but I have no trouble softening the tone for old-school blues and country, etc.

    Hope that helps... good luck!
  3. Matt R Miller

    Matt R Miller

    Apr 27, 2003
    get a q5 with 19mm spacing and thump away!
  4. BassMan2000


    Sep 27, 2000
    In a way your comparing a production bass to a custom..... :meh:

    The Q5 has a great B, and just all around great sound. The C5 of Corvette :)

    The MTD535 is just overall great, because its custom I would consider it the Aston Martin of cars.

    Sorry for the car comparison, always wanted to do that.
  5. rickreyn

    rickreyn Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2000
    Lutz, Florida
    While the 535 seems to be a step above the Q5 in custom terms, sound-wise, I think we are talking personal preference. To me, having played both, the Q5 has the sound I gravitate to most. At the same time, the 535 does too, and that is why it would be the most logical step up for me, unless I went for another Elrick. Outside of the dollar difference, I really like the Q's graphite neck, and the sound clarity is amazing. I would like more space, one want that goes lacking with the Q5. I know I've been all over the map, the we're talking two fine basses.
  6. GRoberts

    GRoberts Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2003
    Tucson, AZ USA
    I have a Modulus Q5 with 5A Quilted Maple top, Alder body, EMG's, Composite Fingerboard. I absolutely LOVE this bass. As many have already posted, the B-string is incredibly tight, focused and musical. The B string is also very nicely balanced with the volume and tone of all the other strings.

    I get all kinds of tones out of my modulus and love it with the EMG's. I like being able to make it nice and modern and bright. but with the tone controls, and right hand finger style, I can make it very deep, round and bluesy. Or, I can dial in more bridge pickup and get a cool midrange type of Jaco tone. THe Modulus Q5 to my ears is an EXTREMELY versatile instrument that suits many styles. For now, it is my one-size-fits-all bass. I constantly get compliments on my tone. (I use an Ashdown ABM500 EVO amp with a Bergantino HT322 cabinet.) The Ashdown ABM500 is very lush, warm, fat and thick, yet it can be crystal clear and ballsy with nice punch. It can still produce a wide range of tonal variations with its EQ sliders.

    I can't speak for MTD basses other than what I have seen and heard. They look wonderful and have a bit more 'boutique' status. But bottom line is what resonates for you. It comes down to what feels and sounds best for you and your style. Give us your review if and when you have a chance to compare both basses.

    FWIW - I would love to add an MTD 5 string to my collection.
  7. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta / Macon (sigh)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    Win - win indeed! I just picked up a Q5, and the growl is sick! Totally different animals, but you'll come out ahead with either. BTW, the Q5 sounds amazing with my Peavy rig! :eek:
  8. BassMan2000


    Sep 27, 2000
    Hey Woody what kind of picks are you running in the Q5? Which Peavey cabinets?
  9. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta / Macon (sigh)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    It has an EMG system, which aren't my faves, but these sound great with the composite board. The Peavy rig consists of a Nitrobass 450 head with 1x15 and 2x10 cabs.
  10. mjw


    Jun 12, 2001
    Spring, TX USA
    I'd have to go with the MTD. (Although I might be a TAD biased.) ;)
  11. furiously funky

    furiously funky Guest

    Dec 28, 2002
    the MTD seems to be an overall "better" bass. both have redeeming qualities, but the MTD is a step up from the Q5.
  12. Bassmanbob

    Bassmanbob Supporting Member

    The Q5 is a very nice bass. I prefer the Bartolini pickups. They play well and is definitely a respectable bass. That being said, the MTD is a much better bass. It can vary on what type of woods you have on it, from a snappy funk bass to a midrange old style sound. The electronics on it also gives you great variety. After playing a Q5 in a store for 30-40 minutes, I loved it. Then I started playing the MTD 535. Wow, what a difference. The asymetrical neck was great, it was easier to play and sounded great.

    Also, if you're willing to spend what it takes to own an MTD, you should try a Zon (also a composite neck), a Roscoe, or an Elrick. Foderas are more expensive than an MTD, but I'm not sure about an F Bass.

    I bought a Roscoe over an MTD because of price, tone and string spacing. Another animal is the Sadowsky if you're looking for a Fender style, but it doesn't seem to be what you're looking for. Can't say much about the Laklands. Don't know enough about them.

    Good luck.
  13. Thanks for the input regarding my problem. I play mostly P&W for my church, but I love jazz, funk, and rock. It sounds like the Modulus would be the most versatile. I'd like to find somebody in the DFW area with an MTD 535 and see if they'd let me check it out. Thanks again
  14. mjw


    Jun 12, 2001
    Spring, TX USA
    Hey, I'm just northwest of Houston, so if you're ever in this area, look me up. You're more than welcome to play my 535.
  15. Bassmanbob

    Bassmanbob Supporting Member

    Hey Refined:

    Maybe I didn't make my point so clearly. The MTD is very versitile. It plays beautifully and you can get many different kinds of sounds out of them. IMO the MTD is a superior bass to the Q5 even though the Q5 is a great bass.
  16. I purchased a Modulus Q6 with a bubinga top, chechen fingerboard, and Bartolini electronics last January. It is my favorite bass over three custom 6 strings! The wooden fingerboard really improves the midrange voice of the instrument and makes it more versatile. Be sure to check out the wood vs. graphite fingerboard options for sound and feel. They are quite different IMHO. Also realize that the set up from the factory may be pretty bad. They use the 2 way trussrod to put relief into the neck which it probably needs at the time they assemble it. Have the shop do a set up on the instrument if it has too much underbow in the neck. MTDs are excellent instruments also, but the graphite neck can't be beat if you are sick of adjusting your basses for climate changes. It also emphasizes 800hz or so which is a frequence I use to get more definition in the mix. -Wes
  17. Maestro4Bass


    Jun 5, 2001
    Newark D.E
    The Q5 is very nice, but the 535 is definitely a jump up...
  18. Voice Of Thor

    Voice Of Thor Member

    May 19, 2003
    I don't agree that the MTD is a level up from the Modulus.

    Both are great basses. Each has features that make each shine. I prefer the Barts over the EMG's though. Also, using nickel strings on the composite necks goes a long way in warming up the tone.
  19. I have played both and think that both are amazing basses. I find that the modulus has a more modern kind but can be sofened up to get a good vintage rock sound too. MTD's are just great too depending what woods and configuration you get depends on the sound a lot. I would recomend that you go to a store that carries both basses (if you can) and just spend an hour or so doing a side by side comparison. whatever you choose you will be getting a top quality bass that will last you a lifetime if you want it too. all that said I would go with the MTD but that is a totally subjective answer, it is just more my style.
  20. hands5


    Jan 15, 2003
    good 'ol USA/Tampa fla.
    You can order the Q5 with the wide neck which is an amazing bass,but the 535 IMO is just the ...t!and I think if you're going to be spending that type of deniro go for the MTD however,it your preference both are outstanding instruments.:bassist: