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My New Zon Sonus 6

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by ehque, Feb 12, 2006.

  1. ehque


    Jan 8, 2006
    yay. ive earned myself a zon sonus 6. its my 2nd bass, im going to sell off my cort curbow to a friend or something. its VERY nice. :D

    if im not wrong, based on the serial number and the presence of a truss rod, its a '94. truss rod calms me down cos ive heard of even graphite necks warping in local weather. seller had shipped the neck back to joe to get a satin finish instead of the gloss it had on, and if im not wrong get rid of a volute (updating the neck shape). neck is SUPER thin, and flat - it feels more like a thick blade than a neck. action is super low. not used to it - but time will tell.

    finish had a dink or two in at the upper body curve, cracked, but it doesnt look like its reached the wood. well mantained for a bass this old, no fretwear at all. knobs are very lousy, they look like china-made plastic blobs. apparently they are original. seller had blank-o on it to mark the position (no idea why he did that, cos there was a center indent in the EQs). will change them out at first opportunity.

    its heavier than i thought it would be. maybe because im used to a small body (cort curbow 5-that was LIGHT) and because of the truss rod. it balances well sitting, havent gotten a non-straplok strap so havent tried it standing.

    um, i wasnt stunned by the figuring of the body (swamp ash). but i guess its because ive been spending too much time here. haha. my friends think it looks pretty enough.

    no pictures yet. lost my camera a while back and couldnt get a new one... was saving for a bass. will borrow one and get pictures up soon.

    now, im really planning on keeping this bass. but, if i want to sell it, would the solid metal knobs im going to put on affect the sell price negatively, or positively?

    should i keep the plastic knobs just in case?

    now all i need is a fretless 6. Nino, if you read this... do you do gecko fretlesses (warmoth, but i bet you knew that)? :D
  2. Papersen

    Papersen Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2002
    You know the rules: the bass doesn´t exist till you post pics :smug:

    Now seriously, you´ve scored a great bass. I got my Zon Sonus 5 a couple of months ago, and it´s a great bass. Enjoy it.
  3. jwl


    Jan 25, 2005
    i have two zon sixes, a legacy standard fretted, trans amber, and a sonus custom six fretless, trans blue. i am the original owner of both. i think you will be very happy with your new bass. mine both play and track beautifully. in the ten years i have used these basses, i have never had a problem with the necks on either bass. sonicly, structurally and electronicly they have never failed me. jeff
  4. Deep


    May 8, 2002
    That's a great instrument. Joe makes wonderful basses. But when did he ever have a TRUSS-ROD? I don't recall Zon ever having a truss rod. Joe does not use them and doesn't feel he needs them. Was that some kind of a custom built neck that Joe made?
  5. ehque


    Jan 8, 2006
    nope. from what i know, joe started without truss rods, then in the early 90s started to put them in, then took them out again. from what i hear, he's started on truss rods again.

    they arent meant for frequent adjustment, my neck needs to be removed to get to the truss rod (truss rod in neck pocket).

    oh well.

  6. Peter Parker

    Peter Parker Banned

    Jun 10, 2001
    I could be wrong but I believe I'm the original owner of this bass. The grain pattern seems to match up to old pics I have. I bought a Sonus 4 and liked it so much I bought the 6. When I got it I was very concerned because the action was quite high and at that time I didn't know about the truss rod as my 4 didn't have one. I thought the only fix would be a new neck or huge frets. I called Joe and he told me the neck actually had a rod, that I'd have to take the neck off to adjust. Took the neck off, sure enough it was there. I adjusted like a normal rod and it play perfectly while I owned it.
  7. Deep


    May 8, 2002
    Ahhh! Ok. That explains it. There were some concerns on TB with some players wishing Joe would use a truss-rod just in case it needed a minor tweak. I know for a while there he was dead set on his necks never needing one. And I don't think they really would need one. But it would be nice to know there is one "just in case". Guess the reason you must take the neck off is cuz it's not there for constant fiddling with. Cuz you probably would never really use it much at all. So he started adding them back into his line again?
  8. ehque


    Jan 8, 2006
    i heard so. im not a expert on the subject, this being my second bass and only my first zon. but i am very very relieved this bass has a truss rod. *just in case*. weather here is wet, hot, and humid. wet as in it rains. a lot.

    my cort never stood up to the heat well. neck needed adjustments quite often.

    peter, way cool! if it was really yours, id like to thank you for mantaining it so well! no scratches, dings, fretwear... haha. its changed quite a bit since you sold it, i think, seller tells me he got joe to de-gloss the neck. thankfully. my hand sticks to gloss like glue.

    of course if you'd PM me the serial number we'd all be certain... haha.
  9. ArwinH

    ArwinH run rabbit run

    Dec 1, 2005
    Southern California
    1- Do NOT sell off your first bass, alot of players have made taht mistake and regretted it

    2- You are crazy to not be too stunned by that grain, it is a NICE piece of ash. Is that a one piece body?

    3- I'm with you on the smooth necks =)

    4 Is that bass Passive?

    5- You are right my friend, knobs=cheese

    6- Enjoy the new bass man, congrats!
  10. Deep


    May 8, 2002
    Well, I tell ya. If he is starting to put truss-rods in his necks, I think he will have some more sales....based on the fact that some players who wanted to get a Zon may not have because the lack of a truss-rod spooked them away.
  11. hasbeen

    hasbeen Commercial User

    Sep 23, 2004
    Vice President, KMC Music. Warwick U.S. distribution
    this thread has me wondering if my Zon Sonus Custom has a truss rod.
  12. fretlessrock

    fretlessrock Supporting Member

    Aug 8, 2002
    I believe that the Zon necks with trusses are built with some extra relief in the neck, where the non-truss necks are pretty much flat. That means to me that you have to have the rod tightened at least as little if you want it to behave properly. I would rather have it without the truss, frankly. I don't have a truss rod in my Sonus and it has been freakishly stable.
  13. Deep


    May 8, 2002
    Yea! Zon necks ARE incredibly stable. The relief is just about dead flat. And you can lower the strings extremely low with no buzz. But just knowing there could be a truss rod as a "safety net" would give you some peace of mind just in case. You would probably never have to use it anyway.....but......you know what I mean.
  14. unlined4string

    unlined4string Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    Baltimore County, Md.
    I own several fretless Zon basses, all without a truss rod. The necks have been very stable in all weather, except for one thing. Some (older models with phenolic fingerboard) will develop a temporary backbow when played in strong direct sunlight in hot (over 90 degree) weather. This is purely temporary; the neck reverts to normal when it cools down.

    I think there are likely two reasons for this: 1) The black finish on the neck absorbs a lot of heat from direct sunlight because black doesn't reflect heat very well. 2) The older phenolic fingerboards must have a rate of thermal expansion that is greater than the neck material when the temperature gets above 90 or so degrees.

    The temporary backbow doesn't happen with my Zons that have phenowood fingerboards. I can play a phenowood Zon in direct sunlight on the hottest of days with no change in neck relief.
  15. ehque


    Jan 8, 2006
    ArwinH - i gotta sell the old one cos 1) i still havent paid off for the sonus 2) im saving for a fretless gecko 3) the cort isnt a keeper anyway. sorry to say, but im not a sentimental guy :D

    no, it isnt a one piece, but the join is very well done. it doesnt have a top, tho. and its active - bart/polyfusion preamp. ill open it up and check when i have more time.

    oh yeah, i ran all over my whole country (30+-miles across) yesterday and couldnt find replacement stacked knobs. bleah! everyone stocks "strat style" knobs. oh wow.

    hasbeen - remove your neck the next you change your strings. it helps to know. :D the year of the bass could be an indication too. send an email to joe?

    anyway, my neck is dead flat, and i like it this way... lighter touch needed and the tapping is much easier.

    unlined - is a bass neck that does that woozy thing more acceptable on a fretless than a fretted? i imagine if a fretted did that the doozy intonation would go wayyy off.
  16. Basso Gruvitas

    Basso Gruvitas Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2000
    Dallas/Ft. Worth TX
    Zons with truss rods would be great news!!!:hyper:

    I've owned 3 -- and the fingerboard settled on 2 of them -- like a suffle' settles. The neck doesn't move but the fingerboard did in my case. I had to get rid of them because they were too expensive to replace and they were not warranteed.
  17. Jonesy4fnk

    Jonesy4fnk Supporting Member

    wow that sucks, I've never had a problem with my Zon's neck or fingerboard. My action has been perfectly set for almost 8 years now. I wonder what causes your fingerboard to move.
  18. Basso Gruvitas

    Basso Gruvitas Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2000
    Dallas/Ft. Worth TX
    I wish I knew. I was told while the first one was being built that wouldn't happen. After the first fingerboard settled, I called Joe and he said it happens to about 2 to 3 basses per production year.

    My first one settled after 4 years of happy ownership. If yours hasn't moved yet, you're probably safe. Enjoy!
  19. Vic

    Vic There's more music in the nuance than the notes. Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine
    FWIW, I have two Zon Sonus 5's, both have been played a lot, but especially the fretted, and in particular, that one has been taken to the most crazy nasty hot summer festivals and I have NEVER had a single problem with it. However, both of mine have the "current" design with the phenowood boards, as well... if that's the diff.

    Truth is, I read the stories about the neck moving, and even one or two nasty stories of fingerboard problems, but even in those days, it was a very few basses that actually had problems... extremely low percentage.

    What I take from all this is, he had some minor issues in the past, and has perfected the design in recent years.

    IMHO, the WHOLE POINT of having a composite neck is so you can forget about adjusting it no matter what. Just set your action height to taste, done.

    At least for me, this has been a major feature. I have learned to trust that, no matter what, every time I pick that thing up, it'll play and sound awesome. No matter what.

    BTW, congrats on the six! Looks awesome! I just have one question. Did someone paint lines on those knobs???
  20. Deep


    May 8, 2002
    Yes...I agree that the whole reason for having the composite neck is so you don't have to ever think about adjusting the neck. Joe was very set on not needing a truss-rod. And he stood by that. I was not ever aware that he ever did use a truss-rod some years back. I guess he did for a few years, then stopped, and "may" be starting to use them again recently according to this post. Modulus and Status have gone the truss-rod route....so maybe Zon is going to also.

    I know on my Zon which had a phenowood fretboard.....it did seem to move slightly with the change from summer to winter and back. I measured all the specs when I first got it and wrote them all down so I had a reference point. When winter came the string height got a little higher. And when it went back to spring and summer it went back to where it was when I got it. I don't think it was the composite neck at all, but I think it was the phenowood fretboard which is like diamondwood or rockwood. It does have wood properties.....so I think it may have absorbed some moisture in the summer months from humidity.....and dry out a bit in the winter with the lack of moisture....which could cause the action to change a bit in which case I could not do anything about it (no truss-rod). All I could do was lower the string height at the bridge to where the original specs were.....but then I had a bit of buzzing in the higher registers which it never had before. Maybe I just had a freak unstable piece of phenowood. But this is why in my case a truss-rod would have been great.

    Why don't you just get new knobs from Zon? The ones he uses now do not look like that. Yours looks like someone sprayed them with laquer and put white lines on them.