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Report: Steinberger vs. Moses (necks)

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Benjamin Strange, Sep 5, 2004.


  1. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    Well, I think it's been a sufficient amount of time since I got my Moses neck - time for a review.

    I ordered a Moses fretless neck to replace my Steinberger neck on my XM. First off, Moses as a company really sucks. Their service isn't very good, and their communication skills are sorely lacking. Here's the story: I called in to place an order, had to leave a message. Moses called me back everyday for the next 5 days pursuing my order; I missed their call each time, and had to play phone tag with them. They finally got me on a Sunday (!), and I placed my order. I asked if the edges would be rolled, and I was told they would be, and that my neck was in stock and would arrive within 4 days. Well, a week went by, and no neck. I called and left a message. No call back. I called again after 2 days, again leaving a message. No call back. Again and again I called, with no response. Finally, after 2 and a half weeks, I left a message saying I would cancel my order with my CC if I didn't hear back from them. Immediately they called me back, told me that it turned out they didn't have one in stock, and were making one for me as fast as possible, apologizing profusely. :scowl: If they had just told me this upfront I would have been ok with it. Ugh. So, 3 weeks later, I have my neck. The edges are not rolled. It has a diamondwood fretboard on it that I did not ask for. Sigh... I just let it go, figuring I'll get used to it. Is it too much to ask to get what I order? Now, maybe they put a diamond wood board on all their fretless necks; I don't know. The rolled edges are a minor quibble, but it would have been nice seeing as I won't be wearing this graphite down with my hands anytime soon.

    And now the neck: it's quite a bit thinner than the original Steinberger necks - almost a 1/4" thinner at the nut. The feel is much smoother and organic than the original, and it didn't take me very long to get used to the thinner profile. All other dimensions are about the same. The diamond wood is kind of odd looking, but it's grown on me, and now I kind of like it. After switching the necks back and forth a few times, I can say that the Moses sounds much better - warmer, darker, and more organic sounding (while not sounding like wood). The Steinberger sounds thin and brittle by comparison, and even feels bad in your hands - the vibrations through the neck don't feel good at all. It's like playing baseball with a wooden bat vs. an aluminum bat - sure, they both are bats, but one feels much better when you hit the ball. The Steinberger just sounds... sterile. The Moses seems to have much more low end and low mids, while muting that lazer beam treble that graphite necks usually have. The Steinberger sounded like it was emasculated after playing the Moses for a few weeks.

    Some precautions: the Moses needs to be installed, by somebody with a good working knowledge of a drill press. I just took it in to a really good shop and had them do it for $100. Turns out that the neck heel of the body wasn't completely flat, and if I had just slapped the thing in there, I would have had some gaps. They sanded it down and now it's very snug in there. Mine also had a zero fret, since Steinbergers have no nut. It was a standard fret height, so I had to file it down quite a bit to get the fretless action the way it should be. Don't expect to order one of these necks and be able to just slap it on your existing bass.

    It's too bad Moses seems a bit off in their customer service, otherwise I'd highly recommend them. As much as a pain that they were, I'm going to order another neck from them - with frets this time. I've tried just using my Steinberger neck, but my hands and my ears have gotten used to the Moses, and I don't want to go back. The product is really good, and worth the hassle of dealing with Moses inneptiude.

    And that's all I have to say.
     
  2. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    Good report!

    I like the fretless Moses neck that's on my Jazz - it doesn't get much play because I've discovered I don't like J basses, so it's going to go on a P body some day. I live the neck's feel and tone.

    So, will the fretted one have diamondwood?
     
  3. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    It had better! I've got to keep the twins matching, you know.

    GAH! I forgot the obligatory pics. Here we go:

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  4. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    Nice, I like the look of the diamondwood.