Roscoe LG5/SKB5 OR Modulus Q5

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by blen dem, Nov 16, 2004.

  1. blen dem

    blen dem Supporting Member

    Jun 22, 2001
    USA, Vallejo
    Greetings my fellow TBers! I'm in a bind on which of these three to consider and I would appreciate some suggestions. Still gots the Cirrus 5 and I'm keepin it (hopefully)...

    Now, I had the pleasure of borrowing a friends Moduls Q 5 (bubinga top, Barts, 9-volt) for a week. Bass was bangin, I used it for practice (Dub Reggae/Dancehall) and it hit hard! I love my cirrus but this was a different animal - B string was much deeper and cleaner as well as the rest of the strings. A little heavier but I can adjust. My wife noticed that the Modulus sounded "stronger and deeper" than my beloved Cirrus (FYI she plays sax, flute and piano so her opinion on music is credible) Maybe it's the strings but nonetheless the damge has been done, I want a stronger and deeper sounding axe man!!! I've only played one Roscoe which was an LG006 at bassnw last year. I loved the action, the B was incredible and I've always loved the look of the bass. I play mostly Roots Reggae and Dancehall and sometimes R&B, Funk, and some Latin. Cirrus stays with me, which second bass???? Hollah back!
  2. Halftooth

    Halftooth Supporting Member

    Nov 24, 2002
    Tri-Valley, NorCal
    I'm very partial to the Roscoes for the deep tone. I think the Spanish Cedar body is the best for the deep, yet clear tone. The Myrtle bodies are very nice as well, and a bit sweeter on the highs and mids, but still very close to the Spanish Cedar. I haven't tried an Ash body Roscoe yet, so I can't say how those sound, but my guess is that there would be a bit more snap to the highs which could be a good thing for these lowend monsters. The only body wood that I wasn't too fond of was the Mahogany which made the tone a bit too muddy. I would stay away from that body wood on the Roscoe. As far as bodyshape goes, I prefer the SKB over the LG. I think the bigger body makes the tone a bit deeper, but it's still pretty comparable between the two shapes. The LG really isn't that much smaller. I actually liked the angled p-ups on the LG for whatever reason. It made playing a bit easier because I could anchor my thumb in a better position on the neck p-up.

    As far as Modulus goes, I've owned a few, but they aren't as deep or natural sounding as the Roscoe. I ended up selling my Moduli for Roscoes instead. I don't mind the graphite sound, but if I'm going to own a graphite bass, the Zon is a better choice, IMO. The Modulus has an indescribable tone that some would say is called "sterile," and for that reason, I would opt any day for a Roscoe or Zon.

    For the type of stuff that you're playing, I would recommend a Roscoe for sure. You certainly won't be disappointed!
  3. blen dem

    blen dem Supporting Member

    Jun 22, 2001
    USA, Vallejo
    Thanks for the great feedback. I just wish there were some Roscoe dealers where I live (Cali - Bay area). We went to Seattle for vacation last year and Bassnw was my only Roscoe experience. So you think that Bass Centrals' NEW LG-3005 with Maple Body - maple/purpleheart neck w/Brazilian Rosewood fingerboard, 3-band Bart EQ for $1,699 is a good deal? Should I jump on this prior to playing it...a bit scary but the price sounds great, especially for a new one.
  4. If you do any slap, play them both and see which you like better. Some don't care for the sterility of the Modulus slap. Others don't care for the Roscoe "non-Fender" slap sound.

    If you don't slap at all, forget what I said. They both have very good tone. Modulus might be cheaper to buy, but the Roscoe will hold it's value a LITTLE better.
  5. JOME77

    JOME77 Supporting Member

    Aug 18, 2002
    There's a beautiful Roscoe LG 3005 Box Elder Burl/Spanish Cedar core on for $1499. IMO a great deal!

    The Roscoe with the Bart 3-band pre can get great sounds for all styles of music (boost the mids and you get killer thick Reggae sounds; cut the mids & boost the highs and you're in slap heaven!). I'm on my 5th Roscoe and I wouldn't think of playing without one. I've owned both the SKB and LG series and really feel the primary difference is cosmetics. I go back and forth on which style I prefer. The LG seems to accent the carving (on the top) a little more. IMO the Spanish Cedar core offers the best sound. I owned an ash core Roscoe LG 3005 and I thought that it was a little brighter sounding than the Spanish Cedar. I agree with Halftooth on not really loving the Mahogany core. It might be alright for a pick style player but IMO a finger style player would prefer the Spanish Cedar core. I'm hoping that the Myrtle burl core sounds good too. I've got a Myrtle burl LG 3005 due to arrive today (from Halftooth;he's a good guy!).
    The Modulus basses have always sounded too bright to me. Some what of a sterile sound. I hear that they are great for the road though. Especially if you travel frequently where the climate changes a great deal. For what it's worth, I've also prefered the Bart pups and pre over the EMG's in the Modulus basses that I've played.
    Good luck on your decison! :)
  6. blen dem

    blen dem Supporting Member

    Jun 22, 2001
    USA, Vallejo
    JOME77 - much thanks for the info. I just peeped out that LG on bassgear, looks sweet. Will definitely think about it. I'm tempted to take y'alls word for it and just get it but I have a thing for playing an instrument first, know what i mean... ANyway, good lookin out and I'll keep y'all posted with what I do - PEACE!

    No Quantum fans out there huh....
  7. sethlow3

    sethlow3 Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    Nashville, Tennessee
    I am a quantum fan!
    They are very cool basses and have a very unique vibe. I used to own a Zon but like the Quantums a lot better now. EMG equipped Moduli will sound very different than bartolini ones. I personally dig the EMGs more.

    Roscoes are fantastic! I really would love to get an SKB someday, but I just bought a really great Fbass. The B is a friggin monster on Roscoes and I actually prefer the ash bodies, but I am a biased ash/alder lover so YMMV. I really think you can't lose with either instrument. I would personally get both , but choosing between them is something you hands and ears will have to work out.

    As far as playability I love the Modulus neck, but really love the Roscoe's weight and balance better.

    I find the Roscoe more versitile/deep, and the Modulus more "in your face"/cutting as far as sound is concerned.

    good luck
  8. seansbrew

    seansbrew Supporting Member

    Oct 23, 2000
    Mesa AZ.
    I have never played a Roscoe ( would like to) so I cant tell you anything about them. However, I do have Modulus basses and can tell you what I like about them. First off you either love em or you hate em, the tone that is. One of the qualities that I first noticed about my Modulus Quantam ( besides the awesome tone) is that all notes are created equal, what I mean to say is that all the notes seem to have an equal clarity and volume where ever they are played ( no dead spots). Have you ever noticed that on some basses when you move up the neck the quality of the sound diminishes and the bass sounds dull? I also think that the low B is one of the smoothest out there and the neck never moves. I have intonated the bass twice in two years ( went to different gauge string) and it is still in tone. Another advantage is the graphite neck that wont be affected by wheather. The biggest drawback for me is the weight, after a night of playing it starts to get a little heavy ( I have a bad back). Anyway, hope this helps.
  9. Wood = Basses

    Wood = Basses

    Jun 19, 2003
    Actually, Modulus raised its prices, so Roscoes can be had a bit cheaper right now. Basic (not alot of added options) Roscoes can be had for $2000-2500 depending on # strings, options, and the dealer.

    When I see modulus basses, they are usually $3000+.

    But it could be me.
  10. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    I have both a Modulus Q-4 w/EMG's and a Roscoe SKB3006 w/Barts. Both have 3 band EQ's. I'm very happy with the sound and playability of both basses and IMO you can't go wrong with either.

    I personally prefer the sound of my Roscoe; It has a Spanish Cedar body which IMHO gives it a very natural-sounding tone with great mids. It's low end is insane and it's highs sound really sweet. It has a warm, defined sound.

    Not to say the Quantum lacks definition. My Q-4 has a very even sound from low to high, but it's mids seem slightly scooped with it's EQ set flat. It has a super fast attack; it's almost percussive. My guess is Barts would warm it's sound up quite a bit. The Quantum is a fine choice IMO.

    The thing that would make me choose the Roscoe over the Modulus is customer service. Between my Roscoe dealer (Jay at Blueberry Hill Bass) and Keith Roscoe I was able to get exactly the sound I've always wanted from my bass. Keith offers some nice wood, pickups, and electronics combinations to tailor the sound of the instrument to suit you.

  11. Bassmanbob

    Bassmanbob Supporting Member

    Yeah! What he said! I just prefer the SKB body style.

    I have a swamp ash Roscoe and love it. I'm considering a Roscoe fretless and will probably go with a Spanish Cedar body for that bass.

    I love the way the Cirrus plays, but I really don't like the tone. Your wife's ears have good taste. Sort of a strawberry/ vanilla twist. :D
  12. sambacanuta


    Nov 11, 2004
    The only thing I can tell you is that the Roscoe LG has a small body which looks and sounds cool but if you are a player that cares about technique, it might feel uncomfortable. This is very subjective though. I am used to Fender Jazz bass and I have learned from experience that I can't really play a small body bass. It totally messes up my right hand technique. That's why I got rid of my old Tobias and Roscoe LG. Other players like small body basses but this is just my opinion.
    If you like Roscoe, at least get an skb model.
    I personally like 34" scale basses. Much easier for your left hand especially on a long gig.
  13. JOME77

    JOME77 Supporting Member

    Aug 18, 2002
    I suppose some players might find the slanted pups awkward for anchoring your right hand but I've never experienced that on an LG. For what's if worth, based on what Keith is currently building up to sell, the LG models represent approx. 86% of the 5 string basses (71 LG models vs. 12 SKB). Sounds like most players prefer the LG model (or Keith expects them too). ;)
    Either way, I'd say just get the model that's most appealing to your eye. They both rock! :bassist:
  14. pickles

    pickles Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    I'm a big Q5 fan ... but I've never played a roscoe. I've got an old walnut top Q5 with aftermarket lane poor pickups, lane's twin buffer preamp, and passive tone controls (seperate vol/tone per pickup). Its a great bass with a whole bunch of great sounds, it plays like a dream, and I can count on it ... very consistent.

    Modulus' have a distinctive sound but to me it is not "sterile" so much as "even and neutral". They've got a little too much high mids for me most of the time, but that is simple to EQ out. I think the EMG pickups in many Q5s give them a harsher/colder sound. I've liked every Quantum bass I've ever picked up, but mine is my favorite.

    In my experience Q5s sound better in the mix than they do in the shop. The note defninition even in really dense mixes is amazing.

    I'd like to try a roscoe some time.
  15. Halftooth

    Halftooth Supporting Member

    Nov 24, 2002
    Tri-Valley, NorCal
    Everyone mentions that they had no "dead spots" on their Modulus basses, but I actually experienced some dead spots toward the upper range of the D and G strings on both of my past Modulus basses. In fact one was so bad that I couldn't use it at all for any tapping parts because it was as if there was a mute on a couple of the notes, and I mean a substantial difference in volume, even more so than any non-graphite necked bass in comparrison. I don't discount that there are plenty of Modulus basses out there that don't have any dead spot issues, but I find it odd that the two that I owned just so happened to have dead spots. I even called Modulus on this and their reply was that it's not uncommon for this to happen on their basses, and my response was "Isn't that one of the reasons that one buys a graphite necked bass so that they don't have to deal with dead spots?" I will say that I have played a Q5 at a shop that had a Chechen board instead of the Phenolic, and for whatever reason, there wasn't as much as an audible difference in the dead areas, not to mention, the wood FB really warmed up the sound tremendously. I'm quite satified with Zon's for my graphite fix, but if I was to acquire a Modulus again, I would most certainly opt for a wood FB.
  16. pickles

    pickles Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    I don't do much tapping, but do play all over the neck ... and my modulus fits the "one big string" bill pretty well. Very even with no dead spots.

    You're right a mod with dead spots would really defeat the purpose. Kinda like my moses neck that backbows in the sun ... the whole reason to go graphite is stability and consistency.
  17. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    The Republic of Texas
    Just thought I'd throw another option into the mix for you to think about.

    Based on your stated tone preferences, you should try a Dingwall (tonally has some of the better parts of both the Roscoe and the Modulus) -- very full, deep, powerful low-end and very punchy, articulate, clear all over the neck.
    I don't own one (I want to something bad), but those who do say the fanned frets are no big deal to get used to.

    All three are great basses. Seems like the Mod and DW would cut-through and retain their solo sound better in a live band/music venue setting, but I haven't played a Roscoe with a band yet.
  18. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND
    I am a huge fan of both the Quantums and the SKB Roscoes (not too keen on the smaller LG's m'self)

    I own a Q6 with Barts/Bart 3 Band (18v). Prior to that I owned a Q5 set up the same, so I have been playing them for about 3 years now. If you like the sound of em, they are unbeatable. Mine have also fit into the statement that all notes are created equal on them. Everything from the high C to the low B on my Q6 sound very uniform. I don't really have much more to say about them that hasn't been said, so I will leave it at the fact (IMHO) that you cannot go wrong with a Modulus Quantum. ;)

    On SKB's--I don't and haven't owned one--YET! Unless I fall on some crazy deal like I did on my F Bass, a Roscoe 6er will be my next bass. The guy I bought my F from has one that I play quite a bit when I go to his place for lessons (never too old to learn a few new tricks :) ). The Roscoes have their own sound, which I happen to love. Super playability, great looks, etc. etc. FWIW, he has the Spanish Cedar body with a maple top. If I were to buy one, I might still go with the swamp ash body, based on recommendations from some people more experienced with Roscoes.

    If I had to choose, I seriously don't know which I would go with if I had to own just one. I already own the Modulus, but if they were both hanging on the wall at my local store, it'd be a tossup. That's why I plan on owning both. :D
  19. blen dem

    blen dem Supporting Member

    Jun 22, 2001
    USA, Vallejo
    Rioght on for all the feedback, I really appreciate it - like i said I wish there was a Roscoe dealer nearby so i can try em' some more. Looks like I can't go wrong with either one so we'll see. Never played a Dingwall, would love too although i'm not to keen on them frets...but thanks for the suggestion.

    We're planning a NY trip next year so I'm sure i'll find some Roscoes there but man, that's a year from now!!!! I'll try an maintian. That Roscoe at look darn inviting tho! I'll keep y'all posted, PEACE!
  20. JOME77

    JOME77 Supporting Member

    Aug 18, 2002
    I've seen a couple of Roscoe's go for as low as $1,300 but it's been a while. Most of the nicer ones go for around $1,700 and up. Based on the nice Box Elder top on that bass at $1,500, if you've got the $$$, you couldn't go wrong with that bass! IMO you'd be posting a "Thank You All So VERY Much" thread after you played it out once! ;)