The Moses from MF

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Hambone, Apr 23, 2005.

  1. Got the blow out neck today from Musicians Friend. I bought one of the MM/G&L 5 string necks for a new construction. Real quick shipping as usual from MF. I swear, I haven't had the first bit of trouble from those guys - they've been great. The rest of the story pretty much sucks though...Took the neck out of the copious packing only find the entire freboard extension had been broken off where it meets the heel of the neck :mad: I'm no engineer, I just play one in the backyard but it seems to me that it's a flaw to put the 23rd fret at precisely that point where it would be the weakest to break off, and that's exactly what it did. The slot provided 2/3 of the break and FedEX did the rest. It begs the question of why there isn't any reinforcement in that portion of the fretboard. Fortunately MF was quick to accept return and I'll be getting another. Read on and see how that might not be a good thing after all...

    Now on to the rest of the neck. This is my first foray into the high tech world of composites and I was extremely excited to have found the blowout and been able to see what it was all about for so little. That's why this neck comes as such a disappointment. The fretwork on it is not playable. By my count 9 of the 24 frets are so distorted that it is going to require a complete releveling and recrowning to get this thing right. The frets literally are humped in the middle, dip down, then flare up and the ends. The distortion is so pronounced that you can feel it with your finger as you run it across the fret. The only thing about doing a fret leveling on this neck is the issue of fret size. This thing has mandolin frets in it. I just compared the frets to the frets in my sons Washburn D-100 acoustic guitar and the Moses' frets are half the size. What the hell is going on here?? The website says Dunlop jumbo fretwire. And I've got some StewMac jumbo fretwire in my shop and it is WAY bigger than whatever is in this neck. I don't understand this at all :confused:

    So other than it's broken and the factory didn't make it like it was supposed to. there's nothing wrong with it at all :rolleyes:

    I read every thread I could get my eyballs on before buying this neck. After doing that, I was convinced that the complaints I was reading were mostly based on misconceptions of what the product was, how it was to be installed, and misunderstandings with Steve himself. Those may all still be true but I'm much more skeptical now about the products viability and company itself than I was before seeing this neck. Coincidentally, I purchased a neck from our friends at Rondo - a 5 string also - and it arrived yesterday. It was an astounding neck with killer fret quality and finish. The cost of that neck was less than dinner for 3 at Red Lobster. If I had opened that box up and found a neck of the quality of the Moses, I would not have found that surprising. But when a $550+ retail/$300+ discount neck has issues like the frets on this, I've got a big problem with that. This isn't a simple QC problem.
  2. tekhna


    Nov 7, 2004
    Thanks for the review Hambone. This is why I waited for you to get yours before I ordered mine. I am completely convinced Moses is one of the worst guitar related companies out there. I am sorry you got burned, but thanks for letting us all know. Will MF let you return it?
  3. Jaye


    Jan 30, 2004
    Portland, OR
  4. I've been examining the seperated piece that holds frets 23 and 24 and it shows cracks under the last fret as well. That could be from whatever impact broke it off or that could be because of the thin area under the fret tang - hard to tell.

    I can't wait to get the replacement. This neck is realy cool. I've been "fondling" it on and off all afternoon. Hopefully the replacement will arrive unharmed. The CS rep at MF has tagged this order with special instructions for packing to pay special attention to the extension and how it's wrapped. Now THAT's customer service! :D :bassist:
  5. tekhna


    Nov 7, 2004

    Do you think it is worth ordering one, or should I just let it ride?
  6. At this price, I can't think of much of a downside. That is always the balancing factor. The fret issue is very unusual. Of course, no one is going to address that here or with Musicians Friend so there's no making a call there. If my new neck comes in with mandolin frets the first thing I'm doing is ringing up Steve Moses and ask him what's the deal but since that's yet to be determined, my advice is that the deal is probably too good to let slide. If Moses doesn't make it right, then I'm going in there and refretting it correctly with real frets.

    This neck really IS a nice piece.
  7. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    I think you should just wait a bit more until the necks arrive to those who ordered it, and if this proves to be an isolated problem, go ahead and buy one.
    Also, $200 for a graphite neck... ;)
  8. tekhna


    Nov 7, 2004
    The other thing is I am not sure that in looking at the specs for their Fender replacements that it will actually fit a fender pocket.
  9. jja412

    jja412 Fine gear enthusiast

    Feb 2, 2004
    St. Louis
    I ordered one about 3 yrs ago. I like the neck. But the neck pocket was an issue. The Moses heel was a little wider than the fender neck pocket.... Just requires a little time and sanding, that's all.
  10. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    So wait, now you like the neck? I'm confused.

    My last memory of problems with a Moses product was that thread where a member bought a Moses bass and it had all sort of irregularities, like the pickups being chiseled to fit in the slot. I remember Mr. Moses posted here called it a "setup adjustment" or something like that.

    So, what's good about the neck?
  11. No need for confusion Will, I'll explain...

    Human error issues and shipping damage aside, this neck has plenty of great features. It's got a good profile, it isn't as heavy as I thought it would be, the surface is smooth but not super slick and I think I can do some polishing on the area's that aren't handled. Then of course the black appearance has a strong appeal. But my thoughts are that this is a bass neck, designed to be used as an integral part of a musical instrument system and until I judge it's performance in THAT situation, it's really not fair to offer a complete review of the neck's suitability. After all, it hasn't gotten to do what it's designed to do. If I wanted to get picky (and I was damned close to doing this) I don't even need the fret extension to make the neck useful. It wouldn't have mattered to the sound and I could have mounted it up and made a complete judgement then. But the frets need to be made right and that's my concern now.

    I figure that between Moses and shipping, they've used up about $150 in goodwill of the amount I've saved for the neck. If things get fixed this time around, I'm still not out anything but some time and I'm ahead miles with a cool neck for cheap. If the neck mounts up and sucks, well then I'm only out about 1/2 - 2/3's what the poor sots were that bought the things at full retail. Live and learn.