What's the deal with Graphite Necks?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Fawkes007, Oct 3, 2005.

  1. Fawkes007


    Sep 13, 2005
    SF Bay Area
    Who likes 'em? Who owns them? Should I put one on my frankenjazz? What don't you like about them? Which are best (Moses, Modulus, Status) or does it make a damn difference because, well, it's graphite? What hell does it sound like when compared to wood? Thanks.
  2. Scissor Man

    Scissor Man

    May 7, 2005
    A lot of famous players use graphite necked basses. Many of them are people who play in jamband-type groups, like Mike Gordon and Phil Lesh, but some rock players like Flea use them too. They give the bass more of a hollow, metallic, bright sound. It's nice for certain tones, but there's a warmth to wood that graphite can't reproduce. The only way to see if one is right for you is to try a bass with a graphite neck, like a Modulus. I personally don't use a graphite necked bass, because I need a lot of tonal versitality in the different styles of playing that I do.
  3. I have a Modulus Quantum 6. Alot of people go graphite because of its durability. I've had my bass since 1996 had have not had to adjust anything on it since it day I bought it. I've actually had the neck and the bridge off of the body to throughly clean it bass and I put it all back together and it played just like it did before.

    Graphites have a very clean, unorganic, hi-fi, very articulate tone. The sustain on them is rediculously long. I tend to disagree with the comment from the previous post about warmth. The necks can be warm and growly with the right preamp and setup. But its a different "type" of warmth than what wood gives. The tone is not BAD by any means. To me, its like the difference between maple, rosewood, ebony, etc... Just different sounds for different preferences. Some people dont like graphite.

    I will say this, I love my Modulus Q6. But I also love having a second bass that isnt graphite necked. But, if the weather changes or a bass is out of wack, I know I can pick up the Modulus and it'll play just like the last time I played it.

    Modulus also has necks on their Genesis series basses that, for a lack of a better description, are graphite core wrapped in wood with wood fingerboard.. They sound great and its the best of both worlds..

    As far as what brand to go with, I'm not sure. I've seen a few people having problems with Moses necks warping and them not wanting to fix them. Modulus and Status, I dont know if they sell the necks by themselves. But, be prepared to spend a bit of cash..

    Edit: I was wrong, Modulus does sell necks by themselves.. 4 String Genesis necks are $499 and 4 string Quantum Necks are $699..
  4. OBBM


    Jan 26, 2005
    Surrey, UK

    I have an SR5 with a Status Carbon Fibre neck and I love it. As well as loads of sustain it is smooth, fast and also has a lot of attack. It is incredibly stable regardless of the climatic conditions. I really like the tone.

    Status sell necks on their own, see their web site . I had them do the transplant for me as I'm only about 2 hours from them but it was not a cheap conversion.
  5. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    I have a Status through neck S2 and two Jazz basses (one fretted, one fretless) with Status graphite necks. I also have some wood necked basses (a Rick, a Stingray and a third Jazz).

    I agree with bobby kokinos above - the graphite neck basses certainly don't lack "warmth", but the tone is different. Graphite is a lot stiffer than wood, so the necks have a MUCH higher resonant frequency. This means they don't soak up so much of the higher harmonics. The tone as a result contains more of these high end harmonics relative to the fundamental than a wood necked bass (some call this a "bright" tone, but I always think this implies something lacking from the bottom end, and this is definitely not the case with a good graphite neck bass).

    I love my Status neck basses for this tone and the fact that the whole bass has a sort of ringing quality and sustains really evenly across the neck. Status build quality also means they play like a dream and are finished to a really high standard. Neck stability is an added bonus. Expensive, but worth every penny to me. The toe Status necked Jazzes are definitely my main two basses, I could live without any of the others, but not these. Here's a sound clip of the fretless.
  6. The thread title reminded me of Seinfeld...

    "What's the deal with Ovaltine?"


    Anyway... I've dabbled with many graphite necks (Peavey, Moses, Modulus) and I found the Modulus to have the most beautiful fundamentals and harmonics of the three. Very articulate instruments and like what was said above, they have a tone character all their own. It's not quite warm, but then again it's not quite "cold" either. Just very modern.

    I personally use my Qunatum because of its stability. I cannot afford adjusting the neck of my instrument whenever I drive from gig to gig or practice to so on, and so forth.
  7. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    There are some generalizations here that are not 100% absolute.

    I have a Zon Sonus Custom fretless 5, and it is 'warmer' and more woody sounding than any of my wood neck basses.
  8. Ten


    Oct 3, 2005
    Another feature is that Graphite necks are DURABLE. They're practically indestructable.
  9. Scottie Johnson

    Scottie Johnson

    Sep 8, 2004
    That's because you take it to church. ;)

    I have had some limited experience playing Graphite Necks, but I think it is what you put them with that makes the difference, like preamps, strings, pickups.
  10. I have had a few modulus basses and swear by them. They hold their tune through hot,cold,wet,dry..you name it. The quantum is very versatile and fast.
  11. buzzbass

    buzzbass Shoo Shoo Retarded Flu !

    Apr 23, 2003
    I disagree. My 2 Zons are the woodiest sounding basses I own. Deep and Dark, lot's of thump. The only thing I have that even comes close is my thumb 5. I would say that your statement is somewhat correct though, it just doen't apply to Zons. YMMV.
  12. bassjigga


    Aug 6, 2003
    Boy these comments never get old do they? :rolleyes: My Zons are warmer than any wood-necked bass I've ever played; and they have far more clarity and no dead spots. People need to grow out of the "graphite is cold and sterile" mentality. Maybe it was true 20 years ago - I don't know. But it certainly isn't today.

    I think it does probably depend on which one you get. I think Zon is the best. Unfortunately you won't be able to get a Zon neck for your frankenjazz.