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What's the general consensus on the Modulus Flea Bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by lespaulmarshall, Apr 20, 2009.

  1. I did a bit of a search but didn't find too much.

    What are the thoughts about the Flea Bass? I have the chance to get one for $1750 AUD - four months old. I really want to just get an overall judgement from fellow bass players who have one, have played one or have got rid of one including playability and sound. Flea's style is a huge part of my bass playing, so his signature bass is relavant to me.

    I already have a USA Jazz Deluxe and love it to death - so how will it compare to the Fender? Once again both sound and quality wise. All the reviews I have read say that she is a machine! Also how would it compare to a Ray?

    Consider myself to be a small town bass player in a pub cover band which are getting into more private funtions, but wanting to start playing for funk and jazz.

    Cheers guys! :ninja:
  2. lsu921


    Jun 6, 2003
    Port Allen, La
    What's the electronic setup?
  3. RCCollins

    RCCollins Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2008
    San Diego, California
    i'm not a big flea fan but the modulus is great!
  4. IdealWay


    Oct 18, 2006
    Asheville, NC
    +1/2 ;)!

    I like Flea okay, he definitely had a lot of raw energy and talent... I love the Modulus! You will not be disappointed.
  5. It's got a Seymour Duncan Basslines Pickup and Aguilar OBP-3 Preamp.

    Thoughts on this? I'm not familiar with this gear.
  6. Bass Collector

    Bass Collector

    Aug 14, 2008
    Don't tell me where it is or I'll buy it before you do! :ninja:

    NUFF SAID! ;)
  7. lsu921


    Jun 6, 2003
    Port Allen, La
    I just sold a Flea 5 with that setup, and I was very surprised how good it sounded. I'd played some of the Bart/Bart Flea's before, and did not like them. Mine was very clean, clear, and punchy.. It was also a lot more versatile than I thought it would be. Playability was top notch too! It was a little on the heavy side and the spacing (17.5mm) was a little tight, but overall very nice..
  8. bassjus


    Mar 30, 2004
    I absolutely love mine, and I haven't met someone who has played mine and note liked it. I play it for everything, I do small jazz combo stuff, rock, funk, anything. I get nothing but compliments on it. I don't think you would regret buying it.
  9. Wow guys, thats some darn postive feedback!

    How will it compare with the Jazz Deluxe though?
  10. Bassgrinder77

    Bassgrinder77 Banned

    Jan 23, 2009
    I owned/gigged one for a couple of years and traded it for a Spector Euro 4LX over a year ago.
    It was love/hate with the Flea bass.
    It had about the best setup I've ever played. Low action, very little buzzing, stable as all heck, played great. Truly awesome.
    The sound was a total struggle. It was weird, the E and A strings sounded damn good but the D an especially the G string sounded very thin. There wasn't good balance.
    I tried everything: Moved up to heavier gauge D (70) and G (50). Tried several brands. Adjusted the pickup. Replaced the original pickup (Bart) with Nordstrand, amp settings, yadda yadda.
    All those things helped a little but not enough.
    I'm not really a Flea clone. What I really wanted from that bass was for it to be a "high end" Music Man but it really isn't - not sound wise.
    More than half the songs I do in my cover band are pick songs. I concluded that that bass wasn't so good sounding with a pick. The D and G strings came out too sharp, too thin, real brittle and kinda weak with a pick. Just not pleasing. With fingers it wasn't bad at all but like I said, I do a lot of songs with a pick too.
    Ultimately, and especially with a pick, it sounded like it had a hollow, plastic neck - which of course it does!
    For me, it was a failed experiment. Too bad too because I liked a lot of things about it.
    BTW, I LOVE my Spector Euro LX basses. Totally awesome.
  11. Eminor3rd

    Eminor3rd BLAAAAARRGGHH!!

    Feb 10, 2008
    I know it's a great bass, but I HATE it. And every Modulus I've played. They all feel awful to me.

    Again, to avoid flaming, I know it's a great bass, I'm just pointing out that it isn't for everyone. Feels a lot different than your standard Fender-style bass. Just something to keep in mind.
  12. superfunk47


    Sep 9, 2007
    A big +1. I've never played a Status or Zon that I've cared for, or even that I could stand to play (although my experience with both has been limited to a few instruments). But I love the idea of having a graphite neck, love the sounds that lots of cats get from them, and admittedly haven't tried all of the graphite necks out there. I'd very much like to try a Modulus someday to see if it works better for me.

    But it is important to remember - this ain't no Fender you're looking at. Not even close. That can put a lot of people off right away. All I can say is that you're definitely getting something different, not what you'll be expecting if you're used to Fender/Fender inspired (to whatever degree) instruments. But what's important to think about when trying it out is this - "Okay, this neck/sound/whatever isn't what I'm used to, but is it comfortable? Could it work for me?" And be honest with yourself. If you think it will, go for it. If not, go for something else.
  13. Thanks for your input man. It's hard to understand how much different it is to the Fenders. Can anyone provide input to this?

    Am I just getting bass horny because of the lower(ish) price? :crying::mad::help:
  14. superfunk47


    Sep 9, 2007
    It's hard to understand until you've played one, then it makes sense. Sort of seeing outside the box, dig? Some people like staying in the box, myself included to a large degree, others like what's outside. The only way of knowing is to try one or more out yourself.

    Are you buying sight unseen or can you try this one out first?
  15. The problem is I'm from a small down where I there is one main music shop (with one or two smaller crappier ones) but even still the bass section is run by a guy that plays a K5 and has Korn tattoos. I'm yet to see a USA Fender, anything Warwick or MusicMan.

    Hence having to take a risk and getting something from far away.

    It's almost like a flip of the coin to whether or not to take the plunge!!
  16. superfunk47


    Sep 9, 2007
    Hmm. That's a tough one then. I'd suggest checking used prices to see what you'd be able to flip it for if you ended up not liking it.
  17. Bass Collector

    Bass Collector

    Aug 14, 2008
    It's cheap, but, it's a very different instrument to a Fender... you may love it? I wouldn't own one as my only bass, I would have a Fender Jazz first, the a P then a SR5 etc. before one of these and if the opportunity came to buy a cheap Flea, then I would consider it for when I wanted THAT sound. The others are all better / more versatile basses IMO.
  18. Eminor3rd

    Eminor3rd BLAAAAARRGGHH!!

    Feb 10, 2008
    +1 to this. It's impossible to describe how it plays. It's a safe investment if you can recover your losses in the event that you don't like it.

    Interestingly enough, superfunk, I've also hated every Zon that I've played. I didn't want to chalk it up to graphite necks, but you're experience seems to mirror mine. Coincidence?
  19. superfunk47


    Sep 9, 2007
    I try not to jump to that conclusion. But then, I really want to like some graphite neck, because the idea of the stability really appeals to me. But the way the Zon felt just wasn't comfortable to me at all. Not just in the neck, but overall just too different and unfamiliar for me.

    The sound wasn't my cup of tea (although I've liked other Barts in the past), but it was the playability that was my biggest issue with it. Not that it was bad, just too different for me to be comfortable with.
  20. Lesfunk

    Lesfunk Supporting Member

    Apr 5, 2007
    Daytona beach, Fl
    I've been Playing Flea basses for years and will attest to their ruggedness, reliability, and powerful sound.
    Tonewise, the Flea is less versatile than the Jazz Deluxe but the Graphite neck combined with the MM style electronics gives it lots of punch and clarity.
    My Flea is an old one with the original lane Poor Pickup and Bartolini pre amp. It also has no truss rod so it's a little different than the new ones.
    In my opinion, the Flea bass is a very worthy instrument and will serve you well in many musical situations.

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