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Why aren't modulus's more popular?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by evito, Mar 12, 2008.

  1. anastasio24


    May 24, 2003
    I have a 2005 Q5 that I love and I will never get rid of. It has Barts, a highly figured Walnut top and Aguilar OBP-3 electronics. I can get all kinds of sounds out of it (even old school when combined with my hands). It is also pretty heavy. This thing sounds huge when using the onboard EQ or a little jazzy if you take it the other way. A lot of people don't like the sustain they get (it can go on for ever).

    I have recorded with it (folk rock believe it or not) and the results were great. The recording engineer did not like the upper mids or the highs but that is one of the things I love about it.

    The thing I love about this bass the most is how the neck doesn't care about the weather. I play outside gigs in the summer where it is 95+ and 80%+ humidity and no problem. I have also played a show outside in the wind where it was 43 degrees outside before windchill and the neck was a champ again. My guitar player was having a nightmare and I was just trying to keep my hands warm.

    All that said, it is not the perfect bass for everyone. They cost waaaaay too much now (got mine before the increase), they take way to long to get if you order one. Most of the Q5's I have played in stores I have not liked so much. I ordered mine and had it drop shipped and it was exactly like one that I played in Chicago so I feel I was lucky.

    Lastly, it is not the only bass I take on a gig (I always roll with at least two). Depending on the gig I may use a Roscoe LG 3005 or a Fender Precision or a Lakland Skyline DJ4. I just take whatever is appropriate unless the weather is extreme and then I always take the Q5.
  2. Love my Q5. I cant believe that anyone says they dont sound good in the studio. I run mine thru a BDDI and/or a small tube pre, boost around 600-700k and it just kills.

    For live I use a YBA200 and Trace 4x10 and no one says that my bass sounds sterile or even overly "modern" live or recorded

    I do admit that it took me over a year after I got it to learn how to get the tones I was looking for out of it. And for the live tone I went though quite a few amp and cab combinations until I found what I liked. Of course part of that struggle was me trying to get a tube amp sound from a pre+power amp set up. Nothing has the tube amp sound for me unless it's got a tube output section.

  3. ThumbyAche

    ThumbyAche Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2005
    Pacific NW
    Maybe you have to gig steadily in places like Denver to appreciate the stability of graphite. I understand very much what some people say about the "sound" of graphite but quite honestly I haven't been in a situation where you can't compensate with amp settings, etc. I too also keep wooden neck instruments and to be honest those are my main instruments. Still, I love my two Modulus jazz basses and can't see getting rid of them unless I had to. I also agree with those that have mentioned the Modulus prices as to why they aren't as popular.
  4. MrMe


    Aug 26, 2007
    Oslo, Norway
    I prefer satin inish on the neck
  5. Barkless Dog

    Barkless Dog Barkless to a point

    Jan 19, 2007
    i saw the group Down & Above in Chicago. The bass player had a Modulas Fender Jazz clone. He had the best tone I have heard from a bassist live in a long time. Clear, warm and cut through the mix, but never obnoxious or brittle.
  6. Maybe theres just something here in the water in MD that makes us like our Q5's?? :)

    I did have an issue over the summer with playing out in the heat though. Played an outdoor gig 1st week of Sept and it was like 95+ and we were playing in a parking lot (thanks to my drummer for setting up that swell gig, sun, blacktop and no shade) anyway after cooking for about 4 hours in direct sun things started getting a little funny with my neck. Seems that the extreme heat took some of the bow out of the neck and the strings started hitting some of the middle frets when fretting lower on the neck.

    After getting out of the sun a couple twists of the truss rod brought it right back but it was not good while it was going on.

    Also if you watch ebay I see Q5's going all the time for like $1300-$1400. Good deals can be had.

    anastasio24 - We got a gig 4/4 in Poolesville if you're anywhere close and want to stop by.
  7. Price :-S
  8. brbadg


    Nov 10, 2006
    I borrowed a Quantam 6 for awhile.It was the best bass I ever heard or played.It does not have tight string spacing.Where did that guy get that? It does the precision sound,it does the jazz sound.It is extremely comfortable to play.I can't afford one.There's no Modulus love because it's too damn expensive.
  9. I believe the Q5's and 6's have 17mm spacing... that's about as narrow as it gets. That doesn't make it bad, but many of us like the standard 19mm spacing on a 5, and at least an 18mm spacing on a 6. That, combined with the EMG pickups and the 'plastic feel' of the neck and uber modern tone seem to be much more of a barrier to many than the price, which seems reasonable compared to other high end instruments IMO.
  10. Phantopeth


    Jan 10, 2006
    Brooklyn, NY
    I like them. My interest in them was piqued in the hayday of my Phishhead days. I owned a beautiful Q5 at one point, but had to sell it due to financial reasons. It had a flamed maple top with a trans black finish, pheno fretboard, Bart pickups and Aguilar pre-amp. The fundamental that bass had was immense, insanely powerful sound, although the notes in its higher register never seemed to cut as much as I would have liked. Thing played as easy as putting a hot knife through butter, pardon the cliche.

    I would absolutely love to own another one some day, but these days I'm much more interested in "simpler" 4-strings with passive electronics.
  11. I'm referring to the 5 string and 17mm spacing IS tight.
  12. lamarjones

    lamarjones Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    Unlike some of the traditional basses we speak of, they sound great in some contexts, not so good in others. Not to start a flame way, but that is the exact way I feel about Smiths as well.

    Past that, there are three major graphite companies IMO. Modulus, Zon, and Status. Status is the dark horse of them all, they got some seriously cool designs and some interesting sounds. But when it comes to what I am seeing as more mainstream (oh yeah, the fact that Status is 'over there' for us peeps in the states also makes it real tough to get your hands on), it really is between zon and the mod for what I have been able to get.

    Yeah, the emgs were terrible. Unless you really liked a 'mechanical' sound as Kjung put it. The mods with the barts were kinda nice, and Dave Schools uses the Q6 with the chechen board, which also helps imo. I thought the genesis necks would have really been the great middle ground, but they still are in between of vintage vs modern.

    that said, I completely, not even close, prefer the profile of a zon neck, and much more so, the feel of the zon satin finish on the neck vs the zon gloss or the mod KLD. Which, as it stands, the only graphite basses I would own would be a zon with a satin finish neck, or one of the wilder statuses.

    Actually, ideal fretless for me is the zon. That or a pentabuzz are some of the best fretlesses I have owned. Except I suck at fretless. So nothing like a great bass to let everyone know how much you suck.
  13. I haven't had enough exposure with them to justify shelling out such serious coin at this point. We used to have a Marrs Music a few years back with a Quantum and a Genesis, but they were hung 30 feet in the air and I could never get anyone to help me. I wouldn't mind owning one. I'm apparently one of the few who doesn't mind narrow spacing and 35" scale.
  14. metron


    Sep 12, 2003
    Im not sure about the sounding sterile thing people speak of. Anyone ever hear Mike Gordon with Phish?

    One thing to consider is the widespread parroting on internet forums such as this. People repeat things others say whether or not they are true without firsthand experience themselves. For example if I read somewhere on TB that a few people said Modulus basses sound sterile or whatever so I might be inclined to believe thats the consensus and subsequently point that out to someone else asking about it if I wanted to be part of their thread conversation. It happens a lot 'round these parts IMO thats why I try not to read too much...
  15. Brad Barker

    Brad Barker

    Apr 13, 2001
    berkeley, ca
    if i could afford one, i'd buy a quantum fiver in a heartbeat. it's got the best B in the biz, imo.
  16. I'd love a Quantum, but it's way too rich for my blood. If it was priced like a G&L or Musicman I would be a Quantum owner.
  17. rockstarbassist

    rockstarbassist Banned

    Apr 30, 2002
    The Woodlands, TX
    Endorsing Artist: HCAF
    It's a good question, and has been discussed before.

    For me, I think it's something pretty new to people, and fwiw most people don't like to change. :) I've wanted one for YEARS, and it was the most amazing thing I'd ever played when I got my first one. It just smokes everything out there.

    That being said, it's gotta be set up right. On my custom one, I have the chechen fretboard, the Barts, and the Aggy 3-band preamp w/ mid switch and 3- way coil taps. I've had 3 other ones, all nice, but some were different than others, had different neck finishes, profiles, electronics, etc.. Just gotta find "that" one, and you'll be in heaven.
    For a touring musician, or even just a weekend guy like me, having a "one and done" setup option is a Godsend, compared to my Dolphin 5! ;)
    Mine has the satin finish neck also, and plays and glides like a dream. No sticky!

    Best bass I've ever played, hands down.
  18. Flintc


    Aug 15, 2006
    Modulus has a very distinctive personality, that's for sure. Especially with the EMGs (which IMO is why you buy a Modulus in the first place - to get all of that special Modulus character you can).

    I can tell you that the first time I heard a Q5 fretless with EMGs and phenolic fingerboard, I was permanently in love. I ordered a Q6 immediately, and it makes a sound like no other bass I've ever heard. I can certainly understand that it's the kind of sound someone would love or hate, it is VERY distinctive.

    But a few weeks ago, I had a chance to try a Q6 with a chechen fingerboard and Barts. Yeah, it sounded like a bass, any old bass. Sure, it's stable as a rock and built to meticulous standards of high quality. And that one was over $4K, too. If I didn't know better, I'd wonder why anyone would ever shell out that kind of bux for what I heard.

    So my conclusion is, Modulus charges a bundle, they make bulletproof basses, they have the bling thing down pat. They cover a very wide range of sounds; there plain flat is NO SUCH THING as the "Modulus sound". And beyond that, they're like any other quality bass - you find one that works for you, or you don't. I did. I'm very satisfied.
  19. rockstarbassist

    rockstarbassist Banned

    Apr 30, 2002
    The Woodlands, TX
    Endorsing Artist: HCAF
    Glad someone else sees this. There's too many options and models to have "a" sound. And if it's just too "sterile" for you, grab one w/ a chechen board, Barts, and throw a tube DI in there.
    Quick and cheap fix, for having such an amazing piece.
  20. svtb15

    svtb15 Banned

    Mar 22, 2004
    Austin,TX - McKinney,TX - NY,NY, - Nashville,TN
    I play it all. Whatever works for the gig. Q+
    I had a Modulus neck on my jazz bass back in th early 80s.. My left hand was always feeling fatigued.. maybe from the extremely hard playing surface.. i dont know...it was just not my thing

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