Wood V.S Composites

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by metalbass101, Feb 8, 2004.

which one?

Poll closed Mar 9, 2004.
  1. Wood

    26 vote(s)
  2. Composites

    8 vote(s)
  3. Both in the same bass

    22 vote(s)
  1. metalbass101


    Jan 24, 2004
    Which one of these materials would you rather have in your bass?

    Wood:A time tested material.Used for intruments since the beginning.Good tone and nice to hold.Not the sturdiest of the two though.Depending on the wood/brand,can rot or harden over time.

    Composites:The newest one of the two,Graphite is probably the most known and the most reliable in this catagory.Mostly used for reinforcment in basses,Known to sound more defined than wood.Can also sound just as warm.Can last practicly forever and is mostly moisture,weather,age resistant.In most cases,is stronger than any metal.
  2. I'll say wood, but only because I couldn't own another composite neck instrument after my Peavey B quad.
  3. sethlow3

    sethlow3 Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    Nashville, Tennessee
    I like both types of material in my Zon.
    The warmth and resonance of the ash body is great and the sturdy composite neck has a great "ebony" feel and it hasn't failed me yet. To blend the two types of material is great as in Zon or Modulus. I believe electronics come into play a bit too. I've played a Quantum, Genesis, and Sonus and the Sonus still takes the cake becuase of the great sound and light weight. The moduli never sounded sterile though. I wonder if in 10 years more companies will sell composite necks.

    A completly graphite bass I havn't tried yet.....
  4. Gotta be wood. A graphite neck can work, but it's usually not my kind of sound. The exception are Zon basses, which I think sound great.
  5. bassjigga


    Aug 6, 2003
    I'll agree with the comments about Zon. I love my Sonus Special. The graphite neck is impervious to anything save being run over by a truck or something. It always has the perfect amount of relief, no dead spots, lots of clarity, and it maintains great punch. I think my favorite combo is with the ash body as was mentioned. As for a composite only bass... haven't heard one that I like yet. Joe Zon experimented with neck-throughs early on and found it to be too sterile, so I can only imagine a bass made completely of the material would be worse.

  6. metalbass101


    Jan 24, 2004
    Well thats a matter of opinion,electronics, and the pickup warmth.Ive read two bass player reviews on all composite bodies and some other thing I found on the internet that states differently.
  7. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    That's because the necks aren't graphite. It's a composite material. Joe Zon won't say what's in it, but it's not just carbon Fiber.

    I'm all for any bass that sounds good.
  8. Stachio

    Stachio Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2002
    Sugar and spice and everything nice...and some chemical X ? :)
    I've gone composite, to wood, and am going back to composite in a few days. I like the stability of composites (both physical and sonorous).
  9. sethlow3

    sethlow3 Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    Nashville, Tennessee

    Actually I remember Joe revealing some of the recipe on TB. heres his quote

    "They are made from a combination of wood, carbon graphite, kevlar and other materials formulated in our own "recipe". As part of the process we have "tuned" the necks so they sound warmer and more friendly to the hear. The object of using composites was to blend the stability and tonal enhancement the material would provide, to create an instrument with warmth and personality while giving the player superior performance."

    I think that some all-wood basses are cool but once I played both composites and woods blended I was hooked. I also agree that if it sounds good it is good. Like a Roscoe for instance, mmmmmm tone!!

    As far as recordings go I have noticed a huge difference in sound from a Quantum to a Zon. The ZP-2D preamp is phonominal and I'd like to have them in other basses too.
  10. It is probably all in what you are use to. I've played a few Modulas Basses and while the sound seemed just fine to me, it did sound different than any wooden neck bass I've played. It had sort of a plastic sound. However, I'm certain most listeners would never notice the difference especially when it is blended with other instruments. If I were in a situation where my neck was giving me problems because of temp changes etc, I wouldn't hesitate to buy one with a composite neck.
  11. metalbass101


    Jan 24, 2004
    With todays technology,you can get almost just about any thing out of any bass or cab.All it takes is about an extra $100 to buy that new effect pedal or some tight pickups.
    of course,in bass terms,theres nothing like the original.
  12. That's intersting about the Zons. I always thought they were graphite just like a Modulus. It makes total sense now, because I usually can't stand the way modulus's sound, but the few Zons I've played have all sounded great.
  13. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Well, truth be told, Modulus aren't graphite, either: they're carbon fiber.
  14. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    I've had Steinberger and Curbow all-composite basses, Modulus, Zon, and Curbow wood/composite basses, and a Warmoth parts bass with a Moses composite neck. Everybody's composite blend is slightly different, though there is a certain uniformity and consistency that does seem to characterize basses with composite necks. My personal preference was for the Curbows, especially with oil-finished wood bodies. Those seemed to me to give the best combination of the quickness and consistency of composites with the warmth and richness of wood.

    Oddly, I kinda liked the deeper, more fundamental tone of the (rare) neck-though Moduluses I've played more than I liked the Modulus bolt-ons.

  15. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    Having used several wooden basses, of different qualities, I must say wood is good!
    But then again, my main axe is a Basslab STD V, a all composite, monocoque bass.
    Which is better? Well, unplugged, the Basslab is louder (hollow!) - end. Plugged in, in passive, it is all that a wooden bass is, plus more dynamic. The fundamental is more present when played veeeery lightly, whereas the woodies has a lot of sustaining fingering noice.

    So the composite is better!
    And I love woodies!

    Do I have a problem? No, we're talking basses, not women. :p
  16. kmacleish


    Nov 19, 2003
    Atlanta, GA
    Different terms for the same substance, here.

    "Composite" is probably the best term for the material in question, since each maker uses a different recipe for their mix. They all include carbon fiber, some sort of resin, and various secret/proprietary/mysterious other items.
  17. kmacleish


    Nov 19, 2003
    Atlanta, GA
    I vote composites. As the happy owner of Steinberger and Moses Graphite instruments, I love the sound, the fact they they stay in tune, and their essentially trouble-free and bullrtproof nature.
  18. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    I strongly disagree.
  19. NV43345


    Apr 1, 2003
    Same for me but I have a Modulus. :)
  20. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Brad's got himself a point.

    Metalbass101, I've got a single company name for you: