1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Wood vs Graphite

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by GSRLessard14, Jan 29, 2006.

  1. Wood

    94 vote(s)
  2. Non-Wood (Graphite, etc.)

    43 vote(s)
  1. GSRLessard14

    GSRLessard14 All-Things-Claypool Enthusiast

    Jun 23, 2005
    Newington, CT
    So, I've had a couple modulus basses now in my playing career. A fretless Q4 and a fretted VJ4. They are great basses without a doubt, and the fact that they aren't affected by the weather is superb. However, since I've been mostly playing my VJ4 lately, I've had a craving for going back to wood. There's something organic and "woody" about normal wood necks that a graphite or carbon fiber or non-wood neck can't achieve. I dunno, which do you guys prefer overall, neck material or otherwise?
  2. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Never owned a graphite necked bass. Ive enjoyed the few ive played,but im not sure that in the long run its what i want.
  3. HMZ

    HMZ Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2003
    I own two Flea Modulus basses and I really love playing them. I like the feel of the necks and the fact its not affected by the weather. I can set my action very low and I never need to adjust the neck.
  4. msquared


    Sep 19, 2004
    Kansas City
    Having owned both, I don't find that I have a preference. It's rare that you find a bass where you can choose between a wood or graphite neck with everything else being the same, and as a result it becomes as much a question of the other parts as it does the neck.

    I also feel that it's an apples and orange question, along the same lines (but maybe not as extreme) as tube versus solid state. The graphite necks I've played have been more acoustically "neutral" whereas the wood necks have a sound of their own which they impart to the instrument's overall sound.

    That said, I really wish wood was as stable as CF.
  5. I voted WOOD on this one even though one of the best basses I have ever played is a Status Stealth all graphite headless 4 string model. I guess my only excuse is that my main instrument since a teenager is still my 72 Fender Jazz Maple fingerboard.

    Ive played a couple of other status basses and the thing I found was that even all-graphite basses feel different from each other in the same way that two 72 Jazz basses can feel totally different.

    I guess it just comes down to the individual instrument regardless of materials.

    Any one had any experience with Aluminium necked basses?
  6. Fender32


    Jun 23, 2005
    Kent, England
    "Wood" rhymes with "good":) , whilst, "graphite" ryhmes with "****e":spit: . This is no small coincidence in my opinion.

    I own a 1987 Status Series II bass, which is a great piece of eye candy and has all of the advantages that you described. For a while, it was the only bass I owned (having switched over from guitar) and I was completely happy with it. After a while, the novelty of slapping the hell out of it wore off and I tried to play some more "soulful" basslines on it. And that was the beginning of the end for me.

    No matter what I did with the eq and the Bass Pod, I just couldn't get any depth and "feel" into the tone - it was always too "clinical" and "hi-fi" sounding.

    After a year or so, I decided that I would add another bass to my collection and so I went on a mission to find something that would do the Motown/reggae/rock thing, with a bit more authenticity. To cut a very long story, very short, I wound up with a US '62 P. Bass reissue - best 1,600 Euros that I ever spent! It completely re-awoke my desire for bass playing and I've gone on to buy lots more lovely wooden basses since.

    There's just something about feeling the vibrations of those low notes, coming gently back to my hands through the wood, that seems to inspire me to play better. After 30 minutes with my Status, my hands would go numb, due to the sharp vibrations that were transmitted so brutally through the carbon core of the body and neck.

    Music's an organic thing (apart from techno ;) ) and so is wood. I think that they kind of belong together. Screw the rain forests :bag: , I say, let the music play on!

    :bassist: :bassist: :bassist: :bassist::bassist: :bassist: :bassist: :bassist: :bassist: :bassist: :bassist: :bassist: :bassist: :bassist: :bassist: :bassist: :bassist: :bassist: :bassist: :bassist::bassist: :bassist: :bassist: :bassist: :bassist: :bassist: :bassist: :bassist: :bassist: :bassist::bassist: :bassist: :bassist: :bassist: :bassist: :bassist::bassist: :bassist: :D
  7. bassjus


    Mar 30, 2004
    My flea is everything I'd ever want out of a bass, so I'm going with graphite. I understand the bass is not what everyone else wants out of a bass, but it's what I want. I love it, I'd also like a nice wood necked bass, but I will always have a modulus no matter what.
  8. Jazzin'

    Jazzin' ...Bluesin' and Funkin'

    I like ones with the graphite reinforcement in them. Theyre pretty much impossible to warp.
  9. Human Bass

    Human Bass

    Aug 26, 2005
    I find very cool wood body + graphite neck, but all graphite like the status buzzard sound really cold, meh
  10. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    I like both. I own a Q-4 and it's a great bass. It's neck is ultra stabile and it has a really fast attack.

    Lately I've gone back to wooden necked basses with graphite reinforcement.
  11. I have huge Q6 GAS. However, if I was having or building a custom, I'd have to say that there's a happy medium between a full graphite neck, body, etc... and a full on wood. I love the modulus's half'n'half basses, that have a layer of graphite underneath the FB. Teh coolness.
    I haven't voted yet, but you should add 'Combination' as a choice.
  12. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    I like nice basses. Not overly concerned with how they got that way.
  13. BartmanPDX

    BartmanPDX Supporting Member

    I wish all my basses were as solid and perfect as my XL-2.

    While I love the feel of the neck on my Lakland, and I love the sound I get from my wood-necked basses, I can honestly say I've never played a more perfectly-constructed bass than my Steinberger. It has a solidity that I've never felt in any other bass, and part of that is the sheer density (it's small, but pretty darn heavy). It has a great tone, too -- it's modern, but I'm not sure how much of that is due to the active EMGs.

    Bottom line -- I like both. Most of the basses I like have wood necks, but I can really appreciate the tone, feel, and strength of an all-graphite bass.
  14. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    I have a jazz bass with a graphite neck. I love the tone the graphite gives. Meaty but clear. Perfect.
  15. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    +1 to you. But also to Brad ;)
  16. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    You sound like a guy that needs to try a Zon.;)

    I have basses with wood necks, basses with graphite reinforced necks, and a bass with a composite neck that has some wood and some graphite in it.

    I like them all. Wouldn't own them if I didn't.

    FWIW, my Zon, which is a lot more graphite than wood in the neck, sounds a lot more organic than my two wood neck basses with graphite reinforcement.

    It sounds more organic than most of my all wood basses too.

    Zon does composite necks right!:bassist:
  17. Fender32


    Jun 23, 2005
    Kent, England
    Good shout Embelisher!

    One of my favourite bass sounds comes from a track on Level 42's "World Machine" album, on which Mark King uses a Zon Legacy. The only word to describe the sound is, "breathy".

    I think that the early Legacys had bolt on graphite necks, which should help to tame the vibration that I was complaining about on my Staus II.

    Hmm, I'll have to start scouring eBay again, as soon as I get over my GAS for a Wal Custom :smug:

    Cheers for the tip!

  18. Subjective, depends on the tone/performance you're looking for.
  19. Dincrest


    Sep 27, 2004
    New Jersey
    This is a toughie. I like the stability of graphite, but the tone of wood. I had an opportunity to play a pro's Modulus bass years ago and while I dug the feel and playability, I felt the graphite neck imparted a harsh treblyness to the tone which I didn't like.

    So what about the hybrids out there? Like necks made out of resin-impregnated wood? Or perhaps those basses with graphite necks but wood fingerboards? Or even wood necks with resin fingerboards (like the Manne Glenn Hughes bass.)
  20. I think Billy Gould had great tone with FNM before he switched to a Zon....Both his Gibson Ripper and Aria Pro sounded better to me.

    I love basses that can cut through, but the sound of his Sonus just left something to be desired for me...kinda like the difference between Flea's Wal, and his Modulus, even though I dig his playing on the newer albums...