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Thread: Graphite necks?

  1. #1

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    Graphite necks?

    So, what are graphite necks? I've seen a Stingray on a 2nd hand website with a Moses graphite fretless neck and was wondering what so special abouth these necks (what are they made off?). It looks interesting, I want to try out something new in the fabulous world of bass (fretless or 5-string), and this fretless SR got my attention.
    Here's the LINK
    Is this something, or nothing special at all?
    Thanks in advance

  2. #2

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    This, my friend, is basically another matter of Oppinion. I'll do my best to inform you, though I know others here know a lot better.


    Basically, they use carbon fibers to make those necks, I believe. The thing about this is, instead of wood, it is not, and never was alive. So, there's no bending, stretching, bowing, adjusting, any of that. This means that you never would have to adjust your bass again due to weather or humidity.

    However, many have said that this leaves the bass with a less 'natural' feeling, as the neck doesn't really move, or respond, like a wooden neck. I've heard tales that even with the hardest slappers you can't feel any movement through the neck like you can with a wooden neck. That's what I've heard, not what I know.

    Apparantly it also seems to give more attack to the sound, because of the material, all graphite work I've heard is a lot more snappy. Heard Californication by the RHCP, or perhaps later Dave Matthews Band work? That's a graphite neck, same bass even.

    Whether or not it's something special... Well really that just depends on what you want. Essentially the idea is great, I mean, you don't have to worry about adjusting your neck. Though, it does still feel different, and it's definately not as natural as your regular wooden bass.

    Anyhow, hope I've helped more than hurt.

  3. #3

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    I've got a Modulus Graphite neck on my Sabre (it came to me modded), and I'm actually growing accustomed to the sound. It's a little sterile compared to a wood neck, but the ash body and active electronics make up the difference.

    My neck is non-adjustable, which worries me a little. But, I hear that they are less likely to warp or bow on you, so that's a bit reassuring.

    Nice feel, too. But, if the Sabre had come to me with the stock neck, I would have left it on there (given it was in good shape).
    "That Bongo is the Abe Vigoda of basses."
    - BP

    "Don't play it if you don't feel it."
    - James Jamerson

    I am the Heidi Fleiss of bass owners!

    ~James~

  4. #4

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    FWIW:

    I had a Steinberger XL2, which was all-graphite. The thing would NOT go out of tune more than a hemi-demi-semitone, and then only if there was a big temperature change. And with no trussrod, there was no adjustment needed. Ever.

    That's really the big deal about graphite...it's completely stable.

    Different necks use different construction methods. All are based on graphite fibers embedded in resin...just like golf club shafts, tennis rackets and Formula 1 race car chassis. How close it is to a wood neck in terms of tone undoubtedly depends on the exact construction of the neck, but I can't say for sure what the parameters are. I've built things using carbon fiber, but I'm no composites engineer.

    Hope this helps.
    bongoBbongoObongoNbongoGbongoObongo

    AL AL AL AL ALALALALALALA LA LA LA LA

    Desert Gold F13843 05 Bongo 5 HHp
    Blue Dawn F11199 07 LE Bongo 5 Hp fretless
    Candy Red F23343 08 Bongo 5 H
    Tangerine Pearl F28251 2011 Big Al 5 SSS

    http://www.coolshoesband.com

    BP: "I am very proud of many of the creations at ebmm but none more than the Bongo. Every day the cult grows and it makes it all worthwhile."

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dees
    So, what are graphite necks? I've seen a Stingray on a 2nd hand website with a Moses graphite fretless neck and was wondering what so special abouth these necks (what are they made off?). It looks interesting, I want to try out something new in the fabulous world of bass (fretless or 5-string), and this fretless SR got my attention.
    Here's the LINK
    Is this something, or nothing special at all?
    Thanks in advance
    I'll let others address the somewhat controversial topic of tone with graphite necks and focus here on the particular bass you've found. It has a Moses FL neck, which means it has a "Diamondwood" phenolic resin [mostly epoxy] fingerboard. Another similar fingerboard is called "Ebanol". Ebanol FBs are on both price-point imports and on fancy booteek basses, same substance. It's a MM, so the PU is in a great location for fretless.

    To many FL bassers, an epoxy FB is the holy grail. I've got a few Ebanol FBs on both wood and graphite necks [the FB is a seperate bonded-on item], plus I've got an all grahite Moses bass with the Diamondwood FB. These are all FL. I used to have an Ebanol FL FB on a cast aluminum neck but decided I didn't want to lug a 14lb Kramer DMZ bass anymore. Yet I still miss that magic tone of Ebanol on aluminum.

    Anyway, much of the argument pro and con over graphite necks is about fretted necks. I'd say the benefits for a fretless are less arguable, more concrete. The whine of a string against a hard synthetic FB is distinct. It's also easy to control, especially if the whole neck is graphite, due to consistancy and resiliance. The damping effect of your finger on the string is very complimentary to the brighter tone that a hard FB offers.

    "Graphite" [carbon fibre-reinforced synthetic resin] is not a particular singular substance, just like "Wood" [cellulose fibre-reinforced natural resin] is not a singular substance. Different recipes for graphite necks sound as different from each other as do different species of wood or even same species grown in different climates with different nutrients in the soil as well. A Moses neck sounds different from a Steinberger neck [I've never had a Modulus neck]. I've drilled into both Moses and Steinberger bodies. It's like the difference between drilling wood and drilling a 150 yr old plaster-on-lath wall. Naturally, the two substances have very different tonal characteristics.

    BTW, the satin surface feel of a Moses neck is very easy to like. My Moses 4-string has a neck profile that's more like a scaled down 5 or 6-string, meaning wide and flat, not at all like the 1/2 round profile common to many 4-string necks. I find that very comfortable. I'd say my all graphite bass lacks a strongly defined tonal character. That doesn't mean the tone is weak. Just that it's very neutral. It's not the sort of sound that will have faithful adherants nor will it have vociferous opponents. It's just bass. A cult following pretty unlikely.
    Last edited by Golem; 09-15-2005 at 12:57 PM.

  6. #6

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    That is serious money for a used bass, even with that neck and fancy pre-amp. But putting one like that together in the US would cost a similar amount. It's not that it's a bad deal. It's just not some great deal that demands immediate action. I guess much depends on the tax and trade situation between Nederlands and Belgium as to how favorable the price really is?
    Last edited by Golem; 09-15-2005 at 01:10 PM.

  7. #7

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    If you have a search under my user name you should find a picture of my SR5 with a Status CF neck. I've used it regularly since the transplant was done in February and it has a real cutting tone. The neck is super smooth and the slightly lower profile at the top end compared to the original which makes it a joy to play. The conversion was not cheap however. The necks do come up for sale occasionally.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Golem
    That is serious money for a used bass, even with that neck and fancy pre-amp. But putting one like that together in the US would cost a similar amount. It's not that it's a bad deal. It's just not some great deal that demands immediate action. I guess much depends on the tax and trade situation between Nederlands and Belgium as to how favorable the price really is?
    FYI There are no trade barriers or taxes as they are both in the EEC.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by oldbluebassman
    FYI There are no trade barriers or taxes as they are both in the EEC.
    Gotcha. Thanks. See, I'm from the "liberal northeast" of the "United" States, and have lived through decades of trade wars between Massachusets and New Hampshire and between New York and New Jersey. So my idea of free trade is a bit skewered.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Golem
    Gotcha. Thanks. See, I'm from the "liberal northeast" of the "United" States, and have lived through decades of trade wars between Massachusets and New Hampshire and between New York and New Jersey. So my idea of free trade is a bit skewered.
    I know that the sales taxes can be different between states but you never had customs posts on the state borders did you?. BTW BP's gonna kill me but I like the sound and feel of Carbon Fibre so much I've ordered a St*t*s Stealth 5 to keep my MMs company.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Golem
    That is serious money for a used bass, even with that neck and fancy pre-amp.
    It's pretty average for a used stingray in Europe.
    Dave

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by dlloyd
    It's pretty average for a used stingray in Europe.
    American made bass guitars are just more expensive over here, which is kind lf logical


    Thanks for the info, I think I'll check it out

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