Modulus/Lakland/Warwick opinions sought

Modulus/Lakland/Warwick opinions sought

Postby beaner » Sun Oct 07, 2012 2:54 pm

I am researching and reviewing 4 string basses currently. Being ignorant about technical aspects of basses is an understatemnt in my case. I know what feels good in my hands and the ears tell me the rest. Looking around the web and for the first time really noticing so many different basses that are priced so that the old addage " you get what you pay for" comes to mind. I am falling for the Q 4 bass but also slightly intrigued by the FB4 and FBJ4 jazz basses. How are the three different(other than price it seems)? I also wondered if any of you have experienced Lakland or Warwick basses and can tell me a little bit about them? I play a 4003 Mapleglow Rick and want to do what the big boys do, so I sat down and I cried too. As so many of you musicians know, changing up instuments is HUGE and because I have played Ricks most of my life it's a but nerve racking. I am very excited about the prospect of elevating my sound though. Any feedback on this would be greatly appreciated to help with this really important purchase.

Thanks
-beaner
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Re: Modulus/Lakland/Warwick opinions sought

Postby Rusty the Scoob » Sun Oct 07, 2012 5:35 pm

Hey, Beaner. I can relate... I'm at the point now where I can rotate through a few different basses seamlessly but I'm a one-bass guy at heart and it was NOT easy to learn the multi-bass skill or make the hundreds of choices it takes to choose a bass or design one from scratch.

First, I'd identify exactly what it is that you want in a bass. Are you looking for Phil tone? Traditional Fender tone? Fender on steroids? "Modern" tone - aka smooth and midscooped, almost compressed by the bass itself?

How important is playability to you - can you adapt to a different feel from a Rick or not? I'm kinda lucky that I learned on a baseball-bat necked P so pretty much everything feels great to me. If you can't adjust to a bass it's a dealbreaker. (that's not meant as a negative - I bought one this week that made my left hand hurt for days after just playing around with it at home. Screw that, it's going right back to ebay unless I can fix the ergonomics)

More specifically about the basses you asked about - I've never played a Lakland but they're basically Fenders with skinny necks and better electronics/construction from what I understand. Go to guitar center and play some of the more modern Fenders and you'll get a feel for what that is and what it does. Warwick is a broad category - they make everything from junky rockbasses to ultramodern, boutique hippie-sandwich basses. My feeling at heart is that they peaked in 1992 or so - I sold my German-made 1993 5-string Fortress One Masterman with no regrets - it was fantastically built but just didn't give me anything I wanted tonally. Modulus basses are all killer but they do make a few styles - some are in the "ultimate-fenderish" category like Lakland, sounding like J-basses but tighter and punchier, but the Quantum series are a little more specialized - but it's clear tight bass tone that'll work in any situation if you use it right.

I think ideally you need to decide exactly what you want in a bass and then choose the quality level based on the price you're willing and able to pay. Do you want 34" Fender scale, 35" tighter scale, 32 or 30.5" short scale which tends to be fatter? What do you want for electronics? Modern, active, lots of tone shaping? Or old-school passive vol/tone only? Or somewhere in between? What style pickups? Wide ones like P-bass or Gibson Mudbuckers will sound fat and round, skinny ones are tight and focused. And of course looks matter. Steinbergers may sound fantastic but I just can't play a rowboat paddle without a paper bag on my head.
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Re: Modulus/Lakland/Warwick opinions sought

Postby beaner » Sun Oct 07, 2012 6:12 pm

Thanks Rusty,
It is very apparent that I have homework to do. This whole approach is a bit frustrating to me because ultimately my sound as a bassist seems undefined until I am surrounded by really good musicians who connect the dots and bring it all together(which I am so fortunate to have exactly that!) I'm very fond of Phil's tone in the early 70's, also because of the entire surround tone that makes up the Dead of that era. I tend to focus more on other player's sound and how my bass fits to that.
My goal financially is to stay under $2G as not to create a schism in my marriage(anyone relate?).
That may not seem like enough but really.....Mon Dieu! That's a lot of clams dude! Rick's are heavy and to my ear pretty crisp but lack that bottom punch I think? I like the feel of the neck due to it's thinness and flatness. Are graphite necks really that awesome? I will go try some basses out and see what's out there. Usually hard to find Q4's hanging on the wall though.

-beaner
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Re: Modulus/Lakland/Warwick opinions sought

Postby Rusty the Scoob » Mon Oct 08, 2012 4:00 am

You're definitely on the right track in thinking about how your sound fits into the mix. That's really the key to good bass tone - on stage with a band it's pretty tough to say "oh, he's playing a ____", but the audience will absolutely notice if the bass is clear, punchy, and sitting correctly in the mix. Modulus might be the perfect answer - clean and punchy is what they do best, especially with EMGs. It gets hard to stay under your budget with a graphite neck though and I really don't think graphite is that important for a 4-string, a good maple neck will do just fine. Something in the modernized Fender lineup might be ideal, or even Ibanez. Talkbass is a great resource, they'll know what a Rick neck feels like and can make some more specific suggestions. I don't think you'll need to spend $2k to get something good, my two current main basses were about $800 each - although that's with some creativity and luck involved.

Ricks are famous for that midrange growl tone, and if that frequency happens to be covered up by guitar or keys as happens a lot with modern bands, or scooped out by EQ which happens a lot with modern amps, you're pretty much invisible. It might be possible to modernize one with pickups, electronics and a heavier bridge, but it would lose some of it's original character and possibly value. Early 70's Phil tone is a whole different animal, of course...
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Re: Modulus/Lakland/Warwick opinions sought

Postby Yankee Tim » Thu Oct 11, 2012 3:01 pm

Now, you don't know me from a hill of beans, so take what I say with a grain of bagel salt.

I think a Modulus would be like a home run. If the sound you desire is being made by one, and if you are a tone hound, then nothing else will do. Okay, maybe a tricked-out Lemby, but I digress. A quantum has so many things going for them, like Phil or Gordon or...

Now, if you don't want to crowd you blonde sweetheart out of the action, but rather add to a harem, I'm going to suggest something from left field. Here you go. I won't even make it a Clicky so I don't get bashed too hard. http://gregbennettguitars.com/guitars/b ... ss/db5-fm/ there is also one in brunette walnut if you want that tonewood. Bit I see you have a penchant for golden girls already.

Don't laugh. Samick has been around a long time, ISO cert'd, and makes about half the guitars in the world. I have sweet cedar top, 3-pc back'd acoustic that I will put up against a Martin costing several times more. I held and played these and found them to be amazing, especially when I saw the price point. GC had a same model used 5 cabler in flame maple, with HSC for $299. I almost grabbed it, but I am a guitarist and I already have a 5 & 6 string bass. I could have let our bass player play it I guess, but he doesn't like uneven string combos or something. I forget.

I'm not saying that is a modulus. But it would make a sweet alternative and leave cash for a used Mod when one comes along. All I'm saying is if you can get a chance to hold and play one, do it. They are surprising. Kinda like if you never played a bass with a stiff pick, then finally do, its eye opening.

But if you are going to jump, go all the way. If you get the Mod, you'll never have to worry about saying "man, I wish I bought a Mod." Ya,know?

And I bet your bandmates would think that is sooo cool. :smile:
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Re: Modulus/Lakland/Warwick opinions sought

Postby Todd GT5 » Thu Oct 11, 2012 3:50 pm

Hi Beaner,
You might want to get something like my bass:
viewtopic.php?f=421&t=12325
It's from Graphite Guitar Systems, which is ran by Modulus co-founder Jerry Dorsch. I went with "Nordstrand Big Split" pick ups and I run flatwound strings, so I get the stable articulate graphite neck and modern bass playability, with a somewhat similar tone to Phil's 70's basses.

-Todd
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Re: Modulus/Lakland/Warwick opinions sought

Postby beaner » Tue Oct 16, 2012 8:45 pm

My Oh My is that a beauty Todd! Where will that come in as we go backwards down the $$ line?
As to you Yankee Tim, if you know where I an try one of those basses out please let me know.
And yes, I am fond of blond rikki's and chicken wing's and pizza! Not to mention this amazing pick that some fat old dude with glasses laid on me, never thought I could adjust to playing with a pick(Dan are soo right!) Still shopping mr. Four String......-bb
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Re: Modulus/Lakland/Warwick opinions sought

Postby Todd GT5 » Wed Oct 17, 2012 8:48 am

beaner wrote:My Oh My is that a beauty Todd! Where will that come in as we go backwards down the $$ line?
As to you Yankee Tim, if you know where I an try one of those basses out please let me know.
And yes, I am fond of blond rikki's and chicken wing's and pizza! Not to mention this amazing pick that some fat old dude with glasses laid on me, never thought I could adjust to playing with a pick(Dan are soo right!) Still shopping mr. Four String......-bb


Thanks for the kind words about my bass! I think you'll be pleasantly supprised at the price Jerry will quote you compared to the other similar instruments. You would need to call him at Graphite Guitar Systems to get a quote.

Happy bass hunting - Todd
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Re: Modulus/Lakland/Warwick opinions sought

Postby Rusty the Scoob » Wed Oct 17, 2012 12:31 pm

No web presence yet? I'd love to check out more of his stuff without making the overly large step of a phone call, which leads to a slippery slope. :lol:
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Re: Modulus/Lakland/Warwick opinions sought

Postby Yankee Tim » Thu Oct 18, 2012 10:17 am

beaner wrote:As to you Yankee Tim, if you know where I an try one of those basses out please let me know.


Not knowing exactly where you are in "upstate NY", but here are a few places near me that sell Greg Bennett's. You can always check the dealer locator on the GB website for one closer:

Backstreet Music, Cobleskill, NY 518-234-4990
BOYNTON STUDIO, ONEONTA, NY 607.267.4230
The MUSICWORKS, SAUGERTIES, NY
HILTON MUSIC CENTER, COLONIE CENTER MALL, ALBANY, NY
HERMIES MUSIC STORE, SCHENECTADY, NY

I'd call around and see who actually has one in stock, as this is there top bass. Very well made imho. You can buy is direct for around a $1000, so you can use that to your knowledge.

beaner wrote:And yes, I am fond of blond rikki's and chicken wing's and pizza! Not to mention this amazing pick that some fat old dude with glasses laid on me, never thought I could adjust to playing with a pick(Dan are soo right!) Still shopping mr. Four String......-bb


First, watch the wings. The residue you can never get off your fingers destroys strings (I know!).
Second, a fat old dude with glasses?!? That's a hippychick magnet. Fo'real, yo.
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Re: Modulus/Lakland/Warwick opinions sought

Postby Todd GT5 » Sun Oct 21, 2012 10:29 am

beaner wrote:My Oh My is that a beauty Todd! Where will that come in as we go backwards down the $$ line?
As to you Yankee Tim, if you know where I an try one of those basses out please let me know.
And yes, I am fond of blond rikki's and chicken wing's and pizza! Not to mention this amazing pick that some fat old dude with glasses laid on me, never thought I could adjust to playing with a pick(Dan are soo right!) Still shopping mr. Four String......-bb


Hey Beaner, I sent you a PM.

Rusty the Scoob wrote:No web presence yet? I'd love to check out more of his stuff without making the overly large step of a phone call, which leads to a slippery slope. :lol:


Rusty the Scoob, I saw my brother this weekend, no sign of a website yet. He said he'll be gentle if you call-LOL.


-Todd
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Re: Modulus/Lakland/Warwick opinions sought

Postby beaner » Sun Jan 13, 2013 9:51 am

Well Rusty you spoke of a "slippery slope" in this thread.....

Thanks to Todd GT5 and his brother Jerry Dorsch at Graphite Guitar Systems I have hit that slope running like a piece of wax dipped in crisco. It's a swamp ash body, with graphite neck(obviously).

You can sort-of see the body outline, it's more of a six string body style than a bass. I took a pic from a website site one of the members here posted(something to the effect if you start looking at all these guitars you'll be gone for days...ebick maybe?). So I spent days looking at body types, woodgrain types, etc.
Now I am at the point where I am uncertain on what shade of stain. We discussed the finish and that will be satin. It was suggest that a tobacco stain finish would look good(YankeeTim) and after seeing a sample pic I kind-of agree. It would be great for some RUK member opinions to weigh-in on this to help a brother out.
I tried to post pic but I received a "Board attachment quota has been reached". Anyway, I am sooo excited about this bass! I have this forum to thank and all it's members and especially the Admin guys who keep it up and running. THANK YOU SO MUCH!
Also, Thanks to Todd GT5, I hope to meet you and jam some dueling bass!

-beaner
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Re: Modulus/Lakland/Warwick opinions sought

Postby Yankee Tim » Mon Jan 14, 2013 6:22 am

I have only two suggestions.

Classic tobacco burst, or

Hot pink with a killer Hello Kitty pick guard.

God isnt one of these. Former or latter. Which do you think I meant?
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Re: Modulus/Lakland/Warwick opinions sought

Postby Rusty the Scoob » Mon Jan 14, 2013 7:20 am

The board doesn't really do attachments. Upload to a hosting service like imgur, and link to it. I'd like to see this!
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Re: Modulus/Lakland/Warwick opinions sought

Postby Todd GT5 » Mon Jan 14, 2013 10:39 am

beaner wrote:Well Rusty you spoke of a "slippery slope" in this thread.....

Thanks to Todd GT5 and his brother Jerry Dorsch at Graphite Guitar Systems I have hit that slope running like a piece of wax dipped in crisco. It's a swamp ash body, with graphite neck(obviously).

You can sort-of see the body outline, it's more of a six string body style than a bass. I took a pic from a website site one of the members here posted(something to the effect if you start looking at all these guitars you'll be gone for days...ebick maybe?). So I spent days looking at body types, woodgrain types, etc.
Now I am at the point where I am uncertain on what shade of stain. We discussed the finish and that will be satin. It was suggest that a tobacco stain finish would look good(YankeeTim) and after seeing a sample pic I kind-of agree. It would be great for some RUK member opinions to weigh-in on this to help a brother out.
I tried to post pic but I received a "Board attachment quota has been reached". Anyway, I am sooo excited about this bass! I have this forum to thank and all it's members and especially the Admin guys who keep it up and running. THANK YOU SO MUCH!
Also, Thanks to Todd GT5, I hope to meet you and jam some dueling bass!

-beaner


Hey!
Great to hear! This should be a great ride down that slippery slope. The guitar and two basses I had Jerry make for me, I gave him my general thoughts on asthetics and finish and trusted him to follow how the bass was leading him and his great taste. Definately go for what you love. I'm sure it will be awesome!

BTW, what kind of pick-ups and electronics are you going with?

I can't wait to see pics of your bass and hear your thoughts about it when you get it.

Keep in touch -Todd
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