Phil's Modulus Basses - a pictorial history

Re: Phil's Modulus Basses - a pictorial history

Postby Rusty the Scoob » Mon Jun 13, 2011 9:42 am

Cool! Hopefully one of those will trickle down my way in the used market in a year or two when I'm ready.

I'm curious about all these 4, 5 and 6 string basses all reportedly being made from the same mold. Isn't that impossible given the different neck widths?
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Re: Phil's Modulus Basses - a pictorial history

Postby RiverRat » Mon Jun 13, 2011 10:02 am

Rusty the Scoob wrote:Cool! Hopefully one of those will trickle down my way in the used market in a year or two when I'm ready.

I'm curious about all these 4, 5 and 6 string basses all reportedly being made from the same mold. Isn't that impossible given the different neck widths?


I don't think that ALL the necks were made from the same mold. It's just that #2 was a 4 string width neck that was converted to a 6 string. My understanding was that Modulus made a LOT of different neck molds during the early years. There may have been some that were used for a build different that the original one.

I think that it came down to Modulus designing the #2 neck to be stiffer than the 4 string version to compensate for the additional string tension from the 2 extra strings since there was no truss rod.
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Re: Phil's Modulus Basses - a pictorial history

Postby Charlie » Mon Jun 13, 2011 8:31 pm

I know a couple of left handed bass players who can play right handed quite competently but no right handers (including myself)who play lefty. I think it's partly because lefties get to play right handed instruments a bit more and they may not always have had access to left handed instruments when younger.

As for Phil, he came to the bass as an adult so must have made a concious decision about the way he was going to approach it.
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Re: Phil's Modulus Basses - a pictorial history

Postby RiverRat » Wed Jun 15, 2011 7:09 am

Updated the first post to include pics of the 3 Post Grateful Dead Modulus basses.
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Re: Phil's Modulus Basses - a pictorial history

Postby RiverRat » Wed Jun 15, 2011 7:30 am

Rusty the Scoob wrote:"I forget what happened to the 4th.


#4 ended up in the hands of Tiran Porter:

Image

Image

EDIT: I don't believe Sean's bass was made from the same mold as the 4... his is a 24 fret neck where all of the 4 were 26 fret.
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Re: Phil's Modulus Basses - a pictorial history

Postby RiverRat » Wed Jun 15, 2011 11:38 am

Added a picture of Phil newest Modulus, this is possibly a custom 2010 TBX reissue. Regular body size with a 26 fret through neck.
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Re: Phil's Modulus Basses - a pictorial history

Postby Rusty the Scoob » Wed Jun 15, 2011 12:06 pm

RiverRat wrote:
Rusty the Scoob wrote:Cool! Hopefully one of those will trickle down my way in the used market in a year or two when I'm ready.

I'm curious about all these 4, 5 and 6 string basses all reportedly being made from the same mold. Isn't that impossible given the different neck widths?


I don't think that ALL the necks were made from the same mold. It's just that #2 was a 4 string width neck that was converted to a 6 string. My understanding was that Modulus made a LOT of different neck molds during the early years. There may have been some that were used for a build different that the original one.

I think that it came down to Modulus designing the #2 neck to be stiffer than the 4 string version to compensate for the additional string tension from the 2 extra strings since there was no truss rod.



Oh, yeah - I remember hearing that #2 was built in a 4-string neck mold and therefore had a VERY skinny fretboard. No wonder it didn't stay around long.

There's a Geoff Gould Q5 clone prototype with a trussrod that pops up on Ebay from time to time at a good price, or at least it did a few months ago. Can't help wondering about that one, although reportedly there's no real point to the trussrod.
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Re: Phil's Modulus Basses - a pictorial history

Postby Phil Lesh101 » Wed Jun 15, 2011 7:24 pm

RiverRat wrote:
Phil Lesh101 wrote:I beleive Phil used a 36'' not 35'' or 34''


There is no evidence to support claims that any of the basses had a 36" scale length. Given the design flaws and high cost of the early monocoque trussless throughneck construction technique, it's doubtful that they would have attempted it repeatedly.

Because of Geoff Gould's goal of a trussless neck, neck and phenolic fingerboards had to be engineered to have the proper relief based only on the string tension. So each change in scale length, neck width or even string gauge meant that a new mold had to be made for both pieces of the neck. This also is the reason Modulus contracted to have strings engineered for their own product line. The basic goal was that the string have a specific tension when tuned to pitch to guarantee that the neck relief was correct.

Discussion thread on Alembic Club about Modulus necks and their design:

http://alembic.com/club/messages/449/47317.html

And a another on BassChat UK:

http://wiki.basschat.co.uk/info:tech:use_of_composites_graphite_necks_in_bass_guitar_design

A thread on Talkbass about the early TBX's:

http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f8/modulus-tbx-pics-382258/

Coincidently, that thread has posts from a member who not only sold Mike Gordon his first 5 string TBX, but he also owns a 4 string pre-TBX made from the same mold used to make Phil's 2nd Modulus... no mention of super long scale length.

Photo gallery of the 4 string TBX:

http://s89.photobucket.com/albums/k206/tsarter/ModulusTBX/

Phil Lesh101 wrote: Yes This is a Different Modulus, He added the Delightful Black Pick Guard on it, and yes He used a 36'' Scale :peas:


The pickguard was added due to this bass having the wired fret MIDI installed. It's the nearly the same as the other black cherry cocobola TBX 6. Geoff Gould stated that both of these basses are 26 fret 34" scale necks.

It was a 34'' scale Im sorry i dont know what i was thinking when i wrote that, Thanks for Straitin me out! :)
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Re: Phil's Modulus Basses - a pictorial history

Postby seanc » Fri Jul 08, 2011 2:17 pm

jdsmodulus wrote:yes Waldo they did. I always look for the spider on the headstock when looking at custom builds. As opposed to the traditional "X" This sets them apart somehow but not sure other than to mark its a special.


I am not clear what this means. Are you talking about the Modulus logo?
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Re: Phil's Modulus Basses - a pictorial history

Postby Phil Lesh101 » Fri Jul 08, 2011 8:00 pm

Charlie wrote:As for Phil, he came to the bass as an adult so must have made a concious decision about the way he was going to approach it.

When he started Playing bass he was in his early 20's, But he never Played Lefty.
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Re: Phil's Modulus Basses - a pictorial history

Postby jdsmodulus » Sat Jul 09, 2011 11:13 am

seanc wrote:
jdsmodulus wrote:yes Waldo they did. I always look for the spider on the headstock when looking at custom builds. As opposed to the traditional "X" This sets them apart somehow but not sure other than to mark its a special.


I am not clear what this means. Are you talking about the Modulus logo?

Yes the logo changes from an X type to a spider indicating custom shop. (bass only)
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Re: Phil's Modulus Basses - a pictorial history

Postby seanc » Sat Jul 09, 2011 11:55 am

Still not getting it. What is this spider thing?
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Re: Phil's Modulus Basses - a pictorial history

Postby jdsmodulus » Sat Jul 09, 2011 5:49 pm

I will look for a pic of it, the Spider is rare and only is put on custom shop basses. It is just a logo that is slightly different than the traditional "X", thus resembeling a spider.
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Re: Phil's Modulus Basses - a pictorial history

Postby seanc » Sun Jul 10, 2011 5:34 am

I posted pics of both of my modulus basses with the logo. This as well as jeff's Bobby ace guitar all have the same logo. All of these are absolutely custom. I would suspect that maybe this logo change may be some post Gould development?
The J bass neck was the last one they made and slated to go to a very famous person. But due to a lot of things GG sent to me due to all the delays..
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Re: Phil's Modulus Basses - a pictorial history

Postby Phil Lesh101 » Sun Jul 10, 2011 7:32 am

Image

Image

Phil in 87-89 had these basses custome But they still had The X on the head, And on The Hole FretBoard!
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