Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

 #102806  by Rusty the Scoob
 Wed Aug 31, 2011 1:48 pm
No doubt about it, there are far more brands of strings than manufacturers of strings. (3 or 4 manufacturers total is my understanding) Still, each brand is made with different alloys, wrap sizes, quality control standards, etc.
 #102898  by Todd GT5
 Fri Sep 02, 2011 3:47 pm
Hello all. This is a subject I find quite interesting. I've applied different era's of phil's sound and other great bass players and have come up with my current rig/sound. I used to work at Modulus with my brother Jerry Dorsch, and was fairly brain washed about basses.

What I found is I love the build quality and stability of a Modulus or in my current case Graphite Guitar Systems(GGS) and the more open, organic, aggressive sound of single coil pick-ups and passive tone and volume controls. I'm using Nordstrand's "Big Singles" and passive-jazz bass style VVT controls.

I'm also using D'Addario Chromes flatwounds. I was using Ken Smith Slickrounds and still like them a lot, but I really dig the smooth woody tone I'm getting on my D and G strings with the flats.

I guess I'm finding my own sound but I'm finding I can cop a cool 60's & 70's sounds and still pull of usable tones for the more modern stuff.

BTW, the graphite = sterille modern sound, I've totally proven that I can get warm old school sounds, but strings and pick-ups had to change.

 #102907  by Rusty the Scoob
 Sat Sep 03, 2011 5:50 am
You have a great point - the reputation that Modulus has for being sterile is largely because most people use EMG soapbars and electronics and roundwound strings with them. Sounds like you've found a great compromise between reliability and warmth.

I made sure to have graphite stiffener bars in the neck of my Fender and I love it.... if it loses any tone because of them I can't tell, but I can sure tell that it never needs tweaking!

I'd like to hear more about working at Modulus when you have time!
 #102943  by Todd GT5
 Sun Sep 04, 2011 11:35 am
Hey Rusty The Scoob,
Sure, here's my Modulus story:

For my senior year of high school(80-81), I was privlaged to work with my brother Jerry and Geoff Gould and others at the Menlo Park shop. I got credit for school in the "work experience" elective class. While I was there I got to perform many different duties from laying up necks at "Tech Plastics" in Scotts Valley, kitting up for neck lay-ups, installing frets and lots of sanding. At some point after that the operations were divided to two locations, San Francisco for sales, assembly and eventually neck lay-ups and curing and San Jose for most of the wood working, remaining neck assembly and finish work. I went on to work there in San Jose for awhile, before moving on to the welding trade. I did stay in touch with what was going on because of my brother Jerry.

While I was there I was able to see many beautiful instruments and see part of the evolution of a very cool company at an exciting time. I got to work on instruments for some of my musical heroes and spend quality time with my wonderful brother Jerry!

Thanks for letting me share - Todd
Last edited by Todd GT5 on Mon Sep 05, 2011 5:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.