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Cheap* Carbon Fiber neck bass


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Just spotted this on No Treble - a Carbon Fiber necked bass for under £700...

https://klosguitars.com/products/electric-bass-preorder

However, they are also taking preorder for nearly every other stringed instrument under the sun so this could be a case of spreading themselves too thin. Always cool to see new things though. 

Screenshot_20210611-075651.png

Edited by BassApprentice
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I think there's a very good reason that all decent quality graphite/carbon necked basses are expensive. If the part is made by a reputable builder, perhaps this is OK, but I doubt it is. If people's experience of buying 'replica' carbon framed 'Italian' bikes from China (aka Chinarello), whilst the manufacturers made/stole high precision moulds, the quality of the materials used left many people with broken bikes and in some cases quite serious injuries as the result. Graphite/carbon has the advantage of reducing the variation and unpredictability of materials such as wood and metal, but it requires high quality manufacturing and materials to do so. Take a good look at the weave on a Modulus neck or a Colnago or Pinarello bike, and then check out the weave on a cheap bass neck or Chinarello, perhaps equivalent to the difference between a newly cut off-cut and a selected, well-prepared and seasoned piece of quartersawn maple

Edited by Beedster
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+1 on the Peavey G-Basses. Fantastic instruments. Their reputation has pushed their prices up recently though.

I think this Klos lot have missed a trick - most bass players who'd be interested in a graphite-necked instrument would probably be more likely to play 5- or 6-strings, and they're not offering them, nor do they appear to have any plans to. 

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On 11/06/2021 at 19:09, Russ said:

+1 on the Peavey G-Basses. Fantastic instruments. Their reputation has pushed their prices up recently though.

I think this Klos lot have missed a trick - most bass players who'd be interested in a graphite-necked instrument would probably be more likely to play 5- or 6-strings, and they're not offering them, nor do they appear to have any plans to. 

Just googling status graphite, most of what comes up is four stringers. 

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On 11/06/2021 at 11:41, itu said:

consider buying a used Peavey G-bass,

 

On 11/06/2021 at 19:09, Russ said:

+1 on the Peavey G-Basses

Decent enough basses.

On 11/06/2021 at 08:24, Beedster said:

 it requires high quality manufacturing and materials to do so.

A very valid point. Peavey were quite late to the CF party (1997) and they took a novel approach. 

Under size necks were sent to a gun stock company , Bell & Carlson, for a carbon wrap. There was some problems getting a nice weave pattern, problem solved by a solid black finish 🙂 

1 hour ago, Musicman666 said:

Just googling status graphite, most of what comes up is four stringers. 

Peavey GV was a 5 string, essentially a CF neck Cirrus 5'er. 

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2 hours ago, Musicman666 said:

Just googling status graphite, most of what comes up is four stringers. 

http://www.status-graphite.com/status/pricelist/Status_Bass_Pricelist.pdf

You can take a look at their pages and find different configurations.

I understood that Peavey did collaboration with Modulus Graphite with the CF necks. That Bell & Carlson connection is new information to me.

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40 minutes ago, itu said:

I understood that Peavey did collaboration with Modulus Graphite with the CF necks. That Bell & Carlson connection is new information to me.

It's a common misunderstanding, helped along by Scott Groves calling the G-bass a "poor man's Modulus".

 

Modulus provided the necks for the B-Quad basses but not the G-basses, when asked Geoff Gould confirmed it was nothing to do with them.

The Bell & Carlson connection was provided by retired Peavey head mechanical engineer and sadly missed good friend Ronnie Goss.

 

Have a Happy Heavenly Birthday  tomorrow Ronnie.

 

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2 hours ago, kodiakblair said:

 

Decent enough basses.

A very valid point. Peavey were quite late to the CF party (1997) and they took a novel approach. 

Under size necks were sent to a gun stock company , Bell & Carlson, for a carbon wrap. There was some problems getting a nice weave pattern, problem solved by a solid black finish 🙂 

Peavey GV was a 5 string, essentially a CF neck Cirrus 5'er. 

I had both at one point - each sat in the “why did I sell those?” Pile.

E57E43F0-E3CE-4A09-8241-C74999184C0D.jpeg

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Not to sound negative as I actually think these look alright but the question I'm asking is "where have the corners been cut?". Carbon Fibre/Graphite necks are notoriously expensive to produce and even harder to get right (in terms of quality and tone).

IMO in the 40 years or so since they've been a thing, only Modulus and Status have managed it.

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having browsed through the rest of the website it seems like they've got a little bit of experience with carbon fibre necks, the acoustics all seem to have electric style bolt on necks so the bass necks and the electric necks aren't going to be a big leap. I'd expect the electrics and the hardware to be fairly standard no-name stuff, and the pickups will probably be re-branded generic chinese ones. they charge an extra 50 dollars if you want any colour other than white as well.

They offer a pro version as well which is a significant step up in price (although it comes with Fishman fluence pickups and no-extra cost colour options).

I am surprised that they haven't offered a 5 string option, but i guess if they sell enough of the 4's they might offer one at a later date.

I'll keep an eye on them, might be a decent base for modding if a used or ex-demo one pops up, i'm sure there will be some reviews as soon as the first basses are available.

 

Matt

 

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51 minutes ago, 40hz said:

but the question I'm asking is "where have the corners been cut?".

Is there a need to cut corners ?

The Apollo Pro is £1500 without VAT or import duty.

Fishman pickups are £200 inc the EQ /battery clip etc. Tusq nut is £10. Ash blank  £60. Bridge is a copy of the Gotoh 404BO , £90.

Tusq tuners, another £80. Premium gigbag , £20. I make that £460 but those are retail prices inc VAT. A US company could knock off say 30% off for buying wholesale, probably more than 30% since VAT here is 20%.

Leaves roughly £1200 for the CF neck and scratchplate. CF neck from Status is £500 inc VAT.

 

Since this business is already up and running all tooling/machining and suppliers are already in place. I wouldn't expect their costs to be higher than Rob's.

The idea was partly funded by Kickstarter to the tune of $60k, decent amount to iron out any hiccups .

 

 

 

 

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21 minutes ago, kodiakblair said:

Is there a need to cut corners ?

The Apollo Pro is £1500 without VAT or import duty.

Fishman pickups are £200 inc the EQ /battery clip etc. Tusq nut is £10. Ash blank  £60. Bridge is a copy of the Gotoh 404BO , £90.

Tusq tuners, another £80. Premium gigbag , £20. I make that £460 but those are retail prices inc VAT. A US company could knock off say 30% off for buying wholesale, probably more than 30% since VAT here is 20%.

Leaves roughly £1200 for the CF neck and scratchplate. CF neck from Status is £500 inc VAT.

 

Since this business is already up and running all tooling/machining and suppliers are already in place. I wouldn't expect their costs to be higher than Rob's.

The idea was partly funded by Kickstarter to the tune of $60k, decent amount to iron out any hiccups .

 

 

 

 

I was looking at the Apollo model at $949. Works out around £650 in £. Seems awfully cheap?

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2 hours ago, 40hz said:

I was looking at the Apollo model at $949. Works out around £650 in £. Seems awfully cheap?

Not as cheap as you'd think.

20 year back CF was $150 per lb, by 2008 it was down to $10 per lb. Next few years it's expected to hover around $5 to $7.

What does a neck weigh, 2 lbs ?

 

These Klos folks use an awful lot of CF with their products, to them it'll be no different than buying in timber.

 

Another thing to remember is those are pre-order prices. If the products take off, prices will jump. Those RedSub fanned frets went from £280 to £370 over just 8 months.

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Hm not really a fan of the look but it’s an interesting proposition. I hope it’s a full carbon neck rather than wrapped wood. Not all carbon is created equal though so using it isn’t a guarantee of anything. They really need to sort out that website and the videos though. 

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16 hours ago, ped said:

Not all carbon is created equal though 

Some are more equal than others :lol:

I don't know about Klos' process, but I do know they have a fair bit of experience with building carbon instruments. This is their first bass design, but they've been building all-carbon acoustic travel guitars and ukuleles for about 5 years. Their site mentions they outsource the manufacturing of many parts to suppliers in USA, Canada, China, Korea, and Brazil, but doesn't state which ones. I wonder if that includes any carbon parts! 

Some of their higher-end acoustics (the ukuleles at least) appear to be a one-piece mold, their cheaper acoustics have wooden necks bolt-on to a carbon body shell. 

Edited by LeftyJ
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