Moses Graphite Jump Bass Fretless Reviews 5

Bass Northwest [online] $800 with gigbag, in almost mint condition. I was just browsing the bassnw used bass inventory, saw this, and I already knew what these are, but I had never heard of a 34" version [all Moses company info says that their 4 string is 42"].

Weight and balance are terrific, about 7lb and the strap button on the horn is beyond [leftward] of the octave, so with no headstock it hangs however you want. It's also very compact to carry, as the tophorn pivots down toward the body for packing and travel. Tone is very "pure" sounding, nothing artificial from the active system, and can be dialed anywhere from thud to honk, motown to jazzy-stringy fretless mwahh. There is a master gain and a PU balancer [fader] knob, much easier than typical systems with seperate gain for each PU. Neck profile is super comfortable, wide and flat, the shape of a good 5 or 6 string neck even though it's a 4. My aching thumb joint finally has relief. Neck finish is almost like teflon. It's a lined fretless, which I prefer. Headless intruments tune from the bottom end, which I find very convenient, and they seem, as a design genre, to stay in tune much better than conventional tune- at-the-headstock designs.

I can't put it down. Not just because it plays so nice, but because it won't fit any of my various types of guitar stands. And you can't just lean it up against the wall or your speakers because the tuning knobs are the bottom-most protruding part if you try that. The control knobs are on the edge of the body, near your right elbow. I don't bump them while playing but they are not convenient to reach. OTOH, you seldom need to mess with the knobs because most every sound from this ax is great. I'd rather have this situation than easy-to- reach knobs ... but that require constant twiddling on some basses that you have to redial for every song to sound decent.

Much is alredy described above, so here's the rest: Stcked 2-channel EQ next to the gain knobs, jack on the back edge so it points straight back near the tuners. Very dense 1-piece graphite-resin neck and body with wooden top horn and "Diamondwood" fingerboard [synthetic wood made from wood byproducts?]. Very dense neck & body send string vibrations into players hands and body. You know it sounds great before you even plug in. Four cylindrical tuneable mono-bridges sit at the rear edge, and a clamping device at the head of the neck allows usw of normal 34" strings [no need for double ball sets]. PUs are either wide soapbars or fat jazz PUs. Hard to say. There is a moderate amount of noise if you set the 2 PU gains to very different levels, much less than from most JJ basses but a bit more than I expect from an exceptional ax like this. PUs are marked "Moses" but most Moses info refers to Lace Sensor PUs. Who knows. Neck-body graphite unit feels like you could really domolish a wall with it but I'd suggest removing the wooden top horn before busting any walls. Not that the horn is fragile, but it's an attached moveable part, not integral to the main graphite structure. Theres a recessed clamping knob on the back of the body to lock the moveable top horn in its traveling or playing position [or anywhere between]. It's a machine bolt thread and fits a metal socket in the body. No great force is needed here. The fingerboard is very thick, sounds very hard and resonant when playing, and feels smoother than plain wood. I think its a molded product made with wood fiber and a superhard resin binder. It a full 24 fret scale but fretless. Nut is some sort of black plastic, no zero fret :(

Words like "smooth" & "solid" pop to mind for feel, action, tone, & structure of it. Very ergonomic in playing position [but for the control knob location], and seems unable to produce an unpleasant sound [I have black nylon covered flats on it]. Beautifully designed and built. Although the result is not beautiful to look upon, the beauty is all in the playing, and the easy load on your shoulder, and small bag to carry. It's not ugly, just "exotic". I haven't found a stand for it yet, but assuming that I will, I rate this ax a 5.

Golem rated this unit 5 on 2004-05-07.

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