Question: What strings do you use?
Stock strings on Modern Vintage Basses are Stainless Steel Roundwound (no name brand) or Elrick Fundamentals Stainless Roundwound.. Medium gauge (.045-.065-.085-.105) stainless steel.
Question: Do you offer other pickups / electronics (pre-amp)?
We do not offer pickup substitutions or the addition of any preamp or circuity. The Modern Vintage line of products was designs to represent a specific time capture of some of the best guitars and basses ever made and all of our instruments are passive. They are a custom design with the specs taken from our vintage collection. We think that they sound great and the only to change them is if the current ones are damaged.
Question: What size allen keys do I need to adjust my truss rod and bridge?
The allen key for the neck should be 4mm only. Using the wrong size will void the warranty, so make sure that you only use the proper hex key. Anything else will damage the truss rod, which means a new neck. We not be able to repair the truss rod, but will help getting a replacement neck built for you – it is not inexpensive! The Bridge hex key is 1.5mm. Also, use the proper size to keep from damaging the bridge saddle screws. If you did not receive a tool kit with your new instrument, contact your dealer.
Question: How do I adjust my truss rod?
If you are not confident you know how to properly adjust your truss rod please seek assistance from a qualified technician. The truss rod is intended to compensate for the forward bow caused by the tension of the strings. In order to remove forward bow the rod needs to be tightened, turn the nut clockwise (from the bass to treble side on right handed instruments.) Always adjust the rod a small amount at a time (usually 1/8 to 1/4 turn.) Never over-tighten or force the adjustment nut, forcing the nut may damage the rod or nut.
Question: What woods are available?
Bodies – We use as much vintage material as possible and Alder is used for the bodies. A little heavier than Swamp Ash, but Alder embodies the tight focus and rich low-end desired by most vintage players. We are always thinking about other models and series of instruments, but none have matched the tone of Alder for the instrument body.
Necks – Torrified Maple is the material used on all of the MV instruments. This tonewood in combination with our headstock design has resulted in the elimination of the ‘dead-spot’ or ‘wolf-tone’ found on many vintage instruments.
Fretboards – We source two different fretboard materials, Indian Rosewood and Torrified Maple. The first fingerboard material is Indian Rosewood. Pau Ferrro, Bolivian Rosewood (which is not a which is real rosewood) or any number of other Rosewood substitutes are often used by other builders, but not us. The other wood choice is torrified maple, again for its tonal properties and affordability, but also to create a fingerboard that is stable with even note energy. There is a reason that Indian Rosewood and Maple have been used for such a long time by builders for a many reasons – it is affordble, is is easy to build with and relatively good supply.
- MVP4-62 – Alder Body w/ Indian Rosewood fingerboard only
- MVJ4-66 – Alder Body w/ Indian Rosewood fingerboard only
- MVS-64 – Alder body w/ Indian Rosewood fingerboard only
- MVT-64 – Alder body w/ Indian Rosewood fingerboard only (a few Torrified Maple)
- MVP4-72 – Alder body w/ either Indian Rosewood or Torrified Maple
- MVJ4-72 – Alder body w/ either Indian Rosewood or Torrified Maple
- MVJ5-75 – Alder body w/ either Indian Rosewood or Torrified Maple
Question: How about neck shapes? I feel like the P-type ’62 series is too big for me. Also, do you make a P-type bass with a j-type neck?
First, the ’62 series P-type bass neck is only 1/4″ of an inch wider at the nut than the traditonal J-type neck. The neck carve for our ’62 P-type series basses were taken directly from our ’59, ’61 & ’62 P-type vintage instruments. These vintage P-type necks do have the 1-3/4″ nut width, but are very thin from front to back, with little wood on the shoulders. It is very comfortable and if you have never played a vintage bass, you will be surprised and pleased. Our ’66 J-type neck width is 1-1/2″ and the carve was taken from our ’60 stack-knob, ’63 and a ’66 J-type basses. They got it right on the money. We do not offer a J-type neck on a P-type instrument. Our ’72 P-type bass is only 1/8″ wider than a J-type instrument. It is very comfortable and has an extremely fast playing neck.
Question: I have seen a friend’s Modern Vintage guitar and it seemed like you could see the grain of the wood under the finish and where the finish has settled into the grain.
That is within specification and not unusual at all. We use a very thin, flexible Urethane Lacquer finish on our instruments, very similar to the finish used on vintage instruments. Some builders use wood fillers, primers and apply multiple coats of finish to achieve that ‘M&M’ type of finish. We only apply the thin, flexible finish coats to maximize the potential resonance of the body of the instrument. The more resonant, the richer the tone the instrument can produce. We want the MV instruments to be best sounding guitars and basses that you can buy!
Question: Where is my serial number and how old is my instrument?
The serial number is located on the back of the headstock. We do not keep logs of when each instrument is built, so there is no information as to the age.
Question: Does Modern Vintage Guitars and Basses sell instruments direct?
Yes, we are the largest Modern Vintage dealer in the world at this time. We have dealers in the USA and around the world. Check our dealer list or contact us and we will help you find someone in your area, if possible. If not, we are happy to assist you.
Question: How do I contact Modern Vintage Guitars and Basses?
Click on one of two links in the Menu under ‘Contact’