Leo's "Final Frontier"

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Postby El Tookay » Tue Aug 25, 2009 9:08 pm

Yes, it can be done. After my own misadventures with G&L necks that go sour, and Nig's El Toro that had a sacked truss rod, I figured I'd be the BABP test pilot for a Moses neck swap. First, Steve at Moses is great, and if he doesn't get back to you right away, it's because he is actually working in the plant. My emails were answered promptly, not within five minutes, but certainly not several days' wait. I ordered a MM-144, 21 fret replacement for Musicman/ G&L, without face dots. The neck arrived with all the mounting hardware needed to attach to a six- bolt set-up. My concern was the middle bolt which is directly under the 'truss rod', which only adjusts relief. Steve assured me that one of the brass fitments modified/ shortened, would leave enough clearance for the adjuster.

If you don't know what you're doing or are unsure, TAKE IT TO A PRO!!! You will need a drill press, a 19/64ths bit, clamps, and a lot of patience! Remove the existing neck, and fit the Moses neck in the pocket- don't be too surprised if it's super tight. The neck is made to have allowances for sanding in the fitting process. Clamp in place, and scribe your holes. Unclamp, and on your drill press, drill the 19/64th" holes for the fitments. The top two can be tapped in right away, but the third will take some time tapping. Shorten one fitment, and insert into the middle hole.
Neck-swap 015.jpg
tapping shortened fitment
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Neck-swap 005.jpg
fitments installed

Once you have the fitments in, you can begin the onerous task of drilling screw holes for your tuners, and installing the tuner bushings. A reamer could be used, but go slow- I chose to use a small press to install the bushings. Once the tuners are installed, you can bolt it together, cut the supplied graphite nut, and string up. The neck will take a few hours to come to tension, at which time you can adjust the relief. This will suck, because in order to get to the bolt, the neck has to come off. Patience!

Here's a downside. The heel of the neck is a MM profile, that is, rounded, where G&L's use the squared, Tele-bass style of heel. This will cause a visual gap, but the neck is so tight, you won't notice any loss of energy transfer. The pic's show the gap, and the Moses neck heel up against a MM Stingray heel:
Neck-swap 008.jpg
heel gap
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Neck-swap 010.jpg
Moses v. MM heel

The Moses neck is a 21 fret unit, and the 24 fret units are no longer available, although I'm sure that Steve still has the molds for the 24 fret one.

The Moses neck adds a bit of weight, so you may want to carefully consider doing an ASAT. The feel is like an old StingRay, 1-5/8 at the nut, and not too fat around the back. Fretwork is excellent. Looks good, too- here's the Black Swirl fretless with the Moses neck:
Neck-swap 006.jpg

Soundroom report- the Moses neck has a tonality that is unlike Modulus or Status necks, in it sounds very warm for a composite, almost as if the neck were made entirely of ebony. Oh, it can be bright, but focused, and like ebony, a touch compressed- a good thing for, say a Climax or an unruly El Toro. I tried the neck on two of my Tookay's, the fretless Black Swirl, and my #1. The alder body of the fretless seemed to interact better, and do more. i am OCD-fussy about the sound of the Crown Royal Tiger, and the big ash body mixed with the composite sounded too compressed for my taste, and made the bass sound almost too 'woody'. YMMV, but I'll stick with the stock neck for the ash. These necks on a 'hog Wunkay body would sound super-fat and very even.

I did encounter a problem with the center fitment, while removing one of the stainless steel bolts, the fitment tore out a chunk of the composite. Lepage's 'Steel Epoxy" into the hole and around the outer threads of the fitment = good to go.

We now have a viable option for the 'pooched truss rod', or 'ski-jump from hell'. Maybe not a perfect solution, but for $369.75 USD, it might get a few project G&L's off the shelf. As for me, the stock neck is back on the Tiger, and the fretless neck is back on the fretless for now, as I have a few gigs coming up where I can go toofless. If anyone has any questions, send me a PM,and I'll try to help.
-Craig M./......mantra:-" StanleyGeddyOxStu JacoPinoRoccoDuck'n'Chuck"
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El Tookay
Location: Vancouver


Postby zuma » Fri Sep 04, 2009 7:03 am

Awesome. I am really thinking of going with Moses for my twisted Jazz neck.
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Location: East Los Angeles


Postby BCbassman » Mon Sep 21, 2009 6:14 am

So you are not having any issues with putting the Moses neck on a variety of 3-bolt bodies?
Is that because the 3 bolters are more conisistent in their dimensions than later G&L's?

I have always heard that G&L necks were somewhat unique in their neck pockets, but that could be wrong.

I once got a Valentine from a lesbian. It made me wonder if she wanted to start something or just compare notes.
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Location: Washington D.C. suburb


Postby El Tookay » Mon Sep 21, 2009 7:37 am

I've had the neck on 96 and 97 model year basses, as well as 80 and 84. So far, I've had no issues with the pocket or bolt pattern lining up. One thing I did notice is that the older G&L's have a shallower neck pocket, resulting in raising the bridge saddles up pretty high. Also, I've found that some older G&L's greatly benefit from the much-maligned micro-tilt, allowing for very precise dialling-in of the action. Obviously, this feature isn't going to be used with the Moses neck, as there is no steel disc under the heel, although, one could be installed using a correct size forstner bit and a dab of epoxy.

I still think these necks ore the best option to get great basses back to life. There aren't too many G&L necks on FleaBay, and especially f you're looking for, say, El Toro or Interceptor necks [smilie=fun_84.gif] [smilie=fun_84.gif] [smilie=fun_84.gif] .
-Craig M./......mantra:-" StanleyGeddyOxStu JacoPinoRoccoDuck'n'Chuck"
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El Tookay
Location: Vancouver

Tributes? :-)

Postby temcat » Wed Oct 07, 2009 1:21 pm

BTW. Has anybody tried to put a Moses neck on a Tribute (L2K, SB2 or JB2)?


Postby El Tookay » Fri Oct 09, 2009 7:33 am

Moses on a Tribby should work fine, lots of room for six bolts. There's still the issue of access to the 'relief adjuster' at the heel to consider, and the fact that Moses uses a rounded profile heel rather than a squared profile. As always, if you're not sure, take it to a tech.
-Craig M./......mantra:-" StanleyGeddyOxStu JacoPinoRoccoDuck'n'Chuck"
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El Tookay
Location: Vancouver

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