Modulus Bass Past, Present, and Future Owners, and those who are just curious as to what’s up with Modulus.
My name is Tony Cimperman, and I’m the owner of Planet Bass™, a high end bass guitar shop in Maple Grove, Minnesota. We cater to players seeking high end, boutique basses with a major focus on instruments and gear built right here in the USA. For well over a decade, I’ve enjoyed working with builders of some of the finest bass guitars on the planet. Builders who tip their cap to Leo Fender, but who said-you know what, we can do it better.
One such builder we worked with was Modulus Bass Guitars.
Modulus Bass was an anchor line for us from the very beginning. Minnesota experiences significant temperature and humidity swings throughout the year. Swings that will no doubt affect the playability of wood neck instruments as the seasons change. Carbon fiber necks on Modulus basses are virtually unaffected by changes in temperature, humidity, and altitude. Planet Bass initially stocked a few Modulus basses, and continued to get great feedback from clients on the instruments we sold. Our Modulus inventory went from three to six, six turned to ten, ten turned to twenty, and so on and so on. It was common for us to have 40 Modulus basses in stock / on order.
As the years passed, other builders we worked with continued to raise their prices at steady intervals. Modulus was the last to ever implement a price increase, and would often go five years or more without adjusting their pricing. All this time Modulus was experiencing price increases from their vendors. The fact that Modulus didn’t increase their pricing to help cover those costs hurt the company. The quality of materials and craftsmanship that went into building and delivering a Modulus was far too high for the amount the basses were bringing in. Modulus was building an aerospace grade neck for every instrument, and selling it as if it was a commodity you could buy at Walmart. Price increases are healthy. They’re a way for a company who is faced with the increasing costs of raw materials and overhead to cover the costs. That means they can keep the lights on without sacrificing quality.
Other factors impacted Modulus as well. Without funding the Research and Development Modulus had once been known for, new product offerings had become minimal. And as a dealer for Modulus, it was not uncommon for us to hear customers complain about the level of customer service they received when they tried to contact the factory. Rather than put out an inferior product, Modulus fought hard to keep the quality of the instruments they were building high. It was admirable for them to do that, but these shortcomings ultimately sealed the fate of Modulus Guitars as a company. Modulus Guitars filed for bankruptcy in December of 2013.
Today, we are announcing that we have acquired the rights to Modulus. The company going forward is named Modulus® Graphite, a tip of the cap to the original days of innovation. We are dedicated to bringing Modulus back as an American made boutique bass company, and ensuring the level of quality that you have come to know and trust when purchasing a Modulus instrument.
Modulus Bass guitars will continue to be designed and manufactured in the USA. Current production numbers are 2-4 instruments per month. We are putting a great deal of time and resources into research and development for the Modulus line. We are working with 30-year Modulus veteran Joe Perman, who was the lead designer / master builder at Modulus. The previous pricing structure is a thing of the past. Pricing has been adjusted to help cover increases in materials, skilled labor, overhead, and advancing the line with R&D for the future.
Thanks to every one of you for your support over the years. We are extremely excited to be able to put Modulus back into the hands of players around the world!