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Warwick 4-String Thumb Bolt-On


Ajax

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I'm in the market for a new bass. I'm currently working a 4-string Fender Deluxe P-Bass Special thru a Genz-Benz ML-200 15. I use a pick, and play primarily '70's and '80's Rock, no tapping or plucking. I use D-R Low Rider strings. I'm looking for more punch in my mids- I've tweaked both the bass & amp to no avail. I understand that the Warwicks excel in this area.

 

Fact is, I really like the way this bass looks, and it's in my price range. But I'm about 100+ miles from a store that carries Warwicks. I'd have to order it online from someone with a good return policy.

 

Based on what I've detailed on my gear and style, would it be worth my trouble to order this bass for an in-home audition?

 

Thanks folks, I appreciate all the help I can get!

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Absolutely, a friend of mine has exactly that bass and loves it. It has a great punchy sound and is really reliable. Also they guy from Puddle of Mudd plays one, so I guess it's a sound that'll work in a rock band.
Free your mind and your ass will follow.
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I've only played a couple of Warwicks in my time; one was a Corvette when I sat in on a gig, the other was a Streamer in a shop. I loved the feel of the Corvette but the Streamer's neck just didn't feel right to me and I didn't enjoy playing it.

 

Based on that experience, I'd advise against buying a Warwick unless you get to test it out a few times.

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If you're ordering from somewhere with a good return policy, and based on the research you've done you think that this bass has the potential to be the right one for you and your situation, you should go for it. If you haven't considered any other models, it might be worth trying to get some info on others in your price range before you commit to ordering.

 

If you really like the feel of your current bass, but are looking for a different sound, you can always compare certain specs/info to have an idea of how similar the two instruments will feel -- for example: scale length, fret size, fingerboard radius, string spacing, weight, and neck shape.

 

I've only played Warwicks in stores. I've played a Warwick Thumb bolt-on. I liked the sound, but I didn't like the feel of the neck. That's me.

 

Good luck.

spreadluv

 

Fanboy? Why, yes! Nordstrand Pickups and Guitars.

Messiaen knew how to parlay the funk.

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The Thumb is a great bass, TONS of punch. Howeverm they have a very funny body shape. Aside from the shape you see in a front view, the entire bass in concave (meaning that when you hold it, the body curves away from you). I would get a chance to play one before buying (I decided to go with a Corvette with active electronics since I didn't like the body shape). I'm not saying that it is shaped poorly, just that it might not fit some people. If the place you order from has a good return policy (like Carvin) then go for it, Warwicks are sweet basses.
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Ajax.... What you need is a Warwick Corvette pre 1994, if you can find one. Ash body and all wenge neck with the brass nut. Keep the MEC pickups in there or throw in some EMG's or Seymour Duncans, (Bartolini's are too mellow in my opinion), and look out. Mid-Punch Heaven. I know this from first hand experience. I did it. But like a dumbass, I turned around and sold it for a $300.00 profit. Damn ebay, I do it all the time!! But that's ok, the band I'm in now is all blues and classics, I don't need that much mids.

Good luck!

Hawk :)

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I say go for it! I own a Thumb Bolt-on and love it! I actually went into Guitar Center to buy a Pedulla M.V.P. and ended up with the Warwick! If you are looking for punch, this bass has it. If you want enough bite and growl to send your neighbor's dog running, then this is it. I can't say enough good things about this bass. Great tone, feel, and really comes through in the mix for me. I have great respect for Fender, but I could never go back to one after owning a Warwick. It's worth it!
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BNC... In reply "Why Pre-'94?".

I'm no pro at bass dating and manufacturing by far.... I had played/tried most Warwick Corvettes made in the 90's up until the plastic nut era. The '94 and earlier just seem better built. I was also told that around that time was when manufacturing shifted into high gear. You know what happens then....

This is just my own personal opinion. Thank you.

Hawk :D

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Originally posted by Cuahtemoc:

My advice, if you currently play a P-Bass and want punchier mids:

 

get a stingray.

If you want more mid-mids, do not get a Stingray. They are great basses but their midrange is much lower pitched than on the P-bass which has a more clanky twangy thump to it. Many Warwicks on the other hand have a thick compressed growly midrange, like a more complex version of a Fender's mids, somewhere between the P growl and bridge J growl.

 

The Stingray (although one of *the* classic and great basses along with the P and the J) can be a nightmare to record in contexts where the bass meant to be upfront in anything other than a slap situation. It has fantastic lows that sit great in a rock situation (see AC/DC) and has possibly the greatest slap tone of any production bass (as opposed to Marcus's Sadowsky'd J-bass) but the the tone is a bit too scooped out for growly fingerstyle unless you *really* dig in by the bridge. Note that Flea stopped recording with Stingrays after Mother's Milk except for the odd slap track (like Aeroplane). He used a Wal on BSSM and an Alembic Epic on OHM.

 

If you're not in a hurry to get a new bass, keep a look out for older Warwicks on ebay. The 'plastic' nut that is so reviled is actually a decent graphite adjustable nut - I retrofitted one to my '87 Warwick and have no complaints about it at all - the tone's just as good as the original brass nut and it's allowed me to set up the bass really well. However the new basses now have Ovangkol necks which I am very dubious about. They're a really recent change, in the last 2 years or so so if you go for a 2000 or earlier model you should be ok. Also the deep 'baseball' necks that Warwicks are becoming known for are a recent feature, possibly due to ovangkol being less stiff than wenge and more being needed to retain the punchy tone.

 

There was a very early Warwick up on ebay recently that was discussed on talkbass. See if you can track that down because it looks awesome - one of the first ever Streamers, so early that it it has a Spector-esque headstock and no big W on the headstock. Other than that it looked identical to my '87 model and was going for about $500. Bargain of the year!

 

Alex

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The bridge pickup of that Deluxe P-Bass should garner you plenty of midrange already...

 

A Warwick Thumb will have a darker sound because of the wood. You'll probably like it, but hold onto the Fender. Sooner or later you'll run into an engineer who will hate your Warwick because it isn't a fender.

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