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How to balance the Warwick Thumb BO?


snovbass

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Hi, i have bought the Warwick Thumb bolt-on bass and i love it. But i have a small (or big?) problem. It is not balanced very well. The neck is falling down a little bit when i have it on my shoulders. Is there anyone who could give me an advice, what can i do to make this instrument balanced?

 

BTW: And what about the other Thumbs? Are they having the same problems?

 

Thanks a lot!

bass is my lifestyle!
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See the strap extender on the lower horn?

http://users3.ev1.net/~woodd/ricken.jpg

 

I knew a guy who put one on his Thumb and said it cured the balance problem for him. Found this on Ebay somewhere a couple of years ago.

You can stop now -jeremyc

STOP QUOTING EVERY THING I SAY!!! -Bass_god_offspring

lug, you should add that statement to you signature.-Tenstrum

I'm not sure any argument can top lug's. - Sweet Willie

 

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I'm not sure what tuners are on the Warwicks these days but you could get a set of the Schaller Boron tuners from Warmoth. These weigh about 1/2 what typical tuners weigh and can make a huge difference. Installation isn't easy, there are two holes that need to be drilled to locate two pins on the back of the tuner body. To get the holes in exactly the right place requires a jig or some very careful measurements.
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I've seen both tricks used on Warwick Thumbs to defeat the tiny body, short horn and hefty dense neck issue. Most Thumbs have the rear strap button quite far up around the upper bout, but for some inexplicable reason Warwick shifted it back the the middle of the body on some models. Definitely move it if that's the case!

 

I also know one bassist (great fusion player from Bristol, toured with Ian Anderson) that replaced the front strap button with a 6" long coach bolt, which stopped his 6-string Thumb from neck diving. Quite an elegant solution - no-one really notices the bolt when you're wearing it and it totally solves the balance issue.

 

Alex

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I also know one bassist (great fusion player from Bristol, toured with Ian Anderson) that replaced the front strap button with a 6" long coach bolt, which stopped his 6-string Thumb from neck diving.
...Pretty much what lug did with at least one rightie bass to get extension when using it leftie.

 

David mentioned lighter tuners; Hiphot Ultralights are another option.

 

Got a name on that Jethro Tull player? I really liked the guy on the LIVING WITH THE PAST DVD.

.
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Do a search on "neck dive." Those Warwicks are notorious for that.

 

greenboy's solution is very popular, moving the lower bout strap button higher.

 

My solution works well enough...use a large leather strap (mine is 4") with a very rough leather underside. The leather grips your shirt and holds the bass up.

 

Somebody has come up with a bass trussing system where it straps over both shoulders and waist. Looks industrial, but I'll bet you could play bass while bungee jumping with one on.

"Let's raise the level of this conversation" -- Jeremy Cohen, in the Picasso Thread.

 

Still spendin' that political capital far faster than I can earn it...stretched way out on a limb here and looking for a better interest rate.

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Yeah, I've considered converting both of my basses to some back-mounted system that would work for both. Not because of balance so much as I get tired of feeling my left shoulder gettting a bit bound-up and chunky, and that side of my neck too. I've got a crapload of bookmarks on various alternatives. It's got to be simple to use and not look like part of a pair of lederhosen though ; }
.
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Somebody has come up with a bass trussing system where it straps over both shoulders and waist. Looks industrial, but I'll bet you could play bass while bungee jumping with one on.
Ken Wittman's Spinstrap system works pretty well and doesn't keep you from exiting a burning building in a hurry. I also like the Comfort Strapp which is thick neoprene rubber with an elastic reenforcement sewed in.
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  • 5 weeks later...
I'm having the same problem. I guess I never really noticed it as much until I got a Corvette about a week ago. Now I can't stand playing my Thumb while standing. I'm too scared to fiddle with this beauty but I don't think I'll have a choice...
When the music's over.
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Getz76 helped me alleviate neck dive on my Thumb 5...by the way, the tuner weight is negligible compared to the heft of the neck itself. My solution was to move the rear strap pegback to its former position. There's still a bit of dive, but it's managable.

 

There were a few luthiers that offered to install lug's solution on the Thumb with a carbon fiber rad and sleeve, but it was my last resort.

 

Or, you can wear it way up, Jeff Pocaro style...but I can't reach the first fret in that position.

"For instance" is not proof.

 

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Oh...and I just moved my end strap button up...it didn't provide too much of a difference for me. Maybe a few inches...I might even resort to strapping it to my belt hook or something like that. Haha I know it will look retarded but...who's gonna notice, right?
When the music's over.
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David King: Ken Wittman's Spinstrap system works pretty well and doesn't keep you from exiting a burning building in a hurry.
Somehow I missed your post, David. The Wittman Spinstrap site was one of my bookmarks, noted for not looking as clunky as some of the others, and having been used for the ZZ Top video didn't hurt ; }

 

Have you played with this strap for any length of time? Is it up to 4-1/2 hour gigging with no pain? How does it connect to the bass? I'm assuming some time of locking plate system is used, placed near the center of gravity. Happen to know the dimensions of that plate?

 

I know that's a few questions... I'm guessing he doesn't cover the mechanisms on his site so he won't get ripped off, but it's probably not selling many straps with just small diagrams ; }

.
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Originally posted by davebrownbass:

My solution works well enough...use a large leather strap (mine is 4") with a very rough leather underside. The leather grips your shirt and holds the bass up.

+1

there is no neck dive because the strap basically acts as velcro to your clothes. You won't have to mod your Warwick and take away from its $$$$ (re-sell value)

Of course, those crazy 360 degree guitar spins over your shoulder are out of the question. hehe.

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Originally posted by getz76:

The only worry I have regarding the extender bolt is the stress it will place on the horn; that's a whole lot of leverage. I am not a mechanical engineer, but that's a severe change.

Physics really. The mass of the bass hanging from a lever. If you do any jumping around or '80's style antics its going to break.

If the extension was in the larger area of the bass body, then I wouldnt worry too much other than ripping it out front/back area. The horn has less mass/area than the body, then factor in the direction of the wood grain. you may get away with it for awhile but the stress over time will do it in.

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Originally posted by greenboy:

Yeah, well, that's all true ... but if the horn is sufficiently strong for the stresses that would be involved, and if the extender goes deep enough ...

I would just like to state publicly that my extender DEFINATELY goes deep enough, thank you.

You can stop now -jeremyc

STOP QUOTING EVERY THING I SAY!!! -Bass_god_offspring

lug, you should add that statement to you signature.-Tenstrum

I'm not sure any argument can top lug's. - Sweet Willie

 

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Have you played with this strap for any length of time? Is it up to 4-1/2 hour gigging with no pain? How does it connect to the bass? I'm assuming some time of locking plate system is used, placed near the center of gravity. Happen to know the dimensions of that plate?

Green boy I haven't tried it for myself, just installed a few of them in the past. The plate replaces the neck plate on a Fender so it's that size. I usually avoid the screw holes on non-Fender basses and epoxy the plate right to the heel. If the bass doesn't balance at the heel then it won't balance on the strap either.

 

Comfort over the 4.5 hour gig is going to depend more on the weight of the bass and the player's stamina. The spinstrap isn't the widest and it's not the nicest material but the concept is nice; the instrument can pivot around the special connector on the neck plate. If the bass happens to balance near or at the heel then it's big improvement.

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Another option is to hang a dead cat from the bridge pin. That will counter-balance any perceived neck dive.

You can stop now -jeremyc

STOP QUOTING EVERY THING I SAY!!! -Bass_god_offspring

lug, you should add that statement to you signature.-Tenstrum

I'm not sure any argument can top lug's. - Sweet Willie

 

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I have an EB3 that dives. Since the weight of neck is low (it's short scale), I got a strap that locks on the bass, but the strap also has a pad. The pad stays on your shoulder while the strap/bass moves. It makes neck diving "easier", because you can move the bass neck up and down at will. And if I let go, the thing dives. That's OK, because the locks keep the bass on my neck, and the neck doesn't reach the floor. I used a Planet Waves with the "rachet" locks, but I think there are other ways to do this.

 

Most of the above suggestions are better than mine. For my bass the strapspin might be the only other choice as one of the strap buttons is at the neck heel.

 

Tom

www.stoneflyrocks.com

Acoustic Color

 

Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars and keep your feet on the ground. - Theodore Roosevelt

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