Warwick Corvette 5 pickup replacement - Looking for a more typical J sound
I've never really bonded with my Corvette 5. It's got a baseball bat neck, narrow string spacing, neck dive...but the workmanship is flawless, it's a German model. Probably the best built bass I've ever played, though some EBMMs are close. I'm not a boutique guy, obviously.
The sound is also generally not what I'm looking for. It's oddly snotty, dense, kind of inarticulate. I've gone from the stock VBT controls to VVT, tried series/parrellel switching, different tone caps, an OBP-3, not finding anything I love.
Most of this was done on a tight budget in grad school, even the OBP-3, which I got used for a great price from a friend.
I think it's time to ditch the pickups.
I played a new Fender American Standard Jazz at GC yesterday. Nice bass, sounded very...jazzy. Slippery scooped sound with both pickups up, great for slap and rock finger stuff, burpy on the bridge pickup, usefull range on the tone control...I liked it, a lot more than my Corvette.
Granted, its a very different bass, in terms of construction, but I'm a 'tone is in the electronics' guy, so I think should be able to get a lot closer to that than I am now.
Can you recommend a 'standard' sounding Jazz pickup set for me? I'm looking to get that basic Jazz sound, not Jazz on steriods, not uber Vintage, not Jaco clone...more basic, sounds like a Jazz Jazz tone.
The most important factor outside of tone is size - my bass uses two 3.95" J pickups - not standard Fender 5 sizes. This doesn't seem super common, and limits my opions.
The Carvin single coils pickup will fit in your bass, i'm sure that would get you closer to a jazz sound. Not a replica but closer.
If it looks like a Jazz, walks like a Jazz, and talks like a Jazz. . .
Then, enjoy it and don't look back. Otherwise, your C5 is likely just a money pit that you will dislike more and more with every dollar wasted trying to transform it into something it is not. It is not a Jazz. It never will be. Either keep the Warwick for what it is, or sell it to someone that likes that tone and will enjoy it.
As a sidebar, it is likely that the OBP-3 mod that you already performed will likely produce the biggest tonal difference that you will realize with your bass.
If you must try one more swap of pickups, I would try this exact configuration: Bartolini 59CBJD3. The classic bass pickups have extended frequency range with well defined highs, and balanced lows and mids. The "3" designation denotes bright tone.
In a 2-band (Volume, Blend, Stacked bass/treble) configuration, you can add mids by dialing back B or T. I use a 2-band to dial in a present tone with these pickups by rolling off a smidge of bass, and adding a smidge of treble. Or take advantage of 3-band mode by wiring Stacked volume, Mids, Stacked bass/treble. These wiring configurations help you avoid drilling extra holes, keeping your bass stock. The pickups are available in long versions that are close enough to what you already have to be workable.
Notice that adding a smidge here, and subtracting a smidge there is not scientific. It is very much an unproven experiment that is only realized as successful when success is achieved. Few experiments are successful. Their main value is the lessons they teach in their failure. Good luck with whatever you decide with your tonal experiment.
Snotty, dense, kind of inarticulate are not attributes belonging to a corvette model. It should be more growly and have more presence then your typical Jazz. True, corvettes do not sound agressive like the Thumb or Streamer LX models by W.
I too think that you won't find what you are looking for in this bass. I'd sell it and hunt for a nice Jazz model Sadowsky or Lakland.
You won't make a Corvette sound like a Fender Jazz. I'll +1 the above posts, sell the corvette and get a Jazz.
Note that I love my Warwicks and still advising this.
I'll be another Warwick owner and lover to tell you that if you want a Jazz, get a Jazz.
Is there some other factor that we're missing here which is preventing you from simply doing that?
Another Warwick owner recommending the Jazz Bass if that's what you like. You could probably sell that Corvette Standard 5 for around $600 or so and get a nice used USA Jazz Bass for not much more.
I can sell, and it's been half on the block for a couple years now, but I am reluctant to because it's the bass I played my wife down the aisle with. She doesn't want me to sell it, and even if it isn't the sound I hear in my head when I pick it up, it has a special place in my heart. And that baseball bat neck plays flawlessly, its just stupid chunky.
The specific Jazz I'm lusting after is also a 4, and I don't want to be without a 5, so a straight swap isn't what I want to do. My other fours are keepers, and I am distrustful, based on personal experience, of Fender QC in general, so I'm not looking to just up and order a JV.
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