After originally getting GAS pains for a Gibson Midtown Bass, a jaunt down the hollowbody bass path lead me to two "better" options - the more modern Warwick Star and Lakland Hollowbody.
Having owned a Lakland before, it was a fantastic quality instrument, great player, great sounding. It was, however, on the dark & thumpy side - great for what I was doing back then, but the band has changed a bit in 5 years and something with a more modern sound is needed. Which is a bit funny in & of itself - I mainly play a P-Bass with flats! But the 70's DiMarzio Model P gives me loads of punch, low-end, and clarity - basically, it allows me to keep the full vintage package without going into dark, muddy territory.
So onto the Warwick Star. Looks fantastic. They make it in Daphne Blue? My favorite guitar color? Big plus! Jazz Bass pickup spacing? Cool! 34" scale, lots of chrome, Just-A-Nut, highly adjustable bridge, etc - sure looks like a winner on paper!
But I'm a P-Bass guy - this is quite a big jump. Gotta try it first.
So, based on the advice of a few people who told me that the German and Korean Star Basses were "almost identical", I took a walk to the Warwick/Framus Custom Shop here in Manhattan to give them a whirl. This is a beautiful shop stocked with great stuff - but all German.
The guy in there was super helpful, even though he knew full well that I wasn't buying one of the German ones. He also mentioned that the German and Korean ones were VERY close. Set me up with an amp and cable, told me to play whatever I wanted, and left me be. I will be recommending this shop from now on.
They had nearly every variant of the Star Bass there. I learned that the German single-cutaway ones have Humbuckers! Something that had scared me a bit was the fact that the MIK Star has single coils and I get irritated real easily by single coil hum. The 'buckers sound HUGE and even had a coil tap for each pickup!
Next I tried out a double cut 5'er with the single coils. They are indeed VERY noisy, but in the middle position they're hum canceling (akin to a Jazz Bass), and thankfully I found that to be the best-sounding pickup position anyway. Still, good to know what if it comes down to it, I can drop some Humbuckers into it no problem.
The bridge pickups on both were very honky and the neck pickups very dark - pretty much what you'd expect from a Jazz. I had to give the middle position a little kick in the mids to get it into my preferred Precision sonic territory but it got there. very happy with the tone.
Naturally, the basses played great and the weights on all the ones I played was quite reasonable. I would describe the maple singlecut as "very" light.
Mindful of "paralysis by analysis" on this whole hollowbody thing, I bit the bullet and ordered a Daphne Blue Star Bass from Warp Drive/Cream City this afternoon for a friggin' great price. It was my first time ordering from them - very helpful and cool people.
Should be arriving sometime mid-week, just in time for two awesome gigs next weekend, including one opening for the NEW YORK GIANTS VS. PITTSBURGH STEELERS at Met Life Stadium (Meadowlands).
Since this (and every) thread is worthless without pics, I believe this is the actual one that's coming to me: