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seeking advice - Toby Pro 4, Ibanez 1205E, or Warwick Thumb 5?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by shorty4life, Dec 22, 2013.


  1. shorty4life

    shorty4life Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2013
    Hi. I've been completely away from playing for roughly 16 years. Recently, my wife decided she wants to learn guitar, so we walked to our local shop and bought her a used US-made Gibson at a decent price to get going. While i was there i picked up a 4 string Toby Pro and (this should not be surprising to any of you), the bug to play the bass again has bitten me. BADLY :D My wife was having a hard time getting me to leave the shop. And for the last week I've been doing some research on buying a decently priced and decent sounding bass to go for. I used to be a metal player, then transitioned into somewhat avant-rock style. Now I'm more interested in learning jazz and perhaps latin/carribean rhythm. My hands are small (and yeah, I'm somewhat small too) so neck length is a factor. I'm OK on a 34". And used to own a Stingray 5. I want to keep my purchase under the $800 range but i could go up over $1k to get the right match for me. Here's the instruments i have in mind :

    • Toby Pro 4
    • Ibanez 1205E
    • Warwick Thumb 5

    The Toby Pro 4 (neck-thru model) is a Korean build. It felt really good in my hands. I did not plug in however. From what I've read on this forum the electronics are not stellar. But once upgraded this would be a SWEET instrument for the money. The store wants $550 which i think is about $150 too expensive... Any idea what this bass is really worth? Sounds like being out of production might make it desirable on the used market.

    The Ibanez 1205E is 5 string made in Indonesia, which I've not played yet. I've found a used one for roughly $750 and it looks to be in excellent condition. Every review about this instrument says it's a MONSTER bass for the money, in all respects.

    And lastly, the Warwick Thumb 5 bolt-on. I've played a Warwick many years ago and remember it feeling/sounding pretty good. this one has a Wenge neck with a Bubinga body. Two J-style pups, both near the bridge. Price is roughly $1200 which is stretching my budget but it's def not off the table. A question about Warwick though. People seem to either love or hate them. And their resale values seem proportionally lower than their list prices. I imagine its because the market is now flooded with them?

    As mentioned, i really want to learn jazz and Latin rhythm (and still play some rock music). It seems that you need a 5-string to play a lot of modern music. So my head is leaning towards getting a 5-string. My heart has already fallen for the Toby 4, but i realize the limitations of not having the low B. It's sometimes nice to play a 4 though! Any advice on what is the best of this bunch? I feel like i will always be able to find a deal a Warwick 5. and i could buy both the Toby and Ibby for the price of one Warwick (although my wife would hang me if i did :rolleyes:). But i want something to enjoy for many years to come. Thanks for any insight you can give!

    jonah
     
  2. LakeEffect

    LakeEffect Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2013
    Location:
    South Haven, Michigan
    Not a lot to say about the others, but I am a big thumb fan. However, make SURE to try one on for size before you buy it. I'm not a huge guy either, and I've found that 34 inch thumb, while on a strap especially, 'plays' like a 36 scale bass. Because of how short the upper horn is, it hangs very far away from you, if you don't have very long arms (and spend time in the first position), it may not agree with you.

    Like I said, huge thumb fan, but ultimately I had to sell mine because I can't afford multiple basses, and the ergonomics of my thumb took it straight out of the running for my 'one and only'. They are awesome instruments that cannot be duplicated, but I absolutely couldn't recommend one without knowing you've spent considerable time testing it out.
     
  3. LakeEffect

    LakeEffect Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2013
    Location:
    South Haven, Michigan
    Oh, and welcome back to the low side!
     
  4. ole Jason

    ole Jason

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2003
    Location:
    Louisville, KY
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  6. shorty4life

    shorty4life Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2013
    Thanks. I'm really grateful you pointed this out! I just compared images of the Ibanez and the Thumb. The Ibanez's horn ends at the 12th fret, while the thumb's horn ends at just the 16th! That's a difference of a few inches. i also compared bridge saddles, and they appear more or less the same distance from edge of the bass bodies...
     
  7. shorty4life

    shorty4life Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2013
    and checked out images of the Toby and the horn ends at roughly the 13th-14th fret. i only played that bass while sitting. but I def want something that feels good while standing up! I need to try that bass again...
     
  8. LakeEffect

    LakeEffect Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2013
    Location:
    South Haven, Michigan
    Its something to be cognizant of when you're taking it for the test run, believe me, I understand that the thumb tone is absolutely hypnotizing, its a rad instrument. But if the stakes are high while shopping (getting one bass, not looking to just supplement an arsenal, etc) I would be mindful of it.

    If you really have the Warwick bug, the Corvette (and Streamer I suppose, though I don't have as much personal experience) is a great option. Definitely a signature tone but plays more ergonomically for most. Also, cheaper! And i've seen a few 5's in the classifieds recently..
     
  9. shorty4life

    shorty4life Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2013
    Or maybe i look for another Stingray 5. Looks like another good option in the $1000 - $1200 used range. i recall the neck on mine being a bit thick, and i never really got into playing it. but i may need to try one again...
     
  10. LakeEffect

    LakeEffect Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2013
    Location:
    South Haven, Michigan
    Whatever works! The only advice I can give you that I doubt anyone will chime in to argue with.... play anything and everything you can get your hands on.
     
  11. shorty4life

    shorty4life Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2013
    yep. That's the plan. Thanks!
     
  12. Son of Bovril

    Son of Bovril

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2005
    Location:
    Johannesburg, South Africa
    The thumb 5 has a very specific tone to it that doesn't sound like any other bass. Now this can be a good thing at times, but it can also be a pain when you are trying to nail that sound you hear on a song, because the thumb will always sound like a thumb no matter what you do, you can't get away from the voicing of those woods and pickup position combination...

    Also what LakeEffect says about the hanging position of the thumb on your body is correct. the bass neck sits further off to your left, effectively placing your 7th fret where your 5th fret usually is. This isn't an issue once you get used to it but if you switch basses often it can be annoying. The thumb likes to be worn up high on the strap by your chest and doesn't balance well if you wear it lower, causing neck dive.

    If it is a Warwick you are definitely after, i would suggest checking out the Korean pro series Streamer LX, its a more versatile and traditional bass compared to the thumb
     
  13. Bustard

    Bustard

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2010

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