Apples and Oranges (or: a Fender and a Warwick)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by DanGouge, Jul 10, 2003.

For good or for awesome, which one?

Poll closed Sep 8, 2003.
  1. Fender Roscoe Beck 5

    11 vote(s)
  2. Warwick Thumb BO fretless 5

    18 vote(s)
  3. Just have a carrot, silly

    7 vote(s)
  1. DanGouge


    May 25, 2000
    OK, so I've been looking around for a decent 5-string for a while. I've looked in stores, looked online, posted a query or two here. Lately I've been getting closer to making up my mind. There's a used Fender Roscoe Beck 5 sitting in a local shop and it's been there several months. I'm in the shop the other day, looking at it again, mulling my options etc. But wait, what's this? There's a used Warwick Thumb 5 fretless there too. So I try that out too. Very nice, different tonally from other fretlesses I've tried and it just has a cool vibe over all. Typically I'm not too big on Warwicks, just not my cup of tea really. I've played a number of fretted Thumbs and, meh, I could take them or leave them. But this one is different.

    So what do I do here? I like the tones of passive Fenders and so I figure I will definitely like the RB5. But what about trying something new, something different? The RB5 is like ordering steak and a baked potato at a restaurant, I know I'll like it. The Warwick is like a strange foreign dish which looks really good but which I haven't tried yet. So what'll it be? Warwick v. Fender, fretless v. fretted, active v. passive, Germany v. USA, ovangkol v. alder... Am I completely crazy? As I said, apples and oranges...
  2. Dondi


    May 3, 2003
    When in doubt, get a bass that has more usable sounds and PLAY IT WELL. You know what makes bass players stand out amongst the crowd? his playing!
    If you have decent sounds, you will get gigs based on your skills. It does you no good to lose a spot in a band with the guys saying, "That bass sounds great, but you aren't what we had in mind just now." And for what its worth, the Fender has more usable sounds that pop out of the speakers with authority. And for recording, most engineers will like the quiet passive Fender electronics better.
  3. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB Staff Member Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2001
    Spencerport, New York
    Buy both. You know you really want to.
  4. DanGouge


    May 25, 2000
    I do but that darn money thing forces me to choose!
  5. Basho

    Basho Guest

    If it were me I would buy the Warwick, because I prefer Warwick to Fender and already have a fretted bass.
  6. Gabu


    Jan 2, 2001
    Lake Elsinore, CA
    I suggest that you get your steak and potato bass first, unless that Thumb is an unusually good deal.
  7. I melt for the tone of a fretless warwick, personally. I've played the Roscoe, and it was nice.

    This is definitely a choice between apples and oranges.I'd call the Fender the apple cuz you can bite right into it, while with the orange, you gotta peel a bit before even biting into it.

    It's a tought choice, and I don't think you can go wrong. If I was in your shoes, I'd flip a coin....that's what I did when I was choosing between an SR5 and an L2500.
  8. Killdar


    Dec 16, 2002
    Portland Maine
    Buy the RB, and steal the warwick. Duh. ;)
  9. permagrin


    May 1, 2003
    San Pedro, CA
    FWIW, and this is different than what you're looking at but...

    I was at a blues jam recently and a guy let me use his Warwick. Neckthru, light for all the exotic wood, neck dive not a problem, neck played like butter, tone was unbelievaby suh-weeeet. And gorgeous looking. Then played with the full band and it got lost, even turned up, well it just wasn't there even though you could hear it.

    Went back to my Precision, heavier, bulkier, uglier, big neck, ... but it just took over, said "I'm in charge here!" It plain out thumps, lets me drive the bus.

    Apples and oranges indeed. Mike's right, get both (its easy to spend someone else's $$$$).
  10. DanGouge


    May 25, 2000
    The question that raises then is whether my current steak and potato bass (62 RI Jazz) would be redundant to the RB5 in a lot of situations. Both are passive Fenders, but only one has crazy PU switching and an extra string.
  11. Gabu


    Jan 2, 2001
    Lake Elsinore, CA
    I bet you will find that they are more different than you think. Every bass is an individual. ;)

    Another way to look at it would be to get the one that is the better bargain, because the lesser of the bargains will be easier to find later.
  12. I really like the Roscoe Beck 5 string. so I voted for that. thumbs are cool but the BO models all have pretty bad neck dive which makes them hard to play for me. definetly play them both. they have totally different vibes going on.
  13. warwick just cause i have one:rolleyes:
  14. bollefen


    Mar 13, 2003
    funny thing is these are the two basses (more or less) i got.

    got a warwick rockbass corvette classic 5 string. seems the same as the bottom end german warwicks to me. like the high fi sound i can get as well as the bright raucous sounds.


    needed a traditional sound and got a fender jazz 4 string fretless and just picked up a fender jazz 5.

    sooo. i think you NEEEED both :D

    very different but i'd give up the warwick before the fender.

  15. This oughta kill the food metaphor:

    You already have one order of steak & potatoes, but the steak is a T-bone. You have a choice of ordering a filet mignon with potatoes, or a nice-looking and nice-smelling bratwurst dish.

    How hungry are you, and what does your palette say?
  16. DanGouge


    May 25, 2000
    Well, you may be able to test that theory soon, according to Roscoe Beck's site, an RB4 is on the way:
  17. DanGouge


    May 25, 2000
  18. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    What if: you sell your bass and buy both?

    I have no better ideas. the Thumbs are very good (quality, construction,..) but it is not as versatile - but you'll get a very nice tone with a nice bass
  19. DanGouge


    May 25, 2000
    I'm already going to be selling a number of items (watch the classifieds ;)) to pay for one of these. The only way to do both would probably be to sell all my current basses...
  20. ColonelZulu

    ColonelZulu Not Impressed By Those Who Flaunt “Authority” Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2001
    Get the Warwick.