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Are Rockbass a good make of bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Spoons4Soup, Jun 3, 2005.

  1. i have always been a fan of the Warwick basses but because they are so pricey is it worth getting a RockBass instead? I suppose it would be like getting a Squier instead of Fender or Epiphone instead of Gibson............
  2. Yes, you hit the nail on the head.
  3. Dincrest

    Dincrest Supporting Member

    Sep 27, 2004
    New Jersey
    From what I've read on the Forums, the RockBass line can be hit or miss. Some people simply adore their RockBasses while others have stories of theirs falling apart.

    And for the price of *some* of the higher end RockBasses, you can easily buy a used German Warwick off eBay, the classifieds section here on TalkBass, or various reputable online or brick-&-mortar vendors. Used 'wicks aren't super hard to come by since people initially fall in love with the tone, but then fall out of love with the weight and balance (the Thumb comes to mind here...though I think it balances properly when worn high up on the chest for slapping.)

    I'm a huge Warwick fan myself. I've been GASing for one since I was 16. I recently bought one used from a TalkBass member for a honey of a price. Thus, I think if you want a Warwick but your budget won't allow a new one, try looking for a used one before you think about a RockBass. Some people think new German Warwicks are overpriced, but on the used market, they're some tremendous values. I assume used 'wicks are even better values in Europe since they're usually cheaper there than in the US, since US consumers pay import premium when buying a 'wick new?
  4. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    Well, on that side of the Atlantic, it's more expensive than the American-made basses. On this side, however, it's much cheaper :p

    From what i've heard and seen, they are decent quality, and quite good for their price, some can be lemons, however. Still, they are better than Squier's and Fender's Quality Control, imo
  5. Panther


    Dec 9, 2004
    Nova Scotia
    Epiphones are better than Gibsons........
  6. :confused: nah they int..........
  7. I have played a dozen or so Rockbasses, and even though they sounded damn good, they were falling apart, and they were all brand new on the shelf. The one thing they all had in common was the knobs falling off, or rotating 360 degress when they aren't supposed to. The neck pickups in a few seemed a little too loose for me as well. The sound quality, however, can best be compared to a mid-level Ibanez SR series, so they don't too bad at all for the price. However, keep in mind that they are NOT Warwicks to the truest form. You will not get the tonality that you would most likely be looking for. My suggestion: Save an extra 150 bucks, go on ebay (they have dozens of Warwicks on any given day) and get the real thing. It will be worth the wait. Good Luck!!
  8. If you are a blues player and have an old school Epiphone, then I can maybe see your argument, but outside of that, you are out of your mind.
  9. reens


    Mar 16, 2005
    Well, after about 10 weeks of breaking it in and tweaking the sound, I gotta say that on the whole I'm pretty happy with the Fortress Rockbass (historical context: I've only ever played cheap to mid-range basses. I'm no tight-ass, I've never had several grand to splash out on a dream bass!). The only downside as outlined above is the knobs; they're not the best in terms of fine finishing, though they work fine. I liked the (active) Fortress way more than the Corvette rockbass models which had a really lightweight sound/feel. The F. feels great at any height or position and the neck is pretty damn good (I got big hands though -- might make a difference).

    I'd say try the RBass and try the real thing by Warwick at the same time, preferably a similar model. If it suits the tone you're looking for, it's a pretty safe bet.
  10. Tash


    Feb 13, 2005
    Bel Air Maryland
    Go into a music store adn check a bunch of gibsons on the rack, I'm betting you will be surprised. Epis now run around the same level of quality as gibson is willing to put out, with less of the glaring QA oversites you often see in gibsons. I don't think the QA guys at Epiohone ever say 'Ship it anyway, its got our logo on it, no one will care".
  11. Vic

    Vic There's more music in the nuance than the notes. Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine
    ...uh oh... :)

    I thought this was a thread about Rockbasses? ;)
  12. Same
  13. Dincrest

    Dincrest Supporting Member

    Sep 27, 2004
    New Jersey
    Still, any thread about Rockbasses will inevitably bring about the comparisons, i.e. Squier to "real" Fender or Epiphone (budget) to Gibson (boutique) and all that.

    Still, I stand by my assertion that for the price of a Rockbass (or perhaps only $100- $200 more) you can get into a preowned German Warwick. Granted, $100- $200 is a lot of scratch for many people and sometimes those extra bills don't come, but I still think it's worth holding out for a preowned German 'wick. The TalkBass classifieds section has reasonably priced German 'wicks often. I bought my Corvette Standard from a TBer for a honey of a price.

    Still, I think the RockBass line has a place. After all, I'm sure there are folks who'd want the Warwick feel, but with the sound, lighter weight, and lower cost of traditional tonewoods.

    But really, if a German Warwick is something you lust after, a RockBass, even an immaculate one, will STILL feel like sloppy seconds or a consolation prize. Hold out for a used German Warwick before going to RockBass.
  14. Vic

    Vic There's more music in the nuance than the notes. Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine
    I'm also a big fan of buying premium/used rather than bargain/new, but yeah, it also depends on what you really want.
  15. JayAmel

    JayAmel Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Carcassonne, France
    Sorry for waking up this old thread, but does anyone has experience or opinions about the Rockbass Fortress ?
    Stated as a reissue of the "real" Fortress, I'd like to read some comments please.
    Many thanks !

    BTW, the Rockbass Basic Corvette was not very good for me. The neck was OK+++ (actually sweeeeet) but the tone was a bit too "ordinary". Not exactly what you expect from a "Warwick-like" bass... I believe the Classic and Special Corvette Rockbasses sound much better, due to the MEC pickups.


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