Bolt on vs Neck Thru Warwick Thumb

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Dirty Road Cola, Jan 4, 2001.

  1. Dirty Road Cola

    Dirty Road Cola Guest

    Sep 8, 2000
    Gainesville, FL
    I'm looking at a 5 string thumb, but I've yet to try either one (probably going to do that tommorow, if the store lets me.) Basically, which one do you guys feel is better, and is the extra 2,000 bucks worth it for the neck thru?

  2. i got the bolt on for 2 reasons
    1. i was replacing a bolt on StingRay a
    2. the extra money didn't seem worth it
  3. LowRanger


    Dec 24, 2000
    I've not tried the bolt-on, but got a great price on a NT 5 a couple years ago. I wouldn't give it up for the world!

    That said, you should try one on with a strap. The body shape seductively hides ergonomics which make playing the bass difficult for some folks. Because of the short upper horn, the bass wants to hang with the neck parallel to the ground. Also, because of the same short horn, even though it's a 34" scale bass, the lower frets are more of a reach than usual.

    I'm a great Warwick fan :D:, so I've learned to deal with "Thumb ergonomics" (can't call it a problem, it was designed to do this), but make sure you try them with a strap!

  4. virtual.ray


    Oct 25, 2000
    I got a Bolt On Thumb 5 in Nov.I think it sounds great,and in a unique way.I also spent some time trying out the Neck Through model,and it sounded great too,also in it's own unique way.I would say that the Bolt On is a little more "In Yer Face" sounding.I love to get my right fingers close to the bridge and pluck with the very tips,it really growls!The Neck Through is slightly more refined sounding,with perhaps a less pronounced attack and more sustain,but trust me,the BO has more sustain than you'll probably need already.I liked the sound of the BO a little better,plus the one I got has really beautiful grain on the body wood,wheras the Bubinga body of the NT was kind of plain,but I have seen considerable variance in the color and grain of the wood in both models.Either way you can't go wrong IMO.
  5. ka-tet


    May 2, 2000
    A friend of mine has a BO 5 and the NT. I specificly tried his basses out for this thread, now that's service! I found that the bolt-on had a much thinner tone and just didn't seem to play as well. The NT had a MUCH deeper tone with a clearer, warmer, smoother top end. Both had tremendous growl. I didn't really like either bass but if I had to buy one it would have to be the NT.
  6. MtnGoat


    May 7, 2000
    this is a bit off the subject, but I nearly sold my thumb bass for the balance issue you described. Do you have any solutions or different ways of approaching the instrument to make it more playable? So far I have shortened the strap so the entire bass sits quite high, which helps the left hand, but forces more of a bend at the wrist for the right hand.

    By the way, in my experience the neck through thumb can be had new for about $2300, which is only ~$1000 more than the bolt-on. Or, you can probably find an used neck through for ~$1600.

  7. Dirty Road Cola

    Dirty Road Cola Guest

    Sep 8, 2000
    Gainesville, FL
    Yea, I knew there was going to be a balance issue, its a thumb :). What strap would you suggest to counter act the semi-bad balance of it?

    I'm going to go try those thumbs today, god help me :)

    Also, on a diff. note, it seems to be the general consensus when matching a head to a bass that its:

    Warwick + SWR = Great Tone.

    Thats what I've heard anyways, can anyone second that or disagree with it? I'm also getting a new rig, so, that'd be helpful too.

    Thanks again guys and keep em coming,
  8. LowRanger


    Dec 24, 2000
    I haven't tried too many things to adjust the Thumb 5 ergonomics. Wearing the bass up high (as you do) does seem to help. I read a suggestion to try a wide leather strap with a rough backing, and it does indeed help a little. I tried a Slider Strap, couldn't stand it. The best suggestion I've seen is to move the bridge-end strap pin higher (away from the controls), but I just can't bear to put a strap button on this baby. Well, not yet, anyway!:eek:

    Good luck in your search, and please post if you find anything that works.
  9. neptoon


    Jul 25, 2000
    summerville, sc
    hey what's up??? I've got the NT thumb 4, and i love it. as you've noticed, there are those who mention the thumb ergonomics. it's just something that i've gotten used to. it's really not even an issue with me any more. the weight of these things is another thing. get a wide padded strap, especially if u gig lot. i use a Levy's PM32, which is a beast of a strap. they're about 40 bucks, but they're worth it when u compare it to chiropractor bills
    and therapy. well, it's really not that bad....heheheh.....
    and i play through an eden's a 2x10 combo, but it makes that warwick wanna bite. swr makes some really good stuff does bag end...there is so much stuff and so many good things i could say about my bass, but opinions are like assholes....everybody's got one and they all stink...
  10. LowRanger


    Dec 24, 2000
    Hey Neptoon, I wouldn't part with my Thumb 5 NT for the world, ergonomics or not! Like you said, it's just something you get used to.
  11. LeMonJello420

    LeMonJello420 Guest

    Jan 9, 2001
    Tampa, FL
    I have a NT and wouldn't part with it! Also, you get a 3 band preamp with the NT istead of a 2 band on the bolt on. In regards to cab, after getting rid of my SWR 410, I found the Ampeg 410hlf to be the perfect companion to my thumb 5. It has more low end than the swr and only cost me about $575.
  12. Gard

    Gard Commercial User

    Mar 31, 2000
    Greensboro, NC, USA
    General Manager, Roscoe Guitars
    DRC/Neal -

    As for the best strap for the job, I'd heartily recommend the Comfort Strapp. I know for a fact that Bass Central sells them, as I bought both of mine there. The same price as neptoon's recommended Levy's strap, and IMO, a much better solution (no offense, neptoon). The Thumbs are heavy and balance funny, but if you dig that tone, nothing else gets it. I'd also say that if it's affordable, go with the neck-thru, they just sound and feel better to me (even though I'm not a Warwick kinda guy). My favorite Warwick is the Dolphin, it balances extremely well, and has 26 frets too ;).