Cirrus 5 Walnut, Thumb BO or SR-5?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by JFT, May 18, 2003.

Cirrus 5 Walnut, Thumb BO or SR-5?

Poll closed Sep 20, 2003.
  1. Cirrus-5 Walnut

    47 vote(s)
  2. StingRay-5

    16 vote(s)
  3. Thumb-4 BO

    19 vote(s)
  1. Hi,

    I'm currently looking at upgrading but I'm having a hard time deciding.

    I'm not looking for any specific sound. I'd say I want to upgrade mainly for getting a "woodier" sound but not a one trick pony. Versatility is the name of the game for me. Also I look at improving the action of my bass. The BTB is no slouch but compared to either of these I'd say it feel like a budget bass...

    The problem is that the 3 basses I've got my sight on are sold by different stores here and none of them have the same amp in demo. So it's though like hell to A/B them. So please comment on my initial impressions.

    I've tried the Cirrus 5 Walnut using an SWR Workingsman 12. I found that, of the 3 it was the one that sounded most like my BTB (I know I'm sinning saying so :spit: ). The neck feel and action was FABULOUS. The tone is definitively deeper than my BTB and at the same time more defined I'd say. The Cirrus had the best harmonic I've heard so far :eek:

    The StingRay-5 was tried using a Bassman 100 and it was 2 months ago so... From memory I'd say it was fuller and rounder (in series) than the Cirrus, more punch than the Cirrus (Parallel) the neck felt great but I think I prefer the Cirrus there. The tone appeared WAY more "woody" than the Cirrus ?! Is this my imagination? Anybody could confirm that?

    And the Thumb-4 BO using an SWR-350 with a SWR 2x10 enclosure. After all the hype I read surrounding these I was expecting more. Of the 3 it has the "woodiest" tone, the action was really high so it's though to assess its true potential. I really like the back of the neck and the fingerboard (Wenge?) I found tonal variety was limited, but I only had 10 minutes (store was closing) and I'll be returning.

    It it matters I'm playing fingerstyle and slap and my main use is for recording in my home studio. So which one is easier/better when sitting in a mix?

    If it is of any help I'm upgrading from a BTB-400 and an ATK-300 Fretless. I intend to keep the ATK but might get rid of the BTB if I get the Cirrus since I feel the Cirrus cover the BTB tonal palette.

    No being able to compare them side to side is though to choose. So anybody mind to share their feel of these especially if you own 2 of these? Is there any particular issue I should be aware of? (I know about the neck dive of the thumb ;) )

    Talking about versatility using brings mention of G&L, well altough I like them there's never any "magic" when I pick one up. I'll be selling my most prized guitar to get that bass, so I want something special. I just bought a house so that next bass should be my last for a while :(

    Thanks and sorry about the long post!
  2. 5stringDNA


    Oct 10, 2002
    Englewood, CO
    You definately want teh cirrus if your looking versatility, but if you want eh more "woody" soudn then go fo rthe warwick. The cirrus seems to have a much more verssatile tone,a nd most guys who play warwick will tell you it has a fairly charachteristic sound. I love warick, especially the fretlesses, but like I said, go for cirrus for variety, warwick for woodiness. :D The musicman has a very charchterisic sound as well, and has a thick aggressive bite to it. The stingrays i have played seemed to to have a very narrow range of tones, but I may just be incompetant. Most warwicks have some sort of jazz, amd MM's have the charachteristic MM pups, but the cirrus has the dual humbucking soapbars, which bya and large, give a wide tonal range on just about any decent bass. I've played both, but I've never owned, so someone who has owned all three basses coudl give ya a better idea.
  3. Ben Mishler

    Ben Mishler

    Jan 22, 2003
    San Jose
    I voted for the Cirrus, as it is the most versitile bass of the bunch IMO.
  4. Doesn't the nmber of strings have something important to do here?

    If I was getting either a cirrus 5, a thumb bo 5 or an sr-5, I'd definatelly get the Thumb. but as it is a 4, don't know..
  5. DB5


    Jul 3, 2001
    Austin Texas
    Get the Cirrus :cool:
  6. Well the real answer is "I'm not sure". I'm interestd by a 5 but only played 4 so far. I'm open, depending of the feel of the neck to either. The only Cirrus I've found in town have all been fivers whereas the only Thumb I could find was a 4.

    Moreover I've never had the chance of trying a Sterling. ;)

    Hence the "weird" selection. Given enough space for slap and the right neck I'd go for a 5.

    Why is the number of string important? Is it due to the change in pickup location for a Thumb5?
  7. JFT, if I were in your position I would search for a Thumb 5er to try. Call Long & McQuade's in Ottawa. It's a short drive and they probably have one in stock. If the neck feels right (they often do nowadays) you might find what you're after.

    Words of wisdom: If you buy the 4-string, you'll be unfulfilled and still lusting after a 5.
  8. another vote for the Cirrus.
  9. I have never played a thumb 5 or 4, I "held" a bolt on 6er once, and it was unplugged.. didn't feel like asking to try it plugged sice I barely knew the owner. So, anyway... I think that the number of strings is an important matter because of the range and feel. Right now I wouldn't consider buying any bass with less than 5 strings, no matter how incredible the offer was. Maybe only If i could sell it for twice its price..
    What I mean is that I cannot put together 5 and 4 stringers in a situation like this, because I would rather buy a medium priced 5, than an excellent quality 4.

    As Oddio said, I think you should try to find a thumb b.o. 5, and compare it to the other equaly-stringed options.
  10. rickreyn

    rickreyn Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2000
    Lutz, Florida
    I think the Cirrus Walnut matches the Warwick's woody sound, and is far more versatile. However, the SR5 is quite versatile too, if you are into heavier rock and country.
  11. Hey Rickreyn,

    Interesting to have your opinion on the "woody" sound cause I'm having a hard time comparing them due to vastly different amp...

    I remember following a thread I think 2 years ago about the Cirrus.

    I see in your profile that you got rid of it anything bad to say against it or was it simply victim of an upgrade ;)

    P.S. What's your take on the Pandora? I personnaly find it colors A LOT although it's nice to practice with.
  12. nanook


    Feb 9, 2000
    I voted for the Cirrus but if it were me, I'd rather have a 4 string.

    4's just slap better to me. B strings are nice but they don't slap worth a crap (bad sounds) and they tend to have bad harmonics so they have to be hand muted all the time when not used.

    The 5 is nice for some work because it lets you stay high on the frets and still get that rich tone. I guess it depends on your needs.
  13. Taylor Livingston

    Taylor Livingston Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    Louisiana, US
    Owner, Iron Ether Electronics
    Why would YOU want to slap?
  14. Poon


    May 20, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    I'll tell you right now. I own all of the basses that you are thinking of getting. I own a Warwick Thumb 5 Bolt-On, 2 Peavey Cirruses, and 1 Ernie Ball Music Man Stingray 4 (not the same as the 5, I know), and If I were to take one bass to a gig based on its versatility, i'd definitely go for the Cirrus. But, let me tell you. Each of the different wood combinations of the cirrus do infact make a different sound. Be sure to get the one that you want. I hope I helped out. If you'd like to hear any of my experiences with any of these basses, let me know. I've never played the BTB series, but I was considering getting a BTB 5 for a while just due to their great specs on the Ibanez web-site, but I think my next purchase is another combo amp and then a Stingray 5.
  15. rickreyn

    rickreyn Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2000
    Lutz, Florida
    Car insurance for a 17 year old male was due. I've got my main axe and that will do me until bonuses roll in.

    I love Cirrus basses, especially the Tiger Eyes with the upgraded preamp.

    I did not think I could adapt to graphite, but I did. :)
  16. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    Do you have any kind of bass ampifier at your house? Or maybe a friend of yours or friend of a friend has a combo amp of some sort you can borrow? If you do, bring it around with you, this way you'll know exactly what you can get/expect from each bass. If you already thought about this and tried it then disregard.

    The 3 basses you have your eye on are all good basses. I myself prefer the Cirrus over the Thumb and MM. I have yet to play any Warwick or MM bass that had a neck that felt just right to me.

    The MM's tone IMO is beefier than that of the Cirrus. But the Cirrus sounded more focused and articulate. Both have nice prominant mids and cut like a knife. I also prefered the feel of the neck over that of the MM.

    I got to babysit my friends for a short while. (Cirrus 6 redwood) If you have the option, try checking out the Redwood 5 string as well. IMO its tone is slightly better than the Walnut ones. And has a totally different neck feel which to me was even friendlier than the walnuts body Cirrus.

    If it were me Id purchase the Cirrus for its easier playability and its versitility.

    I won't comment on the Thumb since I have really played them long enough to think good tone, but neck I dont like.

    The MM's I played were test driven on Fender Bassman 400 2x12, Hartke 3500 with 4.5xl I think its called (4x10's w/tweeter) & 1x15xl both cabs run seperatly and paired. And various Ampeg Heads with 8x10, and 4x10 pro series cabs and lesser cabs.

    The Cirrus was run through, Fender Bassman 400 2x12, Hartke 3500 with 4.5 XL, 1x15xl, Hartke Kickbacks, Hartke (combo with paper cone, forget the name, sorry) Various Ampeg Heads with 8x10,4x10, and lesser grade series cabs.

    Most importantly, my friends also got run through my own Rig. Hartke 2000 mated with a Carvin RL4x10T and used on a couple of gigs. I used it on a country gig and the other was pop/top 40 dance type gig. The Cirrus did well for me on two very different tonal occasions.

    Happy Hunting
    Mama Cass:bassist:
  17. Thanks for the offer I'd really like to hear what you think of the Thumb-5 BO tonewise and feelwise compared to the Cirrus Walnut? Do you feel the thumb is a one trick pony? Of the 3 if you were to keep only which would it be and why?

    I haven't had enough time on the Thumb and the store was noisy like hell. I'll be returning shortly but in the main time the more info about what to look/try on it the better. Next time I'll definitively get a strap to experience that neck dive.

    Don't get me wrong I like my BTB but the playability isn't in the same league as the Cirrus-5 IMHO. In fact on the Cirrus I didn't felt the 35"... I have to agree they play like butter :) the BTB isn't bad but you WILL feel the 35" (maybe due to the larger neck :confused: )

    Try one you'll see, just don't expect it to be more than a backup with the gear you already have! For the money it's quite good!
  18. I'm glad someone pointed out the Thumb's propensity to "neck dive". You DO need to try it with a strap. I wear my Thumb a little lower than my other basses due to this and over time have become use to it, but there's no question that it can be a problem for some folks. It puts your left wrist in a different playing position. This is indeed a consideration.
  19. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    If you bought the Cirrus you'd be able to join the TalkBass "Peavey Club". :) There's a lot of us!

    I have had very good experience with Peavey instruments and customer service over the years. That would make me favor the Peavey if faced with the choices you've given me.

    However, tn my experience it's better to get a bass that nails one REALLY GOOD tone than a "versatile" bass that can approximate many tones. That's why I sold my versatile Dyna-Bass to get a Fender Jazz V. That leads me to recommend the Stingray.

    I hate Warwicks. They're great instruments, don't get me wrong, just not my style at all. Just a particular preference.
  20. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    well, I dont own any of them, and my Corvette 6 isnt here yet (might be here any minute, i can hardly wait), but I have something for the Thumbs neck-dive (isnt my idea, it was in an old thread concerning this toic): put some weight in the electronics cavity. really, ive heard it works. Thumbs have a very distinct tone, thats why some dont like it - if you can find a Corvette (for versatility take rather the Proline), you should try it - you can never know, maybe it will be "your" tone...