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Cracks in Warwicks?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by DinoSco, Sep 26, 2002.

  1. DinoSco


    Mar 8, 2002
    Oakland, CA
    I know that this has been touched on here before, but I want to check and see if anyone has experience with a specific issue. I just got a beautiful 1991 boire rosewood Warwick Dolphin that has a couple razor-thin surface cracks near the bottom, each a couple inches long. It's not affecting the bass in any way at this point, so far as I can tell.

    I emailed the always-helpful Warwick rep about this and he said it's a problem they've had with the boire, apparently many of the older Dolphins have developed cracks. In all the internet research I did prior to buying this bass, I never heard one instance of this, so I'm putting the call out: does anyone know personally, or through verified information, of any cracking issues in older Warwick Dolphins made of rosewood? If so, did these issues eventually render the bass unusable? Any help would be great. I love this bass and plan on keeping it and playing it often, but would like to know if there's a "ticking clock" on it, as it were.

  2. I've heard of the Dolphin cracks.


    It's fairly rare though. (-1%?)
    Not likily to happen.
    Some people provide an environment for cracks to develop by subjecting the instrument to quick temp/humidity extremes, never keeping it in the HC, etc...

    If a crack does show up, have it repaired immediately and you won't have any problems.

    Don't worry about it.
    Just enjoy your bass.
  3. DinoSco


    Mar 8, 2002
    Oakland, CA
    Thanks... the Warwick rep actually said that they've had cracking issues with "over half" of the boire Dolphins made, which is something I'd <b>NEVER</b> heard. I definitely am not going to put a lot of worry into it, just looking for outside verification of this issue and the extent of it. Anyone else?

  4. WOW 50%!!!

    Warwick should do a recall and replace those basses due to manufacturer defects.

    Could easily win in small claims court if you had that statement in an e-mail from a Warwick rep. or agent.

    50% rate is unexceptable in any book, with any product, no matter who manufactures it.

    Implied Warranty of Merchantability.

    An implied warranty is not necessarily written or spoken. Instead, the warranty automatically applies under law. There are two types of implied warranties: the implied warranty of merchantability and the implied warranty of fitness for a particular purpose.

    The implied warranty of merchantability ensures that a product is adequate for the purpose that the seller claims it will serve. This warranty only applies if the seller is a merchant.

    If a product breaks after the manufacturer's warranty period, the buyer may still be able to get relief.

    (1) The implied warranty of merchantability provides that an item is reasonably fit for the ordinary purposes for which such items are used. The items must be of at least average, fair or medium-grade quality and must be comparable in quality to those that will pass without objection in the trade or market for items of the same description. 50% chance of cracking violates this. Especially if this statistic was known by the company at the time of the sale.

    (2) The implied warranty of fitness for a particular purpose provides that an item is fit for use for the particular purpose for which the buyer will use the items. The buyer can rely upon an implied warranty of fitness for particular purpose when-

    (i) The seller knows the particular purpose for which the buyer intends to use the item; and...

    (ii)... the buyer relied upon the manufacturer's skill and judgment that the item would be appropriate for that particular purpose.

    (3) One can consult with legal counsel prior to asserting any claim for a breach of an implied warranty.
  5. DinoSco


    Mar 8, 2002
    Oakland, CA
    I do have it in an email -- the question for this hypothetical is, when does the implied warranty end? The bass was made 11 years ago; I highly doubt there is any sort of implied warranty on a musical instrument -- nay, just about any sort of purchased good -- which is that old. One or two years, sure; a decade, very doubtful.

    I wouldn't want to take any action anyway, but I do think it's interesting that they've reported defects to that extent, when prior to speaking to the rep, I hadn't heard anything about this at all -- not on this board, not on alt.guitar.bass, not on any other site that mentioned the Dolphin. That's why I'm posting, to see if others have heard similar information.

  6. jasonbraatz


    Oct 18, 2000
    Oakland, CA
    i also have a little crack in my SS2, but it was deemed so small as to be unrepairable. i got it from walking around in the snow and ice with my ss2 in a really weak gig bag (DUMB!!! :mad: ) and slipping and falling on my ass.

    but i don't even worry about it anymore. i took it to a luthier and he said unless you can move it, not to worry about it.
  7. A gap filling glue such as epoxy and some rosewood sawdust (fine) might make an almost invisible fix that you could oil right over... have you checked with a good luthier?
  8. Any open-grained piece of wood with an oil-wax finish is likely to develop cracks over time if it is exposed to drastic changes in humidity or temperature (such as being taken from a case in a climate-controlled living room to a cold car into an overheated bar). My guess is that boire is especially susceptible to this problem.
  9. j.s.basuki

    j.s.basuki Supporting Member

    May 14, 2000
    I had different problem when I was their distributor.
    Most of the neck of the bolt on basses developed line in the joint which you can feel when you play. Sometimes the lines is even visible. Warwick didnot want to replace them unless the necks shipped back to Germany prior to replacement. I had many complaints from customer.
    Over here Warwick is notorious with the neck. I had few broken truss rod from customer because it is hard to adjust.
    Our climate is very hot and humid and dool and dry inside the airconditioned building. My experience is , maple neck is the best, they are very stable.
  10. DinoSco


    Mar 8, 2002
    Oakland, CA
    Haven't yet, simply because I don't perceive it as being anything other than a cosmetic problem at this point (and a really minor one at that). The cracks are razor thin, I doubt I could even get any epoxy or sawdust in there. My main worry is that the cracks will stretch, widen and grow over time. If that becomes an issue, I will check with a luthier. Until that ever occurs, I just wanted to check with others here to see if they had heard about any excessive cracking in Warwick Dolphins (specifically the boire models).

  11. Chuck M

    Chuck M Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    San Antonio, Texas
    I once bought a Thumb fretless that had a crack in the body. The fix is very easy.

    Clean the area around the crack with acetone to remove the wax "finish". Sand the area with 400 grit wet or dry sandpaper (use it dry). Dust from sanding will fill the crack. Apply thin super glue to the sawdust. Repeat sanding and gluing until the crack is completely filled. Sand the area smooth and "refinish" with the Warwick wax.

    When I repaired the body on the bass that I had, the repair looked like figure in the wood. It also stopped the crack from getting bigger.

  12. tyson


    Feb 9, 2000
    Dallas, TX
    Chuck, my p-type-bass has been subject to some rough temperature changes in the trunk of my car. i can see a crack in the body at the right corner of the neck pocket heading towards the back of the lower heel. when i put the neck on the bass it was a tight fit. now my body is cracked. would your crack fixing technique with the super glue work for such a crital spot?? :confused: i also guess i need to sand the heel of my neck down so it doesn't put so much pressure on the body.
  13. Yamarc

    Yamarc Supporting Member

    Jun 25, 2002
    Okemos, MI
    Dino, I too just bought a 1991 Dolphin. I have not recieved it yet and I supposedly does not have any cracks, but what else have you found out? Thanks, MArc
  14. This cracking applies primarily to boire Dolphins. The most common area for these "cracks" is from the edge of the body, below the bridge where the neck-through woods are hidden by the rosewood cap. I've been fortunate not to have problems with my '90. Not being one to take chances I wax my basses religiously and don't generally abuse my gear. As mentioned, most problems of this type can be easily corrected by a luthier.

    The same folks at DGB will tell you that ovangkol is much easier to work with, is not an endangered wood and does not crack in the CNC machines, which is where much of this legendary "cracking" occurred.

    DinoSco, is the "crack" simply a gap at either side of the butt-end neck cap (see above) between the wings? If so, this is merely cosmetic and will not effect the playability of your instrument. It's still a good idea to get it filled in, and to wax regularly.
  15. I was very interested in purchasing a Boire body Dolphin several years ago that had the very same cracking, or splinterring problem as I called it when I described the problem to the people at DBG. They mentioned the same thing that many of the Dolphins were developing cracks in the body. Now they didn't throw out a number like 50%, but they said that there were enough that were developing this problem which was why the choice to Ovangkol was made.

    I've experienced the same problems with the Wenge necks as well. My current Dolphin is starting to splinter. It can be fixed, and it's not that big of a deal, but the point is that it does happen especially in dry areas. This was the reason why Warwick changed their neck woods to Ovangkol, or at least one of the reasons. I'm sure that it may have been economic as well, although Ovangkol isn't a cheap wood either. Remember, Ovangkol is also called Shedua by many other builders. Shedua often times has a big upcharge, especially for figured tops. I think that Warwick had good intentions on making the changes, it was just percieved as a cost cutting measure rather than a way of making a positive change to the bass. I can see both sides of the argument, and personally, I wish that they still used all of the woods they used to use.
  16. Where/How... I've never heard of this.

    Please elaborate.
  17. Well specificly, allong my neck verticlly in a few spots, there are areas that are starting to spread apart or crack. I keep the bass regularly oiled and for the most part, in a temperature controlled area in the house. I actually, come to think of it, had this same problem on my Corvette Pro but on the fingerboard. That one I had to have fixed. I can't tell you how it has happened, other than it's happening and that I'm trying to prevent it from worsening. I have had other Wenge necked basses that have not had this problem, specificlly, MTD and Acacia's. The grain was a lot tighter on those basses, and I didn't have any problems with the spaces in the grain widening or cracking. So I think that the problem is with Warwick for whatever reason. If you ask DBG why Wenge was replaced by Ovangkol, they will tell you they had problems with the Wenge splinterring over time.
  18. Dang!

    Maybe I should get a Maple Rockbass neck
    to replace the Wenge neck on my Streamer. :D

    I'm just a little confused 'cause I've alway heard
    that Wenge Necks were superior to Ovangkol...
    So many different stories...
    Anywho, my wenge neck is 6 years old and is like
    new... but now you've got me lookin', inspectin',
    and crossing my fingers that my $1700 instrument
    isn't going to start crackin' up...

    June 26, 2001 -
    rickreyn posted

    "I bought a Warwick Corvette Standard 5-string in October 2000 from Rik’s Music in Knoxville and had it shipped to Tampa. I immediately had it professionally set up with new strings. The guitar had the wenge fret board with an ovangkol neck. About four months later, I again had the guitar set up and the tech noted a slight twist in the neck when he lowered the action a bit. He advised me to watch it to see if it got any worse. Playing wasn’t affected. At that time I e-mailed Dana B. Goods (Warwick distributor) and told them about the problem. They told me at that time that if I would send the guitar to them, they’d evaluate it and replace the neck if necessary. About three weeks ago, I was about to have new strings put on and my tech said that I shouldn’t bother because the neck had worsened. I packed the guitar up and sent it out to Rob at Dana B. Goods and he replaced my neck with a “firmer” all-wenge neck. This was all accomplished over my two-week vacation with no “down time.” Thought everyone might want to know about this warranty success story. Hats off to Dana B. Goods and Warwick for backing their product!

    Read the rest of the thread
  19. I too have always had excellent service from Dana B. Goods. They are top notch. It's also probably worth mentioning that I currently own 3 natural finish Warwicks over 10 years old and all are problem free. The 4th is a custom white Dolphin and is a recent instrument, and it is also fine.
  20. Yamarc

    Yamarc Supporting Member

    Jun 25, 2002
    Okemos, MI
    Dale Titus from DBG also told me that you can always put on a high gloss finish if the bass starts to crack. Anyone tried this? I wonder how much a job like that would run? Thanks, Marc

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