Dismiss Notice

Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Guitar Center trip... MM's, Warwicks, and Ibanezes...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Vic, Feb 13, 2005.


  1. Vic

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

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine
    Ok, so after reading/responding to threads here I wanted to check out one of the new Ibanez RD500's and refresh my memory on Bongos and SR5's. I even played a few Warwicks.

    First, the RD500. Awesome little bass for the money. MM + J config. GREAT tone, IMHO. I just wish they'd make a 905!!!! FYI, the 505 is the "deluxe" with the coil tap for the MM pickp. The 900 is the 5 string version. I may get one of the 900's to be my new frat gig bass. VERY fun to play, and great tone with a very simple config. I love that.

    Warwicks. Dead strings, terrible setup, then that baseball bat thick neck. While the strings/setup can be changed, and i do like the tone of PROPERLY cared for Warwick, I'll just never own one 'cause of that darn neck.

    Bongos. Nice basses, but still, just not my tone. A little too thick in the mids and not quite enough "depth". I know this really helps cut thru in a live mix, but I just need a little more hi-fi. Other than that, I think they're very high quality instruments, and if their tone is yer thing, get one. Period. I do totally love the refreshing and unique looks. The downside: The action was literally like a 1/2" off the fingerboard 'cause the neck so badly need a twist of the trussrod!! BIG scoop in the neck. UNREAL! They'll NEVER sell that 1300 bass with it set up that way!!! idiots... *sigh*. The other thing is, the spacing sure felt really narrow. I can do the 17mm 5 string spacing, (which is "standard"), but these just felt skinnier than that. Don't know if they really are. Like the Warwicks, I really wanted like these well enough to plan to add one to my family, but it just ain't gonna' happen. It'd be put away all the time.

    SR5's. I like these better than the Bongos, but still not really my thing. Between my Lakland 55-02 and all of the above, it's the Lakie all the way without ever lookin' back, IMHO.

    Someone asked about comparing a Lakland xx-02 and a MM. A responder said no comparison in tone. I'd have to disagree in a qualified way. While the 55-02 does sound different, it definitely is not like night and day when soloing the MM pickup on the xx-02 IMHO. There's definitely a SR tone there... just not as predominant as a real SR, but IMHO, that's perfect.

    Anyway, hope this is interesting to some... FYI/IMHO. :)
     
  2. RedVampyre

    RedVampyre

    Jan 10, 2005
    Alabama, USA
    Which Warwicks did you play? Not all Warwicks have huge necks. I find the necks of their larger necked basses, such as the Thumb very comfortable. It's all a matter of preference.

    In a store as big as Guitar Center I'd imagine Warwicks don't get the care they need (waxing unfinished bodies, changing aging stainless steel strings, etc).

    As far as the setup goes, I'm very surprised. Every Warwick I've tried has always had a great setup. Maybe the trussrod needed some adjustments?
     
  3. Vic

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

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine
    I will say the Warwicks weren't as bad as the Bongo at all, but still needed the action set lower, and the truss rod adjusted a bit. I shoulda' noted the models, but I THINK they were all bolt-on thumbs, and strangely, they had TWO of the exact same thing, and it was a fretless model, which are super slow sellers at a store front. Bottom line is, whomever is (or is not, as it were) running that part of the store has their heads where the sun don't shine if they wanna' sell some inventory, which I THOUGHT was especially the name of the game at a store front with the extra overhead. Very odd.

    Yeah, tho, don't get me wrong, Warwicks are great basses, but most of them have a pretty "round" neck, which I'm just not into.
     
  4. 3flowoj

    3flowoj

    Jan 13, 2005
    Morton IL
    You must be talking about the Peoria store. They don't have anyone really competent running the bass department.
     
  5. Jerry J

    Jerry J Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2000
    P-town, OR
    You know it's funny but GC is a Zon dealer. Yeah right! The GC's in my area haven't seen anything close to a Zon other than some pretty nice Pedulla's.

    Although I did see a really nice Zon 4 fretless up at the Seattle store about 4 years back. And Munji got a KILLER Zon 5 at the GC down in SoCal....and it was a screamin' deal if I remember right.
     
  6. Vic

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

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine
    Nope Highland Park. I was not impressed... especially for a store serving a fairly wealthy community.
     
  7. Vic

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

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine
    I've been to several IL GC's and have never seen a Zon in any of them. I'd bet they have the dealership simply because there's one or more western stores that were able to work something out with Joe.
     
  8. Hey you were in my neck of the woods. The Arlington Heights store has a couple of really nice used high end basses. One that sticks out in my mind is a sweet Ken lawrence, ya don't see those around here to often.
     
  9. Of all the GC's in the Chicago area I've found the Halsted(Lincoln Park) GC the most helpful. The stock was pretty decent, with the usual bias towards Warwicks and Fender's, but most of the instruments were set up to be at least playable and the staff was pretty nice as well. I've even seen the odd used Ric's and a few Alembic's in there.
    It's at least worth a visit and if you don't like it you can hop on the train to Belmont, which is one station away, and drool at vintage gear of the store just north of Belmont and Clark, whose name I just forgot.
     
  10. Vic

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

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine
    Been to that one many times. Back when they were an Alembic dealer, I bought my first 6 there... Epic. They seemed to have it goin' on pretty well last time I was there, but that was a while ago.
     
  11. Vic

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

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine
    Tell me more! I'm goin' up there for the Lakie 10th in about a month, and I'll be doin' the music store tour that day... try to squeeze a Lakie factory visit in, too if I can. :)
     
  12. Edwcdc

    Edwcdc I call shotgun!

    Jul 21, 2003
    Columbia MD USA
    I was in the GC in Glen Burnie MD and I was very dissapointed in their bass department. I played a Thumb, a Bongo, a MM S.U.B and a couple of Jazz basses and all had dead strings and bad setups. The Bongo had action so high I bet I could have driven my truck between the strings and the neck which by the way needed a turn of the truss rod. I think it's a shame how they keep their basses. How do you know if you like a bass when it sounds like crap because of dead strings and playes like crap because of a poor setup? If they had someone at least halfway able to set a bass up they might sell a couple. Judging by how dead the strings were I'd say they had been on the rack for a while.
     
  13. Allright, if you want to check out the GC it's on Halsted about half a mile North of the Fullerton Station of the Red Line. While you're there make sure you get a Hot Dog and a Tamale and Demon Dog's, just underneath the train station, which is owned by one of the guys from Chicago(the band) and has a ton of memorabilia in it. This is also a good area to see some of the standard blues clubs( B.L.U.E.S is very good, Kingston Mines is right across the street from the GC).
    The other store is called Music Exchange( http://www.chicagomusicexchange.com/ ) and while they have a great selection of gear, such as a ton of Ric's and quite a few vintage fenders, the staff seems to be compromised of complete dicks. Still worth a visit though.
    Otherwise there's tons of small mom and pop stores but they tedn to be pretty far apart and hard to get to if one isn't driving.