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help on a fortress

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by warwickstoner, Jul 14, 2004.

  1. im planning on getting a warwick fortress really soon and i wanna know if emgs or the stock mecs sound better in it or any other info you have about the fortress
  2. im lookin to buy a warwick fortress so any information that anyone has on them would be great
  3. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND
    Never owned one, but tried a couple of them out. I thought the MEC's sounded just fine in them. I have never tried one with EMG's, so I can't comment on that.

    I thought they were pretty nice basses, though. Balanced great with that longer upper horn.
  4. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    You do know that they are out of production, right?
  5. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND
    You had two threads with the same subject. I merged them together, but in the future, please do not double post.
  6. danshee

    danshee Banned

    May 28, 2004
    Chicago, Illinois
    Double threading can happen while under the influence. Yeah, Warwick doesn't produce the fortress anymore, so used one it is!
  7. yeah, they went outta production in like 96 i think. theyre realy great basses but has anyone ever tried one with emgs?
    and srry bout the double post
  8. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND

    Did they make them with EMG's?? I don't remember ever seeing or hearing about them coming out with anything but the MEC's in them. But I could be wrong, of course. ;)
  9. they never made em with emgs but i heard somewhere that they sound a lot smoother with emgs in em
  10. bassarch


    Jul 24, 2001
    I have a fortress one 4 with MECs- 98 full wenge neck.With the BEC system it did sounded harsh no matter what I did.I couldnt change it.Then I changed the pups with Dimarzio model Jand P ( it was my only choice due to the place I live ) and the preamp with Basslines active preamp.The sound was more balanced,much more ballsy with incredible high output (The MECs have a very thin weak signal) and less harsh ,but this time it lost its character.Someth,ng wasnt warwickish anymore I must say, hard to explain.So I put the stock MECs back keeping the basslines preamp.....So far this is the best combination ;better than all MEC and the DM_BEC combination..
    My Fortress balances great ,the easiest fretboard to play (better than all the 2 times expensive basses Ive played up to now) the most comfortable neck (after than my ex love GL Climax ) which they do not do it anymore like that ...,the most important thing about it is that it has a holy killer sound live that makes the heads turn...I had lots of compliments for my sound during my gigs ....But never had a satisfying decent tone while recorded.Somehow it doesnt result in a good way recorded ..I couldnt figure out up to now,god knows why.Its kinda of love/hate relationship with this bass.
    Thats my experience with my Fortress.
    Good Luck
  11. BoogieNight


    Jun 15, 2001
    I have a Fortress One 1996 4 string with EMG P+J pickups and passive electronics (v-v-t-t). I like it a lot. Punchy sound. Does not sound harsh like the passive MEC corvette standard I had.

    They never made them with EMGs??? I thought mine came from factory with that pickups, because the wiring in the cavity are identical type of my Corvette. I´m the 3rd owner of this bass.
  12. SMG

    SMG Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2000
    metro Detroit
    My fisrt Warwick was a mid 90's Fortress. I got it used and it had Duncan active pickups with the tiny dip-switches, along with an MEC preamp. I conversed with the Warwick people (emailed them in Germnay, not the USA distributors) to find out if this was stock or not, and was told it may be. It seems they went through a time in the mid 90's when they couldn't get/produce enough MEC pickups for their USA distribution, so a variety of other pickups were put into the USA bound instruments. I was never sure it they meant they were shipped to the USA without pickups and had the pickups installed by the distributor, or if they just purchased aftermarket pickups in Germany and installed them during production. Either way, some mid 90's Warwicks could have wither EMG or Duncan pickups in them.

  13. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    Warwicks could be ordered with different electronics for an upcharge (they still can be ordered that way, but its far cheaper to do it yourself).
    Before they started MEC, EMGs were standard on Ws (about till 89-90 I guess) so there are old Streamers with stock EMGs
    Also some models had different preamps and different pickups.
    The first (couple of, I dont know exactly how many) series of FNAs came with SD Basslines 3b-eq, for example
  14. Z-Bass


    Apr 22, 2004
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Never owned a Fortress but I can give me 2 cents on the pickup question. I owned a Corvette Standard with passive MEC pickups. The passive MEC pickups sounded great to me, they always gave out good tone and worked well for recording and live use. Not leaving well enough alone, I swapped out the MECs for EMG pickups and preamp. The EMGs sounded great as well and I also had success with recording and live use but the overall sound did change. Some of the Warwick character was there but not really, difficult to explain but after a while I considered putting the passive MECs back in after hearing some older recordings. (The only thing I would recommend is shielding the pickup routes and electronics cavity). I think the MEC pickups are an important component to the Warwick sound, not the only one but an important one none the less.
  15. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    They've been resurrected, after a fashion, as part of Warwick's Rockbass line.
  16. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    The Rockbass line is decent for the price, but the Rockbass Fortress is not comparable to the old Warwick model. The only thing it really has in common is the shape, and the fact that it is a bass.
  17. jimothy


    Dec 12, 2001
    taylors sc
    I have a Fortress Flashback and love it!! I wouldn't change out the MEC pickups. If it ain't broke, don't fix it!