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Hey, where's the cream filling?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by sigkill, Jul 6, 2004.

  1. err...growl? :p

    To be a little serious now, I got back into bass because of the sound of Ryan Martinies Warwick Thumb. Since day one then, I've been fiending to get my hands on a Thumb, but was willing to settle on any Warwick. Well, last weekend at Guitar Center I didn't have the option to buy one, because they were way outta my price range, but I did have the oppurtunity to finally play a couple.

    I was psyched just to do that! Anyway, I started with a Vette Standard. I like some weight to my basses, so it felt nice in that respect. The feel of oil finished wood in my hands for the first time though, was a bit odd. Anyway, that's secondary to tone. As for that, all the basses I played on that day I tried through the same Galien Krueger head and cab. I had played some good sounding basses already, like an Ibanez BTB 405QM and the SUB I ended up getting. I picked up the Vette though and was expecting to just instantly fall in love. Didn't happen.

    In fact the opposite happened, I hated it! :( I was expecting a nice deep woodsy low end with plenty of mid/treb growl. What I got was extremely quiet output, decent highs, severely choked mids, and no lows. If I were to have just heard it, I would have swore I was listening to a guitar! :eek: Now, as I said, I had already ran a few basses on the amp like the BTB and I didn't touch the amp from where it was set. I know the BTB is active and the salesguy went crazy boosting everything on it before he let me play it, but the SUB is passive and it killed the Vette on whatever settings the amp was on. My girlfriend was with me, and she was getting bored and had been telling me they all sounded alike until I got to the Warwick. She shot a funny look and said, "I don't think that one even sounds as good as your Squier". :scowl: OK, I know there is something very wrong with that statement!

    I thought, eh, maybe somethings up with it, put it back on the wall and grabbed the Thumb. Plugged it in and my heart broke the rest of the way. :bawl: It was barely any better than the Vette. Girlfriends remark was "now aren't you glad you didn't save up for one of those?" The best answer to that? NO!! Because I know the answer lies in my inexperience. I didn't have something set right. I'm sure of that. My question then, is how do I set the amp and knobs on the basses to coax that beautiful signature Warwick sound out of these babies? I'm going back this Friday, and while I can't buy one, I want to go back and play them and hear them as they were meant to be heard. My heart needs to be mended! :crying: :help:
  2. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    Want to hear how a real W sounds like? Then do NOT go to a GC!! I can guess you were the n+1st to play that bass and GC gave it no maintenance and no setup... :rollno:

    Possible problems:
    - dead strings: very-very likely, i'm almost sure
    - from your "extremely quiet output" remark it is almost certain that it had a dead battery, as well - mine is hot even in passive
    - high action - makes it uncomfortable
    - bad setup
    - low pu-height

    I've got a Corvette 6, and I can tell you, it doesnt just look beautiful, it even sounds that way so much so, that i rarely turn up the active circuit, i run it passive. Even so, I have to turn down the volume a little bit because the output is too hot for most amps. The tone is growly in the upper bass and low-mid region, and has slightly compressed highs.
    Good settings? I dont know which are the best, but this works for me: I leave the amp flat, the bass passive and pan a bit towards the bridge pu - like 65-35% for slightly growly, but pronounced and deeper tone. For growlier and funkier, 90-10% to the bridge, and maybe some treeble and bass boost on the bass. Nowadays I'm rediscovering the neck pu - now that I got an Ampeg SVP-BSP pre - it sounds very good with a little bit of that dirty Ampeg sound :cool:

    And no, the problem lies not entirely with you - you had high hopes, and set the standard too high, thats your only problem (and maybe that you dont have Rian's technique and amps and strings) - but the main problem lies with GC.
    Now cheer a bit up and go to a more decent bass shop or wait till a new shipment arrives ;)
  3. Adam Barkley

    Adam Barkley Mayday!

    Aug 26, 2003
    Jackson, MS
    I have a 96 Corvette and it sounds awesome. It is the defition of deep growl.

    First, always setting everything flat with every new instrument you try. It doesn't matter if the SUB you were playing sounding great with that setting, because it is totally different from the Vette.

    Also don't rule out that it could have been in bad condition. At the two GCs I have visited, I wouldn't have bought anything from them as they were trying to sell it because everything was destroyed (high action, messed up finishes, dead strings, broken/scratchy pots, etc.)
  4. Jmann


    Apr 29, 2003
    Lexington, Ky
    I played a vette 4 at GC & i dont think GC's Warwicks are really Warwicks. I have a vette 4 & the one at guitar center sounded nothing like it. If you want a warwick, find another dealer.
  5. I'll sell you my 2002 B/O thumb 4...

    PM me if interested.

    I agree with what's been said, my Warwick can sound very bottomy and the output is pretty hot. Try one somewhere else if possible...

    Then buy mine! :D
  6. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    well, gc basses definitely get abused, but that being said, your description of the tonal limitations of the warwick matches my own experience with instruments that i've played in various stores, not just gc.

    if you want to be sure, bring a battery with you and try to swap it withwhat's in the instrument (if it's an active one). that's probably a large part of the problem.
  7. danshee

    danshee Banned

    May 28, 2004
    Chicago, Illinois
    It sounds like something was wrong with that bass or something. While it won't sound as good as a Streamer or Thumb they still sound pretty cool. The way you describe it was like it was fried. Don't judge it yet man. Go play some other Corvettes if that's what is in your price range. I'm always pleasantly surprised whenever I pick one up. I pick it up with low expectations, then I don't want to put it down because I'm havin fun. Cool stuff for less $$$.
  8. I agree with john probably a dead battery. i know the gc in my area is notorious for letting those things go dead. :scowl:
  9. :scowl: DUH! I feel incredibly stupid now. Didn't occur to me the battery and strings could have been dead. :rollno: I knew all kinds of people try the basses, so I don't know why that didn't occur to me. Then again, my dad always says his kids have some book smarts, but don't have the common sense God gave a rock, so. :D

    I should have known though, just on the day I was there, I saw three other guys go into the soundroom, and all three headed straight to the Warwicks. In fact, I don't think the other guys tried anything else but the Warwicks. I think that natural finish on those exotic woods is a definite attractant. That or the sound of someone else's Warwick, that can actually play, because none of us that were tryng the Warwicks could play for squat! :p I found that part quite funny. At least I didn't pick it up and slap and pop it to death like the other guys though.

    Anyway, I'll bring some batteries and my set of small allen wrenches with me and see if things get better. I'll mess with the amp settings and bass settings more now that I know what to shoot for to. This all brings me to my next question, though. Are there any places that keep one model on display and a decent supply of them in their boxes in the back, so if you try and buy, you get an actual brand new instrument? I haven't been to a place anywhere around here that did that. It seems to me, that a national chain store like GC, could definitely afford to take a slight hit and do that.

    Well, appreciate the advice guys, I'll probably try to make a day of it again, even though I don't have any money. Just go up there and try even more stuff and hit every music shop I see. That way the G.A.S. can go grow to immense proportions, and I can be even more tempted to sell the secondary ride (97 Camaro). That was the original plan to get money for school, but once it was established I didn't have to do it, everyone just forgot about it. I told my gf I was thinking about posting it on here to trade for a Dolphin and nice rig, and she just rolled her eyes. :D
  10. I'd love to, but I'm broke now! :bawl: If I hit the lottery or something though, I'll be sure to find ya. :D
  11. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    Yeah, so you also agree with me, dont you? ;) :rolleyes:

    " - Doctor, i have this strange feeling that people ignore me.
    - Next please!"
    :rolleyes: :p
  12. Niels Keijzer

    Niels Keijzer Guest

    Nov 27, 2000
    I had a passive corvette and I sold it.
    It sounded quite nice in the bedroom and all, but in a band situation it lacked in depth and punch. Growl is fine and all that, but a bass needs to complement other instruments and make them play better.
    And I waxed the thing with great discipline, but I'm glad that I have a bass now that doesn't need that kind of maintenance.
    And I hated the bridge, by the way. Those little blocks would catapult themselves through my bedroom when I was changing strings.
  13. Bard2dbone


    Aug 4, 2002
    Arlington TX
    And don't be surprised to find wide variation amongst identical models. In my experience this has been especially true of Warwicks. The first one I ever played was one of the best four strings I have ever gotten my hands on. It was awesome. It was a neck-thru Thumb through a Trace Elliot stack. Wow. Just wow.

    I saved up for a loooooooooong time to be able to buy a bass just like that one. The closest equivalent I saw in a couple of years at my local GC was a Jack Bruce signature. I went in ready to buy. Cash in hand. Major GAS in full flower.

    And I left without it.

    Yeah. It was THAT disappointing.

    Now don't get me wrong. They don't ALL suck. But if you find a great one, BUY THAT ONE!
  14. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    I've had similar poor experiences with Warwicks, which was VASTLY disappointing considering I'd had gas for them for MONTHS previous to trying one. Very disappointing. It was, however, in L&M (closest Canadian equivalent to Guitar Centre) so I have a sneaking suspicion that they suffered from the ailments of dead batteries and dead strings.

    Still doesn't explain the uncomfortable necks though...;)