How do I get the Thumb Bass sound using a Non Thumb?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Whippet, Dec 6, 2016.

  1. Whippet


    Aug 30, 2014
    I really like the Thumb Through neck 5 string. Bubinga body and Wenge neck, Ebony fret board. Sadly since I ordered a bass recently, I don't have 3000 bucks.....

    Is there a cheap or cheaper alternative? (other than used, I already looked it up and there are none in my area)

    Or must I just save and buy the thumb 5?

    Thanks for all information in advance.
    Seth Miller and BrentSimons like this.
  2. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    I don't mean to sidestep your question but I'm sure you can find a bass tone you like for a lot less than three grand. I doubt the thumb sound is specific enough for anyone to point out sight unseen.
  3. Mushroo

    Mushroo Guest

    Apr 2, 2007
    This question gets asked a lot, you can use the Search feature to read similar discussions from the past.

    The "Warwick growl" in my opinion/experience is all about the mids. I've had good luck simulating this on non-Warwick basses by plucking closer to the bridge and panning the pickup blend toward the bridge pickup. Hopefully your new bass is a JJ, PJ, or similar? ...
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2016
    Jim Carr and Whippet like this.
  4. ive gotten close but nothing growls like a thumb bass that is fretless epoxied running barts. just saying. save up for a thumb.
  5. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    I'd have to agree with Gorn.
    Try out one of these. More tones than you'll know what to do with, and active-passive to boot with a truly great passive tone.
    G&L Magnetic Field Design humbuckers backed by the flexible Tri-Tone control system. The Tri-Tone system features a trio of mini toggles for pickup selection, series/parallel signal routing and passive/active/active with treble boost, operation, as well as the active boost-cut knobs.

    This is the USA-made G&L L-2000, $1,500 or less, new, but the Tribute sells for $700 and less and they have the same USA-made pickups and electronics.
    I went with the Tribute and I'm still amazed by the many different tones I can get out of mine...$529 brand new!
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2016
    osonu, joebar, Jay2U and 1 other person like this.
  6. Whippet


    Aug 30, 2014
    I do have a Corvette half way across the world in Bubinga, Wenge configuration. I tried it briefly a month ago and had no luck. I need to try it again. My new bass is a JJ and a JH. I will give that a go.

    I looked up some old threads and got to read your posts so I will definitely try your technique, especially with the blend towards the bridge.

    THX for the info.
    TonyP- likes this.
  7. Whippet


    Aug 30, 2014
    Don't tell me that. All I need is to spend more money. LOL

    Hopefully one of my basses will give me that growl and mid with a little right hand technique.
  8. Whippet


    Aug 30, 2014
    That thumb sound. what is it? is the mid compressed? I'll be trying out some right hand placement and blend tinkering but I kind of find it hard to get convinced that the dual slanted pickup placement can be substituted.....
  9. it will get close, but when you get a german nt thumb you will be smitten and never look back lol. just told you that haha
    NEOBart and CORBS like this.
  10. songwriter21

    songwriter21 I have an obsession for wood. The musical kind. Supporting Member

    Jul 31, 2005
    Sadly, these are criminally underrated, as I got one not too long ago, and the aggression and range of tones surpasses even a G&L L2500. My bass just kills.

    *NBD* ESP E-II AP-5 (Japanese)
  11. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    Oh I honestly have no idea. But it can't be so unique that only a thumb can produce it, IMO. I'm sure that's not a popular opinion as many people feel only a P can sound like a P and a Rickenbacker like a Rickenbacker and so on.
    InhumanResource and Whippet like this.
  12. like i said you can get close but like a rickenbacker nothing really sounds like it. you can get close though ive done it with fretless ibanez and crap like that but no cigar
    Whippet likes this.
  13. songwriter21

    songwriter21 I have an obsession for wood. The musical kind. Supporting Member

    Jul 31, 2005
    If you end up going the Thumb route, regardless, here's something to entice you even more...Ryan Martinie is a freakin' MONSTER on his Thumb on this track.

    (try to ignore the vocals, as they're not everyone's cup of tea)

    chaak, Ikkir, anavar and 6 others like this.
  14. you know there was a 2004 thumb nt 6 on here not too long ago for 2000 which is a steal in my opinion. i got mine for 2800 which is a 2003. it has bubinge pommele body, ovangkol neck with wenge streamers and an ebony fretboard same as mine does for 2k i almost bought another but i must save my money not spend it lol.
    Whippet likes this.
  15. Bob_Ross

    Bob_Ross Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 29, 2012
    I have no idea whether a cheaper bass can sound like one, I just wanna know where I can get a 5-string neck-thru Thumb bass for only $3,000!
    Seth Miller and Whippet like this.
  16. used, I got my 6 string thumb nt for 2800, then paid a luthier 900 to defret, poly, and put in bartolini pickups, and a bartolini 3 band preamp without tapping extra holes. The electronics ran me about 350. So not too bad of a deal to get exactly what I 4200 all in I suppose. But if you just want a fretted there are deals all around just on talk bass the other week or so ago dood had a 2004 nt thumb 6 pretty much mint for 2100... so the deals are around save your money and wait. It took me a few years to make it happen but it was so worth it in every way.
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2016
    Bob_Ross and Whippet like this.
  17. Btw there is probably 2 nt thumb 5's up for sale if you look hard enough depends on the wood choices you want but a fair street price is 2300 to 2800 or so. I have seen them go for as low as 1800 bucks here on talkbass
    Whippet likes this.
  18. Minirehak 212

    Minirehak 212

    Mar 7, 2015
    Milwaukee have no idea how long I've waited for the isolated Dig bass track to pop up, I love you.
    But to the OP, I don't have a Thumb but I feel like I can get pretty close with my Corvette. I boost the bass, low mids, treble and cut high mids. You really need a Thumb or at least something with the same woods/pickup config. I did get pretty close to a Warwick sound with a Stingray in single coil
    Whippet and songwriter21 like this.
  19. InhumanResource

    InhumanResource Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2012
    Bucks County, PA
    For real. I would venture to say that with decent pickups and a sweepable mid control you can get darn close to just about anything.
    Whippet and Gorn like this.
  20. Korladis

    Korladis Inactive

    Build a Warmoth out of similar materials, with the same pickups and pickup configuration.