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

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

  1. anavar


    Oct 10, 2013
    my bass tone can beat up your dad's bass tone.
    Thumb nt player checking in

    nothing sounds like a thumb. Nothing. I have played and owned many warwicks and while corvettes and streamers can get close, once you pop it in a mix and pop some fresh strings on it, its a different ball game.

    my suggesting is to look for a Korean Pro series (which i have owned) and boost it with a clean preamp or compressor. Fresh Dr Lo-riders also help.

    also wood has ZERO affect on it. I have owned thumbs made of Bubinga/ebony/ovangkol others were ovangkol/maple/wenge and my current one its made of ash/walnut/ebony/wenge/purple heart and they all sounded the same.

    save up, get a thumb and never look back.
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2016
    BlueAliceOasis, Helix, djaxup and 2 others like this.
  2. A wooden trombone would get you pretty close!
    Rabidhamster and Bob_Ross like this.
  3. Yup. My Thumb wore DR Hi-Beams, and WOW did that thing ever rip. :)
    Whippet and anavar like this.
  4. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Inactive Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA

    Used under $1K
    jd56hawk and Whippet like this.
  5. Kingston super 5? Not a lot of them floating around but I would venture to say it could get some pretty thumby tones.
    Whippet likes this.
  6. Susqmike


    Nov 15, 2011
    The thumb Does have a unique characteristic tone. It's different than the Streamer and the Corvette. You may want to check out the Pro Series (not the rockbass line..) for a more affordable option that you can still get in bubinga body and wenge neck.
    Great deal on evil bay at the moment. Pro series for 999.00..
    • Bubinga Body
    • Ovangkol Neck
    • 24-Fret Wenge Fingerboard
    • Active MEC J/J Pickups
    • Warwick Black Hardware and Strap-Locks
    • Warwick Just-A-Nut III
    • Warwick Gigbag
    Whippet likes this.
  7. jpTron


    Apr 19, 2010
    I have a Warwick Thumb 5 BO. I changed out the pre for an Aguilar 2 band. Before the swap people would compliment my bass. After the swap people would compliment my tone. It made it really cut through and growl like never before. That could be a cheaper route for you.
    Whippet likes this.
  8. bass12

    bass12 Have You Met Grace Jones?

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    Not in my experience. I've noticed sonic differences in most, if not all of the Thumbs I've played. Same basic footprint but definite variations within. Also, some had more even note response than others.
    Whippet likes this.
  9. Thumb NT player here. No way to get "that" tone, you need the real thing if you want it. Just like a Rickenbacker.
    Whippet likes this.
  10. techbass76

    techbass76 Guest

    Nov 15, 2011
    What makes a bass have its own voice I believe is not just pickup placement or wood choices but the combination of all those things and more working together. The truss rod thickness and neck reinforcement, fret wire, neck shape, body density, etc..... Best thing IMHO is to buy the thumb bass because nothing else will give you that exact sound. You can occasionally luck out and find that tone in something else but its a rare thing. :thumbsup:
    Whippet likes this.
  11. Robroy

    Robroy Guest

    Jun 21, 2006
    By Boss gt6b has a thumb sound dialed in.
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  12. AciDBatH666


    Feb 13, 2008
    Lafayette, LA
    Part of the reason the thumb has that tone is that it's got stacked pickups in the bridge. I was in the market for a Dingwall, and then they came out with the NG-2 which instead of having a bridge and neck pickup like in the standard Combustions, it came with stacked bridge pickups and the Darkglass Tone Capsule which has low and high mid controls. It's not the same as a thumb, but I can get a similar tone out of it with the on board electronics and pickup location. Also the 4 point switch gives even more options for tone differences (Front pickup, rear pickup, Both in series, both in parallel).
    So that's an option that's *relatively* cheaper
    Whippet likes this.
  13. I'm curious how you did this. I had a GT6B for years! :)
  14. Robroy

    Robroy Guest

    Jun 21, 2006
    I don't remember. I did it a few years ago. BTW, my Korg Toneworks has it built in. It actually souns pretty good. I tried gigging with it once (before I got the gt6b, but it was a hassle.

    Just experiment.
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  15. anavar


    Oct 10, 2013
    my bass tone can beat up your dad's bass tone.
    bonus points

    The thumb Nt makes you look huge BTW. tiny little bodies on them.


    bit of bass porn ;)



  16. Holy cow that's gorgeous.
    anavar likes this.
  17. Whippet


    Aug 30, 2014
    I am not surprised by the 4 vs 5 being different. I was told that the extra mass in the neck has a tendency to make the bass a more subdued in the low mids. The thumb's character in the low mids is one of the distinct features, which probably makes it more noticeable.

    There is a Thumb 6 with a wenge neck through neck and purple heart body. Instead of the usual MEC singles, this thing has a double humbucker. This thing costs just a little over 4000 bucks. It looks really nice. I am dying to play this thing if it's still in the store mid January.

    Purple heart being very similar to wenge but likely to be a little more denser and heavier combined with the 6 string wenge neck and double humbucker seems like a very good different take on a Thumb. It's a one off and after talking to the store manager, he said that Warwick and the store decided to try this configuaration with the humbucker to balance out some character.

    I guess Warwick's answer to tone and wood is that it does have an effect on the sound of the bass and some add ons do alter the tone.
  18. Whippet


    Aug 30, 2014
    There is a thumb 6 BO for 2200. I am going to have to try that one out, but like mentioned by others, the 6 string neck might take out the mid low growl. I will just have to go try it out.
  19. Whippet


    Aug 30, 2014
    dang... that thing looks like the warwick dolphin $$ !!!!
  20. Whippet


    Aug 30, 2014
    You guys are lucky. Japan and Ukraine are not the places for cheap used Warwick. They well a ton of them but the Thumb NT5 in good shape hardly ever goes on a good price sale used or new.