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I, uh, don't know a lot about Warwicks. Assistance?

Discussion in 'Warwick Basses' started by Hamlet7768, Apr 1, 2013.

  1. Hamlet7768

    Hamlet7768 Here to chew gum and rock. Still have gum.

    Jun 5, 2011
    As the title says, I don't know a lot about Warwicks. Oh sure, I know that they have "the Warwick sound," I know the Rockbass options (roughly), and apparently they have thick necks, but I don't really know what "the Warwick sound" is, or what distinguishes Warwicks from other basses. I mean, they look awesome, and I'm sure I'd like them, but I just don't know a lot.

    Anybody care to give a primer on them?
  2. joebar


    Jan 10, 2010
    i am fairly new to them as well but this is
    what i have experienced thus far:

    warwicks seem to have a signature snarl or growl that seems to be inherent in their basses. a dark, clear mid-range presence that some players love and some don't.
    i have owned a corvette standard bubinga and currently have two thumb basses
    there seems to be a connection to the woods they use in construction IMO.
    my thumb BO is a very bright mid rangey beast that sounds totally unique.
    my old vette had such clarity and depth to its sound.
    my other thumb is very dark and round-a very complex tone.
    i have a friend who owns four WW's and he would echo these statements.
    his NT thumb 4 is truly one of the best sounding basses i have ever heard.
    when i think of warwick, i think of an organic, powerful modern instrument
  3. Flatwound

    Flatwound Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2000
    San Diego
    German Warwicks are commonly made of exotic woods, including bubinga, afzelia, wenge, and ovangkol. They usually use MEC pickups, although not always. Some are made with swamp ash or flame maple bodies, with ovangkol or wenge necks. I don't really know what makes them sound like Warwicks, perhaps a combination of woods and pickup placement. I think wenge has its own sound, and Warwick has made a lot of necks and fingerboards out of wenge.

    I currently only have 1 Warwick, :crying: a , 94 Thumb bolt-on, and it has a walnut body, wenge neck, and wenge fingerboard. I think the walnut-bodied ones (made thru '94 I think?) have a somewhat more subdued tone than the later bubinga and ovangkol bodied Thumbs. The tone of a Thumb IME has massive midrange presence and is capable of supplying earthshaking lows and biting highs. I previously had a 2003 Thumb BO 6, and a 1993 Thumb 6 NT. The NT was absolutely beautiful, but I find myself liking the BO's better.

    A good example of the "Warwick Sound," supplied by a Streamer this time, would be the Incubus albums featuring Dirk Lance. I think he played on the first 5 albums, but I'm not an Incubus expert. Also listen to 311, featuring the mighty P-Nut.

    Warwicks, especially the neck-thru models, can be heavy. My bolt-on 6 weighed 11 lbs. 6 oz. IIRC, and my Thumb NT 6 was over 12 lbs. However, some of their swamp ash models can be very lightweight. I had a Corvette $$ that weighed about 8 lbs.

    Hope this helps.
  4. Herrick


    Jul 21, 2010
    Munchkin Land
    Some Warwicks like Streamers, Corvettes, & Thumbs have smaller bodies & tighter string spacing compared to most other basses. This pleases Herrick.
  5. adamaarts


    Apr 19, 2001
    Corona, CA
    Beta tester Source Audio, demos/reviews of many others
    They all seem to have that growl, or the sound of wood. Each particular model has its own attributes that makes it unique and different from the others, but still retains that 'sound.' There is always discussion on what the sound is and what makes it, since all the models are all so different, but I think its a combo of wood choice and PU placement.

    I have had a Corvette Bubinga 5 string for about ten years. It is darker than most basses, with a bump somewhere in the low/low midrange. It worked nicely to cut through in a hard rock band. It is also extremely heavy.

    I also have a Streamer LX, which has a Maple body. It also has a slimmer neck, but still pretty thick compared to say Ibanez necks. This bass is extremely transparent and clear sounding. It still has that growl, but not as much of a low end bump. I get comments from my church sound crew all the time on how nice it sounds in the mix.

    A Thumb bass will sound more mid range-y, due to its PU placement being so lose to the bridge. I played a NT model once and it definitely has that sound, but again, a different beast altogether from the 2 I own. Listen to Mudvayne, Ryan is all about the Thumb basses.
  6. socialleper

    socialleper Bringer of doom and top shelf beer Supporting Member

    May 31, 2009
    Canyon Country, CA
    There are three "classes" of Warwick: The German made, The Pro Series and the Rockbass series.
    The Rockbass series is made in Asia, is their most value oriented line and is the most common in the US right now. They are pretty well made from what I've heard people say, but in my mind are only half a Warwick.
    The Pro Series is newer and oddly hard to find. You can see them for sale on Ebay, but none of the big MI stores are listing them on their websites the last time I checked. I found one Pro Series BO Thumb at the Sam Ash in Hollywood CA which I reviewed somewhere here on TB. It was OK. I would like to see the Streamer models in person.
    The German made Warwick basses are the "real" thing. As others pointed out they are known for high quality woods, crafty engineering, deep lows, serious weight and a center of gravity that takes getting used to. To me they are also infamously (annoyingly?) rare. I haven't seen a new German made Warwick in a store in years, used ones are pretty rare too. The used market for German Warwick basses is pretty hot, but I have noticed a real dip in the last 6 months.
    I have a Corvette $$ that took me a while to get set up the way I like it but I now love it. It is a complex instrument that takes some tweaking to get what you want out of it. My favorite part is the natural ovangkol neck which just feels good when its been waxed properly.

    Warwick makes a great product but they aren't Fenders. They don't sound, look, or play like any other bass.
  7. ImageUploadedByTalkBass1366301504.550741.
    I own 3 wicks, 2 custom made. They're IMHO great basses. Can't find a bass which suits me better than my Streamers.
    Asian made are fine and worth the buck, but if you can go for a german one, go for that (maybe 2nd hand). Craftsmanship is better and far more detailed. If you buy new, custom made you can choose your woods, pu's, neck and far more!
    Sound and looks on youtube for different models, which are different for each type.
    My 2 cents.

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