Is ther anything like a Warwick thumb?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Psyrcle, Aug 29, 2005.

  1. Psyrcle

    Psyrcle Guest

    I was listening to some sound bytes and I didn't hear any other bass that sounds like a warwick thumb? Is there anything close to it that can get the natural growl but without the price?
  2. howie


    Aug 29, 2005
    i haven't found one as of yet. i bought a thumb bass back in march. i went to like three or four music stores that day trying out different basses. within the first 30 seconds of me playing it i knew it was the one and bought it right on the spot. good luck on your quest though, and i would love to hear if you find anything with a similar sound.
  3. QU!CK


    Apr 26, 2005
    Charlotte, NC
    I've also made the "mistake" of playing a thumb...those things just ooze with growl lol

    I was looking for something with a similiar sound but eventually gave up. After thinking about it, I knew whatever bass I may find would always just be another "runner-up" to the real thumb sound so I'm saving my pennies...

  4. I'm contemplating a Thumb 5 fretless unlined Bolt On, I too have yet to play a bass with the same growl as the Thumb. But you can get a Thumb pretty cheap used, The lowest Ive seen a Neck Through one was I think $1,100 and the lowest Ive seen for a BO was $800-900. I paln on strining it with a high C, oh the agaony... Bouble Buck Corvette 5, Thumb Fretless 5... Covette 5... Fretless Thumb 5... :bawl:
  5. TwoThumbs


    Mar 27, 2005
    Staunton,VA USA
    You'll have an extremely hard time finding this "growl" from any other bass.I 've owned several other basses and finally decided on a Warwick after reading endorsement credits from Cd's I had heard and said "what an awesome bass sound"......
    every time it was a Warwick.
    I have a bolt on fretless 5 and a Neck-Through 5 Thumb which I ordered with Brass nut and recessed strap lock system.Yes they are expensive, but if you are lucky you can pick them up on e-bay for a reasonable price.
    One other note, I have had several highly experienced soundmen tell me that it is the best sounding bass they had ever heard.It was worth every penny.
    My .02
  6. Warwickman0810


    Mar 29, 2005
    London, UK
    Any thumb has its own uique tone that cannot be replicated adn thats what makes those beasts unique. going to buy a 6 string soon, already got a 5 - sweet as a nut, lovely stuff, if you're after serious growl then thumb is definitely a thing for you :)
  7. Dincrest


    Sep 27, 2004
    New Jersey
    +1. The Thumb is one of a kind. And a used Thumb is a way to get a Thumb without the high price. A lot of people buy Thumbs because they love the tone, but then let go of them because they're not in love with the weight and balance.
  8. This is a bit like a Thumb,

    If you fancy something lighter - Dean make an Ash version.

    I'd love to hear what these sound and feel like.

    I loved the sound of my old Thumb 5-str BO but I hated the weight !

    I did try a 10-string Dean Hammer bass and that did sound good - but wood - sorry - would tune it EADGC - love those octaves !

  9. Snarf


    Jan 23, 2005
    New York, NY
    IMO and IME, you can get Carvins to sound kinda like Thumbs.
  10. This is very true, they cut through like foghorns...any bass that can cut through and has a good EQ will give lot's of growl
  11. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    The only thing close is a Zon Sonus Special...and those'll run you more than an actual Thumb.
  12. Cliff Bordwell

    Cliff Bordwell Commercial User

    Jan 6, 2004
    USA , Orlando , Florida
    Owner of CB BASSES
    The Growl is in the woods!!!
  13. Can't add much except that I agree about the tone. I really haven't heard much that sounds like a Thumb, and I can spot it in a heartbeat when I hear them on a recording (usually a few seconds after I go "man that's a nice sounding bass"). There are plenty of *great* sounding basses but they have their own sound and nothing really is similar to the Thumb. Also you say money is a concern and most of the great sounding ones are as much or more than a Thumb anyway.

    I have to echo the concerns about neck-dive and balance, although I really am very comfortable holding my Thumb and wearing any other bass just doesn't feel *right*. At any rate, make sure you play one for at least several minutes, standing up, to make sure it feels okay for you. FWIW I have a friend who is a professional touring musician and sponsored by Warwick who did a strap/horn modification to it to affect the balance and it works great, so that may also be a possibility.

    I also agree with the recommendations to keep your eye open for a used one. I'll never forget when I was sitting there playing a used Thumb 5 that was on consignment for $1800, trying to decide if I should scrape the money together to get it. Suddenly the store owner came over looking for it, said that the guy just called and really needed to sell, and proceeded to mark it down to $1280. Sold!. Best music-related money i've ever spent, and I even ended up getting a hardshell case out of it. Once you're used to plugging in your bass and having the tone of your dreams anytime you want it, you'll never regret the money you spent :)
  14. Dincrest


    Sep 27, 2004
    New Jersey
    A good Warwick Corvette (bubinga body, wenge fingerboard, wenge or ovangkol neck depending on year) has gobs of Warwick growl at an affordable price (a used Corvette can be had for under $850.)

    Does it growl like a Thumb? No. Does it growl really aggressively? Hell yeah. I find that the Thumb is growlier/rougher while my Corvette has more definition, but this is the best bass to rock if you want that Warwick growl at an affordable price.

    Again, only a Thumb can be a Thumb. Only a jaguar can be a jaguar...but if you think a leopard is close enough...

    Also, Corvettes tend to balance better than Thumbs. Though Thumbs, with the stubby upper horn and concave back, are meant to worn chest-height and have the neck dive at a shallow angle to facilitate aggressive slapping.
  15. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    Yeah, a Sonus Special will get you in the neighborhood.

    I once played a Warwick Streamer Stage II with EMGs, and it got pretty close to the Thumb sound too.

    I love the way the Thumb sounds, although that sound doesn't work for some types of music. If the ergonomics weren't so poor on the Thumb, I would own a bolt on 5.
  16. Kurt Hans

    Kurt Hans

    Mar 17, 2005
    Can you still get the recessed strap locks? I wish I would've known that a few years ago.
  17. whoapower


    Jul 14, 2005
    Austin, TX
    Same here, and that was back around 1990 or 91. My bass teacher had one. It was either the four string neck thru thumb, or a basic 6. I opted for the Tobias due to a "deal" with my bass teacher, who was a dealer at the time. =) I couldn't have been more happy, but still to this day, I look for the "deal" on the 4 string, neck thru thumb with adjustable everything.
  18. Basshole

    Basshole Banned

    Jan 28, 2005
    I own both a 5 and a 6 string wenge/bubinga n/t Thumb (as well as a wenge/bubinga n/t lined fretless 5 Thumb, and a ovangkol/ovangkol b/o unlined 5 Thumb).

    The six (with the soapbars) is just different. Not quite as good, IMHO. It's a bit more bright, and piano-like. That said, you can roll off the treble a tad, and be 98.5% of the way there... but I can't lie - the 5s still have my vote, even though I'm a long time 6 string player, and was really praying it would sound as good as my fiver.

    Note to those considering an unlined fretless Thumb:

    On a lined Thumb, the dots are where dots should be...but on the unlined Thumb, the dots are where the lines should be.

    Switching back and forth between my lined and unlined Thumbs is thus a total clusterfu... er, problem.

    I finally colored in the dots with a sharpie on my unlined bass, and now I don't have to worry about "erroneous" intonation cues in my peripheral vision making me constantly sharp. Of course, I now have NO reference points, but can't have everything.
  19. TwoThumbs


    Mar 27, 2005
    Staunton,VA USA
    Yes, the recessed straplocks are still an option.I believe it is $100.00 extra.Also you would want to specify that the strap buttons are drilled parallel with the neck and not the upper horn,this will provide better balance.When they are parallel with the horn the strap is not in a "relaxed" position until you let go and the bass takes a neck dive.I made it a point to request this and thought I would have to jump through hoops to get it done, but the folks at Dana B. Goods understood what I wanted and took care of me.
  20. That's interesting, can you elaborate at all on that? I have a friend who drilled a new straplock to the horn opposite of the one that the strap normally goes in, and worked great. I'm not sure what you mean by "parallel with the body", is the lock in a different place or just angled differently? Thanks,