NBD: Warwick Star Bass 5 WPS

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by andruca, Jun 8, 2020.

  1. andruca


    Mar 31, 2004
    Madrid (Spain)
    Hi y'all!

    After SO MANY years of craving for it (a decade?) I got a great deal on a 2011 WPS Star Bass 5 (handcrafted in Korea) with a nice gig bag. The bass is in mint condition, not a single little scratch, just as new, and black with is my fave colour amongst "normal" finishes (the metallic grey one with racing strips is probably my absolute fave Star Bass finish, but those only came from China). I thought these were still RockBasses, but "RockBass" is nowhere to be seen (serial number goes WPS...). Then I did some googling and found out apparently it was released under the Warwick brand name, I don't care much. Just read comparisons and figured out this HIK bass is the best you can have not being the real deal German 3000€ (which I never intended to buy). Got it from a guy in Italy (pro-bassist apparently, was getting rid of MANY NICE basses). IDK why these are so much more commonly seen in Italy than Spain. Paid less than what I'd pay here for a used Chinese RB Star Bass 5 (when they come up used -rare but seen-).

    Just changed strings for my usual cheapo Warwick Reds NICKEL and set up neck relief, string spacing (to widest possible, still definitely no wider than my Stingray5s' spacing -17.5mm-, maybe a little less, home enough for me), nut height (was a little high on the low B side) and intonation. I like skinny necks, and this one, even tho' thinner than many Warwicks I've played over the years (never owned any) is on the thick side of my spectrum. Knew that beforehand, it was a price I was willing to pay. No regrets.

    Now sound is SO AWESOME out of this bass. It's like a very warm fat Jazz Bass in character, so sweet yet punchy at the same time, responds really nice to digging in, can bring out some cool bark, with very detailed highs, never hissy or clanky, sorta' compressed on its own. Tried to use some Zoom B1X Four presets I use for my Stingray5s and ended up almost bypass. Tone's just already "mastered" the way I like out of its bare jack (fat, yet sporting delicate highs). SO AMAZED, best passive bass tone I've probably ever had (Musicman guy, you know). I've never been a Warwick fan, mostly don't like how they sound or play. This was always THE exception, I've always loved the Warwick Star Bass tone (I know many love them but I also don't care for the classic Framus Star Bass' tone, nor looks, nor anything really).

    I'll post sound samples as soon as I can make some. It's probably not going to be very interesting except probably for the punker dirtier tones (I'm into modern punk/HC/metal stuff really, I'm definitely doing so with this bass). The only thing "hollow body" about this bass is it's pretty loud when unplugged (used to have an Epiphone Viola, sorta similar, also bound neck, but the Star Bass has INSANE SUSTAIN). Apart from that, I doubt a solid body bass with the same pickups in the same position would record too different a sound than the Star Bass as is. Also no Jazz Bass I ever played or owned (2 MIJ in the '90s, a cheap parts one right now) had such wild sustain, the lowend just keeps going forever, LOVE it.

    Enter the ritual, here's the graphic material. Nothing new to see, there's better pics, nothing to show here really, but hey, "pics or it didn't happen", just following the rules here.





    Last edited: Jun 8, 2020
  2. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    Nice! Turn that thang up.
    andruca likes this.
  3. andruca


    Mar 31, 2004
    Madrid (Spain)
    Some short samples, clean fingerstyle (both pickups, only front, only back) and pick+OD (both pickups, front pickup)...

  4. andruca


    Mar 31, 2004
    Madrid (Spain)
    Thought I'd share, I relocated the strap pin at the neck joint to the horn right away the easiest laziest way (and one of the most secure). Massive improvement in how this bass hangs (doesnt tilt facing the floor anymore, also helped balance). Also valid for your Jack Casady, Gibson 335, etc. Hope it helps anybody.
    J_Bass likes this.
  5. Volker Kirstein

    Volker Kirstein Blippy the Wonder Slug

  6. andruca


    Mar 31, 2004
    Madrid (Spain)
    Latest "upgrade". This is indeed quite an upgrade for playing sitting. "Child bumper" usually used for table corners and such. 2.83€/per 2m, delivered to my door from AliExpress (includes thin double sided tape to install). Doesn't affect sound at all, same supernatural sustain and WAY MORE COMFORTABLE than the usual thin hard armrests they sell for acoustics and stuff (also attachable with adhesive tape) that despite being more aesthetic they hardly mitigate the corner, if at all. This is ghetto and cheap. Don't know how long it'll last, might wear or compress under my arm in the long run but hey, for 2.83€ I've got material for 7 more of these.

    Fabian Mayen and Volker Kirstein like this.
  7. dave64o

    dave64o Talkbass Top 10 all time lowest talent/gear ratio! Gold Supporting Member

    Those are beautiful basses! Congrats on the purchase - and on solving the “tipping forward” problem.

    I don’t have a Star Bass but I have an Ibanez AGB-205, also a semi-hollow bass (although it’s a 30 inch short scale) and it tips forward quite a bit when I play it standing up. I read through your thread describing your mod and that got me thinking about the problem. I don’t think I’d trust myself to do what you did, but I do know a pretty talented luthier. I might talk to him about it.
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2020
    andruca likes this.