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NBD: Warwick Thumb Limited Edition 2013

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by sratas, Feb 3, 2014.

  1. sratas


    Dec 15, 2007
    Parma, Italy
    just bought this marvel. I already own a thumb BO 4, but this bass is completely different in every aspect and I got a steal of a deal, I could not pass it...

    Thought to share, the bass is pretty rare, only 100 made, maybe someone could be interested in some german porn ;).

    Too early for a full review, i have played it in my basement only, will post my impressions when i build up definitive ones.

    For now I can give some info:

    - well....a 2013 model, number 36/100
    - body in US swamp ash, two pieces lovely matched, junction barely visible
    - top and matched headstock cover in Vavona Burl (aka Redwood burl, aka the mighty american sequoia roots)
    - wenge neck, laminated, 3 pieces with crossed gain
    - tigerstripe two color fretboard. the fingerboard is cut in an original way, using the tree from the sapwood to the inner black part.

    First impressions:
    - very lightweight, the lightest bass I own
    - jazz bass neck, very similar profile and dimensions
    - very resonant, with a powerful explosive attack, even acoustically, more so when amplified
    - unique tone, very unique, despite the common jazzbass pickups and pickup placement (EMG TBJ pups)

    Kindred_ likes this.
  2. High ISO

    High ISO

    Nov 11, 2013
    Beautiful instrument!
  3. happyg


    Sep 17, 2011
    Absolutely beautiful.
  4. uOpt


    Jul 21, 2008
    Boston, MA, USA
    Holy ****.

    These Warwicks know what they are doing now do they?
  5. sratas


    Dec 15, 2007
    Parma, Italy
    TONS of sound samples on my soundcloud channel.

    MB in the name: recorded with a Markbass Big Bang flat eq

    TF: with a Thunderfunk 550, eq'd to please the moment...

  6. bongostealth

    bongostealth Supporting Member

    Jun 3, 2011
    Atlanta, GA
    Congratulations! A stunning piece!
  7. Kindred_


    Apr 18, 2013
    Awesome tone.bright and clean, well rounded sound.
  8. Kindred_


    Apr 18, 2013
    thanks for samples.big difference for a thumb stock mec pups
  9. Tbone76


    Aug 24, 2013
    Upstate, NY
    Wow, just, wow.

  10. sratas


    Dec 15, 2007
    Parma, Italy
    thanks guys,

    since the date of purchase I have "refined" the setup of the instrument.

    Tried the DR hibeam: the Wick became a punch machine with super clean burpy mids, awesome tone for modern recordings, but too pointy for my usual gigs.

    Lately I tried the Fender Pure Nickels, and those strings really shine with the Thumb. The tone is more controlled in the high mids and gains a little more apparent lowend. A smooth, vintage-like flavour, that I enkoy very much on this instrument. The slap tone suffers from these strings, but I don't play slap usually (as you may have guessed from the samples...:bag:)
  11. Wallace320

    Wallace320 Commercial User

    Mar 19, 2012
    Milan, Italy
    ah ah ah...
    what about slap? I'm guessin' nobody noticed any lack of it, while I tend to think you came up with a fresh approach to these 'wicks instead!
    you're really great
    and beautiful tone

    grazie guaglio'
  12. sratas


    Dec 15, 2007
    Parma, Italy
    thanks bro.
  13. Kindred_


    Apr 18, 2013
    will be waiting for full review
  14. sratas


    Dec 15, 2007
    Parma, Italy


    top notch. Can't imagine an higher level of craftsmanship or quality. The woods are fine and the instrument is assembled wonderfully.
    The neck is much thinner than the usual wick shape and even when compared with a j-bass neck. Super fast and easy to play, but, to be honest, maybe a little too narrow for my usual habits.
    Only "defect" are the inlays that are positioned not completely centered amongst strings, hardly visible, at least.
    Stunning wenge crossing grain in the 3-piece neck. Unusual precision when matching the grain of the 2 piece Vavona burl top and the swamp ash back, at the beginning I had a take a severe look to find the junction, almost invisible. The satin finish is smooth but I think that a gloss finish would have shined even better

    the stock setup was almost perfect for my tastes, but I like to tweak every instrument I play, so I changed pretty much everything, especially the PU height.
    A curious thing about the trus rod. The adjustment is effortless, withou any resistance, but the neck reacts in the desired way...no biggie.
    The stock coated strings were dead sounding.

    a tad more than my G&L JB, a tad less than a standard 4 string Thumb. No signifcant neck diving, I suspect because of the lighter neck.

    .....in my mind the bass sounds like a perfect mix between a jazz bass and a Thumb. But the bridge PU has also a certain flavour that can remind a musicman, but with singlecoil response, and with a jazz bass influence that is always present.
    The bass is pnenomenally resonant and capable of serious peaks when you pluck with energy or slap and because of that it encourages to use different dynamics during phrasing. This personality sets it apart from the stock Thumb that is quite compressed sounding (I like it...).
    The electronics may take a good amount of time to be understood and appreciated. At first the bass seemed too pointy and present in the upper mids and I preferred it in modern recordings but not in other traditional contextes. Now, with new strings, It has achieved a wonderful equilibrium and I can play everything out of it.

    The bridge + neck position reminds me of a Thumb but with much more growl and punch in the mids, the neck Pu is quite modern sounding whereas the bridge PU is burpy as hell.

    Overall, I was really surprised by the tone because I knew all the youtube video of this bass. I can conclude that all those vids do not restitute the real tone of this bass. They seem to me very scooped sounding, like the tone that I can obtain twisting up my "enhance" of VPF knobs (cut near 400 Hz, boost at 40 and high frequencies) by a good amount.
    The true unadulterated tone of this bass has its strenght in the growly and burpy midrange, that sounds incredibly present and clear, with solid but tight lows and just the right amount of treble.

    Sometimes I read that the sentence "the sound of wood" is overestimated because 90 % of the tone comes from the PU and PU position. Quite true in various cases, but when considering a good warwick, things are different IMO.
    My bass has two jazz bass singlecoils in a custom position, but almost exactly in the 60' jazz bass position, it's a bolt on. But it has that usual Thumb bass feel to the tone, along with a j-bass tone as well.
  15. Dug2

    Dug2 Supporting Member

    Sep 24, 2011
    right on my man! nice bass, good review. thanks for taking the time.
  16. Very nice looking bass. I really like the fretboard treatment! ;)
  17. sratas


    Dec 15, 2007
    Parma, Italy
    yeah, but it's not a "treatment" of some sort. It's the natural aspect of the mac ebony when cut so that the transition between the sapwood (outer part of the tree, cappuccino-like color) and the inner part (black) is visible.
    Anyway, glassy surface in any case.
  18. Kindred_


    Apr 18, 2013
    Thanx for review a lot!
    Quite interesting bass, and also great that it has no neck dive which i consider as "pain-in-the-ass" for all thumb basses.
    Since i own Dolphin pro I (which is greatly well balanced) i guess, i never go back for neck diving classic thumb.But LTD seems really good.Hope i will buy 5 string similiar to yours someday.
  19. sratas


    Dec 15, 2007
    Parma, Italy
    to be completely honest, the low grade of neck dive, almost nothing, totally similar to my jazz bass, was a welcome surprise when I played it in the shop. I was hesitant at first because I played also a wonderful Infinity that sounded equally good, but the unexpected thin neck and balance helped me to choose this beast because I always think that the Thumb body shape is so damn sexy and I love singlecoils in the usual jazz bass position.
    BY the way, my classic Thumb 4 from 2002 has a good amount of neck dive (counteracted in part using light machines and a good strap) and because of this aspect I have never used it on a long gig....shame...but I have to admit that its sweet tone is second to none and I used it in countless recordings. Enough for me to justify its presence in my arsenal.
    The dolphin was also on my wish list, awesome bass, but in my country they are super rare animals, and I never played one...
  20. BIGEJ2

    BIGEJ2 Supporting Member

    Jul 29, 2009
    Happy Valley, PA
    Wow. Warwick LE's are hard to beat. That's a great looking bass - can't wait to listen to the samples tonight!