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Opinions On A Warwick RockBass please

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by ebick, Dec 12, 2013.

  1. ebick


    Sep 3, 2013
    Hello all,

    I am a long time 6-stringer who bought his first bass this past Labor Day. I went entry level, low-end with a Squier Jaguar Vintage Modified Special. I actually like it very much, but I figured next Christmas, maybe I'd get something a little more serious, also considering things like 5 string and/or fretless.

    There's a guy that I play with who bought a bass at one time for his son, but it never got picked up. Like I said he's a friend, we jam together, the thing's still got a Quality Control tag on it....no reason for him to be dishonest with me. When I played it last night he told me "you're the first person to ever play it".

    Anyway, he's been liking my bass playing and hinted that I ought to consider buying this from him. No rush, just consider it.

    I'd honestly never heard of Warwick before other than knowing that I'd seen them mentioned here, so I know little about them. I don't know the year, or if it's a Corvette, or what, I could possibly find out more. I know it is a 5 string and has four control knobs.

    The price would be negotiable, favorable to me based on the market, which at this point, I'm not real sure just what that is.

    Thanks in advance for your input.
  2. GastonD


    Nov 18, 2013
    Belgrade, Serbia
    Warwick is a very serious company with excellent reputation in the bass world. I own, as my main bass, their German made Streamer LX (bolt on)model and I love it.

    Essentially, the Rockbass line is to Warwick what Squire is to Fenders, i.e. their Korean-made line. Your description suggests it's an active instrument.

    Of course, as ever, the central question is whether you like it or not? Naturally, if you like how it feels and plays, make sure that you try and like the tone as well. Personally, I did try one or two Rockbasses before, and tend to think of them as fairly solid instruments that should serve you pretty well for years to come.
  3. Jc575


    Feb 18, 2002
    Whitestone, NY
    Actually, "Rockbass" is Warwick's "Made in China" line. The "Pro Series" is their "Made in Korea" line.

    I also think its all bout how it feels to you! Rockbass is definitely an excellent value though.
  4. Systolic

    Systolic Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2009
    To be noted:

    If it says "Rockbass" on the headstock, it's generally regarded as being a low quality and inferior product.

    If it has the Warwick "W" on the headstock, than it is part of the new and vastly upgraded rockbass line. Which is essentially the same thing as the regular Warwick line just with "cheaper" woods and electronics (although the pickups are the same.)

  5. I had one of the recent Streamer Rockbasses. I liked it a lot. It played really well and sounded great.
  6. Davesound


    Apr 30, 2013

    I've had a Fender 1983 Jazz bass ,a Squire Bass ,an Ibanez bass and I just got a Warwick Rock bass made in China with a W on the head stock.Best bass I've ever had.Make sure you try it.Ask someone to look at it that knows Bass's.good luck!

  7. kikstand454


    Sep 28, 2012
    My Warwick Corvette is a newer style rockbass with the mec pickups, German tuners and bridge, and W on the headstock. I love it. It is amazing. If it had a "justanut" on it.....you'd be hard pressed to know its not German made.

    That being said.....if you like it and it feels and sounds good to you, then even the older style, cheaper rockbass is in general a fine instrument -ESP in your situation in regards to price.
  8. ebick


    Sep 3, 2013
    I have already tried it once, and could take it home for an extended test drive if I ask. But I wouldn't want to do that unless I was even remotely serious.

    BTW, I'm pretty sure it does NOT have the W on the head stock and in fact does say RockBass.
  9. punkjazzben


    Jun 26, 2008
    Just to clarify this, the new 'W' stamped RockBasses still have the 'RockBass' words written in smaller letters on the truss rod cover, along with the model, usually. The other giveaway is that the newer ones have the signature Warwick two-piece bridge.

    But anyway, the newer Warwick RockBass (well I suppose its not that new anymore) series are excellent, high quality basses with lots of useful and innovative features that Warwick are known for. You can't go wrong.
  10. penguineman


    Feb 11, 2012
    Some very good info here, I've been looking at a corvette rock bass myself and was wndering about how to tell the difference in the early and later ones. Thanks guys.
  11. Bongolation


    Nov 9, 2001
    No Bogus Endorsements
    The main thing to "note" here is that this is pure nonsense.

    The single worst-built built bass of any brand I have seen in over forty years of working on them was a "W" Rockbass Streamer, and I mean it was absolutely shocking. Naturally, it had the QC tag on it, which obviously meant absolutely nothing. It was replaced by one that looked good, but would not set up because of gross routing errors. It also had the utterly meaningless QC pass tag.

    I have also seen some of the earlier "bad" ones with the Rockbass logo on the headstock that were virtually perfect -- perfect finish, perfect alignment, perfect fretwork (not a high spot on the whole board), perfect assembly.

    The point is that these are a crapshoot and the QC tags are a joke. All the ones I mentioned were sold as "A-Stock," though there are some here who claim Warwick dumped the junkers on Amazon without designating them as such. If so, that would explain a lot -- but Warwick rightfully has to take a reputation hit for not destroying them rather than letting them out in the wild as A-stock.

  12. I've had a bunch of corvettes and thumbs

    The rockbass line is the entry level, but they have gotten a lot better over the years.

    The pro series is made in Korea with all the same hardware and electronics as the German made bolt on basses. People often get confused when warwick says the "same electronics" if you buy a pro series thumb bass you get the 2 band eq out of the thumb bolt on, NOT the 3 band in thumb neck through. Neck wood is usually still maple like the rockbass line but i think i did see a wenge neck pro series bass recently.

    Artist series are basically pro series level MIK of signature basses (Steve Bailey, P-Nut)

    German warwicks i believe now called the warwick series are the basses that built warwicks reputation but are becoming pretty rare in my area (I'll explain below)

    Custom shop is the top of the line. Unlike a lot of other bass companies there isn't really a massive price difference between their "warwick series" line and the custom shop. For example my conklin gt7 was priced at $1300 new but a custom conklin with the same specs would be over 5 grand. You can get a custom shop warwick for a few hundred more than the German made warwick series if you don't go crazy with options. For most people that get a custom shop they are basically ordering a warwick series bass plus a different paint, LEDs, different fingerboard and so on. I haven't seen any real custom body styles so i think they are able to keep their custom shop prices reasonable by using the same CNC setup they use for their production basses.
  13. 6stringpanda


    Aug 9, 2013

    The first few years of "Rockbass" witht he rockbass on the headstock were absolute garbage IMHO. Better off with an Ibanez than one of the earlier Rockbasses.

    The new ones however are awesome and are very,very close to their German counterpoints.
  14. 6stringpanda


    Aug 9, 2013

    Two piece bridge equals one of the good ones-

    Had an old "Rockbass" and played a few others way back when-sorry they were horrible compared to the new ones.

    Not to mention-better to buy a used German Wick for 500-700 range than the first rockbasses were absolute crap and were in the 400 and up range.
  15. Is it a 1 piece bridge (like a Fender) or a 2 piece, like a German Warwick?

    If it has the German Warwick bridge, then it's a great bass! The 1 piece bridge basses were of lesser quality & Warwick redesigned the entire Rockbass line to be better & more like their German brethren. I've played newer Rockbass Corvettes that rival the sound/playability of their German ones.
  16. I have a rockbass fortress 5 and is a really great bass. I was going to trade it off but decided to keep it. Here's a sound clip of it so you can get an idea that it sounds pretty good.
  17. AMp'D.2play


    Feb 12, 2010
    I had a Rockbass Corvette earlier this year. (newer version with the "W" on the headstock & 2-pc bridge) I believe it was the Basic Active model. My left hand really took a liking to the feel of the neck, and it had a nice bite to its tone. Yeah, the fret ends could've used a little work, but while I don't expect that in a bass at this price point, I'm not surprised to find one that does. Would've been an easy fix nonetheless had I kept it.

    I bought mine from Sam Ash, not Amazon. Bongolation mentions routing problems above, and if he's talking about the bridge, I'd have to agree with him a little, at least on mine. When I took it in to my regular shop for a setup, I was told the bridge would need to be slotted in order to get the saddles back far enough for correct intonation. He said the bridge was mounted in the wrong place. After hearing this, and despite liking the bass for several reasons, I decided to return it to SA.

    I subsequently bought a MIM Fender Jazz and a G&L Tribute JB-2, and while neither is as aggressive as the Rockbass, they serve their intended purposes well (gigs at less-than-ideal venues). I wouldn't totally avoid the RB brand in the future, but I know now to add bridge mounting to my list of things to check for.
  18. Bass Fund

    Bass Fund Banned

    Nov 30, 2013
    You're probably better off sticking with the Squier and just moving up the Fender line later on.
  19. Marc0


    Nov 5, 2013
    'don't really want to read the all post but I owned a Rockbass Corvette 5 strings and that was a very good bass for the price. Of course you can't compare it to its german version (or the new asian prod) but even if the "Rockbass" logo is on the head instead of the "W" That was a very good pleasure to play that bass. Maybe if I changed the pickups by Delano's or good EMG's, it would have sounded better, but the B string remains dependent on the manufacture of the bass IMO.

    In 4 string this is a good deal, not as good as my Geddy Lee JB to me. (in exemple)
  20. Splods


    Oct 7, 2012
    Adelaide, SA
    I would also suggest taking a look a Spector Performers. I play a 4 string, and it is much more comfortable to play than my friends Rockbass.