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Ovankol through-neck Warwick thumbs

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Jordy, Jun 6, 2005.

  1. Forgive me if this topic has already been covered.

    I've been hearing quite a bit of bad rep about the post 97 Warick Thumb neck throughs (Ovankol laminate) compared to pre 97 (Wenge).

    Who here can share some experience re: this issue.
    Is there that much of a diff?
    And give examples i.e Stability, Tone, Reliability
  2. LowEndLobster

    LowEndLobster Bass reviewer and youtube dude guy. Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 29, 2003
    Northern MA
    Wasn't the wenge to ovangkol change in 98?

    Mine is bubinga/ovangkol and I love it. I wouldn't mind picking up a wenge though. The difference isn't that great, but some people can really notice it.
  3. Fred312b

    Fred312b Proof that gear doesn't make you a better player Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2002
    Chicago, IL
    besides the difference in woods, the post 95 (i believe is when they moved to a bigger factory) warwicks are more machine produced and notas "hand made" as they were. as to if this is better or worse, i don't know, but a lot of people don't seem as excited about this. :bassist:
  4. It might just be the rantings of a very select few.

    I spoke to one guy in particular called Michael who purchased 2 new Warwick Thumb neck-throughs and had problems on both with wood swell on the ovankol-laminate necks, on which he was instructed by Warwick on how to sand them back.

    While I think that is pretty poor considering the enormous amount these basses cost I think for two basses to have this same prob he would have to have done something dumbass like leave them in a hot car for an extended period of time.

  5. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    IIRC, they moved to Markneukirchen in 1996
  6. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    Yeah, that can be an issue. And humidity changes, too.

    also, IMO, it's not just the ratings of a few. The older ones had better neck profiles (thinner and rounder), which is also a big factor in playability and feel
  7. maxbass


    May 22, 2002
    Milano Italy

    The real difference is among eighties Thumbs vs nineties Thumbs.

    There's more difference among a 1989 and a 1991 Warwick than the difference existing among a 1991 and a 1997 Warwick.
  8. I went through over a dozen Warwicks before swearing them off completely. String spacing on 5+ strings is the major issue, but I had several glue seams become progressively more noticeable due to adjoining wood shifting/expanding/contracting at different rates. I did not keep these basses in a hermetically sealed oxygen chamber, but they didn't see much direct sunlight, either. Dana B. Goods told me it was not a structural issue, which is likely true, but I'm pretty nit-picky. Also, quality was definitely down on EVERY post-98 model I've seen. My 2 1/2 cents.
  9. Is this an issue with other big W basses like Corvettes' or Streamers'? Or is this just Thumbs?

    Any Warwick owners in Florida??? Im thinking of getting a 'Vette, year I do not know yet(4 str. Bubinga & Ovangkol w/ Wenge), but now I'm a little scared of the body and neck shifting around on me in the humidty... I only play indoors in the ac, or in a garage with a BIG ASS fan if that makes a difference.

    Curious and Concerned,
  10. I had this problem w/Thumbs(bolt-on 4 & 5)& Corvette 5 & 6. I think the issue here is that when you chop down a tree in Africa, build a bass out of it in Germany, ship it to a store in the U.S. & then sell & ship it to yet another location(all within a year or so), things are going to move. Ken Smith ages his wood before & after cutting, after gluing up neck & body blanks I believe, letting the wood 'settle' & relax. Although I have only owned 2 KS basses, they were both very stable. All this being said, the(Warwick)basses all played well, stayed in tune & sounded fine. My reasons for 'swearing off' W's was due mostly to string spacing & neck front-to-back thickness, also poor balance(Thumb)& sheer weight(Corvette 6-12 lbs!).

    Edit: The weight, balance & neck proportion gripes were not there w/the first Warwick I owned, a Thumb bolt-on 4.
  11. Not to split hairs, but there is little if any difference between a bass produced in 1989 and one produced prior to September 1990, which was when Warwick first started using CNC in production. After that point there was indeed a big difference in the instruments. I agree with your point, but this is the precise date.
  12. maxbass


    May 22, 2002
    Milano Italy

    You're 100% right.

    I knew that the first big change happened in 1990, but I didn't remember the exact month.
    All 1990's Warwick prior to September were built just as their older brothers

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