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Tell me about my new Warwick

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by engedi1, Jun 10, 2012.


  1. engedi1

    engedi1 Supporting Member

    Sep 16, 2005
    Nashville
    I recently acquired a fretless Warwick Corvette V in a trade with a local music store. It has a serial number which ends in "87" as the last two digits. I would assume this means it was made in 87? I would also assume that it has the solid bubinga body with solid Wenge neck if it is this old right? It has Gold MEC pickups, with 2 band active EQ. I bought it because it has the most sustain and amazing growl of just about any fretless bass I have ever played. It is heavy, but even low notes on the B string will sustain for eternity. Also, the neck is as solid as a graphite neck. It hasn't budged an inch since I got it. Are there Warwick experts out there who can tell me about this bass, if my guesses are right, also I would love to know what it might be worth.
    Cheers!
     

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  2. BioDriver

    BioDriver A Cinderella story

    Aug 29, 2008
    Austin, TX
    No pics, no bass ;)
     
  3. engedi1

    engedi1 Supporting Member

    Sep 16, 2005
    Nashville
    more pics
     

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  4. engedi1

    engedi1 Supporting Member

    Sep 16, 2005
    Nashville
    back of headstock with serial number
     

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  5. HaMMerHeD

    HaMMerHeD

    May 20, 2005
    Looks like wenge and bubinga to me.
     
  6. nightwulf

    nightwulf

    Feb 27, 2011
    Edmonds Wa
    Ya know, you could save yourself the hassle and trade it for my fender:)
     
  7. f64

    f64 Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2009
    Naples, FL
    It's a German made Corvette. Nice find. A few years ago the fretless were trading just below the fretted version, but that gap closed fast. These are solid players and you should enjoy it for some time. I'd get some "Howards Feed & Wax" to apply to the body and neck. Howard's is a combo of bees wax and orange oil and you can get it at Home Depot or Lowes in 16oz size bottles. For the first few months apply it every week to get it conditioned then back it down to 3-4 times a year.
    If you've never had a Warwick before - welcome to the growl - it's addictive. Have fun with it!
     
  8. BioDriver

    BioDriver A Cinderella story

    Aug 29, 2008
    Austin, TX
    Yup, that's an 87. It's also got a bubinga body and wenge/wenge neck. I had a fretless one from the early 90s and it was the best sounding fretless I'd played. If it weren't for the weight I'd still have it.
     
  9. Turxile

    Turxile

    May 1, 2011
    You're right that it is built in 87.
    I suppose that the most important practical information on that is that the truss rod in those are one-way and are removable. Check out the Warwick site, there are a few videos on the truss rod, watch the ones for the old style truss rod.
     
  10. engedi1

    engedi1 Supporting Member

    Sep 16, 2005
    Nashville
    Thanks for the replies gents. I was wondering about oiling or waxing it. Thanks for the great advice. I love the tone and the sustain and growl is unreal. The only thing I don't like about this bass is the weight. However, being a fretless, I doubt I would play it for entire gigs, but would go back and forth from it to a fretted. One if my favorite bass tones of all times is the fretless bass used on "walk on the ocean " and the rest of the "fear" album by toad the wet sprocket. I think he used a Warwick and this bass cops this tone. Or jacos, or les claypools, or any other fretless I have heard. I hope to record this bass someday and hope to smart enough to never sell or trade it. Glad to know it is wenge wenge. The neck is so stable it is silly.
     
  11. Means2nEnd

    Means2nEnd Supporting Member

    Wow, what a beauty that is a custom order as well. Standard fretless is unlined ebony. Also it’s hard to see it clearly but I am almost sure it’s an ebony fingerboard with maple lines and yes wenge neck. I have a fretless NT Thumb with the same ebony board and maple lines. The headstock is covered in the front with a treated ebony front. New ones are plastic. The truss rod being removable will turn the opposite as a regular two way. So if you want to tighten it and take relief out you turn it counter clockwise looking down the neck from the top. Turn it clockwise it loosens the rod letting relief out and eventually the truss rod can pull right out.

    The MEC jazz pickups having a gold logo means they are active as well as the preamp. You have a unique almost completely handmade instrument. I was speaking to Tyler the head repair service guy in the NYC custom shop and I was asking him what his thoughts were on having a Thumb NT with wenge in the neck rather than the newer ovankol, my Thumb NTs are 94 and 93 both with wenge and ovankol strips. He said the wenge is more mid focused and punchy. I bet that what will give even more of an extra growl. There are older NT thumbs with only an active two way on board EQ and they felt the wenge neck would give more than enough mids so the mid control wasn’t necessary. I wouldn’t worry it’s a two way instead of a three band. You should have all the mids you will ever need.

    As mentioned I can’t agree more with the use of the Howard’s feed and wax it’s all I use now on my Warwicks. The provided wax builds up over time and the Howard’s product really penetrates and feeds the wood. I also treat my ebony fingerboard once in a while with the same product since they have been known to split if left to dry out. I do the entire bass at least once a year and the body every time I change strings and I let it stand for 30 minutes before buffing it out. One thing for me with the Howard’s FnW it comes with a top that you can press to squeeze out on the 4.7 Oz bottle enough for a life time I might add. I found if you use the bottle that way only the oily more clear runny part comes out leaving the more solid stiff material in the bottle. I bought a nice artist’s soft natural bristle brush and I take the top off and actually paint the wax on I think it works so much better. With the brush I can get everywhere around the bridge and pickups and knobs without blobbing it on. I use round wounds on mine in a light gauge and there is almost no ware at all and I play the crap out of mine.

    If you go to the bottom of the page below you can enter the S.N. and get more info on your bass if they kept records in 87.

    http://www.warwickbass.com/modules/support/serials.php?katID=22701&cl=EN

    Oh yeh, to me it's worth much more than what you can sell it for. between $1,000 to $1,500 I'm guesing but I'm lefty so I'm really sure I think the righty market brings less because there are many more floating around...
     
  12. Flaked Beans

    Flaked Beans

    Sep 9, 2005
    NYC
    I see 97 at the end of the serial number (1997). However, correct me if I'm wrong but there were no Corvette standards back in '87.
     
  13. punkjazzben

    punkjazzben

    Jun 26, 2008
    Australia
    Yes, the Corvette was not introduced until 1995.
     
  14. Flaked Beans

    Flaked Beans

    Sep 9, 2005
    NYC
    Nope, wenge/wenge neck, bubinga body.



    Doesn't work for that bass. Warwick says (from the same page):

    "Please enter the serial number of your instrument into the box below and you will get every information available for this particular instrument. This option is only available for instruments built in 2000 or later.

    In case your instrument could not be identified by means of the serial number, e.g. because it was built before 2000, we still can help you with your enquiry. For this we need the following information:

    - Model name
    - Serial number
     
  15. punkjazzben

    punkjazzben

    Jun 26, 2008
    Australia
    I'm thinking a 97 corvette that's been defretted later on. Never heard of a Warwick fretless with wenge fingerboard. I wouldn't think it's appropriate for a fretless.

    EDIT: But I could be wrong. It's hard to tell from the photos what the fingerboard wood is.

    Also, hold on to it. German Warwick's, especially the Corvette Standards, are not holding their street value as well at the moment because of the new Korean Corvettes. They are of very similar quality, so people are just buying new ones instead of paying the same for second hand. You won't get what the instrument is worth if you sell right now.
     
  16. Doctor J

    Doctor J

    Dec 23, 2005
    I would go with 97 too. It should have "Made In West Germany" on the tuners if it's 10 years older.
     
  17. GM60466

    GM60466

    May 20, 2006
    Land of Lakland
    Nice Bass. I have a Proline model that I play everyday. I wouldn't trade it for anything.
     
  18. engedi1

    engedi1 Supporting Member

    Sep 16, 2005
    Nashville
    You guys are right, the serial number is quite faint as it is not painted on, but is simple stamped in the wood in relief. It is actually h-040286-97. It is without a doubt an ebony board. It has stainless strings on it, and yet the board is perfect. Either the prior owner rarely played it, or that is some very good ebony! Also, I would bet $100 this is a factory fretless. There are no signs of this bass ever having been fretted. I have never seen a lined one either. The lines are a soft red color, and don't look like maple lines usually do. I like the pickups on this bass. People really complain about the MEC pickups, but these sound like EMG's to me, which is a good thing. It is amazing how warm this bass can be with just a touch of bass boost and good right hand technique-even with the stainless strings. You guys are right about the mid-range. The tone is so focused and punchy it just kills me. I could take to a gig and most people probably couldn't tell it is fretless if I didn't slide around-that is how punchy it is.
    Also, the tuners just say "West Germany" on them.
     
  19. Klonk

    Klonk

    Apr 28, 2011
    Norway
    FWIW: I bought a new Corvette fretless 1997-1998-mod in Norway in 1999, it looks very much like yours (except mine was 4 string). It had soft red lines on the fretboard too, and was very easy to play. I sold mine four or five years ago, so can't post pictures.
     
  20. engedi1

    engedi1 Supporting Member

    Sep 16, 2005
    Nashville
    I actually would have preferred a 4 banger for this bass, but I figured seeing a used one at all in a music store was pretty rare so I jumped on it.
     

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