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The Warwick bug

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by jimmy rocket, Apr 9, 2019.

  1. jimmy rocket

    jimmy rocket

    Jan 24, 2008
    Ayden, NC
    Circa 2012 I owned a sweet German built Warwick Corvette Standard. Nothing fancy, but it sounded like an angry tree and I loved it. Things changed, I needed different gear, yadda yadda, and I traded it for what now seems a shameful sum.

    Fast forward to last week when I narrowly missed a low bid auction on a fretless corvette (because I wasn't paying attention when it ended) and now I've got the Warwick bug hard. Scouring the interwebs has me asking the question, should I wait for a nice used German bass to show up at a reasonable price or should I go for something nice in the Rockbass line? In 2012 the Rockbasses seemed like silly little sisters to the German line, but dang, they grew into their curves.

    I can get on with a maple neck, I think.

    I'm not gigging at the moment, nor am I desperately in need of a new bass, but I've got the sickness.
  2. wvbass

    wvbass Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2004
    West Virginia
    I'm wouldn't be overly worried about maple as opposed to ovankol or any other neck wood.

    I just traded for a new Thumb BO5. I had enough trade-in value that I could have also left the store with a Rockbass Corvette $$ 5, but I didn't. The Rockbass was a decent bass, and I could have made it a lot better with some setup work to dial it in to my liking, but I didn't. It just wasn't the same quality as the GPS Thumb.

    I would say that if money is an issue - whether it be what you can afford or what you think it is worth spending - then the Rockbass is a good choice and should scratch your Warwick itch. The ones I played were well made, nice looking instruments - and lighter than the German bass. IMO, the German bass was a few rungs up the ladder in terms of overall quality, though.
    knumbskull likes this.
  3. Hurricane Jimmie

    Hurricane Jimmie Supporting Member

    I bought a neck-thru Rockbass Streamer last year and it's now my go-to Bass. I got it mostly for the weight and ergonomics, but am very happy with the tone and build quality. I'd recommend one, they're a lot of Bass for the money.
    knumbskull likes this.
  4. jimmy rocket

    jimmy rocket

    Jan 24, 2008
    Ayden, NC
    Lighter sounds better to my back, so thanks for that perspective wvbass. It seems like the materials quality is high on these instruments and that a little tweaking would go a long way.

    Hurricane Jimmie, nice. thanks for the testimonial. I really need to get my hands on some, but the nearest GC is 2 hours from here.
    wvbass likes this.
  5. Spblat


    Apr 25, 2016
    I caught the bug a few months ago. Picked up this 2005 German $$ for around $900. It had a busted tab on the nut (the v2 that always broke) that I’ve upgraded to v3. Someone had replaced the pickups with EMGs and I’m really happy with its sounds. The playability of this bass is unlike anything I’ve ever owned. It’s got lots of blemishes on the body that don’t bother me; it’s living its best life. :)


    Tbone76 and knumbskull like this.
  6. Warpeg

    Warpeg Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2005
    There’s nothing like a wenge or ovangkol neck of a German Warwick. Nothing. I’ve played many of them, as well as various Rockbasses. The tonal difference between Warwicks and Rockbasses are night and day to my ears. If I were wanting the “Warwick sound”, then I wouldn’t bother with the Rockbass stuff. Hold out for the real deal. You’ll be happy you did. :thumbsup:
  7. You can generally find a used Warwick with the wenge neck for a good price if you hold out.
  8. jimmy rocket

    jimmy rocket

    Jan 24, 2008
    Ayden, NC
    The more I consider it the more I think the wenge neck is a big factor for me. That had a lot to do with the feel that I liked about my corvette.

    The problem, as always, is patience. :whistle:
    PWRL likes this.
  9. It's one of the things I like about my LX Streamer, that's for sure.
  10. Daedraziel


    Aug 19, 2013
    Toms River NJ
    Used German Vettes make the rounds very frequently and can be had from anywhere from $400-$800. Ive owned 2 separate rockbass corvettes and, while they sounded similar to the German one I own, BOTH had ruined truss rods and weren't worth a damn thing in the aftermarket. Couldnt rely on them as even useful backups.

    My 06 German Corvette has been through 500+ gigs and countless rehearsals/practices. the ONLY thing i needed to do to it was a re-fret after a rough summer with stainless steel strings (which ate into the brass frets on E & A strings).

    No comparison in terms of quality in my eyes. Wait it out for a German in my opinion. Check Craigslist/Letgo/Offerup/Reverb/etc.
  11. totallywink

    totallywink Gold Supporting Member

    A74546E7-613B-4B3F-B270-A17000EC337A. I have a GPS (German Pro Series) Warwick Streamer CV and it’s a fabulous bass - my number one. I picked it up about 3 years ago and it fits like a glove. And I’m digging the new tort guard I just got
  12. jimmy rocket

    jimmy rocket

    Jan 24, 2008
    Ayden, NC
    Ooooohhh, that's hot!
    totallywink likes this.
  13. jimmy rocket

    jimmy rocket

    Jan 24, 2008
    Ayden, NC
    Good advice, methinks. Thanks.
    MattZilla and Reedt2000 like this.
  14. Floppystrings


    Apr 5, 2019
    I have two 4 string German double bucks, both made in 2006 with 3-pc ovangkol necks. They are the best basses I have ever played/heard. I prefer the ovangkol over the wenge necks because the ovangkol has a much tighter grain and feels smoother than wenge, also the open grain of wenge can trap dirt.

    I paid $800 for the first one (red) some scratches on back, and $1150 for the second (natural) which was in perfect condition. Knowing that these basses went for $3500+ new the prices I paid seem like a steal. I would buy a third if they made a lined fretless version.

    The Rockbass line seem nice, they sound great. I don't think I would get a Rockbass though unless it were really cheap because you can find German Warwicks for as low as $700. The German Warwicks have brass frets, brass bridges, the swamp ash is apparently dried very carefully, the neck pockets are as tight as can be. The GPD line cost $1000 less because brass is expensive, a new Warwick brass bridge is almost $400, the steel version is about $150. They are much easier to make because you don't have to machine everything.

    The instruments overall feel very solid, after playing guitar for 20 years I honestly avoid bolt on necks (I am usually a neck through guy), but the tuning stability and sustain changed my views on that, at least with the basses I have.
  15. Warpeg

    Warpeg Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2005
    Corvette Standards, in my opinion, are some of the greatest Warwicks out there. I've owned three over the years and have always been able to rely on them for amazing tone, durability, and comfort. Here's my current '04 model:

    totallywink and Spblat like this.
  16. jimmy rocket

    jimmy rocket

    Jan 24, 2008
    Ayden, NC
    Yep, this is what I need
  17. Hendricks97


    Jan 3, 2017
    I've owned 2 rockbasses and tried to convince myself I liked them but never really did and ended up getting rid of them both. IME, the Germans are well worth the price and wait
    sumgruuvz likes this.
  18. sumgruuvz


    Apr 28, 2009
    I completely agree with you on this. My thumb is a 06 with the ovangkol neck, and I absolutely adore it. I've played the wenge necks and didn't find a wow factor in them. I found them very porous and just not overly exceptional compared to an ovangkol neck. IMHO, I think the ovangkol necks sound just as good and are smooth and tight. The neck on my thumb is a chunky neck, but I love it. It fits good in my hands.

    I've owned a few Rockbasses before as well and was just not impressed with them. They are a good basic bass with the Warwick headstock. Nothing real special about them. If someone wants that Warwick wood and wool, you have to get a German made one. No doubts about that.
    TheMaynorD and totallywink like this.
  19. jimmy rocket

    jimmy rocket

    Jan 24, 2008
    Ayden, NC
    Alright, y'all have convinced me. My Les Paul just went up on the local CL to raise the scratch :greedy:
    MattZilla and sumgruuvz like this.
  20. Warpeg

    Warpeg Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2005

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