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The Warwick bug

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

  1. TheMaynorD

    TheMaynorD Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 28, 2013
    Oklahoma City
    As another guy who has a fever, the only for which is more Warwick... I would also recommend wait. I have played the rockbasses and while they are not bad instruments, they lack 75% of what makes a warwick a warwick IMO. What are probably the biggest warwick tone factors? Wenge/ bubinga and the bell metal frets + brass nut. The things that the rockbass leaves out. Plus there are always used warwicks on here for decent prices. As soon as I sell my bongo i will be buying one of them.
    totallywink likes this.
  2. wvbass

    wvbass Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2004
    West Virginia
    As of lately, German Team Built has nickel (or steel?) frets. Only new Master Built basses have the bell brass frets.
    Systolic likes this.
  3. Systolic

    Systolic Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2009
    I play a German Corvette 4 and 3rd Generation Rockbass Corvette 6 side by side as my mains.

    + The Rockbass 6 string is lighter than the german 4 string and my shoulder/back thank me for making that choice everyday.

    +I could get a brand new Rockbass 6'er for about $700 cheaper than I could get a German Corvette 6.

    + It depends on where you fall on the subject, but for me, once you have Active pickups AND an active preamp, wood choice doesn't play a huge part other than maybe the fretboard, which is Wenge on both models anyway.

    - The Rockbass absolutely had the weaker preamp right out of the box, a quick upgrade made all the difference in the world. The maple neck is certainly different, not worse just more "Fender-y" if that makes sense.

    But I play them side by side for all of my gigs and there is no discernible difference in tonal quality to the band or to the crowd. I personally like the feel of the Ovangkol neck a bit more, but I definitely like the weight of alder/maple Rockbass more. I use Fodera strings on both and they both have MEC gold pickups...they more or less sound the same.
    totallywink likes this.
  4. Spblat


    Apr 25, 2016
    How do you account for the different body look in these two fretless corvettes? What do you think is behind this difference? Do you prefer one over the other? Screen Shot 2019-04-15 at 11.10.58 AM. Screen Shot 2019-04-15 at 11.10.45 AM.
  5. jimmy rocket

    jimmy rocket

    Jan 24, 2008
    Ayden, NC
    Haha, I was going to write a whole post about temperature and precipitation in the forest where the tree grew, and the slope of the mountain, etc. (which would have been a long boring joke) but honestly, it's as simple as wood is wood. It's the same species, but every tree is different. Here, what you're mainly seeing is grain orientation. The orientation of the grain (flat sawn, rift sawn or quartersawn) matters to how the grain presents in pattern. The bottom one looks nearly quartersawn while the top one is flatsawn. Imagine turning the top bass 1/4 turn to the right and you'll see how the growth rings line up with the long grain of the bottom one.
    Spblat likes this.
  6. FollowMeDown


    Feb 8, 2019
    I'm currently looking for a very warm-sounding bass, but also with some characterful growl when you get "on it". I'm looking to be playing classic rock/soft-rock/blues/jazz/country/folk/bluegrass. I've always preferred shallow profile necks and looking for a very precise action.

    I've been GASsing about a 1993 or older thumb NT 5 (pre-mass production, wenge neck with AMGs). I remember falling in love with their sound in the early 90's, but I also know I had very different ear back then too. I used to prioritize "clean" but now I want warm/rich/harmonic. Unfortunately there's not a store even slightly near me that ever carries stuff like vintage Warwicks that I could try, so if I jump on a Thumb I'm probably gonna have to buy it unplayed/unheard, which scares me.

    I don't want to buy one just because it would fulfill a long-unsatisfied itch, I want to know it has at least a good chance of making the sound I'm actually hearing in my head and having the playing ease/comfort I want. Is an old Warwick Thumb even on the right track to be the warm/woody-sounding and easy-playing bass that I dream of? Or should I be thinking something different?
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2019 at 1:11 PM
  7. jimmy rocket

    jimmy rocket

    Jan 24, 2008
    Ayden, NC
    Oh, and to answer your second question about preference. It depends. as a woodworker I think first in terms of wood movement and secondly in terms of pattern orientation. In this instance I would probably pick the quartered grain.
    Spblat and Systolic like this.
  8. Spblat


    Apr 25, 2016
    Thanks Jimmy. I bought the flatsewn-looking one because I like the visual texture of it, and because it's a nice match with my other corvette. Now I breathlessly await its arrival on my doorstep. Meanwhile I'm planning an electronics swap. Someone already took out the MEC pickups and preamp, and replaced them with active EMG J's and what looks like a simple vol/vol/tone system. And lots of electrical tape! :vomit:


    I'm pretty sure it's wired like this:

    Screen Shot 2019-04-17 at 10.30.31 AM.

    So here's my plan to put in a Tone Capsule that I have laying around. I think this'll be especially helpful for taming and/or accentuating the mids that Warwicks are so famous for. The challenge is to get all the controls I need into three holes. I prefer volume/blend, but I couldn't find a single stacked pot that does volume and blend at low impedance. So the plan is one stacked 25K/25K pot in hole #1 that independently handles volume for the two pickups, the 50K linear pot that came with the tone capsule to handle mids in hole #2, and a stacked 50K/50K pot in hole 3 for bass and treble. Like this!

    Screen Shot 2019-04-17 at 10.33.28 AM.
    Tbone76 likes this.
  9. jimmy rocket

    jimmy rocket

    Jan 24, 2008
    Ayden, NC
    Nice! Is someone selling the other one?
  10. Spblat


    Apr 25, 2016
    Yep. There are several German bubinga fretless corvette standards on reverb right now. The one I nabbed is the only one that lacks the grain you prefer :)

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