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Thinking of buying a Warwick

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by rushrocks, Apr 15, 2005.

  1. rushrocks


    Apr 15, 2005
    I was thinking about getting a thumb4 bolt on or neck thru. If anyone has either can you give me an honest opinion. Thank you. Im in NYC so if you have one for sale post it. What is a good price for a used one?
  2. RedVampyre


    Jan 10, 2005
    Alabama, USA
    I just bought a Thumb 4 Neck-Thru. It's absolutely awesome. The bolt-on is also great. Both have that signature growl. The neck on the bolt-on is a little bigger and is flatter. The body of the bold-on is ovankol while the neck-thru is bubinga. Also, as far as the new ones are concerned, the fretboard of the bolt-on is wenge, while the neck-thru has an ebony fretboard.

    Here's a picture of it:

  3. duke2004


    Mar 29, 2004
    Cambridge, Mass.
    I dont know if you care, but it bothered me that the Thumb bass tends to have a bit of neck dive. I ended up with a Corvette 5 bolt on used for $700 and couldnt be happier with it. Sounds so good I often dont engage the preamp. Actually I did end up having the back of neck re-profiled to make it a bit less chunky. I would advise that on the bolt on necks.
  4. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    If you order an ebony board for it, then you get and ebony board; otherwise, wenge is still standard on most fretted models, except for the Corvette Hotrod and the Tumb Bleachec Blonde with maple. Fretlesses have ebony boards.

    My honest opinion?
    • The tone is there. It has that unique tone; however, due to the p-up placement, it's a bit less versatile then other 2-p-up basses
    • Even though it has a small body, bubinga is heavy. Ovangkol is even heavier. Add to that that Warwick uses steel neck-reinforcement rods, and there's a big two-piece bridge.
    • The neck profile you'll either like or not like. Though it can be reshaped.

    Still, if you want that tone, that's the best way to get it. These basses come with some unique solutions (adjustable nut, two-piece bridge with adjustable spacing and quick-change ability, screw-less electronics and trussrod cover) and very good construction.
  5. The newer n/t thumbs do come with an ebony board as standard.
  6. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    Now that I checked it, the price list does say ebony FB, but the rest of the site still has no mention of it.
    I don't know it this was a good idea. Ebony's heavy weight would contribute even more to the neck-dive...
  7. DenisW


    May 5, 2002
    I have the thru-neck Thumb.I think it is a great Bass.Lovely dark,growly tone.I would not worry about the ebony board or ovangol woods they use on the necks now.The Warwick tone I think comes mainly from the MEC electronics and the Bell Brass frets they use.I have used Warwicks since 1995 and have tried models from the Eighties and early nineties and I have found no real great difference in all of them.They were handbuilt in the eighties I know.The price you would pay for a new Thumb now,you could get a custom Bass built.But if you like the Thumb.Buy it.
  8. Dincrest

    Dincrest Supporting Member

    Sep 27, 2004
    New Jersey
    There is a noticeable difference in price between the bolt-on and the neck-through Thumb. I've tried a bolt-on Thumb 5 and I quite liked it (it was a newer one with an ovangkol neck and Wilferite nut.) The body is compact, concave back carved, has a stubby upper horn, and the ERBs have their dual pups close to the bridge- all these factors aid in the Thumb's design as a bass that can be comfortably worn at around chest height for aggressive slap-pop techniques. The slap tone is more meaty than crispy. The bass neck dives when it's slung low. It balances fairly even when slung high.

    The Thumb 5 was heavy, but didn't feel any heavier than my 6-string which has a dual-trussrod maple neck, rosewood fingerboard, and alder body (okay, it's a thick slab alder body.)

    Like others have said, for the price of admission for a Warwick Thumb, you could probably have a custom bass built by the likes of Carey Nordstrand, Matt Pulcinella, Chris Stambaugh, or many others that TBers commission to build basses.

    But if you simply have to have a Warwick and no other bass will do, I'd try scouring the used market for Thumbs. You'd be surprised how many used Thumbs there are floating around. People fall in love with the tone, but then fall out of love with the weight and sell/trade. And used Warwicks can be had for honey prices.

    Don't limit yourself to Thumbs, though. Try some Corvettes too.
  9. The neckthroughs are great, in my experience far superior in tone and feel to the bolt-ons, especially if you're a slapper.

    But, buy a back brace, and drink lots of milk: they are heavy!!

    Wheels within Wheels
    In a spiral array
    A pattern so grand and complex
    Time after time
    We lose sight of the way
    Our causes can't see their effects
  10. mrbungle


    Nov 13, 2000
    tampere, finland
    I have a '94 bolton (and '98 Corvette too) and it's amazing bass. The construction and playability are the best I've tried, and I've tried a lot of basses. However there's several things to keep in mind:

    -The neckdive. Though it isn't that bad. Usually I don't notice it at all when wearing the bass medium-high, but on waist level it is really a problem. My Thumb has walnut body though, so it might be different from newer ones.
    -The sound is really modern and midrangey. It's the perfect sound for some occasions, but for some it doesn't fit at all. I have a Pedulla which I use over half of the time.
    -The MEC electronics and pickups aren't the best ones out there. Though the active ones aren't as bad as passive.
  11. RedVampyre


    Jan 10, 2005
    Alabama, USA
    I think you misunderstood what I posted. I just was posting facts and differences between the current production Thumbs. I wasn't trying to say one is better than the other.

    The Thumb NT, the Vampyre LTD, the Cruiser, the Katana NT, and the 2004 Corvette FNA LTD come standard with an ebony fretboard.

    I don't see where the Thumb is not versatile. While it has its signature tone and growl, the EQ is flexible enough (especially on the neck-through) to provide you with a wide variety of tones.

    At around 10 pounds for the neck-through, 8 pounds for the bolt-on, the Thumb is not that heavy. If it's a problem for some, it's nothing that good strap can't fix... in that case I recommend a Levy's PM32 leather strap.
  12. RedVampyre


    Jan 10, 2005
    Alabama, USA
    I didn't notice any neckdive on the 4 string NT or BO's.

    I don't think there's anything wrong with the MEC/BEC electronics. I don't see why you'd replace any of it.
  13. Whafrodamus


    Oct 29, 2003
    Andover, MA
    I got my thumb 4 NT for 1400 used. It had the optional (and great) ebony fretboard. I love it.
  14. RedVampyre


    Jan 10, 2005
    Alabama, USA
    That's exactly right. :smug:

    I like the Thumb so I bought one. No regrets here whatsoever! ;)
  15. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    No, I think you misunderstood what I posted. I was talking about Thumbs in general, not comparing BO vs NT ;)

    I didn't say it was not versatile - I said that because of their p-up placement they are not as versatile as basses with normal p-up placement. Although on the 4 it's close to normal, but on the 5 and 6 the neck p-up is a bit back from the normal neck-p-up position. On some, the p-up closer to the neck is where the bridge p-up would be with other basses.
    Of course, with lots of eq, anything can be done - but who wants to lug around a 100-band eq? I don't really like artificial versatility, anyway.
    I have my onboard off about (even over) 95% of the time, and can easily make do with only vol., bal. and of course technique. That's natural versatility. And it's good :smug:
  16. RedVampyre


    Jan 10, 2005
    Alabama, USA
    I totally agree with you on the pickup placement on the 5 and 6 string models. I actually think that the 4 sounds better than at least the 5 (I haven't tried a Thumb 6) because of this.

    I can understand where you're coming from if you play your bass with the preamp turned off most of the time. I play with it on 95% of the time. :p
  17. jivetkr


    May 15, 2002
    I just traded my thumb neck thru 4 string for a roscoe 4 string & for me its a much better fit.

    I LOVED the tone from the thumb. It sat better in the mix than any of my basses (I havent heard the roscoe yet in a mix).

    But I got tired of playing it sitting down all the time. Its just too heavy & unbalanced to play standing up for long periods of time. For that reason I wouldnt recommend it.

    The streamer stage I or II will balance MUCH MUCH better. If you have to have a warwick, thats a better way to go....IMO
  18. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    That's where the Horn Extender comes in ;)
    Actually they are not as heavy as some other basses, but since they balance poorly, they do seem so.
  19. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    I think it just sounds cooler that way. Raw growl :cool:
    When turning the eq on on the BEC-II system, you can immediately hear the difference: highs are lost making for a smoother but bit less defined tone.
  20. RedVampyre


    Jan 10, 2005
    Alabama, USA
    Corvette Stds sound great when played in passive mode. I have a friend who owns a Corvette Std Passive 4 that sounds awesome. He actually prefers it to his Thumb 5 BO.

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