Unresolved Warwick Questions...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Knavery, Oct 12, 2005.

  1. Knavery


    Feb 24, 2004
    Denver, CO
    Hey guys,
    Why on Earth is Warwick praised all over these forums, but at the same time everyone says they (Thumbs and other product lines) suffer from serious neck-dive, the basses are too heavy, and anything post '96 or so sucks? How can a bass company be regarded as highly as those who have been consistent with their product, and produce crap?

    I know there have been a lot of Warwick threads on why this, and why that, but I failed to find one where this issue has been addressed? I'm seriously considering getting a Thumb NT, but if it's commonly known that Warwick has not made a good Thumb in several years, forget it. I'll get something else.

    And what of this neck-dive problem? It's obvious that it's been a problem for years, but nothing has been done about it. Has Warwick addressed this to their customer base?

    I'm not knocking Warwick, because I do like their products. That is aside from their cheap-ass plate cover on the back. But I want to really know why all of you here love their products, but tell everyone who would like to purchase one to try and find one a decade old.

    I'm pretty synonymous with being a thread killer around here for some reason. It's either because I'm percieved as a dick or I just don't create interesting enough posts. But seriously guys, I'd like you to discuss this. Thanks.
  2. Whafrodamus


    Oct 29, 2003
    Andover, MA
    Every warwick I've used never had any serious neck dive issues. The dive is still there, but it's no EB-0 or anything. Also, the dive has a lot to do with the player, and how they're built and wear the bass. I don't get much neck dive on my thumb.
  3. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    I've never noticed any neck dive, almost walked outta GC with a Thumb a couple weeks ago and it felt great, sounded great. No problems here, seemed solid to me.
  4. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    Why so much fuss about it?
    Because we love the tone, but have problems with weight or neckdive, and give a fair warning to others.

    I don't have much neckdive with my Corvette. However, it's quite heavy. But the tone compansates me for it.

    Why do some advise getting a pre-96? Because they were made better back then, and since old Ws can be found used and in good condition, then why not?
    However, I don't see 'anything after 96 sucks' anywhere.

    W tries to do some things about the weight issue, as well.
    Look at the new basses:
    Corvette Hot Rod - swamp ash, chambered body
    Stryker/Cruiser/Wahtever - chambered body
    Corvette $$ - swamp ash

    As for the neck dive... well, it's mostly the Thumb.
    Part of it is because it's not used as it was supposed to be. (It was designed to be played chest-height).
    Also, I don't know how much would changing the body influence the tone
  5. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Everyone doesn't say anything in particular. You've got thousands of different people posting on these forums, and they all have different opinions and experiences. Some of them love Warwicks and some hate them. Some are convinced that only the older Warwicks are worth having, while others are perfectly happy with or even prefer the newer ones. Some people are bothered by the weight or balance or neck profile, and others aren't.

    Take the "balance" issue with the Thumb. Folks who prefer their bass to hang at 45 degrees or so seem to complain about it being neck-heavy. On the other hand, folks who get used to the way it hangs (more parallel to the floor) aren't bothered by it so much. And some who are bothered by it still love the tone enough to just live with the balance. What exactly do you suppose Warwick ought to be doing to "address the issue" when lots of people are still buying the bass as it is, and when Warwick makes several other models with different shapes that don't hang the same way?

  6. brooklynbassguy

    brooklynbassguy Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2004
    maplewood, nj, usa
    I've had qualms about the weight of some of my warwicks, particulary a couple six string, one a corvette, the other a streamer, that was over the top of sanity. They have a sound however, that sings. It's not for everybody or everything, but opne E strings on all their 4s sound great. The necks feel really great, whether skinny or fat. There also alot of intelligence in the design of their hardware. They're starting to come around to making things a bit lighter-thank God!
  7. Knavery


    Feb 24, 2004
    Denver, CO
    I didn't mean for the original post to sound like an attack. The reason I bring this up is because I'm thinking of dumping a lot of money into an NT Thumb--not because I think Warwick sucks. And I think I have the right to ask these questions. I'm simply looking for good, solid feedback before a take any plunge. I shouldn't even have brought up the neck-dive issue. It doesn't bother me any, but it was more of a general question.

    The other issue at hand, older Thumbs being better than newer ones, is something I'd really like to know. What confuses me is that I'll be searching around and notice a 2001 for sale with a wenge fingerboard, and then a 2002 in another place with an ebony fingerboard for no rhyme or reason. I sifted through 16 pages of Warwick threads yesterday, and couldn't find a good solid answer as to what is the preferred fingerboard wood.

    I really have to have my ducks in a row, and be sure that I have my questions answered before I get rid of this FNA Ltd. 2004. I played a Thumb last night in GC, and fell in love with it.

    I appreciate the comments. :)
  8. bassist286


    Nov 22, 2001
    rhode island
    well being a thumb player, i prefer the wenge, i just like the sound of it better, and i believe they make both styles consistantly. As for the pre 96' thing: there were two serious design changes. Thumbs along with others had an all wenge neck and finger board, so if you ever get a chance to try one you'll notice the "orginal warwick growl". Now necks are usually ovenkal or bubinga. The second was the pick-up change. They swiched from EMG's to MEC's which some say was a big mistake. In my opinion. It really dosen't make to much of a difference. It's still a warwick, and still sounds like one
  9. Daywalker


    Apr 13, 2005
    Myself, I would rather have an ebony fretboard than wenge. The thumb's midrange and punch is absolutely insane either way, and the ebony cleans up the lows and highs a bit. But again, that's just what I prefer. Either ovankol or wenge in the neck, doesn't make a huge difference to me, but I'd rather have wenge. All in all, with all the weight, it makes for a bit of neck dive yes. You'll just have to play a 1-2 hour set with one and see if the weight is a problem for you or not. My SSII5 weighs like 10.5 pounds or something like that, but it doesn't bother me any more. Once you feel that tone, lil things like being comfortable don't seem to matter. Well, for me it doesn't...
  10. dhadleyray

    dhadleyray Guest

    Dec 7, 2004
    I own an 88 NT Thumb and I can't fault it. The weight is There, but it's manageable. The neck profile is another matter. Whenever I go into shops and look at one, I hate the neck profile, but It isn't close to what I've got. I'm still confused about what's going on there, because I recently bought another Thumb 6 (Fretless), and the neck profile is the same as my 88.

    The tone is incomparable. I've played on 30 records in the last 5 years and despite different engineers and whatnot, the sound always cuts.

    If you like the sound, buy the bass, I've "never" had any neckdive with my basses. I have had problems with what's in the shops.

    It's all up to what you want from a bass. I hate the neck profile of 62-64 Precison basses.....

    Although, if I were gigging 4 sets a night 3 or 4 days a week, standing up, I wouldn't get a Thumb! ;)
  11. Vic

    Vic There's more music in the nuance than the notes. Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine
    The Corvettes feel fine to me, except for some models being generally a heavy bass by today's standards, but I think this is accepted as a part of the Warwick personality (and maybe a source of their great tone, as well). A friend has a Jazzman 5 and I love it completely except for the extra narrow spacing.

    However, every Thumb I've ever played felt neck heavy, as well as generally heavy, so I just couldn't get comfy with one.

    I think the neck dive thing is greatly affected by how you wear your bass... high, low, angled this way or that, etc..., so I think that might be the answer to your question as to why some say one thing and others say something else.

    For ME, Thumbs just physically don't work.
  12. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    No problem, though I still think you may have difficulty getting consistent answers from such a large and diverse group as this! :rolleyes: There simply isn't a broad consensus of whether wenge or ebony is the "preferred fretboard", for instance--there are pros and cons to both. Wenge tends to sound growlier while ebony is broader with more highs and lows. Wenge is a little more coarse and open-grained while ebony is smoother. Wenge is probably a bit less sensitive to humidity changes and less prone to shrinkage than ebony (in my experience). Wenge is standard, and ebony is optional, so wenge will almost certainly be easier to find.

    Good luck!


  13. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    I don't think that anybody who has ever played a German made Warwick would say that they suck.

    Yes, the older, hand built Warwicks did have better fit & finish, but the newer Warwicks are pretty darned good, too.

    The major knocks on the newer ones are the just-a-nut II, the ovangkol neck, and the chunkier neck profile.

    The originals had slimmer necks made of wenge, and the much nicer brass just-a-nut.

    As far as balance issues, neck heavy basses cause me pain in my hand, forearm, and wrist. I developed tendonitis from playing a neck heavy five string with a chunky neck. Once is more than enough for me!

    If you like the way a Thumb sounds, like the feel of the neck, and are not bothered by the neck dive, go for it! I love the sound of the Thumb 5, but the poor ergonomics have kept me from buying one. Warwick doesn't seem to have problems selling them to other people, though.
  14. They did. They called it the Dolphin.

    Because I love their products, and if I was buying one today, I would rather spend less money on an older model than an extra $500 for a current model. I'm not sure why that's so hard to understand.

    You seem to be upset because you wanted a cut and dry answer to your other thread in order to buy a Warwick bass sight unseen. Unfortunately, there are no cut and dry rules regarding any basses, let alone Warwicks. Everybody gave you their best opinions based on their best experience, which I understand leaves you not knowing exactly what your best option is. And now you're upset about that. Unfortunately when you're looking to buy a bass sight unseen you're not always going to know exactly what you should get or why you should get it even with the best advice in the world; it's almost always requiring a 'leap of faith' in some regard.
  15. Kristopher


    Mar 13, 2005
    Tempe, AZ
    I don't have any experience with Warwicks, but I do play a bass that was made in period of time that is very questionable as far as quality (late 70s Fender). I think what it comes down to is each instrument is an individual in its own right and deserves to be given a fair chance in the hands of the player before being judged. I'm glad I did, now I have my dream bass.

    Maybe the post '96 Warwick praisers found good Warwicks and love the heck out of them. And conversely, anyone who's tried one out and hates it might have picked up a bad one.

    When you're dealing with mass production and QA issues (which may or may not be the case with this company), I'm sure the spectrum of good and bad basses is quite large. It's the same reason I like some of the bands that I do: I happened to pick the good album they did. :smug: I'm sure there's great bands out there that I'll never get to because I heard something other than their "quality" material. :p
  16. CentralCoastBass

    CentralCoastBass Supporting Member

    Feb 4, 2004
    San Luis Obispo, CA
    National Reso-Phonic Guitars
    too bad these guys dont also tell you the cons of the older ones. here goes. the older warwicks have a constuction flaw...... a very weak point in the neck behing the NUT. anyone who has searched for an old one online will tell they have seen many with this area repaired, reglued, rebuilt. this is because the headstock has snapped off at some point! if you want an old one, get close up pictures of this area and be prepared to be CAREFUL with the bass. warwick has remedied this problem by adding more wood behind the nut(volute). take a look at some old ones vs. new and you will see what i'm talking about. i can agree that an all wenge neck is more desirable than a new ovankol one, but i still think the new ones are great basses. the one thing i cant truly agree with is "handmade vs. machine made", just because of the simple rule of human error. as a general rule. a machine can carve a neck to within +/- five to ten thousandths of an inch, which is more accurate than the human hand. likewise with routing, drilling, etc. to me, the fit and finish is as good if not better than the old ones. dont believe the hype!! find out for yourself and dont jump on the bandwagon of handmade is better. i do think the older ones look better, and they may sound better, though, i have not A/Bed them myself. i a have owned 3 warwicks, 91 streamer, 97 streamer lx wenge neck, and 2000 thumb bolt-on 5. i had to sell my thumb 5, the weight and neckdive KILLED my back and left arm. great sounding bass though. the streamers are long gone too, but i always thought the lx sounded way better than the neck thru streamer.
  17. natrab


    Dec 9, 2003
    Bay Area, CA
    I love my Vette. It's just the simple passive version, but it does have an incredible tone. A real "woody" tone like a good gin :smug:

    It doesn't have neck dive for me and it is a bit on the heavey side, but I do really like it. Frankly, I just don't use it as much now that I've gotten into Rick Turners and Alembics. Whole different ride. I'm thinking of selling it, but it's hard since it's such a great bass.

    Warwicks will always get a thumbs up in my book.
  18. Knavery


    Feb 24, 2004
    Denver, CO
    Those that replied around you had no difficulties in presenting the facts. And no I'm not upset. Your first mistake was assuming I was, which garnered a response which makes me look unappreciative. See, I'm not diving in blindly. I've played the Thumbs, but without the time and resources to play each one at length, I can't answer my own questions without turning to a forum for help. I'm just sorry I didn't sugar coat the post more. That is the way I write, and I'm sorry you feel that my double-posts, on two seperate topics, gives you the impression that I'm not satisified with what people are saying.

    Now, If I was to take a "leap of faith" without any knowledge of the product in question, then you're totally right. You make a lot of sense in that paragraph, but that is precisely what I am trying to prevent.

    I mix a little criticism, sarcasm, and sometimes satire in my writing, which can be taken out of context as far as my general mood is concerned. I whole-heartedly enjoy this community and the people here. I also value their opinions--including yours. So, thanks for taking the time to reply.
  19. dhadleyray

    dhadleyray Guest

    Dec 7, 2004
    workdaddy hit a vein. I had to have my 88 thumb repaired because the neck snapped off behind the nut. It fell off the stand...... I just thought it was a singular incident......
  20. +1

    I own a Passive Corvette Standard 4string too. Although my G&L sounds better in alle possible settings; this Warwick will never part for various reasons:

    - it looks stunning. I love dark brown wood colored basses.
    - it plays rather easy
    - the sound it produces is quite unique, dark, yet very punchy and usable.
    - great ergonomics and no neck-dive whatsoever
    - I'm in love with the soft feel of the unfinished wood... pure sex imho!