Very low output from warwick - help needed

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Norwegianwood, Mar 4, 2005.

  1. I'm not sure if I post this in the right forum, so feel free to move it around.

    My problem is as following:
    I have a Warwick Corvette Standard passive bass. I love the sound of it, the playability, I actually love the whole bass. BUT: It has VERY low output signal. I'm not sure if it's been like this all the time, or if it's happened lately....(I don't pay attention to these things, plus I've changed amps and so on.) I don't think it can be anything wrong with the output jack, because I've just changed it. Could it be the potmeter? Or is the bass supposed to be like this?
    I really like the sound of my warwick, but I've had trouble getting a really punchy tone for funk grooves.....

    But I was trying an amp this other day, and the guy in store told me my output was very low. He plugged another bass into the amp, and the difference in volume was HUGE. I also played out this evening, and the soundguy told me he had troubles with my low output...

    Thanks once again for your help...
  2. My thread shouldn't be moved to another forum? Here it was at the bottom of the page after one hour or something:)
  3. Not sure if this will help, but I use a Warwick Streamer Standard and I have had the same problem. The MEC passive pick ups were actually giving me 10% of the out put I was getting from my 30 year old Gibson bass!!

    I had the resistance checked and contacted MEC and Warwick and established that there was no fault - they are just VERY low output pickups.

    I now use a Boss GEB 7 Graphic Equaliser AND a SansAmp BDDI to "warm up" my signal before it hits my Ashdown combo. I, like you, love the tones I can get from the pickups. I don't know whether they are the same on the Corvette as the Streamer Standard, but it does seem to be a bit of a coincidence that you have had exactly the same problem as I had.

    I did consider going for an onboard pre amp byt eventually decided that it was a simpler and neater solution to go with the Graphic and SansAmp.

    Good luck. :) :)
  4. Just buy a Spector much better basses In my opinion!! :)
  5. JayAmel

    JayAmel Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Aurillac, France
    My Warwick Rockbass Corvette 5 (active) has much output, while my Fender Jazz Bass Highway 1 (passive) is way weaker on that point.

    Now back to the past : my MIJ Fender P (passive) had MUCH more output than my Music Man SR5 (active).

    My white Rickenbacker 4003 (built 1999) had much more output than my black one (built 2003). Both passive, of course, and finally the same models, according to the catalog.

    So I'm not sure at all this has something do with active or passive electronics.

    I also must admit this notion of less or more output never caused me much trouble, though.

    BTW, I second the idea of using an SABDDI. This is a helpful box.

    Hope this helps,
  6. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    That was not the question. I don't go to Spector threads saying how bad they sound (which they do, actually, with all those nasally mids :spit: ), so please don't come over saying something that is so subjective - for example, in my case, Warwick >> Spector tone-wise. And even shape-wise. So please, shut up.

    Back to the question:
    I have heard that passive Warwicks have lower output, and there are some that have even lower. Some people had good results switching out the p-ups of the Corvette to Seymour Duncans - or to Bartolinis. Do a search in the Pickups forum, and you'll find the results.
    Doctor J likes this.
  7. +1.

    Although I prefer my "outboard" solution. :) :)
  8. Ok, thanks alot for the help!
    Seems that it is just my bass who has very low output, then. It was just strange, because the soundguy said it was so low that when he really crancked it up - it became hissy. (A slight buzz, or whatever.) I went through a Behringer bass DI only. And I never have that problem on my amp.

    Yeah, I have the SANSAMP RBI. That certainly boosts the signals, and if I leave it flat, it will work pretty much like having active electronics on my bass, right?
    I've also considered changing pups. But, you know, I'm afraid I might lose that tone I love....

    Thanks again for you help.
  9. That is EXACTLY why I went with the "outboard" solution. :) :)
  10. My Fortress Flashback 5 has passive MEC's (though they are the shiny lipstick tube kind) and they certainly aren't "low output".

    So I wonder if maybe there is indeed a problem in the bass's controls. Perhaps the volume potentiometer is bleeding your signal to ground, for example....

    If you're handy with a soldering iron, I'd try bypassing the controls altogether: wire one of them directly to the output jack. Then see how it sounds....
  11. You may be right but I certainly know that the soapbars on my Streamer Standard are INCREDIBLY low output and that their resistance is as it should be (according to MEC).

    Also, if you do a search, you will see that low output, specifically from MEC soapbars, has been explored, canvassed and solved on may many occasions here. The only thing I'm unsure about is what pickups norwegianwood actually has on the Corvette. They may not be MEC and/or soapbars in which case all my ramblings may have been for nothing. :meh: :meh:
  12. Guess I never paid any attention to the previous thread on MEC soapbars having low output, since I don't have any problem with my "lipstick tube" MEC's....

    So possibly there is a problem inherent to the soapbars, but if it were my bass, just to make sure, I'd solder the output jack directly to the pickup and confirm the issue....
  13. just giving my opinion, of which I am entitled to!! I love Spector basses and I encourage other bass players to marvel in their wonderfulness!!

    I dislike Warwicks, tried a few corvettes, streamers but they all sounded like warwicks. Found it very hard to get other sounds from them!! Spectors are much more versitile!! How about I tell you to shut up now?? Wouldnt like that would you, we are all entitled to our own opinion do not slate me for mine!!

    Are you telling me that you prefer the shapes of all warwicks including the streamer?? Which was designed by the same guy, and are pretty identical?? I must admit I do like the shape of the Dolphin but just the sound ruins it for me!!

    But of course im not allowed my own opinion and i must be a sheep and buy Warwick!!
  14. Offbase


    Mar 9, 2000
    You might wanna try raising the pups (kinda like "fixing" a tv by plugging it in).
  15. Is it OK to say I don't like Brussels Sprouts?

    About as relevant as the Spector posts (IMHO of course).
    ;) ;)
  16. My post was totally relevant.

    He has a problem with his Warwick, cant get those punchy funk sounds hes after!!

    My solution would be to have a Spector as well. Spectors have that punchy funk sound he is after!! (IMHO of course) :p
  17. The irony is that the Warwick has those "punchy funk" tones in spades once you get the signal to the amp nice and hot. I'm assuming he is looking for a slightly cheaper solution than "buying a Spector"??!! :D :D :D :D

    I do take your point on the body design similarity between the Spector and the Streamer Standard though. Never really noticed it before. :)
  18. Warwick player

    Warwick player

    Dec 31, 2002
    Bucks, UK
    I had a similar problem a while ago, I ended up buying a MXR Micro Amp to go in series with my input to the amp. Even though ths is only used for parts of my bands songs, i suppose you could consider it? :p

    Cheers and Beers
  19. I have the standard MEC soapbar mics...
    I don't think buying a spector would be a good idea, since there's not to many of em avaliable here in Norway:) I'd rather try it out myself.

    And yeah, you'r right that the warwick should be able to produce those hot funk-tones as well. I just recalled urb_munkis recordings....they are indeed pretty darn hot!

    Guess I'm stuck with my low output. I'll try boosting signals with my sansamp to see if that helps...
  20. I too have a warwick (rockbass :bawl: ) streamer, which has the MEC soap bars which i believe you are talking about. Compared to my other passive bass the output is about a quarter of it. Dont know what to suggest really but it looks like it might be a common problem.