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Wariwicks' Rockbass range...is it worth its salt in a professional/gigging capacity?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by (hed)-less, Oct 5, 2004.

What do you think of Warwick Rockbass?

Poll closed Oct 12, 2004.
  1. Rockbass? love em :D!

    22 vote(s)
  2. Nah...hey suck...get a proper Warwick ;)!

    38 vote(s)
  1. hey there, im a bassist on a budget..but despite this im after a really good pro quality bass. my band is getting more serious and i feel it justifys me getting something better for myself. in a previous thread i seeked advice on the yamaha rbx vs the ibanez btb [5 string versions respectively]

    additionally im considering a warwick rockbass vampyre to further narrow down what i should try out and such. the vampyre appeals to me as (being in a metal band) it has the cool looks/appearance that rival any bc rich or esp..but further more its built by warwick..so..this cant be a bad thing then right?

    what im trying to figure out is: Is a rockbass model warwick more best suited to the "bedroom enthusiast" similar to a kid getting their favourite players' signiture model...OR are they serious contenders for bass players and are worth having/gigging with? i still cant understand what difference there is between a rockbass and a high end warwick (as there is no way i can afford a high end warwick version of the vampyre).

    i gather the woods/build quality differ but other than that if i buy a warwick ROCKBASS vampyre will i regret it and be left with warwicks equivlant to the fender squire range and sounds like crap?

    in any case id be most interested to hear your thaughts/feelings and feed back both towards the vampyre itself and the rockbass range..cheers and thanks alot for helpin me out in advance..nice one :p
  2. chengann


    Apr 22, 2003
    hi there:

    i tried out the btb recently. really nice "modern" finishing.
    but the pickup was too weak for my taste. strings sounded
    rather floppy too. hey, but it looks good on stage!

    i have been considering the kingston active and the rockbass fortress (fretless).

    i am settling for the rockbass. just ordered direct from
    the china office as they have better choices of color and finishing. it will arrive in a few weeks after production catches up.

    i wouldn't say it's better than the kingston. i think they are BOTH good. if i had the dough AND permission from the wife, i would snap up both basses.
    but for now, the rockbass tips the scale.
    - an active eq, mec preamp - love it or hate it. i happen to like the low-mid range punch.
    - nice stain finishing (check the photos on the german site instead of the usa site)
    - slightly lower price
    - better wood (for the fretless, i get real ebony instead of ebonol!)

    i use to have a thumb 5nt, which i sold to finance my present lakland 55-94. the lakland is great but sometimes i miss the warwick growl. i was told the rockbass may not sound like a warwick but it's pretty close.

    not sure if the links here would last, but someone
    kept an archive of their rockbass mp3

    http://www.xs4all.nl/~oweeda/Warwick Rockbass/

    and the song sample here seemed to be played with a rockbass vampyre


    but if you REALLY dig the warwick tone, you may want to search ebay for a used warwick corvette. they run about 800 bucks.
    (compared to the rockbass ~500)

  3. dave_clark69

    dave_clark69 Guest

    Jan 17, 2003
    Let me put it this way
    Would you rather have a fake Ferrari, or a real Ford?
  4. chengann


    Apr 22, 2003
    well, if the fake ferrari is such a good imitation and
    it drives way better than the real ford....i will choose
    the fake ferrari. heck, it's better if the fake ferrari
    comes in hot chilli red and is a chick magnet....

    but then, we aren't really comparing apple
    to oranges right? this is not a ford to ferrari comparison.
    a rockbass is not a fake warwick.
    just like a skyline is not a fake lakland.
    it's just a different series of bass by the same company.

    a rockbass is 500 bucks, a used warwick is 800 bucks
    (if the seller is desperate). it is still 60% cheaper!
    it's a commendable effort by warwick in putting out a
    good budget bass for the masses.
  5. Toasted


    May 26, 2003
    Leeds, UK

    I disagree, Rockbasses are not "fake" warwicks, they are warwicks just as much as the hand built german ones.

    I love my rockbass, and its actually so good i prefer it to the same model from the German Warwick line.

    In short, I like my rockbass corvette better than i like German made corvettes. They're lighter, easier to play, easier to get a range of good tones from, and i dont mind if i ding it or it gets a knock here at there.
  6. Dr Teeth

    Dr Teeth

    Dec 11, 2003
    Here, here, Toasted.

    I love my rock bass :bassist:
  7. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Rockbasses are decent, as long as you dont expect them to feel like a German Warwick. They sound similiar because of the electronics, but to me, the similiarity ends there.
    The MAIN thing i like about Warwicks is how solid they feel. The woods are dense and it just feels like a sturdy instrument. The rockbasses ive played were neck heavy, light -bodied, and felt cheapish. They sound decent though.
  8. Toasted


    May 26, 2003
    Leeds, UK
    I guess one man's dense is another mans heavy. I just tried something out on my RB Corvette Classic to see about the neck heavy, and its not, mine balences perfectly on my palm when i place it under the neck joint. I dont see how they sound similar because of the "electronics" when most german warwicks have active MEC systems and high range MEC pickups and most rockbasses are passive with much lower range MEC's.
  9. fake ferrari :D
    FORD=Found On Road Dead!...............(imo)
  10. Alexander


    Aug 13, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    I think the range the Rockbass is very competitive today (high-end budget models - $500-800), with lots of options from some pretty well known manufacturers including Lakland Skyline, G&L Tribute, MTD, Ernie Ball SUB, Spector, etc. as well as the tradtional players in the space (Fender, Ibanez, etc). Then there is the used market to look at as well - some great deals to be had there if you look hard. If you are really looking for a pro level bass on your budget, I would most certainly go used and wait a bit longer - if you can get into the $800 range, things really open up. You should be able to get a Warwick (non-Rockbass) at that price. Sometimes you can score big at GC, too - I saw a new EB Sterling with beautiful blueburst finish\maple fretboard for $800.

    But to directly answer your question on the Rockbass - in my experience, the MEC electronics are bot the best. Noisy and dark with boomy lows and harsh highs (to me). The nice things about a Warwick are the woods in my opinion, which you lose with Rockbass. So the Rockbass seems to have kept the worst part of the Warwick and got rid of the best part to hit the price point they were aiming for... I think you'd be better suited with one of the entry level Spectors than a Rockbass - same style\feel, but better built and nicer electronics...
  11. bill_banwell

    bill_banwell Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2002
    Ive never played a rockbass, but im sure there must be something about normal warwick basses that are better than the rockbass series, because they cost more.. must be in the sound, and feel
  12. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    This is one of the most entertaining assertions I've ever read on this forum! :rollno:

    Whether a bass is balanced or "neck heavy" doesn't mean how it balances on your palm (since you don't PLAY it on your palm) but rather how it balances on the body in the playing position. If it balances in playing position, I could care less whether the thing is so neck heavy that it can't sit upright on a guitar stand . . .
  13. It doesn't matter how much a bass is and if it is a copy or whatever. The only thing that matters is, if it sounds (and maybe looks) good to you. Sure, if you are going to record you may want to consider if the electronics are noisy etc. but I haven't played a bass recently that was so noisy that you couldn't record with it.

    The only thing you may want to consider is that most cheaper basses are built from cheaper wood. I've seen several times that the wood is shrinking over time what means you mays see the joints where pieces of the body are glued together or even worse the frets will stick out on the side of the neck. This may or may not happen.