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Warrior Isabella

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by sambacanuta, Nov 13, 2004.


  1. sambacanuta

    sambacanuta

    Nov 11, 2004
    NY
    I am thinking about getting an Isabella fretted 5 (Warrior singlecut). I played a Warrior Soldier bolt on 5 at a store and it was the best sounding bass I have ever played (I have owned Fodera Emperor, Roscoe LG, Tobias Pre Gibson, Fender JB 1974). The neck on the bolton felt incredible also. The only reason iI did not get it is that I felt the body was a little too small for me. I am used to Fender JB and I need a full size body to be comfortable especially when sitting. This is why I got rid of my Tobias and Roscoe.
    I have heard that the Isabella has a full size body. Has anyone tried it? Does it cut through being a mahogany body and neck?
    thanks guys
     
  2. Wasabi1264

    Wasabi1264

    Oct 3, 2004
    President: MusicDojo.com
    As I stated in several Warrior threads, I'd advise against doing a "buy to build" option with them, as their quality control is inconsistent. If you work it out with them up front that if there are flaws, you won't buy the bass, that's fine, but if the bass has construction flaws, other than, say, a scratchy pot or something, really, they won't be able to fix the flaws very easily.

    That said, I think mahogany body and neck is a very poor choice for a bass that cuts. First of all, you'll lack the punch of a bolt-on anyway, and second, the bass with a mahogany body and neck will be warm and round, but will have very little top end to speak of. There won't be a lot of growl there. I know this from experience, as I owned a Warrior that was mahogany, and it was a frustrating experience to get it to be heard in all but the most mellow circumstances.

    You're better off going with a swamp ash body, and then either a maple or wenge neck.

    Hope this helps!
     
  3. KayCee

    KayCee

    Oct 4, 2004
    Shawnee, KS
    The two fretted Isabellas that I played were mahogany, and had so much growl that I could almost get a fretless sound out of them (which is what I was looking for). They sound very different than the Signature and Soldier models there, much more compressed. I do think that the single cut aspect makes a real difference in this respect. Since I was shopping for a fretless at the time, I didn't slap on one to evaluate it's sound for that purpose.

    As far as cutting through...what are you needing to cut through? It might depend on whether you mean a wall of crunching guitars or a jazz trio. For my purposes, cutting through means the setting of an uplugged gig with two acoustic guitars and congas.

    I've been playing on a loaner fretless bolt-on Soldier model with mah/pur/mah neck and ash body for about a month now. It's a nice bass, punchy and present, but doesn't have the richness of tone of the Isabellas I played. The Isabella isn't cheap, though, and I wouldn't shell at that kind of money without playing one first.

    Andy
     
  4. KayCee

    KayCee

    Oct 4, 2004
    Shawnee, KS
    Agreed. That said, I wouldn't have ANY custom bass built without having this agreement, no matter what the reputation of the builder. There are just too many things that can go wrong.
     
  5. jacochops

    jacochops

    Jul 2, 2000
    Suzhou, China
    Okay, this is NOT a commercial post, but read on, if you want.....
    Get a Nordstrand, Elrick, Brubaker, etc. They would all be an excellent choice besides the Fodera you mentioned above. Like yourself, I prefer a larger body, as well. I have a couple of Nordstrands on order, as well as a Benavente, and I have specified a 5 string sized body on a 4 string neck on all of them. Carey's bodies are designed to feel right, regardless of the number of strings, so you'd be safe there. You would also have ZERO issues with quality control; that man is downright anal when it comes to details and making the customer happy! :D
    Chris Benavente and Brian Barrett are also great about making sure you get what you want, so once again, you'd have no surprises.
    I have played a bunch of Warriors, and have owned a bolt on Soldier. To be honest, they remind me of Fender....most are not outstanding, but when you find a good one, they truly are fantastic! The one I had was a dog. Luck of the draw...?
    My suggestion? NAMM is coming up soon. I would contact one of the manufacturers that I mentioned and ask them for a badge to the show. (I'd do that IMMEDIATELY...the deadline for badges is coming up in a week or two...) If they know you are serious about buying one of their basses, I couldn't imagine any one of them saying no! Get on a plane, and come to NAMM with the cash you were thinking about spending on a Warrior. That way, you can play ALL of the basses by any manufacturer, meet some great people, and decide for yourself. Often, many of the basses at the show are available for sale. Who knows...the Warrior might be right for you; however, once you see the Anaheim Convention Center filled to the brim with the best of the best of the top makers in the world, your perspective might change! :eek:
    To me, the 500-700 bucks you'd spend on the trip would more than make up the loss you'd take on the resale value of a high end bass that you ordered sight-unseen, and were not happy with (ESPECIALLY a Warrior...their resale value is terrible!) :meh:
    Anyone else here want to chime in on this?
     
  6. Jean Baudin

    Jean Baudin

    Aug 27, 2003
    redwood city, ca
    Endorsing Artist: See Profile
    Do a forum search on Warrior. I had one. It sucked.
     
  7. geshel

    geshel

    Oct 2, 2001
    Seattle
    :eek: ouch. ;)
     
  8. 5stringDNA

    5stringDNA

    Oct 10, 2002
    Englewood, CO
    I've played upwards of 15-20 warriors and have found most them to sound and play excellent- maybe I'm just lucky. I have always been very impressed with warriors. Most of the warriors I have played have been at the local gallery, but I played a used Armed Soldier last week at GC that looked like it hadn't been played, and it destroyed all the warwicks, spectors, and the like as far as playability, finish, and tone, and was only a few hundred more.
     
  9. Fire-Starter

    Fire-Starter Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2002
    MINNESOTA
    hey, is that a pic of basssist Chip Shearin in Mpls playing that Warriior, if so, I was there that night when he played at Americanguitarboutique, I also got to play that bass that night, it was his and it was tight!!!!!!!!
     
  10. sambacanuta

    sambacanuta

    Nov 11, 2004
    NY
    Yeah that's Chip.
    Wow, so you played that bass?
    Chip told me that's an ash body, maple top, maple neck and ebony board. He playes with Christina Aguilera and Justin Timberlake.
    I think I will go to the guitar show in Philly this coming weekend to check out an Isabella.
    The warrior soldier bolt on I tried was so ridulously good that I can't imagine the Isabella would suck like some people here are saying.
     
  11. Fire-Starter

    Fire-Starter Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2002
    MINNESOTA
    Yes I did play it, I was at the Americanguitarboutique for a event they were giving and he was the Guest Bass Player, he had a bunch of us come up, I played bass, and 3 others played guitars, then he would say, play this or that in Gmaj, or E flat, bass player you start it off :eek: and I had his six string Isabella, it was fun and scary. :cool: BTW, I owned a warrior bolt on soldier, and the only thing I did not like was the bassline electronics, the all else was great! btw, ask him what a Chicken Switch is if you get a chance :smug: he told us about it when he was in MPLS. it was kind of funny
     
  12. sambacanuta

    sambacanuta

    Nov 11, 2004
    NY
    This thread really proves and confirms my theory that you can't get an opinion on an instrument based on comments on talkbass.com
    Most comments on this site about warrior are bad. That's why I wasn't even interested in trying one. When I played one at the local music store I was blown away. Best tone and playability I have seen. I just didnt like the small body. Too small for my taste. But the sound and feel beats any other high end bass I have owned. I will try the Isabellas this weekend and I will post my comments here.
     
  13. 5stringDNA

    5stringDNA

    Oct 10, 2002
    Englewood, CO
    Now you see where I've been coming from with all my raves about Warrior- it seems your the only one that agrees with me at point. Warriors do indeed sound and play divine. :D
     
  14. Dirty Road Cola

    Dirty Road Cola Guest

    Sep 8, 2000
    Gainesville, FL
    You can certainly get an opinion; that's what you got. The opinions given didn't coincide with what you experienced, which is the beauty of life: no one experiences the same thing from the exact experience.

    Besides, they're just opinions, that's all we can have in such a subjective realm. No one passed off "Warriors are bad" or "Warriors are good" with empirical evidence and such.

    That said, I tried Warrior basses and they were nothin' special ;).
     
  15. Walbassman

    Walbassman

    Nov 27, 2002
    Nashville, TN
    I had a Warrior bolt on and it was nice and light and had great tone. I had a hard time getting the tone that I am 'used to' and that is the only reason I gave it up...
     
  16. Wasabi1264

    Wasabi1264

    Oct 3, 2004
    President: MusicDojo.com
    I personally didn't say the tone and playabiity were bad. Quite the contrary. Mine is the most versatile, growly, yet precise tone I've heard in a bass I've owned, and it has the fastest neck and fastest insanely low action. My comments only dealt with construction flaws that are not a matter of opinion but of fact borne out of experience on my own bass, a previous Warrior I've owned, and numerous basses of theirs that I've seen and played. If they were able to get their quality control up to the level of many of our favorite custom bass makers (or heck, even up to the better mass producers!), I'd have no qualms about recommending them whole-heartedly. As it is, if good construction is important to you, you're gambling if you order a bass from them. If you buy one off the shelf, and it's given a really good once-over (which I didn't do), you're fine.
     
  17. KayCee

    KayCee

    Oct 4, 2004
    Shawnee, KS
    Based on the number of complaints about Warrior's quality control in the past, I'm convinced that there must be some truth to these claims.

    Still, the half-dozen Warrior basses that I played at a show recently (one's a loaner which I have in my possession) were all excellent in their workmanship. In fact, one notable bassist in the booth that was trying out a 7-string made the comment, "Wow, they've impoved!", and was on the edge of buying that axe.

    Add to that the fact that not one of the complaints so far that I've read has been directed at the Isabella model. I'm not sure how many people on this forum have played one, but it's very different from their studio and bolt models. I found the Isabella is so outstanding that I'm having one built, and it ain't cheap.

    Thanks to the posters that have made constructive criticisms of Warrior's past quality control, I will certainly keep my eyes open to these aspects. And, if anyone's interested, I'll report on the instrument when it's completed in the first part of 2005.
    Andy
     
  18. lsimy

    lsimy Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2003
    Virginia, USA
    I agree whole heartedly with Wasabi's comments.

    I have seen and checked out a few of the higher-end models and they were very nice.

    As some of you may know, I have been through a bit of a mess with my current bolt-on Soldier Sig.5. There are glue spots and so forth but overall, their basses are very smooth and easy to play.

    The thing is that I am a bit of an old-school sort buying a modernish boutique bass here and was not initially happy. I have the mahog body with maple top, mah/purp/mah neck with ebony board. What I ended up needing them to do "seemed" to be a bit out of the ordinary to them. Playing through older rigs and wanting a less vintage sound required some changes that I really wished they would have asked me about in the beginning. The problem is you got on the horn with their sales guys and they convince you it's the best decision and you'll just think it's the best playing bass and you'll be in awe over it and blah blah blah.

    The key with Warrior, go to the source. Talk to JD the owner directly. In fact, JD should take ALL of the orders and I am going to suggest to him that he start a checklist with new buyers. Otherwise, it won't be right and it will be "their" bass. Screw that. I ain't payin you well over $2 or $3 grand for it to be "your" bass. If that were the case, please refrain from placing the word, "custom" in your advertising. Otherwise, I'll call the shots.

    What I wanted was a simple 9v, 2-band Bart pre, the Bart pickups they routed for already, the rear strap pin in the middle not up high like a Spector, black hardware for easy care and finally (I found out the hard way), some relief in the neck. These I did not get. Warriors are designed to be straight as an arrow and I don't play that way hence in Dec. she goes back for an entirely new neck. Might as well order LED's at that point!!

    So I've had issues like mad. I also got a leather bag (it is nice) instead of a case that was in the original order. I want the case to have a humidifier in there since the entire bass is an oil finish and not clear coat.

    Forget about "Buy to Build." As already stated, check it out in person if you can, talk DIRECTLY to JD, get the terms and policies squared away, then do the deal.

    You know at one point, they wanted to charge me bench time to get rid of that 18v 3 band mid-kit mess ?!?!? To downgrade on a brand new instrument ??!?! I told them, "just send it back as is guys if it's going to cost me so I can quickly get it up on EBAY !!!" Immediately got a response and they took care of everything. They'll help but you MUST go to the source.

    Once you do that, then they're pretty good. My bolt-on has really impressed me the more I play it. Darn good bass.

    Sorry to ramble.
     
  19. KayCee

    KayCee

    Oct 4, 2004
    Shawnee, KS
    I wonder if JD hasn't come to this conclusion himself, based on my experience last month.

    When I told him I wanted a bass made, he grabbed a clipboard and pen, saying that he wanted to get everything exactly right, on paper...almost giving me the feeling that in the past he'd had some communication miscues.

    So, I've got a copy of the order with all of my details in JD's handwriting. He says if it isn't right, he'll build another one.
    Hopefully it all works out the first time.

    Andy
     
  20. lsimy

    lsimy Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2003
    Virginia, USA
    That's the way to do it !!!! I think things will be ok for you this way. I wish I would have had that luck to begin with !! Once I got to JD, it all seemed to come together alot better.

    Good luck with it KayCee.