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warwick bolt-ons vs neck through

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by jzucker, Mar 18, 2006.


  1. jzucker

    jzucker

    Feb 3, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    I know it's like describing wine but how do the bolt-ons compare to the neck throughs in tone?
     
  2. instigata

    instigata

    Feb 24, 2006
    New Jersey
    well, i find the bolt-ons to be bubbly, with a slightly fruity and tart after taste. o wait, thats merlot, not bolt-on.

    sorry, can't help ya :smug:



    typically neckthru SUPPOSEDLY have more sustain, and bolt ons better attack. but in my opinion, its all just relataive to the elctronics and pickups. in my world, that rules supreme.
     
  3. maxbass

    maxbass

    May 22, 2002
    Milano Italy
    Warwick makes so many BO's and NT's that it's hard to simplify the question dividing them into two groups.

    For example there are more analogies among a NT Streamer Stage 1 (post 1990) and a BO Streamer LX than the ones existing among the former and a NT Thumb.

    IMHO considering basses built in the last ten years or so, bolton's are better value for the money than neck through's.
    On the other hand the price for a eighties' neck through is even lower than the price for a new bolton, but older ones are way ahead.

    My preference is for Thumbs, Streamers and Dolphins made until 1990, all neck through's.

    Newer neck through, made after 1995, cost too much money fot the value.
    Boltons are better deals.
     
  4. jzucker

    jzucker

    Feb 3, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    Thanks for the info. How would you classify the differences between the thumb bass bolt-ons vs neck throughs?
     
  5. At one time it was considered that neck through construction was the better way to build a bass. Now we know it is just a different way and both have characteristics that are preferred from one to the other.

    I can't comment on Warwics but there are some manufactures like Pedulla that offer both a neck through and a bolt on of the same model just because the bolt on is cheaper to manufacture. This is usually done so they can bring a more expensive model to the masses. This does not mean the you are getting a cheaply made bass though.

    Typically, a bolt on bass made of the same materials and have the same electronics will sound more punchy where a neck through will sound warmer and have more sustain.

    This of course in just my opinion.
     
  6. Anti_Wish

    Anti_Wish

    May 14, 2004
    Boston, Ma
    it's hard to describe but when i tried out my thumb in GC i compared it to a bolt on. one thing i liked about the neck through is it has the adjustable mids whereas the bolt ons don't. but with the neck through i felt more bite to the notes when i really pressed in. I have a reallty aggressive geddy lee style of playing and I dig in hard. and it just sounded more better... ya that's it... more better
     
  7. maxbass

    maxbass

    May 22, 2002
    Milano Italy
    Both models have been modified during their lifetime.

    The NT was 7 pieces Bubinga/Wengé neck, Wengé fingerboard with Bubinga body from 1985 until 1998, when Wengé ih the neck was replaced with Ovangkol.
    In 2001 the neck was changed again, and become an all Ovangkol neck with 4 Wengé thin stripes. The fingerboard was changed too, and it's made of Ebony since then.

    The first BO had a Wengé 3 pieces neck and Walnut Body in 1994-1995, but soon they changed the Body with Bubinga.
    Around 1997/1998 Ovangkol replaced Bubinga for the Body, and soon after Ovangkol replaced Wengé for the neck too.

    Ad you may imagine, all these versions sound quite different each other!

    Older neck through represent more than any other model the Warwick sound.
    Killer low midrange Growl; tight, not so deep basses, and a good, not glassy, high end.
    Very aggressive sound, they cut the mix like few others.
    The very first ones from the eighties, handmade with EMG's or Bartolini's are the way to go.

    The bolton which is more similar to the NT is the middle version, with the Wengé neck and the Bubinga body.
    The older with Walnut body are less aggressive, but still with good growl. I don't like all Ovangkol ones.

    Usually boltons have more attack and neck through's more sustain, but this qualities have also much to deal with the woods used.
    So I would never say that a NT Thumb is a warm sounding bass.
    And the same applies to the Rickenbacker 4001/4003 for example.
     
  8. jzucker

    jzucker

    Feb 3, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    OK, I think I'm in love. I bought a used warwick Thumb 5 from guitar center. I overpaid at $1100 but I figured it was ok for a great instrument. Unfortunately, when I got it home, I discovered the the Ovangkol lamination seam was split all along the back and almost extending to the top. My guess is that the bass was dropped at some point. I can feel the laminate separating on the neck too.

    Too bad 'cuz it's just killer. And funny that I thought I'd never want a 5 string but within a few moments it was very comfortable.

    Now just to find one that isn't broken. It seems that they are very consistent and they are very cheap for what you are getting. I love the stock pickups too (at least with the active preamp). The passive preamp on the Corvette I'm trying seems to be a little thin sounding.
     
  9. scuba steve

    scuba steve

    Dec 28, 2005
    Hillsboro, Tx
    well when i did a a-b test with the nt and bo thumb 5 string this is what i found. the bo had a bit more "attack" than the nt, while the nt sustained for a little longer. i know any other person could have told you what i just said, but im not quite through. i liked the bo because it's sound seemed to be a little more "fuller" and "pronounced". the nt sound was not as full, and seemed a bit more "transparent" if that makes sence. i guess what i've been trying to say is that the bo tone had a bit more presence to it and was a little deeper and warmer sounding, while the nt sound was a little thinner. i think this has to do with the bo having a little more attack. this is just my opinion after reviewing these sister basses. some other person might totally disagree with what i just said and put me in my place(someone please school me if im wrong, this is just my opinion after playing these two basses). the best thing to do is go to a gc and a-b them for yourself.
     
  10. THIS is why I love you guys!:D
     
  11. Can you expand on that last statement? Is there a difference in the necks, BO or NT on Ricks?
     
  12. maxbass

    maxbass

    May 22, 2002
    Milano Italy

    I was just saying that bolton doesn't always mean punch and attack, and neck through doesn't always mean warmness and sustain.
    There's much more than the type of neck joint that deals with the sound of an instrument
     
  13. jzucker

    jzucker

    Feb 3, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    so, anyone know of a good deal on a 5 or 6 string thumb? :)
     
  14. jzucker

    jzucker

    Feb 3, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    'nuther dumb question. How do the soapbar pickups on the 6 string compare to the pickups on the 5?
     
  15. scuba steve

    scuba steve

    Dec 28, 2005
    Hillsboro, Tx
    check on the bay, i saw a thumb bo 5 on there the other day that had no reserve goin for only a little more 700. it still had a few days left, but you can find some steals on the bay.
     
  16. jzucker

    jzucker

    Feb 3, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    yeah, I out-smarted myself on that one. I had a bid queued up yesterday for $976 and at the last second, someone bid 975 and when I hit the return to bid the $976, I got an error saying I needed to bid at least $985 and by the time I keyed the new figure in, the auction was over. So I lost even though I bid more.

    Gotta love ebay...
     
  17. debbandruss

    debbandruss

    Jun 10, 2004
    For me the bolt-ons sustain so long already that the sustain comparison isnt a big issue. However I feel safer with a bolt-on, many terrible things can happen to either a body or neck and its nice only needing one or the other repaired or replaced.
     
  18. jzucker

    jzucker

    Feb 3, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    Yep. I hear you. A buddy of mine's been through hell with his through-neck, boutique 6 string. If he'd had a bolt-on, it would have been much easier.