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Warwick Corvette: Bubinga vs Ash vs Ash$$

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Xx: V L F :xX, Aug 19, 2009.

  1. Hey Guys! I am about to get a Warwick Corvette with passive pickups. What do you think about the differences between the Bubinga and Swamp Ash bodies? Also, there is a "$$" double-buck swamp ash body. How do these humbuckers sound to you? Thanks for the input.
  2. o_s


    Oct 24, 2007
    Oulu, Finland
    I got an ash one with passive MEC J/J pickups. It's really great. Amazing wood resonance. I installed EMG-BTC on it and it got even more amazing. The sound is everything I've ever hoped and my band mates complement on it all the time. Tight, focused bottom and very pronounced high end. Slightly mid scooped but not in a bad way. I play mine in a metal band.

    As I understand and what I've experienced, bubinga one has more low mid growl and less high end. It also weighs more.
  3. Kyler_Welsch


    Jan 14, 2009
    Richland, WA
    The way I look at it, the ash body is fairly traditional sounding. It's about as close as you"ll get to sounding like a Jazz bass while still sounding like a Warwick. It still has extra low mids, but nothing like the Bubinga ones. The Bubinga ones are like the ash version, but with a ton of extra low mid, and throw a blanket over the high end to muffle it. The ash $$ IMO is outstanding. It's probably the combo of the passive pickups with active electronics, but the one I played was clear, articulate, and extremely well defined. The standard Warwick low mids were there but not overpowering like you sometimes find, and the high was crystal clear without being brittle. The low end could get fat and boomy or rolled back to be present, but not overpowering.
  4. I have an ash $$ and it's been working fine for me for the last 3 years. It's super light, only about 8lbs. compared to the bubinga bodies which weight between 12 and 14lbs. The weight does have an impact on the tone, as I feel my warwick does have a slightly brighter sound (with proper eq'ing I can get plenty of growl and low mids from this monster) and also it doesn't have as much sustain compared to bodies made of different woods.

    I dig the dual humbucker set-up. With the pick up pan knob and switches to control series/parallel wiring and humbucking/single coil humcanceling I feel like I have much more tonal control over this bass. Mine is active but the volume knob can be pulled out to put it in passive mode, so it's like having both an active and passive bass with me, although I almost always have the onboard preamp engaged.

    +1 to Kyler on this basses definition and articulation, a quality I look for when I bass shop.
  5. Mudcat35


    Feb 21, 2009
    Austin, TX
    I have a swamp ash Corvette and I much prefer it to the bubinga ones for tone. Mine has the tonal balance I like, and is bottom-present, but not bottom-heavy. I looked this weekend at a bubinga one, and my lower back simply would not allow me to buy it. That thing weighed a ton!
  6. I have an ash 5 string $$. I really love the tonal flexibility and control I have with the $$. None of this cross my bb-brain when I was trying it out, but now I realize I was very lucky to have picked a bass with this much "personaility control". Especially on the low 3 strings, I feel the bass notes resonating in the wood of the ovangkol neck, especially when I pluck a little hard.....it seems to reinforce that plucking style with what I refer to as the "BOMP". Other $$ owners know exactly what I'm referring to....

    I alwyas hear about people doing pickup surgery for this reason and that. Can't say as I've ever heard a $$ owner replacing those humbuckers. I love 'em.
  7. rimtism123


    Mar 25, 2009
    Birmingham, AL
    I have the red passive JJ ash corvette. It cuts through better than the others IMO. The bubinga is "warmer". I use mine for a pop-punk band
  8. I used to have a passive ash Corvette STD, and a $$.

    Now I only own the Corvette $$. Why? because the STD was great, but the $$ covers the sounds of the STD pretty well, plus a lot more. So I never really played the STD much.

    The humbuckers are very good, I love them. I tend to play mostly with only the bridge pickup, in the parallel mode, a bit Stingray-esque, but at teh same time not like a Stingray (if that makes any sense! :p)

    You get passive/active options (ok, in passive mode you have no tone controls... but the parallel/series/coil tap still works, and that gives you quite a range of sounds especially as you mix pickups)... parallel/series/coil tap...

    go for the $$. You won't regret it.
  9. Thanks for the input. It sounds like the real choice is between the $$ and the Bubinga bodied Standard. Weight is no big deal to me if I go with the bubinga, but why not just get the $$ if it can sound just like the Ash JJ and more? I used to have an Ash P-bass American Deluxe. The bottom was snappy and audible but not thumping like with mahogany. It would be cool if you could get a bubinga $$, huh?
  10. you can say Bubinga alot... I have a Bubinga Corvette Std fretless and I love it... It is a remarkable instrument.
  11. Rev.Dr.


    Oct 4, 2007
    Metro Atlanta
    I have a bubinga 5 and a bubinga 6 and they both sound great. I prefer the sound of bubinga. The basses are "heavy"; but I find them to be comfortable with a wide strap. I don't think you can go wrong with either bass.
  12. amimbari


    May 6, 2008
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I got the chance to play on our singers older bubinga/wenge corvette4 last night, and yep for as small as that body is, it IS heavy. relatively quiet MEC pups, and sustain that rings forever...VERY nice opportunity to play something I would normally never buy. that one has the neck with the "flat back" << not sure what that is called in real terms. 3 minutes after getting used to his string height, I was rocking for the rest of the night on it, and now my GAS pains have returned :crying:
  13. Rumblefisher


    Aug 22, 2007
    Astoria, NY
    Bubinga sounds the most Warwicky.
    Ash a lot more "traditional."

    I really don't like the $$, it always sounds too muddy or too thin depending on the settings.

    To me, Bubinga > Ash > $$

  14. I never get people commenting on my $$'s tone as being muddy, and absolutely never thin! You may not like it, and it can be many things, but thin?? Unless you use extreme EQ I can't imagine how it can ever sound thin. It's a beast! :)

    It's the one bass that I can rely on if I want to make sure I'm heard. Punchy.
  15. Rumblefisher


    Aug 22, 2007
    Astoria, NY
    I imagine you are right. So many knobs and switches, knowing me I find the one setting where it sounds "meh" :) By and large, you are right, most people like them. To me, it sounds...well...a little inarticulate. Then again, I've only ever tried one three times (the same one) at GC with a poor selection of cabs.
  16. I went to a store and tried the ash $$. It sounded a little muddy to me, too. Maybe it was just the strings/amp/setup. There were no ash or bubinga stds. What is an FNA? What do they sound like? I saw one with a Music Man Humbucker and a Jazz Bass pickup.
  17. I have a Bubinga STD 6 and I like the tone of it a lot. It has a real fat low end which I love.
  18. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    I had an active corvette, bubinga, and the only thing I didn't like about it was that it was made of buinga. Which is ironically what made me buy the bass to start with. I ABed with a bunch of other warwicks in Rudy's music a while back when they gave lots of love and attention to their basses and customers. It was clearly deeper sounding than anything else they had at the time and that's what I was looking for. After a while however the weight of the bass began to bug me, and the low end became overwhelming. In a lot of live situations it would become muddy and the best I could do with the EQ was add sizzle and click to the mud. There were things about the bass that I absolutely loved (playability, growl when it was there, feel), but I wished I had gotten a lighter one with less bottom and eventually sold it. I recently picked up a much lighter fortress (which I believe is ash) and it is without a doubt everything I wished the corvette had been.
  19. Well, you can. But it's gonna be Neck Thru. And it's gonna cost you a lot more than the Standard $$. Or you can go through Warwick's Custom Shop to get a bass as you want it, but it's gonna cost you another whole lot more.

    I've tried all kinds of $$'s (ash std, bubinga NT and ash NT), and honestly, I liked all of them but it's a matter of what kind of tone/bass you want.

    The Bubinga NT one will have a very powerful, deep low end and you will get a lot of that Warwick's unique growl. High end will have a nice grit. As said before, the low end will sometimes be overwhelming, and the weight of this bass will finish you off if you play for too long with it.

    The ash versions (Std and NT), to my ears, sounded more "balanced", still with a strong mid presence and a sound that's more "mellow" than the bubinga one. Yet it's a Warwick with two MM pickups, so don't expect this to be the best suited bass for blues or reggae.

    Output is extremely hot, playability/comfort is outstanding, sound is massive and has good definition on the 3 of them (4-string only). Low-end starts to be muddy (to my ears) when you drop to about C# or C, so if you want a 5-string and plan to play a lot of Bs and Cs, I would recommend another bass (don't know which, though).

    I really liked the sound of the NT Ash 4-string version and I'm planning on buying one soon.