Warwick Custom: Bubinga Pommele Vs. Swamp-ash

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by *Munkeh*, Jun 4, 2005.

  1. *Munkeh*


    Apr 16, 2005
    London, UK
    Hi guys and gurls,

    Going to be getting a custom Warwick next month, it is going to be:

    Warwick Corvette with -

    - Active electronics and pickups
    - High gloss transparent emerald green
    - Either keeping the swamp-ash body or swapping it for Bubinga Pommele (which is what the neck-through warwick thumb's use)

    My question is should i keep the swamp-ash or should i spend an extra £170 and get the bubinga pommele?

    Swamp-ash advantages:

    - Much lighter than bubinga
    - Extremely nice grain pattern through transparent finishes
    - An excellent balance between highs and lows

    Swamp-ash disadvantages:

    - Can it growl like a bubinga corvette? (Like Ryan Martinie from Mudvayne)
    - Does it strip away easily? As in does screws become loose overtime?

    Bubinga pommele advantages:

    - Nicer grain pattern than swamp-ash
    - Can growl like there's no tomorrow!
    - Used on NT thumb basses! (This wood can't be all that bad then!)

    Bubinga pommele disadvantages:

    - Heavy to play with (I can get used to it right?)
    - Does it strip away easily? As in does screws become loose overtime? Bubinga being a hard and dense wood, this can't happen right?

    The sound i am looking for is a midrange growl to the ear!

    Also... I could save myself money and keep the swamp-ash so i can also get an Ashdown MAG C210-T 307 watts amp combo.


    Get the bubinga pommele body and get a Laney R5 300 watt amp combo.

    Thanks all! :bassist:
  2. IMO... Save more money, get your amp, and get the bubinga pommele... Thats just me though. I think that it sounds better, and looks better too. But then, Im a heavy wood guy, so...

    BTW, Martinie plays a Thumb, not a Corvette. (Sorry, Im a huge fan of his, and I had too, no offense though :)
  3. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    Hmmm a custom, you say?

    Are you kidding me?

    Warwick customs are made for a few times the base price of the model. In the multiple thousand dollar range.
    Meanwhile the amps you are looking at are just the budget category amps...
    Also, you say you are getting a Corvette with a bubinga body painted emerald green and active electronics as a custom - but wait, doesn't the Corvette std have bubinga and active electronics, and can be finished in the colour you order it? :eyebrow: smells fishy, or you don't know what you are talking about

    The ash body used on the ash-vettes is hard ash. Heavier than swamp ash, and adds more growl and high-end clarity than swamp ash. (Example: many say it's similar to Marcus Miller's tone). Even with swamp ash, you don't have to worry as the screws are threaded.

    Bubinga is heavy. So is ovangkol, wenge, and those steel reinforcement bars in the neck. The Corvette is a heavy bass. I know.

    If you want to save money, get the ash-vette. Or spend just a bit more and get the Corvette std with a bubinga body and active electronics (mind you, this is the std, not a custom). However, the Corvette sounds great with passive electronics, too, so you can get the bubinga-bodied Corvette passive for even less.
    Bubinga is the most beautiful when it's oil- or clear-coated - covering it up in paint is a waste.

    As for the amps, get the Ashdown. Laney sucks, while Ashdown is known for it's good quality-to-price ratio and growly tone.
  4. *Munkeh*


    Apr 16, 2005
    London, UK
    I know Ryan plays a thumb but i was comparing the custom corvette i want to get which would use the same woods as a NT thumb (Bubinga pommele body, Ovangkol neck with Wenge fretboard)

    You've misunderstood me, i am from UK and the custom warwick i'd like to get is only £860=$1,558 so its not multiple thousands of dollars.

    The bass price of the model the custom will be born from is a Warwick corvette swamp-ash model with active pickups and electronics with gig bag which is £610

    -Bubinga pommele body - £170 extra
    -High gloss colour transparent finish - £170

    All of this will be £950 and i will be getting discount for this custom model which will bring the price down to £860 :) (It's great to live in europe if you are getting a warwick!)

    I know the amps i am after are budget amps but that's really all i can afford now.

    Yes there is a stock corvette model which has bubinga and active electronics BUT it doesnt have bubinga POMMELE as a body wood on a corvette AND yes it can be finished in high gloss emerald green (this is what i mean by a CUSTOM warwick corvette!) So yes i do know i am talking about.
  5. Sprudellio


    Oct 16, 2002
    You don't have any gear yet?
    Save on the bass and spend the money on amplification.
  6. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    That misunderstanding is coming from you using improper terms.
    Here, it is generally understood that Custom Warwicks are the ones custom ordered and hand-finished, from the Warwick Custom Shop
    http://www.warwick.de/modules/frame/frameset.php?lang=de, from there, custom shop.

    What you are getting is a painted Corvette with a pommelé upgrade.

    One more thing I don't get is: why do you insist on pommelé if you are going to have it painted over? Why not just get the standard bubinga and go with a (much) better amp? Bubinga is bubinga, the sound would be the same, the rest would be almost completely covered by the paint.
  7. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses, Hipshot products
    The only BIG regret I had with my Corvette was that it was made out of Bubinga. Really heavy and un-fun to jump around with. Also, while it did add to making the bass incredibly deep, I don't believe I ever needed all that bottom, and the deepness quickly turned to mud if I cranked the bass at all. If I were to do it over, which I won't because IMO nothing is sweeter than a Bongo :) - I'd go with the lighter wood. Never had any stripping or other problems with the bubinga.

    Last note - it also almost seems sinful to paint over bubinga. I think half it's charm is in the beauty of the wood itself. Just seems wrong to paint over that.
  8. *Munkeh*


    Apr 16, 2005
    London, UK
    I do, i have a Yamaha RBX374 with a Laney HCM30B.

    Indeed a custom warwick is what i am getting, if it is not a stock model in the current warwick inventory, then i class it as a custom because it is customised to specs. that an individual customer would like. Even the people over the phone said "oh so you want a CUSTOM ORDER warwick that will take 3-4 months?" It is not an "upgrade" as you put it IMO but then again you have your opinion which is fair enough.

    If you read my last post correct, i did mention the lacquer paint will be transparent emerald green therefore the wood grain will be seen under the paint. I was just going to get solid bubinga, but the warwick dealer staff said bubinga pommele has a nicer grain, which will compensate the transparent finish compared to normal bubinga which will look plain.

    If you check out the latest custom warwick on www.warwick.de, a warwick double buck replaced with bubinga pommele instead of its stock swamp-ash body has been added to the custom page, you say it is just an "upgrade"? then why is it on the custom page? This is exactly what i am getting but with added gloss finish and slightly different bass.
  9. *Munkeh*


    Apr 16, 2005
    London, UK
    The heaviness of the wood is a main concern for me too, i too would like to jump around and move freely without the bass being so heavy hmmmm what other wood would be growly?(apart from alder, bubinga and ovangkol) How about flamed maple on the 'vette proline models? Now i am sure a transparent finish would look ultra sweet under flamed maple wood :smug:

    Also how much does a 'vette bubinga weigh? So i can compare the weight with my yammy rbx374 bass.

  10. Cliff Bordwell

    Cliff Bordwell Commercial User

    Jan 6, 2004
    USA , Orlando , Florida
    Owner of CB BASSES
    If you are going for that midrange growl I would suggest
    going with the Bubinga.
  11. *Munkeh*


    Apr 16, 2005
    London, UK
    Thanks for the advice all.

    I've ordered my custom warwick for a bargin of £725 inc. delivery and warwick gigbag! :D I took the bubinga pommele option and the order will take around 3/4 months. Don't have a picture but this is the closest picture i can find :p


    Just picture the bass without the inlays or gold hardware, colour in trans. emerald green seeing through to the lovely grain of Bubinga pommele instead of swamp-ash which the picture shows.
  12. BigMikeW

    BigMikeW Banned

    May 25, 2005
    Nashville, TN.
    Banned by TB Administration for refusal to account for funds
    I have a deal with Warwick and know their stuff inside and out.

    The swampash will not give you the same growl. However, only slightly less. The real growl from Warwicks comes for the Wenge fretboards!

    That is where that nastiness comes from. I have a couple Corveete Jazzman's and they are great sounding.
  13. *Munkeh*


    Apr 16, 2005
    London, UK
    I am glad i kept the wenge frerboard on my custom, i was about to swap it out for another wood but thanks for the heads up BigMikeW :D

    Does the real growl come from more of the bubinga body or the wenge fretboard or combination of both?

    The sound of wood eh? Warwick hits the spot right there :p
  14. Have you considered leaving the bubinga pommele as it is and not paint it? I play a Thumb NT and that bubinga is nice to see unpainted, but of course you'll have to wax it once in a while but it only take 10 minutes...

    And, oh yeah, the bubinga is heavy, very heavy, make sure you CAN get used to it. However, if the body is too light and you're getting the wenge/ovangkol neck, the bass could turn out to be neck heavy. Even with the bubinga body my thumb is extremely neck heavy, things might be better on the 'vette though...
  15. Jassco


    Jul 16, 2004
    My streamer jazzman custom shop with Bubinga pommele top (with ebony fingerboard) :



    It's not so heavy...
  16. BigMikeW

    BigMikeW Banned

    May 25, 2005
    Nashville, TN.
    Banned by TB Administration for refusal to account for funds

    Most of it comes from the neck woods. My Swamp Ash bass's still growl. The bass with the most growl is the Thumb basses. They are the snarliest sounding things around.
  17. *Munkeh*


    Apr 16, 2005
    London, UK
    Reason why i hate oil/stain basses is because of finger marks, i hate waxing. I had a oil bass before and on the thumg part where i rest had a big spot of excess gunk from my thumb (urgh!) And imo i think a high gloss transparent finish will look great seeing through to the pommele wood grain.

    As for the heaviness, yup i've heard bubinga can be annoyingly heavy but i guess i will have to get used to it, if i wanted the growl and the nice wood grain, my shoulders will just have to get use to the heaviness blah!

    Jassco, extremely nice bass! really dig the body! :D
  18. BigMikeW

    BigMikeW Banned

    May 25, 2005
    Nashville, TN.
    Banned by TB Administration for refusal to account for funds
    One major problem with your statement hear. Stained basses DO NOT have to be oiled or waxed!

    It is like a Satin finished neck. They are sealed and need nothing. I have several that are 7+ years old and are like new.
  19. *Munkeh*


    Apr 16, 2005
    London, UK
    Ah indeed that is true, missed that out, sorry. Overall i just prefer a nice shiny gloss finish.
  20. maxbass


    May 22, 2002
    Milano Italy
    If you're going to buy a Warwick, I think you like Warwick tone.

    Bubinga is an important ingredient for "that" Warwick tone.
    I'd choose plain Bubinga.
    Pommele Bubinga is just nicer, ut doesn't play better than Bubinga.