Warwick Dolphins

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bass2020, Mar 12, 2002.

  1. bass2020


    Aug 27, 2000
    Memphis, TN
    I want one, an older one(with rosewood body).
    I've never played one, what are they like? How do they compare with the Thumbs?

    Pictures would be nice.
  2. DinoSco


    Mar 8, 2002
    Oakland, CA
    I bought a Dolphin last year and have been very happy with it. The body is quite unique -- the first time I saw it, I thought it was ugly as sin, but then I grew to really like it. I've got one of the newer Ovankol models, which is very sturdy... I've heard great things about the older Boire bodies but they're out of production now.

    As for playability, it works great for me. I play almost exclusively fingerstyle, and I can get a great range of tone out of it, but you can slap with it and get some good sounds too. The 2-band active EQ is pretty good (although, not surprisingly, I get better range from my 3-band Zon and Modulus), and the cool thing is that you can bypass the active circuit and make it into a passive bass by pulling up on one of the pots, if you want more of a traditional sound. Pulling the other pot out cuts the bridge pickup in half, so you get more flexibility there too.

    Other things I like about the Dolphin:

    * Fast neck, easy to play
    * 26 frets, and you can reach them all easily with the way the bass is shaped
    * Adjustable nut and bridge
    * Cavity cover is easily accessible (no screws, just pops right out)
    * Really cool dolphin inlays to mark the frets
    * Neck-through, not bolt-on
    * Did I mention the body shape is cool?
    * Famous Warwick "growl" on the lows

    For some good examples of what this bass sounds like, check out Dave Matthews Band's "Under The Table And Dreaming." The bassist uses almost exclusively the Dolphin on that album, as far as I know.

    I can send a couple of pics to your email if you want... just email me or post here if you want more info. I love the Dolphin and am glad to spread the word.

  3. bass2020


    Aug 27, 2000
    Memphis, TN
  4. I bought mine in 1989, neck through, loved it, wider neck than my Jazz bass, I like to slap with my Dolphin, super quite electronics, very solid bass, I don't know about the new Dophins, but my late 80's is superb!!!!!
  5. bass2020


    Aug 27, 2000
    Memphis, TN
    I've looked at some of the older ones and I want a Rosewood body.
  6. j.s.basuki

    j.s.basuki Supporting Member

    May 14, 2000
    I have Dolphin 4 , it is solidly built , no question, but the neck is fat and wide, the tone is so so only. The splitting of bridge pick up doesnot affect the tone much. I prefer to play my Thumbbolt 4 which has Wenge neck ,thin and very comfortable like Fender Jazz, with more mid punch.

    My Dolphin is soo heavy, and must bring special bass stand with every gig.
  7. I also own a 5 string '89. Fabulous neck...I can't play any other happily now. I own a '00 Thumb5 as well and it is interesting to spot the differences. The newer is cool but a little more "rough" and sharp around the edges. I am so in love with that wide, flat neck....my Thumb 5 is a pencil in comparison. I found the MEC preamp to be exceedingly weak and upgraded both my Bart's and preamp for an Alembic system; so much more open with a wide bottom and natural sound. My old MEC thing sounded small and choked in comparison.
  8. Forgot to mention, my Pick Ups were Bartolinis original OEM from Warwick, never tweaked anything on my Dolphin, now it's my baby and only play it at home because they don't make it like they used to.
  9. John Davis

    John Davis Guest

    Mar 27, 2001
    Houston, Texas
    I know funkycarnivore had a Dolphin for a while.....I think it was a newer one though.
  10. My "stock" Dolphin 5 was very thin and rather anemic sounding IMO. After my Alembic replacement the sound was rich, full open and natural. In hindsight, I now think replacing the MEC preamp w/a proper Bartolini one would have made a big difference as well. If I was to fault the Dolphin's for anything, it would have to be that their overall sound could be construed as being rather "safe" and "polite." Here is a shot of my Alembi-Wick..I've since swapped the P/U's the other way around with the Fatboy WAXY56 in the neck position..what a tone. The original Bart P-4's (P-2's?) would have benefitted greatly if paired with a matching preamp (MEC were and always will be bunk, IMO) but I am a big fan of the Wickersham's electronics packages.

  11. bass2020


    Aug 27, 2000
    Memphis, TN
    [​IMG] [/B][/QUOTE]

    Not to be mean but, are you short or is that bass very large?
  12. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    ...either that or the guy from POD is huge...:)
  13. I stopped wearing those fancy pants last year...everytime I wore them I would comments like yours. They were a wicked pair but after a while I started to get a little self conscious! So, in answer to your question..I am an average 5,8" the shorts are rather huge and my lovely Alembi-Wick (c'mon..you love it, admit it!) is definitely a sizeable instrument. I can't play any others now...I used to be that 80's pencil neck kinda player but a wide, flat neck can really grow on you. Probably why i am currently lusting after those P-bass re-issues. My Thumb 5 is fun too but the neck is far to wee for my tastes. Maybe i'll go back to playing Punk-Jazz after I burn out this Dub jones of mine. Big...fat...slow....and wide. Dub bass is the closest I've come to nirvana I'll tell yah. My Thumb has a vey different sound than a Dolphin..more growly and punchy. You CAN eke good deep tones if you play 'em right...Heck, it's Robbie Shakspere's bass o' choice. I'll have to score some of those trendy new flatwounds he uses..I know this is a Dolphin thread. Any excuse to show off the wood on my thumb 5 is hard to resist! Sorry!

  14. LowRanger


    Dec 24, 2000
    Mad Subwoofer,

    That Thumb is a beaut! Me likey!:D
  15. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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