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Warwick FNA Jazzman or Warwick Thumb Bass...Need Advice...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by floridadave, Mar 1, 2006.

  1. floridadave


    Feb 18, 2006
    Hi All,

    I need some advice from those of you familiar with Warwicks.

    I am an old Fender player from way back. I played the same '74 Fender Jazz Bass for about 20 years until I had a garage break-in about 3 years ago where all of my gear was stolen.

    I'm finally now getting back into it and wanted to try something fresh. I was able to get a great deal on a new Warwick FNA Jazzman 4-string from Sam Ash so I bought it.

    It's a great bass...lots of different tones...it is set up very nicely with a semi-light action, I can get a very rich, deep tone out of it. I love it except for one thing...I can't seem to get that Warwick "growl" out of it. Sometimes I think I may have bought it because the price was so good (and the guy watching me try it out said it sounded hot). Maybe I'm just thinking about it too much. Maybe I have to set it differently to get it to "growl".

    Maybe I'm just being too anal but I have to decide quickly in case I want to trade it in without losing any money.

    I tried out a Warwick Thumb Bass and there was that "growl" I like.

    I play classic rock, blues, jazz, lots of scales but I am not a slapper. I use my fingers exclusively.

    Ok, here's the question...Should I keep my FNA Jazzman or trade it and $300.00 more dollars for a Thumb? I haven't tried out the Thumb enough to see if it is versatile. I do like it's growl but will I get tired of it?:confused:

    Please help with opinions and insight.

    Thanks in advance.:cool:
  2. scuba steve

    scuba steve

    Dec 28, 2005
    Hillsboro, Tx
    im about to get either a fender american series p bass, or a thumb bo 4. i'll probably get the warwick, just because it's so awesome, and so much more bass. i love the growl of the thumb, and thats the main reason i want it. i can deal with weight issues even though i only 5'6 and 155 pounds. tone and feel come first, and thats why i want a thumb so bad.
  3. floridadave


    Feb 18, 2006
    I read that you should try the Thumb Bass out standing with a guitar strap on due to a neck dive issue. People are saying the body is too light for the neck?

    I might have to make the trade today. Any comments on the FNA Jazzman vs. Thumb are desperatley needed and appreciated.
  4. alanbass1


    Feb 8, 2006
    I have a thumb through neck and the growl is ever present, which I love. I do not have any issues playing the bass despite all the comments around neck dive. It sits nicely when using a strap and even without I can't really see what all the fuss is about.
  5. hyperlitem

    hyperlitem Guest

    Jul 25, 2001
    Indianapolis, IN
    The people who complain about the neck dive on thumbs are people who dont own them. Ive had mine for a few years and never had any bother about it. Its a very comfortable bass to play, it just takes a bit to get used to it. I think its very versitile. I cant speak much for the fna, i like the idea behind it but just from a cosmetic standpoint i hate the bodies. The thumbs alot more popular choice, if that counts for anything.
  6. I had (untill last week) a thumb 5 BO. I definetly got the growl you seek. I have no experience with the FNA, but I think it looks nice.:)

    There are a couple/few thumbs in the classifides here on TB right now. They're worth checking out to save a few bucks.
  7. JBass1


    Dec 6, 2005
    i have the thumb neck thorugh 4 string and everything about it is amazing...If you aretn despereatly low on money and can spare $300 I say you should go for it...also what year is te thumb you're looking at...the earlier the better
  8. Blah blah blah.......

    I've had a 04 thumb, and now a 04 streamer ST II, and they are awsome.
    Don't get me wrong, I've played some bad newer warwicks, but I've also played a few BAD old wicks as well.
  9. I wouldn't sell jazzman - in my opinion is more versatile bass - but it is a question of budget and the sound you are after isn't it.
  10. alanbass1


    Feb 8, 2006
  11. floridadave


    Feb 18, 2006
    Firstly: To all the people who call Warwick necks baseball bats...when I had my Fender Jazz Bass I would go into music stores and try Warwicks. The clerks would hand them to me and say "try this baby out", I thought they were nuts, everything was too far apart. Compared to a skinny Jazz type neck that I was used to Warwicks necks feel large. Now I haven't played in 3 years and I am starting back up with a Warwick. After a few 1/2 to 1 hour practices alone it feels fine. Now I pick up a Fender Jazz and the neck feels like a toy.

    The Thumb I'm looking at is new. It's at a local Sam Ash. I picked it up and the neck was just right. The action wasn't too close or too hard. The string to neck feel was pretty uniform up the neck. No rattles, nice clear notes all up and down the fretboard. Had a nice growl through a little GK amp they hooked me to. I have a SVT4Pro w 4-10's at home.

    The only thing is, I have the FNA Jazzman I'm going to have to give back to get it. The action is a little light and I can't seem to get the same growl out of it. I can get some nice meaty tones out of it though.

    I don't want to have buyers remorse if I return the FNA. The Jazzman is nice.

    What to do fellas?:confused:
  12. alanbass1


    Feb 8, 2006

    At the end of the day you need to make the decision. It is obvious that the Jazzman is not the sound you are really looking for and therefore either you need another bass, trade your current bass, or put up with what you have got. I bought my Thumb because it has that sound Thumb basses are renowned for and you will not get that from a Jazzman. Also, you really need a through neck to get that famous thumb bass growl as the bolt on's are a little punchier with more snap to the sound.

    If you really like your Jazzman (which IMHO is a more versatile instrument) keep it and wait until you can afford a second bass. If having two basses is not an option, it sounds (sic) as though you have your heart set on a thumb.

  13. I smiled when I read this. I have the same feeling when I pick up my MM sterling 4 banger. I totally feel like I'm going to crush it in my hands.:D
  14. Hey Dave,

    I own/ed the FNA jazzman LTD, standard corvette, and the warwick thumb. All were 4 strings.

    In terms of sound: The FNA jazzman can get more tones out of it. It's a very versatile beast and does have a warwick tone to it still. You can work on EQ and also on your technique and with time, you'll start to pull out some more 'growl' than what you're getting now for the FNA.
    It sounds like you are looking for that very thick growl of the thumb. The FNA jazzman can't do it. Nothing can besides the thumb. You can do an OK job with EQ and technique but it's your decision to make if it's worth 300 more for that sound. Just keep in mind, while the FNA cannot do what the thumb can, vice versa if you want some more clean tones or even subtle growl out of your thumb, the thumb will not sound like an FNA. Hence they have the two basses ;)

    For Feel as mentioned by some: They both are nice basses. They both have short horns so they'll hang in the middle of your body more than your fender. I'm sure you've noticed. IIRC There will be more of a reach for the low frets on the thumb moreso than the FNA IME. If you worry about fatigue in playing lower registers or have long sets, it's something to consider. I wear my basses high and neither one had a neck dive issue. But I sold it because of the reach, but I DO love that thumb tone, just didn't want it sitting around to be a studio instrument (which is what my FNA is doing now :eyebrow: ) Good luck!
  15. main_sale


    Apr 26, 2004
    Cape Cod
    I've got a neckthrough Thumb and I like it a lot. I got a FNA Jazzman Ltd 2004 and I hate it! The thumb is full of life the FNA Ltd is dead sounding. Want to by it?
  16. JBass1


    Dec 6, 2005
    I have an '02 and im not gunna lie...its nothing short of amazing...but the older models have better quality wood and such...try one out for yourself...i'm not bashing the new ones..i'm just saying if i had teh choice between a '90 thumb and an '05 thumb i'd go 90 every time
  17. dragonbass

    dragonbass Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2003
    ........................................EX-Sadowsky Guitars Builder..........................................................

    I would take the FNA back to Ash and sit in a nice quite room(if thats possible) and A/B them...Try and find your same Amp setup too.
    I think this would be the way to go about it. If cash isn't an issues for you...pick up the Thumb, and try both in your house.... then return which ever one you don't like.

    As for Older/Newer Warwicks.....I have 4 Streamer's {3 LX4's..'98, '03, '06, and a FNA Jazzman '00 custom shop}...they are all awesome, but the '06 feels/sounds the best. The Flamed Maple bodies on my '03 & '06 run circles around the '98.

    Good luck with the decision.

  18. reggaeman


    Jul 12, 2005
    I would agree with Bob. I have a Warwick corvette double buck that I absolutley adore. The neck, for ME, is by far the most comfortable neck especially over my old Jazz bass. My brother also owns a Thumb Bass that I play ALL the time and there is noting wrong with the neck... I just prefer the neck of the corvette. But thats all irrelevant. Whats most important is if the basses are comfortable for YOU!!! That only you can decide. If they are both comfortable for you then get the one that sounds better. Sounds like your mind is already made up on the Thumb Bass. But A/B them at the same time with the same/similar amp to yours to be 110% sure. Only then will you be happy :)

    Don't leave any doubts in your head it will drive you crazy :)
  19. floridadave


    Feb 18, 2006
    Thanks for all the input and support, it helped a lot.

    This is what I ended up doing...I went to Sam Ash and brought my FNA...a friend...and my guitarist.

    I tried the basses out best that I could in the middle of the store with 13-year-old thrashers playing guitar 10 feet away.

    I returned my FNA...BUT I put it on layaway so noone could buy it. I bought the Thumb and brought it home and I am going to mess with it for about a week.

    I tried it out on my Ampeg SVT4-Pro Head and my PR-410HLF cabinet. It already sounds different on low volume but I can't turn it up because the family is going to bed. It lost some of the low E growl but I think its a volume thing and I can't push it at all (it's late here 11:45 PM). I'll have to mess with it in the morning.

    G'nite guys.:bassist:
  20. reggaeman


    Jul 12, 2005
    Do yourself a favor: Invest a $100 into a good pair of headphones :smug: