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Warwick neck material...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by deathbloomslife, Jun 13, 2005.

  1. Okay, I found a Thumb 4 BO on the 'bay for real dirt cheap. But i have a question...

    The seller, says that it's a wenge/wenge neck, not an ovangkol/wenge neck. Okay, thats news to me, never new Warwick did that, cool deal. But, is it true that these basses tend to sound "differant?"

    Which combo is more desirable, and what for? (ie, highs, lows, clarity, etc, etc.)


    Curiosly Questioning the Community,
  2. incognito89x

    incognito89x ♪♫♪ ♪ ♪ ♫&#983

    Sep 22, 2002
    Royal Oak, Michigan
    Most Warwicks pre 97 had wenge necks. They stopped during 98 and pretty much all models 99 and later had the ovangkol necks.

    The wenge necks are considered better. Said to have better growl.
  3. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU

    Yep, but some also are a bit more problematic - especially because of drastic humidity and temperature changes and such. There are a few (actually it's just in a tiny fraction of cases) that have developed warps or cracks.

    However, this looks right. Maybe he's playing for those last-hour price-rushes. The starting bid will most probably double by the end
  4. dhadleyray

    dhadleyray Guest

    Dec 7, 2004
    The wenge definitely sounds better than the ovankol. My boss is an Electrical Engineer, and he loves the sound of my 98 thumb six, and doesn't care for my 94. The company has won awards for sound, and he's a stickler for that stuff. After looking at all the data analysis and stuff he's gathered up, It's obvious wenge is the way to go between the two! :p
  5. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    The wenge/wenge makes a huge difference! My FNA has the all wenge neck, and it gives it incredible tone.
  6. caruso


    Jun 13, 2005
    Bremen, Germany
    Strange... all older WW I had the pleasure to lay my hands on had wenge/bubinga necks, as my old WW Thumb fretless J.B.
    How come everybody is talking about wenge/wenge necks?
  7. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    Wenge/Wenge has better tone, and I prefer the feel of wenge in my hand. It's one hell of a stiff and strong wood.
  8. Dincrest


    Sep 27, 2004
    New Jersey
    wenge/wenge= wenge neck with wenge fingerboard. My '97 'vette is wenge/wenge. To some people, the ovangkol/wenge combo sounds a tad muddier, but I'm not sure. In any case, the newer ovangkol necks have a chunkier profile than the older wenge necks, so that's probably the main thing to consider? My 'vette's neck has a comfy flattened-U shape while the newer 'wicks have a chunkier "D" shape neck.

    And wasn't it also during those transitional years (1997-1998) that Warwick also stopped using the brass Just-a-Nut in favor of the graphite Just-a-Nut II and switching from flush-mount straplocks to conventional strap buttons?
  9. bill7122


    Feb 23, 2003
    Albany NY area
    I just purchased a 99 Corvette 5-stg. Would the wenge neck be darker that ovangkol? I'm really not sure. It sounds great and is an early 99. Could I tell by looking?
  10. Finger Blister

    Finger Blister

    Jul 8, 2003
    You are correct sir.
  11. I'm pretty sure that Warwick stopped using the Wenge sometime in '00. I've seen a few '00 model Warwicks with the Wenge necks, and recently even one was on ebay (Stage II 4 string).

    In terms of tone, there's a difference, but it's not a night and day difference as some may make of it. My buddy used to be a very highly endorsed Warwick player, and we actually did a sound test with his Wenge models vs the Ovangkol models. The two were very similar, but was interesting is both he and I thought the tone of the Ovangkol necks were better, at least with the Stage II model. Ovangkol is very similar to Bubinga in tonal properties, and IIRC, Ovangkol and Wenge have pretty similar densities as well, so the difference can't be that night and day.

    The feel however is different. I myself like the feel of Wenge and prefer it as a neck wood option. What's interesting to note is that Warwick discontinued using the Wenge because of "splinterring" issues, and they claim that cost was not a reason to discontinue usage. I actually have seen some of the Wenge necks have splinterring issues, but I wouldn't have ever imagined tha it was that big of an epidemic.
  12. Dincrest


    Sep 27, 2004
    New Jersey
    Wenge is a darker colored wood than ovangkol. Even with the ovangkol necks, Warwick still uses wenge fingerboards.
  13. I have a mid 90's Fortress with all-wenge, feels/sounds great. I was surprised at how much I liked ovankol on my Corvette. Felt and sounded great, but the bubinga body made it a bit too heavy for me. Sadly, I had to off the Corvette for that reason.
  14. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Both my Warwick Pro-M and Streamer LX have the wenge / wenge combination. The ovangkol necks are nice but felt a bit chunkier. Warwick is not the only builder utilizing wenge; check out the David King and Elrick websites.

  15. Don't_Fret

    Don't_Fret Justin Schornstein

    Dec 10, 2003
    MTD also.
  16. NOLA Bass

    NOLA Bass Mr. Worst Case Scenario Man Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2005
    New Orleans LA
    I had a Fortress with the WW neck. It was the most stable neck you could want. I often used the bass for learning songs and practicing so I'd be tuning up and down all the time. It never moved.
  17. bill7122


    Feb 23, 2003
    Albany NY area
    I happened on a bassist at a music store today & he thought for sure it was wenge. I thought it was the wenge, but I really wanted some opinions. The funny thing was, when I contacted Warwick, they couldn't tell from the serial #. Isn't that kinda odd?
  18. Well, the thing is that at some point they began using Ebony for the fretboards on some of their Ovankgol necks (at least on the Thumb neck-through model). Another poster posted that they still use Wenge for the fretboard on their Ovankgol necks which is true for the Bolt-on Thumb but not the Neck-through.

    I'm kind of curious why they did it this way. If Wenge is a premium wood that they're trying to phase out a bit, it seems like they would replace it on the less-expensive models first, and then finally phase it out overall on the most-expensive models, like they've done before. Maybe they really think that Ebony is a superior wood, but then again if that were the case you'd think they'd just revamp their whole line like that. :confused:

    At any rate, if the Warwick in question had a very dark fretboard it may have very well been Ebony as opposed to Wenge.

  19. Finger Blister

    Finger Blister

    Jul 8, 2003
    S# is stamped on the headstock.

    Letter is the month (A=Jan/L=Dec.).
    Last two numbers is the year.
  20. bill7122


    Feb 23, 2003
    Albany NY area
    Yea, I had the serial # but Warwick said they couldn't tell from that