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Warwick pre 2000 vs new machine made models

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by TVBBass, Feb 10, 2005.

  1. At the moment I have a Warwick Streamer LX 6 string Fretless bass which I love, It is one of the original "properly made" warwicks before they apparently lowered their standard and went to a more automated route of building their basses,
    Any way I really want to upgrade my Yamaha RBX775 5 string(fretted) and get a better fretted bass and have seen an offer on a 2001 Thumb bass 5 thru neck. But I keep hearing that the newer models just arnt as good:

    Can anybody let me know who have played both newer and older warwicks.
    Will I be really disappointed after playing my older Streamer LX.
    Are the new models really that much worst .Surely a company such as warwick wouldn't really sell out to such an extent as to lower the standard as much as some people try to make out...would they?

    I would appreciate ANY feedback,
    Cheers TVBBass
  2. Adam Barkley

    Adam Barkley Mayday!

    Aug 26, 2003
    Jackson, MS

    The main thing I can think of it that a Streamer sounds different from a Thumb, so if you buy the Thumb looking for a Streamer tone then you probably will be disappointed.

    I have played several brand new Warwicks with flawless construction, so I don't know where that comment is coming from. The main issue I've heard about with post-98 Warwicks is the lack of the wenge neck.

    But the ovangkol sounds just as good to me. :D

    Also, I thought Warwicks have always been made by CNC? It definitely wasn't a recent change if they weren't.
  3. Dincrest


    Sep 27, 2004
    New Jersey
    Main changes:

    -Ovangkol necks instead of wenge. I believe 1997 was when the necks switched from wenge to ovangkol. And many people prefer the profile of the wenge necks over the profile of the ovangkol necks. On the other hand, some prefer the smoother feeling ovangkol over the open-grainy wenge. It's also been said that the wenge fingerboards are a tad thinner on the ovangkol-necked 'Wicks than on the wenge-necked ones.

    -graphite Just-a-Nut 2 instead of the original brass Just-a-Nut. Unlike the brass nut, the screws on the graphite nut raise and lower the entire nut rather than one string at a time. On the other hand, the brass nut's screws would turn on their own between string changes and this doesn't happen with the new nut.

    -I *think* they went from recessed strap-locks to more traditional strap buttons, but I'm not sure.

    I too thought Warwick were pretty much factory basses even in the olden days, and were never 100% handmade?

    EDIT: CNC router= machine.
  4. Thanks for the reply
    Yeah I knew the Sound would be different, I'm looking for a punchy growler of a freted bass as apposed to the smoth (but full) sound of the fretless streamer.
    So I was mainly talking about the actual build. (I'm guessing CNC means its made by machines...I don't know that term but I'm just going on other things I've read saying that the construction is not as good quality)
    How does the Ovangkol sound different to the wenge...is there a big difference?

  5. Adam Barkley

    Adam Barkley Mayday!

    Aug 26, 2003
    Jackson, MS
    To my ears, no. But if I was in the market I would consider the wenge necked ones as they all are older and could be found cheaper.
  6. Whafrodamus


    Oct 29, 2003
    Andover, MA
    I have a 2001-2 thumb NT 4 string with the ovangkol neck. I upgraded the electronics, gave it a brass nut, and some other goodies.. I love the thing. It sounds clear and brilliant. I don't know about the wenge necked ones being better...
  7. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    IMO, the ones with the wenge necks are superior. I prefer the profile and the feel of an all wenge neck. I also like the tone better too.

    There's nothing wrong with the ovankol necks, but I'll pick the wenge every time.

    As far as the brass just-a-nut, I prefer it's tone over the graphite one. But with the way the screws are, they are more susceptible to wear. On the other hand, I really dig being able to adjust each string.

    As far as I know, the older Warwicks have the same electronics and are made using CNC like the new ones. I don't know for sure, but I believe the pre-90s were handmade and had EMGs.
  8. My overall thoughts on the newer Warwicks (2000 and up) are hit and miss much like Fenders are today. To me, I think you know what you're getting into with a 2000 or earlier model Warwick in terms of sound and feel. With the newer ones, I have played a few that were the best that I have played to date, and one was a BO Thumb. As far as the higher end models, they are all pretty good still, especially the Stage II's. I tend to prefer the Thumb NTs with the Bubinga and Ovangkol necks rather than the straight Ovangkol necks for whatever reason. I still think a great newer Warwick can be had, you just have to take some time finding one.
  9. RedVampyre


    Jan 10, 2005
    Alabama, USA
    You hit the nail on the head. I couldn't have said it better. ;)
  10. eric atkinson

    eric atkinson "Is our children learning "Is our teachers teachin

    Feb 4, 2001
    I wouldnt trade my 95 corvette pro-line for a new thumb! Except for the obvious changes warwicks have made like the wendge i found that as soon as i pic up a new warwick i can feel the differance! Not sure how to explaine it. I love my brass adjusta nut!
  11. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Ill add; if given the choice, id choose a pre-98 over post-98.
  12. Finger Blister

    Finger Blister

    Jul 8, 2003

    #1 Use a dab of Loctite if the brass nut slugs move.
    #2 In 8 years of constant use my brass just-a-nut shows very little wear.
    #3 PS BTW: Those brass just-a-nut "slugs" are easily replaceable.

    #4 The Warwick Graphite nut has those stupid "posts"
    that the nut rides on. Damn things can almost injure your hand.
  13. eric atkinson

    eric atkinson "Is our children learning "Is our teachers teachin

    Feb 4, 2001
    How do you replace the adjust a nuts? Can you order them from warwick? And can ya still get the brass bell ones?
  14. All CNC means is that the parts are cut by machine. The bass is still assembled by hand. It has to be to assure that woods meet and such. I cannot comlain ONE bit about the from my ovangkol necked Corvette. The sound is great.
  15. incognito89x

    incognito89x ♪♫♪ ♪ ♪ ♫&#983

    Sep 22, 2002
    Royal Oak, Michigan
    I've owned quite a few Warwicks now.

    a 2001 Vette, a 2000 Vette, a 98 Thumb, and now a 93 Vette

    The two corvette standards were pretty similar aside from wood grains and such. Nice growly tone. The 93 Vette is all maple I believe. I dont like the sound of that one too much so it may be on the auction block soon. Nice bass but just not the sound I want. The thumb is where the money is in my book. That's an older model bolt-on with the wenge neck and it's just got the sound I love. Paired up with the sansamp the 93 vette just doesn't compare.

    It seems to me that the construction is still pretty solid and the basses are still nice now, I just think they've cut a few corners to save on costs now (Graphite nut, ovangkol neck, etc) Good basses on both ends, but I think if you can get your hands on an older model it'd be nice.
  16. maxbass


    May 22, 2002
    Milano Italy
    Warwicks were handmade until 1990 I think.
    Very good basses came out later, and still came out now.
    But the most beautiful and most 'warwick sounding' were the necktru's from the eighties.
    There's more difference among a 1989 and a 1991 than the difference existing among a 1991 and a 2004.
  17. flea claypool

    flea claypool

    Jun 27, 2004
    i have a 2004 corvette and the only hassle i have is the serial number is meant to be stamped on the back of the neck but its meant to say k- 110 110 - 04

    but it was badly stamped so its k 110 11

    so no insurance for that bass
    **** SAKE!
  18. I had the same problem with a yamaha.
    but My insurance company (musicguard - UK company) Just told me to write my initials and postcode (zip code) on the inside of the electronics cover or battery cover in UV pen.
    That way it's identifiable only to you if it's stolen and can easily be wiped off with White Spirits if you want to sell it with out damaging the instrument(aslong as u remember wher you wrote it since u need a UV light to see the mark)
    See if your insurance company will accept that...they should do. (Just what every you do dont touch the wood with the UV marker!!!)
  19. I went to GC last week to try out some basses and the hit or miss quality observation is very true. They had 3 thumbs, one of which was amazing and the other two werent quite working right. They had a Corvette FNA Jazzman 5 that I LOVED, it had the nicest low B I've ever played on, but something was wrong with the electronics and if you tilted the bass too far back or foward it would start buzzing. I think if you want to buy a Warwick playing it first is very necessary.
  20. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    From the beginning (1984) till ninety-something, all Warwicks were hand-made.
    In 1996 they moved to Markneukirchen; from then they used CNCs on many models; however, they are still hand-assembled and checked to this day.

    Some changes:
    - neck material
    - neck shape (old ones had slimmer, more C-ish necks; from 97/98 till about 2001/02, the necks got thicker; and they are still D-ish)
    - nut
    - truss rod
    - body woods (boire and later walnut on some models that now come with ovangkol)
    - shapes, p-up configurations and models that were discontinued