1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Warwick Rockbass Corvette $$ - Did I make a horrible mistake?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by The Hawk, Mar 8, 2012.

  1. The Hawk

    The Hawk

    Oct 17, 2006
    Ok, so I recently walked into my local GC because my tax refund was smoldering and ready to burn a hole in my pocket. I was in there looking at amps, since I have recently started gigging again, and need more than my little SWR workingman's 10 can provide.
    I tested the ampeg PF500 (and later bought one with a matching 210 cab from Musician's Friend) but the first bass I played through the head was a 4 string standard corvette. LOVED it. Tested several other basses through the head to make sure it wasn't just the guitar, but still loved the Warwick.
    (I swear I am getting to the point- bear with me)
    So, I have always liked Warwicks, but never owned one, and to be honest, couldn't afford the $2000+ models.
    I found a Nirvana Black Warwick Rockbass Corvette $$ on ebay for $600- which was a bit cheaper than new, and the seller said he got it as a gift and only played it a couple times and decided to sell it.
    I made an offer (lower than the buy it now price, not really expecting it to be accepted) and kept doing research. I found- mostly from here and another bass forum- that the general opinion of any Warwick Rockbasses are that they are crappy Chinese builds. Mostly due to inconsistancies with wood tone.
    I hadn't heard back from the seller in over 2 days at this point, and it was late in the evening, so I planned on cancelling the offer (if I could) and hold off till I could scrape together enough for a german Corvette $$.
    As I was just starting to drift off to sleep, I get an email notification from eBay saying "Congradulations!". Crap, they just accepted my offer and now the bass is "mine". I sucked it up and went ahead and paid, hoping that this bass would be that rare exception to the opinions that I have seen, but deep down, I am not so confident.

    Did I just make a mistake and paid hundreds of dollars for a piece of junk?
  2. The Hawk

    The Hawk

    Oct 17, 2006
    Well, I will update since no one else here commented.
    I first found out that the newer Rockbass Corvettes are much better than the originals, using better hardware and such, but there was still a complaint about tone. I am already locked into the purchase, so I thought I would convert the electronics to active so I could get better tone and such.
    While hunting for info on making the conversion, I found a thread on Warwicks forums that was talking about the very thing I was concerned about- Tone. One of the posters there stated that he took it to his guitar tech, asking for a preamp to be installed and the guy looked at the volume pots and immediately identified what seems to be the problem. The volume pots are 25K ohms, when they should be 500k for these types of double humbuckers. They made the swap and it made all the difference. A couple other posters have done the same thing and reported the same results.
    I have ordered 2 DiMarzio 500k push/pull pots and will install them after I test the original equipment. I'll post back after I get some sample recordings.
  3. Turxile


    May 1, 2011
    The Rockbass are not bad. Like you said, change the pots and enjoy..
    Saying that I don't like the necks, and where money is an issue probabl would buy a Korean made Pro-Series, which are just incredible basses of top quality. I have a German Corvette, but I'm thinking of getting a Korean as well.
    The MEC pups takes some getting used to, but resist the urge to change them, they actually cut through well.
  4. The Hawk

    The Hawk

    Oct 17, 2006
    I appreciate the input!
    What in particular don't you like about the necks? I see that there is generally 2 different versions and one is thicker than the other- or at least that is what I have surmised from reading on here.
    lately, I play mainly 5 string, so I have gotten used to wider necks and don't have too much of an issue reaching the B most of the time, but I did play a 6 string the other day and it seemed HUGE. (of course, it was a 6 string...)
  5. Wrilley


    Jan 2, 2012
    Detroit, MI USA
  6. Definitely interested to know how the "pot swap" works out; inquiring minds want to know!

    Now, this is hilarious, because I've posted like three times in the last two days about about the issue of Warwick necks! Hate to cut and paste, but here are my comments from the last past (basically on topic, but bear with the commentary):

    "OK, even if this did start as a troll, there's alot of back and forth about necks on Warwicks. I own several Warwicks, and can tell you that each one is different! My '93 paddle headstock Fortress One has a fairly beefy, D - profile neck; easily as chunky as my MIA P-bass. Having said that, I have a '97 Thumb BO with a volute that has a C - profile and is about the thinnest neck I've ever played. I sometimes worry about it's stability, but it's been rock - solid all these years (bought it new) so can't complain. I also have an '02 Streamer Jazzman BO with a volute, but with more of the earlier, D-profile neck.

    I brought up the issue of Warwick necks in a thread the other day, and got some interesting feedback from the Warwick superusers. As noted earlier here, the neck profiles have changed over the years in response to required changes in structural demands as materials and design dictate. The change from paddle to volute necks provides a stronger join at the peghead, so less neck mass is required, allow the change from chunkier paddle necks to thinner volutre necks. In '98 they started using steel reinforcing bars, but not sure what impact that had on neck profile. Although folks say Wenge and Ovangkol are similar, Ovangkol may not be as stable as Wenge, requiring the return to the thicker necks; that's just a hypothesis, not a statement of fact. Just making the point that there's always something going on underlying the profile changes..."
  7. The Hawk

    The Hawk

    Oct 17, 2006
    Well, the United States Postal Service has impressed me. The bass was shipped on the 8th and arrived here this morning! From MI to GA in 2 days!
    As far as I can tell, this thing was very rarely used, but may have sat for a while. (there's a little dust build-up on top of the string saddles).
    The neck on this thing feels a little smaller than the one on my Cort Curbow 5, and is comfortable to use so far.
    Carb Rock Doc, I'm not familiar with half of what you mentioned in your post, so I cannot say if this is a wenge or ovangkol, C or D profile type neck. I can say that if I was to complain about anything, it would be that the frets are a bit noticeable along the side of the neck. Not sure if they need to be filed a little to make them more flush, or what. It wasn't a big deal, but I've only played this thing for about 30 minutes now.

    On the subject of the pots swap. I can see why people complain about the sound, although it's not a huge problem for me. There is a little bit of the "high" missing definitely, and the best way I can describe the tone would be "throttled". It's there, but it's like it's got a restrictor or governor on it, preventing you from "opening her up all the way." I think the pot swap will be a large improvement.
    Unfortunately, it seems that NO ONE has 500k push pull pots in stock. The earliest it would ship would be 3/18, so the pot experiment will have to wait. But that gives me time to become more familiar with the bass before tinkering with it. I should be able to better recognize any changes in the sound between the "before" and "after".
  8. Sam Hain

    Sam Hain

    May 30, 2010
    I bought a Warwick Rockbass Corvette "B" model from a member here and I was actually very impressed by it. Especially for $200. It played great and had decent tone. I usually play Musicmans so I had a real hard time getting used to the neck. Way to thin for me. Even considering I play MM, I had no problem with the tone cut.
  9. RAT6V6


    Oct 29, 2011
    Ottawa, Canada
    Don't worry about reviews, play it and enjoy. Its like the old Ford/Chev debate. IF you like it, its on your side.

    I have the Rockbass Corvette Jazz model (basic, passive) and I love it.

    The workmanship is not as nice as the $2000 German model but I like the sound, I like the feel of the neck, it is fairly light, it is just nice to play which is why I bought it.

    To me, I paid $400 for Rockbass and while the German one is nicers, it is not $1600 nicer. Mine is the 2011 model so I have the same pickups and hardware as the German one. Before anyone complains about the neck being maple with rosewood, what are Fender necks made from and everyone seems okay with a maple Fender neck.

    So it come down to if you like, you did right.
    RexxRokket and Helix like this.
  10. The Hawk

    The Hawk

    Oct 17, 2006
    Always wise advice to just about anyone. LOL

    As far as the neck...I love it. Reminds me a lot of the Bass Collections neck of old. I am not mistaken about the microscopic fret over-hang though. Luckily I have a precision file set. It will take a few weeks, but I'll get it fixed up.

    I was just playing it again through my little SWR WM's 10. It is punchy! I can feel my attack in my chest on every pull of the string, and the volume is very very very low- my roommate is watching TV, and she'll kill me if I interrupt her shows.
    I am very satisfied with my purchase.

    If there was a negative to the guitar (and I was super nit-picking about the frets) it would be that the body almost sounds hollow when you knock on it. And yes, I was hitting the area opposite the electronics. I mean it is solid, but almost has this hollow sound when you knock on it, and not the solid knock you would experience with a German Warwick.
    Personally, I think that's where the voice of this thing is coming from, but it does leave that slight feeling that says way in the back of my mind "cheap", even though the bass is solid and beautiful and sounds amazing.

    Heading to GC to get a strap (every guitar I own except the 6 string classical has it's own strap.) The seller did not include the rest of the strap-lock hardware, so I might have to grab that as well.

    I'll see about getting something together between now and monday and post something for your ears.
  11. Gabriel51


    Sep 30, 2008
    I understand that if it has a two piece bridge and a "W" on the headstock it is a good one.
    Do you have pictures of this bass?
  12. The Hawk

    The Hawk

    Oct 17, 2006
    Here's a pic with my new Ampeg Proflex PF500

    Attached Files:

  13. Gabriel51


    Sep 30, 2008
    Looks like to me you bought the right one!
    It should be fairly light, it's Swamp ash right?
  14. The Hawk

    The Hawk

    Oct 17, 2006
    Yup. I'm not thrilled with the neck's flexibility (seems to flex a bit too easily for my tastes) but it's the right size for my hands and it sounds great!
  15. Gabriel51


    Sep 30, 2008
    Is the neck fairly small like a SR Ibanez?
  16. The Hawk

    The Hawk

    Oct 17, 2006
    No idea. I'm not a fan of Ibanez, so I cannot offer any constructive comparisons.
  17. The Hawk

    The Hawk

    Oct 17, 2006
    Just a quick update:
    I replaced the neck humbucker's volume put tonight with the new one. The new one is faulty. The volume starts to increase and then stays about the same for about 2/3 of the full turn, and then suddenly gets MUCH louder on the last little bit.
    Also, there was no discernible change in tone whatsoever.
    The 500K volume pot switch is a fallacy.
    The $$ is already much louder than any of my other basses, so if anything, I could look into getting a broader spectrum tone pot, but I am very used to the sound now, so I think I'll just keep it the way it is. :)
  18. vrossi


    Jan 29, 2013
    hi mr. hawk.

    from what i heard/know the pot problem was only on the older rock basses? I really dont know but i have a 2012 rockbass corvette same as yours. I absolutely love it. I dont think it sounds muffled because i can compare it with my music man.

    slapping and popping on this bass sounds great. I have ordered an emg btc preamp so I have to see if it gets even better.

    but i don't think you have made a horrible mistake. it's a quarter of the price of a german version
  19. peavey_impact


    Feb 7, 2013
    Hi guys - first talkbass post!

    I just got one of these yesterday and I'm already totally in love with it. My bass is supremely resonant; you can feel every note come right through that upper horn in to your heart :D :D

    The neckjoint is perfect - it would not be possible for it to be a better fit. Best I've ever seen on an Asian import.

    I have no real complaints about the electronics myself - the pickups of course are killer. The tone pot is a cheap dime-sized thing but it works well (for now)

    What a fantastic value this thing is! :)






  20. QzRmong


    Jan 12, 2010
    im thinking of buying this rockbass (5 string). how is the neck? is it like holding the fat end of a baseball bat? also, does it get an extremely punchy low end sound? i have a fender bassman 1200 and also a sansamp rpm with a qsc 1602 power amp with my ampeg 8x10