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Warwick Rockbass Streamer 5 - surprisingly great!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Jim Dorney, May 26, 2018.

  1. Jim Dorney

    Jim Dorney

    Mar 21, 2018
    Reading, UK
    After playing a 6-string Status for many (20 odd) years I thought I’d spare my shoulders some strain and try moving to a 5-string as a workhorse. Being a lefty I’m restricted (or rather focused) by choice.

    I found an Ibanez SR505 for sale on eBay and thought that was the way to go in that it would have a thin ultra-fast neck and a versatile tone. I won the auction on it but was then disappointed when the seller cancelled the order, saying he’d damaged it beyond repair prior to sending it.

    I went back to the drawing board and to the alternative I was watching - a Warwick Streamer Rockbass 5 - one of the newer versions with the 2-piece bridges and the ‘W’ on the headstock.

    Largely due to frustration from losing the Ibanez that I’d kind of set my heart on, I made an offer on the Warwick, expecting it to be rejected and was taken by surprise when the seller accepted it.

    I usually research instruments pretty thoroughly before buying them - especially without trying them in person first, so tried to look up opinions on the Warwick. I couldn’t find many reviews and whilst the YouTube video on the model gave a good impression (it would, wouldn’t it?) I was concerned by the lack of available opinions on it, and started preparing myself for buyer’s remorse. I wondered whether I should contact the seller and ask whether I could retract my offer but then thought about how mad I would be if someone did that to me.

    So - when the Warwick arrived I opened it with some trepidation. My first impressions were that it was nice & light (one of my main drivers in getting a 5 string), the neck felt nice and it looked well made.

    The strings on it were completely dead. When I gave it a go I noted how the output signal was pretty quiet (certainly in relation to my active Status), and noted how other owners had also mentioned this. I expected a lower output since it’s passive but perhaps not so much difference. In spite of the ancient strings and lower than expected output signal it seemed to have a decent tone.

    I restrung it, cleaned it up, and gave the fretboard some lemon oil and that made a massive difference to the feel and sound. The relatively closer spacing on the neck (my 6-string has a very broad neck as the string spacing is similar to a regular 4-string) is taking some time to adjust to, but I really like both the feel to it (which seems to inspire me to play more funk-styled lines) and the tone of the passive pickups is killer - really punchy and precise. The Status is boomy by comparison.

    The only thing with the Warwick is I wish the output signal was a bit stronger, but I wouldn’t want to change the tone of the pickups which I really like. It sounds a little less thumpy than some German Warwicks I’ve heard, but it’s a really nice tone.

    I’ll get around the low output by using one of the slots on my multieffects as a graphic EQ to boost the signal - at least in the short/mid term. I might also look into getting an active preamp installed, but only if it’s not that expensive.

    In conclusion - I’m really pleasantly surprised and pleased with this instrument. I reckon I would have been happy with the Ibanez but not sure on balance which one I would have liked more, whereas I would have assumed upfront that the Warwick would struggle to compete. I’m happy to say I was wrong!

    I’m surprised there aren’t more opinions on these out there. Has anyone tried sticking an active preamp on one of these?
    Crusher47 likes this.
  2. Rojd

    Rojd Supporting Member

    May 29, 2018
    Rocky Mountains
    How do you like your fiver so far? Sorry, I don't have one yet, so I can't answer your preamp question, but I'm looking to add a fiver, and the Streamer 5 is on my consideration list. As you stated, I haven't found much opinion-wise out there to base anything on.

    This is the one I'm looking at:

    Attached Files:

  3. Jim Dorney

    Jim Dorney

    Mar 21, 2018
    Reading, UK
    Having had it a while I love it! It' great to play afte adjusting to the closer string spacing than on my 6 string. Whilst quieter, the tone from the pickups is great! Really pronounced and punchy. I'e got over the output issue by using an EQ as a signAl boost on one of the 3 pedal slots on my Zoom B3, but my last gig with it I didn' even use the pedal and only had my Rumble 500 up to 10 o clock as the sound guy DI'd it.

    In short - great bass, great tone, great look. I'm a very happy owner. It feels and sounds like a high quality instrument, whilst the different woods than German Warwicks means it has its own sound.
  4. Rojd

    Rojd Supporting Member

    May 29, 2018
    Rocky Mountains
    Thanks for the input! That's great that you love it. Your positive experience will definitely help in my decision making. I'll tack one up on the board for the Warwick. :thumbsup:
  5. Jim Dorney

    Jim Dorney

    Mar 21, 2018
    Reading, UK
    No problem, dude. Good luck with your decision.
  6. Also glad to see some positive reviews! I'm looking at a Streamer as well but wasn't sure since the Corvette $$ seems to get all the attention (as well it should. It's flat sexy.)
    nateh415 likes this.
  7. toprekoms

    toprekoms Banned

    Aug 22, 2010
    Loved the tone, but not very impressed with the build quality (China). Sold it rather quickly.

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