Warwick Streamer vs Ibanez Prestige Soundgear: Opinions?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bad_andy, Sep 22, 2005.

  1. bad_andy


    Sep 21, 2005
    Omaha, NE
    I'm seriously thinking about getting one of the SR1006EFMNTF six strings. link I tried it out at Russo's here in Omaha, and aside from needing a set up, it played and sounded great. I'm going in on Saturday to A-B it with my current six string after their tech sets it up for real playing. Has anyone else played these basses? Am I crazy to compare this $1100 bass with my $3000 pride and joy? :eyebrow:

    I own a beautiful Warwick Streamer Stage I six string bass image that I've had since 1993. (Even my wife calls it my girlfriend.) It plays and sounds great except for one thing. The neck is so wide that the B string is more or less out of comfortable reach after the 4th fret or so for my pinky and ring finger and completely out of reach for my whole hand above the 6th fret. I mean that it's there and I can play the notes, I just have to either bend my left wrist to the point that it's uncomfortable, or reach around and play it in thumb position like my upright. :eek:

    They're both neck-thru, both have Bartolini PU and Bartolini 9v EQ (though the SR has a MID/FREQ knob, while the Warwick has only Bass and Treb), both have flamed maple wings (though the warwick has solid wings while the SR has a flamed top with maple back). The Warwick weighs a chuck, while the SR is light and both balance well on the strap.

    So I'm honestly thinking about moving to a "cheaper" instrument as long as I can play the whole neck and it compares with my Warwick tonally. Do I need a reality check? :help:
  2. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    The Stage Is are broadneck (20 mm) by default. If broadnecks are too broad for you, then it looks like you didn't need a broadneck after all..
    Do you need the B string above the 4th fret so badly? There's the E :p
    Your description of how you can not reach the notes makes me wonder about your technique... (thumb at the middle of the neck, fingers more or less parallel to the frets, fretting with fingertips, etc). You either have very short fingers or you are not using proper technique. I could easily reach any note even if my bass' neck was 1.5x as wide.

    It's okay to be looking for better playability, but you should really check if that Ibeenhad is good enough.
    Also, you can trade for other basses, too. Some customs much better in quality, yet can be found for some bargain prices.
  3. Daywalker


    Apr 13, 2005
    Please don't trade a Wick for an Ibanez, PLEASE! Or how about this, sell the Wick for and Ibanez and a different Wick? As long as you stay in the Wick club, it's all good....
  4. phishaholik

    phishaholik Supporting Member

    Aug 20, 2005
    Portland, Oregon
    Don't do it. I sold a high quality bass for a lower end model because I thought I would like the lower end model better and I still consider it one of the stupidest things I have ever done. Your Warwick is worth two of those soundgears. Especially since your Warwick is an older model. Aren't the soundgears made in Korea too?

  5. Your 'wick is only worth as much as it is to you.. If playing a Soundgear feels and sounds better to you, do not think twice, for both are GREAT instruments, no matter where they'd been made.
  6. twiz


    Jun 4, 2003
    Los Angeles
    ok get ready for a completely contrarian viewpoint... (although this viewpoint is shared by a lot of older musicians).

    [flame on!]

    firstly, a good 95% of the tone of a bass imo comes from the pickups, strings and perhaps the bridge. assuming all else is equal, these basses should sound VERY similar. especially if you have a decent amp and can futz with the eq a tiny bit. regarding build quality, ibanez's are TOP. i have played and owned all sorts of high end basses (sadowsky, lakland, etc) and medium end basses (music man, higher end fenders, etc) and i will tell you that the ibanez srx700 is made as well as any of them. slap on some strings, $50 setup and i'm good to go. the best part is, that it doesnt break my fricken back! i cant STAND the silliness that people go through to carry some heavy piece of furniture around their neck that ends up crippling them! it's madness. there is no reason to play a bass that weighs more than 8.5 pounds or so with all the options out there.

    lastly, (and most contrarian of all) there are a lot of views out there that the 5th and 6th strings conflict too heavily with the tonality of bass drums and as such end up controlling the band's direction in a bad way. a lot of the musicians i know have moved away from these basses back to 4 strings focusing on a more traditional approach.

    just some thoughts

    /flame away boys
  7. bad_andy


    Sep 21, 2005
    Omaha, NE
    Firstly, thanks for your quick and courteous reply, Frank.

    I didn't pick this out of a line up in a catalog. I bought this instrument when I was a kid of about 19 years or so. It was the only Warwick for sale in Memphis at a time when that city wasn't exactly brimming with high-end gear. It captured my heart so I saved for and bought it thinking that I'd grow into it. Now that I'm much older and I'm taking my 5 to every electric gig I play but not my 6, I'm considering that it's entirely possible that the Streamer neck is broader than I need.

    Have you been coming to my shows? ;) That's actually how I've approached playing this bass in the last few years of playing it. Using the B string mostly in 1st through 5th position and moving up and across after that. It's not unfamiliarity with the neck either, as I sometimes must play the repetoire of either group I work in (blues, jazz, reggae, british invasion) on a four string ABG for acoustic shows (give or take an octave on a couple of notes.)

    I like access to the higher notes on the B string because I can use them along with some palm muting to get some very upright or dub bass like sounds on blues and reggae tunes. On an axe with 5 middle Cs I like to be able to pick which one I'm using based on tone and not what I can reach without straining. I can do this on my 5 but not my 6. (BTW my 5 has 25 frets so, yes that is a middle C on every string.) :D

    I also like to play some parts up where the frets are closer together especially on tunes with long ostinatto sections. That way I can save my hand for the really interesting stuff. It doesn't seem like much, but on a 4 or 5 set show it all adds up by the end of the night. (Ever been backwoods hiking? The pros tell you to drill holes in your toothbrush handle because every ounce counts after the first day.)

    Check, check and check, plus you could add playing just behind the frets with a light touch for a complete picture.

    It's not my technique, it's the fact that I'm trying to be more strict about it. The string spacing at the nut is fine, it just gets broader than my index finger by the 12th fret. In the past, my solution was to strap high which made it easy to get around the neck but then bent my right hand at an awkward angle. It's just a wide neck, man.

    I can reach the B string at 5th position with all four fingers I just have to bend my wrist a little to do it. On my Bossa 5 string, I can set the strap height to where I can play all the notes between the nut and the 12th fret on all 5 strings with both wrists more or less straight and relaxed. On the Streamer, I have to reach around the neck a bit.

    Frank, I notice that your main axe is a Corvette 6. I played a Corvette 6 at the Mars in Knoxville back in 2000 and liked the tone and slimmer neck enough to ask about trading for it. I ended up walking away because they still wanted money for trading a $1500 bolt on bass for a $3000 neck thru.

    I've owned this work of art for 12 years and the Warwick is a great axe which I can and do play. Sound men love it direct in the board. It's gorgeous to look at from the front or back. The string spacing and C string make it my favorite slapping bass (popping double stops anyone?) When it comes to playing open voiced chords behind a soloist in a duet or trio situation it practically shimmers. :bassist:

    I've just gotten a little dissapointed that some of the "bassier" things that I do on my 5 string are awkward to perform on this one. I don't need the C or even the B string on every gig, but if I'm going to play a 6 on a gig, it would be nice to have one that I can use my whole bag of tricks with.
  8. bad_andy


    Sep 21, 2005
    Omaha, NE
    Well, I think that you guys all made some great points and I've enjoyed the reaction to my first post. So far I don't think I'll be trading the Warwick for the Ibanez. I'm not sure about the relative trade in values of the instruments, but I'm sure that I'd get a raw deal on the Warwick's value. If it came down to parting with it, I'd rather sell it to a good home than trade it to a music store to be abused by random strangers. :crying:

    But I might be acquiring that Soundgear none the less. I've never gone for the brand name thing, I just know what I've played and what I like. I'm definitely going to compare them on Saturday with a cold objective eye to tone and playability. I know what I felt and heard and that 1006 simply sounded and felt great on first impression. I played the Streamer for an hour and a half the last night and still love it, but that didn't diminish my curiosity for a head to head. :bassist: