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Warwick Thumb-4 Neck Dive (Help!)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Scatterblak, Apr 20, 2010.

  1. Scatterblak


    May 12, 2007
    Nashville, Tennessee
    Endorsing Artist for Low End bass guitars, DNA Amplification

    I've got a Warwick NT-4 Thumb (Hence the title of the thread), and I can't even bring myself to play it anymore because of the horrendous neck dive. I've tried various wide straps - leather, plastic, rough backing, etc - and there's just nothing for it. I don't really dig holding the neck up all night, particularly when I've got a perfectly good MM-HS that balances perfectly, plays like butter and sounds like Bernard Edwards. Still, I doubt there's another assembly of bass wisdom as large as this anywhere on the net - so, any ideas? I miss how my 'wick sounds, and I'd love to play it again!

    Somebody help me out here!!

  2. itsalljustaride


    Sep 23, 2009
    There are a couple solutions I've heard of. You can relocate the rear strap button up a bit, if you don't mind drilling another hole in the bass.

    You can put some weights in the electronics cover to ad some mass at the body end of the bass.

    There is a really cool trick that I've seen someone on the Warwick forums do where you tie a string to each side of the strap and it kind of pulls them together and provides tension so the bass stays put. Wish I could find that pic. Maybe someone here has it.
  3. Rich Guastella

    Rich Guastella

    Sep 15, 2008
    I just got a 2001 Thumb BO...I love the crap out of it...sounds like a Stienway piano around your neck!!! anyway I just dont have that problem...maybe the balance on the NT is a little different???..it's gotta be strap settings or material
    Mine is solid leather...but it's got a ruff side against my shoulder...so nuthin is "diving"...
  4. bassy7


    Jan 29, 2010
    I've had a BO Thumb 4 fretted and a BO thumb 5 fretless 5. I loved the sound, feel and playability of them tremendously..... but they had some very serious neck dive. Not the kind of neck dive you can control with your plucking arm fore arm, but the kind the kind where, as you said, you feel like you have to "hold the neck up all night" during a gig. They hurt my back, my arm and my shoulders. I sold em. I do miss everything else about them though. They also turned me into a headless bass kind of guy- can't beat the ergonomics of headless.

    If you want to correct the dive some, extend the upper horn but 1", or 1.5" or so. You basically take out the strap button and screw, then replace the screw with a much longer one- but you run the screw through with a hard wood drilled out dowel rod or a hollow peice of metal stock. The dowel or rod acts as a sleeve to get the strap button farther away from the upper horn wich effectively changes the balance in your favor. You will have to play around with this to find the right length. If it has to go to far out it will start to look and feel a bit off. This mod requires no drilling on your bass.
    You can also move the rear (bridge side) strap button further up on the bass edge, close to where you fore arm hangs over the body. This will also tip the scales in your favor. While it will require drilling a new hole- you can at least experiment with the positions by using some heavy duty double sided tape- and those 3M plastic stickon removable cup/towel hook things.
    Combine these with some extra weight in the elect. cavity (lead is the thing to use, but make sure you aren't going to bridge any elect. gaps with it) and you may be able to correct the neck dive to your satisfaction.
  5. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    The Thumb bass is RENOWNED for its neck dive. Some have suggested that it may even be a purposeful part of the bass' design- for horizontal playing similar to Mark King. You may be lucky in that your Thumb may not dive, or it may dive and you're simply accustomed to it. I've met several folks who think their bass has no neck dive, and as I'm more sensitive to it because of the angle I prefer to keep my basses at, those same basses are almost unplayable to me. One thing I'll say is that if your strap is keeping your bass from diving, it still has neck dive.

    To the OP, another option is to replace the upper horn's strap pin with an elongated one, adding 3+ inches to the horn to aid in better balance. I've seen this done several times- it may involve widening the hole the pin is drilled into to allow a wider post to be installed.
  6. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    If and when remedial options fail, sell it and buy something a little more ergonomic, like a used Streamer LX or Pro M.

    Disclaimer: using the money from the sale to buy a T'bird, Explorer, or Hamer 12 string automatically disqualifies you from posting addt'l complaints in this arena. On a more serious note, I hope one of the aforementioned fixes does the trick...the Thumb is a fantastic sounding bass.

  7. nsh50a


    May 11, 2004
    Columbia, MO
    10 yrs ago I had a thumb 5 BO that i bought after trying out sitting down only. I loved the way that thing sounded but the dive was horrendous. I eventually sold it an used the money to buy a Mesa 400+. Paired with my stingray, it's the best sounding pair I've ever heard and have no regrets.
  8. i know how you feel, i have a thumb nt and i struggle with the neck dive issues. I love to play the bass sitting down and then when i strap up, i still push it up high on my chest but my arms arent long so my wrist hurts from stretching up the neck.
  9. FunkMetalBass


    Aug 5, 2005
    Phoenix, Arizona 85029
    Endorsing Artist: J.C. Basses
    It's a thumb. It's supposed to sit almost horizontally and be played extremely high on your chest.

    Whenever you hear the words "Thumb" and "Thunderbird," I want you to instantly equate them with "Neck dive."
  10. main_sale


    Apr 26, 2004
    Cape Cod
    I've got a Neo-tech strap and wear it high and neck dive is not a problem for me.
  11. Play a Thumb 5 or 6 for awhile- the 4 will seem easy by comparison(IME).
  12. RedLeg

    RedLeg Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2009
    Kaiserslautern, Germany
    Nov Shmoz Ka Pop?
    really high or really low is the only thing that keeps my Thumb from diving. there is no middle ground.
  13. trainwrecker

    trainwrecker Guest

    Feb 15, 2010
    I had a Thumb NT and used a "comfort strap", it really helped with the neck dive. I miss the sound of that bass, but I have to say I don't miss the weight. I still use the comfort strap but on a ZON :ninja:
  14. Scatterblak


    May 12, 2007
    Nashville, Tennessee
    Endorsing Artist for Low End bass guitars, DNA Amplification
    Thanks for the input, guys! I'll give the pin extension a try -- seems to make sense, and easy as well. Thanks very much!
  15. Scatterblak


    May 12, 2007
    Nashville, Tennessee
    Endorsing Artist for Low End bass guitars, DNA Amplification
    Wow, I found a perfect solution - I went to see Brian at the Low End, and traded it in towards a 33" LEJ 5! No neck dive, plays like a dream! :)

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