Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Warwick Thumb-5 vs. MusicMan Stingray-5

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Wes I AM, Jul 20, 2001.


  1. Wes I AM

    Wes I AM

    May 27, 2000
    Tampa, FL
    Hey guys. it's been awhile. The time is getting closer for the purchase of my new bass (it'll be my first really Good bass) and I am torn between the Thumb-5 and Stingray-5. No matter which I choose I personally gotta have a 5. The rest of you guys who play 5s know what I mean. Anyway, I have been set on the Thumb for quite a while now but recently have been eyeing the 'Ray. I know it can have a killer tone from listening to Flea play it but I'm not sure if it would be right for me. Personally I like the looks of the Thumb better but I know looks aren't everything. I have been playing things ranging from Punk, to lowdown deep grooves to metal and I would like something that could cut it in all those styles. If anyone has had experience with both of these basses I'd love to hear some feedback to help me reach my decision. I know in the end it's all up to me but this helps a lot too.

    PS, I am more into the deep thumpy sound than I am into the cutting mids and treble. If that helps anyone.. thanks guys and gals..
     
  2. LowRanger

    LowRanger

    Dec 24, 2000
    I've owned both, although I no longer have either.

    As much as I loved the Thumb, beware of the balance issue. Try one on with a strap before you buy. They're sweet basses, but to me they'd be even sweeter if they extended the upper horn (of course that'd ruin the looks, but what the heck?)!

    I thought the Stingray was beautifully built, but I could only use the parallel setting, it was too noisy for me in any of the other two settings.

    To me, both basses have very strong, distinct personalities. Some people consider both basses very versatile, but that wasn't my experience. I liked the sound of the Thumb better, but the Stingray was a lot more comfortable to play!

    Just my .02, but make sure you try that Thumb on with a strap before you put your money down!
     
  3. xush

    xush

    Jul 4, 2001
    mobile AL
    Also have played both, but I've owned neither...
    Previous poster is right, you really should strap on a Thumb to see if you can live with the balance and reach to first position. She's a bit of a stretch.
    To me the Stingray 5 is nice, and very comfortable, but it's much bigger- and the mids tend to be very prominent. Each bass has somewhat of a variety of tones available, but I would say neither is the most versatile bass out there. They both have a very distinct voice.
    I wish I could say I prefer one over the other, but it's so subjective- can you try them both out somewhere? Or maybe you already have?
    Here's what I've noticed lately, after seeing some indie/punk type bands:
    Fender J's and MM Stingrays seem to be the bass of choice. Not a Warwick (or other hi-end bass for that matter) to be seen... unfortunately image has a lot to do with credability it seems. Personally, I'd love to see some variety out there...

    My experience with the Thumb is that is definitely has the low thump if you want that, really made for slapping. Do you do much of that?

    I'm sure there are differing opinions, this is just my personal contribution... I enjoy this forum, and find alot of it pretty useful, so I just want to support it...
    But I guess you already know to take all this for what it really is... just personal opinion. I'd have a really hard time choosing between the two myself.
    I'd probably go for the Warwick, bcz I like to buck the trends...

    mark
     
  4. DarkMazda

    DarkMazda

    Jun 3, 2000
    NJ
    try obth of them out... two totally different basses.. i really love the thumb tone :) The Stingray 5s are especially ones you should try out since they are usually a hit or miss.. some are good.. some are very poorly made..

    DM
     
  5. KillMary

    KillMary

    Jan 25, 2001
    Punk and metal? Music Man, of course.
     
  6. RedGrange

    RedGrange

    Jun 11, 2000
    Springfield, IL
    The punk/indie scene is dominated by Fender and Musicman... mostly because the kids know nothing of gear, or don't care to. There are exceptions.. like me :)

    As for those basses... I've had 4 string frettless models of them both.. but I can't dig the stingray 5 because of the plastic.. so I say Thumb
     
  7. Wes I AM

    Wes I AM

    May 27, 2000
    Tampa, FL
    Hey fellas, thanks for posting your opinions. I have to say that to my ear the Thumb sounds better than the Ray mostly because of that low Warwick growl. And the Thumb simply looks much cooler than the Ray IMO. The balance is a little wacko but the sound and look of the bass is worth adjusting to the balance. Thanks for the input fellas. too bad the thumb costs 2X as much as the Ray. o well.
     
  8. LowRanger

    LowRanger

    Dec 24, 2000
    Hey Wes, if you're jonesing for the Thumb 5 neck through, keep an eye on the used market. Lots of them turn up in immaculate condition at a very reasonable (Stingray 5 new range), I suspect largely due to the balance and reach issues.

    Best of luck!
     
  9. xush

    xush

    Jul 4, 2001
    mobile AL
    straps like the 'comfort strap' can aleviate the balance problem, and I've seen some people install a horn extender to get the bass to hang in a more practical position. Not sure where those are available, most I've seen look homemade, but at least those problems can be addressed if you like the bass.
    I think it's a pretty versatile instrument. Nice tones.
    enjoy
    mark
     
  10. i don't like the thumb's shape and balance, but if the contender was, say, a streamer or a masterman, then i'd say warwick all the way.

    btw, try BOTH on with a strap... the thumb may balance funky, but that stingray 5 weighs a freakin ton.
     
  11. ldiezman

    ldiezman

    Jul 11, 2001
    Nashville
    Don't warwick's weigh more than stingrays? my stingray 5 doesn't seem to be terribly heavey... or course it is balanced nicely.. anyway.. dude try out both basses. I tried out a peavey Cirrus, warwick thumb, modulus basses, and the stingray 5 before i bought mine. All are excellent basses and I would love for my room to be filled with all of them. But the Musicman is the best bass for me. Its huge yeas but it is a bass not a guitar. I love the sound of the stingray, but its gotta be what you want and not what anyone else says. this thread is gonna be split on which bass to get. Pick up a few try them and get what you want... And don't get a bass because everyone else plays them. anyway that is just what I think. On that note... get a stingray 5... :) just kidding
     
  12. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses, Hipshot products
    I've got a Warwick Corvette, and Musicman Sterling. Both 4 strings. Not exactly what you're looking at, but close....

    My experience, The Warwick (all Warwick IMO) is way thumpier. Way heavier also. I bought the MM after the Warwick cuz of the weight issue. MM basses cut through the mix a lot more. Neither bass is very versatile. They pretty much have a consistent character no matter how ya twist the dials.

    If I were to do it all over again I'd go with a Streamer Jazzman. In a review I read, they claim it really nails the MM sound, it's lighter than the thumb or other Wawicks, and it can supposedly get a really wide assortment of sounds. I would play the hell out of all of em before I made a final choice, and I'd buy it in a store with a good return policy.

    One never knows what one really has till one plays the new bass with the band.