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Warwick Thumb Active Electronics Question

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Keeaumoku, Nov 22, 2005.


  1. Keeaumoku

    Keeaumoku

    Dec 29, 2004
    I have a 1999 Warwick Thumb-5 NT, which I purchased a little over two months ago. I love this bass! However, I think I have a problem, but the guys down at the store where I purchased it think I'm crazy. Here's the deal:

    My other bass is a Fender Stu Hamm Urge II, and it is a 9-volt active bass. The Thumb is 18-volt, and one can choose to make it active, or passive by switching the push-pull volume knob on the bass. I usually start off playing my Fender, so I'll have my amp settings positioned in the usual places. When I play the Thumb, I have to increase volume on the amp in order to regain the desired level; however, when I choose to switch back to the Fender, I have to turn down the volume again. Get the picture? Tone settings have to be adjusted for either bass, too. I usually have to increase tone levels for the Thumb, then adjust down when using the Fender.

    I wouldn't be so concerned, and would consider making adjustments as a natural requirement when switching instruments... especially two different brands of instruments. However, when I say I have to adjust volume levels, I'm talking about significant differences... from say 8 o'clock to 9 o'clock on the Master, then an equal adjustment on the Gain... this is a big difference, as my amp is an Aggie DB750...

    I've taken the Thumb to the store where I bought it, and the guys there don't think there's anything wrong. I haven't taken it to any technician yet. They'll charge me whether they find anything or not, so I thought I'd check with the TB community first. BTW... yes, I did replace the batteries with new ones. No difference...

    So, I hope I've coherently presented my "problem", and I would appreciate any and all input... :confused:
     
  2. Are the eq's on the on-board pre-amp on both basses set flat?
     
  3. Keeaumoku

    Keeaumoku

    Dec 29, 2004
    I've tried that. Set the eq's flat on both. Still have to increase volume on the amp in order for the Thumb to "match" the Fender... volume-wise.
     
  4. Halftooth

    Halftooth Supporting Member

    Nov 24, 2002
    Tri-Valley, NorCal
    In most cases, an 18V system should have more headroom than a 9V system, so your situation doesn't make much sense. At the same point, I don't think it's too uncommon that two basses have have different outputs. Most of my basses have differnt outputs on my amps.

    Also, this question should probobly be put in the electronis section.
     
  5. Keeaumoku

    Keeaumoku

    Dec 29, 2004
    Thanks for your reply. I know nothing of electronics of any kind, other than "on" means it's supposed to be working, and "off" means it's not. I already assumed that two 9V batteries should produce more "power" than one, which is probably the primary reason I am wondering whether or not I have a problem here. I can get a desired tone and volume level from the Thumb, but I find it concerning as to why I have to boost the volume as much as a notch or two difference from the Fender, in order to acheive the right levels...

    As to moving this over to the "electronics section"... fine by me. I leave that to the moderator, should he deem it appropriate. Thank you again, Halftooth... ;)
     
  6. I play a thumb through a DB750 also. My thumb and streamer are close to the same output, but my musicman sterling is a bit hotter. It can also do with the pickups possibly being a bit "hotter" (more gain) and also pickup hieght and type of strings you are using.
    I don't think anything is wrong with you bass.
    If you do alot of bass switching during gigs, I'd recommend going with a TONEBONE BASSBONE pedal or I think Tech21 has a new sansamp pedal with 3 settings.
    Hope this helps.
     
  7. Daywalker

    Daywalker

    Apr 13, 2005
    SOCAL
    Crack open the electronics panel on the back, and take a look at your pre-amp gain. It's really small, and you'll need a special (REALLY SMALL) flat head screwdriver and adjust it. I usually keep mine half way, to a touch above half-way up. If that pre-amp gain is way down, that could be your problem. Check that first, if that's not it have it looked at again...
     
  8. Keeaumoku

    Keeaumoku

    Dec 29, 2004
    EXCELLENT! :hyper:

    You see... I just knew I'd get someone from the TB community with a suggestion that would really get to the point. This makes a lot of sense, and I'll check this out to see if I can do this myself. If not, at least I feel confident enough to suggest this to a qualified techie...

    And to "thehurlatron"... I appreciate your response regarding your experience changing basses. I feel more comfortable knowing that someone else can confirm that output levels from different axes, and especially different brands of axes do, indeed, vary enough to be so noticable. I shall also take you up on your suggestion regarding the TONEBONE pedal.

    Thanks a lot, guys... I feel a whole lot better! :)
     
  9. FWIW my 97 Thumb NT is also quiet compared to other basses i've used. I've never worried about it because it's fine and just figured the pickups weren't very hot. Good to hear that there's a preamp gain setting in the control cavity, might be something to play with!

    Edit: I just opened mine up and the preamp gain is set where the flathead is pointing straight up and down "12 o clock/6 o clock". Is that "mid-way"?
     
  10. Daywalker

    Daywalker

    Apr 13, 2005
    SOCAL
    Yes, straight up and down is half way. There's a small tab on there that'll make it so you can adjust from about 7 o clock to about 5 o clock. Straight up and down on that tab is half way...
     
  11. Keeaumoku

    Keeaumoku

    Dec 29, 2004
    :hyper: You, Sir, have changed my life! You ever get over here to Honolulu, I'll buy you a Mai Tai, or two, or three, or four, or......... :hyper:

    Mucho mahalo for your insight...
    :cool:
     
  12. Daywalker

    Daywalker

    Apr 13, 2005
    SOCAL
    No worries, any time! Gotta be there for my fellow Wick Club members!