1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Warwick Thumb BO specs over the years

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by barroso, Oct 17, 2002.

  1. barroso


    Aug 16, 2000
    i am not a Warwick expert. and i know that there are a lot of W freaks out there.

    here's the story. i found a Thumb bolt on 4 strings used on sale for 750 euros.

    i have some questions.

    1. how can i find the serial number and year of manufacturing on this model?

    2. i know that older ones are more respected than newer. when the warwick company started to "cut corners"?

    3. i know that they changed the woods. when?

    4. the pickup placement and control are the same on every thumb produced? are like these:

    5.are the MEC pickups the same size of Bartolini, EMG jazz style aftermarket pickups?

    6. can you please enlight me on the controls? there are 2 pickups and the bass actually produced is advertised as equipped with 2 bands MEc active EQ. but i see 3 knobs only. how does this control layout works?

    7. how much are these new? and used?

    8. at the same shop there is a Thumb NT on sale for 1280 Euros, used. can this big difference tell me something about the difference of the 2 basses?

    thanks warwick people!!
  2. Ari


    Dec 6, 2001
    1. On the back of the headstock, the S/N is usually ended by the year of manufacture.

    2&3. Originally the Thumb Bolt-on had a bubinga body and a wenge neck and fingerboard. It also had the brass nut. I'm not sure about the year, but I think that in 1998 Warwick started to use ovangkol for the neck and the body. (still keeping the wenge fingerboard). I think this year they also introduced their new "graphite nut".

    4. Yes. But on 5 and 6 string Thumbs, both pickups are angled and are closer to the bridge.

    5. I'm not sure about this one.

    6. It should be : Volume, pickup pan, and stacked bass+treble boost & cut, from up to down.

    7. I'm not sure, maybe you can check on ebay for how much they go.

    8. You should try the NT and see if you like it better. I found the NT to be more playable, tone was similar, maybe smoother on the NT.

    Hope that helps,


    PS : if you're not sure about the woods, bubinga is usually brown-reddish where ovangkol is brown. I believe the bass in the pic is ovangkol. Wenge is very dark, Ovangkol necks are of a lighter colour.

    PPS : Also, older thumbs B.O. usually have chrome hardware while newer have black hardware, like the NTs.
  3. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
  4. Carl Brusky

    Carl Brusky

    Sep 21, 2000
    My Thumb is a 1999.

    It has the wenge neck and fretboard and the bubinga body. It does not have the brass adjust-a-nut.

    Yes the aftermarket jazz pickups fit the 4 string. I put a complete Bart setup in mine. Improve the sound greatly.

    The wenge neck as it gets worn in feels so nice. I played a newer one with the Ovangkol neck and pretty much thought it sucked. I would not buy a later one with the new neck wood in my opinion.
  5. jasonbraatz


    Oct 18, 2000
    Oakland, CA
    unless yours is custom, it shouldn't have a bubinga body. mine is a 98 and has ovangkol body, wenge neck, ebony board (fretless) and brass nut.

    it also has MEC soapbars, which is a little surprising. i thought they switched to basslines in like 99 or something, but apparently they do all their changes from the bottom up (change something in the lower models first and then gradually move it to the more expensive models.)

    the thumb NT has 26 frets, 3 band EQ with the same pickup placement, 7 piece wenge/bubinga neck (or at least my old 98 did - the new ones are ovangkol), have a slightly smaller body, and are heavy as heck. but that's pretty much THE warwick tone, so nice.
  6. I can't tell you when it all changed, but I think the very first ones were made out of walnut, and I think they used some other wood - maybe bubinga - before they started to use ovankol for the bodies.
  7. mark beem

    mark beem I'm alive and well. Where am I? Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    Alabama, USA
    The Warwick website has owners manuals in PDF format that you can downlaod... Also, check the stats page on the site it may have more useful information for you.. I think the MSRP is right around $1899 USD for these.

Share This Page