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Warwick Thumb Bolt-on - advice needed

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bassaussie, Dec 14, 2005.


  1. bassaussie

    bassaussie

    Oct 6, 2001
    Portugal
    My luthier has a 5 string, wide neck Thumb bolt-on in his shop that he's fixing the neck on. The owner also wants to replace the electronics, which are the original MEC (soapbars and 2 band EQ). He (the luthier) has asked me for some suggestions, and my immediate thought was EMG sopabars (probably 45DC) and an EMG preamp. However, I noticed that the MEC soapbars look a bit thinner than an EMG pickup.

    So - can any of you guys make some suggestions for a direct replacement, or do you think it's worth routing the bass out to drop a set of EMGs in it? Also, any preamp suggestions would be great.

    Unfortunately, I don't know what sort of sound the owner is after, although I assume "better" would probably be correct! :D I know from personal experience that the MEC pickups and electronics tend to be the weak point of these instruments. So, if you make a suggestion, you might want to add what direction the set up would take the bass in - warmer, more aggressive etc.
     
  2. they should be jazz pickups - put in a Bartolini preamp and pickups
     
  3. bassaussie

    bassaussie

    Oct 6, 2001
    Portugal

    No - this is a "wide neck" 5 string, and they come with soapbars. Check the Warwick site, it's on the spec sheet.
     
  4. bannedwit

    bannedwit

    May 9, 2005
    Buffalo, NY
    The wide neck may be an issue. But once you get this straight with dimensions then try out Basslines by Seymore Duncan.

    I JUST put active AJJ-1 Basslines pickups and the STC-2A Tone Circuit in my THumb Bolt on 4 String and it screams!

    Take the growl and slap that thumbs are known for and just make the EQ knobs more responsive for fine tuning and great ranges and then amplify the tone of the Thumb and make it sound muhc more professional.
    A lot of people complain about Barts because it is more low end thant mids and highs but with my setup, i have no problem with EQing everything perfectly.

    The tone circuit also comes PRE-wired with the Thumb's settings...
    Vol (push pull), Blend and stacked hi (or mid) /low EQ.
    I paid just over $200 for the pickups and tone circuit.

    Tone Circuit on ebay for $97 and pickups for like $100 at musiciansfreind
     
  5. bassaussie

    bassaussie

    Oct 6, 2001
    Portugal

    Thanks, that's what I needed. I knew that Basslines were considered a good choice for Warwicks, but I had no idea which model to suggest. I'll pass all this on.
     
  6. AmPb100

    AmPb100

    Apr 25, 2005
    Berklee/Boston
    The EMG 40J are a single coil J bass pickup in a soap bar housing. They sound awesome. I would suggest these, along with an Aguilar Pre-Amp. I have this exact same bass with a custom brass nut. I have the EMG's, with the MEC pre amp. (Plan to upgrade later) The EMG's sound amazing. More growl, clearer highs, and full bottom.
     
  7. bannedwit

    bannedwit

    May 9, 2005
    Buffalo, NY
    Glad it may have helped.

    I started by basing my research on bassists who I admire and whom use Warwick basses. This brought up a bunch of great bassists and I noticed then that Semore Duncan sponsors them with pickups. Now do they use them because Duncan is paying them $$$$$? probably but their CD's and live tone don't lie.

    I hear the tone and sound they get on their CD's and that doesn't lie.

    P-Nut from 311 is a great example of how a bass should sound.
     
  8. bassaussie

    bassaussie

    Oct 6, 2001
    Portugal

    That was exactly the reason why I thought of SD as well!! Plus I know there's a few guys on this board who've made this change.
     
  9. bassaussie

    bassaussie

    Oct 6, 2001
    Portugal
    Thanks. EMGs were my original idea, however, I'm not so sure he'll want to rout the bass. I'd thought of DCs, but now that you suggest it, the J model would probably be quite nice sounding. I've got a Thumb 4 string (neck through) that has EMG Jazz pickups in it, and I agree - they sound great!
     
  10. Dincrest

    Dincrest

    Sep 27, 2004
    New Jersey
    Best of luck to you. I would agree that Duncans are a good match to Warwicks.

    One other thing to consider that may be more cost-effective is just to switch out the stock preamp. The stock MEC pickups are probably just fine, but it's the preamp that can be harsh and peaky. I've heard stories on TalkBass where people kept the MECs and just changed the preamp and got great results.

    Speaking about my own Warwick, a Corvette Standard active, I keep it in bypass mode all the time, because I prefer that tone to the preamped one. I love the MEC pickups because they have hot output and punch like a prizefighter, but the stock preamp gets harsh and peaky. I love that bass to death, though. Plays like butter.
     
  11. bannedwit

    bannedwit

    May 9, 2005
    Buffalo, NY
    Bingo! I did that too and got that STC-2A Tone Circuit / Preamp from Basslines and that made the EQ a lot more responsive. The stock MEC ones aren't where it's at we'll put it that way.

    However, they DID DO a nice job on my Stage II. I checked out the electronics and they have a much nice MEC setup in there than the Thumbs do...
     
  12. bassaussie

    bassaussie

    Oct 6, 2001
    Portugal
    Actually, changing the preamp probably isn't a bad suggestion. I used to have a Streamer Stage I, which was a great bass, but I wasn't really into the sound. Occasionally, though, I'd bypass the onboard preamp, and run it through a Sadowsky outboard unit, and the improvement was amazing.
     
  13. HotRatz

    HotRatz Guest

    Mar 13, 2003
    Portland, OR