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warwick thumb/corvette/EMG's sound clips

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by mactac, Feb 14, 2006.

  1. mactac

    mactac Supporting Member

    Nov 28, 2005
    Victoria, BC, Canada
    ok, so there has been a lot of discussion about the difference between thumbs & corvettes & new pickups in warwicks, so i recorded a short thing on 2 basses:

    1. warwick corvette proline. this one i replaced the MEC pickups & electronics with EMJ's & passive electronics. it opened up the sound considerably, but the character is retained

    2. Thumbs Bolt-on 5. this bass is stock.

    hopefully these will help some people in hearing the difference between a thumb & corvette & also what EMJ's sound like in a warwick.

    notice the pronounced growl in the thumb...

    you can d/l them here:

  2. mactac

    mactac Supporting Member

    Nov 28, 2005
    Victoria, BC, Canada
    you may have to download each of these before you listen... they are .wav files & might not stream very well...
  3. Oh yeah, thats why I love the Thumb, that tone to me, is killer, the be all end all tone for a bass IMO.

  4. if i understand correctly it's hard to compare a stock thumb with corvette with EMGs.

    For those that have not done this analysis: It would help if u have a recording of the corvette with stock MEC pickups as well to compare that against EMG pickups. Your analysis is spot on tho with replacing MEC w/ EMG in warwick IME.
  5. tomfouts


    Jan 4, 2006
    Boston, MA
    Thumb FTW

    I'm hoping to pick up one of those 4 string bad boys off of the bay when i get the money. I tried one in a music store................and all i can say is SLAP.
  6. What do you think about Warwick Streamer LX 5 string?
  7. mactac

    mactac Supporting Member

    Nov 28, 2005
    Victoria, BC, Canada
  8. mactac

    mactac Supporting Member

    Nov 28, 2005
    Victoria, BC, Canada
    so, i've been thinking about doing the same thing with my thumb. actually, i was more thinking about replacing the electronics on the thumb with an aguilar. I've been told the mec's actually are pretty good & it's the electronics that people don't like...
  9. Cool man, thanks for the clips, that makes sense to me now.
    To clear things up, i misunderstood your comments. To restate my opinion, I think the EMGs make it sound icky because it makes it more open and a sweetened high end (i would call it thinner personally; maybe just on the fact that it sounds more HiFi than stock MECs, i don't know, it's hard for me to describe it just sounds weaker than the thick natural MECs). Loosing all that which is thick woody warwick and making it sweeter on open, makes it sound like a copy of a corvette trying to sound like a real corvette to me. But to each his own right? This is no personnal attack intended, just my opinion of course. Make sure to keep your thumb pickups just in case! Good luck.
  10. mactac

    mactac Supporting Member

    Nov 28, 2005
    Victoria, BC, Canada
    i don't think the high end is any thinner, i think it's smoother. the mec's seemed to have a harsh resonant freq in there somewhere, and i felt like i always needed to roll of the highs...now i don't

    i find the emg's actually a bit more meaty than the mec's actually! i found that the mEC's were very weak in the bass department & boosing with the mec preamp only made the bass indistict & "fuzzy". with the emg's there seems to be a lot more bottom end, plus smoother...

    i guess we all hear something different.

    so, are you basing these comments on your own bass (ie did you switch pickups), because I'm basing on the actual sound of my bass before & after the emg's... i noticed a substantial improvement in bass actually
  11. Cool man, sounds good that you found your sound.

    Yes I did modify my own. I had a thumb modified for EMGs. And my current Fretless vette had some barts in there when I picked it up used. Call me crazy, but I like warwicks for being typical warwicks stock and all. I have now retrofitted both back (thumb RIP) with the MECs.
  12. mactac

    mactac Supporting Member

    Nov 28, 2005
    Victoria, BC, Canada
    really ! wow... ok, what were you using for preamps? passive with the emg's?

    SOUnds like i may very well be happy with my first thought, which was go to a new preamp instead of pickups...

    see, i still find the highs very "brittle" on the thumb, like i did on the vette.

    It could be that this is a result of low action & lots of clack. i like to play this way, but perhaps the mecs are voice to accentuate these frequencies & that someone who plays with higher action (or cleaner) will like the sound more than i...

    interesting discussion....
  13. It was an EMG preamp


    That aggressive nature and sound you're hearing from the warwicks in the highs are mostly attributed to the MEC pickups is my understanding/findings.

    It might not sound the best in your bed room while being extremely criticle of your tone as we all do but it sounds great in a mix.

    A quick anecdote that I use for this: I've been recorded in a hurry before with a passive fender jazz bass and it didn't have that sound we were looking for. Time was limited and we were recording direct which can sound quite dull when put together with miced amps for a rock recording. Anyways, we were pressed, none of us liked the initial run with the bass and quickly I tried my warwick 2004 vette to try for sound, and it sounded quite good actually. It was direct only but that agressive highs you're hearing will add some character and flavour to a bass in that type of situation. Particularly gives it some life. I've read about some engineers even recording the right hand clacks for some bassists when recording. Got it naturally with this. Not saying that one way is superior to the other, just that for this particular recording and application it came out nice to have those aggressive highs.

    I also use the Warwick for a funk coverband as well just because i like the aggressive nature of the upper highs and it really helps with some muted notes and digging in hard for a slappish type sound with just fingers. A good example of that is I just recently sat in with some friends on an off night and played "let it ride" by Dr. Dre. That aggressive tone fit in nicely for playing softely and then hitting the pop note hard with just regular fingerstyle. But I play extremely light 95% of the time as opposed to ur technique above. So maybe our styles are significantly different which comes back to practice practice practice.

    Well these instruments are used both way (modded or not). Good luck with whichever you decide to do.
  14. mactac

    mactac Supporting Member

    Nov 28, 2005
    Victoria, BC, Canada
    ya, it's in a band situation & recording where I don't like it. I had the corvette for almost 10yrs before i modded it actually

    it's funny, i found the exact opposite - the mec's sounded weak & thin with no meat. the EMG's fixed that.

    have you thought about the fact that it was your emg preamp that was causing the problems? i've heard from many people that the emg preamp sounds thin....

    the emg pickups in my corvette sound so much more full & meaty than the mec's it's actually quite surprising
  15. Thumbs up! (how much more corny could I get?)
  16. I'd say we pretty much agree in the changes the EMG pickups did honestly. We just have different definitions on what we want our bass to sound like. I wouldn't really call these "problems" as you say or that one is weaker or has less meat than the other, but sure its possible i didn't like the preamp; but that falls back to the barts too which I didn't like in the warwick either. I guess I just prefer my warwick to sound as it does with the stock pickups (even tho i prefer the fancy pants MEC LTD version of them :rolleyes: ) and wouldn't really perpetuate that one was better than the other.

    In the definition game the EMGs will open up the sound for a more HiFi and ...
    To me: makes a warwick sound like another bass copying warwick copy. I just prefer the real thing, to me the thumb sample above just smokes and the corvette sounds a little eh.
    To you: it's still maintaining a warwick essense while adding other frequencies (see HiFi even tho no one ever agrees on its meaning, to me it means true to original sound) and the clearer corvette tone above is more of what you were looking for out of it moreso than that dark aggressiveness of the MEC tone.

    Does that sound correct?

    As for the thumb, you can always try your EMG pre and see what you think, then try ur MEC pickups and EMG and see which you like better *shrug*.
  17. mactac

    mactac Supporting Member

    Nov 28, 2005
    Victoria, BC, Canada
    ahhh... bang on i'd say !

    >As for the thumb, you can always try your EMG pre and see what you think, then try ur MEC pickups and EMG and see which you like better *shrug*.

    no, i didn't use an EMG pre... that's sort of what i was saying before. emg pickups & no preamp is what i used.
  18. the thumb recording it as true to the sound of a stock thumb as you'll ever get... a perfect sample for anyone interested in buying one to check out.