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Warwick Thumb Ovankgol vs. Bubinga

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bongostealth, Jan 15, 2012.

  1. bongostealth

    bongostealth Supporting Member

    Jun 3, 2011
    Atlanta, GA
    Hello everyone,

    I currently have a BO Thumb with an ovankgol body, wenge neck and wenge fingerboard. I'm a huge Warwick Thumb fan and I've come across a couple of NT Thumbs with Bubinga bodies. Would it be worth the expense to add a bubinga NT to my collection? (I currently only have 2 basses) Or would there not be much of a difference in sound between ovankgol and bubinga?

  2. taygunov

    taygunov Guest

    May 8, 2008
    well I think besides the wood change, the NT would make a pretty big change in sound as well, so it just may have a completely different tone then your BO for all you know. give it a try
  3. GM60466


    May 20, 2006
    Land of Lakland
    ovankgol body gives you those dark cloud tuba tones, bubinga is more cello-ish in my opinion.
  4. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    My first "real" bass was a bubinga corvette. I really regretted not getting the lighter one, forgot what those were made of at the time. Bass was deeeeeep sounding, but it seemed all I could get out of it was mud and hiss. I now have a much lighter Fortress and love the feel and sound. I also hated the weight of the bubinga body, although weight never bothers me anymore and I'd probably feel differently today. I'd say think heavier, and deeper, and if that's what you want then go for it.
  5. RedLeg

    RedLeg Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2009
    Kaiserslautern, Germany
    Nov Shmoz Ka Pop?
    I gave a BO and an NT (both stock) the coke or pepsi challenge and I really could'nt tell a discernible difference. To be fair, I did prefer the stock 3 band in the NT to the stock 2 band in my BO. However, once I gutted the pups and pre out of the BO, my wick became "ell bajo numero uno". YMMV, but you really gotta ask yourself, is that minuscule difference in tone between the 2 worth the extra scratch and will that difference come through in the mix? I am guessing, ....no. My 2¢, keep the BO and spend less cash on some kickass linear humcancelers with a 3 band pre. I went delano JMVC's /aggie OBP3
  6. bongostealth

    bongostealth Supporting Member

    Jun 3, 2011
    Atlanta, GA
    Duly noted. Aguilar preamps seem to work really well in Warwick Thumbs because the Aggies are so transparent and they accentuate the natural sound of the woods.
  7. BioDriver

    BioDriver A Cinderella story

    Aug 29, 2008
    Austin, TX
    I put an Audere 4 band preamp in my Thumb BO (same specs as yours) and it kills every other Thumb I've tried.
  8. bass12

    bass12 And Grace, too

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    I had both a Thumb 4 BO and a Thumb 5 NT and I much preferred the sound of the BO. I found that the NT sounded very pleasant when played alone in the living room, but on stage and in a band setting it was really muddy. Having said that, my teacher's main bass is a Thumb (from the 80s) and it doesn't seem to suffer from the same affliction as did my 2002 NT.
  9. osuok88

    osuok88 Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2009
    Fort Worth, TX - USA
    I have a 98 Thumb NT4 and it is my number 1 bass. Love it.
  10. bongostealth

    bongostealth Supporting Member

    Jun 3, 2011
    Atlanta, GA
    Did you keep the stock MEC pickups?
  11. lomo

    lomo passionate hack Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2006
    Any miniscule difference in tone attributable to the wood will be utterly eclipsed by a 5 degree rotation of any of your eq knobs, right hand technique or strings. If you dig the idea of another thumb and can afford it,, go for it, but the notion that it'll provide a significantly different tone because of the wood is a notion that probably wouldn't stand up to a blindfold test.
  12. Flatwound

    Flatwound Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2000
    San Diego
    I have two Thumb 6's - one 2003 BO, and one 1995 NT. The BO has an ovangkol body, ovangkol neck, and wenge fb. The NT has a bubinga body, bubinga/wenge neck, and wenge fb. They really don't sound alike. The BO is growlier by far, with more of that midrange grunt I associate with Warwicks. The NT also has Bart pickups (original?) and the BO of course has MEC's. I much prefer the sound of the BO.

    Of course, the newer Thumb NT's have ovangkol necks and ebony fb's. I've only played one of the newer ones, but I think it sounded closer to my NT than my BO.
  13. bongostealth

    bongostealth Supporting Member

    Jun 3, 2011
    Atlanta, GA
    Hmm... interesting. There are several people now that have stated they prefer the sound of the BO.
  14. lasteffect


    Jan 10, 2012
    South Carolina
    I have owned a Thumb BO 5 fretless and currently own a Thumb NT 5. I know there's weight issues, but well thats like owning a Wal.

    I find the NT sound more organic. The BO has more of an aggressive defined mid range than the NT. The Bubinga wood is clearer and more aggressive than Ovangkol. Ovangkol sounds more nasely to me. The 3 band preamp does give you more of a passive like sound, because the treble isn't harshly sharp in boosting it. The pick and fingerstyle is deeper on a NT than a BO, but the slap peaks more on a BO than a NT. These are pros and cons, depending on what kind of person you are.

    I enjoy the NT more than the BO. You have to ask yourself which style you like better, what you want, ect, ect.
  15. RedLeg

    RedLeg Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2009
    Kaiserslautern, Germany
    Nov Shmoz Ka Pop?
    While I do prefer the BO now with upgrades; it was about the money!
  16. BioDriver

    BioDriver A Cinderella story

    Aug 29, 2008
    Austin, TX
    Yes I did. The stock preamp was shot but thankfully the pickups didn't need to be replaced. If I do decide to replace them I'll drop in Aeros.
  17. eyvindwa


    Aug 1, 2007
    Oslo, Norway
    Aside: The new Warwick Thumb BOs are now made with bubinga bodies, same as the NTs. The switch from ovangkol happened not long ago, I think. Would be interesting to know why.

    Warwick Basses Amps & Rock'n Roll

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