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Warwick Thumb question? neck heavy? Heavy bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by obimark, Mar 23, 2013.

  1. obimark


    Sep 1, 2011
    Hello- I have been gassing hard for a Warwick Thumb.
    But my guitar friend who plays bass, said they are very neck heavy and heavy basses? Any owners care to chime in and help me, as these are almost impossible to to try out in Atlanta area.
    What is the typical weight of one? 9 lbs? or more?
  2. kevteop


    Feb 12, 2008
    York, UK
    Mine's a '91 4-string. It's not neck-heavy at all, but it is a pretty heavy bass. I don't know exactly how heavy but it's heavier than my friend's 5-string Stingray, which seems pretty ridiculous really.
  3. Jheake


    Jan 21, 2010
    Gilbert az
    I owned a 2003 5 string NT, it had terrible balance and killed my shoulder. The 4 string balances much better so depending on how many strings you need, it can be ok. You couldnt give me the 6.

    Every Warwick I have played or owned has been on the heavy side. I think alot of that also has to do with their great deep rich tone.
  4. I moved from fenders and modulus to a Thumb fretless. I love the the tone, how ever it is a little neck heavy and ergonomically doesn't feel right to me after playing other basses for so long. How I naturally want to play is not how the Thumb wants to be played.

    I have a 5 string fretlles where both PUs are closer to the bridge. I try never to rest my picking thumb on the low B-sting. I'm a purest when it comes to resting my thumb on the PU. That means I'm generally plucking in the same location getting the same tone. In my experience with other basses I have been able to get different sounds comfortably switching between picking locations. On the Thumb I seem like I only have one location. It also seems like I'm always wrestling with the bass. My should feels it when I'm always plucking in the same position. The neck definitely wants to dive on me. It is pretty heavy in general (11 lbs?), but managable.

    I personally don't like the on board EQ on the 5 string that much. The PU selector has little effect. The bass and treble effect the tone, but unlike other basses the change is not inspiring. For me the sound is awesome, but I like it for only one color, which setting the Bass EQ flat. I do find myself tweeking my Amp EQ. It sounds good completely flat, but I need to dial it in more with my Amp.

    I don't have it setup to slap because it is fretless, but I must admit that when I do slap it, it feels really natural. My thumb and forearm rest in a natural position.

    I'm moving towards putting it in the market. Right now it is acting as my main bass, so I need to find another fretless before I move on. I have really grown to like the character of the Thumb, even though I think it is 1 dimensional. When I try other basses in the store, they don't seem to have the same character, so it will be hard to move one.
  5. joebar


    Jan 10, 2010
    it depends-
    i have a friend who has a thumb NT4 which is just over 8 lbs.
    i have a thumb 5 which is around 8.5 lbs.
    the smaller body shape is very comfy for a smaller statured bassist like me.
    no neck dive to me.
    i also have a thumb 6 which is around 10 lbs but that is light for a thumb 6. the tone outweighs the weight IMO.
    gorgeous, unique sound these thumbs. i agree they are kind of a one sound machine, but what a sound they make.
    i love them. there is nothing out there like them.
  6. bass12

    bass12 And Grace, too

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    Thumbs, by the nature of their small bodies and short upper horns, tend to sit horizontally or with neck dive when hanging on a strap. I found this out the hard way (bought one without trying it on a strap) and immediately returned the bass for an exchange. But still, I managed to own two different Thumbs: a 4 BO and a 5 NT (The bass I returned was a 5 BO). The only Thumb I've ever played that was on the light side was one that had an ash body, maple neck and ebony board. Every other Thumb I've tried (and I've tried quite a few, dating from the mid-80s up to the mid-2000s) has been heavy (at least 9.5 pounds). The heaviest was probably around 11.5/12 pounds and had a bubinga body and wenge neck/board.
  7. Thomas Kievit

    Thomas Kievit Guest

    May 19, 2012
    ''guitar friend who plays bass''

    You don't hear that every day...
  8. Sleepwalker42

    Sleepwalker42 Supporting Member

    Dec 30, 2008
    I have an '87 one, bubinga body, wenge neck, slightly over 9 lbs, no neck dive. Older ones had a very thin neck, also the headstock was carved on the tuners area.
  9. Adam Wright

    Adam Wright Supporting Member

    Jun 6, 2002
    GHS Strings
    Had a 5 and a 6, both neck thru. Horrible balance but a great unique sound that I absolutely love and haven't found in any other bass.
  10. bigsnack


    Aug 24, 2005
    Los Angeles
    I had a thumb 5 back in '99. I used to move around a lot while performing, and the thumb was the single most uncomfortable bass I had ever played. It still is to this day. It was neck heavy, and the day my pinkie finger (fretting hand) started going numb, was the day that it went up on eBay. I was so upset with the bass, I let it go for a ridiculous price. Someone got a smoking deal on that one!!!

    I'm a really small guy, so maybe it would be different for someone taller.
    comatosedragon likes this.
  11. I've owned a couple of BO4 s and 3 BO5s- a wide fretted and narrow/standard fretted and fretless. The 4s were not bad but certainly more neck-divey than say a Fender.. The 5s were quite a bit worse, and all of them were heavy. The wide fretted five was UNGODLY heavy. For me the tone was worth it in the case of the 4s, but I couldn't hang w/the 5s after awhile.
  12. Wallace320

    Wallace320 Commercial User

    Mar 19, 2012
    Milan, Italy
    Neckdivin' and very heavy

    The 5 stringer with broadneck is one of the very best soundin' basses I've ever come across (and couldn't afford)
    It got everything I wanted back then:
    Two side by side bridge positioned single coils;
    A neck wide n'flat, capable (thanks to 2 pieces Warwick bridge) of one of the flattest action out there;
    A bubinga body

    And 12lbs

  13. Martinyeomans


    Mar 4, 2012
    For what it's worth I've had my Thumb BO5 for a couple of years now and love it. Mine is light, nicely balanced and has virtually no neck dive. I do find that the sharp edges of the nut irritate my thumb and sometimes the side of my index finger but, otherwise, the fit and balance of it is great.
  14. Ian_Flash


    Jan 17, 2013
    Warwicks with denser woods (Bubinga, Ovangkol) tend to be overall heavier and the Thumb Bolt-Ons are a tad lighter than the Neck-thru's. The short horn and small body does make them more neck-heavy than any typical "J-Bass" profile BUT this is much less of an issue when the bass is on a strap and not slung down too low. It is true that the older '80-is ones had thinner, lighter necks but the new ones have more Ovangkol in the neck laminate which is lighter than Bubinga. Everyone seems to agree as I do, that they love the sound, response and power of the Thumb. It's in a class by itself!
  15. vernhillbass


    May 11, 2012
    Fixed the terrible neck dive on my BO 4 Thumb permanently...sold it!
  16. I have a '89 five string NT Thumb and while the bass is heavy (10+ lbs), I've never felt any neck dive.

    IMO, while getting advise is always good, you need to put one in your hands before you decide.
  17. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND
    I had an '04 Thumb 6 BO. It was fairly heavy (around 10-11 lbs), but I never had any issues with neck dive. I did play it fairly high, with a wider strap. Don't know if that helped or not, but I always found it a very comfortable bass to play. Loved the tone, but ultimately couldn't deal with the narrow (16.5mm) string spacing---my main bass at the time was an SSI 5 string with 20mm spacing.
    comatosedragon likes this.
  18. Dragan


    Oct 5, 2009
    uhh,I guess all these posts kills any desire for having a W thumb! as for my 2 cents, I remember mine, neck dive,but not so heavy as it was 4 stringer and not bubinga body I think...beautiful sound tho..however, its been sold 4 weeks after purchase.
  19. In my experience, the whole neck dive issue depends quite a lot on the model (BO or NT) and the year the bass was made. I own two thumbs, an '86 and '88, and neither has the neck dive problem, but that is because back then Warwick was just starting out and the attention to detail and 'hand made' factor were substantially better. The necks were thinner (especially in the '85-'87 Thumbs), the heels were much nicely carved, etc.. In terms of the weight, they are definitely on the heavy side, especially considering how small the body is. This, of course, is due to the wood selection. I personally love mine and would never get rid of them, but everyone's different.
  20. duckman


    Jan 16, 2011
    Ghent Belgium
    I had a beautiful but terribly heavy 97 bubinga Corvette std and switched to a 93 Wick B.O two years ago. No problem with neck dive ( I use a wide Gibson strap) or It's weight ( modest 3,5 kilo).

    This said I tried a dirty blond a While ago and neck dive was an issue. Very light Bass though

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