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Warwick Thumbs and Balance

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Lyle Caldwell, Sep 13, 2004.


  1. Lyle Caldwell

    Lyle Caldwell

    Sep 7, 2004
    Memphis
    My bolt on Thumb 5 has really grown on me. I especially love the neck.

    But the balance is a real pain. Even with a big Comfort Strapp, it still wants to be more horizontal, while I prefer to have it at an angle with the nut about even with my left shoulder.

    I've seen that neck throughs and some older bolt ons have the strap button on the bass bout rather than centered behind the bridge. Mine is centered.

    For those who have played both styles, am I correct in thinking that moving the strap button to the bass bout would help the bass balance at more of an angle?

    I don't want to drill any holes unless it will really positively affect playability. If it's beneficial, then I would have the strap buttons recessed into the body like the older Warwicks. The butt end of the bass would have two recessed strap points, one in the center and one offset on the bass bout. I think this would be aesthetically pleasing and minimize depreciation.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. 6 string demon

    6 string demon

    Mar 23, 2003
    my 1990 nt thumb has the rear button off set and i achieve the exact strap position you described with a comfort strap. i have no real balance issues what so ever. its just real heavy :D
     
  3. bill_banwell

    bill_banwell Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2002
    England
    My thumb bolt on 4 string is quite heavy, mainly cos its evangkol (or however you spell it) its heavier that bubinga, but yeah, your shoulders will get used to it...
     
  4. Dr. Funk

    Dr. Funk

    Oct 10, 2001
    Virginia
    Lyle,

    I had a second recessed strap lock installed on my Thumb about four inches above the original. It was done by a Warwick dealer and he did a really nice job. It did help raise the neck to a more comfortable level, however, it still doesn't hang like a jazz bass. I would recommend having it done as long as you get a pro to do it.

    Kevin
     
  5. main_sale

    main_sale

    Apr 26, 2004
    Cape Cod
    I agree that "neck dive" is a real problem with these. I have a neck through Thumb 4. I've seen 4" extensions for the neck side strap mount, but they look ugly. however, they do work. I got a wide strap and wear it high, and that helps. I don't think moving the rear strap mount would do much or anything to cure the "neck dive".
     
  6. bill_banwell

    bill_banwell Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2002
    England
    The higher you wear the strap the less it weighs?.. or is easier on your shoulder?
     
  7. cosmodrome

    cosmodrome Registered User

    Apr 30, 2004
    ****town, Netherlands
    i have the same problem lyle. a good rough strap helps a bit but i'm also considering moving the straplock. the thought of drilling holes in my bass terrifies me though. please keep me posted on your intentions.

    cosmo
     
  8. Dr. Funk

    Dr. Funk

    Oct 10, 2001
    Virginia
    The thought of drilling holes in your bass should terrify you.
    That's why you should have a certified Warwick rep. do it for you.
     
  9. cosmodrome

    cosmodrome Registered User

    Apr 30, 2004
    ****town, Netherlands
    I just sent an email to dana b goods from warwick tech to advise me about this. I don't mind sending it to the factory in Germany if I have to.

    I just saw a tape from some shows we've done and I noticed the strange bending of my back and wrists. I have to do something about this.
     
  10. cosmodrome

    cosmodrome Registered User

    Apr 30, 2004
    ****town, Netherlands
    This is the answer i got from Warwick tech.


    Robbert, there are a couple things you can do: put lighter weight tuners on it - Hipshot makes "Ultra Light" tuners. Or, a little more radical: put on a horn extender as some players have done. I will send a picture so you see what I mean. It's just a piece of aluminum strap that has been bent & drilled to fit.
    We haven't found that moving the strap location helps that much.
    Rob Busch/Warwick USA technical support


    those extensions look awful. now what?
     
  11. The balance of the bass is connected to my more pressing problem -- it's top-heavy because the neck extends farther than something like a Fender. Yes, both are 34" scale, but I need to reach about 3" farther to get to my 1st fret and that exacerbates my shoulder injury.

    Can anyone show me a photo of a horn extension or where they move the strap pin to at the bridge-end of the bass? I do not know the term "the bout of the bass".

    If I sell it... I'll miss it...

    thanks
    Paul
     
  12. Scots bass lessons strap. Not kidding it actually did it for me on my thumb nt 6 basses. Way better than all the other straps I've tried. they are 120 bucks right now free shipping at scotts bass lessons they only have like 30 or so left. Try it out you won't even believe it how well it works.
     
  13. ixlramp

    ixlramp

    Jan 25, 2005
    UK
    A horn extension will make a difference, moving the rear strap button upwards won't make much difference.
    Thumb design is inherently unbalanced and made for horizontal left-shifted playing, hence the name, it's a slapping bass.

    What will help is the rear strap button on body front at the top halfway along the body length, this also helps by shifting the bass to the right. But it seems that would be too radical for you. However only radical actions will help. This is the problem with having a bass too nice to experiment with.

    Another idea is some clever strap system (dual shoulder strap?) that hangs the bass from the horn button only.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2017
  14. ixlramp

    ixlramp

    Jan 25, 2005
    UK
    Here's a idea with no drilling needed.
    Find a strap which has a loop at one end, the loop formed by the length adjustment, for example the Warwick Rockstrap.
    Hook the loop of one end of the strap over the top horn, then attach the other end of the strap to the button, then both ends have attached to the top horn and balance should be far better, as well as being shifted to the right.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2017
  15. Mastodon2

    Mastodon2

    Feb 27, 2008
    I'd be interested to see a source on that with confirmation from Warwick themselves. I've never seen any evidence to suggest the bass was designed for slapping (any more than any other bass) or that they named it as such.
     
  16. DDXdesign

    DDXdesign formerly 'jammadave' Supporting Member

    Oct 15, 2003
    Wash DC metro area
    So, it's a bolt-on, right? you can likely get a piece of metal machined that is basically a neck plate that has a unicorn-horn or brontosaurus-neck shaped extension that comes up to the 12th fret area and has a strap peg bolted to it. I believe this is what the ASAT extenders that one member was making were like, and it's similar to what some Steinberger broom basses have going on as well. I would use something like that myself now (but at one point awhile back I had a pair of Thumb basses and somehow just tried to live with the reach!)
     
  17. BassBuzzRS

    BassBuzzRS

    Oct 18, 2005
    Norway
    Still it's true. Research it. It's even a signature bass originally.
     
  18. Mastodon2

    Mastodon2

    Feb 27, 2008
    I know it was originally a signature bass, but I can't find any evidence of the name correlating with the function and design. It's not like the Streamer, Corvette, Dolphin, Vampyre, Katana etc relate to their functions at all.

    I remain open minded and would love to see a Warwick-verified source, but I can't find anything myself, having looked. Thumbs are my favourite basses so naturally I want to know everything I can about them.
     
  19. BassBuzzRS

    BassBuzzRS

    Oct 18, 2005
    Norway
    WarwickJohnDavis02.
     
  20. ixlramp

    ixlramp

    Jan 25, 2005
    UK
    I could be wrong, i just seem to remember that. I used to think the name was due to the horn being a little thumb-like.
    I'm guessing the pickup placement is to provide more space for popping.
    The design may not be too bad for horizontal playing with a 4 string, but a widespread problem with bass design is how the same body shape is used for 5 and 6 string version of a bass.