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Warwick Tone but Ergonomic?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by ii7-V7, Mar 28, 2015.

  1. ii7-V7


    Aug 4, 2002
    Baltimore, MD
    Years ago I had a Warwick Thumb with tone to die for. But, it weighed 11lbs, and all of it seemed to be in the headstock. I felt like I needed a third arm to play it. So, I'm in the market for a bass now (probably $600 to $750 range) and I'd love to get that sound, but I just can't deal that the poor ergonomics of the Warwicks that I've played.

    Is there a way to get that growly sound without playing a warwick? Can I get some MEC pickups and slap them in something like an Ibanez? What do you think?
  2. Doctor J

    Doctor J

    Dec 23, 2005
    I would say try Streamer LX, very comfortable without neck dive but has the growl.
    anavar and TechJunky like this.
  3. mmbongo

    mmbongo Five Time World Champion Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    If you can find an Ibanez that uses the same exact woods, weight, and pickup placement then it might get you close.
    embellisher likes this.
  4. TechJunky


    Aug 31, 2009
    Columbus, OH
    I would suggest the same.

    Also, an old fortress (non rockbass version) is another quality choice. Those balance extremely well, though they're flat bodied instead of contoured, but does have cutouts.
  5. Happynoj


    Dec 5, 2006
    I like turtles.
    The Thumb sound doesn't come from the MEC electronics, it comes from the pickup placement. Slap a set of EMGs and it'll still sound like a Thumb.
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2015
  6. My Warwick Corvette is extremely light and as balanced as any bass I've ever played
  7. socialleper

    socialleper Bringer of doom and top shelf beer Supporting Member

    May 31, 2009
    Canyon Country, CA
    Personally I've never heard any bass that sounds like a Thumb. It comes down to the small body and pickup placement.
    The new Pro series of Asian made Thumb basses are lighter and better balanced. The sound is 90% right.
  8. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    The Fortress was infinitely comfortable. Perfect ergonomics. I never understood why they discontinued it.
    nolezmaj and JohnnyWishbone like this.
  9. /\/\3phist0

    /\/\3phist0 Life: It's sexually transmitted and always fatal Supporting Member

    Warwick dolphin
  10. ii7-V7


    Aug 4, 2002
    Baltimore, MD
    Thanks everyone for the food for thought.

    Those would be awesome...but they are way out of my price range.
  11. /\/\3phist0

    /\/\3phist0 Life: It's sexually transmitted and always fatal Supporting Member

    the FNA (the real real) can regularly be found for under 900...
    Warwick FNA | eBay

    the rockbass series is really good of late and used ones can be found in your price range too.
  12. ii7-V7


    Aug 4, 2002
    Baltimore, MD
    Thats what I'm looking at now. I'm having a hard time finding them locally to try out. Between the Streamers And the Corvettes which are better balanced?
  13. /\/\3phist0

    /\/\3phist0 Life: It's sexually transmitted and always fatal Supporting Member

    Both about the same ' vette has a dual jazz pups Streamer can have different pickups. The streamer standard has humbuckers..
    Watch on the rock basses though... some of the earlier models have a fender style one piece bridge let later ones have the 2 piece same as the German made.. much better...
    The strap points on the front horn of the vetted and the streamer are the same (longer than the thumb)
  14. Blankandson

    Blankandson Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2010
    Gallatin, Tennessee
    My 1994 Fortress One 5-string weighs 11 pounds. But the balance is as close to perfect as you might try to get, so it doesn't kill your back, arms, or wrists. Got the growl and sustain. Well-made and hangs just right over the shoulders. It would probably bring what the new Rockbass Fortress goes for, so I'd consider the older German made Fortress.
    JohnnyWishbone likes this.
  15. anavar


    Oct 10, 2013
    my bass tone can beat up your dad's bass tone.
    this x100

    look at getting a 2011-13 pro series streamer, or for a cheaper option, try getting a rockbass vette/fortress or streamer NT1.

    Or, you could buy a 2011-13 pro series thumb bass. they're made with ovangkol/wenge/maple so they're much lighter then the NT models but have the same pickup placement and electronics, less the mid range boost/cut. I swear that the pro series models are slightly larger then the german models and they hang off the body really well.

    i mean, this is a pretty hefty power stance and the balance is just fine.

  16. jg42


    Jul 12, 2012
  17. mmbongo

    mmbongo Five Time World Champion Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
  18. I had this exact dilemma. The Thumb Bass is the best-sounding and looking bass I've ever had, but I just couldn't deal with the ergonomics.
    As has been pointed out here, Warwick has other models that balance much better and still give you that "sound of wood", but the Thumb's pickup placement has a lot to do with its particular sound.
    My custom Roscoe (see profile pic) was an attempt to get close to that sound with better ergonomics. I couldn't afford to do an all-wenge neck, but it's got a wenge fretboard, mahogany body and the "JB" pickup placement (neck pickup closer to the bridge, but the pickups aren't angled.) It's a great-sounding bass and the balance is perfect. But nothing growls quite like a Thumb.

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