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Warwick vs. Fender

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by jonas_24112, Jan 18, 2013.

  1. jonas_24112


    Jul 11, 2011
    I currently play a Fender American Standard Jazz V and love the bass. I need a back up 5'er and want a Warwick. I will be buying used, but really know nothing of the different quality levels...i.e. Rockbass vs. Pro Series vs. German made. It seems sometimes you see an ad for a Rockbass Corvette, then another for a Corvette Standard and I can't tell if a Standard is Rockbass or just an older line of similar quality to the Rockbass.....it's confusing to me.

    I believe in paying for decent quality instruments. I'm a good enough player that I can make do with a cheaper instrument, but I can still feel the quality in my hands when it's there. Either that, or it's just in my head.

    So, out of the Corvette's, which series would be considered of similar quality to a U.S. Made Jazz?
  2. bassaram


    Dec 31, 2012
    Philadelphia, PA
    German-made would be the equivalent to a USA Fender.
  3. For a long time, the Corvette Standard was their entry-level, German manufactured bass with passive electronics but otherwise comparable to their best instruments. A couple years ago, they shifted the "Standard" series to the "Pro" line, which is made in Korea. The Rockbass line has always been made in China, but they improved the Rockbass line considerably a couple years back when they started using the standard Warwick 2-piece bridge instead of the high mass fender style bridge they had been using previously.

    All that aside, when shopping for a Warwick I would strongly suggest you take a look at the used market, as there are many German Warwicks available used for less than the Pro or even Rockbass series cost new!
  4. I would say maybe one step up from Fender standard USA stuff. But, comparable.
  5. Dug2

    Dug2 Supporting Member

    Sep 24, 2011
    a german made standard. the rockbass is korean made and not nearly as nice as far as
    quality. i have a german thumb currently and just sold a rockbass corvette 5str, nite and day between the two. good luck, try and check out as much as possible, good luck choosing the right one.
  6. I dont believe the Rockbass line was ever produced anywhere but China, Dug. And the Standard series is no longer made in Germany.

    It's difficult to compare the Warwick product lines to Fender because they don't really go straight across. For instance, even on bolt-on Warwicks, each neck is hand-fitted to the body. I don't believe that is true of MIA Fenders, which have pretty inconsistent neck fits compared to Warwicks. I'm not saying that neck fit is even important, but Warwicks seem to get more attention at the plant. Then again, they make fewer basses than Fender, so you'd expect that.
  7. The german ones are great basses. Plus you can get a nice german bolt on corvette for ~$800ish used, sometimes less if it's a bit more of a "player's" bass. That said, I played a rockbass at Sam Ash a few months ago and honestly it played great as well. The german one will certainly hold its value better though.
  8. +1

    My German Warwick was $470 out the door. Needed a refinish so I gave it some Walnut stain. It was as smooth as glass but my tone goals changed and I got rid of it. Hell of a player though. Mine was a 94 pro vette custom with all maple wood components except for the fretboard. The story from Warwick is it was a custom built. Not many of that model even entered the US. If I would have had a few hundred bucks, I would have taken the time to try different pres in it.
  9. I would pay no more than $650 used for a bolt-on German Corvette. Standards often go for $500.
  10. bongostealth

    bongostealth Supporting Member

    Jun 3, 2011
    Atlanta, GA
    Used German-made Warwicks are they way to go because of their value. Super-quality constructions and materials at a great price point! You can't beat them! In my opinion, USA Fender is not even on the radar.
  11. jonas_24112


    Jul 11, 2011
    OP here. Thanks very much TBasser's. You answered my question perfectly. I really liked the German made standards and there seem to be a bunch of used ones out there at the price point I was looking for. I'm in no hurry and will shop around till I find the right one. Ya'll take care.
  12. fuzzychaos


    Mar 17, 2008
    I believe the Pro series is made in Korea and the Rockbass line is made in China.
  13. Yup. And the current "Standard" (Corvette and Streamer) are, confusingly enough, part of the Pro series.
  14. paganjack


    Dec 25, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    The German ones are dang nice instruments but definitely different beasts from fenders. Much more modern sounding overall IME.
  15. Fenwick


    Dec 9, 2012
    Definitely a step up. All the Korean Pro Series I've tried have felt better (build quality) than American Standards too, but yes comparable.

    The Rockbasses I've tried have felt/sounded cheap, definitely not in line with Am St, Pro Series or German.
  16. From the perspective of tone-range, I think the combination of a Fender and a Warwick as part of your gear will compliment your sound perfectly.
  17. dbd1963


    May 18, 2010
    Northern Virginia
    Get a German Warwick if you can get a good deal. I just got a Thumb BO for a decent price. I found that I could have gotten one for less if I had been trawling the classifieds forum late last year, but I won't complain. I love my 'Wick.

    I have never owned an American Standard, but with Fenders I've noted, from taking them off a wall at GC or seeing others in comparison to mine, that you can get a good or bad Fender no matter where it was made.

    I feel like the quality of my Chinese made Modern Player is excellent for it's price. The neck is flawless. The only thing I don't like about it are the pickups seem to be on the cheap side. It's easy to overdrive them, even after backing them off.

    My GL-necked Fender has a Mexican body, and there are some small problems though these may well be from abuse from former owners. The BAII had been swapped off for an ill fitting Schaller or something. There are lots of problems with the screw holes. The neck, which was made in Japan, is quite nice, but the bass does have some issues in loudness up the middle of the neck until you hit the 12th fret. It's beautiful, but not exactly gig-worthy. Luckily, my son loves it and is using it as his learning bass.

    Meanwhile, and old 1995 Mexican P-Bass is just about perfect.
  18. That Sustain

    That Sustain Banned

    Jan 14, 2013
    All German made Warwick's are boutique level basses in my opinion.
  19. I got lucky with my purchase too. I bought a new German Thumb BO 6 for just $1,600. It had been sitting in the story's inventory for awhile, listed at $2,271. When I asked to try it, they said I was the first person in months to ask to test a 6-string bass. I asked them about the best price they could offer. The salesman phoned upstairs. I did not expect the answer to be $1,600.
  20. PWRL


    Sep 15, 2006
    Having both works for me.