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Warwick vs MM Stingray

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by matdras, Apr 27, 2012.

  1. So I'm in the market for a 4 string bass that has some serious growl. I can't spend more than $1500 and I would like the bass to be new. My hands are on the larger side, so a beefy neck is what I'm shooting for (probably with a maple fretboard). The bass' weight will not be a factor. My goal is to have an axe that will cut through the mix like one of those fancy chef's knives. The music I play is a mixture of jazz, funk, and rock (I know, I'm not sticking out in the crowd). I have an Ibanez BTB776 (6 string) that plays like a charm, but sounds very transparent in the mix and makes slapping very difficult due to the tight string spacing. I also play a fretless Fender Jazz, which is a lifelong keeper, but now I'm looking for her butch lover (the assertive one in the relationship).

    Today I played my first Stingray (with just the one humbucker), and was very pleased with the overall sound and feel, despite the fact that the guys at guitar center didn't bother to set it up. The bite was vicious with the eq boosted, but I think that's common knowledge.

    If it wasn't for my Warwick fetish my mind would probably be made up. Unfortunately no stores in my area carry any wick's so I have never been able to get my hands on one. A few days ago, I attended an Andy Irvine clinic. I positioned myself right in front of his amp and was very impressed with the tone of his Korean built Pro Series Streamer LX (with p/j mec pickups). It did not sound transparent at all, as I have heard some are.

    So here I am, a very indecisive man...

    Am I looking for humbuckers, or will a p/j configuration give me the growl that I crave? Did I play the bass of my dreams today, or am I just going through another phase? Do I need another drink?
    Any opinions, advice, or general rants that you knowledge TBer's could share with me would be greatly appreciated.
  2. Growl? G&L L2000.
  3. If you're looking for a nice 4 string bass, look into a Spector Euro 4LX, you can find them in a P/J config or hum buckers, they're very growly basses.

    I personally play a Euro 5LX and love this bass to death, I'm very happy I bought it and will own another in the future. By the way, EMG makes a P/J set in a humbucker casing for 5 string players.
  4. tonymcbony


    Mar 21, 2006
    I've had both.

    Once you get a Warwick you'll hear the Warwick growl everywhere. Unfortunately it's in a lot of Nu Metal, and even worse is that a great bass player using Warwick is in Limp Bizkit. Approach with trepidation, but a lot of their Chocolate Starfish album has great bass tone from a Warwick. I can't believe I just pointed someone in that direction but there you go. Contrast that to the first Rage Against the Machine album which is all Stingray.

    I really hate Warwick Electronics, I find them anemic and EQs centered at frequencies that aren't particularly useful, but the unplugged bass growls like a mofo (I had a Streamer LX with Wenge neck). Warwick basses have a very fat low end thats more like a dog's growl.

    Stingrays look a bit cooler and have a compressed aggressive bite in the treble. If a Warwick is a dog's growl, Stingrays are more like its bark.

    On your experience, I'd be saying Stingray but GAS is a bitch and you might not be satisfied without at least dallying with a Warwick. Used or new, I would totally recommend buying the Stingray first as it'll take less of a hit being sold on later if you're not totally won over by it.

    Hope that 2c is worth something to you.
  5. Slowgypsy

    Slowgypsy 4 Fretless Strings

    Dec 12, 2006
    NY & MA
    Another consideration is the curved back of the Warwick. When I first tried one I thought it was the best instrument I ever wore. But for some reason, after an hour or so it wasn't the best instrument I ever wore. At the end of the day I found a flat backed Stingray more comfortable. Just another point to ponder.
  6. Duckwater


    May 10, 2010
    USA, Washington
    Try a Warwick thumb, it's the growliest bass I can think of. The P/J config has quite a bit as well, but it's a rounder, less aggressive tone.
  7. nashman


    Feb 11, 2011
    Stingray or Stingray Classic - try a double humbucker model.
  8. Means2nEnd

    Means2nEnd Supporting Member

    For me there is Warwick and then all other basses. I have owned several MM and the Warwicks are just more versatile. There are usually great deals on used ones too.

    BUT! All that being said you mentioned you weren’t particularly fond of tight string spacing for slapping. If you are not willing to hold out for used Warwick broad neck (20 mm) or willing to buy a new one in the LX or Thumb series then you will not like the spacing. Just a heads up…
  9. Caca de Kick

    Caca de Kick Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    I've owned 8 Warwicks and 25 Musicmans. The MM's sound way more alive and dynamic by far.
  10. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2008
    Tampa, FL.

    I've owned 4 Warwicks and 7 or 8 EBMM basses, and, while both were amazing, my nod goes towards the EBMM basses when it comes to growl and punchy, aggressiveness.
  11. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2008
    Tampa, FL.
    Also, StingRays are just a better deal in the U.S. Warwicks are waaaay too expensive new - and this is coming from a guy who loves himself a good Warwick.
  12. +1
    But...being a Warwick nut, I'd say Thumb.
  13. brotherbassj


    Sep 20, 2008
    Jim Dunlop USA, King Kong Cases, Golden Eagle Energy Drink
    I say get a good used Warwick Streamer Jazzman. The professional pnut model looks good too(1500-1600 new).......not the signature series..its 6k. I think that the streamer jazzman has the most versatile pickup combo off all the warwicks. I have owned both ebmm and warwick and always come back to Warwick......my 2 cents
  14. crustychef


    Apr 4, 2009
    Seattle WA
    If you want new, go stingray. I love Warwicks. They are all I play these days, but I won't pay for them new. Every used one I've owned has been amazing and well taken care of. 4 string Warwicks have wider spacing than the 5's and 6's. I think it's adjustable between 17.5-19mm. A passive bubinga corvette standard will bark, bite and growl through anything. I had the fretless version for a couple years and it cut through the mix better than my Stingray I had at the time. They have a flat back too if that's a concern. The stingray is a slap machine if that's what you are after though.
  15. crustychef


    Apr 4, 2009
    Seattle WA
    My all time favorite.
  16. crustychef


    Apr 4, 2009
    Seattle WA
  17. BIG97BEN


    Sep 12, 2011
    Richmond VA
    I was thinking the same things when I was bass shopping a few years ago. I really liked both MM and Warwick basses. What eventually sold me on my Warwick was the neck profile (I to have large hands) and also the contoured body. I though it was much more comfortable and have not looked back since.
  18. ynot12

    ynot12 Supporting Member

    Mar 7, 2012
    Elk Grove Village, IL
    To the OP. I played a EBMM for about 15 years and loved it. About that time I got that same Warwick itch that you have, then bought a new Warwick Corvette 5 string. I fell in love with the Wick and ended up selling the Stingray to but a Warwick Thumb 5 to go with the Thumb 4 I picked up along the way. Although I do miss the Stingray occasionally, I do not regret selling it for the Thumb. I still have both Thumbs and love them. Growwwwwwl. P.S. I bought a new Spector Rebop 5 string about a month ago and it's awesome! Less than $1,400, too.
  19. Thank you all for your insight.