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Warwick wood body question

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Skywalker22, Aug 8, 2007.

  1. Skywalker22

    Skywalker22 Guest

    First off, I tried joining the warwick forums to ask about this but I've been waiting to be approved for posting.. so here I go:
    I'm having a Thumb Bolt-on customized and the amount of choices make it hard to decide on things. What I have decided on:
    Wenge neck/fingerboard
    32" scale
    Kahler Tremolo
    3 way active electronics
    Twinn J at bridge, Single J at Neck

    The main thing I need to get (obviously) is the body. First, my style: Mostly fingerstyle over the bridge side, quick and punchy; some slap and strumming.
    Some ideas I had:
    Swamp ash back with Bubinga top - hopefully a growly and present attack.
    Mahogany back with Purpleheart top - More present highs with good pop and growl
    or should I just stick with their ovangkol body?

    I'm very open to suggestions. I don't care as much for how it all looks as how it all sounds.
    I thought with the Wenge/Wenge fingerboard/neck it would have a nice mid growl. I want the body compliment that while also bringing out the highs. I dont need SO much bass in there. Thanks everyone.
  2. Double Agent

    Double Agent

    Mar 10, 2006
    Lakeland, FL
    Sounds sweet...I would like all swamp ash myself, but I think the bubinga top would work nicely too. Mahogany sounds kinda dark to my ears.

    1 vote for Swamp ash/bubinga.
  3. crice31721


    Oct 23, 2006
    Folsom, CA
    I'll second the swamp ash/bubinga combo. I have a katana, with swamp ash and it sounds great, but is missing a bit of that growl. It's my understanding that most of that growl comes from the bubinga. Excellent choice for best of both worlds.
  4. My Corvette Proline (flamed maple body) fits that description. And before anybody says it, no it's not overly bright. It's actually pretty well-balanced tonally. Mahogany might be too dark for you and I don't really think swamp ash is that "quick and punchy", IME and IMO.
  5. Have you tried the 2006 Thumb 'Dirty Blonde'. Poplar on swamp ash with a maple neck. I love mine. Has the p/u configuration your'e looking for too.

    The sound seems to fit your bill. Also quite light (weightwise) without losing tone.
  6. CBBass123

    CBBass123 Supporting Member

    Oct 18, 2005
    Bubinga Pommele is oh so sweet...:cool:
  7. Go the curly bubinga body if weight isnt an issue. Its more "dense" than the others and is all soooo warmmmmm.

  8. Skywalker22

    Skywalker22 Guest

    thank you all for your thoughtful replies. I decided that i probably wouldn't get toooo much of a difference from the swirly bubinga (I played a FNA Jazz 2002 with the top today). I really like the natural growl of the ovangkol body.. so why spend so much more for a smaller difference.
    I actually DO have a dirty blonde (6 of 086) :) it's what got me into Warwick basses. It's been a dream. The only thing is that I realllly want a trem and the picollo 32" scale (I love the 32"). so I'm going with this:
    Thumb BO 4 string
    Ovangkol body and neck (stock)
    Wenge Fingerboard (stock)
    32" scale, 24 frets (upgrade)
    Kahler Trem (upgrade)
    3 way active preamps (upgrade from two-way)
    Active J Pickups (stock)
    It'll be around 2500 vs. the 3900 of the Swirly top. The price for the Thumb BO from my dealer is 1680. So changing the scale adds about 250, the electronics are 150, and the Kahler itself is around 250+ plus carving out a spot for it bring me into the 2500 region. When I asked for the Ash back and Bubinga top and to change the pickups, it brought me up over 1000 more.

    Fairly basic, but I get what I want. I always liked the Thumb BO sound and if I can get the few things that I feel I need, then I'm happy. It won't be as aesthetically pleasing as what I listed before, but it's more practical and it'll still sound great.
    The downside is that I have to trade in the Blonde to afford it. I'm not too worried. The shop here has a hard time moving high end stuff, so I can just buy it back in a year. And if it's gone, I can get another custom with a similar tone but with some of my own preferences. I don't need the luxury of having a limited edition bass and all that. Sound and playability first, luxuries and visual aesthetics second.
  9. Skywalker22

    Skywalker22 Guest

    I guess the next thing I will need help with is an amp to compliment the woody grit and growl of the thumb. I've been playing a few different amps lately. I've been liking the Mesa Walkabout Scout a lot, but I also tried a Fender 250/210 with a 15" cab underneath and it sounded killer for a smaller price. Basically, I really liked how the Fender brought out the wood from the Thumb I was playing. But, I've never really trusted the longevity of some fender amps (heard bad stories, and I had a bad experience with an amp years ago). So, I like the juice and clean tone of the Mesa, and the Woody Grit of the Fender. So, what does anyone think of the GK Gallien-Krueger 700RB-II Bass Head or 1001RB? I'm very open to suggestions.
  10. Have you actually placed an order yet? I have a couple of critques but i'd rather not go through them if you just pulled the trigger :)
  11. Skywalker22

    Skywalker22 Guest

    i figuredI would think about it for a few days. So, I haven't ordered yet. Suggestions welcome, as always.
  12. funkybassplayer

    funkybassplayer Commercial User

    Sep 16, 2003
    Longview, TX
    Nordstrand Audio, Epifani
    I purple heart top on a thumb? I would LOVE to see that. if you are going to go with the bubinga/wenge nack with the wenge fingerboard then i would say to go with the bubinga body. my '88 Thumb neck through is all bubinga and wenge and i still can't get over how much i love the tone it has
  13. Cool... as an owner of a 1997 NT Thumb 5, and someone who's been windowshopping Custom Warwick's for awhile, here's my thoughts:

    I absolutely *love* the swirly bubinga that Warwick has. I would go for it in a heartbeat if I could, however your earlier post says the difference is $1400 to get that, which is alot more than I would pay for that upgrade. I remember reading a pricelist for the Warwick custom shop and the swirly bubinga top was not nearly that kind of an price difference. I think the "different pickups" is alot of that increase.

    If I was going to get the Swirly Bubinga top I would get a Walnut body personally. To be honest I think they would probably do a regular Bubinga body with it if you wanted the sweet looking Swirly top but didn't want a non-bubinga wood in the body.

    The biggest question I had from your original post was why you had chosen the Thumb Bolt-On model, particularly since you were planning to change the pickup configuration. I honestly believe the biggest reason for the "thumb sound" is the stock pickup configuration, particularly the double J angled near the bridge configuration of the 5-string version. In addition, I do not know if you have played a Thumb yourself, but the balance is generally not that great. So, for me the idea of getting a Thumb, but changing the pickup configuration, was a bit backwards, if that makes sense.

    For what you were originally trying to do, it would seem to make sense to start with one of the other models, say, the Corvette or maybe the Streamer, get the options you want, the pickups you want, and it may not even cost you that much. FWIW, the Infinity SN comes with the single/twin J configuration, so that might be an option as well. In addition, they seem to be favoring the MM/J configuration lately, and though I have no experience with that, I would take a long hard look at the different models that come with it, as it may be very similar (or even nicer) than the J/JJ configuration, and would open up your options a ton.

    I don't know if you've gotten signed up at the Warwick Custom Shop forum or not yet, but those guys seem to be pretty knowledgeable/helpful so they can probably steer you in the right direction as well.

    FWIW, I love Warwick's to death and for a long time my dream bass was a Custom Shop Warwick, but the way their prices have gone and the weakening of the dollar, added to the fact that there are so many great custom luthiers here in North America, it just stopped making sense money-wise to consider it. Don't let that stop you though, if it's what you want!

  14. Skywalker22

    Skywalker22 Guest

    Absolutely wonderful reply.
    I was going for bolton because it allows you to shorten the scale to 32" and they won't do that with neckthru. I have a dirty blonde and the pickup configuration i wanted is what is on that.. btw, the dirty blonde is a thumb bolt. I have since played the thumb more extensively.. for about 4 hours in my local music shop, and I wound up diggin the sound of the bolt and the pickup config.

    What do you mean by the comment about faulty balance?

    And I did play a Warwick Vett with a walnut back and swirly top. I think it's the 2002 limited edition. you can check it out at warwick.de
    I liked it a lot, but I don't know about the expense. I wish they would just list what certain woods cost on different models and all. It would be much easier than requesting an estimate and than waiting a day.
    Where did you find a price list?

    I'm an indecisive guy. Here is what I know I want on the bass:
    32" bolt on, 24 frets
    the stock pickups are cool by me
    3way active preamp
    stock hardware

    I started thinking about a custom because i wanted the Kahler trem(possibly the most expensive addition, adds around 7-800 to the final cost i think). Now, I'm wondering if this is really something that I'll use often enough to warrant the price.
    I can't decide on the woods. I love the Wenge fingerboard, I'm unclear on the neck and body. There are a lot of ideas and I know the sound I want. It's just figuring out how to get that sound.
  15. Hey, thanks :)

    Actually, I should clarify. I was asking about the "thumb" part, not so much the bolt-on part.

    Well, in short, the Thumb body style just does not balance that well. The upper horn is much too short to balance properly, I love my thumb to death but I basically have to hold the neck up with my left arm the entire time I am playing it, which is a waste of energy really.The thumb does have a very unique and distinct sound, however i'd have to say the body style has very little do with it, and everything to do with the pickup config.

    Someone on the warwick custom shop forum posted one, I gotta run but i'll see if I can dig it up later.
  16. Azoore


    Sep 1, 2004
    Akron, OH
  17. Skywalker22

    Skywalker22 Guest

    Thanks. These are things I've been looking for. Now I don't have to bother Warwick and my local shop with requests for a bunch of different estimates. I appreciate all of the input.

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