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Discussion in 'Warwick Basses' started by Zarathustra3, Jan 3, 2013.
Has anyone here played a Wenge or Ovangkol neck before? How do they compare to maple?
I have had about 5 Warwicks with Ovangkol and a Thumb 6 BO with a Wenge neck.
To be honest with you, after playing Wenge and Ovangkol, Maple feels like cheap wood. To me, Maple does not have anywhere near the character, tone, and quality of these other two woods.
Ovankgol feels classier and sturdier. It's not as bright as maple but not as warm as Wenge. Wenge feels great! It has a warmer tone to it. It's also quite sturdy. It seems to me that both of these woods don't warp as often as Maple.
I own and play both. I am by no means a 1 or 2 bass playing guy I see all my basses as colors to work with for each playing style and song Im doing. There a so many components that contribute to the whole of an instrument in how it feels, plays, sounds, and hold up. The feeling of a hand oiled and waxed Warwick neck be it wenge or Ovankol or combinations of are what feels like home to me.
Every piece of wood can be different in how it will affect the tone of the instrument even from the same tree. Wood is organic and can vary in density and stiffness from species to species and limb to limb. Saying this wood always gives this result is a generalization but for sure there are inherent qualities of each and you can get an idea of what it will give to the whole of an instrument. Wood does matter but there are no absolutes with one kind of wood to another. I do love the exotic woods Warwick uses to me in my opinion the woods like wenge, ovangkol, bubinga, ebony, Afzelia etc... Help give my Warwick basses a percussive punchy growly tone like no other. When I play my Warwicks to me I can hear the trees that were used right in the tone of my bass hence the Sound of Wood none of my other traditional and nontraditional basses made of maple and ash ever give that sort of thing in my amplified tone never. Its not for everyone but for me there is nothing out there like it and its one of the many reasons my main basses will always be Warwick made with those woods.
I favor Ovangkol and Wenge as well. They just feel better. Part of it could be the oil finish (just like I prefer the feel of Musicman necks over most other satin and gloss finished maple necks), but the grain, on Wenge in particular, has a different feel that is so comfortable and smooth. I also agree that maple can feel "cheap" sometimes, though that's not always the case. It's just something you've gotta try. In all honesty, though, the feel of the wood itself plays less in my mind than the shape/profile in most cases. That's another area where Warwicks can be different, especially with their thicker profiles, so definitely try before you buy.
I need a ticket to have the custom shop in New York for myself a bit and try all of them out >_>
The Streamer LX I just picked up has an Ovangkol neck with a Wenge fretboard, and after years of Fender-playing, I have to say that I was quite impressed with how much warmth and character that particular combination adds to the instrument's voice. The feel of the Ovangkol is very fast, smooth and enjoyable, as well.
+1 to this.
The ovangkol and wenge combination isn't the lightest combo in the world, but when you feel it in your hand its just sturdy. The care is a little more work because you have to wax it instead of just using guitar polish, but I think that untreated feeling it what makes it feel so warm to the hand once its been used a little it. Plus I just prefer the look of dark woods.
Recently I reviewed the Thumb Pro Series that has a maple neck. The advantage to the maple is that it is lighter so the instrument balanced a lot better. This helped the notorious neck dive problem this bass has as well as making it lighter over all.
Here's what you need to consider: If weight is an issue, think about a model that comes with a maple neck. If not, then I'd say don't worry about is since most of Warwick's basses use ovangkol.
I share your frustration here. I've had several conversations with the Official Warwick responder here about their inventory levels in stores, He said something is going to change after NAMM, and I sure hope so.
If the pictures of these basses is enough to create lust in my heart, imagine if I could actually play one?
Anyone have a wenge neck that has a gloss coating? Can this be done? Over the oil or somehow removing/diminishing the oil?
AndroWal - We have done high-polish finish over Wenge necks. Please let me know if you've got any questions. Thanks!
I have a Cort Artisan limited edition with a wenge neck. To me it is not about the sound, but the feel. I love it. I also own basses with maple necks, and they are not bad, but that wenge neck have a smooth feel. Even a satin maple finish can get sticky from time to time. That never happens with wenge. To me, finishing it with gloss destroys the main reason for choosing wenge.
Totally agree with you--feel is everything when it comes to a neck (Although the tone is of course affected too)
Unfinished Ovangkol or Wenge feels sturdy, smooth, and are just plain fun.
I wonder has anyone made a neck using laminations of wenge AND ovangkol.
After a lifetime of playing maple necks I've got to say that my Warwick neck is the warmest, smoothest playing one I own.
Once you try it, you'll be spoiled - I promise!
Wenge feels like a worn in maple neck to me... the texture and movement (but not shape) feel like a well worn jazz neck.