Who has WARWICKS with non-MEC pickups?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by bannedwit, Nov 28, 2005.

  1. bannedwit


    May 9, 2005
    Buffalo, NY
    I am looking to possibly throw different J-pickups in my Warwick Thumb 4 bolt on...

    My bass is from 2004 and has MEC active pickups installed...

    My questions are: how much better are aftermarket pickups for Warwicks?

    I still want that warwick sound and growl from it.
    Will i lose it with different pickups or wil lit enhance it?

    From there, I would get something active either
    or Bartolinis

    I can get the pickups but what active pre-amp should I look for to install and what would my options be for Barts?

    If Iwould go with Basslines, i know they have active pre-amps which I would go with...

    Thanks in advance
  2. mactac

    mactac Supporting Member

    Nov 28, 2005
    Victoria, BC, Canada
    I always wondered the same thing. I always felt that the MEC pickups in my corvette proline sounded brittle & thin, with little bottom end.

    Sooo... I replaced them with EMG's. Good god, what a difference. I'm shocked at how much it opened up the sound, gave it a 'blossoming' bottom end, and gave it even more growl.

    It really makes me wonder why warwick puts those MEC pickup in there... i mean the difference really was like night & day, and I can't imagine why anyone would actually want those MEC's.

    Anyways, I also have a thumb 5 bolt-on, and I've been considering doing the same thing.... My thumb has a really good growl to it, but again i fuind the bottom end pretty thin & without complexity. I also find the sound to be VERY "stifled"... and needs to be opened up.

    I haven't done it yet because 1. 5 string pickups are a lot more expenzive; and 2... the thumb is a lot different sounding than the corvette...so i just don't know.

    by the way, i notice the biggest difference in recording... it really has opened up the sound & given it a 'beef' that it never had.

    Anyone else?
  3. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Whafrodamus has EMGs in his warwick.

    His advice is that EMGs preamps suck, but the pickups are good.

    I beleive.

    I really like barts. I would put them in, with a bart preamp.
  4. OrionManMatt


    Feb 17, 2004
    ...especially because of their characteristics on the mid low-end.

    +1 on the Barts.
  5. weeks82


    Oct 10, 2001
    Southern NH

    I until recently had a 94 Corvete Proline. I had the MEC's replaced with Basslines and couldn't have been happier with the change. I always hated the MEC's in all the Warwicks I had. To me none of the growl was lost and much tone was gained. For the ultimate in tone upgrade I also junked the MEC pre and went to a Bartolini which completed a perfect Warwick sound for me. All the bite of before just better. Hope this helps.
  6. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    +1 on bart pre, as already mentioned.

    Im a biggg warwick fan although i do not own one. I lust for a bolt on thumb 4 string, and if i ever get one i will put bartolini pickups and preamp in it.

    Am i correct to assume that the bartolini jazz pickups are passive,and the preamp will be active?
  7. OrionManMatt


    Feb 17, 2004
    That seems more a testament to the woods, and how they STILL play a role, no matter how crappy or nice your pickups are. Basslines are probably another really nice choice. They never seem to disappoint.

    I think the overall response so far in this is that MEC's don't do Warwicks justice for their combination of construction and woods. Look for a pickup/pre combination that doesn't destroy the integrity of the source of the tone (woods) that makes Warwick's growl famous.
  8. Fealach

    Fealach Guest

    Apr 23, 2003
    Gone to a better place
    Don't own, but have played.

    A Warwick Streamer with a Basslines MM sort of pickup. It was THE BEST sounding Warwick I have ever encountered. Not just played. However I have not heard one with Barts.
  9. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    I replaced the MEC's on my thumb 5 with EMG's, made the world of difference. opened the sound up, the sound because less hissy.
  10. Whafrodamus


    Oct 29, 2003
    Andover, MA
    I have a warwick with EMGs. I love it. The sound is so much clearer and natural. Uhh.. Yeah.. ALL>MEC.
  11. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta / Macon (sigh)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    You won't lose the growl. It's in the wood. The newer MEC's aren't TOO bad, but I prefer the Basslines. As for EMG's, they do nothing for me. The weakest Warwick I've ever played had EMG's in it. I'm not saying they suck, they're just not for me.
  12. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Boston, MA
    The best Warwick I've ever played was an older Streamer Stage I 5 string with Bart pickups and preamp. Amazing bass.
  13. duke2004

    duke2004 Supporting Member

    Mar 29, 2004
    Cambridge, Mass.
    dont put Barts in a Warwick. I have had EMGs and MECs, and they sound about the same. Slightly better with EMGs but not worth bothering to change them.There is more difference in various Warwick basses (years, neck thru vs. bolt on) than there is in those pickups.
    Ive also had Bill Lawrence pickups in a Warwick 5 and they sounded different, more open high end, but too hi fi. It wasnt the classic Warwick sound.
  14. hmmm ... well I have bart pickups and preamp in my Covette fretless. The tone of this thing is amazing. Very versitile with amazing punch and growl. Great fretless tone!

  15. dhadleyray

    dhadleyray Guest

    Dec 7, 2004
    I have 2 warwick thumb six strings (fretted-1988, fretless-2004), the fretted has barts, the fretless MEC's. I DEFINITELY recommend the barts.
  16. From what I understand, the Basslines sound pretty much like the MECs, because the MEC pickups were actually designed by the same designers...?

    Just what I heard...

    Barts on the other hand might be awsome?
  17. alexclaber

    alexclaber Commercial User

    Jun 19, 2001
    Brighton, UK
    Director - Barefaced Ltd
    I have an '87 Streamer with its original reverse-P/J EMGs. Though I replaced the MEC preamp with an OBP-3. To me, it seems that MEC pickups are designed to sound like EMGs, it's just that EMG executed the concept better and MEC is Warwick's less good in-house copy.

    I've yet to hear a Warwick that sounds as good as this one though - just clearer, fatter and more of everything.

  18. +1
    I LOVE the sound of the barts in my '90 Thumb 5 N/T. As covered already, all the growl is there, and opens up a whole new world of ...'complexity'...? :eyebrow: within the entire range. Ahh I'm in flavour country :D :D
  19. Luis Fabara

    Luis Fabara

    Aug 13, 2000
    Ecuador (South America)
    Audio Pro - Ecuador
    I had a Streamer LX6 and I really never digged the sound too much.
    Even my bass playing friend said it was thin sounding.

    Thats until I replaced the pickups for a set of active basslines and a preamp. They sound totally improved, it was fat, growly, and even more defined.

    After some time, even one of my friends started saying the bass had changed completely, and bacame alive. ... He bought my bass a few months later, and has been happy ever since.
  20. what barts & matching preamp can be put into a thumb 5 N/T?