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Why are Warwicks so much $

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by MAJOR METAL, Feb 19, 2004.


    MAJOR METAL The Beagle Father Supporting Member

    I was in Guitar Center today checking out basses and they had a good number of new warwicks and their prices seemed very high for what they are. I saw a thumb 5 for about $2300, i played it it was a nice bass kind of heavy and small string spacing but their was nothing about the bass that could put it in the price range. Is this just GC or new Warwicks in general.
  2. warwicks are just spendy, don't really know why.

    for 2300, you could save an extra 2-300 and get a sweet Benavente, Roscoe or other custom...

    MAJOR METAL The Beagle Father Supporting Member

    Thats true in that price range you can get a nice custom job. I really like my Infinity ltd 2000, but msrp on it is out of this world i think it is like $4400.
  4. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Two reasons I can think of that make them a bad deal in relation to US-made basses;

    1. The strength of US currency vs. German currency

    2. The cost of shipping a German bass to the USA (including tariffs, etc.)

    Then, there's import tariffs and such. You pay more for less, IMO, with Warwick.
  5. Marlat


    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    They are also trendy amounst the "kids" - that can drive up prices in a big way because the demand is there.

    They are definately overpriced (you should see how expensive they are here in Aus!) - but as I noted in the other thread about Warwicks - some of the older ones are superb basses!)

    The other thing is they used to be hand made and that reputation can allow them to keep their prices up (ie we "used" to be special - so we still charge like we are).

    MAJOR METAL The Beagle Father Supporting Member

  7. Finger Blister

    Finger Blister

    Jul 8, 2003
    A used Warwick is the way to go.
  8. Kurisu


    Nov 19, 2003
    Saskatoon SK
    That GC might be overcharging... Up here Warwicks are pretty popular, for some reason, but they hover around the 2K mark. I'll check tomorrow after my lesson.
  9. XxBlackOrchidxX


    Dec 23, 2003
    they are made from exotic wood...rarity cost money....and they are made by hand...that costs quite a bit aswell.
  10. Marlat


    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    Maybe about 10 years ago they were made by hand - now they are machine made like most other mass produced basses.

    Also, most of the woods that they use are not really exotic - back when they were using wenge necks and bubinga bodies they were a little more exotic in their wood choices - now its mostly ash and ovangkol!
  11. i'd say just the fact that they have a reputation as a good instrument, is making their prices so high
  12. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    I think the prices are reasonable. No one really charges list price, so you shant pay over 2,000 for a new one, save a few models such as streamers or what-have-you. I plan on owning a warwick in 2 years or so, and i will probably buy it used. A used one in good condition is a better deal than paying the new price,.
  13. I.'.I.'.Nakoa

    I.'.I.'.Nakoa Guest

    Aug 10, 2000
    Fort Worth.
    I dont know why warwicks are even popular. Every warwick i have ever played has incredibly tight string tension which made it hard to play on. (but hey, nothing plays like a ken smith, huh?)Theyre also heavy as a mofo.
  14. TRU


    Apr 12, 2002
    Northern Europe
    I always thought tight string tension used to be a good thing, no?

    When Warwick started, they made superb basses that were in the same league as Smiths, Tobiases, Alembics, etc. Nowadays they enjoy the results of that reputation, good marketing and excellent production management. Thumbs up to the folks at Warwick, good job!
  15. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    Maybe they are expensive on the other side of the Atlantic - or anywhere outside Europe, for that matter, but here they are cheap compared to US-made basses. For example, my Corvette 6, ordered from them (lefty is special order) is far cheaper than any MM, even used ones, and cheaper than most MIJ and MIA Fenders :eek: and it is better made, 6-stringer and of exotic woods :p

    Now go figure! :D
  16. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    :confused: I thought that is a good thing... but for me it wasnt anywhere near tight enough, so I changed the strings... Wasnt that rather high action that made it harder to play?

    Anyway, you can always detune - e.g. Ryan Martinie tunes his Thumb to G C F Bb Eb or something similar :p
  17. bassaussie


    Oct 6, 2001
    What mutantbassist said is spot on. What Americans experience with Warwick is the same as what people outside of the USA experience with American instruments - the cost of importing the instruments adds a huge premium to the initial value. In Europe, although Warwicks are still expensive, they're a very affordable alternative to American instruments. For instance, most Warwicks are less than a Musicman Stingray - it's not until you get into the really top models that the prices are similar.
  18. mrbungle


    Nov 13, 2000
    tampere, finland
    I bought my new bubinga/wenge Corvette for about half the price of Fender USA Jazz Bass. Then i bought a used Thumb bass BO for price of MIM Fender.

    Despite of the price difference the quality is IMHO much better in mid-price Warwicks (Corvette) than mid price Fenders (USA Jazz). Low action, better hardware with great adjustability, great woods etc.

    Then you cross the pond and it's (almost) vice versa :)
  19. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Exactly. A Conklin Groovetools for example is 2,000 $ in Germany instead of the 1,000$ you pay in the US.
  20. Berten


    Jun 6, 2002
    You should know how much the USA-made gear costs in europe (because of taxes etc.) And even the gear that was made in china or so costs much more in europe than in the usa!

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