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Why is the Warwick so 'spensive

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by TheJazzBassist, Jun 18, 2002.

  1. I went to GC in Covina, Ca. and bought me some new strings, Markley Blue Steels. I was kinda worried about changing the strings for the first time, but it was pretty damn easy. I did a pretty damn good job if I do say so myself. They give it a really bright punch and tone that's kinda new to me (miss my old strings charm) but I love them none the less.

    Sorry for getting off track guys...must be my advanced age:rolleyes: :D

    Anyways yes the Warwicks. I was checking out a Corvette 5 string Warwick in the catalog, and it listed it as $1700. The sale price was "Too Low to List". Then I saw a smaller 4 string Warwick and played it for awhile. I like the sound it gave me, but the body felt a bit odd shaped and heavy for being so small. Must be the bubinga wood. The sale price for that puppy was over $800.
    Maybe I missed something somewhere, but I wouldn't wanna shell out THAT much for a bass at this time. Maybe I'm a tad cheap too.

    Any thoughts?
  2. kirbywrx

    kirbywrx formerly James Hetfield

    Jul 27, 2000
    Melbourne, Australia.
    Because they are hand made in Germany
    They use a unique type of wood
    They use different Techniques of wood
    Famous Bassists use them
    They are popular
    This is coming from a 15 year old so dont believe me if it doesnt sound right ;)

    Im sort of in the same bout as you. I played one for the first time the other week, and i wasnt really impressed. I dont know if it was because of what i heard on here was a false climax to the real thing, but i wasnt too impressed. :(
  3. To put it very simply, Warwicks are that expensive because people buy them at those prices. :)

    Supply and demand dictate prices for basses just like they do for any other goods and services.
  4. Si-bob


    Jun 30, 2001
    Hemel Hempstead, UK
    Focusrite / Novation
    i don't really consider 800-1400 that expensive for a bass....and i'm a 19 yr old student! :)
    warwick's are great, nice and growly cos of the woods, and they look good, basically a natural wood spector! :) (spector use colours more)

  5. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    Warwick to make cheaper basses but they are passive and the body is made of pine.

    Any product is made to make money, philanthopists get religion and give all their money to charity.

    One of the ways to make money is to have a high quality low volume high mark up product. People queue up for your stuff and pay retail.

    Some makers (and Warwick could be doing) this get greedy and want high volumes and the quality goes down. They also want the cheaper range so go offshore with 'entry level' (translated as cheaper) products and devalue the name.The risk is that people don;t perceive it in the same way and buy something else.

    Please note that this is IMHO.
  6. SMG

    SMG Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2000
    metro Detroit
    1) The middle of the line Warwicks (bolt on neck, active electronics) are pretty standard priced when you compare to the same options from other companies, especially those made in parts of the world (USA included) where the cost of labor isn't cheap.
    2) As posted earlier, Warwick uses different woods then just about any other manufacturer. Whether or not these woods actually are harder to get, or cost more, I couldn't tell you, but Warwick implies (as do other sources when discussing wenge) that they do.
    3) Warwick uses MEC electronics, and while they are Warwick's own "brand", they do have a distinct sound. Some like them, some don't. If you do like the sound, Warwick (or Framus, a Warwick company) is the only place to get a bass with that sound.
    4) Whether or not MEC pickups or electronics are any harder to make then others, I have not idea, but alone (if you were to buy them from Warwick) they cost about the same as a set of Barts along with a Bart preamp.

    I guess the bottom line is, you get what you pay for. I you like the Warwicks feel and sound, they are worth it. If not, they are not.
  7. jasonbraatz


    Oct 18, 2000
    Oakland, CA
    warwicks can sell at the price they do because NO ONE offers a similar bass. for fender jazz basses, for instance - you can get plenty of basses that sound like a fender jazz bass. or bart-soapbar equipped basses. but if you want that warwick sound, you have to go warwick.

    they also use woods for the bodies that no one else uses - dense hardwoods that are more expensive than most other body woods.

    their manufacturing process - while not hand made - is one of the best out there. i haven't seen any warwicks that are inconsistant with the norm. the construction compares with handmade basses.

    and - da5id hex is right - people pay it. (my advice is buy used. you can get a better wenge necked warwick for CHEAP. they devalue alot anyways, so you might as well get the better, older bass)
  8. Musician's Friend sells a couple Warwick's (not the Rock Basses) for around $600 - $800, sale price. Are these middle of the line?
  9. jasonbraatz


    Oct 18, 2000
    Oakland, CA
    washburn26 - yes and no. i'm sure they'd still be using it if it were the same price it used to be, because with them cranking out however many thousands of basses, a 20% increase in price will hurt them alot more than MTD or Elrick or whomever else uses wenge necks. but also, wenge is a PITA to work with. it splinters really easily, so i'm sure they cut some manufacturing costs as well going to ovangkol. i guess we'll see what happens if the war ever ends and we can get wenge again. i'd HOPE they'd go back.

    Jordan - the real warwicks MF sells are the streamer standards, which were the definite bottom end of their line. had the normal warwick ovangkol/wenge bolt on neck, which makes them better than rockbasses, but the body is the same (carolena - a hard pine) and the pickups are the same (passive)

    for that money you could get a nice used bolt on with active electronics and a hardwood body.
  10. iplaybass


    Feb 13, 2000
    Houston, TX
    Don't pay $600-800 for a Streamer Standard. Don't get me wrong, I love mine, but they are not worth this kind of money. I got mine, a 5 string 2pu model, for $575 brand new at a GC Clearance. Look around, a deal will pop up.
  11. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    It sounds like the $600 Scam Cash is asking for a used FNA at the local store ain't such a bad deal, then. Too bad (or thank Goddess) I don't have any money...
  12. Tsal


    Jan 28, 2000
    Finland, EU
    You have to remember that import and shipping costs from Germany to US add to the price too. The Warwicks are cheaper in Europe.

    And which is why Fenders, Musicmans, G&Ls etc. cost more in Europe.
  13. j.s.basuki

    j.s.basuki Supporting Member

    May 14, 2000
    Warwick to me is not expensive because they are MASS PRODUCED. The wood also relatively cheap coming from Africa or else where.

    The margin Dana B. Goods and dealers in the distribution system add up the price.

    I used to import directly from the factory and they are relly cheap. For example:

    Thumb N T, Streamer SS 1, SS2, and Dolphin pro 4 to 5 strings ranging from approx US 800 to US 1200 at the most [ I bought it in DM].
    The Bolt-On series is approx half the price of the Neck Thru. Say Thumb BO 4 string is approx 500 USD. While the China made Rock bass I saw in the latest price list is USD 170-200.
    I believe this price list are for Importer/Distributor world wide.
    FYI I still have their price list.

    So you see the US price is 3 to 4 times than the original and yet Warwick company still making money.

    No compare to US made custom basses, how much they cost?
  14. CaracasBass


    Jun 16, 2001
    Madrid, Spain

    I went to Warwick´s web page and the Streamer Standard models aren´t in their list models.... maybe they´r not making ´em any more because they are making the Rockbasses. Any info on this???

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