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Yamaha, Warwick or Ibanez??

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Tommythebass95, Nov 14, 2012.

  1. Tommythebass95


    Nov 14, 2012
    I have been trying to make up my mind about buying a new bass for quite a long time now. I have a ESP-LTD ex 103 which isn't great really but it is a pretty solid metal bass. The thing is that in the last year or so I have been paying more attention to different styles and i wanted a more sort of all-around bass, preferably a 5 string around 800 euros that sounds good for playing pretty much everything (rock, jazz, funk, latin, metal, pop, etc.) And those are the makes that conviced me the most so if anyone could help out a bit deciding which one is the best or reccomend another make they are very, very welcome :)
    Matteo j Pedro likes this.
  2. Go to a music store and play basses. Buy whatever feels & sounds best to you.

    Simple as that.
  3. Peace Cee

    Peace Cee

    Feb 9, 2011
    Ibanez-bang for the buck. I've had a Yamaha, but the sub $1000 bass that I had from them didn't really do it for me in a "quality" sense. (subjective of course). Iby seems to live in the mid price point world with no factory and the outsourcing. Admitedly, the Iby is sort of non-descript in a tonal sense. Never had a Warwick. My 2 cents
  4. Alex1984


    Jan 16, 2010
    I'd say Yamaha in terms of bang-for-buck and versatility. I never could quite bond with the Ibanez shape, and felt kinda like a bass trapped in a boomerang's body. The electronics are quite good but sounded a bit too "Active" for me. Warwicks are nice, the neck shape may not suit everyone. They have a very unique tone that excels in many things, but it's hard to get away from.
  5. IngerAlb


    May 11, 2007
    1. It depends whether you're buying new or used.
    2. It depends on what you understand by Warwick: RB Warwick, Asian Warwicks, or the real deal (MIG).

    1. If you're gonna buy a new instrument, in my book Ibanez wins hands down. You can't get a real Warwick for that price and I'm not impressed with what Yamaha offers at that price range. If you're buying used, then there are a lot of options: you may get a nice W Corvette, or even a Prestige Ibby. It takes time & patience, but you can score big.

    2. I wouldn't buy an Asian made Warwick. RockBasses, in spite of being advertised as "Chinese Warwicks", are not even close to the real deal - they never were and never will. Plus the new RBs are - IMO - way too expensive (they are sold for what a German made Corvette was going for before switching their production line to Asia). The Korean Warwicks should sound like their German brothers, but there are some differences in wood combos (depending on the model), so take a bit of time to A/B their specs. The real issue is that these are new, so there's no tell how these will behave over time. There are a lot of used German Warwicks for sale that stood the test of time; but with these Asian basses, it's a bit of a gamble. The German made ones are expensive (new).

    Also keep in mind that Warwicks vary a lot depending on the production year: some have thick necks, the new ones have very thin ones, different profiles, woods, etc. You'll have to dig around a bit to learn more about this because it could make a big difference in the end.
  6. MaddAnthony_59

    MaddAnthony_59 Supporting Member

    Dec 16, 2006
    Columbus, IN
    I Channel Surf During Commercials. (Drives my Wife CRAZY!!!)
    A used MIG Streamer 5 can be had for that money. Corvette as well, and an FNA is a Great find!

    Yamaha TRB's with some Barts in it would be hard to beat, and within range.

    MIJ Ibby SRT-705/805/905? I'm waiting on an 805 right now, but have yet to play one.
  7. I found a used 5er Warwick 'Vette MIG at a GC once for $700 and it was by far the best (and heaviest) bass I've ever owned. However, I've gotta say ibanez to Wariwck is an apples to oranges comparison. 2 totally different beasts if you've ever played a good German Warwick (corvette, Thumb, $$) side by side with any Prestige or Grooveline (my preference) Ibanez. While Ibanez to me is more about electronics and playability, Warwick seems to be more focused on quality and tone (their woods sound beautiful).

    I recommend giving them all a shot. Maybe try to find a nice used yamaha. Those are some studio-friendly instruments.
  8. Jefus


    Feb 23, 2008
    Hey Tommy, are you going to keep your ESP for handling metal, or are you looking for something to replace it and expand your tones?

    If you don't need something to handle the traditional metal bass tones, than I'm with a lot of the posters above and say a Warwick would be awesome. They have a place in metal too, but it's not the sound people are used to hearing from metal bass (think Mudvayne).

    If you need something to handle everything plus the metal see if you can find a used Status around somewhere. The graphite necked basses are simply phenomenal for their versatility. I'm in the US where every once in a while a beat-up Modulus, G Gould, or Moses-necked something or another will pop up for good prices.

    If you really love the Yamaha idea (I've had several and one in particular I'll never get rid of) then maybe a used TRB5P might come up. Those things are tone generating machines and can show up to any gig and make an impression.

    Let us know what you wind up with!
  9. Matthew_84


    Nov 7, 2010
    I have a new 2011 Warwick Rockbass Streamer LX and I can assure you that the build quality is fantastic. In fact, it has better playability than my American Fender. It really is a superb instrument and very much worth the $450 it cost. The only thing I would like to modify is to add a push/pull active to passive switch in it, and a mid EQ knob (that no Warwick has stock anyway). The only reason for the active/passive option is that the tone is pretty aggressive, and though cutting the mids and gain helps, putting it into passive would help even more. Sometimes I'd like to warm it up, especially because I'll be selling my P Bass soon and this will be my only fretted bass remaining so I need it to be able to do everything.

    I do agree though that you should keep an eye out for a used German made model at a decent price, because of better wood selection, and maybe they would have the push/pull feature. But I have a hard time finding them, especially with the new slim profile that started in 2010.

    I really still think the Rockbass is a great made bass though.
  10. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    I had a Yamaha BB605 (no longer made) for a long time. It was a great bass. Most people think I made a big mistake selling it. Maybe so. It played great, balanced well, looked good, and had a decent B string. I did put Bartolini pups and a pre in it.

    I also had a Yamaha BB414 for a while. Another great bass. Nothing fancy, just a solid bass.

    The Nathan East model is a very nice bass as well.
  11. Toastfuzz


    Jul 20, 2007
    Pittsburgh, PA
    So you'll find tons of people on these forums that both love and hate all these basses.

    My opinion, I didnt like the feel or tone of the Yamaha I had... but the guy I sold it to loves it. I think I like smaller bodies and skinnier necks, which the Yamaha was not. Also it lacked any balls in the tone department, but it wasnt a very high up model. It was a BB-something.

    Warwick has a good reputation on everything above the Rockbass line... that being said the only model I ever dug was the Thumb, and its out of my price range. I see so many people lust over a Warwick only to sell it months later that I stay away from them, but obviously their reputation speaks for itself.

    Ibanez has a huge ranging lineup, and many different models... you can expect to get alot of bang for your buck with Ibby's, both in build quality, smooth playability, and tone. I personally don't dig their standard dual-humbucker design that nearly all their instruments use. The Ibanez ATK is a whole different beast, its an amazing instrument that I suggest you check out. If Ibanez made a Soundgear with a single MM pickup (similar to a Stingray) it'd be my perfect bass.

    But yeah, go to a store and try them all, each brand has a totally different lineup and so many different variables. If I were you, I'd find one that felt good in weight, balance, neck thickness, body size, string spacing, and visual appeal. Theres so many variables to tone (effects, amp, cabs, etc.) that I feel that in choosing a bass, the feel/playability and visual appeal are the most important factors.
  12. FrenchBassQC

    FrenchBassQC Supporting Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    Gatineau QC CA
  13. Stealth


    Feb 5, 2008
    Zagreb, Croatia
    I'd recommend the Yamaha, because I've owned and played one for the past six or so years, an RBX-375. I found it comfortable, very useful for plenty of genres.
  14. trothwell


    Apr 9, 2008
    I used a Yamaha BBN5 for years. Something like $350 new in 1996. Pretty basic, but very respectable for the price. I also later got a Yamaha TRB1005 for around $750: much nicer than the BBN5. If you like the sound of it, it's well-built and in my opinion a great bargain.
  15. IngerAlb


    May 11, 2007
    What I was trying to say is that we don't know how these will hold after years and years of playing. Plus they had some serious issues with the first batches of RBs - that's why the release was postponed by a year), which doesn't encourage me to have faith in their chinese factory. Then again I had some quality issues with some MIG Wicks, so...it can happen. Most of their stuff is solid, but they do mistakes like any other company.
  16. hgiles


    Nov 8, 2012
    I have a Ibanez SR706 bass that I am really enjoying right now, so much that I want to try a 'better' bass. I am looking in the sub $1k area and looking mostly at a Yamaha TRB 6 (used).
  17. socialleper

    socialleper Bringer of doom and top shelf beer Supporting Member

    May 31, 2009
    Canyon Country, CA
    Ah this old line.
    Too bad Warwick and Yamaha have almost no retail presence beyond the rare straggler or used bass.
  18. socialleper

    socialleper Bringer of doom and top shelf beer Supporting Member

    May 31, 2009
    Canyon Country, CA
    For the price, the Ibanez SR 500 and 600 series are pretty nice basses. They are flexible, but definitely have their own sound, which isn't that different than the ESP/LTD sound.
    Yamaha is a little harder for me to to judge because I haven't seen one in a store in a long time. They may be OK, but I really don't know.
    I'm a Warwick fan boy myself, but I'm also a snob that is really only interested in the German basses. If you have the coinage to get a used Corvette $$ or Streamer LX, that would be my pick. The Rock Bass series might be OK, but I've never tried one, partially because I'm not too interested, but also because they are hard to find in a store.
  19. Herrick


    Jul 21, 2010
    Munchkin Land
    What exactly is the traditional metal bass tone and why can't Warwick do it?
  20. Warwick has a killer sound for metal.
    A metal Warwick player is my influence.
    I'm strictly a Warwick player. I won't go for anything else, they just work for me. Not to crazy for Thumbs though...

    Rockbasses are not what they were a few years ago. Today they're much better, they're more of a starter bass than a pro bass, but it's all whatever you like in the end.

    Try out everything you can.