Paid $1600 for the guitar. I lusted over the bass on the wall for some 4 months...figuring (scheming) about how I could get the money into my savings faster so I could buy it. I was looking at basses to switch over too but honestly I had my sights narrowed on an American Standard Jazz (5 string Rosoce Beck model) and a Red Carvin. The Jazz had that fantastic thump we all expect...and the Carvin had effects out the...well effects city. When I got done I asked the counter guy if there was something between the cool sound of the Jazz and the Carvin...he showed me the Warwick. Game over...the Warwick fit me, fit my hands, fit my sound requirements...I'd found the guitar that I could afford that I LOVED.
The wood body...the deep wood tones in the wood...the way the bass resonates when I play it. The neck to body aspect ratio in terms of looks.
It's a "longer" scale bass which I was looking for (being an owner of a Hofner (real short scale)) I needed something to stretch out on.
I have to have a ready supply of 9 volts. The shop where I had purchased the bass had replaced the volume knobs and they may have been Warwick but they weren't all Thumb style. So I called Dana B. Goods (sole distributor here in the states) and the guy took down my name and addr and sent me a new set of knobs. (he asked the shop's name as well...) The bass had been played probably loaned out and had some dings but nothing major or anything that I worry about. Much of my disappointment relates to the vendor and NOT with the guitar so this may not be a fair measure. Dana B. Goods WAS responsive beyond my needs, much to the chagrin of a previous reviewer.
The guitar is made of an African wood called Ovangkol and I believe the neck is bubinga, another African wood akin to Ironwood (very dense and tough to dent).
The Workmanship was obviously fantastic when I picked it up and looked it over. I'd looked over dozens of basses before finding the Warwick (ones I could afford and others I couldn't) so I was looking for the most insignificant of defects or detractions. In my estimation my Warwick has none.
I've owned "Gumby" (not my name saw it on Dana B. Goods) for over a year now and I LOVE playing it...unplugged and plugged...passive and active. The neck dives but I don't really mind...it's less than an issue. The sound...well...the guys I play with know when she's plugged in. They can hear the difference between the '60s technology in the Hofner and the '90s technology in the Warwick. If I purchase again it will be a Warwick. I'm loaded down with German basses.
This bass was made in Germany in 1999. I bought mine new for $1299. It has a bolt-on wenge neck & fingerboard, 9-volt active electronics, 2 jazz pickups, 24 bell-brass frets, an that sexy curved ovangkol body that fits my gut ever so nicely. It has 3 pots: volume (pull for passive mode), pickup pan, and boost/cut bass/treble at +/- 12dB. (Sounds confusing, but it's not)You can tell i like this bass. I've heard some people bitching about the snap-on electronics cover, but i love it. no screws to mess with, and it's nearly impossible to break the tabs unless you are a moron.
Like most Warwicks, the thumb BO has a very bright top end, and that famous midrangey Warwick "growl" that you hear so much about. This is the bass's signature sound. However, you can get a very smooth, jazz sound, or a tight punchy sound, and pretty much everything in between. The pickups are very hot, though, and they sometimes overdrive my Dunlop bass wah, so on songs with the wah i leave the bass/treble knob flat. Like most basses, there is a ever-so-slight amount of hiss when you crank the treble, but oh well. This bass also cuts through the mix like crazy: you will be heard. I will give this an 4 because sometimes its hard to get a very punchy sound (but i'm using a shitty peavey combo, so thats probably the amp's fault)
The setup from the factory was superb: the intonation was perfect, the pickups were adjusted just right, and the bass was looking beautiful. However, the action was a tad too high, so I simply lowered the bridge (I like all my strings level). That's another good thing about this bass: the adjustibility. The just-a-nut II is incredibly easy to work, and the bridge, saddles, intonation screws, and pickup screws all work smoothly. Anyway, the neck was also perfect, so the action can be low and buzz-free. One more thing: because of the two-piece bridge assembly, it creates a much tauter string tension. I love it; it really helps in achieving a very tight, fat sound, and provides great rebound for slapping. The tighter tension did open up some old calluses, but now every other bass I play feels loose and sloppy. I do have some things that you might want to watch for:
- Heavy, but who cares?
- Because of the small body and short horn, the neck tends to dive, so you'll be playing more horizontally. TRY THIS OUT ON A STRAP BEFORE YOU BUY IT! I did, and I didn't mind the neck dive (you can compensate by lowering the bass), but you might
- This one sucks: the ovangkol wood is really soft, and scratches easily. About a week after I got it, I noticed some chipping going on between the neck pickup and the neck. Turns out that when I was slapping, my fingernail was catching in the wood, so I was gouging out the ovangkol. If you slap with your thumb aligned with the string ( a la flea), you'll need to keep your nails short and be careful!
The bass is very sturdy. I treat this bass better than I do my girlfriend (sorry), but there have been some bumps. Luckily, if you wax the bass once a week, it keeps the wood healthy and strong. So aside from the aforementioned chipping, there haven't been any glaring problems. The volume pot came a little lose, but i had that fixed in about 2 minutes. Another thing is that if you are active on stage, jumping, rocking out, and so forth, the recessed jim dunlop straplocks will eventually wear down, and you'll have to buy new ones probably every 7-9 months. It's only about $22, so I don't mind, but if you do, you can be an idiot like Fieldy and duct-tape your strap onto the bass, then play it vertically.
Great. before i bought this bass, i e-mailed their website a bunch, and they always responded within 3 days. When the chipping incident happened, they apologized profusely, suggested using steel wool, and it worked great.
In closing, I would say that aside from the chipping problem and bad choice of straplocks, this bass is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a tight, funky sound that really cuts. When I went looking for a new bass, I tried this against top of the line Musicman, Ibanez, Fender, Modulus, and MTD. The thumb bested all of them easily. I am definately a Warwick man for the rest of my career: next, I plan to order a Streamer Stage I with high-gloss blue color, gold hardware, and blue LEDs on the neck. HELL yeah.