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LewsTherin
06-04-2006, 02:16 PM
Okay, I picked up one of these basses the other day (used). Now, before you all attack me for writing a review too soon, let me say this: I WILL be back, with updated thoughts on this bass. These ARE my initial impressions, so keep that in mind.


Some Pictures:
http://s52.photobucket.com/albums/g32/Al_T_May/Bass%20Stuff/


Warwick made these basses in 4 configs, 4 or 5 string, with either 1 or 2 pickups. Mine is a 5 string with 1 pickup.

FEATURES:
-1 passive MEC humbucker, in/near MM sweetspot
-Volume, tone controls, with series/parallel switch in p/p volume pot
-4 peice ovangkol neck, bolt-on
-4 peice carolena body
-wenge fingerboard, bell-brass frets
-Warwick brass adjustable nut
-One-peice bridge (similar to but heavier/more solid than Fender-style bridge)

This bass is nothing fancy, obviously. It lacks the active electronics commonly found on most Warwick basses. It also lacks the semi-signature 2-peice warwick bridge.

SOUND:
So far, she sounds pretty good. The two most prevalent tones Ive found so far are a) the typical MM/P-Bass punch, and b) a smooth, fat growl. The growl is different from that of my Jazz Bass. Its more of a purr than a full-blown growl.

This bass isn't the most versatile ever, but its not a one-trick pony, either.

CRAFTSMANSHIP:
I know what everyone's expecting from Warwick, and thats masterful German engineering and craftsmanship. This bass, however, could be better. I beleive this instrument is a '99, and there are a few problems with it.
-Lam joints on neck are showing unevenness, pointing to uneven aging in wood
-Several frets are starting to poke out a tiny bit on the side of the fingerboard, again pointing to ungraceful aging.
-The truss-rod cover is absolutely mauled. I cant get it open (Warwicks have covers where it screws on, and theres a latched 'door' on it, so you can open it without unscrewing.) I will most likely have to unscrew the whole cover and replace it. I dont know if this is from the idiot who owned the bass before me, or if its a legitimate problem with the basses.
-The finish is very beat up. Again, not sure if this was just the idiot who owned the bass previously (since its only on the back of the bass), or if its a real problem with finish durability.

Other than that, craftsmanship is seemingly fine. The neck joint is the most solid bolt-on joint I've ever seen. Apparently Warwick individually matches necks with bodies, allowing for only 1/10 mm discrepancies between heel and pocket dimensions.

The 4-peice Carolena body could easily pass for a one-peice body. The grain matches up very well, except on the ends of the body, and the top horn is a little more obviously a different peice of wood.


PLAYABILITY:
Despite the fact that its post-98, and uses a fatter Ovangkol neck, as opposed to the pre-98 thin Wenge neck, this thing still plays very nicely. The ovangkol feels raw, and is very smooth. The neck profile fills my hand nicely, but isn't hard to get my hand around.

I've yet to do anything to the setup, but as I got it, the action is pretty low, and theres very little (but there is a tiny bit) of buzzing, and no straight-up dead frets.

String spacing is a little funny for me (this is my first 5er since i got rid of my other one last May.), but its typical 5er fare. Its still comfortable.

I HAVE had problems tapping on this bass. Im not sure why, but EVH-style tapping just isnt flowing for me like it does on my Jazz. Two-handed tapping is also a little tougher on this, but not as bad as EVH style. It might just be the exact way its setup, though.

And now, the 34" B string. It is a little loose, yes, but not flopping all over the place. With the pickup in series, the low B and C lose some definition, but higher notes and the low notes with the pup in parallel are clear.


2 Week Update: Okay, Ive had this bass for a bit longer now. Pretty much everything Ive said already still stands. I havent had any additional problems.


Since this is a 'Christmas Morning' review, I will update in 2, 4, and 6 weeks, in order to overcome any initial bias I might secretly be holding because I still need to justify to myself having bought this bass.

Rawb
06-04-2006, 06:50 PM
-The finish is very beat up. Again, not sure if this was just the idiot who owned the bass previously (since its only on the back of the bass), or if its a real problem with finish durability.

AWw man. who did you buy this from? Finish durability should be exellent, with ALL warwicks.

Its amazing how you can still find something good to say about it. How much you get it for? And how much was the original price?

LewsTherin
06-04-2006, 07:10 PM
AWw man. who did you buy this from? Finish durability should be exellent, with ALL warwicks.

Its amazing how you can still find something good to say about it. How much you get it for? And how much was the original price?

i got it from a store.

it ended up costing me $320US out-of-pocket, no idea on original new price.

White_Summer
06-04-2006, 07:11 PM
i got it from a store.

it ended up costing me $320US out-of-pocket, no idea on original new price.
i had a streamer standard in the same red satin finish, it was also beat up, i think it the wood?

LewsTherin
06-04-2006, 07:13 PM
i had a streamer standard in the same red satin finish, it was also beat up, i think it the wood?


nah, the woods fine. its just the finish thats beat up.

munkyofdth2
06-04-2006, 09:07 PM
I have a 4 string dual pickup version in nirvana black, and it's pretty beat up too. I don't think the finish is the same on the STD's as the other Warwicks.

Is the output on yours really low too?
Mine seems like it has no volume at all compared to my other basses.

LewsTherin
06-04-2006, 09:18 PM
nah, output is fine on mine.