Very solid and sound instrument, if it would have had frets I would probably use it more often...
Model Year: 1983
Where Obtained: Secondhand
This Warwick Thumb 4 lefty fretless was handmade in Germany with the typical specs of the early Warwick basses, ovangkol body, wenge and ebony neck. The original PU's seem to have been switched with a EMG single neck PU and a Bartolini soapbar bridge PU, giving it the typical growl of an active Warwick bass.
No flaws at all, very playable neck without any lines, only marks on top of the neck. Not easy for an occasional fretless player but the bass was obtained just for fun.
Typical growl with a serious "oomph and mwaah"-factor. Ideal for ballads and jazzy-like songs.
I don't think I will be playing it on stage, but for recording this bass is ideal!
Very impressed so far...the test will be having it on a strap for 2-3 hours. Fret 1 is a long way away.
Model Year: 2003
Price: $1650.00 UK (new)
Where Obtained: Bass Centre (London)
Bought new. Custom order: Ovangkol Body in the neck-thru format. Specs as per other reviews- it has the new ebony fingerboard.
Only minor problem...strap buttons are rubbish.
Really good- beautiful, low action. Great sustain. Fast (if fat) neck. The set-up (either from the shop or factory wasn't great). Now it's sorted it's brilliant.
Faultless...great punch. Add a bit of treble for chords and you're away.
OK so far...4 days! (Though the cover for the electrics isn't a perfect fit).
I feel that I have gotten my moneys worth. These basses are not cheap and I expect alot from any bass that is priced over $1,500. It just so happens that bass is everything that I wanted in an instrument. This bass will still be around and with me when I die. I even want to be buried with this bass so that should really tell you what my overall opinion of this bass is.
Model Year: 2002
Price: $1900.00 (new)
Where Obtained: Triple R Guitar
This bass is the Benz of basses. The features that this bass has is amazing. It's impossible to not find the sound and setup that you desire. It has a bubinga pommelle body with a 7 piece bubinga/ovangol neck and a wenge fretboard. On top of that the 3-band active MEC J/J pick-ups makes this a great bass.
The strings on this bass sit lower than any other bass I've own. I can finally get my desired action. The neck is faster than my previous basses. The fact that there is no heel makes reaching the higher frets so much easier. Thanks Warwick!
Whether I'm live or being recorded this bass has that bass in your face tone that Warwicks deliever. If you like a nice jazz tone or a funky slap tone it can be obtained with these electronics. I've found no flaws with the sound quality of my Thumb.
These basses are made to last a very long time. Pick one up to really understand what I mean. Even if you have and didn't like the feel or sound, you knew this bass was a solid instrument and was going to stand the test of time. You do have to care for this bass by using beeswax, which I find to not be a inconvience.
I used some harsh words about the NEW Warwicks. But when you have been around to see the AWESOME craftsmanship of the first basses Warwick produced, you would say the same to! What kind of company "that used to be a head of the market" would change soo much, in a custom market that they used to lead? While the ROCKBASSES SUCK! Their worse decision IMO! The new stuff is nothing like the old! NOTHING AT ALL! I was lucky to get this "FINE VINTAGE WARWICK" For what i paid, I'd buy 5 of them if i could! Many of the people that read this will have their opinions on what i wrote, especially about new Warwicks. But don't be an A-- and leave me mail to say so! Unless you are one of the lucky ones that has experienced a VINTAGE WARWICK, and can "TRY" to compare quality from then to now!
Where Obtained: Private seller
This bass is an ORIGINAL German, thumb bass! With original jazz Bartolinis in it, brass nut, and EBONY fingerboard! Not that crap they put on now!
This is how Warwicks should play these days! Although, they don't! This bass is super fast and VERY WELL BUILT! Easy to play.
Sounds great! Excelent slap tone, newer ones have NOTHING on this bass! Has a great sound all together, but for slap mostly.
Well, this bass is "over" ten years old! Neck is as flat as a board, and stable!
I was in the market checking for an occasion, with this preferences decreasing order: Streamer Stage II, Thumb Neck Thru, Streamer Stage I, Others
i also wished to find an earlier one, back from the eighties (handmade Warwicks)
I've found the second possible choice, paid a fair price (i could sell for 50% more, but i will never!!!) so i'm one of the luckiest bass player on earth.
If it were lost or stolen... it's my baby so i will never make it happen
Theres no third way, you love or hate Warwick; if youre a lover you MUST experience the Thumb Bass, and you wont live without it!
Model Year: 1989
Price: $900.00 Eur
Where Obtained: private seller
Hand made in Germany
It's the well known bubinga body with 7 pieces neck thru bubinga/wenge neck, natural finish. The fretboard is also wenge.
26 brass frets, 4 strings
Two way (nowadays have 3 way mec) control with volume (push pull for active/passive mode) pickup pan,bass b/c and high b/c.
Two single coil EMG jazz pickups.
Warwick branded, Gotoh (?) made tuners.
My love story with this bass gone like this. I was outside for work, in a little town near Milan (where i live) waiting for a colleague whom train was carring more than a hour delay. So i went out for a walk, and when i saw a music shop i (obviously) entered. It was the tipical shop selling low budget guitars, basses PA's etc. But closed into a display cabinet there was my beauty. I asked the dealer and he told me a friend of him was selling it for 1200 Eur, but he hadn't the key (!!) to open the cabinet. A couple of months passed, and again a dead time situation bringed me down there. The bass was outside, on a stand between cheap others. I entered and took it in my hands, love at first feel!. I started playing unplugged, than i plugged into a Hartke head (not a big fan of them), all flat and...wow the sound was unbelievable (even in passive mode, i founded the battery completely dead). I didn't sleep that night, next morning i contacted Warwick via e-mail asking for some informations (thank you guys!)
I contacted the seller, and offered 1000 Eur. We agreed, but just couldn't take it home that time. A week or two passed, than i caused a dead time in my work and got there. The gig bag was in bad condition, so I finally got the Thumb for 900 Eur!!!!
Mine is an old, second hand one; previous owner's action was fine for me. I've bringed it to my favorite music shop for a check, it was almost perfect, and i've spent no money for a 30 minutes check.
I've turned immediatly to love this neck, but a friend of mine (Musicman user) found it unfriendly. The neck is heavy so dives a little, but i feel confortable with it.
Body shape is a real masterpiece, it fits my body perfecly and looks gorgeous.
I own another Warwick (a Streamer LX), i have to admit that the Streamer is better balanced.
Flaws?!?! On this worthy masterpiece!?!?
I usually plug my Thumb in my SWR 400SM S with a 4x10 (Marshall,cheking for another used one by EDEN) and a 1x15 EBS in our reharsal. Words can't explain what i get with this pair of axes, Warwick + SWR it's the growling machine (and this is true also for my Stremer LX). I play in a rock cover band and in an old style hardcore band, the sound is exactly what i was looking for for years: a solid, rumbling low end; the Warwick trademark growl in the mids and a crystal high end. Finger playing, the sound is beautifully rounded and full, picking adds some nasty rabid attack, either way the punch is astonishing. EMG pickups and circuit are quiet, it's possible to boost the highs without adding too much hiss (MEC's are more hissy).
I have not jet had the opportunity to test a studio recording session; on stage, reharsal, or simply unplugged it really brings life to my music.
Despite the fact it's 13 years old, this piece of wood is still absolutely beautiful. Body, neck and fingerboard are just perfect, the black hardware is in good condition, there's just some rust on the locks; brass parts don't flash anymore, but who cares?.
As i've said i've found it almost perfect, action and intonation were right.
Top class Tank
The thumb bass definately should have its place in the history books. I feel this bass will live way past me and sound as good as it did the day I bought it. The natural exotic wood gives a distinctive sound that is as thick and warm as you could possible want but may not be for all. Yes this bass is expensive but worth ever penny.
Model Year: 1995
Price: $2000.00 (new)
Where Obtained: Music Maker's Austin Texas
Before the days of neck thru design this was Warwick premier bass. It's construction is the signature wenge and bubinga body and neck with 7 piece construction. The four string model comes with 26 fret. The controls consist of rotary volume pickup selection bass mid and treble with an active bypass by pulling out the volume control for the two single MEC pickups. The finish is the distinctive oil finish. The factory provides a can of pure bees wax which should be rubbed on once a month. The wax allows the wood to naturally breath and keeps the moisture in the bubinga.
The thumb bass is a great all around bass but the neck is thick and really long. For people with smaller hands it can be real difficult to play. On the plus side an extremely low action can be obtained for almost effortless playing. Although I almost never use it the 26 frets can extend someones range.
I'm not an effects man so I'm not sure how it does. I mostly play jazz/blues and also alot of funk which the Thumb bass is perfect for. With active/passive and bassmidtreble controls a great range from deep and throaty to bright and crisp can be obtained. The only thing I can't get is that great maple fender jazz bass sound. I have used this bass both in the studio and on stage with no complaints what so ever. Overall the Thumb does have a destinctive Warwick sound that has to be heard to believed
It is great for live playing. Even if the battery runs out while playing during a set the passive capabilities allows with a pull of a switch to keep on playing. I have owned this bass for five years in climates of 110 degrees to below zero and never once had to adjust the truss rod. Unfortunately I've had it sit for months untouched only to find it afterwards in perfect tune.