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CamdenRob

NBD : Warwick Thumb NT 6

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OK well not really an NBD, it came through yesterday but I thought I’d give it a decent workout before passing judgement.

This 2010 Warwick Thumb NT 6 came up in the marketplace and I thought I’d give it a go in an attempt to alleviate some of the GAS I have from waiting for my Wal to be built…

Anyway this is what I think of it, IMHO, YMMV etc. etc.

Warwick build quality is legendary and this bass is no exception, everything is tight, smooth and well fitting, feels really solid. Overall the bass looks and feels like a quality instrument. I appreciate aesthetics are subjective but I really do think it’s an attractive bass. The Bubinga Pomelle has a nice swirly figure and way the neck heel tapers into the through body section in a smooth curve looks beautiful to my eyes.

*apologies for the cat in the photo... he refuses to leave this bass alone.





In action this is a wonderful instrument but it also has a few minus points and I’ll get the negatives out the way first!

A minor issue this bass shares with all other Warwicks I’ve played is that when you change the strings everything falls off! The height adjustment part of the bridge saddles and the nut come loose… It’s not really a problem if you are aware of it and keep everything flat when restringing but it’s a little disconcerting to have bits falling off when you remove the strings…

Anyway I restrung it and set it up, which is very easy to do with the level of adjustability on Warwick instruments. They really are very easy to work on and the myriad of screws and bolts are quite intuitive, I like being able to set the height of the nut as well as the bridge saddles. It is also possible to adjust the height and tilt of the whole bridge with a set of screws at either side. I will need to get a tapered B string as my normal prosteels are a little high over the saddle, I have lowered the saddle to get it to a playable level but the Warwick bridge really necessitates a tapered B. I may need to have a rethink about strings for this bass anyway as the prosteels feel a touch flappy, with the thumb being a 34” scale as opposed to the Spector I’ve been playing which is a 35”. Now I have set it up as I like it the Thumb plays wonderfully well, although the string spacing is right on the limit of what I find comfortable, I certainly wouldn’t want it any tighter.

The bass is fairly well balanced, if a touch neck heavy, and pretty weighty overall at 11.4lb. One thing that takes a bit of getting used to is where the bass hangs on a strap. Being a small bodied instrument with a lot of weight in the six string neck, it feels like it hangs further to the right than fender shapes do and this felt a little disconcerting at first but it’s not bad, just different and after a little while it felt perfectly comfortable to play, however there is a slight tension on the top strap pin trying to pull the bass back to the left, strap locks are essential I would say otherwise I can see the strap pinging off… I do wear my basses very high though so this may not be an issue with guys that play lower.

Well that’s the minor niggles out of the way… Now for the positives [font=Wingdings] :)[/font] and for me there really is one massive positive with the Thumb that overrides any of the minor issues...

The sound…

The Warwick sound is often described with abstract terms like “growl”, “throaty” and “woody” etc. and whilst it’s difficult for anyone to imagine exactly what others mean by these terms, to my mind there is a unique sound to this bass and “growl” suits it fairly well. To my ears it sounds like something in this bass is emphasising a band of frequencies that adds a distinctive zing to the sound, similar to when you pull the volume knob up on a Wal and get that narrow band of frequencies added to increase the attack of each note, similar but not the same as it’s a lower band of frequencies that are emphasised with the Thumb. Through my Glockenklang/Purple Chilli rig this bass has an almost bell like clarity, with a real heft to each note, it sounds powerful and bassy but not muddy at all. I like the sound… I like it a lot… I’ve a rehearsal / gig / piss up type affair this weekend where I’ll be using the Thumb in anger through a peavey house rig so I’ll report back how that goes.

In conclusion I am very pleased. I’m going to change a couple of minor things on the bass, I’ve ordered a new set of strap locks as they were missing and I’ll replace the pickup screws with new Warwick ones as the originals are a little tarnished, but I’m happy overall and think the thumb was a good buy. Would I pay £4k (Warwick 2014 pricelist) for a new one? I might have done… to be honest the quality here is comparable with anything in that price bracket and I don’t think a buyer looking for the Warwick sound would be left thinking he hadn’t got value for his money here... as for second hand… I think this along with many other German Warwicks represent excellent basses for the money, well worth a punt if one you fancy comes up in the marketplace.

Edited by CamdenRob

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Amazing. I still haven't shaken off my Warwick GAS. I'm really going to have to try one at some point.
I bet you're well pleased with that - to understate the case somewhat! Good score. :)

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If the saddles are falling off when you take the strings off, take a closer look at the bridge until you find the set screws that were designed specifically to keep the saddles from moving. ;-)

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That's the one from FleaBay85? If yes, then, damn, You were faster than me, I don't know, like 5 hours. ;)

Anyway, congrats. These are marvelous basses.

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I'm glad someone else feels the same way as me about these newer Warwick instruments :) Stunning bases and excellent craftmanship. I think a lot of people who think low of Warwick really ought to give these new instruments a go, exceptional quality.

Enjoy!

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Thanks guys... I'm really pleased :)

[quote name='bluejay' timestamp='1413920509' post='2583696']
Rob, you really, really should post this on the Warwick forum. Seriously. This is a great review :)
[/quote]

Blimey I can't join another bass forum there aren't enough hours in the day! plus that would give me even more GAS which is not something I'm short of as it is :blink:

[quote name='thisnameistaken' timestamp='1413929101' post='2583847']
If the saddles are falling off when you take the strings off, take a closer look at the bridge until you find the set screws that were designed specifically to keep the saddles from moving. ;-)
[/quote]

Good work that man! I checked this out before work this morning and sure enough there is a tiny hex screw in the front of each saddle to pin the height adjust pieces in place once you've set them.

[quote name='Doman' timestamp='1413931795' post='2583891']
That's the one from FleaBay85? If yes, then, damn, You were faster than me, I don't know, like 5 hours. ;)

Anyway, congrats. These are marvelous basses.
[/quote]

Yes its the very same, shipped from Hungary in four days.

I did sense a bit of interest in it and though I'd better get in there before someone else did!

Edited by CamdenRob

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[quote name='Roland Rock' timestamp='1413961342' post='2583982']
Nice bass, however I'm more interested in the Glock! Have you done a review of it?
[/quote]

I haven't no... I might put a full one up if there is any interest.

In short, the Glock has a unique clarity against other class D amps I have tried. I would say that it certainly isn't an amp that will work for everyone, it is very very clean. It doesn't warm up the tone like say a streamliner and also it's not hifi sounding like the GK heads, It basically just amplifies the natural tone of your bass... good sound in - good sound out.

I don't even switch in the EQ section on mine, especially with the warwick as it just brings such a lovely deep clear tone through. I've found little experssions in my playing (vibrato ect) come through much clearer on the Glock than any other amps I've tried, as do any badly fingered notes etc... there is nowhere to hide with it! but I'm enjoying it very much at the moment. Looking forward to trying it out with fretless soon I think that will be an area it really sings.

I picked mine up from the marketplace here but if I was going for a new one I'd probably have gone for the Blue Sky instead of the Blue Soul as it's basically the same amp with selectable mids, but I'd only be using the EQ to get rid of anything nasty live anyway, so I'm more than happy with the Blue Soul.

Edited by CamdenRob

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[quote name='CamdenRob' timestamp='1413963235' post='2583996']


I haven't no... I might put a full one up if there is any interest.

In short, the Glock has a unique clarity against other class D amps I have tried. I would say that it certainly isn't an amp that will work for everyone, it is very very clean. It doesn't warm up the tone like say a streamliner and also it's not hifi sounding like the GK heads, It basically just amplifies the natural tone of your bass... good sound in - good sound out.

I don't even switch in the EQ section on mine, especially with the warwick as it just brings such a lovely deep clear tone through. I've found little experssions in my playing (vibrato ect) come through much clearer on the Glock than any other amps I've tried, as do any badly fingered notes etc... there is nowhere to hide with it! but I'm enjoying it very much at the moment. Looking forward to trying it out with fretless soon I think that will be an area it really sings.

I picked mine up from the marketplace here but if I was going for a new one I'd probably have gone for the Blue Sky instead of the Blue Soul as it's basically the same amp with selectable mids, but I'd only be using the EQ to get rid of anything nasty live anyway, so I'm more than happy with the Blue Soul.
[/quote]

Cheers for that. Your description perfectly sums up my experience of the Glock amp (I had the Soul) and it's great to hear that their Class D amps are just a good.

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[quote name='CamdenRob' timestamp='1413963235' post='2583996']


I haven't no... I might put a full one up if there is any interest.

In short, the Glock has a unique clarity against other class D amps I have tried. I would say that it certainly isn't an amp that will work for everyone, it is very very clean. It doesn't warm up the tone like say a streamliner and also it's not hifi sounding like the GK heads, It basically just amplifies the natural tone of your bass... good sound in - good sound out.

I don't even switch in the EQ section on mine, especially with the warwick as it just brings such a lovely deep clear tone through. I've found little experssions in my playing (vibrato ect) come through much clearer on the Glock than any other amps I've tried, as do any badly fingered notes etc... there is nowhere to hide with it! but I'm enjoying it very much at the moment. Looking forward to trying it out with fretless soon I think that will be an area it really sings.

I picked mine up from the marketplace here but if I was going for a new one I'd probably have gone for the Blue Sky instead of the Blue Soul as it's basically the same amp with selectable mids, but I'd only be using the EQ to get rid of anything nasty live anyway, so I'm more than happy with the Blue Soul.
[/quote]

Cheers for that. Your description perfectly sums up my experience of the Glock amp (I had the Soul) and it's great to hear that their Class D amps are just a good.

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These must be a design classic and I love that they sound as unique and good as they look,

Right up there in my 'if only' list, but the sixer would throw be a bit!

Enjoy!

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I really love the Thumb sound. I think mine makes me play more interesting parts, because I know the character of the bass will carry it off. And thanks to the strong mid hump you don't need to be high in the mix to be heard. Bloody brilliant basses imho.

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[quote name='discreet' timestamp='1414135595' post='2586172']
OK Rob, when can I come round and have a go on it? :D
[/quote]

You'd be more than welcome, I'll check with the boss for our next free weekend :) ... I was thinking of seeing if there are any other Warwick owners within a tube journey of camden, we could get a few of us together, compare some different models.

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That sounds good - I could annoy several Warwick owners at once.
Thank you, sir :)

Edited by discreet

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No worries, any excuse to have someone round and talk about bass guitars... I have my suspicions that despite me explaining on several occasions the subtle differences between a traditional P and J sound the cat isn't really that interested...

Once I've got a date I'll stick a thread up and see if I can tempt any London based Warwick owners out for an afternoon...

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[quote name='discreet' timestamp='1414136841' post='2586193']
I think cats are guitarists at heart. :(
[/quote]

I suspect you may be right...I accidentally stood on his tail the other day and he made a noise similar to our guitarists solos.

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