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Marcoelwray

Warwick Rockbass Corvette Custom

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Hello folks

Since Warwick changed the RB line into Something better (same hardware as German models, same nut, pickups from Germany), I think that Rockbass line is really nice basses. Thing is, price has increased a lot too ! A "simple" Corvette $$ 4 string on Thomann  is already 849€ !

I just made a trade and I got a RB Corvette $$ in natural Ash. But the overall quality of the instrument is really good, IMHO.

SO, as you can find now really good priced used RB basses, I think there's Something to do there. At least, that's I'm thinking.

For now I've got not much pictures of the bass because I dismantle it immediately after coming back home (I will put later). Here's the action plan for a "player condition" Rockbass (in this case my Corvette) to reack a better level of sound and aesthetics (I put the price as reference if someone could be interested in such a project, and to compare with a german-made WW) :

1. Check the whole instrument to evaluate the work (done; 0€)

2. As many Rockbass, get rid of the varnish and get back to wood to a nice oiled&waxed finish (neck, done ; let's say 10€ for sandpaper and oil&wax)

3. Clean up all the neck and restore the frets in "new" condition (done ; about 5€ of sand paper)

4. Oil & Wax the neck, restore the black resin on the head (done ; just some products I already have but let's put a 5€ here)

5. Optional but nice if possible; put new Gotoh machine heads (for now I'll keep the WW tuners for Financial reasons, but about 40€ for a 2R+2L set)

6. As I don't like the pickup configuration and neither the electronics, new pickups and electronics (passive) (Delano The Hybrid + JC 4 AL, 260€)

7. Refinish the body with sand paper and take off 10mm of thickness (sandpaper, let's say 10€)

8. Buy & install a new top in a nice wood, in this case it'll be Thuya Burl (with a 1mm Wengé veneer), quite expensive, but all is possible (glue & wood: 160€)

9. Finish the whole body, including, sanding, carving, routing of the new pickups & neck Pocket & bridge, oiling & waxing (about 5€ for electricity?)

10. Optional if needed; new bridge (50€)

11. Put back together the whole thing, wiring, setting (0€)

12. Enjoy (priceless, at least, I hope It'll be.)

So quick recap of the total expenses : 545 €

There is two ways here; either you already have a Rockbass that doesn't make you thrill anymore, and the used market will not give you enough to sell it, or you looking for a used one in a player condition, decent but not as new, and it'll be between 250-500 euros (for the common models in 4 or 5 strings). So the max budget could be around 1000€ so £860.

 

Yes, but what will be the result? Well, this is the goal of this post. The neck is ready, I'm waiting the wood for starting the body, and I'll let you know if it's a good idea or not. But like I said Rockass basses are already good, a little enhancement in electronics and hardware will give the reliability and a nice sounding instrument. PLUS, it will be a totally unique instrument in the world. Yet, there will always be the "RB" serial number on the back. Personnally, I don't care if the result is good.

Imagine you want a Corvette with a maple neck with rosewood fingerboard and a Thuya Burl top with custom electronics, and ask Warwick, most of you know the CS prices.... Quite expensive.

Disclaimer : I'm not saying that german made or Cs Warwick doesn't Worth the price or anything, this is not the question. The real question here is "To which point a rockbass can be good and beautiful with few enhancements?"

I have some pictures on my phone so I'll answer this post immediatly with the first pics.

Let me know what you think of this. I'll try to give you as many updates I can.

Cheers

 

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Here's a very bad picture of the instrument as I get it. (Two gold saddles in the Chrome, one spring missing, varnish really in poor condition, neck dirty and lot of frets were used, some dings and dongs and not much sex appeal)

Also pictures of the refinished neck and actual body, untouched.

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IMG_20190411_211303.jpg

IMG_20190412_031804.jpg

IMG_20190411_211248.jpg

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Posted (edited)

You can get used RB's for a reasonable price I've just picked up 2 (a 4 string Corvette and a 5 string Corvette) for £350 and they are in excellent condition according to the s/n's the 4 string is a 2002 and the 5 string is a 2014 its just a shame they haven't got the 2 part bridge tho but I could always change them at a later date

_20190403_011359.thumb.JPG.e9e4f3bba129a90c635e925c402bbb51.JPG

Edited by Jimothey
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1 hour ago, Jimothey said:

You can get used RB's for a reasonable price I've just picked up 2 (a 4 string Corvette and a 5 string Corvette) for £350 and they are in excellent condition according to the s/n's the 4 string is a 2002 and the 5 string is a 2014 its just a shame they haven't got the 2 part bridge tho but I could always change them at a later date

_20190403_011359.thumb.JPG.e9e4f3bba129a90c635e925c402bbb51.JPG

Yep, but that's the older models, they were considerably cheaper (I think they were about 500-600€ on Thomann compared to the new model starting at 849 :/ ), now like I said with the new RB lines you've got all the german hardware (maybe it's made in China, I don't know, but the same, as you can purchase on WW website). Still, they are good bases for a custom build ! (Yours are painted but still...)

Like you said (and I said), at this price, a new bridge is just ~40€ for a 4 string, no matter the color, and can be easily mounted on this basses. I'm not sure if they already feature the JAN III (nut it's cheap too).

What DO sound stupid to me, except if you got too much money, is going for the full brass bridge (about £300) and the brass JAN (about £60)...

And, as I saw somewhere that you can buy quality "W" logos, easy to make a matched headstock too...

Again, the goal is not to "pretend" that you've got a "real" WW, but just to improve your instrument for a decent cost.

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Posted (edited)

The 5 has got a JAN but the 4 hasn't so I will probably change it but I've got my other builds to finish first

I was also thinking of stripping my Quincy back to bare wood and just oiling it because it's got a really thick looking satin poly finish at the mo and maybe converting it into a $$ style and if I really wanted to it would take much to make this look like a Warwick........ 

_20190328_200355.thumb.JPG.b1ddad62e9f88f8fe343acce4b2dc658.JPG

Edited by Jimothey

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Btw, I have these two $$ to sell... Because I don't need them anymore. In case of.

It is quite fast with thermic tool and a painter's knife ... (To get rid of this thick varnish)

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If I could afford it I would definitely have it off you but I'm skint after my last purchase......... ☹️

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5 minutes ago, Jimothey said:

If I could afford it I would definitely have it off you but I'm skint after my last purchase......... ☹️

They are in sale but not much people are interested in two big humbuckers with electronics. I can make you a nice price. Till there, they'll stay in the box ;)

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I think it's a great project, Marco.  I look forwards to seeing the result.  It will look stunning with the Thuya...

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11 hours ago, Marcoelwray said:

They are in sale but not much people are interested in two big humbuckers with electronics. I can make you a nice price. Till there, they'll stay in the box ;)

If you would accept a price of about £5 then I'll definitely have it!! 😜

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1 hour ago, Jimothey said:

If you would accept a price of about £5 then I'll definitely have it!! 😜

Honestly I'm so stupid that I am totally capable of this. But unfortunately I need funds for the replacement Delano pickup (and Thuya burl refund to eat this month :) )

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I've got a pair of Delano J pickups - swap you for the bass?

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2 hours ago, tauzero said:

I've got a pair of Delano J pickups - swap you for the bass?

Thank you but I have brand new pickups Frome Delano?

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I've got an RB 5-string  I'm putting together from parts.

Corvette body, Fortress neck, bridge, machines are on it.

I need a pair of J- style pickups to finish it and I'll do the passive harness.

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34 minutes ago, prowla said:

I've got an RB 5-string  I'm putting together from parts.

Corvette body, Fortress neck, bridge, machines are on it.

I need a pair of J- style pickups to finish it and I'll do the passive harness.

Reminds me the story of a doctor :)

I got in stock a set of Delano, J style oriented vintage... In case of...

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3 hours ago, prowla said:

What will fit a 5-string?

Arf I'm stupid. Of course no. But Delano price range on jazz pickups are really nice..... Best on WW are big poles JMVC FE or simple JC 5 HE/M2. They now offer the wonderful times Square in jazz (like a J blade) but it's a bit more expensive. Hit me with a PM u can give you prices, free shipping for BC users!

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Long time before this Thuya burl reach me... Anyway it's there and I managed to make a start. Very hard to render the true colour of Thuya on picture.

IMG_20190509_141131.jpg

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1 minute ago, Marcoelwray said:

Long time before this Thuya burl reach me... Anyway it's there and I managed to make a start. Very hard to render the true colour of Thuya on picture.

IMG_20190509_141131.jpg

OOOOOOooooooooooooh!    Lovely!! :)

 

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On 27/04/2019 at 09:56, Marcoelwray said:

Reminds me the story of a doctor :)

I got in stock a set of Delano, J style oriented vintage... In case of...

Well, I lucked out - I bought a German Corvette which had replacement pickups fitted and included the originals, so they’re now on the RB!

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Not really easy to reduce thickness of 8mm without a planer or sander.... So, I used a very not dangerous method :D

And that worked. So far. First part is glued and drying.

IMG_20190509_183552.jpg

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Oh my.

It's just a first oiling after grit 120, need to rout the pickups. 

BTW, hardware, gold or black? I went for gold but now I think it might be too much... Opinions are welcome!

IMG_20190511_184240.jpg

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32 minutes ago, Marcoelwray said:

Oh my.

It's just a first oiling after grit 120, need to rout the pickups. 

BTW, hardware, gold or black? I went for gold but now I think it might be too much... Opinions are welcome!

IMG_20190511_184240.jpg

Looking good!

I think gold will look good on that.

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