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Most aggressive: Thumb vs Stingray vs Wal


4000

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7 minutes ago, Vanheusen77 said:

Me too but I believe the pickups are in the wrong positions, especially the neck pickup.

Obviously they’re not in exactly the same positions, but a comparison would great anyway. 

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On 14/01/2022 at 13:47, Misdee said:

I'm definitely from the "older Warwick basses were better" camp myself. Slimmer neck profiles ect. (Not that later ones are necessarily bad or not worth having, by any means.)

 

I could easily be wrong about the fingerboard wood.

 

It's worth mentioning that the EMG pickups on the original basses were also probably a significant contribution to the unique tone, too.

I think you were right in your reply above that early Thumbs had wenge fretboard.  At least my 89 5 st has wenge.  I have no idea what they use these days.  I prefer the old Warwicks over the new ones.  Not sure about the EMGs.  I cant remember if there were options to get Barts as well (maybe some other as well).  Mine came with EMG and I love that tone.

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1 hour ago, bassbora said:

I think you were right in your reply above that early Thumbs had wenge fretboard.  At least my 89 5 st has wenge.  I have no idea what they use these days.  I prefer the old Warwicks over the new ones.  Not sure about the EMGs.  I cant remember if there were options to get Barts as well (maybe some other as well).  Mine came with EMG and I love that tone.

The fretted early Thumbs generally had wenge boards, but I meant the fretless ones; all of the early fretlesses I’ve played (a few) have had ebony boards, which isn’t to say there weren’t wenge ones too of course. 
 

I’ve always preferred the EMGs to Barts. Having had a few basses with Barts, I eventually realised I didn’t get on with them at all. The only bass I had that I liked them in was my ‘88 Pedulla MVP. That was a lovely bass.
 

Some of the early Warwicks had Seymours in, the ones with the small switches on them. 

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48 minutes ago, 4000 said:

The fretted early Thumbs generally had wenge boards, but I meant the fretless ones; all of the early fretlesses I’ve played (a few) have had ebony boards, which isn’t to say there weren’t wenge ones too of course. 
 

I’ve always preferred the EMGs to Barts. Having had a few basses with Barts, I eventually realised I didn’t get on with them at all. The only bass I had that I liked them in was my ‘88 Pedulla MVP. That was a lovely bass.
 

Some of the early Warwicks had Seymours in, the ones with the small switches on them. 

@4000 its all your fault, I have thumb GAS and this just popped up :)

 

https://www.andertons.co.uk/bass-dept/bass-guitars/modern-bass-guitars/second-hand-warwick-gps-thumb-4

Anyone any idea what year?

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40 minutes ago, horrorshowbass said:

@4000 its all your fault, I have thumb GAS and this just popped up :)

 

https://www.andertons.co.uk/bass-dept/bass-guitars/modern-bass-guitars/second-hand-warwick-gps-thumb-4

Anyone any idea what year?


That looks like a relatively new one to me, possibly only a few years old (if that). I think it’s Ovangkol body/neck and wenge fretboard. But difficult to tell without seeing in person. 

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1 hour ago, 4000 said:

The fretted early Thumbs generally had wenge boards, but I meant the fretless ones; all of the early fretlesses I’ve played (a few) have had ebony boards, which isn’t to say there weren’t wenge ones too of course. 
 

I’ve always preferred the EMGs to Barts. Having had a few basses with Barts, I eventually realised I didn’t get on with them at all. The only bass I had that I liked them in was my ‘88 Pedulla MVP. That was a lovely bass.
 

Some of the early Warwicks had Seymours in, the ones with the small switches on them. 

I remember the SD pickups. Never tried them. I have 89 Thumb 6 fretless which originally was a fretted model but has an ebony board. Early Thumb necks are just amazing (if you like thinner necks) and has Barts. I think it’s the original and I love them in that bass. 
 

I have both 91 Streamer 1&2 5s both with Barts and I really like them but all these things are very subjective and personal. 
 

I remember those MVPs that must have been a killer bass. Do you still have it? My teacher had a 5st of those back in the mid 90s and it sounded so good. 

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33 minutes ago, CookPassBabtridge said:


That looks like a relatively new one to me, possibly only a few years old (if that). I think it’s Ovangkol body/neck and wenge fretboard. But difficult to tell without seeing in person. 

Thanks dude, aggressive enough then? :)

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4 hours ago, horrorshowbass said:

@4000 its all your fault, I have thumb GAS and this just popped up :)

 

https://www.andertons.co.uk/bass-dept/bass-guitars/modern-bass-guitars/second-hand-warwick-gps-thumb-4

Anyone any idea what year?

Given the price I would also give this one a check. I would have take in if I could and when I checked it was still available 

 

 

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I had a bolt on Thumb. It had a very refined and focussed growl, lots of mids but tricky to mix in a typical rock and pop function/pub band line up. It has a tone of its own. A one trick pony perhaps, but a damn good trick if you like that sound. 
 

A stingray has a less refined growl IMHO but is a more versatile tone that fits better and easier into mixes without much effort. 
 

Wal. I have no idea

 

FWIW, depending on one’s definition of growl, my Yamaha Attitude LTD2 is the growliest, gnarliest bass I’ve ever played. But P bass growl is quite a different thing to what you’re looking at. 

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3 hours ago, horrorshowbass said:

Thanks dude, aggressive enough then? :)


Oh yeah, plenty! I have that combo myself and it’s certainly not lacking in grunt. A lot of people say the bubinga body is ‘better’, but I can’t tell much of a difference myself plus you’d be looking at an extra £1k or so for it. 

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I had an 87 Thumb, 5 one of the early ones with the Schaller style single piece bridge, I had a Wal Pro 1 and I've now got an SR5 20th Anniversary. Of the 3 I'd say the thumb had the most bite and attitude, closely followed by the SR5, however, my 5 string Bongo with the 18v pre is a beast, and whilst I haven't played that Thumb in 10 years, I think the Bongo might have had the edge.

 

 

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5 hours ago, bassbora said:

I remember the SD pickups. Never tried them. I have 89 Thumb 6 fretless which originally was a fretted model but has an ebony board. Early Thumb necks are just amazing (if you like thinner necks) and has Barts. I think it’s the original and I love them in that bass. 
 

I have both 91 Streamer 1&2 5s both with Barts and I really like them but all these things are very subjective and personal. 
 

I remember those MVPs that must have been a killer bass. Do you still have it? My teacher had a 5st of those back in the mid 90s and it sounded so good. 

I played several basses with the SDs with the switches in those days. I liked them IIRC.
 

Ironically I px’d my Pedulla for a Wal Custom in Music Ground (?) in the mid ‘90s. A big mistake as I never bonded with that Wal like I did with the Pedulla; I wish I’d kept it. I later sold the Wal to a friend. Different style of band though, the Wal might suit my current band better, but if I could have either back (based on merits and not value) it’d be the Pedulla, no question. 

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13 hours ago, 4000 said:

I played several basses with the SDs with the switches in those days. I liked them IIRC.
 

Ironically I px’d my Pedulla for a Wal Custom in Music Ground (?) in the mid ‘90s. A big mistake as I never bonded with that Wal like I did with the Pedulla; I wish I’d kept it. I later sold the Wal to a friend. Different style of band though, the Wal might suit my current band better, but if I could have either back (based on merits and not value) it’d be the Pedulla, no question. 

I Remember buying a Wal pro1 fretless for the incredibly cheap sum of £400 in the mid nineties!! Something about buying your dream bass, and being totally let down after a couple of days!! The reality was it weighed the weight of a forrest!!

The neck was chunkier than a box of Yorkie chocolate bars!! On the plus point, looked really good! The electronics were  just amazingly good!

 

So ironically enough sold it a couple of months later for the princely sum of £350 of which I don't regret..I guess people were not so into Wals then? lol🙈😁 

 

It didn't rankle with me to see it up for sale a couple of years ago on eBay for offers over £3.5k..If I had a spare £350, sorry I still wouldn't buy one again..It's horses for courses I guess..Sorry Wal owners just my humble opinion!👍😃

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5 hours ago, wright/watt said:

I Remember buying a Wal pro1 fretless for the incredibly cheap sum of £400 in the mid nineties!! Something about buying your dream bass, and being totally let down after a couple of days!! The reality was it weighed the weight of a forrest!!

The neck was chunkier than a box of Yorkie chocolate bars!! On the plus point, looked really good! The electronics were  just amazingly good!

 

So ironically enough sold it a couple of months later for the princely sum of £350 of which I don't regret..I guess people were not so into Wals then? lol🙈😁 

 

It didn't rankle with me to see it up for sale a couple of years ago on eBay for offers over £3.5k..If I had a spare £350, sorry I still wouldn't buy one again..It's horses for courses I guess..Sorry Wal owners just my humble opinion!👍😃

I sold my Custom for approx £550, also mid-nineties. It actually wasn’t that heavy, maybe 9, 9 and a half pounds? I’ve played a lot of Wals over the decades and they’ve differed so much. Some very good, some dead as posts and everything in between. The weights have been all over the place too. I think my favourite-sounding of the Customs was a wenge-faced one in the Bass Centre but it weighed as much asa small house. 
 

I really liked and miss my Pro (although again pretty heavy),easily preferred that to the Custom. 

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On 15/01/2022 at 17:07, 4000 said:

The fretted early Thumbs generally had wenge boards, but I meant the fretless ones; all of the early fretlesses I’ve played (a few) have had ebony boards, which isn’t to say there weren’t wenge ones too of course. 
 

I’ve always preferred the EMGs to Barts. Having had a few basses with Barts, I eventually realised I didn’t get on with them at all. The only bass I had that I liked them in was my ‘88 Pedulla MVP. That was a lovely bass.
 

Some of the early Warwicks had Seymours in, the ones with the small switches on them. 

I had a Fender  Jazz with those SD pickups in . You had to strain to hear any difference between the different settings, from what I remember. Sounded pretty good though.

 

The early Warwick's also offered OBL ( Original Bill Lawrence) pickups as an option too, from what I remember.

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21 minutes ago, Misdee said:

I had a Fender  Jazz with those SD pickups in . You had to strain to hear any difference between the different settings, from what I remember. Sounded pretty good though.

 

The early Warwick's also offered OBL ( Original Bill Lawrence) pickups as an option too, from what I remember.

From memory I thought the settings sounded pretty different, but then I am one for minutiae! 😂

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21 hours ago, wright/watt said:

I Remember buying a Wal pro1 fretless for the incredibly cheap sum of £400 in the mid nineties!! Something about buying your dream bass, and being totally let down after a couple of days!! The reality was it weighed the weight of a forrest!!

The neck was chunkier than a box of Yorkie chocolate bars!! On the plus point, looked really good! The electronics were  just amazingly good!

 

So ironically enough sold it a couple of months later for the princely sum of £350 of which I don't regret..I guess people were not so into Wals then? lol🙈😁 

 

It didn't rankle with me to see it up for sale a couple of years ago on eBay for offers over £3.5k..If I had a spare £350, sorry I still wouldn't buy one again..It's horses for courses I guess..Sorry Wal owners just my humble opinion!👍😃

Wals are great basses with a unique tone and an identity all of their own, but I definitely think a lot of  people see them through rose tinted spectacles nowadays. They were always a niche instrument, but nowadays short supply amidst rising demand has led to a certain amount of mythology surrounding Wal basses. Myself, I wouldn't pay the current asking price for a new one, but then again I wouldn't get the opportunity because Paul Herman is not taking any more orders for the foreseeable future because of overwhelming demand. Good for him!👍

 

The tone is undeniably wonderful, but as with most other manufacturers, you get good 'uns and not-so-good 'uns.  Most of them are heavy or very heavy ( just like most Foderas, for that matter) and the necks are fairly chunky. Not necessarily a bad thing, but definitely a thing.

 

Also, they may be pretty hefty , but they are not particularly robust. My experience is that they are prone to niggling faults. Wal have always been very helpful sorting them out, it must be said, but if I lived  somewhere further afield that didn't have easy access to the Wal workshop I would think twice about buying one. 

 

That said, the basses Paul is making now are probably the best made Wals ever, so don't be too put off by anything I say. I only mean to make the point that Wal basses have many great strengths but are not perfect for everybody by any means. 

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1 minute ago, 4000 said:

From memory I thought the settings sounded pretty different, but then I am one for minutiae! 😂

The 1990s are getting to be a long time ago, my recollections from the decade are starting to be hampered by old age!😄

 

I do seem to  remember that you had to turn up pretty loud to hear the different eq settings from the switches. Nowadays I would probably appreciate their subtleties more.

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I've two Wals, bought at random.  The MK2 was disappointing at first, but much tweaking of the setup later, I really like it.  Every "post pro" Wal I've seen for sale has stated much the same weight and mine are both 4.8kg.  I conclude that a lot of these "differences" ( from good to dead as) are either perceptual or down to setup (eg tightening up the neck bolts does wonders for sustain and clarity).   Still, I wouldn't buy one at today's prices and they don't do everything.  My Warwick beats it hands down for some things ( ergonomics for one). 

 

Aggressive sound needed? I'd probably use the dolphin with both bridge pickups in.

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I think the wood combination in Warwick basses really does emphasize an aggressive, up-front sound. Wenge is so dense that it gives crystalline high end as well as midrange punch.The bubinga  body on a Thumb accentuates that even more.

 

Even the Streamers with a maple body and wenge fretboards can sound pretty nasty in the right hands. I loved Stuart Zender's tone on the first Jamiroquoi album, for example. Low action and light gauge strings for plenty of grit and grind.

 

 

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1 hour ago, NickA said:

I've two Wals, bought at random.  The MK2 was disappointing at first, but much tweaking of the setup later, I really like it.  Every "post pro" Wal I've seen for sale has stated much the same weight and mine are both 4.8kg.  I conclude that a lot of these "differences" ( from good to dead as) are either perceptual or down to setup (eg tightening up the neck bolts does wonders for sustain and clarity).   Still, I wouldn't buy one at today's prices and they don't do everything.  My Warwick beats it hands down for some things ( ergonomics for one). 

 

Aggressive sound needed? I'd probably use the dolphin with both bridge pickups in.

Well I think all individual instruments differ, and my experience of Wals has been exactly that, just more so than some other brands. I used to go and play them in Denmark Street when they first came out and were all the rage, they often had several on the walls, all set up pretty much the same. All the many Wals I’ve played since haven’t changed that opinion. They were still all different, just like all the Rics I’ve owned, regardless of setup, have been different. And the weights definitely vary a lot. My Custom was half the weight of the Wenge-faced one in the Bass Centre, which was also inexplicably far more head-heavy! 

 

Ive had 3 Dolphins, 2 x Pro 1s and a Pro II. My first early Pro 1 was great, but not super-aggressive IMO. The second ‘96) I didn’t like. The Pro 2 could get pretty aggressive, but still probably not as much as the early Thumbs I’ve played, IMO. Of course YMMV. I’ll add that I never use a back pickup only sound as It’s not something I’m keen on….😉

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