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Silky999

Spector or Warwick?

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I’m looking to add to my arsenal and I am trying to decide between a lovely Spector legend classic 4 or a Warwick Corvette.

I’ve played a Warwick before and liked the neck but have never got my hands on a Spector. The Spector has Bartolinis and obviously the Warwick has Mecs. I already have a couple of Ibanez SR. I’m looking for something different to the Ibanez sound.

I’d really like some opinions to help me decide......

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One thing to consider - how thick do you like your necks - the Warwick Corvette 4-string (guessing you're looking at the Rockbass line if the Spector is a Legend) will have a 38mm nut and fairly slim neck. The Legend will be closer to 40mm, maybe more and chunkier. If you buy a secondhand Corvette neck thickness will vary, but should still have the 38mm nut width.

Personally I'm team Warwick, and think even the Rockbasses do a very good job of the Warwick sound - I like MEC pickups. I prefer the active MECs with active circuit (Gold writing on pickup), the passive pickups with active circuit are good too, but less so. And I've never really liked the all passive Corvettes that I've tried, a bit lifeless in my experience.

If you're buying new, Gear4Music has a sale on Warwicks at the moment.

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Another thought - if you like the Spector body shape, you could consider a Warwick Streamer... there are certain, shall we say, similarities. :D

 

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I would look at a Spector with EMGs rather than the Barts. Different kettle 'o' fish and the stand out by far.

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Some Warwicks are better than others depending on when it was made and where too. 

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Posted (edited)

I have a 1999 NS5 XL Issue Number 18. When I bought it there were no euros and the Warwick was just a gateway drug to Spector! Both are good bases. I suspect the Warwick is lighter but the Spector will win on tone. Spector may also have better resale value. 

Edited by TrevorG
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Thanks for the replies. 
I prefer a thinner neck and was looking at a rock bass or 2nd hand German corvette or $$ for Warwick. The Warwick I have played was a ltd edition £5000 job at Andertons so I’m not expecting a rock bass or Corvette to sound/feel the same!
I really like the look and finish of the Spector Classic especially with the burl top and there seems a lot of love on Basschat for Spector

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Posted (edited)

Fwiw, although my experience isn't with the exact basses you list, I have had a Warwick Streamer Stage One, a German Streamer LX and a Rockbass Streamer 5 along with the Spector Euro 4.

The Warwicks had a much 'barkier', more brittle sound naturally, although with a warm bottom end which I put down to the MEC pre-amps. They still sounded and played phenomenal, however.  The Spector Euro 4 (with EMG PJ's and Tonepump preamp) was a fizzier, more full bodied and punchier tone than the Warwicks, which for my personal tastes, I preferred. 

Both will be built to an equally high standard. Far beyond your usual fare on these hallowed pages anyway!

Edited by 40hz
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It's worth noting that you can find some older German Warwicks for pretty cheap at the moment. I bought an immaculate '99 Streamer LX5 for a crazily low price. I put a Bartolini preamp in it after the MEC died, and along with the MEC pickups it sounds killer.

 

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Posted (edited)

Hmmm interesting... try each. I think we've established they're both pro-level. Given that famously Warwick ripped their Streamer line from Spector early on... So it's about tone and playability rather than aesthetics. For me, I love the Warwick barky tone but I'm not so familiar with the Spector counterpart but the few I've tried sounded good. 

As life moves on, I'm increasingly convinced that it's all about playability for you. Aesthetics and tone are secondary as you can wang-on a Darkglass and get instant grit-o-tone from any bass and you don't see a bass when it's strapped to you.

Edited by visog
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Very tricky.  Both brands make quality instruments and will probably boil down whichever feels best in you hands.  I ended up keeping the Spectors and selling the Warwicks but it wasn't a strightforward choice.

Probably no help whatsoever :)

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Posted (edited)

I’m edging towards Spector. 
I have seen a lovely NS2000/4 with EMG HZ PUPS going for £500 and what looks like a Legend with EMG SSD pups for £275 but in a more used condition. I’m not sure where both basses sit/sat in the Spector range? There’s no way to AB them as both being sold privately miles apart. 
Is the NS2000 a markedly better bass in sound and quality or are both just different takes on the same flavour?

Edited by Silky999

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My most recently acquired bass is a Spector ReBop DLX 5-string (EMGpickups).  It’s the only Spector I’ve ever played in approaching 40 years as a bassist, but my most gigged bass is an Ibanez SR600.
The best recommendation I can give is that I love the core sound of the Spector so much that I keep trying to emulate it on my other basses - with only limited success.😯

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Remember that if you get a Spector it will always sound like.... a Spector.

It's a fantastic tone but you'll find it difficult to pull different sounds from it.

For info I have played a number of Spectors down the years, incredible instruments all, I just wish I could find one that was a bit more versatile cos if I did it would probably be my number 1....

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Throughout my three months of furlough this year I was really torn between a Spector and Warwick in terms of my first 6 string bass purchase. I was not going to buy one immediately but needed something to occupy myself. Now I'm back at work though and the 'real world' expenses like home improvements and car repairs have taken over. 

I think I am going to treat myself to either a Spector Forte or Warwick Thumb when I turn 40. The only problem with that is that I just turned 34. 



 

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14 hours ago, ead said:

Very tricky.  Both brands make quality instruments and will probably boil down whichever feels best in you hands.  I ended up keeping the Spectors and selling the Warwicks but it wasn't a strightforward choice.

Probably no help whatsoever :)

I agree with @ead For me, it is all about how I get along with the neck and the shape of the bass. All  others things can be changed much easier (pickups, preamp, even colour/finish). So, if possible, try them both and see which one works best for you or, like some say, which bass chooses you 🙂

There is a retailer in Germany that offers 14 days of free returns 😉

 

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14 hours ago, Silky999 said:

I’m edging towards Spector. 
I have seen a lovely NS2000/4 with EMG HZ PUPS going for £500 and what looks like a Legend with EMG SSD pups for £275 but in a more used condition. I’m not sure where both basses sit/sat in the Spector range? There’s no way to AB them as both being sold privately miles apart. 
Is the NS2000 a markedly better bass in sound and quality or are both just different takes on the same flavour?

The NS2000 is a quality bass.  I think these were made under the Stuart Spector Design (SSD) brand when Spector was having difficulties with Kramer over brand ownership and had to have basses made abroad.  These and the NS-94 were almost like US basses in terms of fit and finish; lots of lovely little touches.  There's some stuff on the Spector website about the history plus some details of where the basses made.

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Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, Silky999 said:

I’m edging towards Spector. 
I have seen a lovely NS2000/4 with EMG HZ PUPS going for £500 and what looks like a Legend with EMG SSD pups for £275 but in a more used condition. I’m not sure where both basses sit/sat in the Spector range? There’s no way to AB them as both being sold privately miles apart. 
Is the NS2000 a markedly better bass in sound and quality or are both just different takes on the same flavour?

The NS2000/4 is neck-through. I think only the Legend Customs were a neck-through design, if that's something you want to bear in mind. (May not be right...see below !)

I bought an NS2000/4 recently and it's a lovely bass. Very pleased with it, although I replaced the pickups in mine.

Edited by ahpook

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1 hour ago, ahpook said:

The NS2000/4 is neck-through. I think only the Legend Customs were a neck-through design, if that's something you want to bear in mind.

I bought an NS2000/4 recently and it's a lovely bass. Very pleased with it, although I replaced the pickups in mine.

I had a Legend Custom and it was a set neck as I recall

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, Defo said:

I had a Legend Custom and it was a set neck as I recall

It was ?

Fair enough, I remember the Customs as definitely not bolt on, but I may have got confused.

Thanks for the correction.

Edited by ahpook

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Thanks folks.....I would ideally like the NS2000. I’ll see how much I get in the old pay packet lol

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4 hours ago, ahpook said:

It was ?

Fair enough, I remember the Customs as definitely not bolt on, but I may have got confused.

Thanks for the correction.

Legend Standard and Classic: Bolt on

Legend Custom: Set neck

Legend NT: Neck through

I used to have a Legend NT with Aguilar pickups and preamp. Great quality bass but the neck was a bit too narrow (the Legends have a nut width of 1.57'' in comparison to the Euros that have 1.64'') and the bass a bit too heavy. 

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I've recently rediscovered my love for Warwick basses after years of playing fender type instruments. 

 

I have a 97 Corvette 5 string with EMGs, a 2001(?) Thumb Bolt on fretless and a recently required 2000 Streamer Stage 1 with EMGs and Aguilar OBP-2.

The Corvette 5 I would say is probably the best made of the lot of them, with the wenge neck and plays very nicely but is very heavy. It also has the thicker tone of the three. 

I would says I prefer the EMG pickups over the MEC stuff - to me it just sounds a bit more solid in the low end and liver - probably finds a middle ground between the Spector and Warwick in terms of tone 

 

You can probably pickup up a German made 90s Warwick Corvette for not too much money. I've never played a Spector tho I was tempted by one when getting my streamer. Both companies no doubt make great basses but owning that Corvette for 20+ years and it never letting me down and still looking and playing well despite touring it heavily in the early 2000s made me stick with Warwick. 

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I've got 3 Warwick 5-string Corvettes; one has a chunky neck and another is significantly heavier, so they are quite variable.

They are all nice basses.

I've taken them to a Bass Bash or two and the Spector folks (including @cetera!) have glared/looked disdainfully at them.

@NancyJohnson is selling a Spector which is rather nice, but a pricier model.

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You’d need to play the yourself. Personally I’d go Warwick (well, vintage Warwick anyway) pretty much every time, but only you can decide.

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