- Warwick Basses Buyers Guide
Who Are Warwick?
Germany company Warwick are famous the world over for their incredible modern bass guitars. As one of the leading bass manufacturers, these are the guys that set the standard required year upon year for the rest of the field.
Founded in 1982 by Hans Peter Wilfer, he designed three core bass body shapes. Today, these are known as the Streamer, Corvette and Thumb series. Despite the wide variety of specs and finishes for each individual bass, the three ranges contain niche feature to set them apart from every other type of bass guitar in production.
Warwick live and die by their construction quality. Their basses are made with extreme care and attention, using only the finest woods, renowned reliable hardware and of course, outstanding sounding pickups.
You’ll Love Warwick basses If…
…You want a contemporary style bass built to the highest order. When you buy Warwick, you know you’re getting the best in class. A lot of Warwick fans tend to play some form of rock, metal or jazz, so you’ll feel right at home if you’re used to these styles.
Those of you after exotic woods, classy finishes and premium pickups and hardware have come to the right place. This is no place for your gimmicky guitars or cheap parts. Expect carefully crafted tones and sleek playing experience.
Popular Warwick Artists
Some of the biggest name in bass choose Warwick because they know they’re a level above the rest. And not only do they meet all the criteria for gigging basses, but the unique designs guarantee you’re going to stand out on stage.
Metallica’s Robert Trujillo, Jack Bruce from Cream and U2’s Adam Clayton have all received signature basses. Bassists for Meshuggah, System of A Down, Alice In Chains, Karnivool, The Devin Townsend Project and plenty more all play core range Warwick instruments – these aren’t your average ‘plod along’ indie basses.
What are the Best Warwick Basses?
The Warwick range is split up by body shape, making the main features of each instrument easy to identify. But within these categories are three types of builds: the affordable Asian-made Rockbass line-up, the Pro series German GPS Teambuilt guitars and the legendary Custom Shop.
Rockbass Warwicks would rightly be considered a line of midrange basses, offering immense tones and playability at great prices. GPS Teambuilt guitars turn everything up a notch under the supervision of the Warwick master builders and the Custom shop is the absolute pinnacle of the craft. Let’s take a closer look.
Warwick Streamer Basses
A true modern classic. The Streamer encapsulates everything the Warwick brand is about; ergonomic design, powerful sound and shapeable tones. Available in four or five string models, the Streamer is an excellent pick for fingerstyle players and bassists after an instrument that lends itself to lots of different sounds.
Most of the German-made Streamers incorporate sleek woods such as cherrywood, wenge and ovangkol, providing a strong resonance and resilience. An attribute across the board is the Streamer’s two-band EQ, allowing you to roll on and off the bass and treble frequencies as you wish.
Take your pick of dual humbucker, LX model P/J and J/J pickup configurations. Other versions of the Streamer include the more conventional ash body and maple neck CV and the neck through NT. Overall, a versatile instrument that doesn’t pocket itself in particular genres.
Warwick Corvette Basses
Introduced in 1992, the Corvette has established itself as one of the most popular Warwick ranges. Used by plenty of high-profile players over the years, the Corvette puts out a raw, vibrant sound. Plenty of rock and metal players have used it to great effect.
As you’ve guessed by now, Warwick love to experiment with wood combinations. The Corvette is a prime example, as many are built with swamp ash or bubinga bodies, ebony fretboards – and some even including buckeye burl tops.
You’ll find more niche features here, such as illuminated side dots and extra jumbo frets. You’ll notice some models with $$ in their name. This means they’re equipped with the fatter sounding Warwick-designed humbuckers. Some of their basses even include active/passive switches for humbucker pickups, both making the bass more adaptable to a variety of amps and in the sound department, too.
Warwick Thumb Basses
The quirky Thumb bass shouldn’t be forgotten between the two Corvette and Streamer behemoths. This is a real cornerstone of the Warwick catalogue thanks to its highly focused tones and exceptional ergonomic shape.
Another bass favoured by fingerstyle players, the Thumb is a simple, yet flowing shape featuring flawless bolt on neck joints and Warwick’s reliable two-piece bridges, keeping the instrument steady in tuning and intonation. You’ll notice both pickups on most models are positioned further towards the bridge, meaning there’s more attack in the tone even when set to the ‘neck’ position – a much needed design choice for a fingerstyle bass.
Warwick Star Basses
Warwick do occasionally stray into vintage territory, despite the predominantly modern back catalogue. The Star is an old school style semi-acoustic bass guitar that serves up both retro aesthetic and tone in bucketloads.
Elegant in its own unique way, the Star bass is certainly aimed at players who want to roll off the aggression and approach bass with a smoother, charming sound. The semi-hollow body certainly helps with this, as it allows the sound to resonate and become fatter. Add to this the all-passive circuitry and single coil pickups (which only look like humbuckers) and you’ve got yourself a classic rock and jazzy bass.