1985 Jd Thumb Revisions And Comparisons

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So... mine is an amazing bass - but I'm not picking it up over the streamer ... so thinking of moving it on in the next 2 months :( don't want too, but also don't want lots of unused stuff in my life
 
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Hello! New member and fresh owner of K259 (from post #24, thank you Marius!). Is there any way to find out if the stainless frets currently on it are original or if it has been refretted?
Hans Peter wrote that it came with bronze frets, but the 80s... were the 80s :D
I have a set of bronze frets, ready to be installed! Advice much appreciated
 

Hardy

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Hello! New member and fresh owner of K259 (from post #24, thank you Marius!). Is there any way to find out if the stainless frets currently on it are original or if it has been refretted?
Hans Peter wrote that it came with bronze frets, but the 80s... were the 80s :D
I have a set of bronze frets, ready to be installed! Advice much appreciated

Welcome to the good vibe zone, Francesco!
 

Florin

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Hello! New member and fresh owner of K259 (from post #24, thank you Marius!). Is there any way to find out if the stainless frets currently on it are original or if it has been refretted?
Hans Peter wrote that it came with bronze frets, but the 80s... were the 80s :D
I have a set of bronze frets, ready to be installed! Advice much appreciated
Congratulations, that's an awesome instrument!!!
I think it is not really important if frets are original or not, as they are spare parts, same as strings, eventually they worn out and need to be replaced. Bronze or not it is a matter of taste. Ryan Martinie has chrome frets, because... they look better with black hw and chrome strings :)
My advice? If frets are OK, leave them, and consider which type of frets you want by the time they need to be replaced.
Another reason- newer Warwick frets have a thicker blade (the part that goes into the wood, so it requires some special work, and the tech will carve more into the frettboard. If they are OK, leave them.

From what I've seen, Warwick users/ buyers don't care too much about everything being exactly original, as we like to mod our basses anyway :) So the value of the bass is the same with any frets if the work is well done. New frets are different than old ones anyway, so you can chose any frets you like.

I hope you enjoy playing your bass for many many years, and welcome to the Forum, brother!
Flo
 
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Thank you for the advice Florin! The steel frets are a bit worn, but they can last a bit longer :)
I thought the frets may have a small influence on the sound, but no big impact.
 

Florin

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Yes, the frets have an influence in sound, like almost anything else. My question is: do you like it now? Because after the change maybe you like the sound more, maybe less.
 
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Valid point: I do like the sound it has now, but I imagine that I would get more of the trademark Warwick sound with bronze... although the Bartolinis have a huge influence on overall sound.
 
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My 85 has stainless, it was refretted just before I got it - the seller reassured me the original frets were stainless top and according to some research I did at the time I think the brass frets came later.
 
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So after dropping the price on my ‘85 I’ve still no takers ... I’m pretty sure I could get it sounding the way i want with different preamp and pups - is this sacralidge on a rare bass in an almost new condition?
 
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So after dropping the price on my ‘85 I’ve still no takers ... I’m pretty sure I could get it sounding the way i want with different preamp and pups - is this sacralidge on a rare bass in an almost new condition?
As long as it is reversible (no added holes or routing) and you keep the original pu+preamp, you don't devalue the bass at all ;)
 

Hoggles

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Hello! New member and fresh owner of K259 (from post #24, thank you Marius!). Is there any way to find out if the stainless frets currently on it are original or if it has been refretted?
Hans Peter wrote that it came with bronze frets, but the 80s... were the 80s :D
I have a set of bronze frets, ready to be installed! Advice much appreciated

A little late to the convo here, but welcome to the Forum and Congrats on the JD!! Stoked!

If HP told you yours came with Bronze frets, he may be mistaken. As per HP, he no longer has any detailed notes on these early JD's. Our research and knowledge "sometimes" is better than that of Fathers :eek::rolleyes::D

Refer to my original post on page 1. It was sometime in late '85 that he switched to Bronze, from Nickel Silver, on the JD. It was sometime in the life of version #3 of the JD, that they made the switch. Yours is a version #3.

#256 looks like it still has Silver frets...and if your #259 does...then there is a 99% chance those are the original frets. I'd say the same for Luke's...but if the previous owner knew for sure it was refretted, than I don't doubt it.

If you get a chance...feel free to post some detailed pics here and/or in the Thumb Club. :)

=The Warwick Thumb Club=

Edit: Since yours is K (most likely November)....you probably have one of the last JD's with Silver frets. It's my conclusion yours are indeed original. I'll edit the OP to reflect this. And again...congrats on owing one of the most special little basses ever made :)
 
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Florin

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So after dropping the price on my ‘85 I’ve still no takers ... I’m pretty sure I could get it sounding the way i want with different preamp and pups - is this sacralidge on a rare bass in an almost new condition?
Let's see.... I painted my 84 streamer bass VERY green, removed a pickup, filled the wood, and left only a pot and a pickup. We have a bass brother who screws rubber feet in his basses so he doesn't need a stand, just to name a few... So no, it is not a scrilege :)
But really, almost nobody cares if pickups and electronics are original, as long as they are what he wants, no worries. Most mods are seen as upgrades.
I have a 84 Streamer with chrome frets too, I am pretty sure they were original.
 
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Hoggles

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Ok this is awesome that you posted, Francesco. It's made me look over the OP a bit more. Clearing up the history is always a good thing.

Looking at L 283 (Dec) that Moses owns... it sure looks like those are also Silver frets. So, it now looks like the switch happened sometime in December. Maybe.

Edit: Looking at the pic of L 277 on the first page.... it looks like those are possibly Bronze (could just be the pic playing tricks, not sure). Haha. Hmmm. Of course with basses this old....refrets are always a possibility. More investigating will be need to be done! Fun! :D

Ofc...277 and 283 might fall under the very common practice in the early days, of using old hardware...even though newer changes had already been made to the majority etc. It's all part of the fun of trying to figure out early Wicks :)
 
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A little late to the convo here, but welcome to the Forum and Congrats on the JD!! Stoked!

If HP told you yours came with Bronze frets, he may be mistaken. As per HP, he no longer has any detailed notes on these early JD's. Our research and knowledge "sometimes" is better than that of Fathers :eek::rolleyes::D

Refer to my original post on page 1. It was sometime in late '85 that he switched to Bronze, from Nickel Silver, on the JD. It was sometime in the life of version #3 of the JD, that they made the switch. Yours is a version #3.

#256 looks like it still has Silver frets...and if your #259 does...then there is a 99% chance those are the original frets. I'd say the same for Luke's...but if the previous owner knew for sure it was refretted, than I don't doubt it.

If you get a chance...feel free to post some detailed pics here and/or in the Thumb Club. :)

=The Warwick Thumb Club=

Edit: Since yours is K (most likely November)....you probably have one of the last JD's with Silver frets. It's my conclusion yours are indeed original. I'll edit the OP to reflect this. And again...congrats on owing one of the most special little basses ever made :)

@Hoggles , posts like this (I am sure there are many others of yours) show why this forum is invaluable. It is a treasure trove of info even HPW might have forgotten. Can I make a suggestion? Since it seems you are very familiar with the history of Warwick (or at least of a certain part of it, e.g. Thumbs) is there a possibility you could sit down in a very relaxed manner with no pressure and organize what you know about Warwick (or Thumbs) into a document? Something along the lines the pdf "History of Warwick Bass", but not as lengthy. (not sure if you have seen this document). I believe whatever you put together would be a very valuable resource. Do think about it! :)
 

Hoggles

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@Hoggles , posts like this (I am sure there are many others of yours) show why this forum is invaluable. It is a treasure trove of info even HPW might have forgotten. Can I make a suggestion? Since it seems you are very familiar with the history of Warwick (or at least of a certain part of it, e.g. Thumbs) is there a possibility you could sit down in a very relaxed manner with no pressure and organize what you know about Warwick (or Thumbs) into a document? Something along the lines the pdf "History of Warwick Bass", but not as lengthy. (not sure if you have seen this document). I believe whatever you put together would be a very valuable resource. Do think about it! :)

Very kind of you Jester :) and that's a great idea. The reason I started this thread was to try to consolidate all the info in one place.... down to as much small detail as possible. Every variation of every early model (expanding further the awesome work done in the few "History of Warwick's" as you noted). I figured it may be useful some day. Especially with those first transformative years. Thumbs and the first run of Nobby's, would be my focus ofc. I could try a similar thing for Streamers, though I'd never come close to the knowledge of Schlo and Warwickhunt, Flo for those. Although, one can learn a lot just from pics and all the great info they, and others, have posted over the years.

I'd still LOVE to know exactly what golden oldies are hanging in Warwick HQ and under the glass there. Detailed pics and serials would be really cool to know. Maybe HP can snap some photos on his lunch break :D
 
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A very informed and well researched documentation of the Thumb; a 'must read' for anyone looking to understand the early Thumb, well done Hoggles! ;)
 

Hoggles

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A very informed and well researched documentation of the Thumb; a 'must read' for anyone looking to understand the early Thumb, well done Hoggles! ;)

So nice of you to say that, thanks!
 
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I'd still LOVE to know exactly what golden oldies are hanging in Warwick HQ and under the glass there. Detailed pics and serials would be really cool to know. Maybe HP can snap some photos on his lunch break :D
surely someone at Warwick would help with something like that? It’s hardly going to hurt sales if the old ones are mythologised a bit... works ok for fender!
 

Florin

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So you can hate me, but I spent like... a full day playing all of them :)
 
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