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A Noble Pursuit...thumb 6

Discussion in 'Bass Guitars' started by blackedition, Aug 14, 2020.

  1. blackedition

    blackedition

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    All,

    The long and short of it is that my father turns 65 this year (October) and my family would like to gift him one of his two dream basses: a German-made Warwick Thumb 6 string or a Rickenbacker 4003. I have heard him talk about wanting a Thumb, and to and a slightly lesser extent, the Rick, for YEARS. As such, I have made it my mission to find him the Thumb.

    My father isn't the type of man to buy things for himself. He seems to think spending ANY money for his own benefit is frivolous, even if it is earned and warranted. As an example, he played a single bass since the late 70s/ early 80s (a late 70s sunburst P Bass) until about 2007. At that point, I gave him the first 6 string he'd ever had, an Ibanez which he had admired for YEARS, for Christmas (he yelled at me for spending money on him :)). He's played that bass exclusively ever since. Partly I think it is because I gave it to him, and partly because it is a sweet axe! As the ole age-ometer ticks to 65 this year, my family wants to give him a big surprise.

    ...and here's the problem. It seems German-made Thumb 6ers are pretty rare here in the US. I am aiming to find a bolt-on, team-built for a reasonable price, but have had little luck. So, noble Warwick aficionados, do any of you have any advice as to where to look (shops, websites, etc...) other than the obvious sources like this forum's
    classifieds, Reverb, and eBay? Any help you could provide would be amazing, and greatly appreciated.

    Hopefully I'll be able to deliver a sweet axe for my dad's bday!

    Thanks.
     
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  2. PaulS

    PaulS Supporting Member Good Vibe Sponsor

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    I hope you can find it, would be an amazing gift. Don’t think I’ve seen many Thumb 6 around. Maybe @Hoggles can help
     
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  3. blackedition

    blackedition

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    Thanks so much for your reply :). I am hoping I can find one too. In the meantime I have been voraciously reading about all things thumb. I will probably want to give him a large padded strap with the bass for weight distribution and to combat the pesky neck dive tendencies. Something tells me he won't mind the bass' idiosyncrasies :).
     
  4. PaulS

    PaulS Supporting Member Good Vibe Sponsor

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    Yeah they do have their issues because of the smaller body, but you can deal with it. I have 3 thumbs and it’s no issue for me really
     
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  5. Florin

    Florin Warwick Forum Administrator Staff Member

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    Hi @blackedition, and welcome to the forum. First thing to consider is that playing a Thumb, let alone a 6 strings one is not easy. It is a heavy, not so very well balanced bass, when strapped it stays a lot to the left, so you have to seriously stretch your left arm for the first positions. Amazing bass, but you have to try one before playing.
    For a similar-ish sound, I would check a Streamer LX 6 strings, it almost sounds like a thumb, he might like it even better. Thumb's sound is amazing, but rather unusual, Streamer LX has some of it, but you can get some more "conventional" sounds too.
    Good luck!
    Flo
     
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  6. blackedition

    blackedition

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    @Florin , thanks for your reply! I appreciate what you are saying. I have been a bit worried about the ergonomics of the bass as well. I know he is not as interested in the Streamer, but I am considering a Corvette 5 or 6 as an alternative.

    I am conflicted, because I know it is the Thumb that he has been so keen on. Do you think a Thumb 5 would be more manageable? He already plays an Ibanez 506 as his daily driver bass, so he is used to 6 strings, but I imagine the Ibby is much lighter and has a thinner neck profile.

    I know he'll be floored with whatever we give him, but I want to really knock his socks off!
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2020
  7. Florin

    Florin Warwick Forum Administrator Staff Member

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    Nothing can really replace a thumb bass. LX is closer, Corvette is more like a JBass soundwise. So, thumb it is :)
     
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  8. blackedition

    blackedition

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    @Florin, Haha yeah I suppose it is :). I know the Thumb will take some getting used to, and hope the ergonomics work for my dad, but something tells me that he is going to find a way to make it work. It is his dream bass, and for better or worse, I think he'll make some concessions in the comfort department. The absolute worst case scenario is it doesn't work for him ergonomically, and we move it in favor for a Warwick that does work (be it a Corvette or something else :)).

    For what it's worth, this search has me jonesing for a Warwick myself!
     
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  9. eyvindwa

    eyvindwa Supporting Member

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    Yes, a Thumb 5 is absolutely more manageable than a Thumb 6. Also, I would like to add, if a Thumb is what he wants, then no other bass will really be the same; it is a unique instrument (with some unique challenges, as others have pointed out, but you learn to live with them).
     
  10. Florin

    Florin Warwick Forum Administrator Staff Member

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    I think if his father dreams of a 6-er he should get one. I mean the difference between a 6 and a 5 strings thumb is less than between any thumb and a Streamer, anyway. The 5-er is not much more manageable IMHO.
    There are a few tricks/ mods to make a thumb sit more natural, we can talk about those later if needed.
     
  11. Florin

    Florin Warwick Forum Administrator Staff Member

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    We should keep an eye on our local markets and let him know when we find one. It seems like he has an awesome father, let's make him happy!
     
  12. blackedition

    blackedition

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    @Florin , @eyvindwa, Thanks so much for your support and thoughts. I truly appreciate your assistance in locating a candidate instrument :). And yes, I do have a great father! I always knew as much, but I understood that fact in a whole new way when I became a father myself (my daughter was born just 4 months ago :)).

    Now the question I have been a bit anxious about. In your opinion, what would be a reasonable price range for a used Thumb 6 in good condition? Fingers crossed it is within reach for our budget :).
     
  13. blackedition

    blackedition

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    @Florin I must ask, since all of the links I have been able to find seem to be dead, what is your famous "shoelace trick" to combat thumb neck dive?
     
  14. Florin

    Florin Warwick Forum Administrator Staff Member

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  15. Florin

    Florin Warwick Forum Administrator Staff Member

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    Found them:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  16. blackedition

    blackedition

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    Oh my. The 1400 euro listing is perfect. It even has black hardware (my preference...I think my father would appreciate it too ;)). Unfortunately, it seems as though the seller isn't interested in shipping. Perhaps I can convince them? My wife speaks some rudimentary Italian...
     
  17. blackedition

    blackedition

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    Genius! Perhaps I can fashion a purpose-built strap that functions like this!
     
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  18. DiMarco

    DiMarco nutcase Good Vibe Sponsor

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    If I had a son I would want him to be as awesome as @blackedition . You are an asset to your family sir.
     
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  19. blackedition

    blackedition

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    Thank you @DiMarco for your kind words :)
     
  20. blackedition

    blackedition

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    I have a bit of a crazy idea. Do we have any Italian/English speakers on the forum? Perhaps I could trouble them to help me compose a message to the seller on the Italian gear website? If not, that is fine too :). I hope Google translate + my wife's Italian vocabulary results in a message that is somewhat intelligible :p.

    I hope everyone is doing well today!
     
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