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Another review! Warwick, Fender, Sadowsky..

Discussion in 'Bass Guitars' started by Mike, Mar 3, 2008.

  1. Mike

    Mike

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    Hey guys,

    I went down to Ochanomizu in Tokyo again to play some more basses today!

    Ill go with the way it happened i guess.
    I went to one particular store to try out a Thumb NT 4, with the old Wenge neck and board etc setup. Anyway, that little beauty had been sold!

    ..So, instead I picked up a Fender jazz 5 string, Marcus Miller model. Maple neck and board with an Ash body.
    First of all, for me (being used to playing nothing but Wicks..lol), I really found that big flat Fender neck rather unrefined. I had no trouble playing the bass but it did but a lot of unnecessary strain on my first fretting finger. Its still kinda sore :( I was really expecting a lot more from this bass, seeing as so many people love it so much. But it just seemed kinda, well, standard. No real weaknesses, but nothing to really knock your socks off. For me the Fender Jazz vs Streamer Jazzman debate is over, the Streamer Jazzman can produce pretty much all the musical tone variations of the FJazz but with a higher quality sound and build. I think it can also muster a lot more balls than than the jazz too. I know that a Jazzman probably costs more but at the end of the day for me thats really what i want to know, I am getting quality at least worth the asking price!

    After that, well my day was made!
    I sat down and bashed out some chops on Warwick P-Nut1!
    And as the old saying goes, can you say P-NNUUUTah?!!!!..lol
    This Bass is really f*`*+king awesome!!! I cant get over it, its strange,
    it has a pretty strong non-Warwick type tone, but of all the non-Warwick type tones Ive heard, I think this is my favourite!
    Plus its reeeeaaaally light! Even lighter than a Streamer Jazzman!
    Again that Warwick Jazzman pick up system really kicks things up a notch.
    You can go from Slap Heaven, (I have never heard anything sound so cool for full on slap very -groovy-powerful and musical)
    ...to highly defined intricate finger tones with nice Harmonic, well normally id say overtones, but with the Pnut its more like UnderTones, thats the best way I can put it.
    For me this bass is the evolution of the very versatile Streamer Jazzman, mainly for 3 reasons, 2 of which were kindly pointed out to me by Schlobodan earlier.

    Number 1: Its a Neck Through..lol, which ads to the old sustain factor, and I really dont think there is loss in Punch without the bolt on neck either.

    Number 2: The Walnut wood, who knew it would be so light! And Yes I would have to agree, it does sound a bit like Ash. However I think it sounds like Ash minus all the things I dont like about Ash as a tone wood, ah well maybe it doesnt sound like ash..lol Its weird, its that kind of sound but much, much better! Considering, the weight of this bass, plus the fact that Warwick doesnt offer the Jazzman pu setup on any NTs I really cant see whats stopping Warwick making this a stock model, I mean how many times have I heard people complain about the weight of Warwick NTs?

    Number 3: Low End, The PNut 1, has a thunderous and extremly clear low end, this to me is its biggest edge on the Streamer jazzman. The bottom end on this bass is killer! The low B string really is everything a low B should B! After playing the Pnut 1 i immediately compared it with a Streamer Jazzman 5, and to be fair the Jazzman was well set-up and had new EMPs on, however i suddenly found i no longer had the same
    raw horsepower at my disposal. I think this is the Jazzmans one weakness, not enough low end! I still love the Streamer Jazzman though and there is a rather huge difference in cost! And of course, you can also replace that Ash back with a small upcharge in th Custom Shop to reshape the sound :)

    Lastly, I played a Sadowsky 5 string, bolt on Neck.
    I dont really remember what make or model it was but it was pretty expensive. Ash body , maple neck and board.
    Im sorry i really didnt like this bass and I was really looking forward to trying it out. I prefered the Fender to this. I only played for a couple of minutes because the tone was awful, the low B would definitely be a waste of hard earned money.
    I will admit that I have noticed a trend, i dont like basses with ash bodies and maple Necks anymore..lol They sound so watery and weak to me with a bit of clank and tonk added. Im really eager to try a Dirty Blonde, I hope that will change my mind!

    But that said, I dont think i was alone in my opinion, all the guys working
    in the shops agreed with me in the fact that the Warwicks owned the other brands when i was testing them. So maybe its me, maybe Ive adapted my playing style over the years to play only Warwicks! :lol:

    Oh One last thing!
    Something very important, I discovered when testing basses and reading reviews etc.. I feel one should never transplant the performance of a 4 string to 5 string of the same model of bass, or back the other way either. I have found that lots of brands, prime example for me anyway, Fender, make rather nice 4 string basses, but when it comes to the low B, well there just not Warwick :wink:

    Well I hope you guys will enjoy that as much as the last review.
    Cheers if you read the whole thing..lol
    Mike! 8)
     
  2. ThirdthumB

    ThirdthumB

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    Thanks a lot for the review Mike. Great stuff, and we all know where to go once we're in Tokyo. :D Well, I'm GASsing for a Ash/Maple Fender Jazz myself, so this review was very helpful. Although I'd rather have read something more positive. :lol: I do wonder though: there are a lot of great soundclips I've heard from Ash body Maple neck/board basses that really don't sound like Warwicks. There's got to be good basses out there with this wood combination ?? Well, the search goes on I guess.........Now I'm also eager to check out the Corvette/Streamer Jazzman....... 8)
    Again, great review. :D
     
  3. syciprider

    syciprider

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    Never been much into Fender basses myself (but I love Telecasters). Nor do I care for the uber $$$ me too clones like Lull and Sadowsky. If I ever get the jonesin for a passive J I think that the Std ash Vette will give me more bang for the buck than a Fender or a clone.
     
  4. Indianerdaniel

    Indianerdaniel

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    My '76 Fender Jazz is ash/maple and it kicks A$$! Very punchy with a nice FAT tone. And awesome harmonics. :)
     
  5. IncX

    IncX

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    I enjoyed the review ...

    coming from a country with no warwicks to test drive with... things like this help me shape the idea of what the other warwicks sound like.
     
  6. Mr Rabble

    Mr Rabble

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    I may suggest a 75 Reissue.
    Good construction, great sound and wonderful look.
     
  7. Mike

    Mike

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    Cool, I know that comment was meant for me, but if I see one ill be sure to try it out! Id like to play some of the Pedulla Rapture jazz style basses, at the very least they look really, really cool! :D
     
  8. Mr Rabble

    Mr Rabble

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    The Rapture is a great bass, you'll end gas-sing for it :wink:
     
  9. Mike

    Mike

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    ..lol, good thing i dont know where I can play play one! :lol:
    Im already embarrassingly gassing for a Pnut 1, I dont think I could
    take much more.... :roll:
     
  10. Sam C

    Sam C

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    +1 for the Rapture. That is my favorite one against any of the jazz bass look-a-likes(Lull, sadowsky,KSD, elrick, Lakland, ect....)
     
  11. saxonbass

    saxonbass

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    Interesting reviews, Mike... keep up the good work!
     
  12. ThirdthumB

    ThirdthumB

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    Interesting.

    I know this bass, and the local shop actually has one in stock. But why do you say this is a good bass ?? I personally don't need a special edition, and definitely not if you have to pay almost double. Does it sound different than a normal Jazz Bass ?? Better construction ?? I know it's built a bit differently (3 bolt neck/body joint with some kind of micro adjustment thiny or something), but why is it a better bass ?? Do you have any idea how it compares to a Marcus Miller Jazz bass, which is made in Japan ?? Cheers man. :D
     
  13. JUZ

    JUZ

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    good review man!
     
  14. Doog

    Doog

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    Maybe you just need to try a RockBass Fortress.
     
  15. Mr Rabble

    Mr Rabble

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    It sound like a good Jazz, which is a great thing! 8)
    Average quality construction on American Vintage series is high, I'm yet to find a lemon among these basses.
    Better construction, woods and pickups than plain American series (which are pretty decent basses IMHO, mostly underrated).
    A '75 or a '62 reissue Jazz Bass will give you THAT jazz bass vibe.
    All American Vintage series have wonderful necks (Precision basses even better than Jazz basses IMHO)

    I don't like the Markus Miller model, because it has a different electronic package, and it just hasn't the classic fingerstyle growl we usually associate with the Jazz Bass.
    And I think it's ugly too, with the modified pickuguard.

    On the other hand, there's also the Made In Japan 75 Reissue, and those basses sound awesome too.
    They have the classic Jazz sound, you have a broader colors option (the American Vintage 75 comes only in Natural Ash + Maple or Rosewood fingerboard).
    They cost less than American ones, here are the main differences:
    1) cheaper tuning machines
    2) less premium woods, and body made of 3 pieces, often ugly matched (of course you see this only on natural or sunburst finishes)
    3) different pickups (even if japanese 75 reissues too have american pickups)
    4) bridge pickup isn't in the seventies position
    5) no hard shell case.
     
  16. ThirdthumB

    ThirdthumB

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    Well,

    I personally didn't have interest in these special edition (new vintage) Fenders. I always prefered standard Jazz basses. Especially because you pay a lot more for these special editions. But if more attention is given to these basses, especially wood selection, and if they eventually sound better, then why not ?? It also happens to be that the 75 reissue does look mighty gorgeous and it has my favourite finish, which is natural Ash. You can get a lot of fine basses for this kind of money, so I will keep on contemplating about this. I will certainly keep the things you mentioned in the back of my mind. Thanks a lot for the information Mr Rabble. :D
     
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