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Can You Tell A Warwick Thumb From The Rest?

Discussion in 'Bass Guitars' started by eyvindwa, May 24, 2020.

  1. eyvindwa

    eyvindwa Supporting Member

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    A fellow bass player on a Norwegian bass forum posted this cool sound clip, where he plays six different basses, in an undisclosed order:



    The basses are, according to the author:
    • Mensinger Cazpar 6 string (30" scale)
    • Status Stealth 6 string (34" scale)
    • Warwick Thumb 6 string (34" scale)
    • Clement Marilyn 6 string (34" scale)
    • Harley Benton BZ-7000 7 string (35" scale)
    • Ibanez SRFF-806 6 string (33.6 - 35.5" scale)

    All pickup selectors set to the mid position, all EQs to neutral (noon), recorded direct without any plugins.

    Can you tell which order they are played in the clip? Where is "The Sound of Wood"?

    They are quite different basses, with varying scale lengths to boot, and I was surprised at how similar they sound. I own both a Warwick Thumb and an HB BZ-7000, but could only pick out the Thumb.
     
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  2. DiMarco

    DiMarco nutcase Good Vibe Sponsor

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    I would have picked number 4 as the Warwick Thumb tbh.
     
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  3. Hardy

    Hardy Supporting Member Good Vibe Sponsor

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    No idea. That down they all sound nearly the same.
     
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  4. Hoggles

    Hoggles Supporting Member Good Vibe Sponsor

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    I'd also say #4.

    Of course, that'll probably be the Harley Benton :rolleyes:
     
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  5. MrWalker

    MrWalker

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    Hello!
    Thanks for sharing, I'm the one did the recording. And the reason was to test which has the tightest and best B string. As it is often a big point against cheap basses.hence the test of the bass s reigistry (where the money is).
    Good luck!
     
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  6. Madmaskbass

    Madmaskbass Supporting Member

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    4 is thumb i would be seriously surprised if it wasn't. what shocks me is that i couldn't pick the short scale on the B maybe 6 for the short scale
     
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  7. MrWalker

    MrWalker

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    This is what surprised me as well. I just recently bought the Ibanez fan fret bass to test this claim that long scale is the only viable solution to a tight B string. So that's the starting point of the test, in fact. And since people claim that the longer the string is, the tighter the B should be, I was thinking that there should be a significant difference between the 30" and the 35.5" B string. But the difference isn't immediately obvious. And I don't think price is an obvious difference, either.
    Which is a consolation for bass players on a tight budget, pun intended.

    All this said, I'm sure I could have recorded a different riff with more treble notes and differences would have been a lot more pronounced. Each bass has a unique voice, it's just not immediately apparent in the deep register. And it's not "good" or "bad", it's just different.

    Which is a consolation for those of us who can't resist owning a huge stable of basses.....
     
  8. Madmaskbass

    Madmaskbass Supporting Member

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    This difference with B string setups that you speak of is the advantage with scale length is that you can use thinner strings to achieve the same results of tension. I run a .145T on my Warwicks to enable a really nice action and note on the B string (normally tuned to A). On an extended scale you can normally get away with a much thinner string which then also means better note attack and clarity.

    Well that has always been the theory i have ascribed to anyway
     
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  9. DiMarco

    DiMarco nutcase Good Vibe Sponsor

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    There's more difference if you EQ more extremely, magnifying differences in the low end and treble region. Also when moving away from a 50/50 pickup blend.

    Different playing techniques ie slapping or picking, or digging in fingerstyle will also reveal more of the character of the instrument.

    That said, a low B can sound nice and tight on any scale length. I like DR strings with a .125 gauge B string, its tone seems more in line with the other strings then a .135 on most of my basses.

    Thank you for doing this test, food for thought indeed.

    Here's another comparisson. First listen with eyes closed.

     
    Last edited: May 25, 2020
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  10. Madmaskbass

    Madmaskbass Supporting Member

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    for sure, totall agree man this one is by far my favourite comparison vid and the thumb is glorious in this aswell. I own two thumbs and they are vey very different animals aswell!
     
  11. MrWalker

    MrWalker

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    Yeah, I totally agree with both of you. There are differences between instruments, and I could have played other stuff and used other settings to really make those differences stand out.
    But my point was more to address the statements that have a tendency to dominate in online bass forums, like: "cheap basses are crap", "bolt-on basses are an inferior design", "only wood sounds like wood", "fan fret is a MUST for a tight B-string", "you cannot possibly get a good B-string on a short-scale bass", and so on. So I thought it should be easy match for people to distinguish between cheap and expensive basses, wood and composite, and so on. :) But it's not that easy. Which is greaty news for people who cannot afford an expensive custom bass. ;-)
     
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  12. DiMarco

    DiMarco nutcase Good Vibe Sponsor

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    And I fully agree with you. Most people mistake their enthousiasm for truth. Haha.
    It really doesn't matter all that much. The only thing that does matter is your instrument driving you to play your best because you enjoy it.
    Also, change is the spice of life. I keep checking out different basses and other gear just to keep learning and keep moving.
     
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  13. MrWalker

    MrWalker

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    Amen!

    As you guys correctly pointed out, sample #4 is my 1990 Warwick Thumb equipped with Bartolini electronics.
    The order is Ibanez - HB - Status - Thumb - Mensinger (short scale) - Clement
     
  14. DiMarco

    DiMarco nutcase Good Vibe Sponsor

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    We were right! That makes us perversionals!
     
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  15. MrWalker

    MrWalker

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    o_O:D:D
     
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