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German Pro Series Streamer LX5 - Something to note!

Discussion in 'Bass Guitars' started by bassment73, Jan 11, 2016.

  1. bassment73

    bassment73

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    Evening all :)

    Just got a brand-new German Pro Series Streamer LX5 last week, which generally I am very pleased with. It's the natural satin model, the finish is very good. It has the Invisible Fret Technology etc. Sounds good, but...

    ...notice anything about the pickup position and spacing?

    View attachment 24548

    Yes, it's not the typical LX5, SS2-5 position and spacing we know is it? I could tell instantly on opening up the case that the two pickups were further apart and the bridge pickup was a little further away from the bridge. On plugging in and playing I thought 'hang on this sounds familiar - sounds just like my Corvette Standard, not like how my previous Streamers have sounded'. Interestingly I then measured the two J pickup positions from the bridge with a ruler - guess what? Exactly the same measurements as my Corvette??!! Now, previous Streamer LX's I have owned have always had their bridge pickup closer to the bridge and the neck pickup closer to the bridge pickup (than a Corvette).

    I'd go so far to say that it's essentially pickup positions on JJ configuration Warwick basses that are the fundamental defining sonic characteristics between the Thumb, Streamer and Corvette, before wood type and construction are taken into account.

    Now, I'm not really having a moan, because I actually really like the Corvette sound and would go so far (IMHO) that it offers slightly more flexibility than the very characteristic Streamer sound. However I was surprised by what I was hearing, as you generally expect a Streamer to sound like, well, a Streamer :)

    Just out of curiosity, I sent an email to Warwick asking them for the reason behind this specific change in pickup position - just on the GPS Streamer LX5 (interestingly the GPS LX4 appears unchanged). This is the reply I got back:

    'There was no real reason to move it wanted to make the position the same like on the Streamer Stage I and II.
    That was why we moved in this position. On the instruments we had here for test, were not sounding like a Corvette and was equal to Stage II and Stage I.'

    Now without trying to be rude, this is either an uninformed response or a bit of b.s. Check out this comparison image I've put together (all photos are from the Warwick website incidentally).

    View attachment 24549

    It's not just me is it? The pictures do show a different pickup positioning and one which is reflected in the sound. Now as I said earlier, I don't really have a big issue with this and this bass is a keeper, but I can see this possibly being an issue for others who are dead set on getting 'that' Streamer tone - you know the one with equal mix of both pickups - that is just so unique.

    Anyways, I've sent another email to Warwick with my 'photographic evidence', because I'm interested in what they have to say about it. Perhaps I'm just being petty and trying to point score, but why would you mess with something as fundamental as pickup positions on a classic Warwick bass design?

    In the meantime here are a couple of my far flung theories ;-)

    1. They needed to make some point of difference between the CS and GPS models.
    2. The 3rd party factory in Germany that they outsourced the final fitting, finishing and construction to for the GPS range, put the pickup routes in the 'wrong' position - but Warwick let it ride.

    Now just to finish off this post, I must say that over the last 4 -5 years I have been a strong advocate of Warwick, but the more I am hearing recently (via posts I've read on this forum) about customer service, prohibitively expensive repair charges, slightly confusing range changes, I am starting to wonder just where Warwick's main motivations lie.

    Peace...
     
  2. schlobodan

    schlobodan Warwick Streamer Specialist Good Vibe Sponsor

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    the pu placement on JJ streamers differs over the years

    e.g. on my 89 Streamer Stage 1 5 the bridge pu is closer to the bridge than on my 2000 LX5 but the Neck PU is in the same position.

    Here it really looks like both have been moved forward for dubious reasons:)
     
  3. bassment73

    bassment73

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    Hi Schlobodan

    That's interesting what you say about JJ pickup placement over the years.

    I do tend to agree about the 'dubious reasons'. If Warwick had just come back to me and said 'we changed it because we just felt like it' or 'it was an experiment with a new line', I would have been happier with that response rather than the clearly wrong contradiction that I did receive.
     
  4. Hardy

    Hardy Supporting Member Good Vibe Sponsor

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    I think that someone answered to you e-mail who was not really informed. Me thinx they changed it to change something like Fender does it here and there. But if they do it has to be communicated. Otherwise there is much place for suspicion. Schlobodan already wrote that they changed pu position over the years. I will post some pics soon to compare the shape of my 1995 Streamer with the 2000 Streamer. They also change the body shapes of the models (just think about the Thumb), but do not manage it to expound it properly.
     
  5. bassment73

    bassment73

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    Hi Hardy

    It only gets even more interesting/suspicious. I got another email back from Warwick with photos and ruler measurements - nothing like the measurements on my bass. They are almost denying the difference even exists. I'll add the pics and comms a little later. Makes good reading :)

    Keith
     
  6. bassment73

    bassment73

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    So here is some more comms between Warwick and my good self ;-)

    From Warwick:

    "Dear Keith,

    I think this has something to do with the angle of the pictures and how the end of the neck is looking…

    Please check the pictures here I put a ruler beside so they are the same Stage I and Streamer LX.

    I hope this answer finds you well"


    Here are the pics for Warwick:

    View attachment 24552 View attachment 24553

    Then here is my subsequent reply back to them:

    "No, definitely not angle of pictures and my bass is definitely not like those ones you have measured.

    Please look at the attached photos I have just taken.


    View attachment 24554 View attachment 24555

    You will see there is a whole 12cm from neck pickup to bridge on my bass, not 10cm like on the photos of your body blanks. The bridge pickup routes on your body blanks are about 3cm from bridge – they are 4cm on mine.

    It’s as if the bridge pickup has been moved 1cm further towards the neck and the neck pickup 2cm further towards the neck on mine.

    Are you sure you have been looking at the German Pro Series bodies. Mine is definitely a GPS – see the back of headstock shot.

    Is mine part of a ‘mistake’ batch?"


    Not heard anything further from Warwick yet. This seems a little odd. I do wonder if there was an incorrect batch of GPS Streamer LX5's and they have just sold them on anyway???

    Mine is just nothing like that body blank they have shown me.

    Keith
     
  7. schlobodan

    schlobodan Warwick Streamer Specialist Good Vibe Sponsor

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    I have the feeling that you got a special custom oups version

    and they follow the 90% rule that the customer is an idiot:)
     
  8. schlobodan

    schlobodan Warwick Streamer Specialist Good Vibe Sponsor

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  9. schlobodan

    schlobodan Warwick Streamer Specialist Good Vibe Sponsor

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    and if is different now

    it seems they made a mistake in the first run of teambuild lx5s
     
  10. bassment73

    bassment73

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    Maybe!

    Thinking on about it, my bass looks exactly like all the official Warwick product/marketing photos of the GPS Streamer LX5 i.e. the pickup positions, so clearly there has been a whole load of them built this way.

    As you and Hardy pointed out, things like body shapes change etc and I know Fender has done this with bodies, necks and hardware...

    ...but pickup placement is pretty critical to what general sound a bass makes. Take for instance the Fender '70s Jazz bass bridge pickup position change of only 1/2". This had a profound change on the timbre of those instruments. Heck, it's the Marcus Miller sound for goodness sake. If Marcus started playing 60's pickup position Jazz basses he would have a different sound.

    On my particular Streamer, both pickups have been moved forward (from the typical positions). Bridge pup by 1cm, neck pickup by 2cm. That's gotta make a sonic difference and it does! It sounds like a Corvette :)
     
  11. bassment73

    bassment73

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    I'd just like a straight answer from Warwick on this. If customer service doesn't get back I will email Hans Peter direct. I've got his email from a few past conversations.

    It's something I can live with, but I can tell you that if you are a long term Streamer LX5 player, buying one of these you will be surprised to hear that it doesn't sound like one!

    If it is a genuine error on their part or from a 3rd party, they are not doing themselves any favours by trying to brush it off.

    Keith
     
  12. Nachobassman

    Nachobassman Bass, Tapas, and Rn´R!

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    Have patience, I think this is "big" enough to make them look after what happened to your bass and give you an answer. IMO
     
  13. bassment73

    bassment73

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    Yup, hope you're right...
     
  14. Gnermo

    Gnermo

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    Have you done any comparisons with the Rockbasses?
    Might even be a rockbass or pro series body...
     
  15. bassment73

    bassment73

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    I've done visual comparisons by photos on the Warwick website. The pickup position on the Rockbass LX5 is similar to the new GPS LX5, but the Rockbass LX5 body is flat and has none of the curving that the GPS and CS models have. Also the Rockbass LX5 bodies are made of Carolena, not US Cherry.

    The Rockbass Streamer NT1-5 has the usual/typical Streamer pickup positioning of the SS1/SS2 it is kind of mimicking.

    So therefore I'm pretty sure it is not a Rockbass body. In fact Warwick have gone out of their way in the marketing for the new German Pro Series to say that the woods used for the bodies and necks are from their supplies at Markneukirchen, Germany. But obviously not the select woods they use for the CS models.
     
  16. bassment73

    bassment73

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    Actually, on closer inspection (via Photoshop - as my trade is as a designer :)) I have deduced that there is also a similar difference in pickup position between the GPS Streamer LX4 and the GPS Streamer SS1-4 i.e. both pickups are set about 1cm forward on the LX.

    Additionally a bit of Photoshop overlaying shows a couple of other obvious differences:

    1. The position and angle of the control knobs.
    2. The position of the jack socket.

    It's looking more and more like these are concious design decisions made by Warwick so that there are clear differences between their product lines - possibly to avoid confusion during assembly or for packing/selling reasons.

    Which to be honest is ok. That's their prerogative. I'm just not really sure why the response I have got is almost 'no knowledge' of it. However that being said, if there are obvious differences in pickup positions between models I think it's only fair that us (the customers) are aware of it before we buy. They could add these to the tech specs/dimensions, or even just a short statement.

    If I do get an official explanation from Warwick, I'll let you guys know and post up here.

    Cheers

    Keith
     
  17. Kev

    Kev

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    I hope this is explained for you, as this is another not so glowing insight into Warwick after sales service at the moment!
     
  18. bassment73

    bassment73

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    At last, the explanation:

    "Hello Keith,

    Now I had to check deeper in. And I found out what happened.

    The instrument you have is correctly routed no error in production.
    I didn´t remember that we changed it and by accident I took yesterday
    a wrong Body for a special Customshop as it was near the CNC.
    We are quite bussy at the moment and I thought it was the correct one
    And took the wrong body. I am really sorry for this, my mistake and I apologize
    It.

    There are two reasons why we changed. People were asking for more Warmer
    Tone on the neck pickup. That´s the reason why we moved the neck pickup
    A bit more in direction of the neck also the bridge pickup. Here we were only
    Moving it a bit that we don´t loose too much of the the typical sound.

    I am really sorry that I confused you but that is why we did it it.

    I hope this answer finds you well and I apologize the confusion

    Best regards"


    I'm happy enough with that. I like a warm neck pickup :)

    Others might not though, so at least we know about these GPS Streamer LX's

    Keith
     
  19. schlobodan

    schlobodan Warwick Streamer Specialist Good Vibe Sponsor

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    so what does this mean for the standard config of masterbuilts?
     
  20. Hardy

    Hardy Supporting Member Good Vibe Sponsor

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    You will see it when your next masterbuilt is ready. It seems to depend how far the Masterbuilder has time to go into the production hall when he starts building it. ;)

    "Sorry dear customer, you ordered an 4-string Infinity. We have to apologize, there was a hurry, so... have fun with your 6-string Corvette!!!" :lol:
     
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