Rockbass Talk Video With Leonid Maksimov & Marcus Spangler

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In today’s video, Warwick artist Leonid Maksimov (Bassists Alliance) talks with our Head of Research & Development Marcus Spangler on the question of the value and quality of RockBass instruments.




In this video Marcus Spangler clears up in detail the prejudice that “Made in China” is often associated with lower quality. The Warwick RockBass series is manufactured in China, but with high quality requirements, made of high-quality tonewoods and with the best hardware. Warwick/Germany has also carefully selected the Chinese manufacturer. Before this manufacturer sends RockBasses to the various wholesalers worldwide, Warwick sends specialists to China each time to carry out strict quality controls on each instrument. When the RockBasses arrive at the respective distributor, all instruments are carefully checked and adjusted again.

The RockBass series ranges from the basic model Corvette to the Streamer basses, the Artist Line, the Fortress models and the new Infinity with B/E/A/D tuning. Thanks to “Made in China”, all instruments of this standard series are affordable even for demanding and equally economical bassists. The know-how of the “Made in Germany” Warwick Masterbuilt and Teambuilt series are constantly incorporated into the RockBass instruments. The same hardware is also often used. Thus, all RockBasses convey the typical Warwick feeling, outfit and look as well as the unmistakable Warwick sound.



For more information about Leonid Maksimov, please visit:

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Right on Marcus, he just helped me out with a charging issue using the rechargeable battery, what a legend.

He's not wrong about the Rock Bass line either, the NT1 I have is impeccable in fit and finish and playability. It's becoming really hard for me to justify my German built instruments on practical grounds, so I don't try!
 

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I don't know how the really new ones are, (I know ones 2-3y old) they had some production issues sometimes back then, but overall great sounding and feeling instruments. I am still playing my son's 32" Rockbass corvette std, and it is AWESOME! Feels and sounds like the German one, no question about it.
BTW, I think that's the best buy for the buck in Rockbass arsenal- Rockbass Corvette with active pickups.

Will they pass the longevity test? I think so, because old rockbasses still are OK. Probably the electronics part will need an upgrade after a while.
 
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Mine is from 2014 and immaculate. I’m going to sand it back to wax it and install an OBP3 unless someone buys it first. It’s good to have a hobby!
 
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I was always scared of the "Made in China" factor so I always wrote the RB line off. I have bought/sold 33 German Warwick basses over the last 30 years and had kind of a snobby attitude with "German" Warwick basses. But in May of 2017 I decided to give a RB a try and purchased my first Streamer NT I 4 (Natural HP) and I was really impressed with the fit and finish and the tone! So much that I purchased a Streamer NT I 5 (Natural HP) the next month in June. Still impressed, I saw a Streamer NT I 5 come up used 6 months ago in the discontinued color Racing Red so I purchased that as well. Then just a couple of months ago I purchased a RB Adam Clayton Artist bass and love it (after I modified it with MEC Gold P/J pickups)! I previously owned a German Pro Series (GPS) Streamer CV 4 last year and the difference in fit and finish between that and the RB Adam Clayton bass is negligible as they have the same hardware and the Adam Clayton even has bronze frets compared to the nickel frets on the GPS Streamer CV.

Part of the reason the Streamer NT I basses sound so good is that they come stock with active MEC Gold pickups! In my opinion, the stock preamp is the weak point with the Streamer NT I basses so I have replaced the preamps in all of them (including the Adam Clayton) with Aguilar OBP-2 or OBP-3 preamps. These basses compliment my Custom Shop Streamer Stage II 5 and Custom Shop Streamer LX 4 (also with Aguilar OBP preamps) nicely and I don't feel a big difference that I'm playing a RB vs. CS when switching between them.

2di3lsy.jpg
 
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In my opinion, the preamp is the weak point with the Streamer NT I basses so I have replaced the preamps in all of them (including the Adam Clayton) with Aguilar OBP-2 or OBP-3 preamps. They compliment my Custom Shop Streamer Stage II 5 and Streamer LX 4 (also with Aguilar OBP preamps) nicely.

Curious which have OBP2 and OBP3 and why? Number of knobs perhaps?
 
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Curious which have OBP2 and OBP3 and why? Number of knobs perhaps?

The Aguilar OBP-2 and OBP-3 preamps sound pretty much the same with the difference being 2-band vs. 3-band EQ. The Streamer Stage II 5 has an OBP-3 in it to keep it 3-band as the bass originally had a 3-band MEC preamp in it. My Streamer LX 4 (not pictured) has an OBP-2 preamp in it as the stock MEC preamp was also a 2-band. The other 3 in the picture above have OBP-2 preamps. I also have a Streamer NT I 5 in Natural High Polish with an OBP-3 preamp in it as that preamp came up used for a good deal around the time I was looking to purchase an Aguilar preamp for it:

14oao7b.jpg
 
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Cool thanks for that. I usually prefer two band pres, on Stingrays and Sandbergs, but knowing the Tone Hammer pedal I would miss the mids, depending on the bass of course, maybe not a Warwick they have all the mids!
 

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I was always scared of the "Made in China" factor so I always wrote the RB line off. I have bought/sold 33 German Warwick basses over the last 30 years and had kind of a snobby attitude with "German" Warwick basses. But last May I decided to give a RB a try and purchased my first Streamer NT I 4 (Natural HP) and I was really impressed with the fit and finish and the tone! So much that I purchased a Streamer NT I 5 (Natural HP) the next month in June. Still impressed, I saw a Streamer NT I 5 come up used 6 months ago in the discontinued color Racing Red so I purchased that as well. Then just a couple of months ago I purchased a RB Adam Clayton Artist bass and love it (after I modified it with MEC Gold P/J pickups)! I previously owned a German Pro Series (GPS) Streamer CV 4 last year and the difference in fit and finish between that and the RB Adam Clayton bass is negligible as they have the same hardware and the Adam Clayton even has bronze frets compared to the nickel frets on the GPS Streamer CV.

Part of the reason the Streamer NT I basses sound so good is that they come stock with active MEC Gold pickups! In my opinion, the preamp is the weak point with the Streamer NT I basses so I have replaced the preamps in all of them (including the Adam Clayton) with Aguilar OBP-2 or OBP-3 preamps. These basses compliment my Custom Shop Streamer Stage II 5 and Custom Shop Streamer LX 4 (also with Aguilar OBP preamps) nicely and I don't feel a big difference that I'm playing a RB vs. CS when switching between them.

2di3lsy.jpg
Coolaboola!

Note; I am now replacing the word Awesome with Coolaboola thanks to our new member @Brian Bailey

So Coolaboola!!.....beautiful basses there Rehan
,
 

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Cool thanks for that. I usually prefer two band pres, on Stingrays and Sandbergs, but knowing the Tone Hammer pedal I would miss the mids, depending on the bass of course, maybe not a Warwick they have all the mids!

The OBP-3 schematic shows that you can actually install a mid sweep on it, just like the Tone Hammer. The pot needed is apparently a bit hard to find though.
 

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Warwick has really improved Rockbass range. It's now equipped with 3D bridge, Easy access… Honestly what's the difference with German ones? Wood selection mainly and handwork costs. (and final detailings of course)
I think pretty smart from WW to offer in the Rockbass range models that has disappear a while from the shops like Fortress (in JJ or PJ), Infinity (I'm on it, I can't find ANY video about it on YouTube, it's out since 1 month in Germany), Katana, etc...
Even the Streamer Neck-thru.
I think I will order that Rockbass Infinity 4 Natural fretless…. Maybe I could be the first to make a video about it… 549€ for a Infinity, come on...
 
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