Warwick Alien

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I'm in the market for an acoustic bass, i had a super cheap one to originally practice on but had to sell it as part of my move to finland. Unfortunately i've started to get the itch for one again, and have some cash to actually get a good one.

Normally just for practice i'd grab any old cheap one but the original reason i picked up the acoustic bass was so i could beat the sh*t out of it and get all percussivey.

The alien is on my list as it is one of the few acoustic basses with a nut with close to 38mm (anything over 40mm is too uncomfortable to play).

I've got some kinda unusual questions so here goes:

First how sharp is the thumb rest - as it's likely i'll be wanting to hit that with the heel of my palm. - and the bridge has a nice large area that looks great to thumb and kick drum sound on.

How sensitive if the pickup system? does it just pickup strings? or will hits to the body also be picked up?

What is the neck radius like?

Is it possible to get some custom shop options - i'd love an ebony fretboard so i can get as much clack out of the bass as possible and would ideally like to keep the bass fretted - just wondering as i know they are manufactured outside of germany.

Finally (and this is a long shot) has anyone with/has played an alien tried any percussive techniques on it and if so how'd the hits sound?

When I get some time i'll see if i can find one in helsinki to play - but shops have sometimes have issues with me turning up and proceeding to hit the instruments which is completely understandable!

I've not counted out the rockbasses but for the kind of style i'm intending to use it for in my experience the better the bass the easier the style is - and normally the bass holds up better to me hitting it!

Thanks for the help!
 
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I wouldn't say the thumb-rest is very sharp - I think you could hit it quite a lot without any problems.

The pickup is piezo which usually means it won't pick up hits to the body very well. But some piezos are more sensitive than others, so I'll dig my Alien out tonight and see how it copes.

I'm afraid I don't know about the neck radius - I'm not very sensitive to those issues. It feels about the same as my other Warwicks, but I wouldn't trust myself to notice if it were very different.

I don't think CS Aliens are possible - I seem to recall the CS excludes Aliens and most sig models. But of course you could buy a fretless Alien and get a luthier to fret it - that'd get you an ebony board.

Helsinki's a bit far, but if you're ever passing near Wales, you'd be welcome to pop by and have a go on my Alien! :D
 
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Thanks for the reply!

Issues like the neck radius and FB aren't deal breakers. I can happily play a warwick 'fat' neck but it is had a slimmer profile it'd be a bonus more than anything i notice my dexterity in my left hand increases with a slimmer neck. The ebony FB is purely personal preference i'd happily take a stock alien.

I really like the idea of the thumb rest and the extra extenuation of the ebony above the bridge. My style is to hit the body above the e string whilst strumming/plucking the rest of the strings. To do this on other acoustic basses puts my hand at an angle that i really don't think is healthy, The sticking out thumb rest would add some renforcement and mean i'd not need to angle my hand to much.

Likewise I hit above the bridge after an upwards strum, the extra large bridge just adds some more strength to what i'd hope (by previous experience with warwick basses) is already a pretty sturdy and strong instrument.

If body knocks are picked up that would really be fantastic as i'd like to put off/ avoid adding any special piezo body pickups for as long as possible + the sound hole being in a non-normal place puts some other acoustic pickups out of the question.
 
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I'm pretty sure John B. Williams has a Custom Shop Alien. I've seen him mention it in a video. Whether or not that helps your case is beyond me :p
 

schlobodan

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I'm pretty sure John B. Williams has a Custom Shop Alien. I've seen him mention it in a video. Whether or not that helps your case is beyond me :p

yes but still - mortal - people cannot order a custom shop alien:)

Probably Lakewood would make one for you without Warwick logo:)
 
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Ahh damn my mortality.... :)

I thought John B. Williams was playing (at the time) the first fretless alien, and it happened around the time of the release of fretless aliens - which was something many people wanted. - If i'm mistaken someone please correct me!

Any news on piezo sensitivity to body hits?
 

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All I know is that Fretless Alien won MIPA award (at Frankfurt) 2 or 3 times for the best accoustic bass.
 
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:) definitely a plan at that price! Thanks for the link!

Honestly though i'm holding fire pulling the trigger until I can play one. The only person who can figure out if it suits my playing style is me!
 
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