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Warwick Thumb 5 With Passive Pickups And Electronics, Anyone?

Discussion in 'Bass Pickups & Electronics' started by Yim Chan, Dec 3, 2018.

  1. Yim Chan

    Yim Chan

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    Hello, are there any fellow Thumb 5 players who have changed your pickups and electronics to passive? I mean passive pickups and V-V-T pots. Really like to try it but would like to seek for your comment before doing it. Thanks a lot!!
     
  2. carvello

    carvello

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    I got a thumb that had passive mec pickups and is wired volume and blend. It sounds good.
    I have not tried it yet, but I think I would prefer a preamp in there. I have a bunch of other Warwick’s, including one with passive pickups and an active preamp, and to me the all passive set up sounds a bit thin. This could just be personal preference though, I tend to use the preamp on my basses to boost certain frequencies a fair bit.
     
  3. Florin

    Florin Warwick Forum Administrator Supporting Member

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    Hi Yim, welcome to the forum.
    I didn't had a passive one, but I played a lot active ones with preamp bypassed, and I also played thumb with passive bartolinis. It should sound great, mate.
     
  4. Yim Chan

    Yim Chan

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    Do you think passive pickups with v-v-t pots will be more responsive to the right-hand's touching? I primary play with my thumb on the right hand, and found that the current active pickups and electronics is less responsive to my thumb than my passive basses, e.g. a P bass.
     
  5. Florin

    Florin Warwick Forum Administrator Supporting Member

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    It is the bass construction and pickup placement that has a very specific sound. I don't think changing the pickups and electronics will dramatically change thumb's character.
    I personally find thumb bass to be very responsive to right hand technique, but it sounds very different than let's say a Pbass. A thumb lacks deep low frequencies, but has really strong low mids and high growl, in an overall pretty compressed tone.
    If you want a fat sound, thumb is not the ideal bass. Think of it more as "jaco on steroids) kind of sound.
    I also found that boosting lows will make the sound unbalanced, as the B string will sound louder than Gstring. I played thumb bass for a few years, but I had to get used to it's speciffic sound. Just set everything flat, both on bass and amp, and that's the sound. It worth trying getting used to it, as what it looks as "thin" and "dry" when played alone, or even in the rehearsals room, become monstrous in the mix.
    It took me a month or so to "find" the sound in the mix, as the sound I was looking for was not there, and I kept going because everybody was telling me how awesome the bass sounds in front. But after this month I became addicted to thumb bass :) The tight B, the growl, the power, the fretless like sound when played above octave, yumm yumm!

    Think replacing the pickups and electronics as fine tuning your bass, because no pickups will change it's character.
    But why not trying? VVT especially could be very interesting for a thumb, also some passive Bartolini pickups will complement it's character pretty nicely.
     
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  6. carvello

    carvello

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    I thought about this after posting. A tone knob would likely be a nice addition to my setup. I think florin is accurate with his description of the sound of a thumb bass too
     
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  7. andrew92

    andrew92

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    i had a thumb with Passive Nordstrant nj5's in my thumb nt (bass in profile pic)

    sounded like a thumb tbh. low mid growl, zingy highs, tight bass but not deep and massive like a stingray or p bass. Sounded more "open" and natural, less compressed and stuffy. otherwise it was the same ol story. I ended up putting a tone capsule preamp in it afterwards and it was a good setup. really miss that bass.
     
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  8. jester

    jester Moderator Moderator

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    Not a Thumb owner here as well. But, I had the opportunity to try changing the active MEC Js on my Streamer LX5 with Nordstrand split coils (NJ5S). The most obvious difference in my perception was a decrease in "cutting power". For example, I would practice over the songs I had to learn and I noticed it was a bit harder to hear my bass through the rest of the music. I had the same experience on stage mixed with the rest of the band. It was not something dramatic, but definitely noticeable. On the positive side, to my ears the sound became more "complex", richer. And the bass was as silent as with the active pickups.
     
  9. Yim Chan

    Yim Chan

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    Thank you all for your valuable input! I think I'll just pull the trigger. Will update here when done :)
     
  10. Marcoelwray

    Marcoelwray Supporting Member Good Vibe Sponsor

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    Hello, This is my first post. I'll introduce myself after.
    I have a simple Thumb BO5 from 98, which is my 3rd Thumb. Because I'm an idiot, every time I need money I sell my basses lol. But now I am 35, I'll never sell this one.
    I got it in a very mediocre condition, but I'm offering servicing, refinishing so now its just like new.
    With the age and laziness, I becamed a passive extremist.
    So mine is passive with vol/blend/tone, and it works like a charm. However I changed the pickups for Delano's, my favourite pickups of all time for a Warwick, just give extra dynamics and don't touch instrument character.

    Unfortunately, I didn't make a video before I add the GraphTech Piezo system. I hope it'll help a little,



    Marco.
     
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  11. Florin

    Florin Warwick Forum Administrator Supporting Member

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    Nice button layout! And video :) And great sound, how do you record the bass sound?
     
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  12. Marcoelwray

    Marcoelwray Supporting Member Good Vibe Sponsor

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    Thank you you're too kind. It's recorded with my phone. I'll made a PROPER record as soon as I've finished electronics.

    More like this one

     
  13. Florin

    Florin Warwick Forum Administrator Supporting Member

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    But the bass sound is incredibly good for a phone camera.
     
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  14. Marcoelwray

    Marcoelwray Supporting Member Good Vibe Sponsor

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    Yes this Huawei is pretty decent in sound recording.... Luckily for me...
     
  15. Yim Chan

    Yim Chan

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    Wow! Thanks Marco. That's the sound I'm after. Seems very responsive to the right hand's touching, especially when palm muted which I do a lot. I won't use piezo, just purely passive pickups. May I know what are those 2 J style pickups? It seems difficult for me to get 2 same sized J style 5 strings pickups. I'm thinking of getting 2 Duncan Quarter Pounders in bridge size. Any recommendation that is about the same price as Duncan?
     
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  16. Marcoelwray

    Marcoelwray Supporting Member Good Vibe Sponsor

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    That's a matter of personal tastes but I won't go for the SD... They are excellent pickups, but in a Thumb?

    Delano is free of charge for a custom order. Same price as the normal set.

    These are JC5 HE/M2 (twice bridge housing)
     
  17. jester

    jester Moderator Moderator

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    I 'll just leave this here:

     
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  18. Marcoelwray

    Marcoelwray Supporting Member Good Vibe Sponsor

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    Yes but are they Quarter pounders?
     
  19. jester

    jester Moderator Moderator

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    BassLines Jazz pickups according to the player.
     
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  20. Florin

    Florin Warwick Forum Administrator Supporting Member

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    Aaaarghhhh
     
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