Wenge necks ?

tpa

Joined
Jul 24, 2015
Messages
47
Reaction score
10
Hi guys. :)
It's been a while. I have my eyes on a Fortress One advertized as '93 but without the extra cutaways around the neck pocket. Seems to be with MEC passive/passive circuit. Taste seems to differ on this. But the neck ? Wenge without volute. What is the biggest thing about that - besides looking very very cool. What is the profile, and does it sound different than a bulky Ovankol neck? Is it worth it?
Thanks for any reply and shared experience.
 

Hector

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Feb 23, 2016
Messages
1,604
Reaction score
1,555
Hello and welcome back!

Honestly, while you may get some responses on here as to the profile etc, the only way to know if that bass / neck is right for you is if you go and play it. As it is now 29 years old, it likely has some wear on it which can change the feel of the neck quite a bit..
 

tpa

Joined
Jul 24, 2015
Messages
47
Reaction score
10
Hi and thanks for the response. Much appreciated. I do realize that getting along with a spefic neck profile is a personal experience. I am fishing a bit to better understand the effect of the Wenge as neck wood, maybe also long term stability etc. as I have the impression that necks from that period are fairly slim - which I like.

It surely looks very nice.
 

Hector

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Feb 23, 2016
Messages
1,604
Reaction score
1,555
Hi and thanks for the response. Much appreciated. I do realize that getting along with a spefic neck profile is a personal experience. I am fishing a bit to better understand the effect of the Wenge as neck wood, maybe also long term stability etc. as I have the impression that necks from that period are fairly slim - which I like.

It surely looks very nice.

Well, if you can get it with some sort of return policy (or flip it for the same amount you would buy it for), then I think it is a good idea?

Without asking for a link or anything, could you let us know what price they are asking ?
 
  • Like
Reactions: tpa

Nachobassman

Bass, Tapas, and Rn´R!
Joined
Jul 4, 2007
Messages
7,107
Reaction score
3,169
Hi guys. :)
It's been a while. I have my eyes on a Fortress One advertized as '93 but without the extra cutaways around the neck pocket. Seems to be with MEC passive/passive circuit. Taste seems to differ on this. But the neck ? Wenge without volute. What is the biggest thing about that - besides looking very very cool. What is the profile, and does it sound different than a bulky Ovankol neck? Is it worth it?
Thanks for any reply and shared experience.
Hello there,

hard to say an opinion on a bass without even looking at it. Old, non-volute necks used to have a slim profile, most people prefer that, yes.
In my experience with 2 Warwicks with ovankol necks, and gotta be really sincere here, 99,99999% of people that claim wenge necks sound better would not tell the difference on a blind test. I’ve played Warwicks with both neck woods, feeling and sound wise the experience were similar. In fact the difference I do remember is comparing bolt-on vs. neck-thru, there the basses actually had different playing feel, but not from neck wood.

Have a good hunting.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Messages
181
Reaction score
15
Hi guys. :)
It's been a while. I have my eyes on a Fortress One advertized as '93 but without the extra cutaways around the neck pocket. Seems to be with MEC passive/passive circuit. Taste seems to differ on this. But the neck ? Wenge without volute. What is the biggest thing about that - besides looking very very cool. What is the profile, and does it sound different than a bulky Ovankol neck? Is it worth it?
Thanks for any reply and shared experience.
Well, I own a '93 'Wick with Wenge neck, however, it's a Thumb NT. I am not sure in terms of neck profile if they differ between BO and NT.

What I can say, however, is that it is different from both, the really thick neck built until 2008 and the thin ones build from 2009 (I have basses from both that year). The '93 is kind of in the middle, not as mcuh flesh as the '08 but a bit more than '09, which I really love.
Second, I love the feeling of my hand on a wenge neck. It feels more like a rock rather than wood. For me, clear point vs. Ovangkol. But that's a personal feeling.

Soundwise, I can't clearly state a difference as I needed a Thumb NT with Ovangkol neck for comparison. What I can say is that my Thumb has the most fantasting Low B (even A if needed) that I know. The Low B of the Corvette $$ is okayish, tuned to low A it stars to fade. But the Thumb remains tight. Might have to do a lot more with construction, however.
 

kimgee

Wenge Taste Tester
Good Vibe Sponsor
Joined
May 23, 2016
Messages
806
Reaction score
891
Age
65
Real Name
depends on who's asking
In my opinion, the best thing about that neck, is the fact that the truss rod is replaceable on voluteless Warwick necks. I have wenge and ovankgol necked Warwicks, and the wood type makes no noticeable difference in the tone. There is a series of youtube videos on the "what contributes to tone" topic. As I recall, only the pickups, electronics, bridge, nut, and strings have any noticeable effect on the tone. And the strings, pickups, and electronics have the most effect by far. The player has a great deal of effect on the tone, with both playing style and where the strings are actually "struck". This lack of tonewoods effect does not apply to acoustic instruments for obvious reasons. All that being said, I prefer the look and feel of the wenge. However, I have had more trussrod problems with wenge necked Warwicks than any other type of bass. I do not think the problem is caused by the type of trussrod installed by Warwick. I think the problem is, the extreme hardness of wenge is too much for the typical trussrod. I have started using a "trussrod press" I made from parts purchased at StewMac Tools, which takes a lot of stress off the trussrod when adjusting it.
 
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Messages
181
Reaction score
15
and the wood type makes no noticeable difference in the tone.[...]This lack of tonewoods effect does not apply to acoustic instruments for obvious reasons.

While at first this might seem reasonable, it lacks one big point:

At first, every electric instrument is an acoustic instrument. The way the string vibrates is governed by the wood the same way, be it acoustic or electric. Everything that comes afterwards will alter the tone to a certain extent, yes, but the characteristic is set with the way the string vibrates. Of course, the strings have an effect to this, but not yet PUs and electronics.
Everything the PU does is to "pick up" the frequencies of the string. We all know that different pickups do this job differently with emphasizing or lacking some frequencies, so do the electronics. You can bend the tone to a certain direction, no doubt.

But: If you have multiple instruments, sit down and play it unamplified. Listen to the tone of your instrument. Try to grab its characteristics, somesthing that's striking you about the tone. Low ends, mids, the trebles. Does it sound fat and deep? Does it have nasal mids? Or is it really bright? Then plug it in, and play. You'll recognize it, even if you shape it with EQ. You will never with any PU or electronic whatsoever let a SSI sound like it has a bubinga body, as the all-maple construction will always be sharp in trebles. You can cut them, but the characteristic is still there.
I Remember the first time playing my Thumb NT, bought it used and it had the oldest shittiest strings on it. Played it a minute (unamplified) and realised: Yes, that tone is really sh*t now, but I can already hear (and FEEL through the vibration I could feel in the neck!) how beautiful this will be with new strings.

Long story short: With electronics, you cannot put something in a tone that isn't there and you cannot erase something that's characteristic.

Feel free to discuss this ;)
 

Hector

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Feb 23, 2016
Messages
1,604
Reaction score
1,555
While at first this might seem reasonable, it lacks one big point:

At first, every electric instrument is an acoustic instrument. The way the string vibrates is governed by the wood the same way, be it acoustic or electric. Everything that comes afterwards will alter the tone to a certain extent, yes, but the characteristic is set with the way the string vibrates. Of course, the strings have an effect to this, but not yet PUs and electronics.
Everything the PU does is to "pick up" the frequencies of the string. We all know that different pickups do this job differently with emphasizing or lacking some frequencies, so do the electronics. You can bend the tone to a certain direction, no doubt.

But: If you have multiple instruments, sit down and play it unamplified. Listen to the tone of your instrument. Try to grab its characteristics, somesthing that's striking you about the tone. Low ends, mids, the trebles. Does it sound fat and deep? Does it have nasal mids? Or is it really bright? Then plug it in, and play. You'll recognize it, even if you shape it with EQ. You will never with any PU or electronic whatsoever let a SSI sound like it has a bubinga body, as the all-maple construction will always be sharp in trebles. You can cut them, but the characteristic is still there.
I Remember the first time playing my Thumb NT, bought it used and it had the oldest shittiest strings on it. Played it a minute (unamplified) and realised: Yes, that tone is really sh*t now, but I can already hear (and FEEL through the vibration I could feel in the neck!) how beautiful this will be with new strings.

Long story short: With electronics, you cannot put something in a tone that isn't there and you cannot erase something that's characteristic.

Feel free to discuss this ;)

I have seen demos of tone wood and electronics on Youtube, enough to say that yes, both do have an impact. But tone wood's impact become almost non-existent once you apply some distortion, while the pups / pots / wiring can have a major impact all the way through (shit electronics will sound shit/muffled even with distortion).

I have played enough guitars made of mahogany, alder and swamp ash to recognize the difference in sound, it is a lot harder than hearing the difference between a Fender and a (with single coils) and a Gibson (with humbuckers) "in the mix".

I do disagree on the electronics and tone, today's music washed through computers can make anything sound like anything else. It's like when you bought a studio album, loved the sounds, but in real life the concert was missing "something" in the sound.. Today that can be applied to any and every instrument..
 
Top Bottom