Why did Warwick stop with 18V preamps in Thumbs?

eyvindwa

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I have a 2001 Thumb NT, and quite recently got a 2004 Thumb NT fretless. To my surprise, the preamp in the latter is 9V. Does anyone know why this change was made? It seems to me that the 2004 distorts more easily, and that I need to have the pickups farther from the strings to avoid this. Does that make sense? (FYI, I tune my basses two full steps down, so that they are tuned G C F Bb Eb.)
 

jester

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I would suspect your battery is not very fresh to be honest! Remember, when you put a battery on your bass, you are supplying it not with 9 volts of headroom, but with whatever voltage the battery can pull off at that point. I consider electronics to be a very secondary thing on a bass btw, so I wouldn't bother unless it was a very real problem. Can you test your battery with a multimeter? Or put a fresh battery on and see if it distorts?
 

eyvindwa

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I would suspect your battery is not very fresh to be honest! Remember, when you put a battery on your bass, you are supplying it not with 9 volts of headroom, but with whatever voltage the battery can pull off at that point. I consider electronics to be a very secondary thing on a bass btw, so I wouldn't bother unless it was a very real problem. Can you test your battery with a multimeter? Or put a fresh battery on and see if it distorts?

It is not the battery, I have tried changing it for a fresh one. Does it not make sense that the 9V has less "headroom", and thus distorts more easily? If not, what could then be the issue? It distorts mostly on the low notes, like low G, A, etc., but I can also make it distort on the C string, if I play aggressively. (As mentioned, my tuning is G C F Bb Eb, two full steps down from standard 5 string tuning.)
 

golem

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Makes no sense to me that 18v systems should have
more headroom. And yet it makes sense to me that if
you run another 9v in series with the current one you
WILL have more headroom cuz you'll be boosting the
system above its design parameters.

IOW if a system is designed to run on 9v, there's no
reason that it should have less headroom than one
thaz designed to run of 18v or 27v. There are plenty
of keyboards running on 9v and you punch up their
Hammond B3 voice or some other really demanding
voice, and they don't distort.

I have an ax that runs on 3v. Its strings send more
low end to its electronics than you'll ever get from
the strings on a Thumb [or a P-bass, or a Spector,
any solid body bass], yet it has no problem ... and
there is no way to move the PU closer or further
from the strings.

If it's really bugging you, bump it up to 18v.

`
 

golem

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`


Just mod it and put another battery in. Iv done this
with all my Thumb basses. Its easy to do and a
noticeable improvement.

Big +1 !

When I said "bump it up to 18v", I didn't mean to
suggest buying a new 18v system ... I just meant
to add a second battery. Really easy ... and safe.

Swapping out for an entire 18v will not necessarily
increase headroom ... but you could always bump
the 18v system up to 27v or 36v ;-)

`

`
 
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My Thumb is a 2011 model and its preamp distorted with slight bass boost.
So I put two 9v batteries too. Everything is fine so far.
 
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How do you do this? My Thumb has a pretty low output, and it's annoying at times.

(and yes, changed batteries, had it checked out, etc. etc.)
 
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HOLD UP.

What the hell is "headroom"??

And ive had trouble with basses distorting on low feq but I’ve noticed its been a gain/volume issue on the amp itself.

And what does 18v compared to 9v do to the bass??
 
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HOLD UP.

What the hell is "headroom"??

And ive had trouble with basses distorting on low feq but I’ve noticed its been a gain/volume issue on the amp itself.

And what does 18v compared to 9v do to the bass??

Hi, head room is basically how high the signal can go before clipping. if you have more voltage you can increase the signal and it wont distort or clip. If you slap or really dig in you will notice the difference when you increase your pre amp voltage to 18V as it can accommodate the higher input signal from the pickups and the note will be slightly clearer/cleaner. if you are just playing light I doubt you will notice any difference, It does not really make your bass louder, just better at handling transients.
 

eyvindwa

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Hi, head room is basically how high the signal can go before clipping. if you have more voltage you can increase the signal and it wont distort or clip. If you slap or really dig in you will notice the difference when you increase your pre amp voltage to 18V as it can accommodate the higher input signal from the pickups and the note will be slightly clearer/cleaner. if you are just playing light I doubt you will notice any difference, It does not really make your bass louder, just better at handling transients.

Yeah, that's basically how I understand it as well. But then, the question remains: why would Warwick move AWAY from such a design?
 
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Yeah, that's basically how I understand it as well. But then, the question remains: why would Warwick move AWAY from such a design?

Maybe they don't see the small gain worth it? lass battery's in the world? on some basses it is a tight fit to get all the electronics in with two batterys. I have to remove the battery holder on my thumbs to get two batteries in.
 
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There might be another issue. There is a trim pot on the preamp to set the volume between the engaged and disabled preamp. I bought my stage 1 and had to find ut that the headroom issue was solved by adjusting the trim pot accordingly, which also now means I do not get a volume drop :)
 

eyvindwa

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Hmm, I'm not sure how to fit a second battery in here?

Also, can anyone tell me where that trimpot is?

2015-07-15 16.32.13.jpg
 
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