Warwick Streamer Std 5-string 2-pickup [German version] Reviews 4

$500 used, very clean, no fretwear from Bass Northwest online. I had tried a number of Warwicks in shops and was impressed but the only bolt -on neck seemed to be the Corvette. I prefer bolt-on for a number of reasons, but did not want another JJ setup and Corvettes are JJ. I found the Streamer while browsing "the usual suspects".

As mentioned above, the winning combination for me was Warwick sound, bolt-on neck, soapbar PUPs, and in this case I was looking at only 5-string basses. It was shipped with stainless roundwounds so I can tell you that these can sound very spanky. 1/2 hour later it had [and still has] ugly gray flatwounds [high nickel content] and now speaks Bass Talk. It's passive with one tone knob, with a good range available on the one knob. The soapbars look alike and are at sweet spot and bridge but none really *at* the neck. The PUPs have enough seperation that I get a variety of tones from setting the gain knob on each differently, and I don't miss the overly heavy bass effect that a real neck PUP can offer.

Has two gain knobs but I'd rather have a fader. Would also prefer a 35" neck for 5-string but this does have a good B-string down to about C#. The bridge is trash [not the classic Warwick]and I've ordered a Schaller [I've only had the bass for a week]. String spacing is narrower than most 5-strings [only 57mm at the bridge saddles] and this takes me quite a lot of practice to adapt my right hand. OTOH I'd point out that left-handed muting is easier than on my BTB wide-5. With two soapbars, I think it's a loss to not feature a series-to- parallel switch.

As mentioned, the bridge is junk. Tuners appear to be Schaller, and those work well. Has 2 soapbar pickups arranged similar to G&L dual PUP models. This is the German Streamer Std of approx 1999 and not the newer RockBass model so the neck is a very dark ovangkol with a wenge fretboard and brass frets. Nut is the newer style with two adjuster screws rather than one for each string. Body is Carolena, "soft" hardwood, but minor dents don't take any chunks out of the finish because [like most Warwicks ] it has no finish. This seems to be well made and of top grade materials except for the bridge. Control knobs act very progressively with no sudden jumps in their effect. PUPs are passive [and definitely have that passive "realism" to their tone].

These were not high ticket when new and some shops may have NOS or clean used ones. At the price you get great tone, fine wood and a crappy bridge, but it's a very worthwhile candidate for bridge replacement [adjustable spacing required due to narrow gauge]. I have become accustomed to the need to upgrade some components on many excellent basses. It's still less than 1/2 the cost of truly custom built instruments, yet the result can be something really special. Worth repeating: The string spacing may take some players some effort to become comfortably adept. OTOH to those switching over from guitar maybe the narrow-5 is better. The bass has nice balance on the strap without the larger neck of the wider spaced 5-strings.

Golem rated this unit 4 on 2003-01-23.

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