Warwick’s Pro- and Artist-series instruments are being built in South Korea these days, which results in lower prices when compared to Warwick’s German basses. The question is “Are Korean Warwicks really thoroughbred Warwick basses?” Read on…
The Warwick Corvette Standard Ash (current price in Finland: 873 €) is the German (Warwick Series) Corvette Bolt-On’s more affordable Korean Pro Series counterpart.
As is already hinted at by its name, the Corvette Standard Ash bass features a body made from swamp ash.
Three long stripes of ovangkol are used as the main ingredient for the neck. The ovangkol pieces are visually offset by two thin strips of ekanga. Both woods come from West Africa.
The Corvette’s neck is screwed on using four separate screws and individual washers. A round chamfer on the body takes away some of the bulk for smoother top fret access.
Warwick’s famous oil and wax finish brings out the rich hue and the lively grain in the ovangkol.
Korean Warwicks come equipped with the exact same top-drawer hardware found on the company’s German models.
The Corvette Standard Ash sports Schaller-tuners.
There are more cool pro-touches on the front side of the headstock too – truss rod access is possible without using a screwdriver, and the top nut is Warwick’s own, fully adjustable Just-A-Nut-III model.
A wenge fretboard and bell bronze frets – most bass players would already know that this is a Warwick bass by this picture alone.
The bridge is a masterpiece of German engineering. In addition to intonation and action, this chunky number also allows for the adjustment of string-to-string distance. Naturally, everything is then locked in place securely using grub screws.
The Corvette Standard’s J-sized pickups are made by German pickup buffs MEC.
This bass features all-passive electronics, offering controls for master volume, pickup balance and master tone.
Inside the extremely clean back cavity you’ll find a set of special MEC-pots.
Warwick’s smooth satin oil-finish is called Nirvana Black.
The bass comes with a User Kit bag containing a user’s manual and strap locks, as well as all allen keys needed for adjustment.
Regardless whether the instrument comes from Germany or South Korea, if it says “Warwick” on the headstock players’ expectations with regard to quality, playability and tone are bound to be high.
One of the key points of Warwick-quality is the quality of woods used for crafting their basses. It’s not only about the unblemished looks, but also about the right (read: light) weight. Thanks to the company’s strict guidelines there are no unpleasant surprises when it comes to a Warwick’s weight and feel.
In ergonomic terms the Corvette Standard Ash is also a genuine Warwick – the body feels comfortable and the whole bass balances very nicely on a strap, thanks to the long top horn.
The Corvette’s neck profile starts off as a slender-but-full “U” at the top nut, broadening out nicely the nearer you move towards the the body. The neck’s oil finish gives the bass a very natural feel.
This bass has been designed to make slap-playing easy, with plenty of room between the top of the body and the bottom of the strings. And the Corvette is no slouch when it comes to other playing styles, either.
Played acoustically this bass displays a charmingly raunchy mid-range, coupled with a clear, piano-type attack.
As you can hear clearly in the soundbites below, the natural tone of the Corvette shines through nicely in its amped-up performance also. All audio clips have been recorded using a SansAmp Bass Driver DI -box and a Focusrite Saffire 6 USB sound-card. Each clip starts off with the neck pickup on its own:
The Korea-made Warwicks represent a win-win-situation in my opinion. The Pro Series basses aren’t second class Warwicks by any stretch of the imagination, instead they offer us cash-strapped musicians professional grade instruments with a friendlier price tag. It’s 100 percent Warwick quality and tone at a moderate price – this should spell “great value” in anybody’s book!
Warwick Pro Series Corvette Standard Ash
Finnish distributor: Musamaailma
+ value for money
+ quality tonewoods
+ pro-quality hardware and electronics