Reviewed: Warwick Rock Bass Star Bass

Amber Technology | ambertechnology.com.au | Expect to pay: $1,799

Warwick’s Rock Bass line offers a combination of Warwick designs and features with some cost-saving measures to create basses that retain the Warwick ethos and persona at a lesser price point. Whilst mainly known for their modern-ish Thumb, Streamer and Corvette designs, the Star offers something a little different in the way of a semi-hollow bass.

A semi-hollow design the Star Bass is a double cutaway instrument featuring a maple body and neck with a wenge fingerboard. This particular example was a super hip looking Metallic Gold but Black, Cream and Daphne Blue are also on the lineup if you’re after a different look. The combination of chrome hardware and black controls looks classy against the gold finish and the F holes add some vintage elegance to the overall aesthetic. It’s a well-weighted instrument too at four kilograms, sitting nicely with a players neck. In terms of electronics, it’s a pair of Warwick’s own MEC passive single coil pickups with Volume and Tone controls for both and a typical three way pickup switch.

 

The neck on the Star Bass has a similar feel to your typical Warwick bass and with a medium scale (32”) it’s a comfortable bass to play. To boot, it’s carved from maple and furnished with a pair of thin ekanga-veneer strips. Also of note are the funky down-angled smooth-action tuning machines; not only do they look great, but they’re even easier to adjust than bog-standard ones. A Warwick Just-A-Nut III and 2-piece 3D bridge top off the carefully designed setup. Plugged in, the instrument sounds full and responsive with warm neck sounds that are great for jazz, round rock tones and even add fuzz and distortion. For some extra rasp, the bridge is brighter and also works well when playing with a pick. Experimenting with the Tone controls also adds to the palette. Rolling off the tone on the front pickup almost gets you into faux double bass territory while rolled off on the bridge, muted pick-playing can create fat synthy-type sounds.

 

 

 

The semi-hollow bass guitar has had a bit of resurgence in the last few years with some new models from other brands and a rekindling of other old favourites. To be honest, there isn’t a huge selection of semi-hollows on the market however and there’s no reason the Star Bass wouldn’t help fill that void. Of course, rock and indie players seem obvious candidates but I’ve seen the semi-hollow getting a run in jazz, blues and even country settings. The Star Bass looks great (I love the Metallic Gold!), plays really well and offers some tones that you won’t get in a traditional solid body. At the Rock Bass price, it’s really a great instrument.

Hits and Misses

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Feel and range of tones

Cheap price

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You might need a hard case if you really want a protect it

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