Reviewed: Warwick RockBass Artist Line Robert Trujillo 5 String

Amber Technology | ambertech.com.au | Expect to pay: $3,299

Warwick are a top-tier bass manufacturer from Markneukirchen, Germany used by some of the most famed bass players in history. Similar to the Metallica man himself, the Robert Trujillo bass, available in 4 and 5 string, simply resonates power. This model in particular, a black satin variant of the Warwick Streamer body shape, is a powerhouse of bottom end.

The bass begins with Warwick machine heads and ends in a chrome Warwick bridge, and strings skim through a Just-A-Nut III nut, jumbo frets and EMG J pickups, and the body shape is balanced and comfortable: as is the tone, attack and response of the bass itself. Unplugged, the bass resonates power and reminds me of Trujillo’s introduction in ‘Through the Never’. Thanks to the individually recessed bolts that secure the three layered maple neck to the body with a startlingly tight fit, the resonance from the fretted notes really vibrates into the body and against the player.

 

The three-band EQ assists in dialling a tone that’ll help you sit, stand out, fall back, or come forward, and are all easily within reach, even on this particular five string model. Despite the five strings, the neck doesn’t feel like a four-lane freeway, and is comfortable enough to play for extended periods of time, and the compound neck radius assists even further with this. Not only is the neck comfortable out of the box, but Warwick’s 3D bridge that is included as standard can be adjusted up or down, forward or back, as well as side-to-side to fine tune the string spacing. In conjunction with the Warwick Just-A-Nut III that can easily adjust the string height at the nut, the bass is very customisable in feel, tuning and sound.

 

The EMG Js sound great and really hold down the electronics end of the bass. Fitted with active MEC electronics, the Artist Line Robert Trujillo can be as powerful and feared or inconspicuous as you like. Toggling between active and passive on the push/pull pot really delivers a different beast, and the pickup blend knob fades in and out of differing Jazz flavours, or anything in between. Finally, three band EQ handles the finer details of your tone. The DI is balanced and full, aggressive when required, and has a controlled resonance.

 

 

Head to toe, the Artist Line Robert Trujillo bass that arrives as standard is phenomenal. 24 nickel silver, extra high jumbo frets litter the ebony fingerboard with a beautiful tigerstripe. The fingerboard is fixed to a laminated, three piece maple neck with ekanga veneer stripes that hold it all together. Ergonomically angled tuners hold the strings in place, and make for a quick and easy tuning experience at the top end of this 34” long scale instrument, a welcome addition that just makes the instrument as a whole a little more special and pleasing to play. Arriving safely in a Deluxe RockBag, ready to go, this bass is one that will please players of any level of expertise or experience.

 

You’d be a fool to think that a Warwick bass would ever be anything besides one of the most well designed and built instruments you’ll play, which means that Robert Trujillo’s signature bass wouldn’t be anything less than the most ergonomic, practical and well put together bass possible. From the extra-high frets to angled tuning machines, active EMGs as standard and a super customisable chrome bridge to the sleek satin black body, bolted to an ebony fretboard that really completes the look. Trujillo’s Metallica logo-styled initials are embedded in mother of pearl that make for a simple, classy instrument that packs all the punch you might need, but retains the dynamics and character at lower volumes, even before switching between active and passive circuitry. If there was ever an easier way to ‘get the sound right at the source’, it would be difficult to beat the Warwick Artist Line Robert Trujillo. A huge list of specs, unassuming good looks and a consistency in sound that you’d only expect from Warwick; the masters.

Hits and Misses

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Unassuming, all about the specs

Great hardware and pickups as standard

Well built and designed

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Big price tag

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