Reviewed: Warwick TeamBuilt Idolmaker Bass

Amber Technology | ambertech.com.au | Expect to pay: $5199

Warwick have always been happy to create their own designs without being restricted to the boundaries of traditional and/or standard shapes and typical wood choices. The Corvette, Streamer, Thumb and Dolphin are all easily identifiable and incorporate a range of timbers - so it then makes sense that the Idolmaker too features an original body shape and some interesting material choices.

Warwick have long been revered for their high level of production and quality control. With instruments now made in both Germany and abroad, the Warwick TeamBuilt basses offer German made instruments from the same factory and supervision of their top MasterBuilt basses but at a more affordable price. An asymmetrical double cutaway design, the Idolmaker has a fluid body shape that somehow straddles vintage and modern. The body is mahogany with the Burgundy Blackburst gloss top sitting over a Satin black whilst the neck utilises a couple of Warwick’s favourite materials with Ovangkol for the neck and Wenge for the fingerboard. It really is a great looking instrument with the carved gloss and satin sections of the top creating a great contrast.

 

Electronics wise the Idolmaker uses a combination of passive MEC pickups and an active preamp. This gives the control layout Volume, Balance, Treble and Bass with the additional two mini toggle switches having 3 way options for Serial, Parallel and Single coil operation. Plenty of tone options hey! Gnarly brighter tones can morph into thick, thuddy low end at the flick of a switch and you can get rounder vintage sounds or more hi-fi cleans too. I think you’d be surprised at the tonal variety on hand if you just took the Idolmaker as a retro rock, double bucker bass (like some other brands). It seriously can produce quite a range of tones with minimal fuss.

 

 

I like the feel of the Idolmaker. It’s not a vintage lightweight and sits a little differently due to the weight distribution but the neck shape and satin finish feel good and the body sits nicely against your body. The control placements are close at hand for those that sit towards the bridge more and the mini toggles are unobtrusive (if you felt they might get in the way). Overall, credit must be given to Warwick for branching out with the aesthetic of this instrument.

 

The Masterbuilt Idolmaker is a serious instrument. Great construction, finish and feel alongside some nice individual touches. Warwick’s use of gloss and satin finishes contrast beautifully and work from both a look and feel perspective. It isn’t a light instrument by any means, but it does feel comfortable and plays really well so I’d doubt that would ultimately sway your decision making. The Idolmaker definitely looks and feels like a Warwick. It has that familiar Warwick neck feel and shape that is solid but not overbearing. And the body shape has that something different that means it could be at home in a wide range of settings. I could see it in onstage in an indie band, thrashing away in a hair metal lineup, holding down clean low end on a funk gig and loads more. If you like the idea of something a little different with high level build quality and that Warwick feel give the Idolmaker a whirl. 

Hits and Misses

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Wide range of tones

Body shape is a point of difference

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No included hardcase (only a gigbag)

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