I am in a 60's/70's rock band playing all sorts of music from Hendrix, Van Morrison, The Doors, Free, Cream etc. For the amplified sets I use Musicman basses through an Ampeg head with Trace Elliot Cabs.
We also play "MTV-style" unplugged and had a Hudson Acoustic Bass but wanted something better. After some deliberation, and a false start with a music shop in the USA, I decided to go with the Warwick Alien Standard from Thomann. Having got gear from them before, and recommending friends, I knew the buying would be good.
I ordered the bass on Sunday, order processed on Monday, fully updated via the tracking facility and received the bass on Thursday - How's that for efficiency?!
The initial impact is very impressive, the shorter 32" neck makes the already large body seem larger than it is, but this adds to the impression in my view. A quick tune up (the bass was slightly de-tuned for the journey - again a nice touch) and the bass was sounding beautiful. The large sized body gives loads of acoustic projection, even with the offset sound hole, and access to the top end is good with only the last 2 or 3 frets of the 24 being a bit difficult to access. I don't normally go up this far so it isn't a problem for me.
I used flat wound stings on my last acoustic as the bronze strings that came pre-fitted sounded to top-end and brittle. Initially I thought this was the same, but after a short time, the strings mellowed nicely and I am now seriously considering leaving the on.
The neck is a lot slimmer than the Stingray and takes a bit of getting used to, but after a while it becomes un-noticeable. I play finger-style and rest my thumb on the top of the fingerboard just in front of the sound hole, which is a nice natural position.
The build quality of the bass is superb. No bad joints or proud frets. No crackly electronics (thanks to the excellent Fishman pickup and pre-amp - hidden away in the sound hole giving a totally smooth line to the bass) and no bad surface finish anywhere.
The only down side so far is the quality of some of the natural harmonic node points, especially around the 3+ and 4th frets positions. It doesn't affect the fretted notes in this area, so it may be my technique due to playing Musicmans for a number of years. (this is the reason for the 4 star on the "sound" rating - I may be wrong on the rating, so take it as you find it)
I have played it through my 25w Marshall practice amp and my old Trace Elliot smx250 head and it sounds great through both. I have yet to try it through the PA system, but a gig coming up will put this part to the test.
If you are looking for an acoustic bass to either play in the house when plugging everything in is too much hassle, or want a seriously good addition to your gigging instruments, have a good look at this bass - it is great.
All in all a great bass at a great price from a great store.
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Warwick Alien standard, simple but good!
The WAS offers for its money a mature warm sound, good playability and easy handling. The mounting of the controllers in the area of ??the sound hole is negative, since the use of a sound attenuator is not really possible in the case of stage performances (plugged) and therefore feedback may occur. Unplugged is really ok!
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