There's something about the sound of a Warwick. I'd heard it in Stuart Zender's playing with Jamiroquai, and in Jack Bruce's playing. It's just the 'woodiest' sounding bass I've ever heard. There's a warmth and depth and a somehow 'organic' feeling to the sound which I find very appealing. So I had been on the hunt for a nice Warwick for a few years before I found this one on eBay around 2012. It's a bolt-on Thumb from 1998. No frills, but it has so many nice little touches as standard: the elegant little volute at the back of the head, the recessed strap-loks, the angled tuners. I also really like the tiny, quirky, elegantly carved body shape, although I realise that's a kind of 'Marmite' thing that you either love or hate. I always like small-bodied basses, anyway. But ergonomically, I find it weird. The back of the body is concave. I guess this is designed with the intention of it sitting comfortably on your belly. Trouble is, I'm a skinny guy, so there's nothing for the concave shape to rest on, and in fact the top edge of it digs into my ribs in a somewhat painful way after a few hours of playing it. Hence, this doesn't get a lot of outings. Furthermore, it's very neck heavy - I guess that's the price you pay for the thick dark wood neck (wenge?) and the small body. Still, I use it a lot in the studio and on gigs where I know I won't be playing for long. And sit-down gigs.
This is the only bass I've ever owned that isn't lacquer-finished. While that does give it a very tactile and organic quality - you want to touch the wood - there's a downside: on a gig in Cork, playing a particularly enthusiastic slide down the neck, I got a splinter! Ouch. Needless to say, I've been hesitant about doing that again on that bass ever since!
But that woody tone more than makes up for these drawbacks, so this bass isn't going anywhere for now. The controls are volume, pickup pan, and a stacked bass boost/cut and treble boost/cut. Does the job nicely. You can hear this bass (and see it in the video) on the No.1 charity single Tiny Dancer by A Song For Lily-Mae which you can watch here.