Review of Warwick Rockbass Streamer LX4 Bass Guitar
Warwick is one of the giants of bass. Dan Veall checks out an
affordable entry to this prestigious brand.
Warwick has been massive in the bass world for many years and
continues to deliver quality goods consistently to the professional
and beginner markets alike. Back in 1982, company founder
Hans-Peter Wilfer had a vision to create premium instruments
offering exotic tonewoods as well as new twists on classic
construction. Warwick basses blend ergonomic designs with eye
catching and instantly identifiable body outlines.
Oh, and identifiable they are - not just in looks but tonal
character too. Warwick attracts major artists for this reason. You
only have to look at the impressive list of endorsees - Jack Bruce,
Stuart Zender, T.M. Stevens, Jonas Hellborg, Adam Clayton, Robert
Trujillo, Bootsy Collins and Steve Bailey to name just a
Not content with providing professional-class instruments,
Warwick has gone on to introduce a number of additional product
lines, such as its RockBass budget range of which the subject of
this review, the Streamer LX.
The premium LX model appeared in Warwick's arsenal in 1996 and
has been a favourite amongst Warwick bass players. This Streamer
version, delivers the LX in a more affordable package.
The bolt on maple neck with 'Ekanga' veneers has a nice
comfortable rounded feel to it. The veneers make for a tasty 'pin
stripe' look down the back of the satin feel neck. Err.. 'Ekanga'
Dan? - Well, after a little research I find that this 'wood' is man
made and mainly composed of reclaimed wood fibre. As I understand
it, Warwick is a very 'green' company and reuses left-over wood as
much as possible. This reclaimed product is reformed for use in new
instruments and is called Ekanga. So there you have it!
I'd say that it had a fairly 'quick' profile - certainly not a
chunky classic P-Bass handful. Very comfortable in fact. I love the
glossy black finish - it looks ultra sleek and modern, though it
was easy to spot that this finish was part of a cheaper instrument.
It wasn't a smooth as it could have been in places. If black isn't
your bag though, Warwick makes four, five and left hand models as
well as a fretless model available in metallic red and metallic
blue high-gloss finishes too. There are no fretless left hand
versions. The 24 frets are nicely finished on the rosewood
fingerboard. If you go for the fretless version, you'll get a
tiger-stripe ebony fingerboard thrown in to the deal too.
On board is a set of passive MEC 'Dynamic Correction' pick ups.
Despite a lack of information as to what the 'dynamic correction'
feature actually is, I can tell you that the tone of the instrument
for the price bracket is actually rather pleasing, as you will hear
in the review video. The Volume, Pan, Treble and Bass controls have
a smooth sweep to them and we found very usable tones available
from both pickups with the help of the active preamp providing the
boost and cut EQ. Having said that, although it's a very usable
sound, it isn't the same as you would expect from a premium Warwick
- then again, what would you expect at this price? This is no
criticism, more an observation.
Round the back of the RockBass, I was very pleased to see that
the compartment lid could be removed with nothing more than bare
fingers. No tools here. - It's actually a patented design by
Warwick and is very handy, especially for those who have needed to
change a battery five minutes before performing and find all their
tools are packed away in their car/truck, or backstage!
Interestingly, I was talking to a good friend of mine yesterday who
owns a 'boutique' bass. He was genuinely annoyed to find that the
battery compartment was secured with four Allen key bolts! I feel
your pain Hugh, I really do!
The hardware onboard the 'carolena' wood (also a recycled
product, we suspect) bodied bass is of a good quality. It's great
to see the Just-A-Nut III nut too - something that has been in
place on Rockbass instruments since 2008. I'd actually like to see
adjustable nut heights on premium basses. We as bass players spend
a lot of time looking for the perfect action and neck relief
combination for our instruments but the nut seldom gets touched.
Adjustment is a one-way journey. If you have to file the nut, you
can't return it back to it's original 'setting' unless you replace
it. With the Just-A-Nut, it's easy to lift the height or lower it
for optimal playing position. In tandem with the nice, chunky
two-part Warwick bridge that is a mainstay of their instruments,
string changes and adjustments are a breeze. I'd expect to see a
long life from the bridge pieces and Warwick tuners. Finally
looking at the hardware, Warwick fits its own strap locks to
RockBass instruments too. You're unlikely to see this on other
budget instruments and it's a very welcome addition.
Playability of the instrument is good across the whole of the
neck, though I have to say I'd have personally liked to have seen
the action on this example lower. As I mentioned in my video, I've
played other models from the RockBass line that had a great low
action, so I expect the set=up here isn't typical. Tonally
there's a good strong definition to individual notes acoustically
on the instrument's 34" scale length.
I have to say that genuinely, this a a good little bass for the
money and shouldn't be cast aside from your shopping list if you
are looking for a starter instrument or a cheap back up. I'm very
lucky in that all the basses that have made it to review have all
been good ones and this I think this would be a sensible choice for
the budget conscious among us.
Check out the full review inc. video of the Warwick Rockbass
Streamer LX4 bass guitar by Dan Veall featured in The Bassment in
Issue 10 of
Guitar Interactive Magazine (
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