Warwick Rock Bass Corvette Multi-Scale: What is it?
One of the ways you can tell that a bass guitar design has become a modern classic is how often it can be refreshed and readily take on these new appointments and wear them as though that had been the idea all along. The Warwick Corvette is a case in point.
Here we’ve got the new Warwick RockBass Corvette MS, with the MS standing for multi-scale. This five-string marks a first for the German bass titan, its multi-scale design offering a conventional 34” scale on the G-string and a longer 35.5” scale for the low B, the idea being that longer scale length on the lower strings maintains string tension and tone, and to ensure that the intonation is on point, the fingerboard has a distinctive fanned fret design.
Such designs are not new; throughout the history of the stringed instrument there have been such innovations, and yet in 2021 it still looks kind of radical. While some players might find it a little odd to look at, to play it doesn’t require much adjustment at all; indeed, one of the benefits should be evident in the feel of the instrument.
This Corvette wears this design well. The silhouette of the Corvette frame, with its elongated upper horn – ET’s finger pointing to something beyond the headstock – and the eschewing of sharp edges anywhere is the perfect vehicle for this sort of innovation.
The RockBass Corvette MS arrives in sleek Satin Black, the sort of finish that makes you curse fingerprints but looks incredible and neat, and it is built of solid red alder with a maple burl veneer, with a bolt-on maple and ekanga neck. This neck is topped by a wenge fingerboard and 24 extra high jumbo nickel-silver frets.
Everything is neat and tidy. There’s a graphite nut, Warwick branded tuners, and a Warwick five-saddle angled bridge design that looks more like a nest of individual saddles than one collective unit – something we have seen a lot, with manufacturers promising enhanced sustain, intonation and all that stability you demand from quality hardware.
This Corvette has a pair of passive MEC Soapbar pickups in the engine room, with a RockBass 2-way active preamp system offering plenty of opportunities for you to methodically wring every last drop of tone out of them.
Besides our usual complement of volume, balance, bass and tone, there are a pair of three-way mini-switches for running the pickups in series, parallel or for single-coil operation. All bases covered. No pun intended.
Warwick Rock Bass Corvette Multi-Scale: Performance and verdict
The Corvette is a mover. There is some tasteful sculpting up near the heel to flatter the soloists among you but even if you are parking yourself in the low-end rumble that fingerboard feels eminently comfortable, and no need to relearn the instrument to navigate its fanned-fretted geography.
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For a do-it-all bass with some boutique stylings and excellent hardware and electronics, that price is a bargain. You’ll surely remember the bass even if you can quite remember its name.
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As for the Corvette’s playability, that is its finest feature. Add a relatively chunky neck to a narrow nut width and what do you get? Jazz heaven, that’s what, and although this bass doesn’t really resemble a J-Bass in any seriously arguable way, the familiar J comfort is certainly there.
Of course, there’s a little neck dive but nothing that would detract from the comfort here. The Corvette is a triumph of ergonomics. That low B-string feels nice and taut; Tom Cruise could use it to traverse ravines and it’d still be in tune. This lends the Corvette an authoritative voice that can be applied in all kinds of ways.
One would be to do as its modern design suggests, playing future-forward progressive metal styles, being percussive, and mining its impressive preamp system for bouncy, slap-friendly tones. But then, rock and metal are easily achieved, and there’s something very persuasive about the Corvette when it is played with a little overdrive.
A three-band EQ would have been the bee’s knees but you can’t have everything. This Chinese-built Warwick is another example of the RockBass delivering a lot of thump for your money. It also ships with a matching gig-bag but we would be tempted to upgrade to a hard case. This is a keeper and is as good an entry point to fanned-fret bass guitars for Warwick as it is for bass players.
MusicRadar verdict: It’s a fair price for a quality multi-scale bass that has more than enough quality to assume its role as the gigging player’s workhorse, or for stepping away from the conventional four-string template.
Warwick Rock Bass Corvette Multi-Scale: The web says
“At this price, it’s by no means a budget instrument, but with multi-scale instruments often priced at considerably more, the Corvette is sure to be of interest to many young bass players. They’ll be getting plenty of bang for their buck, too: The instrument is superbly built, with a high level of attention to detail, and the tones on offer should satisfy all but the fussiest low-enders.”
Bass Player Magazine (opens in new tab)
Warwick Rock Bass Corvette Multi-Scale: Specifications
- PRICE: $1,399 / £979
- MADE IN: China
- BODY: Red alder, maple burl veneer
- NECK: Maple with ekanga veneer stripes, 34” to 35.5” scale
- NECK JOIN: Bolt-on
- FRETBOARD: Wenge, graphite nut, 24 extra high jumbo nickelsilver frets
- PICKUP: 2 x passive MEC Soapbar pickups
- ELECTRONICS: Rockbass two-way
- CONTROLS: Volume, balance, treble, bass, two three-way miniswitches (series/parallel/single-coil)
- HARDWARE: Warwick tuners and bridge
- WEIGHT: 9 lbs
- GIGBAG/CASE: Gigbag
- LEFT-HAND AVAILABLE: No
- CONTACT: Warwick (opens in new tab)