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INSIDE: WARWICK BASS WORKSHOP
Marc took a trip across the big pond to visit our friend Hans , CEO of Warwick Basses in Markneukirchen, Germany. When he arrived, Marc found the Willy Wonka of BASS? Hans-Peter Wilfer!!! The WOOD! The SPACE! The BASS! Join Marc on a magical tour of Warwick's EPIC workshop. No Golden Ticket required!
Marc: In this episode of getting out of the basement. We're here at the Warwick famous facilities in Germany. I have next to me this handsome nice young gentleman Hans-Peter Wilfer. He is the president, CEO & founder of Warwick.
I started my first bass was the TV Bass. We made a couple of hundreds of them.
When did the streamer come about?
A streamer I made my first Streamer in nineteen eighty four. I presented it in Frankfort 1984. This was still a bit old headstock shape. And then in 86. We started with our own head structure. Back in the 80s. I was making a streamer bass or neck thru bass and we were using six to seven hours. Really quick really quick. Today with all the technology we have the. Middle. 35 hours to 40 hours for one instrument But the time we are investing today is more details.
Marc: So when you develop the thumb bass it kind of took the world by storm. When was the first thumb bass? What was the motivation and the inspiration behind that one?
Hans: The first thumbbass we made in 1985. For me it was important that it had a very small body. But you could play up to the last fret, this has 26 frets and the bass is small. Then I was lucky, that Jack Bruce saw this bass in Cologne in a small music store and he fall in love and he bought his first bass from us and after he bought it I went in contact or he contacted me. Yeah. And so the relationship with Jack Bruce started.
Marc: One of my favorite things about the thumb bass, I'm a larger guy and a smaller body instrument like that on me. I just feel goofy. It makes me feel like I feel a little uncomfortable. Hey it's my eukuele bass. But I love the belly cut on that. That's because I always talk about that like a good belly cut that's like, it sits so comfortably.
Marc: Markneukirchen is such a small town, how do you find all of these skilled techs?
Hans: Well some people we educate by ourselves on the other side, we have people all over the place. We have people who contact us from Mexico or from Russia and America or whatever and they come to work here. That is the brand, we attract certain people to work for us. So we are really multicultural by us. We have 16 or 17 different nations.
Hans: We are testing out every instrument, every Framus guitar, every Warwick Bass gets really played.
Hans: Sample production we keep. And we have even instruments maybe 15 years ago or maybe 20 years ago. And we just keep them and we do not sell them out cheap. I know one day in the future maybe in 10 or 20 years when Nicolaas is running the factory I have here 40 years old Warwick vintage.
Hans: Should we go to Woodstock for special Woodstock ?
Marc: Yeah I love wood.
Hans: Here is our secret custom shop wood. They have been selecting since 10 or 20 years wood.
Marc: That is a lot of wood.
Hans: Well it's called Warwick the sound of wood. That is walnut. Bubinga we have Wenge we have fingerboards, we have thousands of ebony fingerboards.
I have ten thousand twenty thousand ebony finger boards I have rosewood.
Marc: All of them, every single piece of ebony we can trace the chain of custody.
That's very important. We learned not too long ago how important that is.
Hans: Yes and regularly the wood for production is sitting three to five years but we have wood I have since 20 years. Lying around.