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Warwick Jack Bruce Survivor Bass Review

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In an effort to make their artist signature instruments more available to the general public, Warwick unveiled at NAMM ‘12 the Artist Series of basses, simplified versions of their signature instruments made in their Korean facility. At price points that easily compete with the likes of the Lakland Skyline, Stingray and more, I jumped at the chance to get the signature bass of one of my influences; Jack Bruce. What I got was an instrument that blended the best qualities of the past with modern technology for a truly special bass.
Jack Bruce has played the Warwick basses since 1985, leading to his first signature model with the company in 1988. And recently, another product of this longtime collaboration made its debut at the 2012 NAMM show. A bass that takes on the characteristics of its master, the German-built Jack Bruce Survivor exudes classic looks and a warm, lyrical persona.
The Jack Bruce Survivor is a clear combination of Bruce’s past and present basses. While the body is influenced by one of his earlier instruments (the Gibson EB-3), the neck, electronics, and hardware represent Warwick’s approach to Bruce’s modern preferences. Both the body and the neck on this neck-through-designed beauty are constructed from mahogany, and the tigerstripe- ebony fingerboard is available in both fretless (tested here) and fretted versions.

For electronics, the Survivor is outfitted with a pair of passive MEC pickups that look like humbuckers at first glance, but are actually single-coils with a shape that adds to the instrument’s vintage vibe. Wired to an active MEC 2-way preamp, the Survivor’s controls consist of a pushpull volume, balance, and stacked bass/ treble knob.
The bass also features Warwick’s highquality hardware, highlighted by the Justa- Nut III Brass nut and the company’s 2-piece, 3-D bridge—both of which offer a large degree of adjustability. Last but not least, Warwick installed LED side dots, which act like 13 red-nosed reindeers to help guide a bassist along the unlined fingerboard—especially nice for low-light gigging situations.

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