From raw wood to finished instruments: these videos show the production of Warwick Masterbuilt basses at the Custom Shop in Markneukirchen, Germany

In our today’s MAKING THE INSTRUMENT video we present a truly special and extraordinary bass: a 9 string Warwick Masterbuilt Corvette NT with Bubinga body, made in our Custom Shop in Markneukirchen/Germany.

This bass is one of the so-called “extended range instruments”, which were developed from the usual 4 string basses or 6 string guitars to extend the tonal range upwards or downwards. The first 5 and 6 string basses were made in the 50s and 60s, but these special instruments became really popular in the 80s, when metal players asked more and more for lower tuned basses and guitars. Since then, 7 string guitars as well as 5, 6 and 7 string basses have not only been extremely popular with metal players, but have also led to extraordinary and remarkable playing techniques among virtuosos and made corresponding compositions possible for the first time. While 7 string basses (tuning mostly: B E A D G C F) are now especially common in various metal styles, 8 and 9 string basses still belong to the exotic ones. After all, these require not only special production techniques and custom hardware, but also special playing techniques.

Among the best known “Extended Range Bassists” are Warwick artists Jeff Hughell (Six Feet Under)and Jeroen Paul Thesseling (Pestilence), who not only produce great bass compositions in the field of metal, but also shine in genres like jazz fusion and in numerous side projects with their skills. Jeff Hughell is not only a solo artist in Six Feet Under’s “solo runs”, where he provides practically entire albums with pure extended-range bass arrangements, but also “brainchild” of the Bassists Alliance Projects, which is highly esteemed among bassists and consists of numerous Warwick artists. Other well-known bass players with six and more string instruments include John Myung (Dream Theater), Dominic Lapoint (Quo Vadis), Adrian Lambert (Biomechanical), Connor Green (Haken), Jared Smith (Archspire), Jean Bodin (Nuclear Rabbits, Voodoo Gods), Linus Krausenitzer (Obscura) and Doug Pinnick (King’s X).

The body of the Warwick Custom Shop Masterbuilt Corvette NT 9 string with serial number 17-3730is made of Bubinga. The neck is made of maple, with nine stripes of Ekanga. The neck is set-in according to the “Hidden Neck-Through” principle. 24 extra hard Jumbo frets made of bronze were inserted into the fingerboard by IFT - Invisible Fretwork Technology and perfectly set up by Plek Fretwork. Further equipment details include: specially developed, height-adjustable Just-A-Nut III brass nut for a perfect setup, Schaller tuners with wooden knobs, illuminated fingerboard side dots, passive MEC soapbar pickups specially made for this 9 string with handmade wooden covers, active Warwick 2-way electronics with lithium battery that can be recharged like a mobile phone via USB, controls for volume P/P / balance / treble / bass, two mini switches for separate configuration of the humbuckers (serial, parallel, single coil), 2 piece 3-D brass Warwick bridge, Dunlop Straplock® System, black hardware, natural transparent high polish finish and Warwick EMP strings 008” – 135”.

The tuning is B E A D G C F A# D#. The headstock has also undergone a light design refinement to be able to carry 9 machine heads and therefore also fits to the especially “massive” overall appearance. Included is a Warwick User Kit, a hand crafted genuine RockBag® leather bag, and an individually issued certificate of authenticity.