Warwick Streamer Stage 1
Made In: Germany
Specs: Maple body wings, five-piece maple and wenge through-neck, wenge fretboard
Electronics: MEC P & J pickups, MEC 2-band preamp
Controls: Volume with push/pull for active and passive circuit, Pickup blend, Bass cut and boost, Treble cut and boost
I first played a Streamer in around 1992 or 93, back when the price was so out of reach for me that it may as well have been for a trip to the moon. Based on a Ned Steinberger design, an early 90’s model had long been high on my wanted list but they’re not easy to come by. When one became available in Limerick I was in a position to move in. This one had seen a lot of action, but the price was right so the deal was done.
While it was clear it was extensively used, I wasn’t quite prepared for quite how much work would be involved in returning this one to its former glory. An extensive cleaning was required to remove over twenty years worth of crud and, after waxing, it looked stunning.
Structurally, however, a lot more work was required. The frets had been filed in a way I’ve never seen anywhere else, almost like a Ken Smith nut, where what wasn’t directly under a string had been filed almost level with the fretboard. A full refret was done as a result. The aluminium truss rod had stripped too, seemingly a common problem with early 90’s Warwicks. Luckily, it’s easy to remove the truss rod from instruments from this era, and I replaced it with a sturdy iron rod Warwick now offer. The output jack needed to be swapped out too, which was a simple job, and the rest of the electronics were in good shape.
Once all the work was done, the quality of this bass was immediately clear. Warwicks have a tone seemingly unavailable in anything else, a fantastic growl which really cuts through. The arched body makes for a very comfortable instrument to play. There’s a lot to like in a Streamer and I get the same satisfaction playing this one now as I did that one in the shop over twenty years ago.