Streamer bass

The Streamer bass is a bass guitar manufactured by the Warwick company and launched in 1982.[1]

The headstock design was changed around 1985 to be replaced with the current style headstock, and the original one piece bridge was later changed to the two piece style seen in current Warwick basses. Since the 1990s, Streamer basses have used MEC pickups and electronics (on certain models, most often on Limited and Special Edition series, Seymour Duncan and Bartolinis are used).

Warwick Streamer Bass
Warwick Streamer 1983
Streamer from 1983
ManufacturerWarwick
Period1982–present
Construction
Body typeSolid
Neck jointneck through body & bolt on
Woods
Bodymaple
NeckWenge
FretboardWenge ebony, maple
Hardware
BridgeTwo piece
Pickup(s)Usually J
Colors available
Burst, Natural, Satin

Streamer LX

The Streamer LX was added to the Warwick roster in 1996. The 4-string Streamer LX is equipped with a P/J-pickup configuration, the 5-string it equipped with a J/J-configuration and the 6-string is equipped with a dual humbucker setup. Like most Warwicks, the Streamer LX is constructed with some unusual woods - a two piece Flame Maple body, a bolt on Wenge neck and a Wenge fingerboard.

Streamer Jazzman

The Streamer Jazzman was created in 2000. After the Warwick FNA Jazzman was created in 1999, Warwick decided it was necessary to make the Streamer version. The Streamer Jazzman earned its name because of its pickup configuration; a slanted Jazz Bass pickup near the neck and a Music Man humbucking pickup near the bridge.

Notable players

Design similarity to Spector NS-Basses

It was well documented that the first versions of the Streamer were near exact copies of the NS-Bass. The Spector NS-Bass was designed by Ned Steinberger for Stuart Spector in 1977, five years before Warwick was formed.

In the May 2012 article titled "Meet Your Maker: Hans Peter Wilfer of Warwick", an interview with Warwick founder and CEO in Bass Player, the following history is given explaining Wilfer's decision to make copies of the highly sought-after Spector NS-Bass: "'We didn’t see any reason to build Fender copycats, which players could get easily and cheaply from Asia, so we decided to focus only on high-end, innovative instruments.' In the mid ’80s, the Spector NS was tracking well in the U.S., but these basses proved hard to come by in Europe. H.P. saw that problem as a potential solution for the direction of his company and took up the task of designing his own version of this popular, ergonomically friendly instrument. That venture resulted in Warwick’s first widely successful instrument: the Streamer Stage I."[2]

At the annual Musikmesse Show (Frankfurt, Germany) in 1985, Stuart Spector became aware that a new German-based company was producing exact copies of his now famous NS-Bass. Spector, along with Ned Steinberger, confronted Hans Wilfer and he agreed to pay a licensing fee to both Spector Guitars and Ned Steinberger in return for being able to continue to produce the Streamer without legal action.[3]

Shortly after this agreement was reached, Spector was sold to Kramer Guitars. The new owners had no interest in pursuing Warwick to enforce the licensing agreement and Warwick continued to make the Streamer without any consequence.

In 1990, Kramer became insolvent and filed for bankruptcy. In the wake of their financial failure, Stuart Spector formed Stuart Spector Design, LTD. in 1992. In 1997 after a lengthy court battle, Stuart Spector was awarded the trademark and copyrights to Spector and threatened to sue Warwick to enforce the 1985 license agreement.[3]

The pending litigation was eventually dropped because Warwick had changed the Streamer design and it was no longer an exact copy of the NS-Bass. In time, Warwick has evolved the design of the Streamer while Spector has sought to preserve the classic elements of the NS-Bass. Since 1984 very little has changed regarding the design, electronics and hardware of the Spector NS-Bass, whereas the Warwick Streamer has evolved into its own unique guitar and can no longer be considered a "copy" of the Spector, although it still has some of the general shape of the original.

Words from Spector side

This was from PJ Rubal's Email, National Product Manager and Artist Relations for Spector.

"The truth is that Ned designed the NS curved body shape for Spector in March 1977. This was Ned’s first musical instrument design, and an instant hit. Warwick came on to the scene in 1984 with their Streamer bass, an different version of the now very popular Spector NS. When approached by Spector, Warwick did agree to and did pay royalties (for a while) to Spector for their error. Stuart sold Spector to Kramer after that. Warwick stopped paying, Kramer chose not to pursue them."[4]

Notes

  1. ^ Warwick official website "establishing the firm Warwick in 1982"
  2. ^ Taylor, Rod (9 May 2012). "Meet Your Maker: Hans-Peter Wilfer of Warwick". Bass Player. Retrieved 29 May 2018.
  3. ^ a b Spector, Stuart (June 1997). "Body Snatchers". Bass Player (June 1997): Letters to the Editor Pg. 2.
  4. ^ "Spector NS body shape and Warwick - What´s the bottom line?". 2004. Retrieved 29 May 2018.

External links & references

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