After celebrating the 70Framus anniversary as well as the 35Warwick anniversary recently, the next big day was going to Hans-Peter Wilfer, founder and invigorator of both brands, to celebrate his 60birthday. On this occasion, one of the arguably most spectacular instruments of the year 2018 was built. Soon, this remarkable example of advanced craftsmanship will be exhibited on upcoming trade shows starting with Winter NAMM 2019 in Anaheim, CA.
Made of premium stocks of wood
The instrument, that was given as a birthday present, picks up the original design of the Thumb Bass (hand-built for the first time in 1985) because it represents the brand Warwick like no other model. In line with the company slogan “The Sound of Wood”, the bass was made of extraordinarily high-grade tone-woods, some of which had been stored, and thus tonally matured for up to 30 years: The body’s back is pommelé bubinga. The neck-through construction with 7 stripes combines wenge and bunge (bubinga) with white maple veneer. The fingerboard’s wild marbling originates from a piece of ebony heartwood. On the bubinga burl top, which features a wane part, the matte UV satin finish smoothly transforms into a shiny UV high polish finish. As required, all woods are CITES certified, of course.
Adorned with splendid details
To further emphasize the exceptionality of the birthday bass, a trail of gemstone inlays is decked out over the body frontside and fingerboard, following the dynamics of the wood design. Gold-set sapphires back-lit by LEDs were used for the dot inlays and side-dots. On the ebony pots, diamonds are marking the position. Real gold applications are embellishing a framed inscription on the cover of the electronics compartment, the truss rod cover, and the diamond-studded W-logo on the headstock. A gilded shimmer is emphasizing the wood structure of the top’s naturally gnarly part.
Brilliant achievement by the team
The planning and building of the birthday bass in the Custom Shop in Markneukirchen, Germany was kept top-secret from Hans-Peter before its ceremonial presentation on July 20th. Even so, almost all employees were somehow involved in the project. The creative process was very similar to that of a Masterbuilt instrument. With an estimated total value of over $170,000 USD, the basically unlimited possibilities of the Custom Shop were simply made use of on a grander scale. As an invaluable memento, the Anniversary Thumb is currently hung up in the shared headquarters of Warwick, Framus, and W-Music Distribution.