Violin Basses - yay or nay

Discussion in 'Bass Area; The Bottom Line' started by GFooChombey, Dec 24, 2012.

  1. GFooChombey

    GFooChombey Member

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    Personally, I think they are the most beautiful sounding basses I've ever heard. I have a Rogue knockoff that I've customized on par with an actual Hofner.

    So what do you think? Do you like them?
     
  2. The Golden Boy

    The Golden Boy Member

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    I'm a big Beatles and McCartney fan.

    I really would like to like them- I do not like any one that I've ever played.

    Hofners, Rogue, Epiphone, EKO, Gibson...
     
  3. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    they're neat, but i could never do a gig with one.
     
  4. mainsale

    mainsale Member

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    I've had this one since '65. It's been used in a 60's soul band, classic rock, blues and Psycodellic bands. It's been and still is GREAT!

    [​IMG]
     
  5. GuitarTampa

    GuitarTampa Member

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    Even the cheap ones record very well. I have had experience with the real ones, and the cheap epiphone and 70's japanese knockoffs. I remember the epiphone and the Hofner recording about the same... which was really strange. The 70's one was cool, but fragile as heck. They definitely vary on sound quality. If would keep one around for recording, if I didn't have a short scale bass already.
     
  6. Simto

    Simto Member

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    I love them, they have a special sound that i think is hard to replicate.
    Throw some flatwounds on it and it sounds beautiful.
     
  7. Jimmy3Fingers

    Jimmy3Fingers Member

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    Sorry...for me it's a nay. Guess there has to be at least one dissenter in every crowd. Just doesn't do it for me.
     
  8. FFTT

    FFTT Member

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    I will always cherish my '66 501, but they aren't for everyone.

    Just for perspective, my mom paid $99.00 NEW for my '66 Hofner over in Germany
    with gig bag.

    The action can feel a bit rubber bandy with the light gauge short scale flats
    and you have to compromise a bit on the intonation with the floating bridge.

    A Rick 4001 or 4003 or a Jazz Bass with flat wounds is a better bass guitar overall.

    Today there is actually a pretty good choice of hollow body bases out there.
    They may not sound right in the showroom with round wound strings, but if you
    roll off all the treble, you can get very close to a Hofner sound.
     
  9. Thornton Davis

    Thornton Davis Member

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    This is my 2007 Hofner HCT500/1. All of the hardware and electronics have been converted to German made components and it sounds great. I especially like the solid sound block that runs through the centre of the bass. It gives the bass added sustain and improved clarity while maintaining that semi-acoustic old school tone.

    [​IMG]

    TD
     
  10. Guitarworks

    Guitarworks Member

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    Love 'em. For me, there are only four iconic bass silhouettes - P-bass, J-bass, 4001, and the Hofner 500/1.
     
  11. MandolinFan

    MandolinFan Member

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    They have a specific sound. If you're after a thumpy, passive thing then this is a great bass to get that from.

    They don't have a whole tone of sustain, so they lend themselves for playing the melodic (busy), McCartney-style bass lines.

    I played bass professionally for 30 years. There were gigs in which a bass like this was required and there were gigs in which I would have been told to go away and come back with a real bass.

    It all depends what the venue is, or what your ear wants to hear.
     
  12. tooter007

    tooter007 Member

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    Thumpy, punchy, Macca plays one....enough said.
     
  13. rockabilly69

    rockabilly69 Supporting Member

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    I've told more than one bassist to come back with a different bass. I think these basses lack the kind of definition and sustain I want to hear in a bass for what I do, but I have heard these basses sound great in their element.
     
  14. FFTT

    FFTT Member

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    I noticed that Brian Ray in McCartney's band is playing an Epiphone Jack Cassidy
    when he covers on bass for Paul. I've also seen him with a Guild hollow body bass
    and a Gibson SG body bass.

    I just found a few nice alternatives to get that hollowbody bass sound.

    Epi Jack Cassidy
    [​IMG]


    Gretsch White Falcon Bass
    [​IMG]

    Guild Starfire Bass
    [​IMG]
     
  15. Bassomatic

    Bassomatic Member

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    Not to mention the Lakland long scale joint, in both USA and import lines.
     
  16. MandolinFan

    MandolinFan Member

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    Great example. I've owned one of each US/Skyline and although they are much more solidly built than any mentioned above, I found I had to really beat them down (tapewounds with the high-end rolled off completely) to get the "Thumpy", old-school thing I wanted from a hollowbody.

    I'm a huge Lakland fan. I have had at least one in the arsenal since the 1990's. My current get-around bass is a DJ5. I feel their hollowbody is, arguably, the best out there, but very modern in tone performance.
     
  17. KrisHayes

    KrisHayes Member

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    I had one of those Rogues for a while myself. Was a blast to play - sold it to a buddy, so I can borrow it whenever I need!
     
  18. Lefty4003s8

    Lefty4003s8 Member

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    I do NOT like Hofner 500/1 basse:barf, and don't/can't understand why Sir Paul plays them.

    I will admit to liking the sound, and I have had two of them. I also have a Brice knockoff.
    To me, the intonation problems, and their fragile construction outweigh the positives.
    The Brice is a MUCH better constructed and more stable instrument.

    Now, drop the Hofner pickups in the Brice, and string it with flatwounds.....NOW you're talking!!!!!!!
     
  19. Thor

    Thor Member

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    Dig these, and yes, they may have a bit more of a modern edge, but as noted above, they can get very much in the ballpark, and without all of the issues noted in this thread with the traditional violin-style basses. Warwick also makes a semihollow that I would love to check out.
     
  20. GFooChombey

    GFooChombey Member

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    I think your Brice is like my Rogue - the cheapness was found in the electronics. My body is actually quite nice. Once I got some real hofner pick ups and made other fine adjustments, it became a beauty.
     

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