Gibson Midtown & Jack Casady
I have a Gibson Midtown, which I really like, but still have an itch for a more traditional semi-hollowbody.
After considering a Dillion model on eBay, which I have now discounted that as too much of a buying risk given the little info about them' I am seriously considering a Jack Casady in silverburst. I initially ruled it out as I really wanted the Gibson EB2 body shape, but it is now looking an attractive option. The price is lower than the Midtown (can't justify spending that much again!), it does look good even if it isn't the EB2 shape, and plenty of people seem to love them. The tone variety courtesy of the varitone switch intrigues me.
What I'd like to know from those that may have played both, does the Casady make a good companion to the Midtown? I assume given the differing construction that the Casady is going to give me some nice tones that the Midtown won't?
I have watched some videos featuring the Casady but would love opinions from those that have real-life experience of both.
Thanks in advance for any advice!
Do you know what, more specifically, you're looking for out of it? Stuff that the right strings, technique etc. wouldn't bring from the Gibson?
I should point out that I am pretty new to the bass, and the Midtown is my only experience of a semi-hollowbody, so I have nothing to compare it to.
What attract me to the Casady are the acoustic, woody tones that I have heard some clips of via YouTube, and I like the varitone switch to quickly select a more electric 'growly' tone when desired. Given that the Midtown seems to be midway between a true semi-hollowbody and a solid (it's routed out chambers rather than traditional semi-hollow construction), I'm not sure it can cover the same range as the Casady, especially with the varitone setting at 50 on the Casady. I'm looking for opinion from those with experience of both that the Casady is really tonally different enough to justify a place alongside the Midtown.
Of course it depends on how much wood was removed, but in principle the routed-body design isn't a bad thing - you have solid "carved" top, where most hollow basses have a plywood top. That might or might not mean anything, I'm just saying it isn't clear just from this difference which one would be more hollow.
I've never played either, but the Jack Casady is common around here, and I've poked at it in shops. It isn't literally acoustic, in the sense that you can hear much of anything when it isn't plugged in. But there's those electronics.
I've tried both, the midtown is ten times better. I don't see the point of ditching an amazing hollowbody (such as your Midtown) and buying a somewhat decent epiphone-made hollowbody. It seems like a waste of money to me.
This is entirely my opinion.
Thanks for the replies.
I was thinking of the Casady as an addition rather than a replacement for the Midtown. Just wanted to get some feedback as to whether it would give me much more range to have both.
Some description I found for the Casady calls it a hybrid of a semi-hollow and true hollow body. There is a block under the bridge, but otherwise that is it, so it's more hollow than most semi-hollows I guess, and certainly more than the Midtown. It's an arch-top too (maple).
Gibson did a pretty good job on the midtown, it's a nice model. in my estimation it's both similar and superior to the jack casady, so I personally wouldn't see the benefit. but GAS works in mysterious ways! if you feel like a casady would really inspire you to play then you might need one!
Oh yes, there is a strong element of GAS in my desire for a Casady. Given the replies I have had I would probably forget it for now, and hope that at some point in the future I would get a chance to try one out. Problem is that I really like the silverburst out of the colour options available, and that's the limited edition, so I'm not sure how many are left over here in the UK. My scope for getting one could be limited. Perhaps the limited run of the silverburst would be an advantage should I look to sell it in future.
Can't help feeling I'm talking myself into this, slightly illogical though it may be. A while back I wasn't really attracted to the Casady, but having read about it's background and watched a few video clips I'm liking it more and more. That would be the GAS thing I have read about, huh?
Look mate, if you want one then go ahead and get one!
However, if you're looking for something different from your midtown, don't pick something that's similar but not as nice. Go for a full hollowbody or something, like a Gretsch - I've played the electromatic short scale, and it sounds amazing. You can play it acoustically too.
>> Go for a full hollowbody or something, like a Gretsch - I've played the electromatic short scale, and it sounds amazing.
I was thinking the same thing. They make a long scale for the same price if the SS is an issue.
I just picked up a Lakland Skyline Hollowbody, it is sawwweeet!
Thanks for giving me something to think about. I like the look of the Gretsch! Both that and the Lakland are beyond my current budget, but I'll keep a note of both to look at if my budget increases.
I prefer the Gretsch in terms of body shape, although that isn't to say the Lakland isn't pretty! Not sure about the short scale with the Gretsch. I haven't played one before, but willing to keep my mind open on that.
Cheers for the replies. Any other thoughts from others gratefully received.
All good info donn. Thanks.
The Gretsch is about £350 more than the Casady I had my eye on, in the places I could find with stock.
I think my way forward is to not do anything for now and see what my budget is in around 6 months or so. The silverburst Casady might be gone by then, but it seems from the advice that this might be the wrong way to go. Still have some GAS for it, but I could say the same about quite a few others....
I'm sure you're aware of it by now, but just in case....Fender is reintroducing the Coronado bass, which will be available in four colors, and most likely will provide a different tonal palette than your Gibson Midtown. Expected shipping dates are late October, and predicted street price is $749.99, which isn't too far off the price of a Jack Casady. There are a couple of threads floating around about it already.
If you're a total Gibson guy, then you may have no interest in these. I'm intrigued, though, and am hoping to get a chance to play one sometime before Christmas!
Fender Coronado Bass
Mike in Texas
Yes, I have noticed the Coronado. Hadn't seen a price for it yet though, so that seems pretty good. Would be a bit more than the Casady by the time it makes it over here.
I'm just not struck by the looks of it. It's the headstock I don't like on that body shape. I'm used to seeing that on a Jazz or Precision. I'm also used to seeing the Gibson style headstock on that style of body. It seems quite jarring to me to see that combo (I was not familiar with the original version of the Coronado so it's the first time I have seen this combo).
Don't get me wrong I know a quality bass is far far more than looks (good basses can look bad, and bad basses can look great), but I need to feel excited by the looks as well, and the Coronado just doesn't do it for me in that regard. That said if I have the urge to get another bass still next year (think I may know the answer to this already!) when I hopefully have a better budget, I'll seek out reviews of the Coronado and try to hear one. Not saying I couldn't be won over. Hell, I wasn't keen on the Casady style initially, but now I really like it!
Whilst the Midtown and the Casady I was considering are both from Gibson (via the Epiphone brand in the Casady's case), I'm not totally invested in Gibson. More than willing to consider other brands.
Thanks all for your comments.
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