Hollowbody Bass Discussion
I have a 1998 MIA jazz bass that I like, but it doesnt have the sound I want for recordings. I need a clicky (as in using a pick), low-end, 60s kinda vibe bass that really drives through a tube amp and distortion petal. Through my reseatch thus far, it seems as if I need a hollowbody bass.
I would absolutely love to hear all of your thoughts on semi hollowbody bass guitars. Heres a list of what I am considering (in no specific order):
(Fyi, in the lead are the eastwood, the casady, and the Guild)
- Epiphone Jack Casady (silverburst made me jizz my pants when I saw it)
- Gretch Electromatic
-Eastwood Classic 4
-Lakland Skyline Bass
-Fender Coronado (hope reissue is good)
Which of the above are the ones should I stay away from? Which ones are established as the best? Most inportantly, Id love to hear which ones growl, which ones are the grittest, dirtestt, runbling beasts. I want the hollowbody that crunches and blows minds. FYI, my current budge is around 800-1000. If I try a bass and fall in love with it, Im willing to spend up to approx 1500. My policy is that I never buy a brand new instrument.
I hope to hear some of the absurdly wonderful insight that I encounter throughout this site. It is pivotal for me to hear ad many professional opinions on this, so that I can filter out how many basses I need first track down, then sit down and play with for 30 minutes.
Brendan "Frankie" Mallon
Try putting some flatwound strings on your bass, and maybe some foam by the bridge to mute the strings some. You'd be surprised to find out you can get that sound you're describing, without needing a different bass.
the asat isn't really too traditional sounding ime
I lean towards the hollow body bass myself, but I'll go along with the above - for a real difference that you and everyone will hear for sure, we're talking strings, technique, pickups, that kind of stuff. And maybe a new bass, but anyone who tells you a hollow body is going to get you this or that kind of sound is kidding himself, or you.
That said, I'd like to encourage people to make a distinction between a real classic hollow body, where the bridge is sitting on a thin wood top and the strings are stretched over the bridge from the tail. putting that thin resonant top into "compression".
- vs. a design where most everything that counts is bolted to solid wood, and there's air somewhere inside the body. If "hollow" really makes a difference, then there's going to be a big difference between really hollow, as above, and this kind of decorative hollow. I'm not saying there really is a big difference, or that if there is it's a desirable one (for example, a real hollow is liable to have trouble with feedback.) But to the extent there really is a difference in the sound, you'd look for that in a real hollow body, I would think.
Well, actually there's a third option, represented by the acoustic bass guitar, which has a thin resonant top, but the strings are attached to the bridge, so acoustically more of a flat-top guitar than an arch-top. You could do that with an arched top, I suppose.
Maybe try piezos?
I'm not sure if it's exactly what your looking for but a lot of the basses I've played with piezo pickups give that natural, warm, clicky sound. It sounds like your looking for power too so maybe a bass with both magnetic and piezo pickups would work for you?
Good luck with your search!
I'm in love with hollowbodies (or semi) myself and have been recently really shopping for them. Problem is I cant afford most of these models new except maybe the Jack Casady but i've been hoping i can get my hands on a vintage Epiphone Rivoli or EA260 or maybe some Aria Tab 66. There was an amazing early 70's Rivoli on Ebay some months ago for like 400$ but i couldn't afford it then and I still can't get over it. Other affordable models include Hagstrom Viking (i think around 700$ new if my memory's good, but youf requently see them for less on ebay) and Eastwood Classic 4.
Love my restored '65 Rivoli (thanks again 'Gator) with mudbucker and tape wounds . They are scarce but be patient and one will come to you .
I'll echo what some of the other posters have already stated. That sound you're chasing is based largely on technique, first and foremost. It takes some time, but you can get there with some work. I know that I can get that retro 60's muted picking sound from either my Fender solid bodies or my Epiphone Jack Casady.
That being said, I really like the way that technique sounds on the Jack Casady. To help get that sound I strung the bass with some tapewounds and played with a pick and some significant palm muting.
I don't have so much experience with many of the other basses you've listed. The G&L does seem a bit like the odd man out, and will definitely give you a different sound. I have played the Lakland Skyline Hollowbody, and it can definitely nail that sound very well.
Hollowbody Bass Discussion
IMHO, Hollowbody basses are "clicky" when playing fingers because they are Hollowbody. A pick produces a less bassy tone with a Hollowbody. If you are seeking the '60's sound, use a pbass with fingering attack. does James Jamerson ring a bell?
A good Hollowbody sound to reference with a pick is the Animals song "It's my life". Played with a pick and heavily produced. This may be the sound you are looking for.
The reality is I've got a hollow-bodied Rogue Viola bass, an old Ric 4001 & I'm looking for a P/J as we speak. Already got my basses covered (pardon the pun), but if I were limited to 1 or 2 basses, I'd likely go for the hybrids (CT & P/J) just for the versatility.
Just my $.02...
Short answer: I personally would look at Hofner, Lakland, or Gretsch. Would skip Epiphone. No opinion on the others.
Long answer: I'm going to disagree with those that say there isn't a tonal difference. Yes, palm muting /flats can get you very close, if you're doing a cover band gig where you have to get that tone out of one instrument. But listen to any classic Sir Paul lines like Silly Love Song. You're only going to get that on a hollowbody. (I'm waiting for someone to say it was recorded with the Rick and crush my dreams :atoz:) I'm a big fan of John Stirrat of Wilco, who uses a Hofner Club bass as his "other sound" bass. And there again, when you hear the recordings, it's pretty clear he's using it.
I've tried a handful (Epiphone and Gretsch) of hollowbodies in store, and the quality has been all over the place. All the Jack Casady's I've played just felt and sounded super cheap to me. I know there are a lot of guys that love theirs, so I have to think it's a QC issue. I know when I was trying to buy my Electromatic, GC had 3 in stock. Two of the 3 were terrible, fit and finish wise. If you're buying used, hopefully somebody has already hand picked the bass and done a proper set up on it.
You should definitely check out a framus reissue 5/150 star bass. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VMQELW5JfMU I just bought one after trying it out at the warwick custom shop in NYC. I tried a couple of ibanez and gibson hollowbodies at guitar center and the framus just blew me away.
Ibanez ASB 140 should be on your list.
I really like both the Jack Casady and Eastwood Classic 4. I recently sold my JC to fund another bass, kept the Classic 4. I like both equally well but Eastwoods are harder to come by than Epiphones so I decided to part with the JC figuring it would be easier to find another one later.
The new Kay are very nice for the money. They have two models
I had a Lakland Skyline Hollowbody great bass.
The Cassidy is also is nice, but there can be bridge issues depending on what strings you use.
Right now I'm having Roger Fritz build be one of his basses.
It has that pick tone to die for.
Epiphone Revoli is also a good bass.
If you going big $$$$ A Rickenbacker 4005, or a Gibson Les Paul Signature can't be beat.
Dont rule our ibanez. The old arfcores are very nice guitars!
You can definitely get that sound with your jazz Bass.
That said, I'm a big fan of the Ibanez Artcore basses. My AFB200 with La Bella slats nails that sound.
"But listen to any classic Sir Paul lines like Silly Love Song. You're only going to get that on a hollowbody. (I'm waiting for someone to say it was recorded with the Rick and crush my dreams )"
Recorded with the Rickenbacker 4001S.
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