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A violin bass sound w/out a violin bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by smoothdave, Dec 14, 2012.


  1. smoothdave

    smoothdave

    Joined:
    May 24, 2009
    Last night my keyboard player brought his Hofner violin bass to practice, and I had the opportunity to play it for the evening.

    Here's the problem. I hate everything about this bass, except for one, little, itsy, bitsy detail.

    I hate the way it looks.
    I hate the way it feels.
    I hate the short neck.
    I hate the way it plays.
    :bag:

    But.....

    I love the way it sounds. These things really, really sound awesome to me. :hyper:

    So, does anyone have any suggestions for getting on of my current P or Jazz style basses to sound like a violin bass? New pickups maybe? Different strings? Or is there something else I can buy that doesn't look, feel, or play like a violin bass?

    Or does it just have to be a violin bass?

    Thank you for any suggestions.
     
  2. RED J

    RED J Play what you want how you want & quit arggerin ! Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2000
    Location:
    Tennessee
    I think you're going to find these are a unique beast, the sound made up largely of the things you hate.

    Maybe a Club bass or an Allen Woody ? Pretty close.
     
  3. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2010
    Location:
    The Great Midwest
  4. Ibanez Bassist

    Ibanez Bassist

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2010
    Location:
    US of A
    It took some getting used to but I have grown attached to mine and since putting on the LaBella's that has made it all worth it.. You cant really man handle it and play it like an animal but it certainly has its place..
     
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  6. Orangeclawhammr

    Orangeclawhammr Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2007
    Location:
    Redford, MI
    I had an Epiphone Viola for about a year. The sound was fine. The neck dive was not. Neither was the fact that the back of the bass is round. Unless the player is a body builder with 6 pack abs, you know what else is round. So there is neck dive and the tendancy of the bass to roll forwards so it faces the floor.
     
  7. bill reed

    bill reed

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2012
    Location:
    scotland
    I have 5 basses that all sound diffrent.
    the only one that gives me that Viola sound is my
    LE. MARQUIS fitted with roto tru-bass 88s.
    i would think the only bass other than a Viola would be the
    Line 6 Variax Bass 700. it has a Hofner 1968 500/1 with flats in its set up.
    Maybe Mjac28 could help you more as i think he has a Variax,
     
  8. smoothdave

    smoothdave

    Joined:
    May 24, 2009
    Thank you very much for all of your replies. Why is it that the answer is always "more basses?" :)

    I've never played any of the suggested basses, so I'll have to check those out. I appreciate it.
     
  9. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    Location:
    Colorado
    Try an Epiphone EB3 or an Epiphone Les Paul or an Epiphone T-bird they will get a similar tone to the Hofner ... or Try a Rick and favor the neck pickup.
     
  10. Stick_Player

    Stick_Player

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2009
    W-FabBass

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Funny, the three songs they chose to demo this with were originally done by McCartney using a Rickenbacker. :D
     
  11. Gorn Captain

    Gorn Captain Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2011
    Location:
    Queens
    The Epi Allen Woody is very Hofner-ish but with a fatter neck. My friends Hofner Icon and my Allen Woody both strung with Labella flats sounded pretty much the same.
     
  12. Bassamatic

    Bassamatic keepin' the beat since the 60's

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2007
    Location:
    Studio City, SoCal, USA
    Get a Hofner Club Bass - same sound, cool looking single cutaway design. At least solves the appearance issue.
     
  13. jellejanssen

    jellejanssen

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2012
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    You could try to mute the notes a little bit
     
  14. ggvicviper

    ggvicviper Call me Marc or Marky Potatoes. Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2011
    Location:
    Fresh Meadows (Queens), NY, US
    How about an Eastwood Classic 4? It doesn't look or feel (and therefore play) like a Violin Bass. However, it's 30" scale - but 3 outta 4 ain't bad.

    Ed Freidland plays one here:
     
  15. t77mackie

    t77mackie

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2012
    Location:
    Wormtown, MA
    I agree with the OP about everything s/he said about the Beatle Bass. When I tried one out at the store it felt like the most alien thing I ever picked up. It feels like a toy!

    Mimicking tone - maybe mess around with your tone knob and EQ. Tone knob all the way off and lots of low EQ. But, yeah, you'll never match the tone without one.

    ===-===--====-

    Why is my dictionary saying, "Beatle" is spelled wrong? Am I missing something???

    :eyebrow:
     
  16. T-Bird

    T-Bird

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2007
    Location:
    Finland (Northern Europe)
    Hi.

    Höfner 182 might fit the bill.

    Short scale though, obviously.

    Or staple PU's on a J or P. With flats, of course.

    Regards
    Sam
     
  17. Brent Hahn

    Brent Hahn

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2009
    I really like the Epi Jack Casady. Can sound pretty Hofnerish, but bigger, longer, and all around more substantial. Around $700 new.
     
  18. Mastermold

    Mastermold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    Location:
    Orange County, California
    Disclosures:
    Firemelon
    +1 especially since the OP says he doesn't like short scales.
     
  19. rust_preacher

    rust_preacher Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    Location:
    Finland
    I second that. Some foam at the bridge.
     
  20. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2010
    Location:
    The Great Midwest
    try" Beatles" they were known as The Beatles and for some reason the dictionary doesn't like the word Beatle
     
  21. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2010
    Location:
    The Great Midwest
    This is pretty cool never heard of it.
     

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