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Epiphone viola

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by RoccoI, Feb 10, 2014.

  1. Any opinions on these? Looking at one for my first bass. I'm a pure beginner and like these. Found one for 230 used.
  2. Hotblack

    Hotblack Pay the cost to be the boss. Supporting Member

    May 20, 2002
    They are nice basses for not much money, but you should be aware of a few things:

    1. It's a short scale bass. It measures 30". Many other basses will measure 34" or 35". (That's the distance from bridge to nut.)

    2. The pickups are pretty low output. It's not a big deal if you have an amp with plenty of wattage. You could also get a preamp pedal or change the electronics.

    3. The one piece bridge makes perfect intonation (tuning across the fretboard) pretty tough. It won't be anything egregious, but if you become a stickler, it may get on your nerves.

    These aren't necessarily problems, just stuff to know before you buy. That said, I have one and love it.
  3. Pentatonic

    Pentatonic Supporting Member

    Jan 4, 2014
    San Francisco
    These basses are very well built and they sound nice with a more diverse tonal palette than one might expect. They are not true hollow bodies though and seem quite heavy for their size with severe neck dive.

    I looked closely at one and chose a Rogue viola bass instead http://www.musiciansfriend.com/bass/rogue-vb100-violin-bass-guitar I did so even though I suspected that the build quality on the Epiphone was probably better. I am very happy with the Rogue and it is a true hollow body. Sounds great with flats on it and only weighs 5lbs. Still has neck dive but not as severe as the Epiphone.

    All that said, for a first bass I would be inclined to reccomend a Squier P bass, Jazz bass or similar.
  4. Thanks for the replies. In going to my local long and mcquade on Friday and try some out.
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  6. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2013
    Lost Wages, Nevada
    I've fiddled around with a couple of the Epis, but not really played them (I'm a lefty; they're not). They seemed fine for the money-certainly not a German Hofner- and I did like the controls a lot. I'm sure the controls on Hofners and other violin basses make sense to someone; not to me, though. As for neck heavy; opinions differ, and I won't go there. ;) And no, they're not exactly what you'd call a versatile instrument, but if a violin bass is what you want, by all means, please yourself. I have 2 of them; an old Korean Rogue, and a Starfire. Both work just fine for what I like to play.
  7. Wallace320


    Mar 19, 2012
    Milan, Italy
    Factory is the very same of the Epiphone Viola, so they share the 2 volumes, 1 tone controls, just the Axl copies the Hofner headstock design, so it's not ever welcome.

    I once tried an Ignition Hofner, the cheap series of the real thing, with proper Hofner controls and stuff and you know what?

    Still was far better than my Axl and Epiphone Violas out there.

  8. Gorn Captain

    Gorn Captain Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    Consider one of these: http://www.rondomusic.com/wvebvs.html
    I briefly had a fretless one and it was excellent. Well built with powerful pickups. Probably on par with the epi but with less neck dive and better looking, IMO.
  9. Someone on this august forum posted that both the Rondo and Epi are made in the same plant and are the same bass. I had an Epi viola. I'd still have it except that I got a Squier SS Jag that I liked better.
  10. WillieB

    WillieB Battling Bass Guitar Bulimia since 1975 Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2010
    Columbus Ohio
  11. I like 'em. They are made in China and Korea. Find a Korean one.

    The good thing about them is being able to practice without an amp. I did not find the pickups to be particularly low output. I was playing through a MarkBass CMD 121P. I also found the bass to be more versatile than most suggest. It's better than just a "60s sound" bass, IMHO.

    By the way, go to the Musician's Friend thread in the Hot Deals forum and email them. You can get them for a steal.

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