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Rondo/Douglas WVEB-833 Short Scale Violin Bass Review

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Neveragain55, Mar 19, 2014.


  1. Neveragain55

    Neveragain55

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2014
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Hi Gang,

    I just wanted to throw my two cents into the whole Rondo/Douglas debate about their version of the violin bass modeled after the one Mr. McCartney made famous so many years ago.

    I can’t really speak for all the other clones out there, but this thing is “really” nice.

    I just received mine’s tonight, and I have to say that I really like it, and I was really impressed with it.

    I promise to write back later after I’ve truly had the opportunity to go through it and riff through a few songs for those interested in these basses, for now I just wanted to give my initial assessment of it.

    The first thing that strikes you is how crazy light it is, next you’re amazed at the punch & clarity of the sound emitting from your amp.

    I was blown away by what I heard coming out of my little peavey micro amp. The other really impressive thing about it was the fit, finish, and attention to detail. It came without one scratch or blemish on it anywhere and the black finish is glorious.

    The very first bass I got (a thousand years ago) was a Hondo trying to do its best to imitate a Fender P-Bass, and this Rondo/Douglas Violin Bass far surpasses that.

    I’ve owned Yamaha’s and Dean Edge Fretless basses over the years, and I’m floored over what I got considering what I paid. ($185.00)

    It’s no Warwick, Ibanez, Schecter or Fender, but if you’re looking for something light & easy on your back – and you’re into the British Invasion era of music, you’ll love this Bass.

    Ciao Folks…
     
  2. 70'sRockChild

    70'sRockChild

    Joined:
    May 4, 2014
    Location:
    San Diego, Ca
    So, what do you think of it now?
     
  3. Neveragain55

    Neveragain55

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2014
    Location:
    Connecticut
    For the money……………..it’s really, really nice.

    The fit, finish, fretwork, and straight-ness of the neck are amazing for an instrument in this price range.

    The paint is super glossy and has held up well, all of the hardware like the tuners, bridge and other various metal-work is really nice.

    The pick-ups that came with it give a really deep, warm resonance with La Bella Deep Talkin Flatwound Strings. (Beatle Strings)

    The only mod I did was to add a wooden thumb rest, and I secured the wooden bridge riser down to the body with some thin, double sided tape.

    The factory didn’t use anything other than the tension of the strings to hold it down.

    I play it through an older Fender Rumble 60 amp, and the sound coming from the amp blows me away.

    No fuzz, distortion, fret buzz or rattle, and she sounds like an upright double bass, seriously.

    Honestly you don’t even need an amp with these hollow bodies because the booming sound coming from the bass can be heard clear across any room, and it sounds great acoustically.

    Of course because of the design of the violin basses, the strings don’t spread out near the pick-ups like they do on conventional bass guitars - so when you’re switching between basses you keep going through what I like to call (finger muscle memory re-adjustment)

    When you play any violin bass for a while and switch to a conventional bass your plucking fingers tend to not hit the strings accurately & vice versa.

    There seems to be many companies that make the same violin bass, and they range anywhere between what mine cost ($169.00) up to $1,500 and honestly except for more tone & volume control knobs on the more expensive ones…….there’s no real discernable "sound" difference. (not to me anyway)

    I’ve played the more expensive ones in places like "Guitar Center" and they're no better than my "under $200.00" imitation Beatle Bass. (in my humble opinion)

    I’m sure these basses change slightly through various production runs, and it’s not guaranteed to get a really high quality, tight one, but I got lucky……hope this helps…..
     
    70'sRockChild likes this.
  4. fretlessguy

    fretlessguy

    Joined:
    May 17, 2008
    Location:
    West Memphis/Marion area, AR.
    Fantastic! They have a fretless version that looks spiffy. Good price, too.
     
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  6. 70'sRockChild

    70'sRockChild

    Joined:
    May 4, 2014
    Location:
    San Diego, Ca
    Thanks for the info. I bought a "B" stock black one from Rondo and it arrived today. I only had a few minutes to tune it up before I had to leave. I looks good. I just need to decide which strings to put on it. This is an experiment since I don't know that I want to adjust and re-adjust from short to long scale. It will be fun whatever happens.;)
     
  7. Neveragain55

    Neveragain55

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2014
    Location:
    Connecticut
    You can't go wrong with the La Bella Deep Talkin Flats.........crazy booming strings dude, seriously!!!!!!!
     
  8. RickBlair

    RickBlair

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2004
    Location:
    North Easton, Mass.
    I bought one of the Douglas VBs right after Rondo started selling them. The construction quality was excellent and it sounded great. I just didn't have a lot of opportunities to use it on gigs so as my collection unexpectedly grew I decided to sell it. I found that the factory pickup height produced a strong but somewhat boomy sound. Lowering the pickups really brought out the woody tone that you hear when playing unplugged.

    Rick B.
     
  9. 70'sRockChild

    70'sRockChild

    Joined:
    May 4, 2014
    Location:
    San Diego, Ca
    I try that. I am not hearing the woody tone that I expected and thought it was the strings. La bella's will probably be the ones but I still have to decide between white tape, black tape, and flatwound steel. Mine came in great condition opposed to the poster yesterday that had problems. Sometimes I think they make up a reason to sell stock not moving, cheaper.
     

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