A violin bass sound w/out a violin bass?

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

  1. smoothdave


    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.


    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 Lol Supporting Member

    Jan 23, 2000
    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

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
  4. Ibanez Bassist

    Ibanez Bassist

    Jan 30, 2010
    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..
  5. 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.
  6. bill reed

    bill reed

    Apr 2, 2012
    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,
  7. smoothdave


    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.
  8. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I convert 4 string Rickenbackers to 5 string basses.
    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.
  9. Stick_Player

    Stick_Player Banned

    Nov 13, 2009
    Somewhere on the Alaska Panhandle (Juneau)
    Endorser: Plants vs. Zombies Pea Shooters



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


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    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.
  11. Bassamatic

    Bassamatic keepin' the beat since the 60's Supporting Member

    Get a Hofner Club Bass - same sound, cool looking single cutaway design. At least solves the appearance issue.
  12. You could try to mute the notes a little bit
  13. ggvicviper

    ggvicviper Fender, EBMM, Rickenbacker, BSX. I'm Marc! Supporting Member

    Jul 16, 2011
    East Meadow, NY, USA
    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:
  14. t77mackie


    Jun 13, 2012
    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???

  15. Hi.

    Höfner 182 might fit the bill.

    Short scale though, obviously.

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

  16. Brent Hahn

    Brent Hahn

    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.
  17. Mastermold

    Mastermold Supporting Member

    +1 especially since the OP says he doesn't like short scales.
  18. rust_preacher


    Dec 17, 2009
    I second that. Some foam at the bridge.
  19. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

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

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

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