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Another semi or full hollowbody bass thread. AKA help me spend my $$ (slightly wordy)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Thwack, Mar 11, 2013.

  1. Thwack

    Thwack Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2010
    So, I've read (I think) every related thread on the board now and have been researching the various hollow and semi hollow basses available these days and, mostly due to lack of being able to find actual models to try in person, I thought I'd ask for opinions and or your experience with particular basses. The music I play will definitely benefit from the addition of a decent semi or hollow bass.
    I recently picked up a Gretsch 5123B and am pretty impressed with it but when I brought it to practice the other day I had a few episodes of feedback, which makes me a little nervous at the idea of showing up to a gig with it, and I will be, giging not just playing around at home. Also, I have an upcomming (short) tour overseas and I'm a little worried about the fragility of this particular model.
    I found a Jack Casady to play but it didn't feel comfortable out of the gate and seemed to sound more like a solid body than I wanted although it always hard to tell with cheap rounds on it (like music store demos always do).
    I've been gassing for a while for a Waterstone TP-4 but there are none around here to try and now they have the Meaden as well.
    Also very interested in the Hagstrom Viking re issue.
    And finally DiPinto (Belevdere) and Italia (Rimini) both look very intriguing even though they are 34" scale.
    Prefer to stay under $1000 and less is better within reason but I do want a quality instrument.

    Please, no Lakland recs... I'm sure they are fantastic basses but I don't like the style/vibe.

    Thanks in advance for any input!
  2. wvbass

    wvbass Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2004
    West Virginia
    The Gretsch has magnetic pickups. I would bet the feedback is more about the volume you are playing at and your proximity to the speakers than it being a hollowbody. I wouldn't expect this to be any different with the Cassidy or other similar bass.

    I haven't had any similar experiences with my G5123B.

    Edit: maybe you are looking for shortscale tone more than hollowbody tone?
  3. PDGood

    PDGood Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2010
    Nashville, TN
    I had a Hofner years ago and had feedback problems with it. I talked to a buddy who played hollow body guitars and he stuffed his with small pieces of foam and that really helped.

    I went to Waterstone a few months ago and played a lot of their basses. The quality varied - some good, some not so good. If you went to their shop in Nashville you could find something for sure. I'd be reluctant to buy sight unseen. Prices are very reasonable.
  4. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Hollowbodies will feedback when pushed. That's just how it is.
  5. Thwack

    Thwack Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2010
    but I was rambling. I bought the Gretsch (G5123B) just 2 weeks ago, from GC, so I still have 2 weeks to evaluate before I return it or keep it. I understand that all hollow bodies are more prone to feeding back but I was surprised that it happened at my practice considering my proximity to speakers and such. I just wonder what it would be like at a gig where I was standing at a mike with a monitor pointed up at the bass. (My guitar player likes himself in the monitor mix) I played a Gibson EB-2 for a few years in an alt/power pop group at much higher volumes and never had an issue.
    I guess I'm wondering if a semi-hollow would be less inclined than the full hollow Gretsch to feeding back in a loudish setting.
    Also, I am a bit taken aback by the very low output of the Thundertrons. I know my regular bass is a bit on the hot side but I had to really spin the gain and volume up on my amp to get the Gretsch to compete with the drums and guitar.
    Just trying to decide if this bass is really the right one for me or if I need to keep looking (since I have the luxury of being able to return it). Thanks for letting me think out loud here and for your input.
  6. Pimpernel Smith

    Pimpernel Smith Supporting Member

    May 25, 2012
    In the Pond
    I've never had a feed back problem with my Jack Casady bass, nor have I heard of anyone having problems with it. Jack, himself, can play very loudly at times, and I haven't heard him feed back either.
  7. I plugged my Gibson Thunderbird into an overdrive pedal then turned on my amp. There was feedback. That can be controlled by where you are in relation to your bass speaker and volume.

    Waterstone TP 4 is a great semi hollow bass of excellent quality. The Meaden is BIG and LONG. (Please, no "that's what she said!" jokes! :))

    Mostly I play my Hofner Club bass or violin bass. Great instruments. Waterstone had a short scale called the Indra a while back and that is a great semi hollow short scale. The semi hollow design will help with feedback. Hofner Contemporary basses have this feature, which is a wood block down the center.

    Don't shy away from the Kay Reissue series, the Pro bass and their Jazz bass. NICE instruments.
  8. One Drop

    One Drop

    Oct 10, 2004
    Swiss Alps
    I'd look at a Kay or Harmony RI as well, and the Di Pinto is a fine instrument. I would also consider a Starfire RI but I would have to be convinced the PUP sounds like the old Bisonics first.

    I like the Casady but it's a big instrument and too close to a P bass in tone to offer a really different voice than my usual solid bodies. I have an old Harmony H-22 and it is an awesome sounding bass with a distinct old school HB vibe. I lent ot to a friend recently and he used the bass cut switch and boosted the lows at his amp, sounded great for the '60s stuff they do as part of their set.
  9. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Innocent as the day is long Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2013
    Lost Wages, Nevada
    My hollowbody herd currently consists of a Gretsch Broadkaster; an old ('71) Epiphone EA-260; a Korean Rogue VB-100; and 2 Danelectro DC59s. Yes, hollowbodys can suffer from feedback, especially with single coil pups (which the Epi has). It's also the best sounding one. The Danos will feedback,too; but you have to work at it. You just need to find another place to stand. In my experience, Gretsch hollowbody basses are extremely sensitive to pickup height; lots of people have to shim them up. In my case, the pickups just simply suck, but that's because mine is a '94, pre-Fender model, with ceramic Filtertron wannabe pickups. Disappointing, but as a lefty I have to take what I can find. Of all of mine, I play the Rogue the most, followed by a Dano. Try tweaking your pickup height, and if you have a good case, don't be too worried about the Gretsch's fragility. Mine spent it's first 16 years without one, and it still looks new.

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