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Beatle Basses

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by leegreenman, May 15, 2011.

  1. Any recommendations? Not looking to spend too much. Just looking for something lightweight and fun.
  2. If you're looking on the budget side, I know two people who have Rogue Beatle basses and they're really happy with them. I haven't played them yet myself. I was tempted to pick up an Epi, but haven't done that yet, either. I played with one in GC, but not for very long.

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    The Hofner Icon is a pretty great sounding bass for the money. Its tonally VERY close to the 500/1 and is completely hollow unlike the Contemporary(which is a great bass as well). I would check them out.
  4. I don't think you can find a better deal than this on a Beatle-type bass: Douglas WVEB Short Scale Violin Bass VS at RondoMusic.com

    The quality of these is amazingly good for the price and you won't be out a lot of $ if you decide that you don't like the hollow-body short-scale type of bass.

    Rick B.
  5. Blazer


    Nov 27, 2003
    The Netherlands
    Rogue luthier employed at Knooren Handcrafted bass guitars
    We once had a very early Hofner (pickups close together) coming in at Knooren for repairs, the neck had come off.

    After we fixed it I hooked it up to our shop's Ampeg SVT and let it blast.

    Man that thing had a deep sound and I wondered if any dub players know of it. I also found out why Macca had the Mandolin Brothers refit his bass with a new fingerboard, since it was impossible to intonate that thing.

    I played the new Cheap Hofners and they sound really good and don't have the intonation issues of the old ones. But frankly they don't have the power those old Hofner pickups had.
  6. I'd probably get an import Hofner rather than an Epi/Douglas/Rogue, etc. They're at least as good as the clones, inexpensive and, should you sell it, will probably be easier to unload.
  7. Get a Hofner. They sound very similar to Paul's tone with The Beatles and are relatively inexpensive.
  8. winterburn69


    Jan 27, 2008
    If you're looking for something cheap and looking like what Paul uses, try an Epiphone Viola. I played one once, uber weightless, thin neck, but after playing a 34" bass, it felt like a Guitar Hero controller.
  9. GeneralElectric


    Dec 26, 2007
    NY, NY
    Mandolin Brothers is up the street from where I live. DiMarzio pickups is a 3 minute walk from my front door. Small world. :p
  10. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Looking for a gig around East Islip, NY!

    Jan 13, 2008
    I love my Epi Viola with Pyramid Flats. Very, very nice tone, super lightweight, great playability, and (most important to me) it doesn't 'feel' cheap. I can't say the same thing for the Hofners I've played.
  11. vstring3


    Oct 30, 2009
    Stick with the Hofner Icon, they are constructed more like the original Beatle bass (like a violin) than the Epiphones, Rogues and other knock offs which are made by stacking plywood with plenty of glue.

    manufacturing of violin basses
  12. AmpegB15


    Sep 25, 2010
    I have a 70s Hofner and had an Epi Viola and a couple of other older 70s Japanese made Hofner clones. But none of them, including the real Hofner, could get the type of low action I like. Then I bought a Jay Turser Hofner copy. The Turser has a better bridge design that lets you get the string height very low and makes this by far the most playable violin bass I've ever tried. I would definitely recommend you out the Turser.
  13. tkcthulu


    Nov 15, 2010
    Calgary, AB
    +1 on Hofner Icon; served me well
  14. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    I've owned several violin style basses including Rogue, Brice, Epiphone Viola, Douglas WEB, and the Hofner icon/Ignition.

    The Hofner Icon/Ignition was the most expensive of those ($369US new) but IMO, it's far and away the best of the bunch.
  15. oldrookie


    May 15, 2007
    Avon, IN
    I had the Brice from Rondomusic.com. It was my first bass and I didn't know enough to know the impact strings could have one a bass. Sold it because it only did the "beatles" sound. Did VERY well, but I wanted to explore other sounds and I couldn't get any out of it.

    Had flats on it.

    Sold it and have since discovered that playing one with rounds on it is a completely different experience. Would still own it if I had purchased it with rounds on it.

    The quality and finish of that Brice were absolutely excellent.

    Have played an Epiphone version in a local shop. Great sound, but the fit and finish were definitely a step below. Understand that that may just be on that bass, but of the two versions I had my hands on...Brice for the win.
  16. JxBass

    JxBass Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2008
    Jay Turser?
  17. +1 for the Epiphone, I was quite impressed with it, as mentioned earlier, it doesnt feel or sound cheap, a great bass for the money. Ive heard good things about the Douglas' too (apparently they're made in the same factory) but have no first hand experience with them

    Robbie Shakespeare is known for using Hofners
  18. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    I own an Epi. It's well made and very nice looking. And an absolute breeze to play. But I was never much impressed with it's sound - no matter what strings I have on it. And it really doesn't sound all that much like the Hofner 500/1 which I am very familiar with.

    I tried out the Hofner Icon and was very impressed with the sound.

    Definitely would have bought the H-Icon if I had been able to choose between that and my Epiphone.
  19. Thanks for all the feedback. The Hofner Icon sounds great, but I'm not sure if I can adjust to the tiny neck. It also costs a bit more than the clones. From what I hear the Rogue's neck is a bit beefier.

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