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Considering a hollow or semi hollow body bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Sgroh87, Dec 30, 2013.

  1. Sgroh87


    Dec 4, 2012
    DFW, Texas
    Currently I own a Pedulla 6 string bass that I love to death. It has lots of tones and I love the range on it. That being said, its a pretty modern sounding bass, and I'd like something that works better for old school jazz and blues. And sometimes its nice to just have the simplicity of 4 strings.

    I'd really like to get an upright, but my living situation doesn't allow it. I also considered a microbass like the Kala Ubass, but they haven't been around very long and I'm not sure if they'd going to stay around or not. I'd hate to buy an instrument and then five or ten years later be unable to find strings for it, for example. The next best bet would be a hollow or semihollow body bass.

    Right now I'm looking at the Gretsch Electromatic and the Epiphone Casady, but I was wondering which other models would be worth looking into. I'd also like to hear from people who own these types of basses as to the pros and cons of these basses. Right now I'm mostly a bedroom player or a small group jammer; the largest group I've played in front of was about 100 people. I know about the feedback issues with these types of instruments but I don't think it would be an issue for me at the moment.
  2. donn


    Mar 28, 2011
    I sure wouldn't trade my Gretsch for a ukulele bass, but if it appeals to you, go for it. There's going to be a plenty big market for strings for the next ten years, really likely to get better as they fine tune the materials.
  3. bigsnaketex


    Dec 29, 2011
    Down South
    The Epi gets really good reviews.

    The new Gibson Midtown is nice for the price, I played one of those the other night.

    There are lots around but you'd better play them before you buy because they are different beasts.
  4. Sgroh87


    Dec 4, 2012
    DFW, Texas
    The uke bass appeals to me for a couple of reasons. It's portable, it's easy to play (smaller scale and all that), and it mimics the woody thud of an upright rather convincingly. That being said, the fact that they use those super-thick rubber strings puts me off simply because right now Gold Tone and Kala are the only companies making uke basses, and if they decide that the market isn't there any more, then they may halt production of the instruments and the strings, leaving me high and dry. A Gretsch short scale isn't quite as portable, but the 30" scale is more comfortable to play and it gets the thumpy woody sound I'm looking for (at least the one I played around with at GC did). The fact that regular bass strings aren't going anywhere is pretty reassuring.
  5. Grissle


    May 17, 2009
    Cassady with Precision flats = old school or TruBass 88's for that woody upright vibe.
  6. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009
    The Epi and Gretch Hollowbodies are a decent choice but I think what you are looking for is more like my Carvin AC50. It's semi-hollow body which has the important feature that it does not have any more feedback problems than any magnetic pickup bass. It has zero unplugged out put but the trade-off is the low feedback.

    An AC40 will be incredibly light weight and with a bit of foam under the strings by the bridge it does a great upright imitation. Sometimes you can find them used at a great price. Fretless makes it even more expressive. It's hard to try first, but Carvin does have a return policy.

    Mine is the AC50 which is 5 string lined fretless.
  7. Mastermold

    Mastermold Supporting Member

    +1 for the Gibson Midtown and Epiphone Jack Casady.
  8. donn


    Mar 28, 2011
    Like I say, I think that's a silly thing to worry about. You're more likely to get run over by a car first. My concern would be more about how it plays, and electronics that need a battery.

    Excellent, you've played one! That's the main thing. Note that this design actually takes medium scale strings, though it's a short scale, because of the extra length of string behind the bridge. Likewise the G5123B medium scale version takes regular long scale strings, which might be easier to find at the local shop - but it has different pickups etc, and no guarantee you'll like it as well.
  9. woodyng


    Dec 19, 2007
    Oregon coast
    The lakland skyline HB is superb,a major improvement over the JC IMO. Of course it is more $$,too. And of you are looking for more of an URB sound,the Carvin AC series nail that sound,especially in a fretless.
  10. Dug2

    Dug2 Supporting Member

    Sep 24, 2011
    check out a warwick infinity
  11. Gorn

    Gorn Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY

    Ubass and Gold Tone Microbass-type instruments are here to stay. If Sam Ash put the ubasses in the bass room rather than the ukulele wall, they'd be much more popular...in my opinion. I wouldn't worry about unavailability of strings down the line.
  12. OneAri


    Jan 1, 2013
    Brighton, UK
    Reverend Dub King?
    Guild Starfire RI?

    Both of those seem within the price/tone range you're talking about
  13. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    I just tried a Breedlove acoustic/electric and a Takamine Acoustic/electric.
    The Breedlove has a nice sound, plays really well, very resonant, had bronze
    strings on it, a bit on the bright side but not overly so.
    Takamine had a deeper body & nickel rounds I believe. It had more bottom than
    the other bass, less bright but that was the string difference. Nice sound.
  14. vmabus


    Nov 1, 2013
    Fender Ashbory basses can often be found cheap. In my opinion, the sound nails it! I put Thundergut strings on mine; not quite so stretchy. However, the scale is 18". I found it impossible to play in tune, after 50 years on string bass. LargeSound has new ones:
    and parts.

    Attached Files:

  15. Sgroh87


    Dec 4, 2012
    DFW, Texas
    I know it seems silly, but what about all of those people who bought an HD-DVD player about ten years ago? Sometimes an idea seems good at the start but doesn't last if there isn't a place in the market for it to continue being supported.

    Yes, I've played the 5123 and the Casady for about five minutes each; not long enough to get a solid impression of each, but long enough to decide that I liked the feel and concept of them.

    I have some finger pain and stiffness in my first finger so a shorter scale would be great for me. I don't know what the cause is, I've had several teachers look at my technique and no one can find anything obviously wrong with it. :(
  16. eldoryder

    eldoryder I just LOVE me some Vintage Peaveys! Supporting Member

    Jun 27, 2011
    Nacogdoches, TX
    I can't believe that no one yet has mentioned either the new Fender Coronado or Starcaster:


    Short scale, color choices, decent price...what's not to like?
  17. eldoryder

    eldoryder I just LOVE me some Vintage Peaveys! Supporting Member

    Jun 27, 2011
    Nacogdoches, TX
    Of course, these models ARE available as BASSES, as well! That's what I get for grabbing the first screen shot I could find this early in the morning.....DOH!
  18. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    Looks like great instruments ... but to me those headstocks are just plain wrong on a hollowbody.
  19. eldoryder

    eldoryder I just LOVE me some Vintage Peaveys! Supporting Member

    Jun 27, 2011
    Nacogdoches, TX
    Like THESE:


  20. eldoryder

    eldoryder I just LOVE me some Vintage Peaveys! Supporting Member

    Jun 27, 2011
    Nacogdoches, TX
    FretNoMore, I know what you mean....a "2 + 2" headstock seems more intuitive on a hollowbody, but I think Fender was making a point here that they are BACK, and intend to stay around this time.

    The Coronado headstock seems Fender-friendly. The Starcaster headstock is DEFINITELY an acquired taste!