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Definitive 8-string thread?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by JES, Aug 14, 2004.

  1. JES

    JES Supporting Member

    Hi All,

    I was looking through the archives, and didn't see a whole lot. I'm intersted in learning about what good 8-string (octave doubled 4) basses are. I prefer a thin neck (jazz style) and light weight. Boutique is OK, but I'm also curious in the cheaper range. I once played an 8 by an east Asian company whoe name begins with a "K" but I can't remember the name. Bummer, too. It was a great bass.

  2. I played a Dean Rhapsody 8 stringer the other day at guitar center that thought it was pretty cool. I don't have much experience with 8 string basses but I thought it played and sounded very nice. and $550 seemed like a pretty reasonable price.

  3. Fealach

    Fealach Guest

    Apr 23, 2003
    Gone to a better place
    I had a Dean Rhapsody 8 for a year or so. IMO great bass for
    the price. I too prefer a jazz type neck, and this bass
    doesn't have one. Neck is like many 5 strings I've played.
    Took a little getting used to, but the wider neck allows for
    the octave strings to be spaced a litle away from the fundamental strings,
    so with practice you can hit only the low
    strings, only the high strings, or both.

    I only sold it because I got a great price on a Dean 12 String.
    Someday before I die I want to own an Alembic 8.
    wyrtti and carsbybigd like this.
  4. I wish Ric still made their 8 string. :(

    I heard they were pretty cool.
    carsbybigd likes this.
  5. mark beem

    mark beem I'm alive and well. Where am I? Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    New Hope, Alabama
    Damn..... This was a disappointment...


  6. By-Tor


    Apr 13, 2000
    Sacramento, CA
    I'm with ya.

    I thought for sure I was going to your basses again Mark.
  7. That was disappointing lol! I was expecting more Conklins :p!
  8. Only


    Sep 8, 2002
    Warrensburg, MO
    I've got a Dean rhapsody 8 (like the one above) and it's easily the best 8 I've ever played or heard for under a few grand. However. The preamp seems to suck terribly. Boosts are too strong, and voiced a little harshly. Not a problem for me, I leave it flat and use my amp's EQ, but it might bug you if you're a knob-tweaker.

    Easily worth the $550 asked, though.
    carsbybigd likes this.
  9. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    I do so love the prospect of owning a Rhapsody 8... :cries:
  10. i really like that ESP 8-string...if i got an 8, that'd be it.
  11. Dean also have the Edge 8. Should be a little cheaper than the Rhapsody.

    carsbybigd likes this.
  12. kobass

    kobass Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    Outside Boston
    Boutique? Pedulla MVP 8 string fretted or OctaBuzz 8 string fretless. www.pedulla.com
  13. motorhall


    Jul 1, 2004
    I used to have an Ibanez Musician 8-string. It was a good bass and they do pop up on Ebay from time to time, though they don't go cheap. The one that I would like to try but have not seen in person is the Schecter Studio Elite 8. That seems to be a nice combination of features and price.

    I recently bought a Carlo Robelli 8-string from Sam Ash but returned it within 24 hours. It's a lot of bang for the buck and played okay, but I was really disappointed in the pickup. Even though it has a humbucker I really had to push the active electronics to get a good strong signal from it.

    Bass Northwest has had a used Hamer 8-string in Aztec Gold for quite some time, but I have a hard time getting excited about paying $1,100 for a used bass, even if it is an American made Hamer.
    carsbybigd likes this.
  14. motorhall


    Jul 1, 2004
    Something else that I should note - the Carlo Robelli was neck heavy. In fact, you're going to have a hard time finding an eight string that has a thin neck and is light. They necks are always somewhat wide and they tend to be neck heavy because of all that hardware hanging on the headstock.

    The old Kramer 8-stings had the machine heads for the octave strings mounted in the body, but then you are talking about an aluminum neck bass so it still weighs a ton.
  15. mc2ny


    Aug 1, 2003
    Well.....to offer some informed advice on 8-strings (I have owned around 100 over the years.)

    Since you are looking for a thin Jazz Bass-like neck...I assume that also means long-scale 34-inch.

    That eliminates the aluminum neck Kramers as those were short scales. They were also,rather heavy but sounded and played decent for the price.

    The absolute best thin necked 8-string neck IMO would be a Pedulla MVP-8 but they are impossible to find, expensive to order new and were only single truss rod, so you have to find one with a good neck. Basically impossible to find used.

    Ric 8-strings are decent except they have the root string on top, rather than the octave...most players prefer the octave on top and use a pick. They also only have four saddles, so you cannot intonate then correctly.

    Hamers are the most readily available 8-strings and pretty much the best necks, as the company made them for 40 years and got it down right. The ones after around 1990 were the preferred dual-truss rod necks, although some of the earlier single-truss rod ones can also be nice. The least expensive model would be a Chaparral 8, although they generally made some of most models in the 8-steing versions on custom order. hamer made more 12-string basses than 8-strings, so those are easier to find. You could always just remover the extra doubled up octave strings from an 12 and use it as a 8, although the neck will likely be a little beefier. The Hamer necks seem to vary ...some chunkier and some amazingly thinner.

    Veillette Citron and Alembics both made great neck-thru body 8-strings but they are rare and pricey. Same for Warwick.

    Carlo Robelli, ESP, Dean, etc. all make OK cheapo import 8-strings, if you just want one to get to see if you like it.
    But there are a LOT of cheap import brands made in the last 10 years that offer 8-string models but many are borderline with cheesy hardware, bolt-on necks that often need to be shimmed to get decent low action and single truss rods and soft maple necks that just bow like crazy.

    There ARE single-truss rod 8-strings, although the dual-truss rod necks are much more stable. If you are in a climate with a lot of humidity and are looking for an 8-string to kep for a long time, I would recommend a dual-truss one. I own some good single-truss rod 8-strings but most of those are models where I have seen many where necks on other ones have gone bad over the years. Even on my good ones, I worry if the necks might someday go bad.....either by the string tension finally maxing out the truss rod or the truss pressure blowing out the back of the neck. The dual-truss rod ones greatly reduce those problems...but do add a hair more weight to the neck. The newer Pedullas combine a single truss rod with two stiffening strips to the neck.

    You could always just buy a Warmouth 8-string neck and bolt it onto a Fender copy body and make your own 8-string Jazz.
    carsbybigd likes this.
  16. Im looking to make a kit bass i have (P&MM on a P body) into an 8.
    I have a cheapo chinese 8 already but its NT and the neck is horrendous.....
    So im just gonna use the hardware on the kit and dowl the tuner holes and redrill for modern small tuners :)

    I wasn't keen on the dean i played, it was nice but i couldn't get away with the neck. Sounded the part though :)
  17. gpx1200

    gpx1200 Supporting Member

    Apr 24, 2013
    spencer mass
    first of all ..ZOMBIE THREAD ALERT!! op is from 2004.
    but since wear here,.. I have owned a few 8's I bought a new shecter stiletto8 and an esp 408 at the same time and then returned the esp a few weeks later in favor of the schecter witch is a neck threw with carbon fiber stiffening rods in the neck, the esp was a beauty but the schecter sounded better and just had a higher quality feel to it.
    my biggest ishue with bolth these basses is the crappy as bridge that does not allow for individual height adjustments of the strings, this bridge is also sunk into a hole in the body so it's imposible to upgrade without major surgery to the bass so im now in the process of building a warmoth 8 string with a schaller 8 string bridge, I have several warmoth necks and they are the most solidly built necks I have ever seen.
    aside from the crappy bridge the schecter is holding up well, I have not had to adjust the truss rod in almost a year and the action is as good as it can be with that bridge, if the warmoth doesn't satisfy my 8 string needs then I will probably modify the schecter with a schaler bridge and better pickups and preamp.
    darthplagis likes this.
  18. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009
    I've got a Carlo Robelli 8 string. It sold at Sam Ash for about $350. Which I thought was way too high. I bought mine on sale for about $150. GC once offered me $40 for it on a trade-in when it was still new.

    In many ways it's a hideous bass. The body material I swear is Celotex! It took hugely long screws to keep strap buttons from pulling out. And neck dive! This thing is the neck dive champ! I had to extend the upper "horn" (and I used the term "horn" advisedly) about 4 inches to fix the dive problem.

    However, in spite of all the nastiness, it really sounds and plays nicely. And the electronic preamp is for some odd reason one of the best I own!

    And that is the reason I still have it. But one of these days I would like to move up a notch or so in quality. But what I really want is a 10 string (doubled) bass.
    carsbybigd likes this.
  19. Bob_Ross

    Bob_Ross Supporting Member

    Dec 29, 2012
    You've owned over 100 8-string basses?!?!? I love you man!
  20. gpx1200

    gpx1200 Supporting Member

    Apr 24, 2013
    spencer mass
    006.JPG this is my schecter stilleto8 and a wormoth work in progress chambered dinky jazz black korina body and maple/wenge neck w/ziricote fb, I added the black korina top to the headstock myself
    darthplagis likes this.