Do you prefer chambered/semi-hollow/hollow over solid body basses?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by MAJOR METAL, Jun 14, 2020.

  1. Chambered

  2. Semi-Hollow

  3. Hollow

  4. Carrot Construction


    MAJOR METAL The Beagle Father Supporting Member

    Do you prefer chambered/semi-hollow/hollow basses over those with solid style construction? I've always enjoyed hollow body basses but I'm finding more and more for tonal reasons as opposed to instrument weight issues, that I really prefer basses that have some degree of internal hollowing to them.
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  2. Rezdog

    Rezdog Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    T.Rez, Canada/Motown
    Greetings from the North,

    A Serek Sacramento (chambered), 2 Reverend Brad Housers (semi-hollow), Godin A40 (semi-hollow), and a Yamaha BEX4 (semi-hollow) Yes I guess I am partial to semi-hollow and chambered basses. I just like them. And they can be so bombastic.

    Last edited: Jun 14, 2020
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  3. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    Not at all.
    I can't see why I would.
    Tone or weight?
    Well, I've already found the perfect tone and my bass only weighs 7 3 lbs, so...
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2020
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  4. Volker Kirstein

    Volker Kirstein Blippy the Wonder Slug

    No. I prefer solid body, which is not an option in your poll.

    I played an already-old-at-the-time unbranded beatle bass when I first started (mid 70s), which had feedback issues at higher volumes. These went away when I got my 2nd bass, which was a solid body. While technology has improved in the past 50 years, my lizard brain still equates hollow bodys with feedback issues.
  5. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    I prefer solid-bodied basses overall, but do like semi-hollows and loved my DiPinto Belvedere Standard. I sold it mostly due to ergonomic issues, not tone. I haven't gotten another semi-hollow but occasionally have GAS for one. Sereks look especially intriguing, and I like Guild Starfires and Reverend's Dub King as well.
  6. I like chambered over HB or semi-HB as you don’t get feedback issues at gig volumes.

    Still, it’s hard to beat a SB P bass.
  7. For a semi-hollow/hollow body bass sounds, I indeed prefer semi-hollow/hollow bodies over solid bodies.
    Chambered? That's a weight watcher feature, ya?
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  8. B-Mac

    B-Mac Happiness is a warm puppy and a great bass Supporting Member

    I own at least one of all of the types listed. Play them as my mood suits me.
  9. luciens


    Feb 9, 2020
    The biggest issue with chambered/semi-hollow versions of typical solid-body basses is neck dive. It's bad enough generally with solid-body Fender style basses, but when you start taking weight _out_ of the body, neck-heaviness worsens and in many cases almost becomes unmanagable, without bizarre harnesses, belt-hooks and the associated wedgies they cause, weights and etc.

    As for the tonal benefits, I personally haven't played a chambered/semi-hollow version of a solid-body bass that really appealed to me tonewise, but I can see it if you're after more of a round, upright bass type of tone.

    But you can do more with the electronics, IMO. For example, you can emulate an acoustic bass on a solid-body with no frets and a piezo pickup in the bridge. Take the Ibanez SR "bass workshop" series - The fretless models give a very nice upright-like tone on the piezo. It's a little synthetic sounding, but its really upright like and very nice. It doesn't require much of any in terms of the acoustics of the bass itself.

    So I don't see chambering on an electric having much benefit that can't be gotten electronically, and just keeping a solid body which is cheaper and doesn't have nearly as bad neck-dive problems....

    YMMV, of course...

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  10. GretschWretch

    GretschWretch Supporting Member

    Dec 27, 2013
    East Central Alabama
    The only area in which a non-solidbody bass disappoints me is with fretless: the note duration on solid basses just seems to be longer. Aesthetically, I know of only one non-solid bass body design I dislike; of solid bodies, only three I like.

    Overgeneralizing, I would say the hollow/chambered bodies give more boom in the tone; semi-hollows and solids, more punch.
  11. bucephylus

    bucephylus Supporting Member

    Aug 18, 2002
    Central Ohio
    FWIW, your poll choices don’t correspond to the Q in your thread title.

    That said, and responding to the Q in the thread title; My experience has primarily been with solid body bass guitars. My uprights, of course, are hollow. I did acquire an NYC Sadowsky a few years ago, which has the chambered construction.

    My $0.019 between the solid bodies and the chambered bodies is that they are different in feel, but not so much distinguishable in a mix or on tape. They have a very different kind of feedback resonance. So, I can see a player preferring one over the other, depending on playing styles. The chambered bodies feel more acoustically resonant, and lend themselves to pizz and plectrum work. The solid bodies have a more defined solid kind of resonance, and lend themselves to slap and plectrum work. But, good examples of either are useful across the board. The chambered basses are lighter. The solid basses sit more solidly on the shoulder; which, if the weight is below 10 pounds, isn’t usually a deal killer for me.

    Vive la difference.
  12. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Gold Supporting Member

    i don't know enough about the poll choices to vote...never owned one or played one long enough to judge.

    i think hollow-body axes look cool. ;)

    i also think looks are for kids. so there's that. :laugh:
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  13. I play an unchambered bass that is Mahogany I believe, feels and sounds better than any chambered or semi hollow ive tried.
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  14. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
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  15. FrenchBassQC

    FrenchBassQC Supporting Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    Gatineau QC CA
    Valid point.
  16. Heroinsheep


    Oct 23, 2017
    What are Hofners considered? Semi Hollow or Hollow? Love em
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  17. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Innocent as the day is long Supporting Member

    '94 Gretsch  G6119B-2.JPG Dano Longhorn (2).JPG '73 Ric 4001.JPG I have several of each. There are situations where I prefer one over the other, because yes, they do sound different. AFAIC, though, that's really the only reason. That Rick 4001 is my #1, go-to bass for lots of reasons, but the fact that it's a neck thru solid body bass isn't one of them...:cool:
  18. Coolhandjjl


    Oct 13, 2010
    If my Epi Jack Casady were solid, it’d be a might heavy :D
  19. Flawed poll is flawed. Where is the 'No' option?
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  20. ThinCrappyTone

    ThinCrappyTone Guest

    Oct 1, 2011
    I like all the different types of construction. These days I mostly just record, so the different vibes and tones that come along with each type of construction are fun to have on tap.
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