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Douglas violin-bass copy - worth it? Also tips for first bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Hamlet7768, Mar 14, 2012.

  1. Hamlet7768

    Hamlet7768 Here to chew gum and rock. Still have gum.

    Jun 5, 2011
    Yep, it's another potential "first bass" thread from me. I need to pick one eventually. :help::D

    Douglas WVEB Short Scale Violin Bass Black at RondoMusic.com

    This bass recently caught my eye, primarily because it's much cheaper than the Squier Vintage Modified Precision in my local music shop, and as a beginner, money's a premium for me. Also, the violin "look" has always appealed to me.

    Is this a good bass for the money? It seems pretty good compared to the Squier Precision, but hey, I'm not an expert.

    I know from an old thread that I should get replacement strings. What kind should I get? Preferably ones that aren't too rare or expensive, as again, money's a slight issue.

    Finally, I've read about "setup" for a bass. What will I need to do upon getting it to get it into a good condition for practice?
  2. Dug2

    Dug2 Supporting Member

    Sep 24, 2011
    imo, get wat u like and can afford. if you continue playin and want an upgrade later
    when there is more money, do so. the key is playing, anything to make it happen.
    i like the look of that thing too, but not liking the short scale. gl
  3. iriegnome

    iriegnome Bassstar style Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2001
    Kenosha, WI 53140
    For just a little more, I bought a Hofner. Nothing against the Douglas, I am sure they are fine and very much worth the money, but I got my Hofner from Hello Music for $200 and I gotta say, I am liking it alot.
  4. MakoMan


    Oct 17, 2011
    If you are looking at a short scale, get a Squier Vintage Modified Jaguar SS. Should be right around $150 and a much better bass than the Douglas for the average person.
    Plus the Jag SS plays and sounds great!
  5. Can't beat a Hofner Icon for about $200 at HelloMusic.
  6. I think it's only fair to tell OP that chambered violin-style basses sound *much* different than solid body basses.

    Hamlet, have you tested out one of these violin basses? Do you like the way they play and sound?
  7. Hamlet7768

    Hamlet7768 Here to chew gum and rock. Still have gum.

    Jun 5, 2011
    Frankly, only briefly, at a Guitar Center, of all places. I could probably stop by there again and see how I really like the viola bass, if they still have it.
  8. hhenry


    Feb 17, 2011
    NFLD, Canada
    Another vote for the Squier Vintage Modified Jaguar Short Scale. Best bang for the buck out there. More vertatile than the viola. OTOH, nothing wrong with the Douglas. As regards the setup, get the shop to give it a quick check before you take it home.
  9. Good idea, A/B it with a solid body comparable to the Squier VM P bass.

    Once you get the chambered viola, you're kind of locked into that tone, and they don't flex much. Be sure you're okay with that before you buy.

    I'm not trying to talk you out of, or into, anything. I own several semi-hollows and a couple of Hofners. I just know that they have a particular tone and don't lend themselves to certain styles very well.
  10. ecapdeville


    Mar 26, 2007
    Mexico City
    That Douglas bass is an exact copy of an Epiphone Viola Bass... Only that is black... Good bass by the way (the epi)...

    What do you want? A beatle bass? A hollowbody bass? Or just a short scale bass?

    If you want beatle looks go for the hofner if you want the other options...anyother bass in the list will make it.
  11. I have an Epiphone Viola and Squier SS Jaguar. It has been reported in this forum that the Epiphone is the same bass as the Douglas. You can get fine sounds from either. I use the Squier. The Epiphone is for sale at a local music store. I can not justify having two electric basses. I am keeping the Squier because it is more comfortable to play. Neither of these balances perfectly, but the Squier's neck doesn't take the voyage to the bottom of the room like the Viola does. I don't know how much the floating (unattached) bridge might be for a beginner. Just don't remove more than one string at a time. The strings hold the bridge in place. This is no biggie if you understand this. The bridge on a solid body bass is screwed to the body.
  12. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are.

    Feb 11, 2008
    So. Cal.
    +1 for doing more testing. I played a Hofner for a few years in various bands. Always sounded fine in the mix. Never a problem and never any complaints from anyone. Moved on to a Fender Jazz Bass that I found to a bit more comfortable for gigging. Wish I had NOT sold the Hofner though.

    Here are a few previous TB threads on the topic of "first bass" you may want to check out:

    First bass advice
    Strings: Flats or Rounds?
    Polishing/cleaning bass
    1 Setup a bass

    First amp advice
  13. Hamlet7768

    Hamlet7768 Here to chew gum and rock. Still have gum.

    Jun 5, 2011
    Honestly, I'm not that concerned about the sound, as I'm just starting out and want a good bass for practice. I'll look into the Mustang, though, as admittedly my hypothetical "style" is leaning towards the Squire end of the spectrum, for which a Höfner might not suit very well.
  14. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are.

    Feb 11, 2008
    So. Cal.
    You can pretty much play any style with most any bass. Strings, eq.(bass and amp) all can be adjusted.

    For the physical size of a bass (neck length, string spacing, width, shape, IMO< you really gotta get out and play a few before you decide.
  15. Hamlet7768

    Hamlet7768 Here to chew gum and rock. Still have gum.

    Jun 5, 2011
    Funny you should say that. I was playing my roommate's bass at my lesson today, and concluded I need a shorter scale. Guess I should run out to the local GC this weekend and fiddle around on some short-scale basses. Not sure if I should be dreading this or not.
  16. Hamlet7768

    Hamlet7768 Here to chew gum and rock. Still have gum.

    Jun 5, 2011
    Okay, went to Guitar Center, actually found a legit Hofner. Probably an Ignition or Icon or something. Really nice bass, I must say. And it wasn't that bad price-wise, somewhere in the 200 range.
  17. landau roof

    landau roof Reupholstered User

    Jul 29, 2010
    Downstate CA
    If you're after an economical shortscale hollow body, and it doesn't have to be a violin-style, it's impossible to beat this IMHO:


    Excellent price. I'd jump on it if I didn't already have one, but even so, I'm tempted.

    I also got an Epi Viola recently. I dig it a bunch, but I like the Dano a LOT more. Something about the Epi asks to be played with a pick, whereas the Longhorn is down for whatever. I love it, love it, love it. :hyper:

    edit: ...And good luck shopping, learning, playing!!! :)
  18. NortyFiner

    NortyFiner Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2008
    Portsmouth VA USA
    I once ordered one of those Douglas violin basses (with matching case) from Rondo. It played well and seemed overall to be a very good bass for the price. Problem was, Rondo sent me the wrong color bass; I ordered the SN scarlet burst, they sent me a SO red. So, I returned the bass the very next day. Rondo CS blindly insisted that they had sent me the correct color, but gave me a full refund anyway. I have been reluctant to deal with Rondo ever since. YMMV.
  19. docwein


    Oct 26, 2011
    I own a Hofner 67 Club and a Douglas Violin. These are 2 different basses in quality, one German (West Germany) and the other made is China. But, for a $160 bucks, the Douglas is a good deal. A well made, easy to play short scale bass, that looks like a Macca bass. I did change the strings to flats and adjusted the pickups, the bass sounds great. Is it better than my German Hofner, NO. But, i put it next to the Epi Viola and Hofner Icon anyday, and save some dollars for gas.
  20. Definitely

    Definitely Banned

    I got an Austin P copy for my first. I didn't realize how bad they were, played it for 10 minutes and threw down all my hard earned coin for it (I was 9 at the time). It really didn't bother me, one thing is that when you get a total POS and learn everything on it, anything feels like butter from then on. I can't stand it now of course, having a $900 Carvin in the family, but I got used to it and it didn't do any worse for my learning or playing. Not exactly sure what the point of that post was, just felt like saying it I guess.