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Epiphone Viola Beatle style bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by TheGreatSealof, Jun 27, 2012.


  1. TheGreatSealof

    TheGreatSealof Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2010
    Deptford, NJ
    Just wondering if anyone has an opinion.

    I am a geezer (54 yo). Naturally, I am interested in the early 60's sounds as well as Motown.

    For Motown, I have a Fender RW Pbass. Love it.

    I recently played the Hofner B-series Beatle bass and compared it to the Epiphone Viola Beatle style bass.

    The Hofner sounded kind of empty and felt very cheap, if you know what I mean. Yes, it offers the controls of the original Beatle bass.

    I played the Epiphone and the sound was more like I hear when listening to the Beatles. And yes, it only has volume controls for both pups and one tone knob. Both instruments had rw strings.

    However, the Epi sounded and played way better than the Hofner. I loved the sound and feel so I bought it.

    I have installed flats and it is even more awsome.

    Any thoughts regarding your experiences?
     
  2. landau roof

    landau roof Reupholstered User

    Jul 29, 2010
    Downstate CA
    I have a Korean Epi Viola.

    In terms of playability, I also like the Epi more than any Hofner BeatleBass I've ever played. All the Icons I've checked out have had multiple finish flaws. I really wanted to get a German-made Hofner, but the neck profile isn't to my liking, unfortunately. It's pretty much a perfect half-cylinder straight up and down. I don't mind it not tapering towards the nutt, but combined with the thickness, it was too much.

    And though I haven't listened to them back-to-back amplified, the Epi doesn't have a problem giving the P-Mc boomy thump. I always want to play it with a pick, too. I dunno why??? :bassist:
     
  3. Gorn

    Gorn

    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    Might I suggest you try the Epiphone Allen Woody bass. It's a lot like the Hofner club. Short scale, fast neck (tapered a bit but wider and less cylindrical than the Hofner Beatle Bass), semi hollow body. With some good flats, it's very thumpy and boomy and warm. It's a beautiful bass too. I think it's the same price as the icon Hofner Club (~$400).
     
  4. octaverazor

    octaverazor

    Jun 3, 2009
    Houma, LA
    I bought an epi ( great deal from a buddy $200 with hardshell). I didn't like it at first, but after a while I guess I kind of learned its voice. Most people on here say to put flats on it. I like rounds on it better.
     
  5. bumperbass

    bumperbass Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2012
    I feel the same way about the Epiphone Viola. It feels more solid than the Hofner. Build quality (fit/finish) on the few I've seen are very nice. I am not a fan of all those switches on the Hofner/Hofner copies. IMO, choose the pickup you want and go with it.
    I wanted to buy one in April and there were none to be found....scheduled delivery date was 5/27/12 on every site I checked, and I couldn't wait that long. At that time, the used and 'manufacturer refirbished' ones were priced too high (supply/demand). It has its place in certain bands.
    I ended up buying a Douglas violin bass from Rondo Music and after the usual setup tweaks, it is pretty nice and fills the bill.
    Yes, I put LaBella Beatle flats on it and I get the authentic sound. I don't think I'll ever sell it. It's a good bass for acoustic stuff, too, when a solid body just doesn't look right with the other typical acoustic guitars. My bandmates loved it.
     
  6. I have an Epiphone Viola. I bought it from a dealer who is also a tech. He said it was built better than any Hofner he ever worked on. OTOH, a very experienced and busy bass player who tried it said it was more solid thana Hofner and went on to say that Hofners weren't that good. Mine has flats on it. I liked it alot until I got my SS Jag. Now the Viola is for sale. I can't justify having two basses.
     
  7. The Epi viola bass is a good instrument. With flats, it's a nice setup and should serve you well for many years. IMO you made a solid choice.

    Interesting. I don't suppose I can justify the dozen basses I have since some of them don't get played a lot, but they're all paid for and I have room for them. OTOH, I couldn't justify owning just one. That would leave me without a backup when I play gigs. Seems to me that a short scale Jag (nice bass, BTW) and an Epi viola bass would make a very nice and complementary pair to keep. Different sounds, different feels, both fun to play.
     
  8. bumperbass

    bumperbass Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2012
    Interesting. I don't suppose I can justify the dozen basses I have since some of them don't get played a lot, but they're all paid for and I have room for them. OTOH, I couldn't justify owning just one. That would leave me without a backup when I play gigs. Seems to me that a short scale Jag (nice bass, BTW) and an Epi viola bass would make a very nice and complementary pair to keep. Different sounds, different feels, both fun to play.[/QUOTE]

    I can't justify a LOT of basses myself. I have 4. They're all paid for and if I sold them, I'd most likely would pay more to replace them. My Viola/Hofner copy fills the bill for certain gigs so I can definitely justify keeping it. I've had seller's remorse before so I can't bother with listing/packing/selling, etc.
    Besides, a new Viola isn't an expensive instrument to begin with.
     
  9. rockscott

    rockscott

    Aug 28, 2010
    massachusetts
    I have a viola, its a warm sounding bass and fun to play. I had flats on it but it was too muddy. I now have rounds on it and it sounds great!
     
  10. I have the Rogue VB100 and it's my favorite bass. It was recently setup and restrung with Rotosound rounds and I can't put it down! Looks basically the same as the Epiphone but with the Hofner style controls. Great quality and plays beautifully!
     
  11. DeanT

    DeanT Send lawyers, guns and money...

    I've got a Hofner Icon, a Univox 1920 and a Douglas WVEB. I'm a geezer too (53).

    I've played an Epiphone but never owned one. They sound great, look good and I prefer the controls to the Hofner style switches. The price is right too.

    The only thing I didn't like about the Epiphone is that it weighs a ton compared to many others (though that's relative, they're pretty light compared to a solidbody).

    I don't think you can go wrong with an Epiphone Viola. They may not work for Heavy Metal though (the look is all wrong!).

    By the way, with the Hofner Icons you need to have flats on them. Even better are nylon tapewounds. They come suprisingly close to McCartney's tone that way.
     
  12. Ibanez Bassist

    Ibanez Bassist

    Jan 30, 2010
    US of A
    I used LaBella Flat Wounds on my Hofner and the sound is amazing.. Pretty powerful little Bass..
     
  13. TheGreatSealof

    TheGreatSealof Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2010
    Deptford, NJ
    Wow! Fantastic feedback. I love TB.com!
    :hyper:
     
  14. groooooove

    groooooove Supporting Member

    Dec 17, 2008
    Long Island, NY
    i shopped around when i looked for a beatle bass. by far the one i liked the most was the jay turser, and its one of the cheaper ones, too (witch was not a big factor, since most are fairly cheap aside from vintage original ones...)

    IMO theres no competition.
     
  15. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    Colorado
    I grow organic carrots and they are not for sale
    Buy the one YOU like best.
     

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